Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Pentax K-R 12.4 MP Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and 50-200mm f/4-5.6 Lenses (Black)
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on March 29, 2011
I was looking at different cameras while I was making the switch from point and shoot to dslr. Pentax had really nice features but was not nikon or canon. I was a little nervous about it since Pentax does not have as big of a market share as some of the other camera companies. Everything I read was very positive about the k-r and so I decided to go for it. At this price, it was a bargain compared to the ones with similar features.

The camera showed up and I took it the next day to photograph my sister's wedding. All weekend I played with it, taking pictures of family and friends, decorations, kids, etc... I had a great time and came away with some really solid looking pictures. My brother was shooting with a nikon D90 (which is a little older camera) and I thought my pictures looked sharper and more true to color. My wife was worried that she would not be able to use the camera due to the complexity of some dslrs. She loves the camera and uses it constantly. It has actually gotten her very excited about photography. One negative thing is the plastic-y built lenses that it comes with. The lenses work very well, turn out great pictures, but aren't quite as solid feeling as others I've held. I have not had any issue with them and may never have any issues with them. One more issue is the shutter noise which is very robust. I actually enjoy the sound most of the time but have noticed when I'm trying to take candids of our baby, it can call attention to the camera and lose the shot. The camera itself is built very solidly and is very responsive. The grip is large and feels very comfortable (I have large hands and Canon cameras were way too small for me). It will take pictures as fast as you can click and the features are fairly easy to navigate once you get going. I really like the option of using the included rechargeable battery or buying the adapter and sinking in some AA batteries. The focus matrix on the viewfinder was one of the reasons I chose this over the k-x and I'm glad I did because I use it all the time. Another plus is the camera does not weigh too much so it was much easier than I expected to take with us. I'm very happy with my purchase and do not regret anything about it. I think the Pentax k-r is a very solid camera and even after using the cameras of friends and family, I would make the exact same purchase that I did a month ago.
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on April 1, 2011
Great product.

I love Nikon, and tend to be a Nikon fanboy... but wow! Pentax is superb! Image quality, AF, ISO, and all are amazing out-of-box, and even better on manual mode (if you know what you are doing haha)!

I had such a tough time choosing between this and a Nikon D3100. I kept on looking and looking and looking at reviews, previews, test images...etc. And all ACTUAL proof or side-by-side comparisons showed that this Pentax K-R (and even the K-X) was the winner.

Yeah, it only has 720p, but that is still HD quality. I'm not buying this for filming, I'm buying it for a friggn camera. And I tested out the video on it, and it looks really sharp! Don't know why so many people with their biased opinion based on the video quality? They must have not ever have actually touched either cameras.

I snagged an amazing deal on this one with the 2 lenses and paid $595 instead of the listing price ($699 for the cheapest at the moment), So it was just a amazing find. Loving it, and will treasure it for many years to come.
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on February 23, 2011
I wanted to make a transition from the point/shoot used camera I own. I felt that I need more liberties, more decisions to make when taking pictures. I am not pretending to become a serious enthusiast or even a professional, but I would like to improve my skills. I have used an old mechanic Pentax K-1000, and I trust this dear brand. I made some research for entry level DSRL. I have read reviews and compare features, and known since then that K-r was for me. K-x is the cheaper sister for this, but it does not have a lithium battery as K-r does. The kit deal for this one is incredible: two zoom lenses! I have used telephoto zoom lens and have no complains about it. I have not used the other one yet.

The camera has behaved nicely. It does offer the quality results it features here and at pentaximaging website. I have only used the MF because I need to practice in doing myself (XD), but the AF has received feedback that it would not work at certain light conditions. It does have expanded ISO sensibility, but it does have a noise drawback after higher ISOs. Its HDR mode is really fantastic because it offers pictures taken in ways you would not dream about with a point/shoot camera, and it does not need to be blown out or over-saturated. And I have only started using few of its many features, and I cannot wait to test the rest of them.

If you are another person really interested in photography as a hobby, and want to expand or improve your skills, this entry level DSRL is for you. You could start little by little changing from auto mode to priority mode, and then moving into fully manual mode. And this kind of camera is made for that, and more! I highly recommend this camera. Of course, there are better DSLR out there, but this one works more than just fine, and at a very good price (I only wish it would be weather resistant as K-7). This has been the best purchase I have ever made on Amazon, or else.
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on October 15, 2011
I'll cut right to the chase on this one. There are several issues that this camera has which make it an iffy choice for the newbie just getting their first DSLR. First off, the camera significantly overexposes high contrast scenes which plays a role in the second major issue which is clipped/burned out highlights. And I can tell you that this problem is way worse than competing Nikon and Canon models. IF you are willing to dial in some negative exposure and utilize the highlight correction option (which only fixes the problem to a point) you will get better results. And shooting RAW doesn't give you much latitude either. To be fair, the K-x had some issues along these lines too, but they seem to be worse in the K-r. Also the K-r seems to be applying more noise reduction in this camera over the K-x which takes a bite out of fine detail. The default settings also produce images that are flat and lacking in contrast. Some intervention in the image style can fix that issue, but why should I have to go through all that trouble when cameras like the T3 and the D3200 can produce much more acceptable results by just using the regular manual settings (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO) and don't require a trip into the menu system. Overall, I don't particularly like the K-r's output. It does have good high ISO performance, I will say that. But my advice is to get a used K-x or wait for the K-30.

Video mode is okay. And the video looks okay. But it is nothing to write home about. You really don't get a lot options in video mode. If you are looking for a sub-$1,000 DSLR that can double-duty as a stills and video camera, the Canon Rebel T2i or T3i is your best bet.

The camera feels nicely made and is very solid. It is a rather small DSLR but it is very comfortable to hold in the hands. There aren't a lot of direct access buttons on the camera, but that is very typical for this class of camera. However, changing most settings is a breeze on this camera. The menu is very similar to Canon's in how it is laid out. Including a straight-forward menu with the most commonly accessed shooting settings.

The LCD is much improved over the K-x and is more viewable in direct sunlight. The viewfinder is the same viewfinder found on the K-x, and it was a very decent viewfinder, so I have no complaints about the K-r's viewfinder. The camera also features a hybrid battery bay which allows the use of the supplied lithium ion battery, or (with a special adaptor) 4 AA batteries. The one relative let down is that I think that the battery life with the supplied Lithium Ion battery is mediocre. So buying the extra adaptor so you can use AAs in the camera is highly reccomended.

The camera's performance is pretty solid. It has nice start-up and shot-to-shot times. It can shoot 6fps and has a pretty decent buffer, so if you are wanting a good budget action shooter, this is an excellent choice. The autofocus speed is pretty good even with the kit lenses. However, the autofocusing with the kit lens is somewhat loud and it sort of sounds like a power tool. The camera is also loud when snapping a photo. So if quietness and discreetness in a camera is a major consideration for you I would probably stay away from this one. However, I personally like the sounds this camera makes because it has a solid, old-school sound to it when it takes a picture (if that makes any sense).

For what they are, the kit lenses are not bad. But they are not the sharpest lenses in the world. But compared to the kit lenses supplied by some other manufacturers, they are not bad. Fortunately there are a number of nice kit lens upgrades in the $300-$500 range which will provide a noticeable upgrade in image quality over the kit lenses.

The K-r has some important improvements over the K-x which improve on its photographic usability. Better burst shooting, better LCD on back, the hybrid battery bay and improvements to the Autofocus system. But as I mentioned before, the image quality has too many flaws by default to reccommend to the first time DSLR owner.
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on June 11, 2011
I debated my DSLR purchase for some time, between Canon and Nikon. Then I looked at the Pentax K-r, having had great luck with Pentax when I used all manual. My question was - could it measure up? Given that I print nothing over 20x24", the 12.4 mp limit of the K-r was more than fine, and it's ability to go multiple ASAs into low light was a serious bonus.

The camera is fairly complicated at first, as all DSLRs are (no point-and-shoot here!), but the manual is clear, and I quickly got the hang of it. Close up shots taken in regular or portrait mode with the 18-55 mm lens (included in the kit) were stunning. Distance shots taken with the included 50-200 lens were clear and sharp, very much in concert with the other cameras I had been looking at. I also bought a Tamron SP 90 lens for macro work, but haven't used it yet - the 18-55 has done a great job at closeup flowers, butterflies and other such things. The resulting photos are very clear and crisp with vibrant colors.

If you're moving up from point-and-shoot, you'll find DSLRs a little heavier, but you soon get used to the balance. It's worth it for the versatility and quality of the photos. The K-r is a well made, comfortable camera with excellent photo quality - at an excellent price.
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on October 3, 2011
Have been avid photographer since the age of twelve or so (ahem, a LONG time); started using 35mm SLRs as the "yearbook photographer" while in high school and have lugged one or more around for years and years, but had never had a digital SLR (waiting for technology to come up and price to go down). Bought the Pentax based on reviews and features of comparable cameras. So far it's been great, there's something of a learning curve while I get up to speed, but basically the camera is smooth, fast, and does the work while I do the composition and siting. It does make some noise (that's real noise, not image quality noise)as other reviews note, and there's been a few times when the camera doesn't want to focus on what I'm trying to focus on, but that's part of the aforementioned learning curve. It's still so new that I actually haven't downloaded any pics to my computer, nor have I attempted any video, but did take several hundred shots on a trip through the four corners region (Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, etc). Based on first impressions and reviewing photos on the monitor screen I'm very satisfied. would highly recommend buying extra batteries or the AA battery adapter that's available.
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on December 20, 2011
The Pentax K-R was recommended by a camera salesman as the best camera for the price. As other comparable cameras cost over $1000, this was a very good deal. We love the features and the functions. A well designed digital SLR. Unless you are a professional photograhper, you can't go wrong with the Pentax K-R. Highly recommended.
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on January 29, 2015
I've had this camera for about 2 years, now. I love the low-light shooting and color quality. I carry it with me a lot, and it has been in the tropics and the desert for a lot of the time I have owned it. The autofocus occasionally fails to connect -- it started after a year living in the tropics -- and requires me to turn the camera off, check contacts to the lens, and turn it back on. But I don't know whether this is a flaw in the camera or just in my lifestyle! Otherwise, it has been brilliant.
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on September 15, 2013
I purchased the Pentax K-R several years ago so I had time to form a better opinion. Coming from point and shoot cameras, it took me quite a while to get accustomed to this camera's deep menu of features. Now I get great pictures at a faster rate. I mostly do people photography for public viewing, websites, and publications. The RAW file capability of the K-R is a must have when submitting images to many publishers. The K-R allows me to enhance the images before I shoot them in many ways including saturation and sharpness. With the K-R's pre-enhancement capability, it allows me some artistic control before delivering the images to any editor. The K-R is one of the only DSLR's that can take proprietary or AA batteries and of course AA batteries, as a backup plan, are available around the world. The bracketing feature of the K-R is a must have feature for anyone on assignments like myself. I like to select the image going to the editor from the the three exposure bracket. For me the only drawback of the K-R is that it slows down when doing constant bracketing. Overall the K-R delivers more and more at every new assignment as I gain experience with it.
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on June 1, 2012
This review comes after owning the K-r for almost a full year.

When I was shopping for cameras, I spent weeks trying to figure out what the best option was for my budget. My search started with only Canon and Nikon cameras, for obvious reasons. It was only after about a week of research that I really started to notice the Pentax name being a real contender (even though they've been around for a while and had great 35mm cameras apparently). I needed a camera with interchangeable lenses, fast recycle time (not pause between taking shots), and more versatile than my P&S camera. I bought it in anticipation of our first child being born, and have taken over 1000 photos of her (and she's only 5 mos old now).

Pros:
Easy to use, especially for someone that hasn't owned a DSLR before (I have used a couple, but haven't owned an SLR since the late '90s)
Great picture quality, even with stock lenses
And hugely important to me, a great forum for pentax fans, pentaxforums.com. I didn't find any site as community driven for a camera brand as this one. Lens and camera reviews, photo contests, etc.
Great price for what you get
Available adaptor to use AA batteries.

Cons:
Not as many compatible lenses available compared to Canon or Nikon
Not 1080p video (but I don't use it for that anyways)

Suggestion:
If you're buying a bundle, I've heard much better things about the 300mm lens kit. The 50-200mm lens is OK, but not great. I rarely use it.
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