Pentax has slamdunked two shiny new upgrades to its top of the range DSLR, the 16 megapixel K-5, with the new models regaling under the names Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs.
It doesn’t look to be an earth shattering upgrade, with both cameras packing the same APS-C format CMOS 16.3MP resolution sensor, Prime II processing engine, 77-segment metering, sensor-shuffling Shake Reduction system and 7 FPS maximum continuous shooting rate as their predecessor.
Look inside and the real news is that the K-5 II is rocking a newly developed AF sensor with a broader AF working EV range (-3 EV to +18 EV), promising better AF performance in low light, and improved subject tracking with moving subjects.
Both versions of the K-5 II come with a 3-inch 921k dot LCD screen with approximately 921,000 dots, protected by scratch-proof glass.
Just like Nikon’sD800 and D800E offerings, the only difference between the Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs is that the K-5 IIs comes without an anti-aliasing filter over the sensor – this reduces moiré patterning. If you’ve no idea what that means, this site explains it all rather well.
ISO sensitivity rolls from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with a a custom function allowing those numbers to be stretched from ISO 80 up to the lofty heights of ISO 51200.
Designed for the tough and tumble of outdoor photography, the Pentax K-5, the Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs are protected in toughened bodies with seals to keep out moisture and dust.
The Pentax K-5 II is available from early October for £799.99/$1,199.95, while the body-only Pentax K-5 IIs retails for £949.99/$1,299.95.
The K-5 II is also available in a kit form, with the camera plus 18-55mm WR lens priced at £869.99/$1349.95, and in a bundle with the 18-135mm WR zoom for £1,119.99/$1,549.95.
Pentax Press Release
PENTAX K-5 II
The PENTAX K-5 II is the latest model in the PENTAX digital SLR K series, featuring a newly developed, state-of-the-art AF sensor that boasts the widest range of exposure values in its class*
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING UK LTD is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-5 II digital SLR camera, its flagship model for the acclaimed PENTAX K series.
This new model is designed to be the successor to the PENTAX K-5 (launched in October 2010), which has been very well received for its compact, solid, functional body and high-quality image reproduction.
The K-5 II boasts a range of advanced functions and user-friendly features. These include a newly developed AF sensor assuring a broader AF working EV range, which lends itself well to a variety of shooting conditions and photographic requirements.
Launched in conjunction with the PENTAX K-5 II is the PENTAX K-5 II s, which is available without an anti-aliasing filter. The K-5 II s is perfect for photographers who value image resolution above all other factors and fully understand the function and characteristics of an anti-aliasing filter.
1. A new SAFOX X AF module for the top AF performance in its class
The K-5 II features a newly developed, highly sensitive SAFOX X AF module. Thanks to the unit’s high-sensitivity AF sensor, which performs brilliantly in low-light conditions, this new module offers a broad AF working EV range (-3 EV to +18 EV).
SAFOX X can work with luminous flux based on F2.8 levels as well as at F5.6. This vastly increases the AF accuracy when used with very fast lenses.
Coupled with an upgraded AF algorithm, the camera delivers exceptional AF performance, including such useful features as a select-area expansion function, which automatically tracks the subject even when it moves away from a pre-assigned select point. This function is enabled as the distance data is assessed when collected by neighbouring focus sensors.
2. High-quality LCD monitor with outstanding visibility outdoors
The K-5 II comes equipped with a 3.0-inch, wide-view, airtight LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. Sandwiched between the front glass panel (which is coated with an anti-glare film) and the LCD screen is a unique resin layer that cuts down the reflection and dispersion of light to effectively prevent ghost images and greatly reduce loss of brightness. The front panel is made of tempered glass to keep it scratch free.
3. High-resolution, true-to-life images with minimal noise
With its large sensor measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, the K-5 II’s latest-generation CMOS image sensor assures high-speed image data readout. By coupling this high-performance image sensor with the acclaimed PRIME II (PENTAX Real Image Engine), the K-5 II delivers super-high resolution, rich-gradation digital images free of digital noise over a wide sensitivity range — from ISO 100 to ISO 12800 in its standard setting, or from ISO 80 to ISO 51200 when expanded via a custom function.
4. Bright, clear optical viewfinder
The K-5 II features a glass pentaprism finder with an almost 100% field of view and approximately 0.92-times magnification (with a 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity) which provides a sharp, clear view of the entire image field and improves the accuracy and speed of both focusing and image composition. It also comes with the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screen to facilitate manual-focus operation.
5. Compact, solid body perfect for outdoor shooting
The K-5 II’s exterior casing is made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy, while its chassis is made of highly rigid stainless steel. Thanks to the inclusion of 77 special seals in the body, it boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, assuring reliable operation even under demanding outdoor conditions and at temperatures as low as -10°C.
The camera also features a dependable shutter unit that provides a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and outstanding durability to withstand as many as 100,000 shutter releases.
6. High-speed continuous shooting
The K-5 II’s high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 30 images (in the JPEG format) in a single sequence at a maximum speed of approximately seven images per second. This allows the photographer to capture sharp, crisp images of active, fast-moving subjects, such as athletes, dancers and wildlife, with great ease.
7. PENTAX-original SR mechanism with user-friendly options
The K-5 II features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates for the adverse effect of camera shake with approximately three shutter steps, to produce sharp, blur-free images. This image sensor shift-type SR mechanism works with almost all PENTAX interchangeable lenses — even those designed for film-format cameras.**
Thanks to its flexible design, which tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, the K-5 II offers several useful features to assist the photographer during shooting, such as auto-level compensation and image composition fine-adjustment functions. In combination with the optional GPS Unit O-GPS1, it also offers an ASTROTRACER function to simplify astronomical photography.
8. Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic results
The K-5 II features a custom image function, which allows the user to easily select the desired finishing touch for an image. This function offers a choice of nine distinctive custom image modes, such as: Bleach Bypass, which creates a solemn visual effect similar to one used in motion pictures; and Cross Process, which produces eye-catching images with unique, dramatic colours. The K-5 II also offers 18 digital filters to add distinctive visual effects to images, without the need for a computer. The user can even apply several different filters to a single image to create more inventive visual effects.
9. K-5 II s achieves supreme resolution
The K-5 II s is available without an anti-aliasing filter. This filter, commonly found in DSLRs, helps smooth computer generated imagery by decreasing high frequencies and distortion, but it also reduces detail resolution. Without this filter included, the user can create rich, detailed imagery at supreme resolution levels and capture stunning landscapes and scenes with maximum depth of field and clarity. The K-5 II s is the perfect choice for studio and commercial photography where camera settings, lens selection and shooting conditions are controlled.
10. Other features
77-segment multi-pattern metering system, for extra-accurate light measurement
Customisable slow shutter speed NR (Noise Reduction) setting, with a choice of auto, on and off modes
Customisable High-ISO sensitivity NR (Noise Reduction) setting, with a camera-dependent auto mode and a user-adjustable reduction strength preset for each ISO setting
Electronic level function, with a vertical level scale
Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA, DFA and FA Limited-series lenses)
CTE mode, to automatically adjust the white-balance to emphasise the dominant colours of a specific scene
DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism, to effectively shake dust off the CMOS image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
PENTAX-original hyper control system, which swiftly and accurately responds to the photographer
Dynamic range expansion function, to compensate for both whitewashed (overexposed) areas and black-out (underexposed) shadowy areas
RAW data retrieve function, which allows the user to save an original RAW data of a newly taken JPEG-format image
RAW/Fx button, for single-action switching of the image file format, as well as for assignment and instant recall of a specific function
A choice of three grid patterns while in live-view mode, including “Golden Section”
Long battery life, for recording approximately 980 images with a full recharge
PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, including RAW-data processing (based on the popular SILKYPIX RAW-data processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) and a browser application
* Within the digital cameras that have an APS-C size sensor as of August 31st 2012 (based on PENTAX’s research).
** Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX K, KA, KAF, KAF2 and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with adapter); and 645 and 67-system lenses (with adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.