Pentax K-5 II / IIs Review

Image Quality

We shall first take a look at the K-5 IIs. Then we compare it to the K-5, which has the same image quality as the K-5 II.  Please note that this section will see extensive updates on November 5th, once we process additional sample photos.

General Image Quality

First we will examine some images taken with the K-5 IIs in their own right (see additional samples on the next page).

The lens used for the photo below was the FA* 85mm F1.4 at F5.6 and 1/160s.  This photo was hand-held.

The following example shows a very high level of detail, notice for example the fence in the background and the branches of the trees behind the fence. We have not seen any other camera with an APS-C sensor produce this level of resolution.  Pixel peepers will notice that there is no bleeding over from one pixel to the next - even at the pixel level this image is crisp and clear.  Try to zoom to 400% to see for yourself!

Pentax K-5 IIs Photo

Click above for full-resolution JPG as generated by camera (RAW file)

Comparison of K-5 IIs to K-5

Shooting parameters for the photos below: FA* 85mm F1.4 at F5.6, 1/320 s, ISO 100, on tripod. JPEG straight from camera with identical processing settings.

General scene:Lake Scene

K-5 IIs, 100% crop:lake scene K-5 IIs

K-5, 100% crop:Lake scene K-5

 

Images from the K-5 IIs has a level of clarity that we also noted with the 645D. It also appears that the K-5 image exhibits some color fringing, the K-5 IIs image does not. We can only attribute the extra clarity to the lack of an AA filter. These images are JPG conversions from RAW (DNG) with no postprocessing applied. The same copy of the lens used in both cases, an smc Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited, set at F2.8 and the ISO was 100:

The scene:

Bom

K-5 IIs (click on the image for a 100% crop JPG - 500 KB file):

Bon iis

K-5 (click on the image for a 100% crop JPG - 450 KB file):

Bom K-5

Additional comparison photos are found on the next page.

High-ISO Performance and Dynamic Range

The K-5 and K-5 II both do very well in terms of dynamic range and noise.  Please refer to our K-5 review and Canon 7D comparison for more details on image quality in this respect.  There are some subtle variations in how noise exhibits itself due to the filterless nature of the K-5 IIs, as can be seen on the "High ISO Noise Reduction" page.

Shake Reduction

The K-5 II's in-body shake reduction system stabilizes any lens used with it, and offers up to 4 stops of compensation.  This is especially handy when used with old lenses, considering that they all become stabilized.


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