Lightweight and with superb stainless steel and magnesium body, this is the successor to the excellent K5 model. On the surface, very little seems to have changed and the two cameras are very similar indeed. The K5 II is capable of shooting video in full 1080p or 720p, with the abilty to switch frame speed betwen 25-30 fps in 720p mode. The new autofocus system gives much better results in all lighting conditions although it can take a little practice to get used to it. The camera's LCD screen is a big improvement over the old K5, and offers a far better resolution, making it easier to read, especially in bright light. The weather proof body certainly seems resistant to water (I've used the camera in fairly heavy rain) and it's also had it's fair share of knocks over the last few months, but these have left the body undamaged. On the whole, picture quality is very good indeed, although I wouldn't say it was leagues ahead of the K5. Video looks great through an HD TV and still pictures are rich, full and accurate. The kit comes with an 18-55mm lens, although this can be a little on the noisy side when being operated. The only other downsides I can think of are the focus select button, which is has a lot of resistance and the overall complexity of the camera itself. Expect to spend a great deal of time reading through the user manual, especially if you are coming to the K5 II from a much simpler point and shoot camera. The original K5 was the best DSLR camera I had ever used and this one is an improvement. It is certainly worth every penny of the £800 price tag, especially if you are a keen amateur or professional photographer.
I've been using the Pentax K-5 Mk1 for the last year or so and that is one hell of a camera so wondered if upgrading to the MkII was worth it.
First off the body of the MkII is identical to the Mk1 with no cosmetic changes in both looks and layout, it is weatherproof just like the MK1 which is very welcome when shooting outdoors in the UK, it feels equal in build quality and has a stainless steel internal structure for extra ruggedness, like the Mk1.
The K5 MKII comes with a standard 18-55mm lens which is the norm, it is a decent starter though and lenses can be added at a later date, there are plenty around.
So what is different to the MK1, well the MKII is noticeably quicker in both focusing and shutter speeds, focusing is lightening fast and pin sharp with the standard lens. I have a Sigma 75-300mm tele/macro lens and focussing is a little slower with that.
The user interface is again very similar to the Mk1 but does have some differences in certain functions when in manual modes, auto made has not been altered in any way, why fix it if it ain't broke!
The photos this camera produces are stunning, colours are vibrant, images are pin sharp and that is in Auto, switch to manual modes and the sky is your limit, with user adjustable ISO from 80 to an amazing but very grainy 51200 ISO this camera will take picture in near darkness without flash ! if need be.
Pentax have retained the built in level function of this camera, I find this function extremely useful when taking landscape photos and when sitting the camera on a tripod, in fact I have it switched on all the time.
The viewfinder is bright and clear with all the right information within it, ISO, F Stop, shutter speeds ETC, the level is also displayed within the viewfinder.
This DSLR will also take full HD movies, but this eats memory cards like a hungry hippo!! You will require an SDHC card for this camera and would recommend upwards of 16gb if you want to use this camera in RAW or high quality JPEG formats.
Is there any difference between the photos from the Mk1 and MkII, yes but very little. The Mk1 photo's seems a little softer but this is very slight and maybe the way I have the Mk1 setup, I am yet to get deep into the set-up of Mk2 but having seen the photos produced I don't have a reason to, yet.
In the box....
Pentax 18-55mm DA lens
Concise instruction manual.
As a budget DSLR Pentax have yet again come up with a winner in the K-5II, I would recommend this DSLR to anyone starting off in the world of photography, menus are easy to use and the Auto(Green)mode is faultless if you want point and shoot, manual modes are again easy to adjust and understand, the K-5 MkII also comes with a very good instruction manual, which will guide you through set-up and advanced features.
So my thoughts on the upgrade, the K5 Mk1 is an excellent DSLR which takes great photos, the MkII has raised that bar a little it is faster to use and produces yet again stunning photos, so YES it is worth upgrading.
on 17 December 2012
It's certainly everything I've ever wanted in an aps-c. Low-light AF is superb. It feels great in the hand and also feels rugged and has some weight to it. It feels well balanced even with a teeny 50/1.7 mounted and all the controls are where you want them to be. High ISO is great, however shadow noise is noticable at ISO 12800+, I can pull off clean shots at 10k ISO with all that lovely aa-less image quality left. Speaking of IQ, it is quite a jump for pixel peepers like me. Hairs and specks look more defined. JPGs are surprisingly good for a Pentax, which is good for people who can't afford giant cards . SR is also working its magic better than ever, I'm handholding a 50 at 1/5 no problemo. I will update this review with some shots later, but let me say that I truly think that this is the best aps-c out there and will be for time to come. I've never used something that just felt natural like this
on 1 December 2012
I've only had this camera for a few days which I purchased together with the pentax 40mm limited lens, and I love it. I've taken some great indoor low light shots, and when the weather finally brightens up, will be testing it outdoors too. It is quite a complicated camera but it comes with a handy book manual, so will be spending the next few days going through it. This is my first DSLR camera so I can't really compare with others. However, I spent a long time researching other cameras and this one ticked all the boxes for me in terms of abilities, photo quality and price. The 40mm lens is also awesome, great for portraits and general walk around shots.
on 7 January 2014
I loved my old K10D. It did everything I wanted from it, and I used all "old" lenses. 28mm. 50mm, Sigma 70-300mm & a Centon 500mm mirror lens..
Then I fell for the K-5 II.
I also bought the 18 to 135mm zoom lens. Also the 10 - 17mm zoom Lens as well.
(It was time I topped my Pentax lens stock up a little bit).
As all you Pentaxians will know, all my old lenses work with the K-5 II as well.
Best of both worlds now.
I am astounded at the K-5 II. Ease of use is 10/10. Quality of the results is also 10/10.
The videos are brilliant too. Again 10 / 10.
Even using my old lenses, at the quality of this sensor, amazed me. Still does a week later.
Would I buy another ?
You bet, & I intend to for my birthday in March.
I am not in the least bothered about the AA filter going missing, so the K-5 II s and the K3 hold no interest to me, and as Pentax have altered things, on the pins at the bottom of the K3, the K-5 II Power drives are no longer compatible.
1 pin is thicker on the K3 connector, so, now Pentax have joined Canon and Nikon, in ripping off its customers, they can stick the K3 where the sun never shines :-) and rip someone else of. Just not me LOL.
The K-5 II is Grrrrrrreat. :-)
on 13 February 2013
The Pentax K-5II is an absolutely terrific camera. It's probably one of the more underestimated dsrl's on the market. The size is perfect. Control buttons and wheels are perfectly located and realy intuitive to use. It has all the functions you need. Picture quality is grate and colours are very good. Functionality hasn't disappointed me yet. You can use all of Pentax K-lenses (even the old M42 lenses with an K-mount adapter ring. Then with manual focus and exposure). I substituted the usual kit-lens for a Sigma 17-70 HSM which is grate lens.
The only draw back with Pentax is the rather limited supply of third party lenses and add-ons.
I can also recomend the Metz 58 AF-2 speedlight as an alternative to the original Pentax. It functions fully with the Pentax P-TTL protocol and has the advantage of firmware update functionality.
on 7 August 2014
I have used Pentax DSLR cameras since the ist*DS. This is by far the best of the bunch.
At first glance it is indistinguishable from the K7 I had before but the screen is obviously larger. The excellent button and switch placement hasn't been needlessly meddled with, which is a good thing. The menu tree is also familiar with a few extra features here and there.
Someone familiar with anything back to a K20 will find this easy to pick up and use without any great problem.
For those new to the DSLR market here's what you get. You get a massively improved and accurate autofocus. This thing is very fast indeed if you are lucky enough to have one of the newer generation of HSM lenses. Even with the older lenses this is quick. All the obvious modes are there. Pattern, spot and selective.
Metering is great and you get similar versatility to the autofocus. Bracketing and manual compensation is simple to set up without resorting to menus.
This is a product you quickly realise has been designed by people who actually use cameras and listen to their customers. The controls are there for you to use from switches or an intelligently designed fast menu.
Water resistance that actually works (with compatible lenses) is a genuine plus point. This is not a gimmick. You can genuinely use this in a downpour.
This camera at the moment is superb value for money. I thorougly recommend it.
on 25 September 2013
Had a K5 for about a year now and needed to replace my backup camera (a K100 super) so this was the obvious choice (other than getting another K5). The differences are not immediately obvious from the original K5 and it feels exactly the same in the hand and I've not noticed any other operational changes. Images appear to be pretty similar too though I've not done a full range of images to enable me to compare them to my K5.
I've always had Pentax camera and though I have been tempted to move to Canon or Nikon I have stuck with them. The reliability of the cameras makes them worth considering and the build quality is great. Though the K5 isn't water proof I can certainly vouch for it being weather proof. I've used my original K5 in rain snow, sleet, and the other extreme of the heat of death valley (119 degrees) and I have had no problems at all. You can be confident that the camera body will work under most conditions.
on 15 May 2013
Always been a Pentax user....best "feel' of any DSLR, in my opinion. The K5 11 certainly lives up to early expectation....well laid out, intuitive controls and feels solid. Looking forward to putting it through its paces.
on 12 May 2015
You can find long and detailed reviews, so I keep it short.
I love the pictures it makes, it's good for bigger size prints.
Once used to it, it's quick to change settings
Excellent battery life. I usually use the small secondary screen to check the settings, and keep the big lcd off. Also it turns on very quick, so I turn it off when not in use. It can last for many hundreds of pictures with a battery. I'm not sure about the exact number.
It is really rainproof. (do not test in water) I can make pics in the rain, and dont have to worry, when the weather gets wet.
Quite silent, so it does not distract children, or scares animals.
Never tried videos, I only use it for photos.
Only problem is, as with all Pentax, you dont get the quarter of equipment for it like Nikon or Canon. But there is enough.