With the debut of its followup Pentax K-r, the company has shown that it was listening by answering our biggest criticisms of the earlier model. Key among the changes are the addition of autofocus point indicators in the viewfinder, and a redesigned body with pleasingly retro styling that accommodates a larger, significantly higher resolution LCD panel.
A handy increase in burst shooting performance to almost six frames per second ensures that Pentax retains the title of fastest entry-level digital SLR. There's also an interesting new dual power-source design that follows popular demand with a proprietary lithium-ion pack, but--unlike every other SLR manufacturer--still caters to those who prefer AA batteries without a bulky external grip, courtesy of an in-body adapter.
Although there are numerous more subtle changes throughout, the 12.4 megapixel K-r is largely similar to its predecessor in other respects, with in-body image stabilization, an 11-point autofocus system, 1/6,000 second top shutter speed, and high-definition 720p video capture capability. A generous selection of creative features such as in-camera HDR, a cross-processing function, numerous pre- and post-capture digital filters, and the ability to develop raw files in-camera combine to make the Pentax K-r particularly well-suited to right-brain types who don't want to spend time fiddling around with post-processing on a computer.
Were all this offered at the same pricetag as its predecessor, the Pentax K-r would've been a sure thing, but therein lies the rub: Pentax has also increased its pricing by almost a quarter over that of the K-x. Having specifically called for many of its added features, we went into our review of the Pentax K-r with a certain feeling of having made a rod for our own back.
To find out if we stayed resolute in our desire for the changes--added cost notwithstanding--read our full review of Pentax's latest consumer SLR.