Pentax K-5

Released September, 2010
New: K-5 IIs (Nov, 2012)
  • 16.1 MP
  • APS-C 23.6 x 15.7 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Detail capture is excellent (although you'll have to put some very good glass on the front of the camera to get the full benefit) and dynamic range is wide.
by DPReview (Dec, 2010)
9.5 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Pentax K-5

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Pentax K-5
Pentax K-3
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Pentax K-5
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Pentax K-5
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Pentax K-5
Reviews from,,, and 2 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Pentax K-5

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Pentax K-5

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Pentax K-5
1,162 ISO
Pentax K10D
522 ISO
Pentax K-7
536 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Pentax K-5
2,200 LPH
Pentax K-30
3,000 LPH
Pentax K-7
2,800 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K-5
104 ms
Pentax K10D
254 ms
Nikon D300
227 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Pentax K-5
92 ms
Pentax K20D
659 ms
Nikon D300
57 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Pentax K-5
600 ms
Pentax K-30
1,100 ms
Pentax K-S2
1,000 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K-5
7 fps
Pentax K20D
3 fps
Pentax K10D
3 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Pentax K-5

Specifically, the K-5's ISO and exposure compensation controls are very well-placed for quick adjustment, and changing AF points is quick and easy too, simply by jogging left/right/up/down on the rear controller.

The K-5's LCD screen has a very high resolution of 920K dots, wide viewing angle and it remains visible outdoors in all but the brightest of conditions, making it one of the best LCD screens that we've seen on a DSLR.

The Pentax K-5 is a highly-specified and immensely enjoyable camera to use, and one which can easily withstand an array of photographic challenges.


8.7 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


In comparison with SDM-equipped optics such as the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8, the 18-55mm kit lens with which the Pentax K-5 is available delivers a reasonable performance overall, focusing only marginally slower in good light and takes just a little more time to confirm focus, once it has reached a rough approximation.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2012)
Unfortunately, as with most of the other DSLR cameras on the market that offer video recording, it's not the most user-friendly experience, with no handy one-touch recording, reliance on manual focusing, inability to change the aperture or shutter speed during recording, enormous file sizes that quickly fill your memory cards, and the inherent handling quirks of the DSLR format.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)
Larger sensors have greater light-gathering abilities, helping in particular in low-light situations, but cost much more to manufacture and require bulkier lenses and camera bodies.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)


As usual, there is a clear difference between RAW and JPEG output from the K-5, and as we'd expect, a lot more detail can be coaxed from the RAW files.
by DPReview (Dec, 2010)
On the front of the camera body is the RAW / FX button, which instantly sets the image quality to whichever RAW format is selected in the menu system (either Pentax's PEF format or Adobe DNG), useful if you are shooting in JPEG and want to quickly switch to RAW mode for a particular image.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)
This feature is an extra benefit of the K-5's sensor-shifting Shake Reduction (SR) system which automatically moves the sensor to compensate for accidental camera movement that can blur images.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2012)


Those tests, it should be noted, only measure the sensor, not countless other important camera details such as price, autofocus, lens and accessory selection, durability, performance, and user interface.
by c|net (Nov, 2010)
Autofocus acquisition is extremely fast and positive, with both conventional screw-driven AF lenses and SDM (ultrasonic-type) optics.
by DPReview (Dec, 2010)
While the speed at which this happens increases the live view system's usability in different situations, occasional mis-focuses and problems with finding focus mean it can't always be relied upon when lighting conditions aren't optimum.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2012)

Image quality

Image quality is now up there with the best of its competition, and all of the K-5's key systems are reliable and effective.
by DPReview (Dec, 2010)
Although the K-5 can now microalign images before combining them, allowing hand-held HDR shots to be taken, for best results it's important to always use a tripod to prevent camera shake from blurring the HDR image, and it doesn't work very well for moving subjects.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)
The K-5's image quality is excellent, producing noise-free images all the way from from ISO 80-800.
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)


Things fall apart a bit above ISO 6400, but careful tweaking of the NR settings (or even better, shooting in RAW mode) will enable you to get acceptable results out of the K-5 even up to ISO 25,600.
by DPReview (Dec, 2010)
Set to 'fast' the K-5's automatic ISO control aims to deliver shutter speeds significantly higher than are required simply for avoiding camera shake, so a minimum of 1/80sec at 18mm, and 1/400sec at 135mm.
by DPReview (Dec, 2010)
Noise is well controlled by the Pentax K-5, starting to appear at ISO 1600 and becoming more easily detectable at the faster settings of ISO 3200 and 6400 when viewing images at 100% magnification on screen (particularly in the RAW files).
by Photography Blog (Nov, 2010)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 16.1 MP
Resolution 4928 x 3264
Size APS-C
Area 23.6 x 15.7 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 23.0 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 80 ISO to 51,200 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,200 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,200 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 11
Cross type focus points 9
Supports continuous No


Min 30 s
Max 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 130.5 x 96.5 x 72.5 mm
Thickness 72.5 mm
Weight 740 g
Is weather sealed Yes


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR Yes
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift


Video 1920 x 1080 @ 25 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video None


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 920 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes


Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentaprism
Coverage 100%
Magnification 0.92x
Viewfinder size 0.6x


Max continuous shooting 7 fps
Battery life 740 photos
Continuous shooting 7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 104 ms
Shutter lag 92 ms
Startup delay 600 ms
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