Pentax K-5 Review Summary
Pentax K-5 Assessment
The Pentax K-5 is an upgraded K-7 which slips past it as the most feature-rich digital SLR made to date, adding a second axis to the digital-level and featuring a more advanced image sensor. Its 16 megapixels sensor provides an ISO sensitivity range of 80 to 51200, 7 FPS continuous shooting and 1080p HD video. The unique automatic horizon-correction is now shared between the K-5 and K-7 as well as plenty of features which help photographers take better pictures: 100% coverage viewfinder, built-in digital-level, white-balance preview and more. The K-5 also features built-in image stabilization in a freeze-proof weather-sealed body, giving it class-leading environmental protection.
In terms of performance, there is nearly nothing to fault the Pentax K-5. It shows extremely low image-noise with good retention of details, great dynamic range, good color accuracy, good metering and a reliable autofocus system. Automatic white-balance could surely be better and certain aspects of speed could be improved but neither is a major issue. The closest competitor to the K-5 is actually the Pentax K-7
Pentax K-7. Given that it costs at least 30% less and the only major change is high-ISO performance, the K-7 is an excellent value. The next closest is the soon-to-be-available Olympus E-5
Olympus E-5, which is a Four-Thirds DSLR with built-in stabilization and 100% coverage viewfinder in a weather-sealed body.
Trading built-in stabilization for lens-stabilization, two more cameras can be considered against the K-5: the Canon EOS 7D
Canon EOS 7D and the Nikon D300S
Nikon D300S. Neither of these has the ISO range or horizon correction of the K-5 but they feature sophisticated focus-systems that are very useful for tracking moving subjects. A level down from the K-5 is the Nikon D7000
Nikon D7000 which features a similar 16 megapixels sensor, a 100% coverage viewfinder, full 1080p HD video recording but not built-in stabilization or a weather-sealed body. Still, those not worried about the elements can take a look, potentially saving several hundred dollars.
|Excellent control over image noise||Automatic white-balance not so reliable|
|Great retention of details||Noticeable image review delay|
|Superb dynamic-range||Useless ISO 51200|
|Accurate image colors, with correct white-balance set||Live-view not exposure-priority and useless histogram|
|Very good metering in Live-View||Difference between viewfinder and Live-View metering|
|Very good focusing accuracy||Occasional over-exposure using viewfinder|
|Generally fast and responsive||Slow in-camera corrections|
|Effective stabilization for all lenses||Reduced buffer-depth at high ISO|
|Automatic horizon correction greatly helps||LCD flush with left side|
|Innovative exposure modes & program line||Status screen does not turn off automatically|
|Extremely flexible image parameters||Pitch not visible in viewfinder|
|Customizable Auto ISO and NR||RAW button too sensitive|
|Digital white balance preview||Camera strap gets in way of mode-dial|
|Post-shot RAW recovery|
|In-camera RAW conversion|
|Top-of-class weather resistance|
|Wealth of easily accessible controls|
Pentax K-5 Facts
Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|16 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 80-51200|
|Pentax K Mount|
|3-Axis Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|Auto Horizon Correction|
2 Axis Digital Level
|Weatherproof down to -10C||Hot-Shoe & Sync-Port|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Stereo audio input|
|7 FPS Drive, 40 Images||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|1920x1080 @ 25 FPS Video Recording||Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels|
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