Pentax K-5 at a glance:

  • 16.3-million-effective-pixel sensor
  • ISO 100-12,800 expandable to 80-51,200
  • 7 frames per second
  • 1080p HD video at 25fps
  • Safox IX+ AF system
  • Street price approx £1,000

Pentax K-5 review – Introduction

When Pentax introduced the K-7 in May 2009 as a replacement for the K20D, which was its only current DSLR at the time, it had been 18 months between releases. Simultaneously, the company released its entry-level K-x, which doubled the number in its DSLR range. Move forward another 18 months and Pentax has released the Pentax K-5 and K-r, doubling the range again.

This time the company states that neither of the new bodies replaces the older ones, and they are likely to line up alongside each other in the shops. The new Pentax K-5 sits at the top of the range as Pentax’s flagship DSLR model, while the K-r sits between the K-7 and K-x as an upper entry-level DSLR. This is good news for those who already own a Pentax DSLR and for those interested in buying one, because it suggests Pentax is pouring resources into developing and enhancing its DSLR range.

The Pentax K-7 was a real leap forward from the K20D. After testing the K-7 (AP 15 August 2009), it was clear that this was not just a wannabe enthusiast-level or ‘prosumer’ DSLR, and could hold its own with equivalent Canon and Nikon models. In fact, it boasted class-leading detail resolution and many unique features, such as a self-levelling sensor and in-camera HDR mode.

There is much to like about the K-7, and the good news is that the Pentax K-5 appears to have improved upon this model with a 16.3-million-pixel-resolution sensor (the K-7 has 14.6 million pixels), while maintaining elements that work such as a small, light yet rugged body. I look forward to seeing how much of a leap forward the Pentax K-5 is from the K-7, and whether it adds to the range or is more of a logical replacement for the K-7.

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