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Pentax K-r 12.4 MP Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 Lenses (Black)

3.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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  • 12.4-megapixel CMOS sensor; compact, lightweight body
  • Kit includes 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 lenses
  • Widescreen 720p HD video at 25fps; powerful automatic shooting modes including Pentax Auto Picture
  • 3-inch LCD with 921,000 dots of resolution; wide range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters
  • Capture images and video to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards (not included)
1 new from $1,099.95 4 used from $499.99

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Brains, meet beauty. The Pentax K-r has it all. On the brain side, it's a powerful DSLR with advanced features like 12.4 Megapixels, HD video, a 2.7-inch LCD display and custom modes and functions.  On the beauty side, taking photos has never looked this good. There's basic black of course. But the K-r also comes in classy white and PENTAX red, with even more body colors to come.  The PENTAX K-r competes with higher-end DSLRs and looks great doing it. Now, that's brilliantly colorful.

From the Manufacturer

The compact, lightweight Pentax K-r is easy to use with Auto Picture, Scene, and Custom Image Processing modes that take the guesswork out of shooting stunning images while still offering a high degree of manual and priority control. The K-r offers a variety of new and improved features including a fast framerate, high ISO sensitivity, responsive autofocus, an improved 12.4-megapixel low-noise sensor and widescreen HD video capture that take it a step above an entry-level DSLR camera.

Key features of the Pentax K-r that are new or have been improved upon from the most recent entry to mid-level Pentax DSLR models include:

  • Large 3-inch LCD with 921,000 dots of resolution
  • Faster high speed 6 FPS framerate that captures 25 images in a single sequence
  • A maximum 1/6000 second shutter speed
  • Viewfinder focus point indicator
  • Improved in-camera HDR image capture including a Night Scene HDR mode
  • High sensitivity 100-25600 ISO range with improved noise performance from the new 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Versatile dual-power-source design, which offers the choice of either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or four AA-size battery power (using optional AA Battery Holder D-BH109)
  • Infrared data transfer compatible with the IrSimple high-speed infrared data transmission system for wireless data transfer to the web or other IrSimple-compatible devices (includes a match-game between two Pentax K-r's).
Other important features of the new K-r models include: widescreen 720p HD video at 25 FPS; Pentax-original Shake Reduction mechanism for sharp, blur-free images that works with every Pentax lens ever made; Dust Removal mechanism, to shake dust off the CMOS image sensor; Highly responsive and accurate 11 point SAFOX IX autofocus system with dedicated AF assist lamp; and wide range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters.

With a highly portable, compact and lightweight body in a choice of colors, the K-r holds appeal for busy parents, family memory-keepers, travelers and anyone who reflects personal style in all their pursuits including their journey into photography or videography as a skill or hobby.

Pentax K-r Highlights

High-quality, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-r incorporates a new generation CMOS image sensor with 12 megapixels and the high-performance PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) II imaging engine for accurate and high-speed data processing equal to that of upper-level Pentax digital SLR models for high-quality images. The camera also offers a wide sensitivity range between ISO 200 and ISO 12800 that may be expanded from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 via a custom function.

Compact, lightweight body
Even with the 23.6mm x 15.8mm image sensor, the K-r features a compact, lightweight, stainless-steel chassis with in-body Shake Reduction in a space-efficient design.

High-speed continuous shooting at approximately six images per second
The K-r's high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 25 images (in JPEG recording format) in a single sequence at a maximum speed of approximately six images per second (fastest of all entry-class models) for sharp, crisp images of fast-moving subjects.

High-precision AF system
The K-r's high-precision, wide-frame SAFOX IX autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) for pinpoint focus on the subject. The K-r is also equipped with a spotbeam projector to assist the AF system in poorly lit locations. Accuracy and speed of contrast AF operation during Live View shooting is enhanced with a new-generation image sensor and drastic upgrading of AF algorithms.

Bright, clear optical viewfinder
The Pentax-original finder optics and the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen ensure the K-r's viewfinder offers a bright, clear subject image at 0.85X magnification and with a 96% field of view. The viewfinder offers excellent visibility even in bright outdoor locations and provides delay-free, real-time display of the subject's image. This is helpful when shutter release timing is critical such as in sports photography. The in-focus point is indicated as a red point in the viewfinder for at-a-glance confirmation.

Large, easy-to-view 3-inch LCD monitor with wide-view design
The K-r features a large, high-resolution color LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots and its wide-view design assures a clear view of the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it particularly useful in low- and high-angle applications during Live View shooting.

Versatile dual-power-source design
In addition to the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which allows the photographer to capture approximately 560 images with a single recharge,* the K-r can also be powered by four AA-size batteries using optional AA Battery Holder D-BH109.
* Based on the Pentax in-house testing conditions conforming to the CIPA standards, using a rechargeable D-LI109 Lithium-Ion Battery.

Pentax-original Shake Reduction mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The K-r features the Pentax-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates the adverse effect of camera shake by up to approximately four shutter steps. This innovative mechanism extends its benefits to almost all Pentax interchangeable lenses--even those designed for film-format cameras.* The K-r produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, and shooting sunsets.
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: Pentax K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions
(1) Custom Image function for distinctive finishing touches The K-r features the Custom Image function to allow users to select a desired finishing touch for a particular image with a choice of nine custom image modes including Bleach Bypass, which is designed to create a dramatic visual effect used in motion pictures.
(2) Versatile Digital Filter function The K-r's Digital Filter function allows users to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways and produce highly creative visual expressions--without a computer. Users may choose from 18 filters, including a new Starburst, Sketch and Posterization and may now apply filter upon filter, one after another, to an image for more creative results.
(3) Cross Process mode with three options The K-r features the unique Cross Process mode that automatically shifts photographic parameters for each exposure to create eye-catching images with dramatic colors (as with photographs treated with the cross process* in film photography). In addition to "Random", where the results are unpredictable until the image has been processed, users now have two new options: "Preset" with three different sets of preset parameters; and "Favorite" with user-input parameters.
*A film development technique that uses unconventional film development to create a distinctive finish with dramatic, stylized colors.
(4) Improved High Dynamic Range function The K-r features the High Dynamic Range function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures without a computer. Users may choose from Auto, Standard and Expanded (at three levels) modes to accommodate different creative intentions.

Auto Align function
Allows use even with handheld shooting.

High-speed infrared data transmission system
The K-r is the first Pentax digital SLR camera equipped with the IrSimple high-speed infrared data transmission system, which allows users to transfer image data to IrSimple-compatible digital devices and post their K-r images on the web via a cellular phone. This also allows users to exchange image data between two K-r cameras and play a simple match game using image Exif data (such as aperture or shutter-speed values) to judge images and offer techniques and suggestions for better images.

High-quality, HDTV-proportion movie recording at 1280 x 720 pixels and at 25 frames per second
The K-r provides a movie-recording function,* which captures beautiful, true-to-life movie clips in 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second. This extends many benefits of high-quality SLR photography to the world of movie shooting: For example, users may reduce the depth of field to make a subject stand out, or use different interchangeable lenses to create distinctive visual effects. The K-r also assures a greater possibility of visual presentation in movies--either through the application of digital filters, such as Toy Camera and Retro, to add specific visual effects during shooting, or through the use of various movie-editing functions after shooting.
*When the Pentax K-r's AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output at normal resolution. The data must be transferred to a PC for the playback of movie clips at high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels).

Additional Features
  • User-friendly layout of essential control buttons and levers, all positioned on the camera's grip side for quick, effortless access by the photographer's right hand.
  • Auto Picture mode, for effortless, automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting.
  • Versatile white balance control, featuring a new CTE mode designed to emphasize the dominant color components of the captured images which works best with scenes such as sunset.
  • Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA-,DFA- and FA Limited-series lenses).
  • Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with RAW-data processing and browser applications.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 4.9 x 2.7 x 3.8 inches
Item Weight 1.3 pounds
Shipping Weight 4.2 pounds
Item model number K-r Black 18-55mm & 55-300mm
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #27,402 in Camera & Photo
#795 in Camera & Photo > DSLR Cameras
Date first available at September 7, 2010

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Here's my story...

I purchased my first DSLR, an Olympus E-420, in May this year, and really caught the photography bug. The great thing about the Olympus, especially with the 25mm pancake lens, is that it is as easy to carry as a point and shoot, but takes GREAT pictures, **as long as there is plenty of natural light**.

When I read the introductory preview of the Pentax K-R on, it got my attention because it was noted for great performance in low light / high iso conditions, such as shooting indoors without a flash, or shooting your daughter/son playing basketball in a gymnasium, where built-in flashes do not have the range. This, plus in-camera image stabilization and very usable 18-55 and 55-300 kit lenses, sounded worth trying. So I found a great deal through Amazon, and bought the Pentax K-R right around Thanksgiving.

The first thing I noticed about the Pentax when I unpacked it was that it felt much more robust than the Nikon D5000 or Canon Rebel that I had checked out at Costco; but it also sounded like it was broken. There was something flopping around inside when I tipped the camera back and forth. This was disconcerting next to my rock solid Olympus. The second thing I noticed was that after I charged the battery and powered up for the first time, the display glitched. I fooled around and took a few shots, and they came out really great, but I was still concerned, so the next day I called Pentax. Pentax tech support was very helpful, and explained that the part moving inside is the sensor, which floats on a magnetic field so that it can compensate for camera movement when taking pictures. The glitch on startup, however, was not normal, and they suggested I return the camera for a replacement.
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Verified Purchase
I bought my Pentax K-r online. Out of the box, Pentax does not provide that warm and fuzzy feeling that it is not a refurbished camera. Everything is wrapped in a non-sealed plastic or a bubble wrap, and there are no thin disposable protective film covers over the lens and lcd or that plastic tab over the battery compartment. I confirmed with Pentax that this is how their packaging is done even with a brand new item to ease my thoughts.

On to the camera itself, the shutter release action on the Pentax K-r is quite loud. You can hear the gears turning within. I've tested the Pentax K-r vs the Canon T2i side by side using the automatic mode and feel that the Canon is able to focus faster when quickly trying to capture an event that you have no time to fuss around with. The Pentax even on automatic mode still requires little adjustments and you may sometimes have to ask your subjects to pose a little longer for the camera to snap the shot while you hear the gears adjusting.

The pop-up flash on the Pentax is a little on the flimsy side while the Canon T2i feels more durable. For the price you pay, Pentax should have really put in a little more effort on this piece as it feels very plasticky. The entire body otherwise feels sturdy.

The option for a proprietary battery or the use of AA batteries is nice on the Pentax. I also like the quality of the movie that it takes although you are limited to about 11 mins and 30 secs of capture time. I have never exceeded this time, but it would be an extra bonus to have it be unlimited depending on your SD card capacity.
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Verified Purchase
Updated (09/2011): This camera has been a disaster. Aside from the front focusing issues - the ring at the back stopped working properly after 4-5 months. I sent it for repair and after a week - the ring again stopped working. I have gone through 1SLR, 2DSLR (including a Pentax K200d) and prosumer and many other digital cameras. This is by far the most defective hardware i have ever received. I wish i could just get rid of my entire Pentax gear at this point.


Amazon was selling the K-r kit with 18-55 and 55-300 lenses for a really good price around Thanksgiving 2010. I had been wanting to upgrade from my k200d for sometime and jumped at the opportunity. 3 weeks with the camera have given me a good perspective on the pros/cons of this upgrade.

My primary motivation for upgrading was the rave reviews about low-light/high-iso performance of the K-r (and K-x). I chose the K-r over the K-x because the high fps and focus point in viewfinder features were well worth the minor difference in price. Here are the pros (+) and cons (-):

+ high ISO performance is excellent. I am shooting ISO1600 indoors all the time. Processed images have no noise at this setting. The performance is comparable (or better) than the k200d at ISO400
+ auto-focus is really fast as promised
+ burst shooting is really fast.
+ camera button controls are much better than k200d (direct iso/flash etc. buttons)
+ it's a much lighter camera (but that's a negative as well)
+ automatic white balance without flash is way better than the k200d (the latter had very warm overtones in tungsten for example - the K-r produces perfectly natural white balance for common indoor and outdoor lighting situations)
+ the supplied 55-300 kit lens is excellent.
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