Record Screens & Menus

When not using Live View mode to frame your shots, the LCD shows information about current camera settings. The green icon at top left indicates Auto mode is in use. This display is the same regardless of shooting mode, though of course when using other modes you can adjust many of the settings that are automatically selected in Auto mode (for example, the EV compensation bar would not be grayed out). The display rotates if you tilt the camera to portrait orientation, though you can turn this off. The LCD turns off when you press the shutter button half-way or the AE-L button; unless you're using Live View.

If you choose Select AF using the AF switch on the back of the camera, the Auto 11 icon changes to indicate which point of the 11 is being used for auto focus. The point shows up in red.

When using Live View, the LCD display information along the top and bottom of the screen. When focusing, a magnified view including the AF box in the center fills the screen. The AF box turns from white to green to indicate focus has locked. You can activate auto focus in Live View by either pressing the shutter button halfway or pressing the AF button on the back of the camera.

If you use manual focus with Live View, pressing the Info button repeatedly will magnify the preview by 2X, 4X, 6X, 8X and 10X, in sequence. Or, you can press Info once and further magnify the preview by turning the rear e-dial. If you're using the viewfinder to frame your shot, AF points will flash when they achieve focus and the camera will beep (you can turn the sound off if you choose).

For use with older manual focus lenses, the K-5 II offers Catch-In Focus whereby the shutter is tripped automatically when focus is achieved.

You can choose one of three auto focus modes in the Live View menu: face detection, contrast AF, or phase difference AF. Regardless of which mode you choose, the AF point switching dial on the back allows you to choose Center, Select, or Auto. Center uses an AF point in the middle of the frame. Select allows you position the AF box where you want it, and Auto uses 11-area (default) or 5-area auto focus, depending on your menu selection. Any way you slice it, it's likely that auto focus won't perform as quickly as it does when using the viewfinder.

This view shows auto focus in Spot mode, with a moveable AF box. Note the shooting mode icon at top left. You launch Av Hyper mode by turning the rear e-dial while in Program mode. At least that's the default - you can select many other customizable options. Similar to aperture-priority mode on the mode dial (Av), Av Hyper lets you adjust the aperture while the camera adjusts the shutter speed and ISO automatically. Turning the front e-dial while in Program mode launches Tv Hyper, which operates like shutter-priority mode (Tv on the mode dial).

When using Live View mode, the camera magnifies the focus area significantly while determining focus. When focus locks on, this enlarged AF box turns green, the camera beeps, and the full-frame view of your shot reappears on the screen. If you are using manual focus, you can magnify the screen display up to 10X. You either press the Info button repeatedly or press Info once and then magnify further using the rear e-dial.

Each of the four positions of the four-way control launch a menu: Up (drive mode), left (white balance), down (flash), and right (custom image). This last option gives you tremendous control over the look of your images.

There are nine custom image modes. This is arguably more of your go-to versus digital filters because it's easier to access - you simply press right on the four-way control - and gives you many settings to adjust as you see fit.

The first screen indicates in the top right which Custom Image mode you're in. Pressing right or left on the four-way control brings up icons along the top of the screen for all nine modes. If you press down on the four-way control to change settings, the top right text changes to the setting you're adjusting (pictured here, Saturation, whose setting is highlighted in a box at left). The icons along the left side of the screen show you the level for each setting.

Custom Image modes:
  • Bright
  • Natural
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Vibrant
  • Muted
  • Bleach Bypass
  • Reversal Film
  • Monochrome

Custom Image mode parameter adjustments:

  • Saturation
  • Hue
  • High/low key adjustment
  • Contrast (this expands to both contrast highlight and contrast shadow with a turn of the front e-dial)
  • Extra sharpness

The recording menu contains five pages of menu options. Extended Bracketing (highlighted above) allows you to save three images at a time with different levels of white balance, color saturation, hue, high/low key adjustment, contrast and sharpness. In contrast, exposure bracketing saves only one file per trip of the shutter. When using extended bracketing, the camera saves JPEG files.

In addition, the next menu item, Digital Filter, offers eight options. This isn't the most extensive list of digital filters, but the selections are arguably the most practical - including a custom filter that allows you to adjust a wide variety of settings, as listed below. A few of the artsier (and less practical) filters are available as edits in playback, such as Sketch, Water Color, and Pastel.

Digital Filters (in shooting mode):
  • Toy Camera
  • Retro
  • High Contrast
  • Extract Color
  • Soft
  • Starburst
  • Fish-eye
  • Custom Filter (with adjustments for high contrast, soft focus, tone break, shading type, shading level, distortion type, distortion level, and invert color)

Also on this menu page the camera offers high dynamic range (HDR) shooting, whereby the camera captures three images and combines them in to one file: -3 EV, proper exposure, and +3 EV.

HDR Capture options:
  • Off
  • Auto
  • Standard
  • Strong 1
  • Strong 2
  • Strong 3


The interval shooting feature allows you to program the camera to take up to 999 photos at a set interval (from one second and up) over a period up to 24 hours. You can set it to shoot right away, or program it to begin at a later time.

Page 3 of the shooting menu offers a number of settings tweaks (seven to be exact), giving you the ability to customize how Auto ISO behaves (reigning in its minimum and maximum sensitivity settings) and control noise reduction, for example.

D-Range Setting:
  • Highlight Correction: On/Off
  • Shadow Correction: On/Off

ISO Auto Settings:
  • Minimum sensitivity: ISO 80 - 25600
  • Maximum sensitivity: ISO 100 to ISO 51200

Auto ISO Parameters:
  • Slow: Increases sensitivity as little as possible
  • Standard: Default
  • Fast: Actively increases the sensitivity

Slow Shutter Speed NR:

  • Auto NR
  • On
  • Off

Program Line allows you to assign a set of characteristics to the Green button, for example. These characteristics are applied in P/Sv or TAv/M mode.

Program Line Settings:
  • Auto: Camera chooses settings
  • Normal: Basic auto exposure (default)
  • High-Speed Priority: Auto exposure the prioritizes high shutter speeds
  • DOF Priority (deep): Auto exposure with smallest possible aperture for depth of field
  • DOF Priority (shallow): Auto exposure with largest possible aperture for shallow depth of field
  • MTF Priority: Auto exposure prioritizes best aperture settings for the attached lens (DA, DA L, D FA, FA J or FA lenses)

Color Space Settings:
  • sRGB
  • Adobe RGB

RAW File Format:
  • PEF
  • DNG

Instant Review:
  • Display time: 1 second, 3 seconds, 5 seconds, Off
  • Histogram: On, Off
  • Bright/Dark Area: On, Off
  • Enlarge Instant Review: On, Off

Digital Preview:
  • Histogram: On, Off
  • Bright/Dark Area: On, Off
  • Enlarge Instant Review: On, Off

The ability to customize the e-dials and other buttons, dependent on the mode dial selection, makes it easy to suit the controls to your preferences. For example, when in Program mode, you can set the camera's front e-dial to control exposure compensation while the rear e-dial will shift the aperture and shutter settings.

The e-dials aren't the only custom option for the controls. Using the next menu item, Button Customization, you can assign a variety of functions to the RAW/Fx button, AF button, Preview position on the dial surrounding the shutter button, and a half press of the shutter button.

The RAW/Fx button near the lens mount also can be set to one of six functions. When using one push file format, you select which of the three file formats to switch to, depending on which one you're currently recording: JPEG, RAW, or RAW+.

The setup menu contains four pages of essential, but let's face it, not very exciting settings. Everything from language, date/time, beep volume, LCD brightness, auto power off, etc. is set here. For example, if you are attaching an optional battery grip, you can select here under Select Battery whether to have the camera use the battery in the body or in the grip first.

Shown here on page 4 is the Dust Alert feature, for which you take a photo so the camera can display where the dust resides on the sensor. This image can be displayed during sensor cleaning.

The K-5 II has four pages of custom settings. Page one focuses on exposure settings and ISO settings. Turning on Expanded Sensitivity by selecting "2" allows an ISO range of 80 to 51200 instead of the default ISO 100 to 12800. Meter Operating Time can be set to 3, 10 or 30 seconds. The rest of the settings on this page are simply set to On or Off.

Page 2 of the custom settings menu lets you adjust the auto bracketing order and change whether the camera tinkers with its white balance settings.

One-Push Bracketing allows you to record three auto bracketed files with one press of the shutter button rather than trip the shutter for each shot.

White Balance Settings:
  • WB Adjustable Range: Auto adjustment, fixed
  • WB When Using Flash: Auto white balance, unchanged, flash
  • AWB in Tungsten Light: Subtle correction, strong correction
  • Color Temperature Steps: Kelvin (set in steps of 100k), mired (set in steps of 20 mired)

Page 3 offers AF and remote control settings.

  • AF.S Setting: Focus-priority, release-priority
  • AF.C Setting: Focus-priority, FPS-priority
  • AF Assist Light: On, off
  • AF with Remote Control: On, off
  • Remote Control in Bulb: Mode1, mode2
  • Shutter Release while Charging: On, off
  • Flash in Wireless Mode: On, off

Page 4 of the custom menu offers another batch of helpful features. Most are straightforward, such as the brightness of the LCD Panel Illumination and whether the camera will be Saving Rotation Info.

Save Menu Location is very helpful. Turning this feature on will take you where you left off in the menus the next time you press the Menu button.

Catch-in Focus is designed for manual focus lenses. Turn it on and the camera will automatically trip the shutter when you get your subject in focus.

AF Fine Adjustment allows you to fine-tune the auto focus by +/-10 steps for up to 20 lenses.

Using Aperture Ring lets you permit the shutter to trip even if a lens with an aperture ring has not been set to "A", or auto aperture.

The K-5 II doesn't output video via its included A/V cable, so I had to photograph the screen on this shot of the camera recording video in Live View mode. The LCD displays basic information as shown above when capturing video.

Movie Settings Menu:
  • Recorded Pixels: Full HD (25fps), HD (30fps), HD (25fps), VGA (30fps), VGA (25fps)
  • Quality Level: 3 stars, 2 stars, 1 star
  • Sound: On, Off
  • Cross Processing: Four settings, plus three custom settings
  • Digital Filter: Toy camera, retro, high contrast, extract color, color (red, magenta, blue, cyan, green, yellow); color density (three levels)
  • Movie Aperture Control: Fixed, auto
  • Shake Reduction: On, off

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