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Pentax K-r

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
Reviews Views Date of last review
59 392,149 Fri October 2, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
86% of reviewers $637.93 8.45
Pentax K-r

Pentax K-r
Pentax K-r
Pentax K-r
Pentax K-r
Pentax K-r


The K-r introduced in 2010 is a 12.4 megapixel intro-level DSLR from Pentax complete with many advanced features, including Shake Reduction, a 6FPS shutter, and ISO 25,600. The K-r body-only was available new for under $550; a one-lens kit  w/18-55mm costs under $600, a two-lens kit w/18-55mm & 50-200mm costs under $650, and a two-lens kit w/18-55mm & 55-300mm costs just over $700.

Read our Full-Length Pentax K-r Review 

Below are improved features of the K-r over its predecessor, the K-x:

  • Three stylish color choices include traditional black, the new  classic white, and PENTAX red reflect any owner’s personal style
  • 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 all lenses, current as well as legacy
  • 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
  • Wide range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters.

Discuss the Pentax K-r here

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Camera Manual:

Pentax K-r
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
No (Discontinued 2011)
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor Format
Sensor Type
2848 x 4288 pixels
AA Filter
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
200 - 12800 (100 - 25600)
Exposure Modes
Auto Picture, Scene, P, Sv, Av, Tv, M, B
Program Modes
Normal, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night-scene Portrait, Flash Off
Maximum FPS
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 6 fps (25 JPG, 12 RAW), Lo: 2 fps (unlimited JPG, 36 RAW)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/6000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/6000s
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-3 EV
Auto bracketing
Exposure (3 frames)
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
1 to 21.5 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
11: Night Scene, Surf and Snow, Food, Sunset, Stage Lighting, Night Snap, Night Scene HDR, Kids, Pet, Candlelight, Museum
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
Not supported
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)
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes, one adjustment
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
0.85x, 96%
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 pix
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Sensor Shake DR
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD, SDHC (max. 32GB), SDXC via firmware update
Size (W x H x D)
125 x 97 x 68 mm
544 g (598 g with Li-Ion battery and SD card)
File format
Battery life
560 images with Li-Ion battery (no flash use)
1600 images with AA lithium (no flash use)
D-LI109 lithium-ion rechargeable or 4 x AA with optional battery holder D-BH109
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 12 (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
1280x720p / 25fps (16:9),
640x480p / 25 fps (4:3)
Exposure Modes
Movie mode restrictions
The aperture is fixed during recording
AF During Recording
Sound in Movie mode
Mono (built-in mic) No provision for external mic
Via Accessory
Wired (unofficial)
USB 2.0, AV out, Infrared in/out
Latest Firmware
Version 1.15
User reviews
In-depth review
Astrotracer compatible (requires firmware update), Embed copyright information in EXIF, High ISO NR can be customized for each major ISO value, Image plane indicator, In-camera RAW development, IrSimple high-speed infrared data transmission, Save last JPG as RAW.
Megapixels: 12.4
ISO Range: 100-25600
Weight: 544g
FPS: 6
LCD: 3.0"
In Production: No
Type: Intro-Level
Weather Sealed: No
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-r in-depth review!
Price History:

Add Review of Pentax K-r Buy the Pentax K-r
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 59
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,568

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 2, 2020 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built, fantastic color rendition, cheap used
Cons: Battery life, low magnification viewfinder, loud shutter
Years Owned: 8    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 6    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 6    New or Used: Used   

I bought my K-r for my wife to use on our adventures back in 2012. Unfortunately, we haven’t been traveling since 2015 and the K-r just sat around until this year when I discovered its potential with m42 Takumar lenses. The K-r may just be the perfect body to make a permanent m42 screwmount DSLR.

My rather large collection of 1957-1975 Takumar glass has been tried on several Pentax DSLRs. K30, K5, K5iis, K3 and KP. The highest resolving power lenses worked well enough on most bodies, however the super sharp sensors in the K5iis and newer models really amplify any optical flaws present in classic glass. The K-r at 12.4 MP seems to be the “sweet spot” for the older glass. The colors rendered by the K-r with the Takumars is just spectacular. Exposures are accurate in AV mode, however significant positive exposure compensation is always required, normally 2 full stops. The K-r sensor holds shadow detail very well up to ISO 800, so slight under exposure works well.

The slightly dimmer, lower magnification Pentax-mirror viewfinder makes manual focusing with the slower f3.5-5.6 manual lenses a bit more challenging. Adding the ME-O53 eyepiece helps. In good light, the AF confirmation is generally quite accurate unless the lens is stopped down past f5.6.

Another plus to using the K-r as a dedicated m42 body, its sensor works well with manually controlled flash. Old school auto flash works well also. The K-r also delivers very nice images when used for close up tabletop studio work using LED lighting. Auto color balance is usually spot on, something I can’t say for my K-5iis or K3.

I certainly wouldn’t give up my more modern, higher megapixel bodies for a K-r, however as a dedicated screwmount body, the K-r is earning its keep. I highly recommend the K-r for this assignment.
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 224

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 1, 2014 Recommended | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: high ISO, build quality, takes AA batteries, intuitive layout (both - menu and buttons), ergonomics
Cons: only 720p video, remote control, shutter is little loud
Years Owned: 3 yrs    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 6    New or Used: New   

From here it begans my journey to Pentax system. Before that I used only Olympus cameras (film and first DSLRs).
This is a very good entry level camera. And also it was very good starting point (to me) with Pentax too. Manufacturing quality is a top grade.

The only real problem for me was the video quality - too far behind to the same level Nikon/Canon cameras.
All other issues could leave the matter of "entry-level". Entry-level DSLRs come saddled with entry-level compromises.

But overall - there's a whole lot of camera packed inside the Pentax K-r !
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 134

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 30, 2014 Recommended | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Uses all my lenses from the film days. light, great user interface includes a fully manual mode.
Cons: Noisy shutter.
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

I bought this as my first Digital camera. I wanted a Pentax DSLR simply because I already have a collection of K-mount lenses, left over from my days using my first and only film SLR, a Pentax K-1000 made in 1979, owned by me since 1980 (and which I still have). The ability to use all of my old lenses was a big factor, but research and handling a few DSLRs tended to suggest also that most of the time if you compare two DLSRs with the same specification the Pentax will be smaller and lighter than most. I think the feature list on the KR was ridiculously good for the price I paid. In the end I opted for the 18-55mm kit and have never regretted it. I expected the kit lens to go largely unused but to my surprise I do actually use it a fair amount.

In use I found the camera easy to learn, laden with features and tremendous fun to shoot with. I like the manual control options, I found the menu system a dream to learn and on the whole the camera has been a joy to work with.

Autofocus is normally quick; as it is the first autofocus camera I've owned I don't have anything to compare it with but it rarely takes more than a fraction of a second to focus. Sometimes in very low light I have found the autofocus can't cope, but that's actually fine as I was expecting it. I was startled to find a built in intervalometer as an acquaintance paid over £100 for one as an add-on to his DSLR, and I'll be experimenting with that to make some time-lapse videos as soon as I get an AC adapter. If I were buying a DLSR now I'd probably only go for the KR if it was significantly cheaper, because since I bought mine quite a few better options have been made available, but when I bought it the KR was a bargain.

Yes, I'd still recommend it, but nowadays only if you can find it significantly below the standard retail price. For what I paid it's a bargain and a feature-packed bundle of fun.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,437
Review Date: April 1, 2014 Recommended | Price: $74.99 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, good ISO range, familiar menu system, AA battery capability in-body, very quiet shutter
Cons: Pentamirror, relatively small viewfinder image, mono audio recording only, no mic jack, many functions don't have dedicated buttons (such as ISO)
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 7    User Interface: 5    Autofocus: 8    Features: 7    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: Used   

I'll update this review as I get to know this camera better. I bought my K-R specifically to use with the PK+MM adapter ring. But I wanted a capable camera that was cheap. I picked this one up on Amazon, with a kit lens. The seller indicated that the shutter randomly went on high and wouldn't stop, but it also didn't take images. I found that it was still on firmware 1.00. After updating the firmware, I have been unable to replicate the error (I was able to prior to the update.)

I like the camera's weight, handling, and general layout so far. I am very used to and spoiled by the K-3 and K-7 interfaces with more buttons and a more robust feel, but I expect to like this camera a lot. As I get to know this camera, I'll update this review.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Blackwood
Posts: 359

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 10, 2014 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fantastic learning camera, capable of wonderful pictures with a decent lens, excellent in low-light. The white-bodied 'Stormtrooper' version rocks, totally reliable in all conditions.
Cons: Slight ff issues in low light and tungsten.
Years Owned: 3yrs    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

My first DSLR and the camera that got me into the Pentax fold. The trusty Stormtrooper traveled the world with me in my work for an international NGO. Never a problem. So much fuss was made about tungsten light issues when this camera was released but they had negligible impact on me shooting across a huge variety of contexts. I loved every moment with the K-r and have only moved on from it to get the K5IIs. As an under-rated, under-valued DSLR to start and go a long way with, the K-r is a ripper!
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Bountiful, Utah, USA
Posts: 74
Review Date: December 15, 2013 Not Recommended | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Compact, dirt cheap
Cons: Incandescent focusing is off, flash issues, battery issues, menu issues, and more
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 6    Build Quality: 5    User Interface: 4    Autofocus: 3    Features: 7    Value: 5    Image Quality: 6    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

Not even going to waste time writing up a full review. I have had more problems with this camera than every other camera I've ever owned - combined. SO many issues. The incandescent focusing problem (google it) is a pain, but constantly shutting down because it thinks the batteries are dead when they aren't (dedicated lithium, alkaline or NiMH AA (conventional and variable internal resistance types including Eneloops)) makes it almost useless. The crippling of features through the way the menus and controls are arranged is just ridiculous. For instance you can't shoot a bracketed set for HDR and use the remote or a shutter delay, so there is no way to eliminate camera shake, and SR often isn't enough to compensate.

There is a lot to like as well, such as 6 FPS shooting in a budget camera, but the cons far outweigh the pros. This camera never should have been released.
New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 25, 2013 Recommended | Price: $648.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: High build quality, good image quality
Cons: Noisy AF and shutter noise
Years Owned: 2.5    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 5    Features: 7    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

I've owned this camera for over two years now and, as my first dslr, this camera has grown with me as my skills and knowledge and photographic tastes have grown and changed.

Physically the KR is solid, well made and well laid out. I've had a bit of buyer's remorse over my time with this camera, often hankering after a canon...heresy on here I know but it's the truth. But when you compare this Pentax with similar canons/nikons at the price bracket etc, you cannot get a similar camera with the same build quality without paying a lot more.

I started of with the twin kit lenses. And have kept the 200mm zoom, but have replaced the 18-55mm with a Tamron 17-50 non-vc lens. And I have to say that this camera really responded!! Great image quality from this combo for sure.

I also have an old manual focus Pentax 50mm f1.7, this kicks ass also!

The majority of my camera work is HDR of landscape / street architecture and the shots really hold up to a lot of processing scrutiny! And for portrait work I use an old 80's swivel head shoe-mount flash which has improved my photography immensely.

Overall a great camera that has grown with me.
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 87
Review Date: November 24, 2013 Recommended | Price: $485.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Value for money, easy to navigate, Good IQ
Cons: AF goes a bit haywire at times, noisy shutter
Years Owned: one month!    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 5    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

Bought this brand new and my first ever DSLR, so excuse my lack of knowledge! Seems like old stock with originally firmware, but have updated and will see if any discernable difference to results.
Overall, quite pleased with this camera. Came with kit lens which probably don't do the camera justice, but fine for a newbie like me. Definately an improvement on quality from previous Bridge cameras that I have owned.
AF does seem problematic at times.
I'm enjoying this camera and it was definately value for money.

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 656
Review Date: November 23, 2013 Recommended | Price: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Continuous Shooting speed, high ISO, light, quality in general
Cons: Not any. Maybe it has not a display screen up like the K110D
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: Used   

I just got this beauty for about a year now, I bought it second hand and I just found a bargain with 500 pictures done. And after 40.500 more pictures done, I have changed my review a bit. Just bought myself a K5 in my more recent trip just because of it's value; if not I'd have kept my Kr.

Before the K-R I have had a Pentax K110D and I loved it, it's been my first DSLR camera and I just learned a lot with it, and had lots of fun with, but as long as I love motorsport photography, I felt I needed to improve because the K110D could be somehow not that fast at shooting many pictures at the same time.

So I begun to check online, read many reviews and found the perfect candidate: The Pentax K-r, it has a fast enought continuous shooting speed, it's ISO is perfect as you can use High ISO and there is no problem, and in general it's a wonderful camera, it performs great.

I have no negative points at this point. Yes, I'd love it to have a grip available, and I'd love it to have a sealed body, but at this price I can ask for more! Maybe, and this is the only thing I miss from my beloved K110D, it could have an upper display as the K110D has. That would be perfect.

After some use, my KR started to have some mirror flop issues, sometimes more often, sometimes less often. I have to get that fixed before moving to my K5, but it might be because of the serie of the camera, I am not sure how many have suffered this same problem.

I have been using this camera for semi professional motorsport photography (check the pictures here, for holidays, and almost for everything and it's interface is very easy to use, in general it's a very easy to work with camera, and gives great feedback and photos. Sometimes it's focus it's a bit slow, or it could have more vivid colours, but a part from that, it's a great starting point and a fast shooter.

If you are looking for a camera to shoot at dark spots or motorsport on a budget I believe this is a great option, even if you wanna start in this world.
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Location: Czech Republic - Brno
Posts: 8
Review Date: November 11, 2013 Recommended | Price: $570.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: colour rendition, build quality, functions
Cons: poor AF, lack of grip option
Years Owned: 2+    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 5    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

I have the K-r now for more than 2 years and I couldn't regret it. It is my first DSLR which showed me that I can have a lot of bang for my buck . Usually I am quite satisfied with my camera but sometimes the poor AF upsets me mainly when I am using the camera to shoot a model and although I have corrected the focus in the menu the camera still front focuses with almost every prime lens . But I really love the color rendition what this little guy creates and I would probably buy it again.
New Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 1
Review Date: November 4, 2013 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Almost no shutter lag, quick startup, 6fps
Cons: Auto-focus is finicky, noisy at higher ISOs
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 6    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 6    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 6    New or Used: Used   

My first DSLR I've personally owned. My only basis for comparison is a Canon 40D I've used at work. The K-r outperforms that camera by far.

The K-r is ready to shoot very quickly after turning it on. Barely any shutter lag and fast continuous shooting. I have young kids that rarely sit still, so having a fast camera has been awesome. This is why I bought this camera.

Only drawback is that speed is sometimes lost if the AF goes hunting.

I've had a lot of fun in low light that this level of camera allows, although it gets pretty noisy above ISO 800.

There are great used examples to be found at reasonable prices out there. I found mine on eBay for $300 with std 18-55mm kit lens.

This camera is manueverable and light. I gave its "ergonomics" a "6" because I'd actually prefer a slightly larger frame.

When my skill/experience level increases, I'll trade-up...until then, this is a great camera with which to learn.
New Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Riga
Posts: 1
Review Date: October 16, 2013 Not Recommended | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: comfortable
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Great camera for the novice photographer, a lot of pleasant experiences, excellent build quality!
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 25
Review Date: October 15, 2013 Recommended | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: price, image quality when it was released
Cons: autofocus could be faster, loud shutter, noise at high ISO
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 7    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 5    New or Used: New   

An entry level that, as usual for Pentax camera, is better than competition's one.
When it was released it had better and more features than the previous model, the K-x. But in image quality it wasn't such an upgrade, only colors rendition seems better.
The price was adeguate for the big value of the camera.
Paired with good Pentax lenses (I had the Pentax 100mm macro WR and the FA 50mm 1.4) it's surprising and I enjoyed it a lot. By now, the camera out there are very amazing and I'm thinking to an upgrade.

Overall it's a beautiful camera
New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 20
Review Date: October 15, 2013 Recommended | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Interchangeability of lens, ease of use
Cons: Too many controls
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    New or Used: New   

I upgraded from older film SLRS. ALL my old lenses snap on and work. Just amazing. the controls are a bit different than film or point and shoot. Almost all of accessories worked as well. I bought a digital remote and extra batteries. I also bought a large SD disc which will hold an amazing 10.000 photos (I think ).

Very good value and takes excellent photos.
New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Ružomberok
Posts: 6
Review Date: October 14, 2013 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: price, body size, AA bateries
Cons: none
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

Perfect camera for beginners/amaters.
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