Pentax KP Field Test Part I

Ricoh's compact, capable and customizable alternative to mirrorless

by Mike Tomkins |

Pentax KP field test photoRegular readers will know that I've long been a fan of Ricoh's Pentax DSLR lineup. In fact, when I don't have anything in hand to review -- admittedly, a somewhat rare occurrence -- and I want to shoot an interchangeable-lens camera, it's usually my own Pentax K-5 or K-3 II that I'll reach for, and I've been a K-series shooter for close to a decade now, all the way back to 2009's Pentax K-7. So when the Pentax KP arrived at Imaging Resource headquarters, there was no question who'd be handling the real-world portion of our testing!

I've been eagerly looking forward to reviewing the Pentax KP ever since I first had the chance to handle a pre-production camera early this year. In particular, I've found myself intrigued by its clever interchangeable handgrip design, which is one of the key factors behind the KP's compact size, by DSLR standards. I've also been keen to try out its high ISO capabilities, as well as its evolution of the Smart Function dial first seen in the K-1. And of course I've also been looking forward to trying out its uprated stabilization, autofocus and exposure options. And I'm thrilled with its new tethering capabilities, something I've been asking the company for over the course of more than a few reviews.

How the Pentax KP compares to its siblings
But before we get to all of that, let's start with a quick look at where the Pentax KP sits in the company's lineup. If you're not familiar with the Pentax brand, that can be a little less than obvious.



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