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Pentax K-5 Digital SLRs
Go ahead and feed your photography obsession with the 16.3 megapixel, 1080p HD video at 25 FPS, and ISO 80-51200, 7 FPS Pentax K-5. For you, capturing that great shot isn't a casual interest. It's a part of your life. One spectacular image after another. This camera is the perfect piece of equipment to help you get your photo fix. With the compact, rugged K-5, the world is truly your studio.
Submitted by Michelle Clair a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: August 9, 2011
Strengths: •3in, 921k pixel LCD screen
•Very high ISO range, 80-51,200
•Weather and dustproofing,
including the lenses, though it can still use the lenses from old film cameras.
It is also, as with most Pentax cameras, very well built and not fragile or delicate, so can stand up to use in the outdoors.
Weaknesses: I haven't found any weaknesses in my limited time of using the camera, (about 4 months now) I generally forget to press the lock release on the mode selector.. hopefully will get into this habit
My last Pentax was an *ist DS. It was my first all digital SLR and I have loved it for years. It has been everywhere, in all weathers and had a few mishaps, but still produces beautiful photographs without much help from me.
A great camera, very easy and light to use, it was evidently unpopular because it had an odd name? Why that would matter is beyond me..it works!
However the time came for me to upgrade to a camera that had a few more megapixels than my cell phone.... I did read up on the relative reviews of all the major name DSLR's but still couldn't find any reason not to buy the new Pentax K 5.
I was a bit in awe of the reviews I found on it, as it sounded complicated to use, and I am an instinctive sort of photographer, I like to act on impulse, and too many complications can get in the way of this. But I needn't have worried, it is as light (almost) and as easy to use as my last one.
In all honesty, considering the six year age difference, Pentax have kept the best features off the old camera and made the new ones fit in very well. And there are a whole lot of new Features!
I am aware of the many models in between, but have not used them so I would assume Pentax know when something works and don't try to change it.
I love the big LCD screen, it gives a very accurate and quick review of your photo, so that you can quickly make any necessary changes, the fact that the camera is sealed against dust and rain is a brilliant feature for landscape photographers, and it has anti-shake technology that is another great innovation up from my old model. (Specially here in Shakin' Christchurch ha ha )
I do children's portraits and chasing round after kids is greatly assisted by shake reduction in the camera.
I have learned a lot already about the ISO range and adjustability, shutter versus aperture priority and the effects that can be created using these features. Still have a lot to learn about in-camera HDR photography, but I am learning all the time.
I like the way that a photo can quickly be selected in RAW or JPG format, very useful when you are going to use the image professionally and do a lot of post processing in Photoshop.
In fact, the whole system is easy to figure out just using common sense, and reading up when it gets a bit technical. I like the live view button and the focus mode switch, Everything actually, about this camera.
I think that it is simple enough to use this camera, that anyone who has used a DSLR could figure out and enjoy taking excellent photographs with it. I don't think that Canon or Nikon or any of the other big names have any more to offer.
Thank you Pentax.. I'm very glad indeed that I bought my K5, it's an excellent camera, worthy successor to all my other Pentax cameras. I'm glad that I wasn't tempted to go over to the Dark Side...
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $1741.00
Purchased At: New Zealand
Similar Products Used: Pentax *ist DS
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Ronnie MacLellan a Expert
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2011
Strengths: There is no doubt this camera is a winner.
Pentax has created a market leader in the dSLR department with the K-5.
Its design, internally and externally, as well as its performance are excellent in every way.
The camera is a joy to photograph with in all conditions.
1. Weather proof - this camera can take the rain, cold, heat and dust and just keeps on working. It means you can carry on photographing when others are running for cover. It is so good to no longer worry about the camera getting wet, so good to take pictures in poor weather conditions, so nice to photograph wet landscapes and architecture, and so amusing to see people reactions when I come in from the rain with a dripping wet camera - oblivious to their concerns.
2. Backward compatibility with ALL bayonet mount Pentax lenses - and all other cameras that have ever been made with this mount. That's over 40 years of camera lenses, slightly less in my case having started SLR photography with an MX back in 1979. This is made possible because the K-5 handles shake reduction and focus within the camera body - not in the lens.
3. Long exposures - clean and brilliant as it was with the K10D, but now in 16.2Mp and the ability to get good results at ISO 1600 in Bulb mode.
4. High ISO images - as mentioned everywhere, this is the camera's greatest accolade. ISO 12,800 images are even useable at 100% if appropriate noise reducing measures are implemented.
5. AF-C accuracy and speed - again, another welcome advance Pentax have een able to bring to the flagship model. Tracking of fast moving objects is more capable with the K-5 and permits a greater number and percentage of keepers in the sports and fast-action situations.
6. low-light AF performance - as with the K-7, the AF assist beam is very handy for this and improves speed remarkably. There's the slight issue of slower speed using an external flash's AF assist spotbeam which would have been great not to use in place of the camera's own assist beam, but it's not a deal breaker. The ability of the K-5 to lock focus more surely and swiftly than the K20D and previous models, and even the K-7, makes it a significant improvement.
7. Built in HDR image handling together with a multitude of built filters - meaning if you don't want to spend hours working with photoshop, you don't have to.
8. IR photography - for those interested in infrared photography using dedicated IR filters, the sensor allows for clean images at higher ISOs and thus for significantly less exposure time.
What else I admire about the camera is the excellent customisability
of noise reduction, multiple individual user modes and focusing preferences. The addition of an electronic spirit level and composition adjustment are welcome though have limited practicality in real world photography. The user interface is again well designed and both easy and quick to use.
Weaknesses: 1. Variable external flash overexposure - My own copy overexposes globally by 2 stops of light, and thus is correctable by the simple measure of dialling down FEC to -2.0; I don't see why this should be necessary, and indeed other users have noted less consistent overexposures using flash, particularly in bounce flash photography.
2. Low-light front focusing - even after firmware version 1.03 some users continue to experience front focusing in low light (EV2 and less). I have been fortunate with my own copy that the front-focusing issue is barely noticeable at EV2-4. I don't shoot much in darker conditions than this so others who do would be able to shed more light on this issue.
My only other minor gripes are that the e-dials on the K-5, being rubber lined, don't feel as solid as those on the K10D/K20D, and doubling up the 4-way controller between the focus points and the other settings (WB, flash mode and the like) means an extra delayed key stroke to get to one when the other is defaulted.
Overall, a spectacular effort by Pentax and a worthy contender for APS-C dSLR of the year.
For someone who just wants to point and click, this camera is perfect. Leave all the buttons and dials in green mode and the camera takes care of the rest. If you are not interested in techno-speak this might be all you need to know, but if I add you use take it anywhere in any weather and use any old pentax lenses you might have, perhaps that will be of interest too. It is a lovely camera and can take exquisite photographs. It handles colour beautifully, like all Pentax SLR cameras and lenses - something other manufacturers don't usually equal. Everything about the K-5 exudes quality.
For those interested in raw stats and facts of a more technical nature, read on:
There is an impartial and comprehensive review in DPREVIEW who awarded the K-5 their prestigious Gold Award with a score of 83% (only two other DSLRs have scored higher - both costing 3 times as much as the Pentax K-5) see: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk5/
The PENTAX K-5 DSLR is developed using the highly acclaimed PENTAX K-7 as its base, the K-5 inherits the exceptional reliability, user-friendly operation, array of advanced features and compact, lightweight body of its predecessor, yet it is more resourceful and flexible in photographic expression. Coupling a new high-speed, low-noise CMOS image sensor with the high-performance PRIME II imaging engine, it produces super-high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, even when shooting in the continuous shooting mode at a maximum speed of approximately seven images per second.It also offers an extra-wide sensitivity range between ISO 80 and ISO 51200 (when expanded via a custom function) and Full HD-proportion movie recording at 1920 x 1080 pixels to expand the boundaries of high-quality visual presentation. Adding other improvements and refinements - such as a much-faster autofocusing speed, an upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function now usable in hand-held shooting, and better operability through an overall review of the design and shape of all components - the K-5 is designed to be more functional and maneuverable in every detail, and more capable of responding to the discriminating demands of advanced amateurs than previous models. On February 7th, 2011, Pentax announced a limited silver edition of the K5.
The K-5 features a new-generation, wide-frame SAFOX IX+ autofocus system with 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). This sophisticated AF system has completely redesigned optics, and factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations to improve the accuracy of autofocus operation. It also offers a choice of shutter-release options - between focus priority and release priority in the AF.S (single) advance mode, or between focus priority and speed priority in the AF.C (continuous) advance mode - to make the photographer better equipped for varying photographic requirements.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $1300.00
Purchased At: Jessops Oxford
Similar Products Used: I have access to many cameras through work and have used, among others, Pentax K-7, K10D, K20D, Cannon ESO 7D, EOS 600D, Nikon D300S. The K-5 I bought for personal use - but find myself using it for work as well.
Type of photography: Outdoor
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