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Pentax K-5

Build Quality 
User Interface 
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Reviews Views Date of last review
132 606,753 Wed May 31, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $1,006.35 9.18
Pentax K-5

Pentax K-5
Pentax K-5
Pentax K-5
Pentax K-5
Pentax K-5


The Pentax K-5 DSLR was developed using the Pentax K-7 as its base; the K-5 inherits the user-friendly operation, array of advanced features and compact, lightweight body of its predecessor, yet it is more resourceful with its high-speed, low-noise CMOS image sensor and high-performance PRIME II imaging engine.

The continuous shooting mode has a maximum speed of approximately seven images per second. It also offers a 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.

Other improvements over the K-7 are a faster autofocusing speed and an upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function now usable in hand-held shooting.

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). The AF system has completely redesigned optics, and factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations so as 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 sensor is estimated to be 2-3 stops more sensitive than that of its predecessor, the K-7, meaning that a K-5 photo taken at ISO 6400 will look about as grainy than one taken at ISO 800 with the K-7.

The launch price was US $1749.95.

Read our Full-Length Pentax K-5 Review

Discuss the Pentax K-5 here

Compare the K-5 with other DSLRs here

Major features subsequently added through firmware updates:

  • Version 1.16: Support for the HD PENTAX-DA AF 1.4x Rear Converter
  • Version 1.15: AF assist light function made compatible with the new flashes, AF360FGZ II and AF540FGZ II
  • Version 1.10: Added support for O-GPS1 Astrotracer
  • Version 1.02: Added support for SDXC memory cards

Camera Manual:

Pentax K-5
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
No (Discontinued 2012)
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor Format
Sensor Type
3264 x 4928 pixels
AA Filter
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
100 - 12800 (80 - 51200)
Exposure Modes
Green, HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B, User(5)
Program Modes
Auto, Normal, Action, Depth of field (deep/shallow), MTF
Maximum FPS
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 7 fps up to approx. 34 frames (JPG), up to approx. 26 frames (PEF/DNG) with firmware upgrade, Lo: 2 fps until card is full (JPG), up to appox. 40 frames (PEF/DNG)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/8000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/8000s. Up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/- 2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
Exposure (2, 3 or 5 frames), one-push EV bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (on, off), Shadow (high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
Meter range
0 to 22 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Interval shooting
Up to 999 frames, up to 24 hours between frames
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Yes, average and additive, 2 to 9 shots
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes (sensor-shift SR)
Power zoom
Supported (zoom only)
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses except for lenses with the KAF4 mount variant. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX IX+, 11 focus points (9 cross type), light wavelength sensor)
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
0.92x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
3 in., 921,000 dots (VGA)
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
D-BG4 (takes D-LI90 or 6x AA)
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD, SDHC (max. 32GB), SDXC via firmware update
Size (W x H x D)
130.5 x 96.5 x 72.5 mm
660 g (740 g with battery and SD card)
File format
Battery life
740 images (50% flash usage) Playback time: 440 minutes
D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 13 (ISO 100/m)
Sync speed
P-TTL flash
Flash functions
Auto discharge, On (leading curtain sync), Redeye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Trailing curtain sync, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless*, Contrast control*
* Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 25 fps,
1280x720 (16:9) at 30 or 25 fps,
640x480 (4:3) at 30 or 25 fps,
Motion JPEG (AVI)
Exposure Modes
P (auto-aperture), Av
Movie mode restrictions
Av:The aperture can be set manually before recording and is fixed during recording
AF During Recording
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic), Mono (built-in mic)
Via Accessory
Wired (unofficial)
USB 2.0, AV out, HDMI out, 3.5mm stereo mic, DC in, X-sync, cable release
Latest Firmware
Version 1.16
User reviews
In-depth review
Astrotracer compatible (requires firmware update), Electronic level, Embed copyright information in EXIF. High ISO NR can be customized for each major ISO value. Image plane indicator. In-camera RAW development. Save last JPG as RAW. The RAW button is customizable and can perform a variety of functions, hereunder exposure bracketing. The 11 autofocus points cover a wider area of the image than on previous models.
Special Editions

Limited Silver (2012, with silver DA 40mm XS), Limited Silver (2011, special grip, limited SMC DA silver lenses available)

Megapixels: 16.3
ISO Range: 80-51200
Weight: 660g
FPS: 7
LCD: 3.0"
Type: Prosumer/Advanced Amateur
Weather Sealed: Yes
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-5 in-depth review!
Price History:

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Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Brno
Posts: 283
Review Date: May 31, 2023 Recommended | Price: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Ergonomy, HI-ISO, Live View
Cons: AF accuracy, flash exposure, material quality
Years Owned: 12+    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I bought K5 new in 2011 after having K20D. Camera evolved a bit over time as new firmware updates were released over time. First batches had various issues with AF, which was later addressed by those FW updates a bit. But some issues stayed forever like moody low-light AF, moody AF with fast lenses and flash overexposures. My body also had issues with lens release button that fell-off twice, but luckily during warranty. Another quality issue was rubber grip, that came off and even service was not able to fix it properly, so I had to peel everything off, clean both camera body and rubber grip and then using hi-quality 3M double sided tape I attached it back and it holds since that for over 9 years now. Another failure is rubber material on camera connector port cover/door. It completely disintegrated after about 6 years. And also MIC JACK plug disintegrated years ago. Shutter button half-press started to behave strange after about 8 years. If we forget these fails, the rest of camera is built like tank. Mine served me well for over 9 years and I took about 130 000 pics with it until I added one barely used K3 body in 2020. K5 is now in cabinet with K20D both being back-up bodies and for occasional multi-camera setup use.

K5 was significant improvement over K20D mainly in AF speed, hi-ISO noise, 8 FPS, Live-View with contrast-detect AF and obviously FHD video. I skipped K7 as it was very little improvement over K20D. Ergonomy is also very well designed.

16 Mpix Sony sensor was a beast and images are very clean up to ISO800, still very usable with ISO1600 and when exposure is nailed and some resize is acceptable, then even ISO3200 is OK. For downsized pics like 3000x2000 even ISO6400 is OK. All from RAW. It outperformed all competitors when K5 was fresh on market and even today it is still not lacking too much.

Autofocus on good light is very fast and quite accurate. Only fast lenses like F1.4-F2.8 sometimes have issues with random BF/FF. But with lenses like Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM II even some birds in flight were possible. AF-S of course. AF-C is only usable on slow moving targets.

Live-view has nice feature of enlarging the selected point during operation which I miss on current K3 body. LV AF was the only option to achieve good AF results with lenses like FA50/1.4, FA35/2, Sig35/1.4, Sig17-50/2.8, Sig18-35/1.8 etc because phase detect AF with such fast lenses was not very accurate especially with low light and tungsten light. LV AF operates even with dark setups like Sigma 50-500/4-6.3 with attached 2x Teleconverter.

Flash photography basically requires full Manual mode to be used and then camera and flash behave OK. But in any auto mode like Av, TAv or P the cooperation with P-TTL flash is one big problem as camera tries to use MAX ISO all the time and then overexposures the picture unless you force about -2EV correction on flash and camera. The good part is, that it has pop-up flash that can be used as wireless flash commander for external flash units.

Camera also has Astro Tracer tool, which was added through FW updates later. It needs O-GPS hot-shoe unit, but it works well.

FullHD video is nice on paper. It is usable, but many compact cameras can capture significantly cleaner and less compressed video files. K5 can use SR during video, but it is a bit laggy and it adds mechanical noise to video.

Sad part is, that K5 is not fully compatible with latest KAF4 lenses like HD DA55-300, DFA*50/1.4, DFA*85/1.4 etc because it cannot operate aperture without lever.

Is K5 a great camera? Yes and no, it has its issues. But it is true workhorse that served me for many years and I do not regret the price I paid for the new body. 130k pics, 9+ years of daily use.. and it still works. I used it for everything, it worked in rain, it worked in caves, it worked on weddings, it worked during journalist part time jobs, it worked in university laboratory and of course it captured countless trips.

It was a big milestone camera for Pentax and best-seller of its own league at that time reaching very high numbers. I cannot remember seeing any Ricoh/Pentax cameras introduced later so much often. K100D, K10D, K20D, Kx, K5 and K50 were used widely.

K5II and K5IIs introduced later were just partial improvements so I had no interest in those. And even K3 had initially so many issues, that I kept trusty K5 for many more years. Then Ricoh focused on K1, next APS-C KP was disaster, Pentax was almost removed from market and when my K5 started to be more and more problematic with disintegrating parts, I simply bought the K3 original as it is closest camera to K5 still with pop-up flash, almost same ergonomy and almost all bugs solved over years with FW updates
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Lévis, Canada (Québec)
Posts: 144

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 9, 2019 Recommended | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Great IQ and rock solid body
Cons: awful AF in tungsten light, awful C-AF, noise reduction on RAW files at high ISO
Years Owned: 4    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 4    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 7    New or Used: Used   

The K-5 is a great DSLR, but it has a few flaws that could be a deal breaker for some users.

First, the ergonomics are almost perfect, with most of the buttons and controls being in the right place. The main issue is having to press the "OK" button to switch between selecting the AF point and changing white balance, picture style, etc. The AF point should've had a dedicated button. The built quality is exceptional for a camera in that price range, being able to rival pro DSLRs with ease. I never had any issue when shooting in rough weather (from the good old Canadian snow storms to the remains of a hurricane, i.e., pouring rain with winds gusting at 110*km/h) with Pentax's weather sealed bodies. I only wished the viewfinder was slightly brighter (or bigger), but it is quite satisfactory as it is. The shutter is rather quiet, especially when compared to the K10D.

I don't use most of the K-5's features, but the ones I do use seem to be just awesome! I wish my OM-D E-M1 had some of these features, like the green button, which is perfect to meter a scene using lenses with no electronic or mechanical contacts to the body. One area where the K-5 lacks features is the video mode. It 's very basic and should be okay to capture memories like family moments if used correctly, but don't expect much beyond that.

The image quality (in RAW—I never shoot JPEG) is also exceptional at low ISO, with great dynamic range (I easily can recover 3*stops in shadows and a full stop in highlights in post-processing at ISO 80-200) and well-controlled noise level up to ISO 1600. I just wish Pentax had removed the antialiasing filter on the K5 to get the best IQ possible. Still, the AA filter isn't too "strong," so the IQ remains great with sharp lenses.

Unfortunately, the IQ degrades beyond ISO*1600; it's still very good at ISO 3200 and good to very good at ISO*6400 (beyond that, it's only "usable," no more). Still, the noise reduction clearly takes it tolls on image quality above ISO*1600. I don't understand why Pentax decided to apply so much luminance noise reduction on the RAW files of the K-5. I wouldn't have minded some chroma noise reduction, but so heavy luminance noise reduction is just a bad choice on a RAW file, as that specific noise would be handled much better in post-process.

Autofocus is fast and relatively accurate in AF-S (depending on your lens) in good light. Like my K10D and my K-7, the K-5 back focuses with all my lenses, even when using in-camera AF micro adjustments. The accuracy isn't a problem when shooting with a decent depth of field. When trying to achieve a shallower DoF, however, the AF is very often off target. That said, it was only really noticeable when shooting at apertures F2.8 or wider and at focal lengths 50mm and longer, and it happened mostly in low light. So...I learned to stop down my 50-135mm to F3.2-3.5 to achieve better focus. Still, that AF inaccuracy ruined many of the shots I made at wide aperture.

Worse, the camera constantly front or back focuses in tungsten light. I only learned this recently, but it probably explains why so many of my indoor pictures were slightly out of focus. This problem is only is a known issue of the K-5, one that couldn't be corrected with a firmware update, so Pentax "solve" the problem introducing...the K-5*II. (Learning this prompted me to jump ships, which I did in December of 2018.)

Now, all the above was only for the AF-S and, quite unfortunately, the C-AF is not better. Shooting a subject coming at me a low speed (like someone jogging), I never was able to get 1*picture in focus out of a 10*images burst. The C-AF seems to struggle equally in good or low light. The lenses I used (DA12-24mm*F4, DA16-45mm*F4, DA*16-50mm*F2.8, DA*50-135mm*F2.8, and DA50mm*F1.8) aren't known for their blazing speed, however, so maybe my experience would've been better with another lens.

I mainly used the camera for documentary and architecture photography and to shoot stage events, and I was usually very happy with the results. The only moments I raged at my camera were when it wasn't properly focusing. Not all stage events rely on HMI 5000*K lights, unfortunately. Bottom line, the K-5 is a great camera that delivers great IQ in a solid package. It's the perfect package for outdoors and streets photographers.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2017
Posts: 576

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 26, 2018 Not Recommended | Price: $127.36 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Feel in hands and control locations
Cons: filters and cross processing
Years Owned: 0.2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 4    Value: 5    Image Quality: 5    Noise: 10    New or Used: Used   

I have purchased the K-5ii and 2 k-5's in the last two months the most expensive was the most recent a k-5 for $318.00aud previous a k5 for $165.00aud and before that a k-5ii for $275.00aud.

Buying these cameras s/h one would expect the cameras set up with filters and the cross Processing and the contrast well its not the case the camera's I purchased had the features switched off and the only reason I can think these features are so poor for me is the fact the camera is made in japan where the cities are bright with colourful lights etc. The colours in the cross processing are wrong eg green over blue -wrong. Red over purple wrong if you change those colours or better still add to them you would have a far better camera and why not add more filters in the cross processing as they are just filters I had a beautiful sunrise the other day because my k5 is blan photo wise I tried cross processing and it covered the beautiful colours and added filtered colours that just look plain wrong for the natural enviroment. Photo's of holidays are taken in the more natural enviroments and to exclude this a mistake. Adam a few posts back I said your image on the soocer field was really good which it was but it had the red white and blue karma about it where as it should have been colourful but on more earthy tones. My km takes better photos and also my istd than the k-5's I have and these are older cameras than the k5 everyone is saying bigger image quality and forgetting the colour quality in saying that I do not mean bright colours there are plenty more colours than red white blue yellow.

My next attack in on the =/- ev adjustment at 0 (zero) all my cameras in the k-5 range are overexposing why is this have you forgotten how to set up the ev meter. I have to take a number of test shots to set the camera up each time I go out why because the camera is too sensitive I don't know why if you set your sensitivity it should be set. You shouldn't even have to set it in an ideal world you should just be able to grab your camera walk out and take astonishing images and upload them to the computer but this would be too easy we have to make it hard for the average Joe and let the photographer work hard to keep his identity as a photographer if those little phone cameras can take a good quality image why can't the k-5. There are some of you that will say I am shit at taking photos but with my istd and k-m I take better photos what does this mean for the k3 and the k1 will they be worse? When you look at a scene we all view it the same way and if its stunning naturally the camera should record this with all settings in the zero position.

I am self taught then went to tafe and got a certificate 4 when I taught myself I concentrated mostly on the taking a photo side of things as I wanted to be able to take an excellent shot every time. Today i had a slightly positive result with my most recent setting but the very best setting for a camera should be no special settings at all then you work from there. I'm not blaming my camera I'm blaming Ricoh for making the camera too complicated to use and forgetting their roots. -- well its not too complicated its just the settings for Ev and their filters are wrong and insufficient Possibly there could be an update with more choices in cross processing. Also a setting menu added like the k-m's one for colour and exposure or an method and also a setting to correct the incorrect ev meter somthing like the fine focus adjust. I think I found this in the form of the user settings not what I had in mind but its workable.

I love the iso range 80 to 51,200

Why don't these cameras have a list of the last 5-10 changes made in the camera so you don't have to search all the menus. also make them selectable and have the previous settings in sub menus so you can go back quickly.

I would like ti say at the moment there is a revolt against digital images being edited recently on the News a Model or actress was sueing over edited photos and I think this is a good thing as editing photos becomes art and not photography and a camera should be designed for Photographers that want an honest photo.

Well I just found a heap more settings to play with will be interesting to see the results I get with these once set. This is rather annoying having so many places with different settings these settings I found are saturation hew shados etc the ones on the four way arrows so this is possibly where there are some incorrect settings that I will need to correct.

Just found out how to use the user mode and learn't about the green mode While this is good it is extra complications Guess I'll be chompin at the bit to get some photo's. To think I have three of these to set up.

I am really starting to see a huge benefit owning K-5's one will be set up for sunrise and sunsets another for landscapes (natural & domestic) and one for water sports and each. Actually thinking it over Natural will be on each camera But still those filters are still all wrong and need extra.

Photography used to be a simple pleasure.
New Member

Registered: August, 2017
Location: Ronneburg
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 3, 2017 Recommended | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Quick and accurate AF,Very good auto exposure,intuitive and flexible controls,good (and tested) weather sealing, batterygrip,excellent battery life
Cons: Zoom lens a bit noisy during focusing
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

After owning and using a Pentax IST DS, Pentax K10D, Pentax K20D it was a really Progression for me.

A really good product. The high ISO performance is impressive (until to 3200). The stabilization is good, the product is really robust, not too heavy and not to big, with mounted battery grip good balance and energy reserve. This product is a little bit "old" (2010) but always good for a casual or enthusiast photographer
New Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 6, 2016 Recommended | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build quality, external controls.
Cons: Software (menu system, playback). Not the best LCD.
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 6    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

Cross posting this review I originally wrote on the K-30, with some edits, since it's a direct comparison between the cameras:

Let my share my experience with the K-5 as compared to the K-30, as I own both cameras. Owned a K-30 from the start. Then I also got a pretty beat up but perfectly working K-5 body very cheap, since I was interested in trying out a camera with more external controls

After extensive use, I've made a list of pros for either camera, ranking each feature with one to five stars in accordance how important it is in my shooting (which may of course differ from yours...)

In my use as an amateur, IQ (*****), viewfinder (*****) and autofocus (*****) differences are academic at best between these two cameras (I know the K5 is 14 bit compared to 12 bit for the K-30 but for me that isn't an issue).

K-30 Pros:
***** Much more responsive software, better info pane layouts.
**** Markedly brighter, sharper and clearer LCD
*** Faster write speed to SD card.
** Better layout of play/trash/liveview buttons minimizing risk of hitting the wrong ones during operation.
** No lock button on the shooting mode wheel makes it easy to operate one-handed with the right thumb

K-5 Pros:
**** About twice the battery life
*** Battery grip can be added
*** Better placed green button making for faster action when stop down metering manual lenses
** Metal body as compared to plastic (My K-30 actually creaks a little when the grip is pressed firmly!)
** Better placed loops for the camera strap makes the whole camera very well balanced, especially with longer/heavier lenses
** Dedicated well placed ae-lock button
** Pretty quiet shutter
* Electronic level in the viewfinder
* easier to access stop down switch to check dof (this can be set to the raw button on the K-30)
* Top panel LCD
* Dedicated physical controls for af-mode and metering mode
* control wheels have a bit larger diameter making their haptics more enjoyable.

Actually I was a bit surprised after getting the K-5, I thought I'd be shooting it exclusively leaving the K-30 at home. As it turned out I actually prefer the K-30 in daily use. Much boils down to software: Before getting the K-5 I hadn't reflected on how much you interact with the cameras playback and menu system: and how annoying it is when these aren't as responsive as you're used to. The duller screen was a turn off as well. Before getting the K-5 I also thought I'd be using the external controls more but as it turned out it didn't save much time compared to changing settings in the info pane.

Conclusion: In amateur use It's hard to find a better bang for the buck these past years than the K-x0 series. K-7/5/3 are nice bodies but you pay a very high premium for a metal body, a few extra knobs and switches and the ability to use a battery grip. I tried a cheap chinese grip which worked fine, but also made me realise I don't need one in my shooting. The K-5 will soon be up for sale, sticking with the K-30. Cheapskate as I am I will be very interested in picking up a lightly used K-70 a couple of years down the line when I feel it's time to upgrade.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 14
Review Date: August 4, 2016 Recommended | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: very reliable, very nice pictures, good lenses
Cons: 30 fps video, higher ISO over 800=some noise
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 6    Features: 9    Value: 8    Image Quality: 7    Noise: 7    New or Used: Used   


I've got a used one.

hm? only 8 points because of 30 fps video and some noise over 800 Iso

this camera must be fitted in program, in order to get really very sharp big photos for posters. the standard calibration is for this high price to weak.

but when parameters in program are changed optimally, you'll have much fun with this DSLR

O visible noise up from 800 iso like k-x

+/++ sharp pictures, if calibtrated by program

+/O autofocus sometimes not correct

++ perfect handling

O short battery life

++ nevertheless a "working horse"
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 47
Review Date: July 21, 2016 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: image quality, weather sealing, light weight
Cons: af could be better
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: Used   

still a good camera in 2016, dxomark 82 says everything. beats Canon 5d mark ii in some aspects. Way better than nikon d7000. Only improvement needed is af speed.

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 652

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 4, 2016 Recommended | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Low Isos, High Iso, Low noise, Fast AF, Image Quality, A step forward
Cons: AV mode not taking great photos
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 6    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

I bought my K5 in Japan, in a second hand store with a low milleage in photos taken and in perfect conditions for 250€.
At the time it was a bargain as you could find it in Europe for 450€ body only.

This is definitelly a step forward from a Kr, and i am delighted with that machine. It is a semi-professional camera (or some say so) with manual controls everywhere, no more automatic modes that you don't need anymore, and plenty of buttons easy to undersand and well located.

I love the camera because it's light, compact, easy to carry around and because of it's performance. I usually shoot at racing cars, and it's TV mode and its buffer are great for action sports, and at 7fps I think it's pretty great, now I am not missing a photo.

The AF is quite better than Kr's for me, and it's a step forward in quality, in sharpness of the image, sounds better when shooting, it's not a noisy machine as the Kr can be, it is great in high ISO.

The sealed body is awesome, I have been shooting at snow places, during rainy days and at very dusty events and you can be sure non of those would get inside your camera, wich to me is a great step forward.

Combine this camera with the smc Pentax F 50mm f1.7, or the Sigma 100-300mm F4 and you'll get SHARP SHARP SHARP images, as you always dreamed about. I believe it's sensor, and the camera itself improve those lense's qualities to an outstanding level.

The only awakeness point is the AV mode, or I don't get it right, or the camera uses to over expose my shots constantly.

It is true that it's AF can make you miss some shots, but wich Pentax camera doesn't?

Overall it is a great camera, and nowadays that prices are lowering down, just get one at a great price, you'll get a bargain on an great piece of camera,

UPDATE June 2016
After having had the camera for almost 2 years I have to say I was delighted with it, maybe not with the AV mode, it's not as good as I expected it to be, but a part from that it's all great.

Just mine decided to fall down a chair and the repair work costs almost as much as I payed for the camera, so I am a bit disapointed on the body, as it really was a small and slow crash. So I think maybe my unit has had another crash before (in Japan) or maybe the body is a bit weak.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Houston
Posts: 129

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 21, 2015 Recommended | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, ease of use, User modes
Cons: Button layout could have been better, more
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

The best image quality on ASPC in my eyes. The weight and the way this camera feels in your hand is just perfect. The user modes is simply genius as it allows me to program my settings for landscape, portrait, action, tripod for quick access.

I believe the button layout could have been better. I don't like where the AF button is and the RAW button could have had a few more options.

I would give 9.5 but alas not allowed here.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 317
Review Date: February 10, 2015 Recommended | Price: $695.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: image quality, low noise
Cons: buttons layout
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I am a stock photographer and need images to be very sharp at 100% and very technically sound, ie, low noise, good saturation and color rendition. I liked the K-7 but still the images were soft and could use improvement. The K-5iis was what I needed. I regret not having purchased it sooner, but I have a somewhat limited budget and I had to wait until the price on it dropped. It is a BIG improvement over the K-7 in many aspects, image quality being the most obvious. The only drawback going to this camera is the placement of the some of the buttons makes it easy to accidentally change other settings.
New Member

Registered: December, 2014
Posts: 6
Review Date: January 4, 2015 Recommended | Price: $390.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: weather seal, build quality, ergonomics
Cons: noise with higher ISO
Years Owned: 5    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 10    New or Used: Used   

I am a long time pentax user, so i know what to expect from K-5. Perfect ergonomics, everything so easy to find and use quickly. Perfect build quality - i was travelling with this body a lot and it got too much beating, yet the only part scratched is the bottom side, nothing else is damaged! Also weather sealing is a perfect feature, which you find usefull in areas with everyday rain (like i did on Iceland )
The weaker side is rather too much noise in the pictures when using higher ISO, i would say anything above 1600. Also i was using rather average lenses, impossible to use with lower light conditions, so i had to go for higer ISO sometimes, especially indoors. With better lenses the quality of pictures is obviously rising, so i cannot blame the camera.
For lots of travelling outdoors, this is perfect camera.

Registered: November, 2012
Location: Newark, Delaware
Posts: 1,034
Review Date: December 27, 2014 Recommended | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality, features, build quality long battery life
Cons: screen on monitor easily scratched, live view autofocus.
Years Owned: 2.5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Had I rated this camera a year ago, I likely would have given it a 10. Now I also have a K3 and the K3 has improved on the K5 in areas where the K5 could use improvement. In particular, Live View autofocus and a much better glass (instead of plastic) monitor screen. Otherwise the K5 is still a great camera, compact, well built, and reliable.
New Member

Registered: September, 2010
Posts: 1
Review Date: December 10, 2014 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

So happy I got this camera! I couldnt afford the newest model but got a used one in great condition and its the best purchase i could have made. Love it!
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,071
Review Date: December 7, 2014 Recommended | Price: $999.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent image quality. Solid build. Intuitive control layout. Strong overall feature set.
Cons: Autofocus needs work.
Years Owned: 2-1/2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I've had my Pentax K-5 for more than 2-1/2 years. Having put more than 25,000 shots on it, I can say that my experience with the K-5 has been very positive overall.
  • As is expected for a high-end Pentax DSLR, build is outstanding. I've taken pictures in heavy rain and snow and have never had a problem with my K-5.
  • The essential photographic controls are all within easy reach. I've never had trouble operating the camera or accessing any of the major settings.
  • Image quality is excellent. While the 16 megapixel sensor is starting to show its age, its ability to produce quality images in a variety of conditions is very good and the colors have always been pleasing.
  • The one thing that needs work is the autofocus system. AF.S speed is reasonable in the vast majority of lighting conditions, but AF.C performance is marginal at best. The K-3 is better in this regard, but it's still hamstrung by suboptimal AF algorithms that can't track fast-moving subjects reliably.
AF.C issues aside, this is a great overall camera.

Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: ON
Posts: 60
Review Date: December 2, 2014 Recommended | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, features, in body shake reduction for video
Cons: LCD scratches easily, green button placement
Years Owned: 4    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I have really come to love this camera (I updated from a K100D and it took a while to learn all the new features).

I had a Katz-Eye screen installed to improve manual focusing and I find the camera works nicely with old glass; however, I find the location of the green button annoying for stop-down metering. It would be great if you could assign that function to the shutter button area.

Also, a button on my jacket scratched the LCD screen on the back soon after I bought it. I was a little surprised as my much cheaper mp3 players and cell phones all have Gorilla glass and have taken far more abuse than the K5 ever has and their screens are still in good condition. I would definitely recommend a screen protector if you are picky about scratches.
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