45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
I've had the K-5 for almost two years and it's been my workhorse. 30,000 photos of almost perfect autofocus, and almost perfect high ISO shooting. I was very satisfied with it, except for about 10% of my photos where the K-5 would simply not autofocus, but so wouldn't any other camera, so switching brands wouldn't help at all.
Enter the K-5II. I had many reviews and had asked people in other forums if they had found any significant differences between the K-5 and K-5II regarding autofocus in extreme low light. The responses I got pushed me over the edge so I thought I should give it a try.
Oh, man, does the K-5II deliver. Pentax built around the critically acclaimed K-5, giving it a better LCD screen, and most importantly, at least for me, amazing autofocus accuracy in low light. I shot more than 8000 photos in December, from different dance festivals, and all the shots I couldn't previously get with the K-5, the K-5II did. Mixed light, single spotlight, horizontal spotlights, all of very low intensity, the K-5II locked focus without a problem with little to no hunting. These events I shoot are essentially the same every year, with the same lights, and the previous two years the K-5 didn't help much in the low light scenes.
Other than predictive autofocus and accuracy everything is essentially the same. The autofocus speed is still great, I would say perfect for my needs. This is said by someone that shoots mostly ballet presentations.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2013
I recently bought this camera body after doing a lot of research about it. It was a real toss up between it and the K 30. I decided on this one mainly because of the external flash socket since I have an older studio light I would like to use with it. I really liked the lower price of the K 30 and its reviews were outstanding. I like that both have the water resistance and temperature fluctuation ability--because I like to do outside shots especially in inclement weather. I liked that the K 30 was set up very much like my Kr and, of course, I liked the cheaper price too. However, I did buy the K5 II and I am very happy with it. Today I started taking pictures with it using it with and without the built-in flash--outstanding!!!! I tried again with the Kr to compare the two and, well, there isn't any. I have never been able to get such good exposure and color saturation with so little effort. I love this new body. I did find it to be heavier than I am used to and I will have to get used to the dial placement--but I can live with that. This camera feels very solid. If you do any wildlife or bird photography you will love the shutter--it makes almost no sound. This was an expensive purchase for me but I feel it will be well worth it in the long run. I purchased this through Electronic Basket and it came with all the kit was supposed to have--correct battery, manual, etc. The Pentax box was opened and the lens was removed--because I did not purchase the lens, just the body. I expected that it might come to me in a Pentax box with just the body and the accessories and not a box that advertised the lens as well. Not a big deal to me though. The seller was SUPER fast and was also good to converse with me before I made my purchase. No complaints.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2013
Firstly, I am no professional photographer. Secondly, being a grad student, I have to manage my finances very carefully. With these two things being said, I find that the Pentax K-5 II to be an affordable semi-pro DSLR that exceeds my expectations. I am technologically knowledgeable enough to know that MPix ratings are not the only deciding criteria, and it pains me to see people lugging around >20MPix DSLRs, with lenses that only render close to 8MPix resolution. Heck, I met this person shooting a Nikon D5100, I think, and when I asked her what lens she had, she said she had a Zoom Prime. What a joke. Enough said.
Anyway, my inclination towards Pentax is two fold: Firstly, my dad used to have a Pentax MX-1 in the film days, and I started off with a DSLR (again I was even poor-er then, so a Pentax K-x). Loved the interface, but with a 18-55 kit lens @ F3.5 Max, there was only so much I could do with DOF etc etc. Secondly, a company without a great marketing department, if had made it this far, the weighting factor for good cameras is, formidable for Canikon, huge.
I moved from the K-x, to the K-01, to now the K-5 II. Again the 250$ difference between the IIs and II was a big deal for me. Especially since every new camera I moved to, I had to sell the older one, with much difficulty, and waiting to find a Fellow Pentaxian.
I loved the K-01, but it had trouble focusing with its contrast-detect AF. Also the e-dial broke. However, Pentax (now Ricoh) eventually refunded me the full amount I had paid for the camera.
OK, coming back to the Pentax K-5 II:
Dynamic Range, fantastic when shooting landscapes and portraits (in color), the latter I cannot show examples of, because I only do portraits in B/W
Backward compatibility to old Pentax glass, sometimes I am lucky enough to find specimens at the local thrift store for $10. In-body Shake-reduction particularly is, a blessing, in this case.
I find the user interface much simpler that my friends Nikon of a similar class.
Two mode dials (hence it being labelled as a semi-pro model) comes in particularly handy, when shooting in TAv mode.
AF is a HUUUUUGE improvement over K-x, and definitely over the CD-AF of the K-01. It focuses instantly with my Sigma 50mm F1.4 HSM (even at F1.4). With my Tamron 18-200, it's OK, can hunt 1-2 times in low light, but it does eventually lock on, as opposed to the K-01, that would keep hunting.
Battery life: Outstanding. On my trip to CA (Yosemite, SF, Mono lake) I counted 1284 shots on a single charge, and there was still juice left (I never use flash, except when bouncing off the in-built flash with a credit card, thanks to DigitalRev). I bought a Wasabi Power battery just to have as a backup, it works fine, but I didn't have to use it.
With a Class 10 SDXC, I can manually fire 5fps, no problems.
The LCD of 921K dots is a great improvement over the last models I had owned.
More AF points would definitely be better. When doing hand-held of static objects, this isn't an issue, because one can always center AF, and while holding the shutter button half-way, recompose and shoot. However, tripod mounting can call for more AF points.
High ISO (past 1600) is not something I'd consider. Well, for any camera, any make. So boasting about ISOs up to 51200, is pointless.
A split-prism focusing screen would be golden. This is reminiscence from the 'old film days', but it worked when there was no AF systems in cameras, right? SO if Pentax is backward compatible, and especially when using manual lenses, a Split-prism would be phenomenal.
Cons for some, but seriously, ask yourself why you take photos, if this matters:
No me too factor. Everyone around you will be one of them, Canikonians. I personally like to stand out, being cheap, whilst taking good photos.
As DXO Mark says: this camera is generating some serious appreciation from the professional arena.
I recommend it, and I would buy it again in a heart-beat, well, if I had more money that is.
Pictures speak larger than words, so here are some examples:
500px [dot] com/shrin12
dxomark [dot] com/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Database/Pentax/K-5-II
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
Two things I do not see mentioned in the other reviews are:
1. There is no users manual and
2. The battery is a D-LI90P (not the D-LI90 used in the K-5).
So, if you have some extra K-5 batteries, plan on buying some new ones for this model.
I also checked pentaximaging.com and, under items included, there is no mention of a manual. Too bad. The manual set Pentax apart.
Technically, I have nothing to add to the other reviews except that the On/Off toggle seems stiffer than the K-5.
My five stars is for the price/performance of the camera.
Update: According to Pentax support, there is a manual provided. They recommended returning the camera I recieved to the vendor. I am following their recommendation.
Update II: After returning the original camera I ordered again but from another vendor. The second camera came with a manual and a D-LI90 battery. Go figure...
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2013
I am a long term pentax user started with *ish body. There are plenty of reviews of how great this camera so I'll just add a major improvement for me over my older pentax camera (K20), auto white balance. With K20, my biggest complain is shooting indoor under incandescent lights and no flash, images have yellowish and unnatural tint. Yes, you could do manual white balance and post process pictures, but who has time to do all that, I just like to point and shoot. It also has a auto-iso feature in fix aperture setting that work really well. That new feature and AWB improvement has allow me to skip using flash and get more natural looking pictures. This has also push me over and get sigma lens 17-50 2.8 when it was on sale on ebay. With that lens, I could shoot in a practically dark room and still get a decent images. And yes, auto focus has significantly improved as well, especially with fast lenses.