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Pentax K-5 16.3 MP Digital SLR with 3-Inch LCD (Black Body Only)
|Price:||$648.56 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- 16.3-megapixel CMOS sensor; 80-12800 ISO range with improved noise performance
- Body only; lenses sold separately
- Widescreen 1080p HD video at 25 FPS, with sound via built-in or external 3.5mm stereo microphone jack
- 6-7fps captures fast action shots; 11-point SAFOX IX+ autofocus system with dedicated AF assist lamp and light wavelength sensor
- Large 3-inch LCD with 921,000 dots of resolution; fully weather-sealed and coldproof design
- SDXC memory card compatibility (via firmware update)
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|Special Shipping Information: Due to federal and international regulations, this product can only be shipped within the continental United States.
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||980 Photos|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||6.48 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||921,000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||16.3 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||12,800|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||100|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC|
|Flash Modes Description||Auto|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/180_sec|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash, Hot-shoe, Wireless|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Focus Description||TTL Phase Detection SAFOX IX+|
|Focus Type||Autofocus & Manual|
|Form Factor||Mid-size SLR|
|ISO Range||Auto, 100 to 12800, in 1, 1/2, 1/3 EV steps (80 to 51200 Extended)|
|Image Aspect Ratio||3:2|
|Item Dimensions||3.82 x 2.87 x 5.16 inches|
|Item Display Weight||0 pounds|
|Item Weight||1.63 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Weight||4 ounces|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,928|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||30 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||16.3 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||Prime II|
|Remote Control Description||Optional, Wired or Wireless|
|Removable Memory||Secure Digital card|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||Supersonic vibration|
|Shipping Weight||3.65 pounds|
|Style Name||Body Only|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion D-LI90 rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format||avi;motion_jpeg|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p_hd|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical (pentaprism)|
|Weather Resistance||Weather and dust resistant|
From the Manufacturer
Encased in a compact but solid, functional body, Pentax K-5 digital SLR comes equipped with a host of advanced photographic tools for the easy creation of great pictures, while delivering high standards of image quality, data processing speed and operability.
Developed using the highly acclaimed Pentax K-7 as its base, the K-5 inherits the exceptional reliability, user-friendly operation, array of advanced features and compact, lightweight body of its predecessor.
However, it is more resourceful and flexible in photographic expression. Combining a new high-speed, low-noise CMOS image sensor with the high-performance PRIME II imaging engine, it produces super-high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, even when shooting in the continuous shooting mode at a maximum speed of approximately seven images per second.
It also offers an extra-wide sensitivity range between ISO 80 and ISO 51200 (when expanded via a custom function) and full HD-proportion movie recording at 1920 x 1080 pixels to expand the boundaries of high-quality visual presentation.
Adding other improvements and refinements--such as a faster autofocusing speed, an upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function now usable in handheld shooting, and better operability through an overall review of the design and shape of all components — the K-5 is designed to be more functional and maneuverable in every detail, and in its response to the demands of the photographer.
Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Highlights
High-resolution, low-noise, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-5 incorporates a newly designed CMOS image sensor with a wide image-sensitive area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm. It assures high-speed image data readout much faster than that of previous sensors. By coupling this image sensor--equivalent in performance and data processing speed to the image sensor incorporated in the Pentax 645D medium-format digital camera--with the reliable PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) II imaging engine, the K-5 produces super-high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with 16.28 effective megapixels, while suppressing annoying digital noise to a minimum.
High-speed continuous shooting at approximately seven images per second
The K-5’s high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 22 images in a single sequence at a maximum speed of seven images per second.
Responsive, high-precision AF system
The K-5 features a new-generation, wide-frame SAFOX IX+ autofocus system with 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). This sophisticated AF system has completely redesigned optics, and factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations to improve the accuracy of autofocus operation. It also offers a choice of shutter-release options--between focus priority and release priority in the AF.S (single) advance mode, or between focus priority and speed priority in the AF.C (continuous) advance mode. The K-5 is also equipped with a spotbeam projector to assist the AF system in poorly lit locations.
Compact, solid, functional camera body
Despite its compact dimensions, the K-5 is built to be exceptionally solid and durable, with a body of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy, and a chassis of high-rigid stainless steel. Thanks to the inclusion of 77 special seals in the body, it also boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, assuring reliable operation even under harsh environment and at temperatures as low as -10°C. It also features a reliable shutter unit that provides a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and tested to 100,000 shutter releases.
Bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view
The K-5 features a pentaprism finder with a nearly 100% field of view and at 0.92-times magnification (with a 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity) to provide a better view of the image field and improve the accuracy and speed of focusing and image composition. It also comes with the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen to assist the photographer with manual-focus operation.
Effortless Live View shooting Thanks to a new image sensor and a more sophisticated algorithm, the K-5’s Contrast AF mode assures better performance and greater focusing speed than before during Live View shooting. With the addition of a Golden Section display, the K-5 offers a choice of three different grid patterns to facilitate image composition.
Pentax-original SR mechanism with user-assisting options
The K-5 features the Pentax-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates the adverse effect of camera shake by 2.5 to 4 shutter steps, to produce sharp, blur-free images.
Recording of Full HD-proportion movies (1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 frames per second)
The K-5 captures beautiful, true-to-life movie clips in 16:9 full HD proportions (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second. The K-5 also provides greater possibilities in visual presentation in movies, especially through the application of custom images and digital filters.
Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions
- Custom image function for distinctive finishing touches: letting users easily select the desired finishing touch for a particular image.
- Versatile digital filter function: The K-5’s digital filter function allows the user to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways and produce highly individualized visual expressions without requiring a computer.
- Cross process mode with three options: The K-5 features the unique cross process mode, in which the camera automatically shifts photographic parameters for each exposure to create eye-catching images with unique, dramatic colours.
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) function: The K-5 features the HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures, without requiring a computer.
- Electronic level function, with a newly added tilt confirmation tool
- Extended-exposure NR (Noise Reduction) function, with a choice of Auto, On and Off modes
- High-sensitivity NR (Noise Reduction) function, with a camera-dependent Auto mode and a user-adjustable reduction level control for different sensitivity settings
- RAW/Fx button, for single-action switching of image file format
- Large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch wide-view colour LCD monitor with 921,000 dots
- 77-segment multi-pattern metering system for extra-accurate light measurement
- DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism
- Long battery life, for recording of 1,100 images with full recharge
- User-friendly Hyper control system, to flexibly and accurately respond to the photographer’s creative intentions
- Dynamic-range expansion function, to compensate for both whitewashed (overexposed) and black-out (underexposed) areas
- Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA-,DFA- and FA Limited-series lenses)
- CTE mode, to automatically adjust the white-balance level to emphasize primary colours of sunset scenes
- Attachment of copyright credits on recorded images
- D-BG4 Battery Grip (optional) for extra power supply with an exclusive rechargeable lithium-ion battery or six AA-size batteries
- Color-specific control buttons/dials for easy recognition and quick access, based on the universal colour design
- Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 software package
- K-5 digital SLR body
- USB cable I-USB7
- AV cable I-AVC7
- Strap O-ST53
- ME Viewfinder Cap
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery D-LI90
- Battery Charger D-BC90
- AC plug cord
- Software (CD-ROM)
Top Customer Reviews
I won't go into the specifications since those can be found elsewhere but I'll give my overall impression - what I like and what could be better:
+ Great ergonomics. Love the compact, solid body which is identical to the K7 save for a heightened knob and elongated AF lever. I was even able to use the same split prism focus screen I had purchased for the K7.
+ Fantastic high-ISO performance - clean and offering far more flexibility than the K7. I'd try never to breach ISO 800 on the K7 whereas the K5 is routinely pushed past ISO 3200. While I wouldn't give it equal footing to a full frame camera, it's arguably the best APS-C out there in this application.
+ Outstanding dynamic range -- shoot in RAW and leave your graduated ND filters at home.
-+ Improved auto-focus, especially AF-C compared to the K7, but not quite on par with either the D300s or 7D in AF-C.
+ User-friendly, easy to navigate menu system - white balance adjustments are a breeze.
+ Good WB and JPEGs "out of the box"
-+ Yes, 1080p video but at 25FPS vs. 24 -- surely a firmware update in the future
- Audio records at 32KHz sample rate
- Only has a single SD/SDHC slot - would prefer dual with Compact Flash
- Limited to 1/180 X-Sync speed - but this is ample in most scenarios
- Images shot in portrait don't autorotate on playback - but did on the K7(?) - again, a likely firmware update
+ Blissful near-silent shutter
+ Compatibility with all those great manual K-mount lenses of yore.
Although I'm a long time Pentax user, I considered and evaluated both the Canon 7D and Nikon D300s without bias. While both are outstanding DSLRs, I preferred the Pentax K5.
An all-around excellent camera and a joy to use. A noteworthy upgrade.
First, the noise level in the high-ISO images really is as excellent as the technical reviews say it is. This means that you can use a higher ISO number and get results equivalent to other cameras at lower ISO numbers. You can take your shot with either a faster shutter time (better motion freezing) or smaller aperture (better sharpness, etc) or just enjoy the reduced noise. This puts the camera at an advantage over all other APS-C cameras and a few of the full frame cameras.
Next, the movie mode is a mixed bag. It has the 1920x1080 at 25fps setting, as well as 1280x720 at 30fps settings, and lower settings too. The 25fps setting is often quoted as a major problem, with videographers wanting to shoot 23.976fps as a "cinema" mode, but it takes only a bit of video conversion to change the frame rate to 23.976 and resample the 32k s/s stereo signal to match. So, if you're desperate you can manage, but even then it is clear that this is not a camera for someone who wants video as a major use. The biggest problem is the inability to autofocus while shooting. The worst-case test of this is shooting a 2-year old running around in a house. Being indoors with available light, the aperture is open and depth of field is short; as soon as the child runs towards you the focus is way out. The camera is simply not usable in this kind of situation. On the other hand, with available light and a subject which is not in wild motion, the results are acceptable, but even then, a much less expensive camcorder often gives superior results. The only place where the K-5 shines in video is if you are outdoors, and you have a 500mm telephoto mounted, and you want video of distant wildlife - then, you have a system giving nice results. However, again, if you want a camera with great video capability and very good but not quite great still capability, go for the Panasonic-DMC-GH2.
Next, color gradient linearity. A partly subjective criteria, not an easy item to quantify, but not too hard for a professional photographer to see. This is the quality of a color image which makes it as lifelike and genuine-looking in the shadows and highlights as in the midranges. A face is a good choice, especially a baby's face - a fair skinned baby should have subtle colorations in the midranges perceivable because their skin is so thin it is nearly transparent. The shadows should look like skin in shadow, not various types of dirty brown, and the highlights should look like brightly illuminated skin not just brightly-colored areas. Being able to set the K-5 with 14-bit linearity may be the key to its terrific color gradient linearity. The K-5 has a wonderfully realistic treatment of living things, and subtle colors which extend from bright to dark look authentic in a way which the eye can see but which are hard to describe - to put a phrase on it, the beauty of the image is deep. The genuineness of the color gradients give a realistic sense of depth which stay in the image even after you have blown it up and put it on your wall. Again, this is hard to quantify, but you won't see this much in the Panasonic GH-2. Or even the Canon Rebel 550D. Pentax has gotten this just so right. I've seen Nikon D7000 shots with similar qualities, but I'd have to still give the K-5 the advantage here. To me, this is one of the deciding features of the K-5, and it has nothing to do with all the technical tests at which it has excelled.
Let me say a few words about the image stabilization, which unlike most cameras is in the camera body. You can put any lens on the camera, including old classics, and get modern image stabilization. If you try this with Canon, you will end up stuck on your tripod. Why don't other manufacturers do this? And yes, it works extremely well. Even for long lenses.
Now, auto-focus. I have to say, when shooting a still subject the K-5 is near perfection. It is fast and positive in bright light, slower but certain in fairly dim light. If it fails to find a focus in autofocus mode, it will not acknowledge the shutter press. The focus-assist LED is excellent and works well for darkened rooms, but only for distances less than about 5 feet, above that it gets a little less reliable. I sometimes take flash shots in absolute darkness of subjects over 5 feet away, and I've gotten good results using a small hand held flashlight to get a temporary focus, then hold it and turn off the flashlight, and take the shot. This gives you the ability to get dramatic shots like an animal in water at night, splashing, with every drop suspended in air. On the other hand - the situation with a baby running around in circles in front of you, the test I gave for the video mode focus problem, remains a worst case. Moving to continuous focus mode, you get excellent sharp shots, but the timing may be awkward - for instance, with the child running in circles, I got many shots at the point the child turned to run away, when I wanted to get the shot a half second earlier. But enough shots were sharp and well-timed to make it a good experience. Doing the same test with the Canon 550D gave an advantage to the Canon's AI-Servo mode focus, which seemed to follow the child much better - but in many cases, the shot, when taken, was not as well focused as the K-5. So summing up the results for the Canon 550D, I got better autofocus speed, but inferior accuracy. Both cameras can give good results, but the photographer needs to know each camera's weaknesses.
I ordered my K-5 from Amazon Warehouse Deals a month ago, and quickly noticed that the front setting wheel was defective. You could turn it and it would sometimes ignore you, other times skip values, so that in manual mode, where you need both the forward and rear wheels, it was difficult to use. As days passed the problem got worse, so I sent the camera back to Amazon (thanks to their excellent return policy). Being an engineer myself, I recognized it as an optoelectronic component failure, not a design issue, so I felt confident that a replacement would not have the problem again, and this did not bias me against the K-5. While waiting for my refund, I spent the time carefully looking at my photos and thinking whether any other camera would better fit my needs. The cameras which came the closest were the Panasonic Lumix GH-2 and the Nikon D7000. But I couldn't avoid coming to the same conclusion. I reordered the K-5 because of its low noise level, wonderful color linearity, unique in-camera image stabilization, rugged weather sealing, and compatibility with the excellent Pentax Limited lenses. To me it was well worth the extra money, because no other camera has these same features.
I'd like to comment on the following two problems:
1. stained sensor problem was solved already, all cameras having serial number larger than 3973*** are fine. Basically this problem is now worry free.
2. The bad Auto Focus under artificial light condition. I believe this is a relatively unusual problem that happens on a few bodies. Don't be afraid about this, just buy one and try it at home. If it does happen (very little chance), then exchange for a new one.
I have hand-on experience of Canon 7D and Nikon D7000, I would say the D7000's image quality (from ISO100 to ISO3200) is on par with K-5, both of which are better than the 7D. 7D's build quality is on par with the K-5 but K-5 is much smaller, D7000 falls behind in this regard.
I highly recommend the K-5.
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