The Pentax K-5 review: Pentax’s most capable DSLR yet. With a new sensor, new autofocus system and plenty more features to boot. Can the K-5 do no wrong?

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Pentax K-5

Overall score:90%
Image Quality:90%


  • Best-yet AF system, great image quality, weather-sealed design, super-fast continuous shooting


  • Underwhelming 18-55mm kit lens, no AF in movie mode, Motion-JPEG only movie files


Pentax K-5 Review


Price as reviewed:



Pentax K-5 review – Design

In terms of look and feel the K-5 is barely different from its K-7 cousin. The bodies of the pair are nigh-on identical, though there’s an ever so slight adjustment to the rotational mode dial to the camera’s top right. Despite this dial being slightly taller it still has a lock button to its centre that needs to be depressed in order to release for rotation. Although this is a staple in Pentax design it feels relatively unnecessary and is fiddly to operate. The metering collar that surrounds this is yet more tricky to easily adjust as the textured edge doesn’t protrude from the camera’s edge particularly prominently. Of course there needs to be a balance to avoid accidental and unwanted adjustment, but the controls here feel a touch too rigid.

Pentax K-5 test sample imagePentax K-5 review test sample image – click for full size gallery

Elsewhere and the layout is a success: front and rear thumbwheels feature for easy adjustment of options; exposure compensation and ISO quick access buttons sit atop the camera; a rear d-pad and a variety of one-touch and quick access buttons are on the back; and a Raw/Fx button to the front left side of the camera body, just behind the where a fitted lens sits. The top LCD panel lights up for display in darker conditions and is easy to read.

The body itself is weather-sealed at 77 points (as per the K-7 body) and the chassis is made of stainless steel, making it among the most tough and durable in its class. Whereas the Olympus E-5 is also fully weather-sealed, its £1500 body only asking price is considerably more expensive by comparison.

As for the internal menu system, this sees little change. Some may argue that this is now dated and old, but it still proves perfectly functional, easy enough to navigate and, crucially, for any existing Pentax users, provides a seamless move from one camera to another.

  1. 1. Pentax K-5 review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Video/Movie Mode
  6. 6. Value & Verdict
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