New Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs Flagship DSLRs Announced

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New Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs Flagship DSLRs AnnouncedPentax announced a new flagship digital SLR this week. The Pentax K-5 II has a weatherproof stainless steel and magnesium body, a 16.3-megapixel APS-C imaging sensor, full HD video and a new SAFOX X auto focus array, which they claim gives it the “broadest autofocusing EV range (-3 EV to +18 EV) in its class.” There’s also a second model, the 5-K IIs, which has all the same features but drops the anti-aliasing filter for more detail and better low light performance. The 16-megapixel CMOS sensor appears to be the same as that used in the K-30, but with updated PRIME II (PENTAX Real Image Engine) imaging processing. Based on expanded sensitivity, compared to the K-30, I expect the image quality has been improved by about a stop.

Pentax K-5 II DSLR - 16-Megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor

Pentax K-5 II & K-5 IIs Key Features and Specs:

  • Rugged, weatherproof body
  • 16.28-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 12,800 (expandable to ISO 80 to 51,200)
  • New 11-point SAFOX X AF sensor useable from -3 EV to +18 EV
  • Sensor-shift SR Shake Reduction for image stabilization with all lenses
  • 1920 x 1080 full HD video
  • 100% optical viewfinder
  • 3-inch 921k-dot LCD display
  • 7 frames per second high-speed burst
  • Electronic level
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Battery life – approximately 980 images per charge

The Pentax community has been grumbling about this round of Pentax camera announcements. They were hoping for something more than another APS-C sensor DSLR. The pros and serious enthusiasts who own Pentax systems would really like a full frame DSLR in their upgrade path. Pentax does make a medium format digital camera, the award-winning 645D. But so far, all the digital SLRs they’ve made have had smaller, APS-C sensors. Instead of a bigger sensor, the Pentax digital SLRs have always offered a better feature set than comparably-priced competitor cameras. And the Pentax K-30, which I am testing right now, surprised me with its excellent image quality – much better than I’m used to seeing from APS-C sensor cameras. I expect the same is true for the K-5 II. It may not be the EOS-5D Mark III competitor that some Pentax shooters were hoping for. But after my experience with the K-30, I am pretty confident that it has better image quality and features than comparably-priced Nikon and Canon DSLRs.

If you’ve been looking at high-end APS-C sensor digital SLRs and haven’t looked at Pentax yet, the Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs definitely deserve your attention. Both cameras should be in stores and available from online dealers next month (October, 2012). The K-5 II will sell for $1,199.95 for just the body. It will also be available as a kit with either the DA 18-55mm WR zoom or DA 18-135mm WR zoom lens, for $1,349.95 or $1,549.95, respectively.

Pentax K-5 II DSLR Press Release >>

Related Content:
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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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