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Pentax K-r

Ergonomics 
 8.7
Build Quality 
 8.7
User Interface 
 8.7
Autofocus 
 7.3
Features 
 8.5
Value 
 9.3
Image Quality 
 8.8
Noise 
 7.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
58 357,988 Thu May 1, 2014
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
86% of reviewers $643.16 8.44
Pentax K-r

Pentax K-r
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Pentax K-r
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Pentax K-r
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Pentax K-r
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Pentax K-r
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Description:

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
Year Introduced
2010
In Production
No (Discontinued 2011)
Current US Price
N/A
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor
Sensor Format
APS-C
Sensor Type
CMOS
Megapixels
12.4
Resolution
2848 x 4288 pixels
AA Filter
Yes
Super Resolution
No
Bit Depth
12
Minimum ISO
100
Maximum ISO
25600
ISO Range
200 - 12800 (100 - 25600)
Imaging
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
6
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
100000
Exposure compensation
+/-3 EV
Auto bracketing
3 frames
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (on, off), Shadow (high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Yes
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
16-Segment
Meter range
1 to 21.5 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Yes
Interval shooting
Up to 999 frames, up to 24 hours between frames
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes, average and additive, 2 to 9 shots
Pixel mapping
Yes
Scene Modes
11: Night Scene, Surf and Snow, Food, Sunset, Stage Lighting, Night Snap, Night Scene HDR, Kids, Pet, Candlelight, Museum
Restrictions
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
No
Stabilization
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
Focusing
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX IX, 11 focus points)
AF Points
11
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes, one adjustment
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
Viewfinder/LCD
Viewfinder
0.85x, 96%
Viewfinder type
Pentamirror
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Yes
Exchangeable screen
No
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Yes
Top LCD
No
Focus Peaking
No
Back LCD
3 in. 921,000 pix
Body
Weather resistant
No
Control wheels
1
Battery grip
No
Card slots
1
Dust removal
Yes, Sensor Shake DR
Dust alert
Yes
Memory card type
SD, SDHC (max. 32GB), SDXC via firmware update
Size (W x H x D)
125 x 97 x 68 mm
Weight
544 g (598 g with Li-Ion battery and SD card)
File format
PEF (RAW),DNG (RAW),JPG,AVI
Battery life
560 images with Li-Ion battery (no flash use)
1600 images with AA lithium (no flash use)
Battery
D-LI109 lithium-ion rechargeable or 4 x AA with optional battery holder D-BH109
Flash
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 12 (ISO 100/m)
Sync speed
1/180s
P-TTL flash
Yes
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
No
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Video
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
No
Sound in Movie mode
Mono (built-in mic) No provision for external mic
Interfacing
GPS
Via Accessory
Tethering
Wired (unofficial)
Connectivity
USB 2.0, AV out, Infrared in/out
Latest Firmware
Version 1.15
Notes
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!
Manual: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-r.pdf



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Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-30 of 58
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Washington, DC / Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 26

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast burst mode, AA batteries, IQ
Cons: Not WR, loud shutter, video
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 7    New or Used: New   

I love my K-r! It was my first not point-and-shoot camera, so I did my research beforehand, and chose the K-r. I made a giant spreadsheet with all of the specs of the cameras in the price range at the time, assigned a fitness value to each spec based on how important it was to me, then totaled the fitness values and chose the camera with the highest number in my price range.

The K-r does important things well. It fits nicely in my hand (my one gripe is that I wish the grip was just a little bit deeper), and it feels way better built than similarly priced Canikons. The usable ISO range is certainly good enough for learning with. The viewfinder isn't bad. All of the relevant controls are quickly available from the rear menu and buttons. The burst mode is phenomenal when compared to other entry-level DSLRs. I love that you can put an adapter in to use AA batteries.

On the negative side, the video is meh. However, I shoot mostly stills, so the fact that the video is only 720p isn't that important to me.

In short, the K-r is all of the things that a starter DSLR should be. It is fully capable of taking great pictures (and do the kinds of things that smartphones really can't), and though it wouldn't be a professional's first choice, it's an extremely capable tool.
   
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2011
Location: Skopje
Posts: 49

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $790.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Body size, excelent specs
Cons: None considering the price
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I own the K-r for two years and so far i'm very pleased to own this camera.
As i am a amateur photographer, i don't face any of the issues that professional photographers do and the K-r delivers everything i need. Along with the kit lens it's a nice pair, giving the oportunity to learn photography in a very nice way. The interface of the camera is clear and gives all the information needed. Also, i like the easy access to settings using the "Info" button while on main screen.
The DNG raw format is another plus for this camera. There are not much options while recording video, as i would like to be able to set parameters manually instead of the camera (iso, shutter speed etc, and overall exposure compensation). Beside the kit lens, now i have a 50mm f/2 Pentax-A lens and i'm very happy with it.
Sorry if i forgot something to mention. Overall this camera is great
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: i like the built in HDR, the high ISO, and the overal size of the body
Cons: the shuttter is really loud compared to other dSLR's, only 720p for video, there is no manual jack for remote shutter, and the kit lens's are at a range where if thats all you have you are changing them out a lot.
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 4    New or Used: New   

aside from what I mentioned in the pro's and cons', this really is a great little camera for the price and class (12 MP). this is my first dSLR, so I did not want to spend a whole lot of money so I looked around and between other brands of it's class, this camera is far superior in my opinion. its a great little walk around camera for a beginner, and even a professional.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $413.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: solid, fast, long battery life, comfortable
Cons: slow contast-detect, no weater sealing, pentaminor
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Very solid and sturdy camera. Comfortable to use, fast focus via Phase detection, but slow contrast-detect. Excellent menu - easy to use. Very long battery life, if used almost in phase-detection mode. Variety of lens...Work's very good with manual lenses. I like this camera a lot and reccomend it!
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Potsdam
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very handy, sturdy case, great photo quality, user interface
Cons: little bit noisy
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 6    New or Used: New   

This camera is an excellent exmaple of the old good Pentax approach. You will find there the classical Pentax interface that is incredibly friendly, compared to those from other brands.

The most incredible thing I found about this camera is its colours. The green colour of grass on my photos is so good, that it looks like real and I just want to touch it through my monitor.

The case is made of stainless steel covered with plastic (black in my case). This means that the camera is unbreakable. Although, it does not have weater sealing I used it outside during rain and everything was fine.

All in all, I would recommend this camera to anyone.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: tough and compact, great design
Cons: only 1 crosstype autofocus point
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 7    Value: 9    Image Quality: 7    Noise: 6    New or Used: New   

This has been my workhorse digital camera since I replaced the K100d with it in 2010. The e-dial is getting flaky on it, so it will be getting replaced, but it was unstoppable in all conditions.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Bucharest
Posts: 17

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Image at high ISO, feels good in my hands.
Cons: Not easy to focus using OVF with manual focus lenses
Years Owned: 2011    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 7    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

It's my first real camera (DSLR) and my first learning camera. It's nice, size fit me, it shows no problem with focus in tungsten light.
   
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 62

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, great image quality, Pentax usability, in-body stabilization
Cons: no weather sealing, wouldn't mind a few more pixels
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

My first DSLR after a couple of super-zooms. Chose the Pentax for its in-body stabilization and general value for money and it hasn't disappointed. Just a great little camera, brilliant for travel, excellent in low light. A few more pixels would be good occasionally, but on the other hand the smaller file sizes are easy to handle. A really excellent starting point.
   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 45

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light weight, quick auto focus, handling, result
Cons: none
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: Used   

My first DSLR which bring me the true happiness and the image quality i was expecting from it. I am going to keep it with me forever regardless of any upgrade.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Sunny Dun(ny)fermline, Fife
Posts: 350

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 8, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: No | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: nice build quality, very capable
Cons: front focus, bizarre behaviour with external flash
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 4    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

I feel like I'm repeating previous comments but here goes. This is my first dSLR and it has taken me a fair amount of time to get to grips with it. If you never used the flash and shot in daylight - then the deal breakers might never be an issue.
The front focus issues in tungsten lighting are ridiculous, I have taken to using the rear screen but recently have decided to abandon AF entirely and focus 'old school' indoors. Also using an external flash is a real test - many of the exposure modes are useless and seem blissfully unaware that a flash is connected until you fire the shutter and get a horribly overexposed foreground.
For these reasons I cannot recommend the camera to friends, especially beginners, because understanding these glitches and working around them is not on for a novice.
What is really galling is, these two issues aside, this could be a classic affordable dSLR. And probably a maximum points scorer.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 7, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything (for me)
Cons: No focus peaking, video mode
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

This is my first DSLR (bought right after a Lumix Bridge) and I love it.

I'm using it for 2 years now and I still haven't pushed it to its limits. I know other DSLRs must be much better but for its price (500 in 2011) it's just the best you could find. Great ISOs (3200 is totally correct), fast (6,2 IPS), easy to use.

I just miss the focus peaking for older lenses non AF (or a stigmometre).

Coupled to my DA40 Ltd, it provides greats images!
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Sendai, Japan
Posts: 169

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 20, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $780.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, performance in class, simplicity, looks, features
Cons: autofocus, lack of dedicated buttons
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 7    New or Used: New   

This was my first Pentax DSLR and I chose it when looking for a fun camera to use that was smaller than my D3s and D700. I compared it to everything else in it's class and it was by far the most appealing to me. I have no real interest in shooting video, so the camera never felt lacking in that department. It looks and feels very simple, though feature laden, and is much better constructed than others it is often compared to. Especially the Canon and Sony offerings. The autofocus can at times be sub-par, but in most situations I found it to be fine. I never used this camera at high ISO (over 1600) and always thought it's performance was fine in this regard as well.
I enjoyed using this little camera so much, it prompted my switch from Nikon to Pentax. I sold off all my Nikon gear (the D700 and a couple of my lenses were very tough to part with) after borrowing a friends K5 and renting a 645d for a couple assignments. Pentax cameras just clicked with me. Now I use the K5IIs (x2) and a rented 645d for about all my work and have never once wished I was lugging my Nikons around. I have even used this K-r for some photographs in which I have sold and would not be nervous to do so again. This is a great camera that cannot be beat for the price and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I will hold onto this guy until he can no longer function. Then I will hold onto him some more.
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 146

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 14, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $460.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Comfortable grip, size, weight, high ISO performance, customisable auto ISO
Cons: Mirror slap, doesn't lock AE with shutter button when in MF, extremely flimsy pop-up flash
Years Owned: 1 month    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I have recently acquired a Pentax K-r kit.
This is my second digital camera (having previously owned a K10d+21mm+43mm for a few months when it came out) and I chose it mostly for it's affordability and comfortable grip.
Performance wise it has met my expectations.

I was "shooting" slide film with Contax cameras and lenses during the 90s and early 00s but when my first child was born I stopped travelling and therefore photographing.
When digital performance stabilised I decided to give it a go but by then Kyocera had given up on the camera business and I had to buy into a new system.
I chose Pentax for the ergonomics and small size, the viewfinder specifications and wide range of current production and discontinued fixed focal length lenses.

Considering the competition in it's price range, this solidly built body (if you exclude the flimsy pop-up flash) has an excellent viewfinder, a very comfortable grip and adequate positioning of available controls.

My biggest complaints are a mild mirror-slap induced shake and the fact that I cannot lock AE by half pressing the shutter button when in MF.
It would also be nice to have a Metering Mode Selection button on deck.

Overall it's a very nice camera.
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 106
Review Date: September 15, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good price for features, accepts all K-mount lenses
Cons: Firmware/software could use much improvement
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

There are many excellent reviews of the camera, so I will limit this review to the aspects that I find relevant for my shoting. I use several older FA lenses (35-80 and 100-300 mm FAs), which work great on this camera, and I'm very grateful for that. The camera has great high-ISO noise properties, even shots at ISO 1600 are acceptable quality for larger prints. Even for astrophotography at ISO 3200 it handles my relatively slower lenses quite well.

The slower lenses do highlight one problem with this camera though - autofocus doesn't always work, or work well. In low light situations it often searches for focus for a long time, and often just gives up. This is especially frustrating when you're just trying to capture the moment and then the moment goes by.

I have found another issue with the camera: the software/firmware (not sure which) doesn't work for long-exposure, short interval shooting. I have tested many settings and permutations, but it simply doesn't work as intended if you're trying to shoot star trails - the maximum number of shots that you can usefully get with interval shooting at 30 s exposure each is about 90 images.

Other than these issues, it is a fabulous camera, easy to use, light, ergonomic and has a very intuitive lay-out, both in terms of external buttons and software. For the price I would highly recommend this camera.
   
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 43
Review Date: August 16, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax K-r: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: value, 6 fps, ergonomics,pretty fast af, HDR, very low noise on higher ISO
Cons: AF hunts sometimes, very noisy "clunk" sound and noisy AF when using kit lens, SR could be more effective
Years Owned: 1 year    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

First I am going to talk about front focus problems. I dont think that is so huge problem. When I take pictures indoor I use my external flash. Build quality is very good, ergonomics are awesome,same or even little better than on Canon 550d. Image quality is good especially for entry level dSLR. User interface is good, you can easily find out what to do. Auto focus is pretty fast when you use viewfinder but on liveview it is not that fast. Not that good image stabilization are only cons for this dSLR, despite this can be fixed with setting higher ISO number, because this camera have low ISO noise.
I can't understand guys who can't recommend this camera because of little front focusing issue under tungsten light. This problem can be solved with AF fine adjustment, you just need to set it on -10 when capturing under tungsten light.
I think, this is pretty good entry level dSLR for the money I paid.
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