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Pentax KP

Ergonomics 
 8.5
Build Quality 
 9.4
User Interface 
 9.2
Autofocus 
 9.0
Features 
 9.2
Value 
 8.9
Image Quality 
 9.9
Noise 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
21 81,798 Sat January 9, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $953.21 9.29
Pentax KP

Pentax KP
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Pentax KP
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Pentax KP
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Pentax KP
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Pentax KP
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Pentax KP
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Description:

The Pentax KP was announced on January 25, 2017, and†is an†advanced†24 MP†APS-C format DSLR incorporating a number of features not seen before on a Pentax DSLR, hereunder an electronic shutter to 1/24,000s (the mechanical shutter goes to 1/6,000s), depth of field bracketing, and motion (shutter speed) bracketing.

The KP also includes a number of high end features seen on other recent Pentax DSLRs: AA filter simulation, 5 axis sensor based image stabilization, pixel shift super resolution, and an 86K RGB light meter sensor.

The 24 MP imaging sensor is of a new design which allows a top ISO of 819,200, which is higher than the other APS-C models in the Pentax catalog at the time of the†introduction of the KP.

While the KP has a respectable burst rate of 7 fps, the K-3 II is still the king of the hill with 8.3 fps and a buffer accommodating 60 frames (JPG), where the KP just does 28 frames at 7 fps. We thus consider the KP as a camera placed between the K-70 and the K-3II even though it does have a more sensitive sensor and some new features†not seen on†the K-3 II.

The design is slightly retro with the shutter release button placed on the top plate like†on film cameras. There are a couple of extra knobs on the top plate†like on the Pentax K-1: a function dial and a third e-dial. The function dial includes three custom positions (C1, C2, C3)†which can be set to control sensitivity, EV compensation, bracket value, custom image, AF mode, AF active area, focus peaking, program line, shutter mode selection, recorded pixels, AA filter simulator, grip display, LCD display options, image magnification, or outdoor view setting. The third e-dial then controls the assigned item. The exposure mode dial features five user exposure mode settings. The function of four of the push buttons can be customized as well as can the control panel that comes up on the rear LCD screen by pressing the INFO button. The user interface of the KP is thus†highly customizable.

The grip on the body is exchangeable and†available in three sizes. A battery grip is also available.

There is no IR port, so the KP can only be controlled remotely with a smart phone (or computer)†via Wi Fi or a dedicated cable release via the microphone input socket.

Read our in-depth†review of the KP here.

Major features subsequently added through firmware updates:

  • Version 1.11: Improved stability for general performance
  • Version 1.10: Optimized performance with the D FA* 50mm F1.4 lens

Camera Manual:


Pentax KP
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
2017
In Production
Yes
Current US Price
$696
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor
Sensor Format
APS-C
Sensor Type
CMOS
Megapixels
24.32
Resolution
4000 x 6016 pixels
AA Filter
No (AA filter simulator)
Super Resolution
Yes
Bit Depth
14
Minimum ISO
100
Maximum ISO
819200
ISO Range
100 - 819,200
Imaging
Exposure Modes
Auto (green), HyP, Sv, Tv, Av, TAv, M, B, User (5)
Program Modes
Auto, Normal, Action, Depth of field (deep/shallow), MTF priority
Maximum FPS
7
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 7 fps up to approx. 28 frames (JPG), up to approx. 8 frames (RAW), M: 3 fps up to approx 70 frames (JPG), 15 frames (RAW), Lo: 0.8 fps up to approx. 100 frames (JPG), up to appox. 100 frames (RAW)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s to 1/6,000s (mechanical), to 1/24,000s (electronic)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 1200s to 1/6,000s (mechanical), to 1/24,000s (electronic). Up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
100000
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
Exposure (2, 3 or 5 frames), one-push EV bracketing, Depth of Field (3 frames), Motion (3 frames), AA filter (2 or 3 frames)
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Yes
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
86K Pixel
Meter range
-3 to 20 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Yes
Interval shooting
Up to 2000 frames, 2 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 2000 shots
Pixel mapping
Yes
Scene Modes
None. Auto (green) sets exposure based on scene analysis
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
Yes
Stabilization
Yes (sensor-shift SR II)
Power zoom
Not supported
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses. 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,Vignetting,Diffraction
Focusing
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX 11, 27 focus points (25 cross type))
AF Points
27
Autofocus sensitivity
-3 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
Viewfinder/LCD
Viewfinder
100%, 0.95x
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Yes
Exchangeable screen
Yes
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnification)
Live View
Yes
Top LCD
No
Focus Peaking
Yes
Back LCD
3 inch, 921,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio, tilts up/down, red light night mode
Body
Weather resistant
Yes
Control wheels
3
Battery grip
D-BG7†(takes one D-Li109 or one D-LI90 battery)
Card slots
1
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
No
Memory card type
SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Size (W x H x D)
131.5 x 101 x 76 mm
Weight
643 g (body only), 703 g (with battery)
File format
PEF (RAW),DNG (RAW),JPG,MOV
Battery life
420 photos (CIPA)
Battery
D-LI109 lithium-ion rechargeable
Flash
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 6 (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 (full - 1/128), Wireless*, Contrast control*
* Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
No
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Video
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p,
1280x720 (16:9 HD) at 60p, 50p
MPEG4 AVC/H.264
4K interval movie (4K,Full HD, HD)
Star stream (4K,Full HD, HD)
Exposure Modes
P, Av, TAv, Tv, M
Movie mode restrictions
AF During Recording
Continuous
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic), Stereo (built-in mic). Adjustable sound level
Interfacing
GPS
Via Accessory
Tethering
Via built-in Wi-Fi
Connectivity
USB 2.0, HDMI out (via USB port and an adapter), stereo mic, cable release (uses mic input jack), DC in, GPS, Wi-Fi.
Latest Firmware
Link to download page
Notes
User reviews
In-depth review
Astrotracer functionality with the optional O-GPS1 unit, Depth of field bracketing, 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, Moirť suppression via SR mechanism, Moirť suppression bracketing, Motion bracketing, Save last JPG as RAW, Save JPG from movie, The three Fx buttons are customizable and can perform a variety of functions, hereunder exposure bracketing.
Special Editions

Black and Silver


Megapixels: 24.32
ISO Range: 100-819,200
Weight: 703g (loaded and ready)
FPS: 7
LCD: 3.0" tilting
In Production: Buy the Pentax KP
Type: Advanced DSLR
Weather Sealed: Yes
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax KP in-depth review!



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Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 354

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 9, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $695.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, flippy screen, high ISO
Cons: Maybe too compact, could use another button or two
Years Owned: Two days    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

******** One month update! ****************

I've gotten quite used to the "large" grip, the controls and the handling in general, of the KP. Although limited in motion, the "flippy screen" is something I find myself using more and more.

I CAN confirm that the battery level graphic DOES lie! It depends on what you are doing of course; live view in particular can quickly get the camera to reveal it's true battery level, but otherwise it's something like a fuel gauge on a vehicle that always reads "Full" until it's well below half and then it may still bounce back up to "full" again on the next restart. Buy some spare batteries and always carry at least one of them with you!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

This is my first day with the KP and I wanted to post my initial thoughts. If I have other things to add after owning it awhile, I'll come back and update this review.

To qualify, I've been a hobby photographer for about 30 years and got my first "real camera", the K10D, in about 2007(?), which was my entry into Pentax DSLRs. Since then I've also owned the K20D, K3, K3ii, K1, K1ii, and the K70. I liked the full frame bodies, and enjoyed having so many extra pixels to throw away on crops, but the price of quality full frame glass wasn't something I could justify for the sort of shooting I do, so I sold it all and kept my K3 kit. I bought the KP on sale, to see if it would make a possible replacement for my beloved but aging K3... and maybe a steadfast against buying the new K3iii when it comes out.

FIRST THINGS FIRST!

I know there are a ton of photos, reviews and videos of this camera out there already BUT If you haven't actually physically held a KP in your hands, it might be difficult to imagine how small this camera really is! I took mine out the box and was immediately startled at how small this camera actually feels in my hands! Yeah, the KP clearly seems an arrow made for, and aimed at, the compact mirrorless market. It's like they intentionally tried to make THE smallest DSLR possible, while still providing a modicum of functionality. Not enough? OK then... I don't think you could make one any smaller and still have the same controls be of a functional size. Is it really that small?!? At a glance, compared to my K3, it is obviously a smaller body but it doesn't look like a toy compared to it, or anything, but once you pick it up and put it in your hands there is no fooling the brain; this immediately feels MUCH smaller, in hand.

I'm an average sized guy who buys "L" or "XL" work gloves. The very first thing I did, after my initial shock, was swap out the small grip for the largest of the three. It still feels very small in my hands, compared to the K3, but at least I don't feel scared to hold it with just my right hand any more. It was fortuitous that Pentax included optional grips in the box because if I had received it with only the small grip it would have went immediately back in the box and been returned, without a single shot being taken. It's THAT small. Useable? Yes. As comfortable as the K3, the K1, or even the K70? Absolutely not.

Compared to the K-70:

This seems like the camera most people are comparing it to so we'll start with it. I LIKED my K-70, a lot! I only shot one "selfie" with it ever, but to have that functionality in a screen that not only "flips" but also rotates to face forward, and backwards to face the camera body (protecting the screen) is something many people will appreciate in the K-70. I also liked the fact that it at least had a forward facing IR sensor, for wireless remote... something the KP is strangely lacking. Some of my favorite photos ever were taken with the K-70. So why didn't I keep it? I discovered "back button focus" or "BBF", and now I cannot shoot without it. Sure, you can do BBF on the K-70 but what is then missing is a way to divorce AEL (Automatic Exposure Lock) from AF... You can have back button focus on the K-70 OR you can have AEL on a dedicated button, but you cannot have both. The KP can assign AE-L to any of the three "FX" buttons on the body. The K-70 does not have this as an option! I think my preferred button is the "FX1" which is usually assigned to "RAW". Where the K3 (and the K1s), like most "pro level" bodies, have two separate buttons dedicated for "AF" and "AEL", at least on the KP, you have a button elsewhere you can assign to it. Thank you, Pentax! Does this work well? It's a trade off. It's not always easy, finding the AEL button on my K3, while using the viewfinder, because it's pretty close to the AF button. On the KP, I have to use my other thumb to find it (or my "trigger" finger, if assigned to "FX3"... exposure compensation) and since I never shoot one handed anyway, this might become something I will grow to appreciate with time.

In a nutshell, both the KP and the K-70 have great IQ and are capable of taking excellent photographs, with some obvious ergonomic differences and some technical differences under the hood that many "hobby" photographers will likely never notice. With the same glass, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the same shot taken with the two... until you start raising the ISO, which brings us to:

Compared to the K3/K3ii:

These are considered more "professional" bodies, with plenty of features like dual card slots, the aforementioned extra AE-L button, front and back IR sensors, faster FPS and deeper burst buffers. The KP doesn't really compete in any of these areas, and with the same wimpy battery life as the K-70, about half of what the "pro" bodies get, the argument can be made that someone might be better served by either buying a pristine K3/K3ii on the used market (for probably less than a new KP) or take the plunge into the full frame market.

But let me say this: the KP, hands down, has the best high ISO performance out of any camera I've used, beating the K-70, the K-3, the K-3ii and getting very close to the Sony A7iii too, which I've had the opportunity to play with more than once. In my experience (I know reviews have said to the contrary), I think the KP even has slightly better ISO performance than it's full frame siblings. Where the aforementioned Pentax bodies could deal with some noise, the KP just aces it. It's no subtle difference either. On all my other bodies, I would often set max ISO to 3200, maybe 6400 on occasion, and hope I didn't have to go over 1600. I expected the same with the KP. Now I'm not talking about 812,000 ISO or anything, but 6400? Sure! 10,000???

This is just a test shot I took of my local super model. I had the 55-300 PLM WR on the KP and the Pentax 1.4xTC WR between the two of them. No extra sharpness or anything done in post.

This was at É/6.7 77mm 1/50th of a second, and... 10,000 ISO.


IMGP0007 by oktyabr, on Flickr

Another test shot. This time I put the excellent Pentax 15mm F4 Limited on the KP.

Program line: É/6.3 15mm 1/40th of a second, and... 20,000 ISO!


IMGP0080 by oktyabr, on Flickr

51,200 ISO! 18-135WR @ 135mm f8.0 1/200th (some noise reduction in PP)


51,200 ISO by oktyabr, on Flickr

Sure there is visible noise, but for publishing on social media somewhere, not intended for "pixel peeping"? Perfectly adequate. These aren't "review shots", taken on a tripod under ideal conditions... just sitting at my desk, in a poorly lit room, trying different lenses out and seeing what "auto" ISO might produce on the KP. No way could any other aps-c Pentax body I've shot with even come close to this sort of performance. The full frame K1/K1ii come close, and might arguably beat the KP under ideal test conditions, but what I've seen on day one from the KP, hand held, and just playing around, made my jaw drop.

Compared to the K1/K1ii:

"Apples and oranges", some would say. And they would be right! For the price of a new K1ii or even a good, used, K1, you could just as easily buy TWO KP bodies, brand new, or one KP and a couple of really decent lenses to go with it! So what do you give up? The K1/K1ii are definitely professional bodies. ALL the goodies, including gps and astrotracer built in, IR sensors front and back, dual card slots, the best (and strongest) "flippy screen" on the market, a great battery life (compared to the KP), killer ergonomics with all the buttons and dials you could ever need, and a solid construction that just feels like MONEY when you hold one in your hands. If you think you might quickly blossom from "hobby" photographer to professional wedding, portrait, landscape or astro photographer, save up some money until you can afford the K1ii. You won't regret it.

That said, the KP borrows from it's full frame siblings in a few ways, one being that cool extra dial on top. I loved having that assigned to ISO on my K1s, basically giving you a dial for each part of the exposure triangle, and the KP can be customized to provide the same. Lovely!

Then you have the "flippy screen". Not as robust as the K1, which uses titanium rods to allow all kinds of precise angles (and strong enough to actually pick the camera up by it!), but stronger than the K-70 assembly, and FAR better than having none at all, like my K3 and the K3iii that is soon to be released. Never had a flippy screen? Don't think you will ever care about having one? I thought so too, until I got my K-70! One of the first shots I took with the KP was of this little bear carving on a friend's back porch. It stands maybe a foot high. I flipped the screen up, so I could look down at it, squatted down a bit, and took the following picture (zoom in on the eyes and you can see me!) I wouldn't have even attempted this with my K3 as it would have entailed actually laying down on the porch in a very awkward position:


IMGP0065 by oktyabr, on Flickr

And I already mentioned similar ISO performance. Similarly to the K3/K3ii, the K1/K1ii also have dedicated buttons for switching exposure metering modes. I usually meter on "spot" but every once in awhile it's nice to have the options. The KP does not have a button for this but it's easily assignable to one of the slots found under the "INFO" button. Strange that the programmable "FX" buttons do NOT have metering mode as a possible selection!


In conclusion:

The KP may be all I need. Yes, it feels tiny and a bit strange in my hands. It's not my dream camera, by any means. The controls are quirky and maybe even a little alien, but they still have that Pentax goodness that I just find hard to leave for another brand. YES, it could use another button or two, or at least allow the FX buttons to accept metering mode as an option. Photo quality is what I expect from Pentax and the higher ISO performance is truly awesome. The battery life? Who cares. Buy a grip for it or just buy a couple of spares (I had fully charged spares waiting for it before I even got the camera!). For most "hobby" photographers, like me, the battery life will be PLENTY, and it only takes a few seconds to toss in a fresh one. Do I miss my full frames? A lot less, now that I have the KP! The only thing I have to wonder about, is why hasn't anyone started a business hand carving or 3D printing or something, larger, more ergonomical grips for this body yet? Hmmm....
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2020
Location: smoky mountains, NC
Posts: 136

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 27, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $746.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size, weight, IQ, build quality
Cons: none
Years Owned: 6 months    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I have been using this camera since June 2020. I really like this camera!! I upgraded from a K-S2 and this camera is quite a step up in quality!
The build quality is excellent. The dials turn solidly with no play, and the buttons respond immediately when pressed. I use the large grip as that fits my and best and feels the most solid, but I love the idea of having a choice of grips for lighter lenses of smaller hands.
The weight of the KP is very pleasing with a good, solid feel to it. The glass 100% coverage pentaprism viewfinder is nice and bright with all pertinent information displayed and easily seen even while wearing glasses. The camera is very compact and reminiscent of old Pentax film cameras. In fact, people have mistaken it for a film camera while I was out shooting!! Love the retro look!
The IQ is excellent and the dynamic range is much better than the K-S2. I have found the highlights are not blown out, and more detail is seen in the shadows. High ISO capability is also excellent with 12,800 ISO being very useable, and even higher if large prints wonít be made. Focus speed and accuracy is dead on even with screwdrive lenses. The shake reduction is phenominal! I have found that, with care, I can shoot sharp photos at 300mm and 1/20 sec!! Adjusting for the crop factor, that is 4.5 stops of shake reduction!! Wow !
The customizablilty is so nice. Almost every button or dial can be programmed to your liking. The 5 user modes can be further personalized, making the regular mode dial almost superfluous!! There are so many controls that I rarely have to access the menus or LCD screen. I can change most everything on the camera with a button press or dial turn!
When using live view the batter can run down pretty quickly, so youíll need to carry a spare or two. However, I have gone on a 4-day backpacking trip and did not even use up and entire battery, so battery life is not all that bad.
The tilt screen is great for high or low shot and is very solid and well built. The built in flash is a bit weak, but works for fill flash in a pinch. Get a hot shoe flash!!
The shutter is nice and quiet with a nice dampened ďclickĒ, and when used in live view with the electronic shutter you have silent operation.
Overall this is an excellent camera with enough features and quality output for even professional work. To me, this camera embodies all the great Pentax features and is HIGHLY recommended!! GREAT CAMERA!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 886

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 22, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, build, versatility, handling
Cons: Possibly the grip. Price at launch too high.
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I have had my KP for over a year now and feel it is time for a review. I purchased it s/h in Aug 2019 after much deliberation over this model or a K70 or KS-2. I was erring on the side of either of the latter models due to cost, but I snagged a KP for just 500 quid, so the small premium over a K70 made it a no brainer. I wanted a compact alternative to my BG equipped K3, especially for use with my Ltd prime selection, for which this camera seems made for.

I had quite a lot of reservations about the KP prior to purchase partly due to handling it when it first came out in my LCS. I was not keen on the ergonomics and the price (it was expensive on release) and I found myself in agreement with THAT Camera Store YouTube review. However, a few years pass and on revisiting the camera I found the ergos OK with small, light lenses and the expense issue has passed with time. I do think it important to be able to have a good feel of the camera in hand prior to purchase, and I probably would not have gone ahead with it if I had not had that opportunity. I must say at this point that the camera without a BG is not ideal for me, as I have long fingers and moderately large paws, but it is OK as I can wrap my hand around it in the manner of an old style film camera. Anyway a s/h BG came along a few months later and the ergos are almost as good (but not quite) as my K3's. Unfortunately I now have a second large heavy DSLR!

The image quality is superb, especially for an ASPC sensor. It is comparable to the K3 between the ISO range 200 - 800, but surpasses it at 100, 1600 and above. I am very happy with the ISO 1600 images it produces and 3200 is more than acceptable. The pixel shift feature really does improve quality further for non moving subjects taken with a tripod. The shake reduction also seems better than the K3, and with care I can get 1/4 second sharp images without a tripod. For these reasons, I tend to grab the KP over my K3.

The build quality is typical Pentax being very good, but not quite as good as the K3. The AF is also typical Pentax - OK but not class leading, maybe slightly better than the K3, but I shoot mainly old legacy glass so I am not too bothered by AF performance. With this in mind, Pentax's focus peaking in LV works very well indeed. Talking about not class leading things, the battery life is not great. but still adequate and it easy to carry a spare and actually with the BG attached I get better battery life with the KP than the BG equipped K3.

I suppose in this day and age, the natural competition for the KP would be a mid range mirrorless camera, and indeed there are some advantages with something from Fuji et al especially when it comes to wide angle lenses but I really appreciate the optical viewfinder of a SLR. Most of my pictures are taken with a standard or moderate telephoto lens anyway.

I am blessed with the following cameras the K3, Nikon Df and D610, Fuji X-T1 and X-E2s. They all have their purposes, but the camera I usually go to first is the KP, and this too me speaks volumes about how nice to use and how good the images are. So highly recommended.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2019
Location: Geelong, Australia
Posts: 335

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 3, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Superb ergonomics, quality and it's features.
Cons: Complexity.

I own many pentax cameras and often use a K-S1, K-70 & the most recent addition being the KP.
After now getting used to it, I would recommend it over all other Pentax cameras I own or have used.
I now feel like an invincible photographer and can do anything with those 3 in use - LOL.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2020
Posts: 11

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 26, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: design, build quality, image quality
Cons: battery life
Years Owned: 2 days    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

This First Impressions Review was originally posted here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/203-pentax-kp/414294-kp-first-impression...pentaxian.html

I copied it here as recommended by other members. Updated slightly to fix typos and wording.

Introduction

The KP is my first Pentax, though Iíve been a casual shutterbug for decades, since film. Iíve owned many brands but I am not loyal to any one. In terms of DSLRs Iíve had the most experience with Canon and Nikon. I felt that sharing my first impressions may be of interest to the community here because of my ďoutsiderĒ non-Pentaxian (yet) point of view. I canít immediately dub myself as a Pentaxian just because I own a single Pentax body with a single lens.

I feel itís worth noting that this is the first photography related forum that Iíve joined and posted in. Iíve lurked for a while and thereís something about you passionate people that gravitated me here.

As I have posted in the new members section, I was attracted to the KP mainly because of the hipster appeal, to me at least. I say that with the risk of some eyeballs rolling. Also the pandemic made me so bored that I wanted a new ďworldĒ to learn and explore. Anyway, enough of the rambling and on to the meat of the review.


Body and Design

Itís worth saying again that I absolutely adore the retro-modern design. Iím still on a honeymoon, so I find myself mostly staring at the camera when I should be taking photos with it instead. Itís definitely a classic and I believe the aesthetics will age well. I think the black looks better, as the color of the silver seems too warm and creamy. (For me, Fujifilm does it best with the cool silver tone of their bodies.)

Iím proud to rock a camera thatís made in my motherland. Itís quite well built and feels robust, right up there with Canikonís mid to top tier crop DSLRs. The dials and buttons feel great. That function dial is now my benchmark for feel and robustness. At first I thought it was locked or stuck because it was so stiff to turn. I love the function dialís, um, function too: something that other brands do not have. Perhaps it is unique to the KP too, meaning no other Pentax has it? Iím not sure.

The battery charger has a production date of May 2020 and the body firmware is already at 1.11, giving me peace of mind that my unit isnít an old stock sitting in the warehouse for 3 years. Anyone know how to decode the date of manufacture from the bodyís serial number?

Iíve only spent a day with my KP, surely I need more time to develop my muscle memory for it, but I can say that I like the ergonomics and user interface. Thumbs up for the 3rd dial, TAv, the green button, AF mode button, generous customizable function buttons and the deep ďcustomizabilityĒ of the camera itself. This is a proper midrange crop DSLR and dare I say a proper top of the line APS-C DSLR even, in the absence of the K-new. Yes, even a Pentax noob knows about that K-new controversy. But letís not open that can of worms here.

My perspective on the 100% pentaprism (pun intended): Pentax does not have the economies of scale to have different kinds of OVFs, so my guess is they share the same OVF for all their crop bodies. On the other hand, Canikon intentionally cripples their entry level models with smaller pentamirrors. I think this is one of the ways Pentax (and its users) ďwin.Ē

I donít miss touchscreen functionality and the below average screen resolution, maybe because Iíve been shooting long before
over million dot touchscreens were a thing.

Nitpicks? Yes, I can (just barely) tuck my pinky in the grip. The grip was sacrificed to the altar of the aesthetics and compactness gods. I ordered my KP from Japan and unfortunately the JDM model did not come with the other grips. To anyone who has a medium grip that is collecting dust, I am gladly accepting donations. I can pay for the USPS to my siblingís house in Boston. Also, the shutter button couldíve been metal. But again, these are nitpicks. Itís tough to find something to complain about with this DSLR.


Performance and Practicality

At this point, I should say that Iím using only the DA 50mm f1.8 nifty fifty with the KP. I got the cheapest new lens I could find, just to get this baby running. Down the road I plan to invest in a HD 20-40mm Limited as it seems to be the one lens to own for the KP. Tell me if Iím wrong. Iím also tempted to get the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8. Should I?

Anyway, happy with the output so far. Iím getting good results stopped down from f2.8. AF is snappy, though noisier than Iím used to. I find the 27 AF points sufficient and not feeling the need for more. In fact, is there a way to turn off the two points on the left and right? I donít need them. I shoot mostly still or idle subjects, so I donít care much for AF-C and tracking.

Hereís something that I consider as a killer feature for Pentax: saving RAW as DNG. Hereís why: I use Lightroom Mobile fairly often to tweak photos before sharing to friends and family, or social media. With the free version of Lightroom Mobile I can edit DNG images taken with my Android phone camera but I could not edit RAW files from other cameras unless I pay for the subscription. However, the free Lightroom Mobile allowed me to edit DNGs from the KP! The app can even recognize and correct distortion and CA of the nifty fifty, though the KP can also do this internally.

Transferring files via Wi-Fi is slow but better than nothing. It could be useful if you wanted to share a photo on the go and while traveling. Using a timer, transferring one DNG photo to my Note 10 took exactly one minute.

Everyone knows that video is Pentaxís Achillesí heel. But this is true for most other DSLRs in this price range. In my opinion DSLRs in general isnít suitable for video and if youíre a hybrid shooter, you should really get a mirrorless instead. That said, for casual use i.e. if I just wanted to capture a short clip of my 6 year old enjoying a popsicle, then the KP would be more than sufficient. A smartphone can also do that job, but not quite the same way as the natural bokeh of a nifty fifty.

The batteryís CIPA rating isnít the best, thatís why I immediately bought a couple of DSTE replacement battery which has a higher 2100mAh rating than the OEM battery, though I havenít tested if they actually last longer. Got the DSTE batteries for cheap and as long as they donít explode, catch a fire or hurt the camera then Iím fine with them as backup. Please let me know otherwise. And speaking of accessories, I also got a JJC glass screen protector for the display and it works well.


TL;DR

No buyerís remorse here. This is a photography tool that I will really enjoy owning, using and holding on to.

I canít wait to hop on an Airbus again, rack some serious mileage on the shutter, and proudly rock that camera strap. While I generally donít care what other people think, each time someone takes a second glance at my KP, I will have a quiet dignity and say in my mind ďyeah, sheís something else, isnít she?Ē Quite literally.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 5

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 19, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Outstanding image quality
Cons: Ergonomics
Years Owned: Less than 1 month    Ergonomics: 3    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

I just bought the Pentax KP. This is my second Pentax DSLR camera, as I also own the K50.

I saw a deal on Amazon Canada for the KP at $772 Canadian dollars, which is about $550 American. I couldnt believe it was so inexpensive, so I bought it right away.

I got the camera and checked the shutter count to make sure I was indeed sent a new, not used, camera. I took a picture, uploaded that picture to Apotelyt and the shutter count showed number 2. That means the factory, when making the camera, tested the shutter once, and my first picture was the second one taken by the camera, ever. So, I was happy, for I obviously received a brand new camera.

So, I set it up and started taking photos. I have my KP paired with the Pentax 35mm f2.4 lens that is relatively new on the market. The combination takes such good photos, I still cant process it in my head. This KP camera is, without a doubt, better than any camera I have ever used, borrowed, owned or otherwise seen in operation. I cant stress enough how great the picture quality is on the KP. If you are a Pixel Peeper, I think the KP is the camera for you. Of course, the K1 probably surpases it, but I doubt by much. In terms of APSC sensor sized cameras, I doubt there is a camera on the market that resolves images better than the Pentax KP.

Now, what I dont like about the camera is that the knobs/dials on the top seem to cramed. I also dont like the new hand grips. I prefer the grip on my K50 as it feels more solid and balanced. I also am not happy that the screen doesnt flip outward to the left. And lastly, I really wish Pentax would extend their OVF so that my large, pointy nose would not hit the back of the camera while I use it. The K70 has a better setup with the screen and the OVF than does the KP. In total, the ergonomics are not my favourite. I think the K50 has better ergo, as does the K70 and even the KS2 somewhat.

Overall though, I am so happy I bought the KP because the sensor is absolutely outstanding and when I eventually get myself a Pentax Macro 1:1 lens, I know I will be taking some breath-taking photos, as I have always dreamed of doing.

Richo executives, if you read this review of mine, please offer some sort of add on that can be attached to the camera, which allows users with large, pointy noses (like I have), to use your KP camera without bumping their nose into the back of the screen, etc.

I highly recommend this camera. In November, I suspect it will go on sale in the U.S., if not sooner.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2019
Location: Oxford
Posts: 7

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 13, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact size, ergonomics, image quality
Cons: Battery life, no IR remote
Years Owned:     Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

The design philosophy behind the KP follows a Pentax tradition going back to the film era - how do we create a full featured precision-engineered SLR in the most compact possible form? As Canon and Nikon slugged it out in the late 70s with tank-like pro SLRs, Pentax and Olympus carved out their own space with very fine miniaturized enthusiast models. If you have ever experienced the jewel-like handling of a Pentax MX you will find the KP is familiar territory.
The design philosophy reaches its pinnacle when paired with the limited series of compact prime lenses. The 40mm f2.8 pancake is the standard lens on my KP and the image quality obtained from this ultra-compact combination is quite superb. It is perfect as an unobtrusive walk-around camera. Alongside the 15 mm f4, the 21 mm f3.2 and the 70 mm f2.4 you have a very capable set-up which you can pack in a lightweight shoulder bag (I use the Domke f5). For more flexibility drop the 70 mm and pack the DA 55-300 PLM which works very well with this body too.

The controls are well designed, ergonomic and respond to touch in a reassuringly positive manner. The interchangeable grip provides customization for a range of hand sizes. I thought I would miss the LCD display on the top plate, but I didn't at all. The rear LCD display has all the information I need at a glance. The third control wheel is a useful innovation, I find that I rarely need to enter the menu system.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 318

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 6, 2019 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: - ergonomics, size, image quality, functionality
Cons: - battery life
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

This camera is ideal with limiteds. With them, the size is comparable to modern mirrorless cameras (fuji x-t?0) but the ergonomics and functionality is much better. I do not have problems using it with some bigger lenses like DA* 16-50/2,8. But some of bigger lenses (Sigma '30/1,4 Art) are not very comfortable.


Concerning AF - compared to Fuji x-t?0, X-e? series, AF of KP is much more decisive, especially in low-light and during shooting against the light. Yes, features like face detection might be helpful sometimes ...

Concerning shorter battery life - yes, it is worse than Pentax K-? series. Now I need some spare batteries.


Concerning missing top LCD - there is an amazing feature that can replace the top LCD DISPLAY. You can easily turn off/on, resp. change the rear display any time by the third wheel, not only in standby mode but also during LV or in playback mode - "function dial" should be set up to "LCD Display Options". It is much more helpful than just the top LCD.


Ergonomics - it is amazing, but still worse than Pentax K-5 (K-3) series. Definitely better than Fuji X-T30, X-E3 - just check the dials. they are rubbered on KP.

As a whole, I am satisfied with this camera, I am enjoying it more and more. This should be a Ricoh's response to mirrorless cameras. I can imagine a KP body with EVF and K-mount. Resp. I can imagine two variants of KP, the one with OVF and the one with EVF. I would still prefer an optical viewfinder, but people would decide what is more attracting for them.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Mississippi, USA
Posts: 853

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 12, 2019 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, build quality, high iso, Image quality
Cons: Ergonomics
Years Owned: 1 month    Ergonomics: 5    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I jumped on the Xmas sale of this camera. I had initially decided against it until I read a post calling out the new sensor. Great praise. The origin review covered the new chip more so than the sensor. After reading the post and the sale price, I bought it.

NOT disappointed The image quality alone is worth the upgrade. My KS-2 had a marginal improvement over my K-50, mostly in higher ISO. The KP is a vast improvement over my KS-2. Even in cloudy weather I'm picking up details that the KS_2 misses or muddys.

I've gotten a custom to menu driven cameras and the menu layout works well.

The extra control dials on the top are way more useful than I imagined.

High ISO is great. I don't plan on using extreme but a clean 1600/3200 is great.

The push button on the PASM dial I could do without.

Tilt screen without the twisting is great.

Now the ergonomics, needs more of a grip. I'm using the Large and the shape of it is awkward. I end up holding the camera more by the lens than the grip. Not cool. I've gotten some what use to it but still considering making a custom grip.

I was one of the few that called the camera ugly. It still is, but with the Image Quality it produces I'm keeping 'My Ugly Child' for a long time
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 5

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 17, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compactness, WR, image quality, ISO, controls, style
Cons: No gps, dual card slot
Years Owned: 3 months    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I bought this camera three months ago and I love it. Really compact camera but at the same time solid and WR. At the beginning I didn't appreciate the ergonimic, although because I came from a K30, but using it you will start to know how to handle it. It looks like a mirrorless but it is a reflex and the image quality of files is impressive also at high iso.
AF is fast and accurate with my three lens, DA 20-40, 50-135 and 55-300 plm.
Silent shutter respect to the K30
The only draw back in my opinion is the lack of a built in GPS and the dual card slot.
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2016
Location: Central Iowa, USA
Posts: 53

11 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 27, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality & low-light capability
Cons:
Years Owned: 6 months    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

At the time I'm writing this I've owned my KP for six months. I bought my KP as a backup for my K-1 and as a travel camera for those occasions where photography isn't the primary purpose of a trip.

I liked the KP from the beginning, but have found that I like the KP even more every time I use it.

The best way I can describe my feelings for the KP is to use an automotive analogy:

I view my K-1 in the way I view modern Corvettes - big, powerful, and containing just about every possible feature anyone could want. Possibly even a bit intimidating.

In contrast, I find myself viewing my KP like a Miata - smaller and simpler than the 'Vette, but perhaps more nimble, less complex but still having every ability you need. And in a way, more personal.

Don't get me wrong - I feel that both cameras are great. It's just that sometimes when I shoot I'm doing serious work and want to pull out all the stops but other times I'm shooting for the joy of it. My experience is that the K-1 is the right choice for me in the first situation, the KP in the second.

I got my KP as part of a kit with the 20-40 lens. I normally shoot just prime lenses, but I recognize that when traveling a zoom is at least sometimes the way to go. Still, I value image quality more so than convenience so I gravitated to the 20-40.

The 20-40 is an unusual lens insofar as it manages to combine both excellent image quality and small size. The downside of having both high image quality and a small size in one lens is that the lens' zoom range isn't very wide (just 2x) and the lens also a variable (but bright) aperture of F2.8-4. Still, the 20-40 is an excellent travel lens for someone who values a combination of portability and image quality over just convenience or just image quality.

I've also acquired a 15mm lens to accompany the KP, and will be adding a 70mm to complete my KP travel lens kit.

The compact size of the KP and the lenses I carry with it allows me to fit everything into a small bag for those times when carrying a big camera bag isn't desirable. I've found that my KP, lenses and a spare battery or two fit comfortably into a small Domke F-5XB that I already had. This bag works great for short trips, but I also have a larger bag for the KP kit that provides more room for additional lenses and the miscellanea that we all tend to carry around with us while shooting.

The low light capability of the KP has proven to be a great benefit to me. I find myself comfortable with cranking the ISO up to 6400 (I've not needed to go higher than that so far) and not having to worry about noise in the finished image.

To me, one of the under appreciated attributes of Pentax cameras is their attention to the human interface. I find the KP's control layout to be very easy to use. I also feel that the KP's customizable function dial is great. On both my KP and the K-1 it's often set to allow me to easily change ISO while shooting by just turning the top setting dial. I have also set one of the other 'Smart' functions on the KP's dial to change the bracketing settings.

Personally, *I* have not found the KP's battery life to be an issue. You need to keep in mind that I used to shoot a lot of film, and so I used to having to change film *at least* every 36 shots on 35mm. I can change a KP's battery a lot faster than I could ever load a new roll of 35mm film in an unmotorized camera. And let's not even talk about the time it took me to load a new roll of 120 roll film in my 645 camera - which I had to do every 15 shots. Only 400 shots between battery changes? - not a problem for me!

The KP is an excellent camera in many ways, but for me it's the camera I most enjoy using. Sure, the KP isn't a full-frame 36MP monster like the K-1, and while the KP may not have all the features of it's pro-level stablemates, it does have everything you need to get your shot. And get your shot with a smile on your face.

The KP offers excellent image quality in a solid, well thought out, compact package.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Spanaway, WA. USA
Posts: 1,022

7 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 19, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: weight, solid quality build, high iso, WR, size, controls
Cons: smaller battery, button placement for "back button focus"
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I purchased the KP about a year ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the reasons for switching from the K-S2 was the increased ISO ability since I was doing more interior low light photos without flash and still needed higher shutter speed to stop motion. The KP performed very well in this regard, but I found I also appreciated the build quality, solid feel of it and weight is just right for me. I really make use of the high ISO ability for interior photography where I need high shutter speed but no flash. The picture quality is outstanding in both JPEG and raw format. I shoot about 95% raw but itís nice knowing if needed the camera can produce wonderful pictures right out of the camera. There are several shooting modes which are all covered in several reviews of the KP. I sometimes get caught in wet weather and my three WR lens come to the rescue and I can just keep on shooting.

I like the external buttons & controls to quickly access the most used menu items. The electronic shutter I only used a few times to see how it works, but one time I was wanting to take a photo wide open F-stop in bright sunlight. I didnít have an ND filter and the mechanical shutter couldnít work fast enough. The electronic shutter came to the rescue.

I like that the KP comes with interchangeable grips. For me, I use the largest grip, but my wife likes the smaller grip. Easy to make us both happy.

I do have two negatives about the camera. First is the battery size, which seems to get mentioned a lot. Not really a problem, I always have two batteries with me. It does use the same batteries as the K-S2 used, so I have plenty.
The second complaint is more personal. I have been a user of ďback button focusĒ in my cameras. One of the first things I did was move the shutter control to the ďAF/AE-FĒ button, same as my other two Pentax cameras. But I just canít get use to the placement of the ďAF/AE-FĒ button while looking through the VF. My finger keeps pushing the ďreviewĒ button instead of the ďAF/AE-FĒ button and I have missed a few shots because of this. At the present time, I am back to using the shutter button only.

I really enjoy this camera and I think I will be keeping it as long as my wife as kept her K-1000. I can still pack a backpack if needed, but I have a nice collection of lens that fits nicely in a smaller shoulder bag that also fits nicely on my motorcycle. My KP is almost always with me, even though in good light my cell phone will take really good pictures too.

To better understand how I came to be a Pentax user I should give a little history of my photography experience. I am just a casual user who loves taking pictures. While I mostly enjoy taking landscape & city-cape pictures, the last few years have been more church-related.

My first DSLR was a Canon 350 Rebel which was a pretty good camera. Staying with Canon I next purchased a Canon 5D full frame which I really liked too. But as time went on I was getting tired of the size & weight and cost of the camera & lens. Canon thinks very highly of their ďLĒ lens for good reason. My camera backpack was getting heavier as I was getting older. I had a couple of Canon ďLĒ and Sigma lens and was about to buy another ďLĒ when I decided to look for something smaller & lighter. My wife was still using her Pentax K1000 film camera but this did not influence my decision what I purchased. I researched many different brands and I decided on Pentax.
After selling all my Canon gear my first purchase was a Pentax K-5 II & 18-135mm kit. After tearing out the meniscus of my knee I was having trouble taking low-level photos. Then Pentax came out with the K-S2 and the flip out LCD screen. I purchased the K-S2 which solved the knee problem. But I was still having problems taking low light photos where I needed a fast shutter speed without using flash. Pentax solved this problem for me with the KP, fold-out LCD screen, and high max ISO ability. I really believe this will be all the camera I will ever need.
   
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 38

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 20, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, Knobs & Features, Tilt-Screen, E-Shutter, Build Quality
Cons: Green Button placement, Thick Screen Bezel, Weak Battery
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I thought I had everything I really needed with my K-50, and was amping myself for full frame. Then I saw the Pentax KP, and loved the retro look, and the high ISO capabilities, but didn't really care about upgrading APS-C. Until I needed that extra ISO step to boost low light image quality, the KP came on my next to buy. What I really didn't understand was how much of a beast this camera is. I've been using it for about a year now (bought in May '17), and decided it's time to spew some thoughts on the controversial KP!

The main thing I love about the KP isn't the max ISO increase, but the physicality of it. The build quality for this camera is really well done, and it's a joy to shoot with. It fits comfortably in my hand, and gives access to many physical buttons and knobs with varying textures. The weight is just okay, it's not the lightest or heaviest. A heavy and long lens does feel unbalanced on the KP. I primarily shoot APS-C normal primes (30mm-43mm), so I find that weight and size to be right distribution for this camera.

I will now talk about the knobs because I really think this is what draws me to this camera all the time. The 2 control knobs on the top right are customizable to most useful settings, and have a nice stiff turning mechanism to prevent accidental setting changes. The far left knob is a camera setting (M,AV, Tv, etc) dial that has an even more secure locking mechanism to prevent any setting changes when storing or moving around the camera. There's a physical switch on the big top button that alternates between OVF, LV, and Video. I love this feature exists, and keeps me in the screen I want to shoot with even if the camera turns off. The front vertical knob is in a very natural position, and feels great to turn. The back of the KP is pretty much standard DSLR control. I love the angled textured thumb grip, but it does make the Pentax Green Button awkward to hit when shooting with one hand.

The camera also comes with 3 interchangeable grips. I don't use the large one, but I frequently swap out the small and medium size depending on my lens choice. I'd say the FA LTD 31mm & DA LTD 20-40 needs the medium, while any of the DA LTDs use the small. The camera is enclosed by metal, and has a nice texture surrounding where hands usually go. Also, the shutter sound is really really pleasing - soft and deep. My K-50 shutter was a CLICK. The KP is more CACHUNK (or I may be crazy).

Now, image quality is really what I paid for when buying the KP. For digital photography, I find most current DSLRs will give you exactly what you desire with the right lighting, the right exposure, composition, technical sense, etc. But what the KP delivers is the ability to break a noise limit with its low light capabilities. I tend to push this guy up to ISO 6400 handheld when needed, and even 12800 a couple times. Though at ISO 12800, I'd say it's not really the prettiest color quality. Other than that, on normal usage the IQ of the KP is really stellar. Dynamic range is wonderful, and sensor resolution is amazing. It brings out the best in the limited lenses (FA and DA) and the classic manuals.

Something I barely use in DSLRs but should start... the KP's in-camera software features. First of all, I shoot in RAW+ so I can see how the camera interpreted the scene. But I turn off all extra processing features to save battery (if it does at all), because the KP has a really small battery for all the work it does. Of course, there are features that allow you to edit JPEG sharpening, color tones, skin tonality, distortion, etc, but most of these are standard to flagship Pentax DSLRs. There are various of shooting modes that multiple reviews cover. I don't really use them that often, but have on occasion. The buffer is right for me since I like snapshots, but can be slow for some if shooting moving objects often. I love the inclusion of the electronic shutter. It makes the KP a silent shooter when manually focusing in live view (turn on Focus Peaking!). I do wish it had a top down LCD like the K-1, but that would add size and weight. AF is surprisingly fast and accurate with old KAF lenses, and especially fast with the DC motor, I haven't tried SDM.

Overall, I really love using this camera from day to day. I'm not a professional by any means. I am a hobbyist snapshooter, but the KP in hand feels like an exquisite photography tool and my daily experiences with it feel very natural.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2018
Location: Hťrouville Saint Clair, Normandy, France
Posts: 143

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 16, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $1,122.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compacity, screen articulation, image quality
Cons:
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

Very small, fast, easy to use. Nice image stabilization, better than my K-3.
Beautiful design with LTD lenses.
I love it !
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 4,579

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 27, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $999.99 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 5-axis stabilization, battery grip support, K-3 AF + K-70 IQ
Cons: Flyover menus in playback and status screens; playback button placement
Years Owned: .3    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 8    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

The most exciting feature, for me, of the K-1, was Pentax's development of 5-axis stabilization. I've been using 5-axis stabilized Olympus cameras for the last five years for the bulk of my hand-held work at wide to normal focal lengths and have marveled at how well it works. With the 3-axis stabilization of my K-5 series of cameras, I've struggled to get tripod sharp images at speeds lower than 1/60 of a second. With Pentax's new 5 axis stabilization, I can get tripod sharp images fairly reliably at 1/15 of a second, and occasionally at speeds at low as 1/6 of a second. That feature alone makes the KP worth the extra price over the K-70óat least for me. But thereís also the improved AF and the ability to add a battery grip, features which I very much appreciate.

Iím a bit surprised about complaints concerning KP build quality. Admittedly, Iíve never handled any of the K-3 or K-1 cameras. My only point of reference is the K200D and the K-5 series of cameras. I would say the KP is about on par, in terms of build quality, with the K-5. Handling is about on par as well. The KP features a wonderfully customizable control panel and a partly customizable E-Dial and button layout. My principle gripe is the flyover menus in the standby and playback screens. They add nothing to my experience with the camera beyond extra button presses.

With the inclusion of the E-dial and the exclusion of an integrated grip, thereís no longer any room for a top LCD. Pentax solves this problem by having the status screen on by default. However, because of the smaller battery (another tradeoff necessitated by lack of integrated grip), Iíve chosen to keep that status screen off. For the most part, this has not been a problem, since most of the info I need is displayed in the viewfinderóexcept for one thing: battery usage. With the status screen off, thereís no quick an easy way to monitor battery status, and as a result Iíve had the camera run out of juice on me three times in two monthsósomething that never happened in seven years with my K-5 cameras.

Minor handling issues aside, where the KP really shines is image quality. Compared with the sterling K-5, the KP is about on par in terms of DR and a half to two-thirds stops better in high ISO performance. The extra pixels do provide additional resolution in the center of the image, although not so much toward the edges.

The KP constitutes one of Pentaxís more controversial cameras, and as such has engendered animus as well as some rather silly myths. One such myth is that, since the KP was designed largely for use with the DA limiteds, that it doesnít work well with larger lenses. Thatís complete nonsense. With the largest grip, the KP is about the same size and almost the same weight as the K-5. Has anyone ever complained that the K-5 does not work well with large lenses? Moreover, you can buy a battery grip for the KP, something you canít do with any other Pentax non-flagship camera except the antediluvian (in digital camera terms) K200D. Despite a few minor flaws, the KP is a terrific camera, especially for landscape, travel, and deliberative portrait photography. Itís a beautifully designed and constructed camera and easily the best choice for low-light hand-held work among Pentaxís APS-C offerings.
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