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1 . Use the RAW/Fx button to switch between JPEG and RAW shooting at a touch, or program it to a function of your choice. 2. The K-5 can use SD and SDHC memory cards, and—via a firmware upgrade—new high-capacity SDXC cards. 3. The eye-level pentaprism viewfinder shows approximately 100% of the actual image area, at 0.92x magnification (with a 50mm lens).

Pentax K-5

ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $1,399 (body only)

The top model in Pentax's DSLR lineup, the K-5 has a lot going for it. Its 16.3-megapixel CMOS sensor delivered the highest RAW image-quality score of any APS-C-format DSLR in DxOMark.com's RAW sensor ratings. Its compact, rugged body features a stainless-steel chassis covered with durable magnesium alloy, and is weather-, dust- and cold-proof. It can shoot up to eight RAW or 30 JPEG images at 7 fps, and the improved SAFOX IX+ AF system can keep up. The K-5 can record RAW files in Pentax's proprietary PEF format or Adobe's DNG format, and provides ISO settings from 100-12,800 (expandable to 80-51,200). A 3.0-inch, 921,000-dot LCD monitor makes it easy to use Live View and to use menus.

The K-5 also can do 1920x1080 full HD video at 25 fps, plus 1280x720 HD and 640x480 SD at 30 and 25 fps. A built-in microphone records mono sound, or you can connect an optional external stereo mic for stereo sound. Custom Image Modes and Digital filters can be used with video, as well as still images.

Other features of note include multiple-exposure and intervalometer capability, automatic correction of distortion and chromatic aberration (when DA-series or DA Limited lenses are used); sensor-shift Shake Reduction that works with all lenses, a sensor-dust reduction system and in-camera HDR (with pixel alignment, which allows you to do the HDR shots handheld).

Like all Pentax DSLRs, the K-5 can use just about any Pentax lens, including medium-format and old screw-mount optics (via adapter, and with some operating limitations). Only AF lenses provide autofocusing, and current SDM lenses provide the best performance. A number of the current lenses have weatherproofing to match the K-5 body.

STANDOUT FEATURE: Impervious to the elements, and image-quality testing.


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