The newly available Pentax K-5 firmware v1.01 makes a very significant change to the camera's buffer depth in burst shooting, answering one of our main concerns aired in our hands-on Pentax K-5 preview when the camera was announced last September. At launch, the K-5 was limited to a maximum of eight raw frames -- just over half the burst depth of its predecessor the K-7, and likewise bested by the mid-range Pentax K-r. With firmware v1.01 installed, the K5 is now capable of as many as 20 frames in a single burst.
Not only does this restore the rightful order of things inside the company's own APS-C lineup, with the K5 earning its flagship status by handily besting its siblings, but it also betters a couple of important rivals from other manufacturers -- in the area of burst performance, at least. Despite a slower burst rate of 5.3 frames per second versus the 7.0 fps of the K5, Canon's 18-megapixel EOS 60D is limited to a maximum of 16 raw frames in a burst -- four less than the Pentax. The 16-megapixel Nikon D7000, meanwhile, offers between 10 and 15 raw frames in a 6fps burst, depending on the bit depth and compression type, trailing the Pentax by five shots and one frame per second. Hence, the Pentax K5 now offers not only a higher burst speed, but also a greater burst depth than two cameras likely to be considered direct rivals by potential customers.
Beyond this important change, Pentax also notes that it has improved stability and general performance, although it doesn't go into detail as to the specific changes made. (On its Japanese site, the company does make brief mention of a change in "exposure range on HyP mode" as one such example.)
The Pentax K5 firmware v1.01 is available for download immediately, both from Pentax USA and Pentax Japan.
Pentax's K-5 digital SLR has just received a significant boost in raw buffer depth, courtesy of new firmware.
Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co.