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Pentax K-r Design

(Illustration courtesy Pentax USA)

Green button
EV compensation button
Shutter release button
Aperture value button
Main (power) switch
Raw save button
Lens unlock button
Mode dial
Focus mode lever

The Pentax K-r has a new body design that retains the basic layout of the previous K-x model, but with retro styling that's reminiscent of the company's flagship K-5 DSLR. Like that of the K-x, the K-r's body is constructed from polycarbonate panels over a steel chassis, and isn't weather-sealed. Body-only weight is increased by one ounce over the K-x, and while the K-r is the same thickness as the earlier model, it's 0.1" wider, and 0.2" taller.

Seen from the front, the most significant difference between the K-r and K-x beyond the styling is the addition of a new AF assist lamp between the top of the handgrip and the viewfinder prism housing. Like that on the K-5 and earlier K-7 models, it illuminates in green as needed, although it's rather closer to the lens mount than on those cameras, and hence even more likely to be blocked by larger lenses.

Another change of note in the diagram above is a small IR port, added on the right-hand side of the camera body. This enables the Pentax K-r's IrSimple / IrSS communications capability, which lets photographers share images wirelessly with another K-r body, or another compatible device such as a cellphone.

One last point worth noting in the view above is that the exposure compensation button now serves an additional purpose in playback mode, allowing the photographer to save the Raw data for the last image captured when shooting in JPEG mode, so long as the camera hasn't been powered off since the image was shot.

(Illustration courtesy Pentax USA)

Flash up button
Live View button
Delete button
Info button
OK button
AF / AE-L button
Four-way controller
Playback button
Menu button

One more significant change in the K-r's body design can be seen in the image above. Most notably, the LCD display now has a 3.0-inch diagonal, rather than the 2.7-inch panel of the K-x. Total dot count has also been quadrupled, with the K-r now matching the resolution of Pentax's flagship K-5 and 645D DSLRs.

While it's not visible above, the K-r no longer has a cutout in the right-hand end of the body to allow access for a dummy battery used with the optional AC adapter. This cutout, sealed by a rubber flap, is now located in the battery compartment door on the base of the camera. The battery compartment itself is also totally redesigned, and now accomodates either four AA batteries in an optionally available holder, or a proprietary lithium-ion pack, a clever design that lets users choose their preferred battery type.