Our thoughts on the new Pentax mid-level K-r DSLR and the new flagship K-5 DSLR

Pentax K-r

A number of the Pentax K-r’s features, although not particularly shouted about on the pre-release spec sheet, are rather advanced. Firstly there’s IrSimple for infrared control over the camera. Secondly, and keeping with the hands-free approach, the K-r even has a P-TTL flash sync available for dedicated wireless flash control.

New Pentax K-r DSLR releasedAnd smaller quirks such as the li-ion or AA battery (via an adaptor) choice is innovative too – take your pick of which suits you best at the time. Add this to the 720p HD movie, new extended ISO 25,600 capability, sensor-based image stabilisation, and highresolution LCD, and the features stack up strongly. All in all, along with the new K-5, the release of these DSLRs is a nod to a more progressive and stable Pentax DSLR range. The Pentax K-r looks to be a highly competitive release and, if priced correctly, should give competitor cameras a run for their money.

K-r Specs:

IMAGE ENGINE: Yes, sensor-based
ISO: 100-25,600
MOVIE: HD 720p, 25fps, Motion-JPEG format
CONTINUOUS SHOOTING: 6fps burst rate
AF POINTS: 11-point (9 cross-type) SAFOX XI
COLOURS: Available in black, white or red
VIEWFINDER: 96% fi eld of view
LCD: 3in, 920k-dot with live view
POWER: Li-ion rechargeable battery or 4x AAs (via adaptor)
DIMENSIONS: 97 x 124.5 x 67.5mm
WEIGHT: 580g

Read more on the Pentax K-r in our full review.

Pentax K-5

The Pentax K-5, based on the rugged K-7 model, is an impressive mid-level DSLR that incorporates a number of professional features and yet it’s still not that full-frame release that Pentax currently lacks. It seems an oddity that whilst providing multiple bodies for the APS-C market and even a pro-spec medium format model in Japan, there’s currently nothing to fill the gap between the two.

Pentax K-5 1 | News | What Digital Camera

We like the Pentax K-5 for upping its game, achieving Full HD status that Pentax didn’t have until now, and for delivering updated features. Like the K-7, the Pentax K-5 has borrowed tough and weather-proofed construction but raises the features bar yet further. With a newly designed and high-resolution 16.3MP APS-C sized sensor, the Prime II image engine is capable of producing stills from ISO 80 to a rather staggering ISO 51,200.

The rear LCD has a 920k-dot resolution, and the optical viewfinder has a full 100% field of view with 0.92x magnification. The live view mode benefits from the new sensor design as well as optimised contrast-detect AF for faster focusing.

The 11-point SAFOX IX+ autofocus system, as found in the newly-released Pentax K-r, is faster and more accurate than previous generations. In-camera options are in abundance too: from the HDR mode through to digital filters, cross-processing and custom image function. In addition, a brand new 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 WR (weather resistant) lens is announced.

The K-5 will be available this month with three kit options priced at a competitive £1,200 with the 18-55mm lens. However, the new 16.3MP sensor will need to prove its worth to tempt current K-7 users to upgrade.

K-5 Specs:

IMAGE ENGINE: Yes, sensor-based
ISO: 80-51,200
MOVIE: Full HD 1080p at 25fps
CONTINUOUS SHOOTING: 7fps burst rate
AF POINTS: 11-point (9 cross-type) SAFOX IX+
BODY: Weather-proofed magnesium alloy with 77 weather seals
VIEWFINDER: 100% fi eld of view; 0.92x magnifi cation
LCD: 3in, 920k-dot with live view
POWER: Li-ion rechargeable battery
DIMENSIONS: 131 x 97 x 73mm
WEIGHT: 740g with li-ion battery and SD card (body only)