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Pentax KP

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
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15 69,817 Mon April 13, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,033.57 9.40
Pentax KP

Pentax KP
Pentax KP
Pentax KP
Pentax KP
Pentax KP
Pentax KP


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
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor Format
Sensor Type
4000 x 6016 pixels
AA Filter
No (AA filter simulator)
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
100 - 819,200
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
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
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
EV bracketing: 2, 3 or 5 frames, one-push EV bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
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
Interval shooting
Up to 2000 frames, 2 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 2000 shots
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
None. Auto (green) sets exposure based on scene analysis
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 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
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX 11, 27 focus points (25 cross type))
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-3 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
100%, 0.95x
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnification)
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
3 inch, 921,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio, tilts up/down, red light night mode
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
D-BG7 (takes one D-Li109 or one D-LI90 battery)
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Size (W x H x D)
131.5 x 101 x 76 mm
643 g (body only), 703 g (with battery)
File format
Battery life
420 photos (CIPA)
D-LI109 lithium-ion rechargeable
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 6 (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 (full - 1/128), Wireless*, Contrast control*
* Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p,
1280x720 (16:9 HD) at 60p, 50p
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
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic), Stereo (built-in mic). Adjustable sound level
Via Accessory
Via built-in Wi-Fi
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
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, Moiré suppression via SR mechanism, Moiré 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!

Add Review of Pentax KP Buy the Pentax KP
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New Member

Registered: April, 2019
Location: Oxford
Posts: 4

2 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.
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 246

2 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: 817

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.
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2016
Location: Central Iowa, USA
Posts: 42

10 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
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: 960

5 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 it’s 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 didn’t have an ND filter and the mechanical shutter couldn’t 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 “back button focus” in my cameras. One of the first things I did was move the shutter control to the “AF/AE-F” button, same as my other two Pentax cameras. But I just can’t get use to the placement of the “AF/AE-F” button while looking through the VF. My finger keeps pushing the “review” button instead of the “AF/AE-F” 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 “L” lens for good reason. My camera backpack was getting heavier as I was getting older. I had a couple of Canon “L” and Sigma lens and was about to buy another “L” 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.
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 38

4 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: Hérouville Saint Clair, Normandy, France
Posts: 142

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
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 !

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Posts: 4,097

4 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-70—at least for me. But there’s also the improved AF and the ability to add a battery grip, features which I very much appreciate.

I’m a bit surprised about complaints concerning KP build quality. Admittedly, I’ve 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, there’s 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), I’ve 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 viewfinder—except for one thing: battery usage. With the status screen off, there’s no quick an easy way to monitor battery status, and as a result I’ve had the camera run out of juice on me three times in two months—something 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 Pentax’s 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 doesn’t work well with larger lenses. That’s 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 can’t 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. It’s a beautifully designed and constructed camera and easily the best choice for low-light hand-held work among Pentax’s APS-C offerings.
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Registered: May, 2011
Location: Arlington, VA USA
Posts: 915

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 20, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $999.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, Image Quality, Responsiveness
Cons: No IR Port

I've been using the KP for about two months and have to say I'm very happy. I feel it is the right balance of compactness and rich features. I got it as a back for my K-1, but find myself using it more and more. especially for my street photos and travel camera. I recently took it to a local music venue in DC, the lighting was difficult at best. But, I got some great images at 3200 and 6400 and very usable. Super quiet shutter and fast accurate focus. I don't find the lack of a top display an issue. Love using the DA 20-40 Limited on the KP. Only downside for me is no IR.

Registered: September, 2008
Location: TN
Posts: 442

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 12, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: noise handling, light weight, I like everything
Cons: it doesn't have any for me
Years Owned: almost one    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I had been waffling about whether to upgrade from my K-5 to a K-1, even after renting the latter. Somehow I had missed that anything was even in the pipeline until I got some newsletter or other by email. Just reading about this camera made me want it--and I am almost never an early adopter of anything. I pre-ordered, which is the only time I can recall pre-ordering anything.

I also got a DA 20-40 to go with it, and they make a perfect hiking combo. Lightweight, weather resistant, and lovely IQ. (I had resisted DA lenses for years, intending to go full frame, but my shooting changed over time, as did my ability to carry heavy bags.)

I've been delighted with this camera since I got my hands on it. I prefer the medium grip, and keep it on all the time. I mention this only because I have really small hands (ring size 4 on my left ring finger), so I thought I would prefer the small grip, but I did not.

I thought I might miss the top LCD; I never think about it. The back can be set to large print and is much easier to read without my glasses than the top LCD. I have yet to need 1/8000s shutter speed, though I suppose that could be an issue for some types of shooting, so 1/6000 has been fine for me.

This camera feels like they just made a camera specifically for my needs. It's perfect. Now I just need to find the perfect camera bag...
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Italy
Posts: 64

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 3, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: dials, IQ, customization, 3 grips, M&E-shutter
New or Used: New   

Every camera of the current generation of ILC is an amazing tool to take photographs, the real issue is to find a tool that suits your personal needs in terms of ergonomics et cetera: I have found it in the KP. Having experienced the ergonomics of ML systems I appreciate the compactness of the KP: it's a DSLR but it is easy to handle just like the Fujifilm X-T1, I use my KP mainly with the 100mm WR, the 20-40 Limited and the 15mm Limited and this kit fits perfectly in my Crumpler Light Delight Hipster 600. Always regarding ergonomics the biggest lens I have used my KP until now is the HD 55-300mm WR: no issue at all, even on the occasions when I had the small grip on the camera.
Dials and custom buttons are marvelous and the versatility of the top dial is a great working tool. This is my first camera without a top LCD and I feared I would miss all that useful info with the KP, but I have found out that setting the rear screen to "always on except when you shoot" it's even better than that: more info and - being bigger - easier to read. The possibility to choose between MS and ES - so reaching the amazing 1/24000 of a second - gives a lot of creative freedom. Live View works beautifully and the lever to activate it is just a brilliant idea and MF is a pleasure with the KP. Of course the KP gets all the latest generation Pentax goods in terms of SR, Pixel Shift and Prime processor and from what I remember of my K3 the improvement is sensible. The new Prime processor then works wonders with the new 24mp sensor, the KP simply annihilates every other APS-C competitor and even challenges the results of FF cameras in terms of detail and high ISO performance - if you don't believe me then just visit the DPReview image test comparison tool, select the KP and compare it with any other camera you want and you will have to believe your eyes.
In terms of build quality some details of the KP are not up to the Pentax standard, in terms of real world build quality the truth is that Pentax has spoiled its users, the KP is not the K3 - a camera that in terms of build quality stands the test with 4000 euros offers from Canon & Nikon - but my only real issue with the KP is the SD card door, it feels quite fragile, I treat my equipment with care, so it shouldn't be a problem, apart from this detail the KP is the usual sturdy Pentax camera.
Having used ML systems I don' t get the small battery argument: spare batteries are cheap and as long as the access to the battery door doesn't collide with the use of a tripod I have no issue with it. I use a lot of rear screen and a lot of Live View and I never get less than 350 shots (I can recommend the Patona spare batteries, just one suggestion: don't trust the low battery level indicator, it lies.
One word about Motion Correction Pixel Shift: does it work? a few days ago I tested it unintentionally: after taking a few Pixel Shift shots with the camera on my tripod and self-timer shooting, I took the camera off the tripod, disabled the self-timer and started shooting only to relaize I had forgot to disable Pixel Shift, so I said to myself: why not trying to shoot Pixel Shift handheld activating the Motion Correction? I understand this is not the way this feature was intended, but I decided to give it a try: it worked! I got a beautiful and sharp file, so I guess Motion Correction works both ways, I will always prefer using the tripod but in some cases when I am out without it...
I am not reviewing the video features because I don't use them
One last word about the AF: exceptional in low light situations, not so rich in terms of AF points and advanced features of course, but it will be good enough if you are good enough (being someone who started in 1982 shooting soccer, tennis and basketball with manual focus I don't understand all the fuss about AF).
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2012
Posts: 79

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 6, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ergonomics, ISO, styling, features, customisation
Cons: Battery life
Years Owned: <1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

This is the camera for which I have waited. I cannot identify any relevant faults. I would have opted for the 190 battery, pushing the grip out to the S limit with the M grip included as standard, but I have big hands. I appreciate that there are many users preferring the S grip or no grip that decision would have affected. This is arguably the best Pentax for decades. It unarguably outperforms the competition in all aspects except focusing speed/accuracy for sports etc. where similarly priced Canikon products are faster and Sony A series are several cuts above for several thousand dollars more.
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 7
Review Date: July 1, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $1,450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, AF, Build quality
Cons: Expensive
Years Owned: 0.5    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Very good camera, the camera that I have liked most of compared to K100D, K-7, K-30 which are the Pentax cameras I've owned previously.

+Image quality
+AF, especially with 55-300 PLM
+Build quality
+Dust removal which works flawlessly, especially compared to K-30

-Batteries needs to be charged quite often
-The grip (I'm using the large one) could be better
-Lack of built in GPS
New Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 7

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 21, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax KP: Yes | Price: $1,299.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Clean images and image quality
Cons: Plastic parts
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 7    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 7    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

A great camera, with a new design. The build quality could have been better for the price. The K3II has a better build quality. The plastic for the flash sounds plastic when you tap it. A little bit thicker plastic would helped. You feel like you have to hold on to your camera and not drop it.

I did buy the camera for the results and there it shines. Great picture quality, on a Sunny day the RAW pictures are a little under exposed, but that is easely fixed in Lightroom. The noise is well controlled and has a fine structure.

If you like your image quality and take the build quality with a grean of salt than this camera is for you.
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