The Pentax / Samsung relationship has been something of a strange affair when it has come to their DSLR output, continually resulting in two products that can only be separated by the maker's name and price...
The camera’s relative performance isn’t likely to make you rush for the Pentax shelf over the Samsung shelf (or vice versa) at your local dealer, because once again there really isn’t anything between them. Raise either model to your eye and you see the same view through matching viewfinders that offer a respectable 95% coverage of the scene through the lens. Yet while the viewfinder is bright, the eye relief seems a little short, so you will find yourself having to move your eye around the ‘finder to read the information relayed on the LCD beneath the focusing screen and scan the corners of the frame.
We have no real complaints about the performance of the AF system, though. The active AF point or points are picked out in red on the focusing screen when the camera gets a lock, which is generally as immediate and as precise as it needs to be. Even when you find yourself in low light with a slow lens (such as the kit lens) there’s only the slightest hesitation in getting a focus lock, and even that disappears if you’re using the built-in flash to fire a stroboscopic ‘AF assist’ burst.
The positives continue when we look at other areas that have obviously been considered at the design stage, such as the novel white balance ‘check’. With the white balance options called up on the rear LCD you can use the depth of field control to get a low-resolution preview of your image. As you scroll through the WB settings the preview is updated ‘live’ on the LCD, enabling you to see which gives the ‘best’ result. You can also fine-tune the WB before taking your final colour-accurate photograph.
Obviously, if you shoot Raw files this is largely redundant as the white balance can be tailored at the processing stage, but for the photographer who wants print-ready JPEGs – with or without an accompanying Raw file – I have yet to see a more comprehensive solution.