Pentax KP Review

Specifications

The Pentax KP is an advanced DSLR positioned between the APS-C flagship K-3 II and the entry-level K-70 and it is the first true mid-tier Pentax DSLR since the beloved K200D which was discontinued back in 2009. Just like the K200D, the KP has support for a dedicated battery grip.

The table below presents the key specifications compared to the K-3 II and the K-70. Refer our user review database for additional specifications and visit our camera comparison tool for other comparisons.

The KP being the newest of the bunch has most if not all of the high-end features available from Pentax and betters the K-3II flagship in many places. 

Pentax K-3 II

Pentax KP

Pentax K-70

Year Launched Q2  2015 Q1 2017 Q2 2016
Launch Price (USA) $1099 (body only) $1099 (body only) $649 (body only)
Street Price (USA, June 2017) $835 (body only) $999 (body only) $599 (body only)
Sensor
Resolution 24.35 MP
(4000 x 6016 px)
No AA filter
24.32 MP
(4000 x 6016 px)
No AA filter
24.2 megapixels
(4000 x 6000 px)
No AA filter
Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.5 mm (APS-C)
Super Resolution Yes, Pixel Shift Yes, Pixel shift with motion correction
ISO Range 100-51,200 100-819,200 100-102,400
Moiré suppression Sensor vibration AA filter simulator
Stabilization Sensor-shift (SR) 5-axis sensor-shift (SR II) Sensor-shift (SR)
Dust Removal Ultrasonic (DR II) Sensor shake (DR)
CPU PRIME III PRIME IV (plus accelerator unit) PRIME M II (plus accelerator unit)
Image Capture
Shooting Modes Hyper Program, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, M, B,
Auto
Hyper Program, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, M, B,
Auto-Pict
Hyper Program, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, M, B,
Auto-Pict, Scene modes
Shutter Speeds 30s - 1/8000s
(up to 300s in Astrotracer mode)
30s - 1/6000s
(up to 300s in Astrotracer mode)
(up to 20min. in Bulb mode)
30s - 1/6000s
(up to 300s in Astrotracer mode)
(up to 20min. in Bulb mode)
File formats DNG RAW (14 bit), PEF RAW (14 bit), JPEG (8 bit)
Electronic Level Yes
Exposure Compensation +/- 5EV
Continuous Shooting Hi: 8.3 fps
Med: 4.5 fps
Lo: 3 fps
Hi: 7 fps
Med: 3 fps
Lo: 0.8 fps
Hi: 6 fps
Lo: 3 fps
AF System (viewfinder) SAFOX 11, 27 focus points (25 cross type) SAFOX X, 11 focus points (9 cross type)
AF Modes AF.A, AF.S, AF.C
AF Operating Range -3 to 18 EV
Metering System 86K pixel RGB sensor
-3 to 20 EV
77-segment metering
0 to 22 EV
Lens Compatibility

- All genuine Pentax K-mount lenses since 1975 *)
- Most third-party K-mount lenses
- With adapter: M42 lenses, most Pentax 645 and all Pentax 6x7 lenses
*) K-mount lenses with an aperture ring but no "A" setting require stop-down metering

Flash
Built-In Flash No GN 6 (ISO 100) GN 12 (ISO 100)
Flash Sync. Speed 1/180s
Hot Shoe Yes
Movie Mode
Resolution/Framerates 1920x1080 @ 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
1280x720 @ 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
1920x1080 @ 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
1280x720 @ 60p/50p
1920x1080 @ 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
1280x720 @ 60p/50p
File format H.264 MOV
Exposure Modes P, Av, TAv, Tv, M

Focus Peaking

Not available during recording
AF During Recording On-demand via AF button On-demand via AF button,
Continuous AF (AF.C) with select lenses
Stabilization Electronic
HDMI output Yes
Built-in Microphone Mono Stereo
External Microphone Stereo
Interface
Control Wheels 2 3 2
Optical Viewfinder Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.95x magnification
LCD Screen 3.2", 1,037,000 dots
3:2 aspect ratio
3.0", 921,000 dots
3:2 aspect ratio
Tilts up/down
Night mode
3.0", 921,000 dots
3:2 aspect ratio
Vari-angle
Night mode
Focus Peaking Yes
IR Remote Ports 2 (front/back) None 1 (front)
Customization AF Button
Green Button
E-dials
RAW Button
3 user exposure modes
AF Button
Green Button
E-dials
RAW (Fx1) button
Elec. level (Fx2) button
EV (Fx3 button)
3 user exposure modes
3 function dial settings
Control Panel
3 grip options
AF Button
Green Button
E-dial
RAW Button
Wi-Fi Button
3 user exposure modes
General
Lens Mount Pentax KAF2 Mount (with KAF3/KAF4 support)
Media Slot 2x SD, SDHC, or SDXC 1x SD, SDHC, or SDXC
Connectivity HDMI output,
USB3,
IR,
Microphone,
Headphones,
Cable switch,
X-sync socket,
DC input,
Eye-Fi and Flucard wireless support
HDMI output/USB2,
Microphone/cable release,
DC input,
Wi Fi tethering
HDMI output,
USB2,
IR,
Wi-Fi tethering
USB Tethering N/A (Community software only) Yes (Image Transmitter 2 v2.3.0+) N/A
GPS/Astrotracer Built-in Optional accessory O-GPS1
Body Material
Magnesium alloy Plastic
Weather Sealed Yes
Dimensions (WxHxD) 131.5 x 102.5 x 77.5 mm
(5.2 x 4 x 3.1 in.)
131.5 x 101 x 76 mm(5.2 x 4 x 3 in.) 125.5 x 93 x 74 mm
(4.9 x 3.7 x 2.9 in.)
Battery Life ~720 shots ~420 shots ~480 shots
Battery Model D-LI90 (included) D-LI109 (included) D-LI109 (included)
Optional Battery Grip Yes, BG-5
Takes D-LI90 or 6x AA
Yes, BG-7
Takes D-LI90 or D-LI109
No
Weight (Loaded) 785 g (27.7 oz) 703 g (24.8 oz) 688 g (24.3 oz)

Physical characteristics such as a rugged body, weather-sealing, a 100%-coverage viewfinder, optional battery grip, and dual control wheels (actually three counting the so-called setting dial) make the KP unique in its price bracket, compared to other brands.

It should be noted that the KP uses the smaller D-LI109 battery known from the entry level models, but that the optional battery grip can accommodate the larger D-LI90 battery used in the Pentax top-of-the-line models such as the K-1, K-3, 645Z etc. The grip can also accommodate the D-LI109 in case you want to stick with one size in batteries.

A dedicated cable release (CS-310) that connects to the microphone port can be used with the KP which lacks an infrared port and thus cannot be controlled with the handy Remote F controller (but it can be controlled wirelessly with a smart phone).


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