Pentax K-5 Review

4.5
November 22, 2010 | Mark Goldstein |

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#1 Coffee

> The Pentax K-5 is outwardly identical to its older big
> brother, the K-5, so a lot of comments that we made
> about that camera apply equally to the new K-5.

Hehe. The funny thing about such little errors is that everyone knows what you meant to say. Therefore nobody bothers to let you know and the typo remains in the text forever ...

... otherwise, an excellent review about an excellent camera. Thanks.

6:49 pm - Monday, November 22, 2010

#2 Andrew Stone

Just to say that a histogram is available in live view…there’s an option to switch it on in the live view section of the menu

11:02 pm - Monday, November 22, 2010

#3 john flores

Good review of a camera that’s getting a lot of attention on the Internets! I always like the clean and organized layout of your site. Well done!

I’m compiling a collection of real world samples from K-5 owners on Flickr. Check out the “Pentax K-5 Fan Club” on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/groups/k-5/

11:28 pm - Monday, November 22, 2010

#4 liveview

“The shutter release action on the Pentax K-5 is much quieter than on the K7, which had a quite loud and mechanical actio[n], and therefore makes the K-5 a lot better suited to more close-up candid photography”.

the K-7 has a distinctly quieter shutter from past models. has the author confused this with a less expensive model i.e. K-x, etc?

1:05 am - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#5 Rae Merrill

I really like the Pentax stuff. It would be interesting to see them do a ‘Sony’ and bring out a pro full frame machine.

1:34 am - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#6 Mikey

There are serious CA’s at the top left of JPG 03 - Cyan and Magenta fringing around the chimney and edge of building.  This is not the only pic with CA.  In addition several pics seem somewhat soft.  What gives?  Poor lens?

4:22 am - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#7 Gex

“The only real negative point in terms of handling is the improved but still rather slow contrast AF system”

As I expected, Pentax continues to be loyal to its own flaws. Is there no one in Pentax that can develop an AF system that can compete with Nikon and even Canon?

3:50 pm - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#8 summerbee

@ Gex:
I have read that a pair of years ago Nikon “rented” a pair of engeneers from Pentax to fix some problems with their autofocus sistem… the point is just how much they can invest in it, and Pentax is unfotunately a minor trademark - to date. As a fellow pentaxian i can only hope economical facts get better for them…

5:56 pm - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#9 Paul

K-5 is in fact class leading regarding contrast AF. Copy-paste of an old review maybe? Like the typo that says that the K-7 was loud. K-7 and even more so, K-5, is class leading also here.

8:07 pm - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#10 Dan Bridges

Quote:
“The only real negative point in terms of handling is the improved but still rather slow contrast AF system”

As I expected, Pentax continues to be loyal to its own flaws. Is there no one in Pentax that can develop an AF system that can compete with Nikon and even Canon?

Quote off.

This is in LV.

Users & reviewers have commented how well SAFOX IX+ is working in normal use. AF.C is now supposed to be much better.

9:05 pm - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#11 Ben

“The incredible headline-grabbing top-speed of 512000 is frankly unusable”

From the limited experiences I’ve had with it, it’s not that much different from some ISO 3200 film I once used.  Sure, it won’t get you in National Geographic, but it’s nice to have the option if you need it.  If you’re using this camera, you know what you’re doing.

10:52 pm - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#12 Tina Edwards

Some of your sample images,e.g. flower image taken at ISO 400, look very blurred at full size. Is this down to the photographer rather than the camera?

2:05 pm - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#13 magamaga

I was ready to buy this camera, but the video recording specifications are not ready for the show… 25fps is veeeery baaaaaaaad, no manual control is VERY BAAAAAAAAD… what a shame… i will wait for the K-6????

11:54 am - Thursday, November 25, 2010

#14 William

This review says the K5 matches the build of the Canon 60d. Well I own both, and I must say that’s a load of bull! The K5 is miles ahead in build quality, it has higher dynamic range, a more clever control layout, is smaller. It’s beautifully constructed.

The K5 is a better camera than its Canon and Nikon counterparts on all levels, except video mode. Video mode on the K5 is a gimmick, unfortunately.

11:13 am - Friday, November 26, 2010

#15 Fletcher

The Pentax K5, well apart from this review and the DXO findings the camera is a joy to use, it packs a real punch in terms of creative control to the use. The K5 provides the best APS C ISO there is, but people will always say its not a Nikon or Canon.  Well it has been refreshing to read a review that for once acknowledges the Pentax K5 camera is a good camera. I think this camera will get more attention as people open their minds to other brands which are not Nikon or Canon and with Pentax now offering a Medium Format too, why would they need to produce a full frame DSLR.

12:47 pm - Friday, November 26, 2010

#16 yves

i was the person australia to purchase the k5 it as replace my k7. It seem to have afaster focus,the big improvement is on ISO ,at3200 the picture are clear ♯ and the k5 to be same level canon 7d &nikon; d7000

2:27 am - Sunday, December 5, 2010

#17 Arthur Garcia

A week ago I had a Pentax K7. Fabulous. I gave it to my son for Christmas and I will be giving myself a Pentax K5. I have owned Canons before. All of them broke down on me. Nikon, yes, a good brand but in its class, there’s nothing like the Pentax K7. I am sure to be happy with the K5. PS, I was also a happy owner of a Pentax ME before digital cameras came around.

9:52 pm - Sunday, December 5, 2010

#18 tomkong

It’s a reasonably fair review - thanks.
The K5 is a superbly build camera, as the K7 is, but just with a better sensor and faster.
I have been using a classic SLR (Minolta X700) happily for over 20years. Earlier this year I bought me K7. It just felt right when holding in the hands and operating it. To me the handling is just way better than comparable Nicons and Canons. When the K5 came out I had to upgrade as I’m a “low-light” enthusiast. To me it remains the best prosumer DSLR. The big plus is true weather sealing and its robustness, something which which cannot be valued enough and is not properly reflected in most comparisons.
Cheers

11:19 pm - Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#19 Bob H

See this other positive review.
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Pentax-K5-15123
It looks like an excellent camera. I may have to get one to go with my K7

11:35 pm - Sunday, December 12, 2010

#20 Fred

Agree with those stating that the Pentax build quality is far superior to the Canon 60D. Even the Nikon D7000 has only a part metal chassis, whereas the Pentax is ALL metal.

Neither the Canon or the Nikon are weather sealed. Check youtube for someone holding a Pentax K5 under the shower!

The Pentax is also superior in ergonomics over the Canikons.

It’s a shame Pentax don’t do a better job of getting their cameras in stores so that people could actually feel these differences for themselves.

5:14 am - Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#21 Rewind

As a owner of both Pentax and Nikon, congratulations to Pentax on the K5 it’s about time ten years late to the party,however good luck with local repairs and available lens rentals for pentax cameras.Remember you are buying a complete system from supply to repair and availabilty of all services .

7:56 am - Sunday, January 2, 2011

#22 PB

A LOT OF EXCITEMENT IN THE CANON AND NIKON CAMPS RE; 60D AND D7000. I’M AT THE MOMENT LOOKING FOR A NEW STILL CAMERA, AND AS I ALREADY HAVE A GOOD VIDEO THE PENTAX K5 SEEMS TO BE THE ANSWER. MAYBE WITH GOOD PRIMES - ZEISS OR PENTAX LIMITED RANGE.

7:29 pm - Thursday, January 6, 2011

#23 Derek

@William.

>The K5 is a better camera than its Canon and Nikon counterparts on all levels, except video mode. Video mode on the K5 is a gimmick, unfortunately.

it is just your preference , I mean if you’ve already got used to using Pentax bodies , you may prefer its ergonomics and UIF design as you put it.

but I dont really like the Pentax way of UIF at all and I much prefer the Canon UIF with the big back wheel and I prefer the D7000 ergonomics design(the D7000 is much easier for me to hold with one hand than any other camera I ‘ve used).

I once had all 3 the K5 , the D7000 and the 60D and I returned the K5 , gave my 60D to my sister.

So, I think ergonomics and UIF are very hard to rate or even compared logically , everybody has different preference.

I think I am just too used to using my D700/D7000 and A900.

I am originally a Canon shooter. But now , I am more used to shooting with Nikon or Sony so my preference for good ergonomics ,etc have changed.


I think as we use any camera often enough , we will get used to it.

7:31 am - Monday, January 10, 2011

#24 Derek

@ Fred, you are obviously biased.

>Agree with those stating that the Pentax build quality is far superior to the Canon 60D. Even the Nikon D7000 has only a part metal chassis, whereas the Pentax is ALL metal.

Pentax is not all metal either , only Oly E5 is all metal in this class.

And actually, the Nikon D7000 has better LCD with better reinforced glass covered LCD.

The Pentax K5 has plastic chassis, just out side of it is metal.

So, I dont know which one is more durable in real life use.


>Neither the Canon or the Nikon are weather sealed. Check youtube for someone holding a Pentax K5 under the shower!

they are both sealed.

and even though the Canon has plastic body , it has the best LCD and fastest read out and card write time and most importantly , the 60D is about 500US cheaper than the K5.

and in case of the Nikon vs the Pentax , the Nikon has better resolution(in RAW) and better AF.

>The Pentax is also superior in ergonomics over the Canikons.

no, it is not superior but just you prefer it.

Iand the Pentax has” black dot on the sensor” issue.

7:41 am - Monday, January 10, 2011

#25 Bob H

I have a K7 and I prefer the ergonomics to a D90 even though the D90 is easy to use. The Nikon does everything brilliantly except take excellent pictures. This is the crux of the matter. My Pentax pictures are pictorially better in terms of contrast, colour and overall look, compared to my Nikon, even when using raw. In addition my K7s pictures are sharper and have more detail.  However if I want to shoot at a function I choose the Nikon with a wide ranging zoom and Nikon Speedlight. Its better than anything Pentax and Canon can do and the results are what the client wants. Well exposed etc.  I would use a D700 but its too big and heavy for me, but the results with Nikons top lenses are the best. Even better than Canon, and by the way I hate Canons ergonomics. Id buy a K5 but its getting too expensive for a mere amateur

11:53 am - Monday, January 10, 2011

#26 SirDrinkalot

Derek, the K5 features a magnesium alloy body and a stainless steel chassis.
http://www.priyantha.nl/GoT/Pentax_K-5/K-5_Chassis.jpg

12:24 am - Thursday, February 24, 2011

#27 SirDrinkalot

Derek, the K5 features a magnesium alloy body and a stainless steel chassis.
see this picture priyantha.nl/GoT/Pentax_K-5/K-5_Chassis.jpg

12:30 am - Thursday, February 24, 2011

#28 peter ward

I’ve been a wildlife photographer for nearly 50 years starting with a Pentax S3, passing through a range from Spotmatic, LX and the MZ series. Now at some 80 years I’ve bought my first digital, a Pentax K5. Enough to say after about 8 weeks I’m producing professional class images - and I still don’t know how half the functions work!
What more can I say except that a child could use it - probably better than me. Just one instance - taking a test exposure on the 200mm, took a shot of a honeybee sitting on a stone, fired off hand-held JPEG 1/1600 ISO 3200 at a range of 10 feet just as bee took off and got a usable image of it mid-air.
Nough said.

3:19 am - Monday, April 25, 2011

#29 Richard south side Chicago

I have purchased my first Pentax the K-5 and have been pleased with it. I wanted the camera for the weather seal and have been please with it for all of the features
It was a hard choice for me as I have been using Olympus (a E-30 and E-520) the latest from Olympus the E5 was more expensive and lacked the resolution. The E5 seemed to be my E30 in a E3 body.
I have been very pleased with my K5
            Rich

12:30 am - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#30 gabi lam

Hi, can you add a MIC on the K-5?

4:09 am - Thursday, March 22, 2012

#31 Kryztof

@gabi lam;
yes, you can. it plugs into an 1/8” port on the left grip of the camera

6:01 am - Saturday, March 24, 2012

#32 Maps

A great camera with a solid construction and a thousand of settings to improve your pictures.
Colors are awesome.
Compared to Canon and Nikon, this is probably one of the best APS-C i ever seen.

6:37 am - Saturday, May 5, 2012

#33 kadajawi

Actually the video function on the K-5, K-5 II and K-5 IIs is pretty good. It doesn’t compress videos too much and produces editing friendly MJPEG videos. It also stabilizes videos with the shake reduction system, which works VERY well and is not something other brands (or even lesser Pentaxes) can offer. That it does not offer full manual controls (you can however lock exposure while shooting at any point, and release it again) and no 24 fps mode is a let down, but still it is a pretty capable camera. The biggest issue really is hot pixels that come up after shooting for a while.

7:27 am - Tuesday, July 9, 2013

#34 Eon

I struggled with this choice, after reading lots of reviews, and trying out the Nikon D7000, & Canon 60D which were really good cameras and took great pictures, I finally decided to get the Pentax K-5 & am very happy with it so far. Tested in a full day of rain it takes incredibly sharp and crisp pictures. I highly recommend this camera.

9:53 pm - Friday, August 16, 2013

#35 Phil

I just purchased a used K-5 in excellent condition to upgrade from my trusty K-20D. I will pass that on to my son. I will use this primarily for color photography as I adore my antique K1000, ME Super, and Super Program film cameras and my darkroom for B&W. I have an excellent collection of SMC-M prime lenses as I’ve always felt Pentax optics were unsurpassed.
Do not give a hoot about video, so the K-5’s video shortcomings don’t concern me. As with my film cameras, I will use manual mode most of the time to allow the greatest creative control, but welcome the auto functions when keep up with grandchildren. Look forward to uusing this excellent camera for the rest of my years.

7:42 am - Friday, February 14, 2014

#36 Anthony Mantle

Brilliant camera with stunning noise control, this is my own test of every ISO level: https://www.flickr.com/photos/antmant/13507776774/

11:39 am - Monday, March 31, 2014

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, 16 megapixel, full hd, DSLR, prosumer, pentax, dustproof, freezeproof, digital SLR, 7fps, Pentax K-5 Review, k5 review, k5, k-5

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