Pentax k-5 II

Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (K-5 II/body only); $1,299 (K-5 IIs/body only)

INTRODUCED 9/2012

Pentax’s K-5 DSLR offered a lot of great features in a compact package, including an excellent 16.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 7 fps shooting, two 14-bit RAW formats (PEF and DNG), and dustproof, cold- and weather-resistant construction with a stainless-steel chassis and magnesium-alloy covers. The K-5 II retains those features and adds some new ones, all at a good price.

A new AF system features the SAFOX X AF sensor and can focus in light levels as dim as EV -3. There’s also an upgraded AF algorithm and a Select-Area Expansion feature (introduced in the K-30), which aids subject tracking.

The 3-inch LCD monitor now is air-gap-free with a reflection-reducing resin layer and anti-reflective coating, resulting in better visibility outdoors. The eye-level viewfinder is a glass pentaprism unit that shows 100% of the actual image area.

Retained from the original K-5 are such features as sensor-shift image stabilization that works with all lenses, and automatic correction of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (with DA-, D FA- and FA Limited-series lenses). Video capabilities are 1080p HD at 25 fps, plus 720p at 30 or 25 fps, with stereo sound (via an external mic).

Like all Pentax DSLRs, the K-5 II can use just about any Pentax lens (including medium-format and old screw-mount types via adapters). Only AF lenses provide autofocusing, and current SDM lenses provide the best performance. A number of current lenses feature weatherproofing to match that of the body: DA* (including the DA* 300mm ƒ/4 SDM) and WR lenses, and the new HD Pentax DA 560mm ƒ/5.6ED AW supertelephoto.

There’s also a new K-5 IIs model available with no anti-aliasing filter for even better resolution.

STANDOUT FEATURE: The K-5 II’s new AF system is rated to EV -3.

1. RAW/Fx button lets you switch between RAW and JPEG at a touch, and can be programmed for other tasks.

2. Images are saved on SD, SDHC or SDXC cards.

3. The easier-to-read LCD monitor is anti-reflective and more scratch-resistant.

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