Pentax K-5

Positioned above the entry-level K-r in Pentax’s D-SLR lineup, the Pentax K-5 features an impressive build quality that’s hard to fault, thanks to its highly rigid stainless steel chassis and magnesium alloy exterior. With the inclusion of 77 seals to keep dust, dirt and moisture at bay you can be assured that the K-5 will perform in harsh weather environments and the heavy, durable feel is matched by a perfectly sculpted handgrip.

Pentax K-5

Pentax K-5

The 16.3Mp chip producing images with 4928x3264 pixel dimensions and the ISO range of 80-12,800 is impressive, with the option of expanding it to an equivalent of 51,200. The arrangement of 11 AF points is the same SAFOX IX+ system as found within Pentax’s medium format D-SLR, the 645D, and features 9 cross-type sensors in the centre of the frame. Repositioning the AF point is made by using the directional buttons at the rear, with single AF, Continuous AF and Manual Focus Modes selected from the side of the body.

Metering modes

Metering modes (Multi, Centre-weighted, Spot) are selected via an independent switch below the mode dial and much like the 60D, the mode dial has a lock to prevent it being inadvertently knocked. Below the viewfinder there’s a 3in, 921k-dot screen. It’s the fixed type so doesn’t swing out or tilt like the 60D or A77 screens but supports Live View, working with Contrast-detect based AF. HD video (1920x1080 @25 fps) is also supported, though you’re limited to MF only during recording and we’d have liked a dedicated movie-rec button rather than having to select movie mode via the mode dial first.

Capable of shooting at 7fps, the drive mode is accessed using the Self-timer button but after prolonged use we found the K-5’s menu system was less intuitive than its rivals, slower to navigate, and the button arrangement not as refined as others in its class.


This review was first published in the March 2012 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.