Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs Review

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Review posted 04/01/2013

Quick Take
Pros

  • 16MP, APS-C sized CMOS sensor
  • High-resolution LCD (921k dots)
  • ISO up to 51200
  • Sensor-shift shake and dust reduction works with any Pentax lens
  • Solid body with 77 weather seals
  • 9 image modes and 18 digital filters
  • Live View on high resolution LCD
  • Buttons and dials are highly customizable
  • Good button and dial placement
  • Long battery life (approx. 980 shots)
  • Records 1080 HD video at 25 fps
  • High dynamic range (HDR) mode
  • Ability to retrieve RAW data from recent JPEG files
  • Catch-In Focus auto trips shutter with manual focus lens
Cons
  • Auto focus in Live View is slow
  • Auto exposure was sometimes inaccurate
  • Low-light images look noisy
  • Auto magnify does not work with Live View and manual focus
  • JPEG processing could be better
Bottom Line
This rugged dSLR offers a wealth of features and customizable settings that are easily located so you can focus on your subject. If it's manual controls you're after, look no further.  Read more in our Full Conclusion.
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In late 2012, Pentax announced its 2012 flagship DSLR siblings, the K-5 II and K-5 IIs. Both camera models feature a 16.28-megapixel CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch LCD display, Pentax's PRIME II imagine engine, a newly designed Autofocus sensor for more accurate performance with faster lenses, a 1/8000 per second top shutter speed, 7 frames-per-second high-speed burst shooting, 9 image modes and 18 built-in digital filters. Both cameras are also weatherproof and dustproof, thanks to 77 special body seals; which also allow the camera to be good for reliable operation down to 14°F (-10°C).

Other built-in gadgetry includes their SR (shake reduction) mechanism to prevent camera shake from blurring photos and video recording (no matter what lens you are using), a dust reduction (DR II) mechanism to keep that CMOS sensor particle-free, an electronic level, and an extremely long batter life (approx 980 shots per full charge).

So what's difference between the K-5 II and the K-5 IIs you ask?

The IIs will cost about $100 more (body only) than the II because the IIs "is offered without an anti-aliasing filter, which is commonly found in many DSLRs to smooth computer generated imagery by decreasing high frequencies and distortion, but adversely reduces detail resolution. Without this filter, the K-5 IIs creates deeply rich, detailed imagery at supreme resolution levels." Pentax says this is better for professional photographers who typically shoot indoors and have greater control over lighting conditions.

Pentax K-5 II Features
  • 16.28-megapixel CMOS image sensor (23.7mm x 15.7mm)
  • 3.0-inch (921K dots) LCD display
  • PRIME II imaging engine
  • ISO 100 - 12800 (standard); ISO 80 - 51200 (custom)
  • A new, highly-sensitive AF (Auto Focus) sensor
  • Dustproof and Weather-resistant
    • 77 special body seals
    • Reliable operation down to 14°F (-10°C)
  • 1/8000 per second top shutter speed (good for 100K shutter releases)
  • Pentax SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism
  • 100-percent field of view viewfinder
  • High-speed Burst Shooting at 7 frames pers second (in JPEG mode, max of 30 frames)
  • 9 Images Modes (including Bleach Bypass)
  • 18 Built-in Digital Filters (including Sketch and Posterization)
  • Electronic Level
  • CTE mode (automatically adjusts white balance)
  • DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism
  • Dynamic Range Expansion Function
  • RAW Data Retrieve Function (saves the RAW files of a recently-recorded JPEG image)
  • RAW/Fx button
  • Long battery life (approx 980 images per charge)
Pentax K-5 IIs Features
  • The Pentax K-5 IIs is identical to the K-5 II in terms of features and performance with one exception. It has no anti-aliasing filter.
The Pentax K-5 II will be available this October (2012) in three forms. The body-only version will retails for $1,199.95, while the the DA 18-55mm kit and the DA 18-135mm kits will set you back $1,349.95 and $1,549.95, respectively. The Pentax K-5 IIs is available in a body-only package, for $1,299.95. See our Lowest Price button at the top right of this page for the more current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • Pentax K-5 II body
  • USB Cable
  • Li-Ion Battery D-LI90 
  • Strap 
  • Eyecup FR
  • Finder Cap for ME 
  • PC Socket Cap 
  • AV Cable 
  • Battery Charger Kit K-BC90 
  • Hotshoe Cover FK 
  • Body Mount Cover 
  • Focusing Screen MF-60 Frame Matte 
  • Software CD-ROM S-SW132


Additional Product Views

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Pentax K-5 IIs
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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