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Pentax's K-5 digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Pentax K-5: New 7fps flagship reaches ISO 51,200 (previewed)
(Monday, September 20, 2010 - 10:01 EDT)

Japan's Hoya Corp. has today unveiled a replacement for its flagship K-7 digital SLR, in the form of the new Pentax K-5 -- and we've just posted our Pentax K5 preview.

While the exterior of the Pentax K5's weather-sealed magnesium alloy body is nearly identical to that of its predecessor, the K-5 sports a number of significant changes on the inside, including a brand-new 16-megapixel sensor, seven frames per second burst shooting capability, and an unusually wide expanded ISO sensitivity range of 80 to 51,200 equivalents.

The Pentax K5 also includes the company's latest generation, 11-point SAFOX IX+ module, which should yield improved low-light focusing, as well as more accurate and stable AF overall. (It's similar to the uprated SAFOX IX system that features in the recently-announced mid-range Pentax K-r model, but with the addition of an external light source sensor like that found in the earlier K-7 model.)

The K5 also inherits the dual-axis level gauge function from the 645D, giving an indication of both tilt and roll, where the K-7 offered only a single-axis roll gauge. Pentax has also updated its high dynamic range mode in the K-5, enabling handheld HDR shooting, and providing a greater degree of control over the look of the HDR effect that can be achieved in-camera. Other creative additions include the latest Custom Image and Filter effects from the K-r, such as an overhauled Cross Process function, Bleach Bypass effect, and more.

Also updated is the K-5's movie recording function, which now captures videos at up to Full HD (1080p) resolution, and the K5 also now allows use of some of its filter effect functions during movie recording. The Pentax K-5 stores images and movies on either SD or SDHC memory cards, and a firmware update due shortly after the camera ships will also enable compatibility with SDXC cards. All accessories compatible with the K-7, including Pentax's battery / portrait grip, tethered and infrared remotes, and lithium ion battery pack, will also work in the K-5, making it rather easier for current K-7 owners to justify upgrading to the newer model.

Due to ship in October 2010, the Pentax K5 comes body-only, or with a weather-sealed 18-55mm kit lens. Body-only pricing is set at around US$1,600, while the 18-55 WR kit will cost about US$1,750. For more details on Pentax's new flagship APS-C digital SLR, read our Pentax K-5 preview.

Alongside the launch of the K5, Pentax has also announced another new WR lens, bringing the total number of the company's weather-resistant lenses (excluding DA Star types) to four models. The smc PENTAX-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR lens has a built-in Direct Current autofocus motor, and a focus ring that doesn't move during AF operation. Pricing for this lens is set at US$530, and it will be available from October 2010.

Editor's Note: What's with the K-5 / K5 designation? - The official model number of this camera is the Pentax K-5. We suspect that many people interested in it will simply search for it online as "Pentax K5," though. To help search engines (and readers not wanting to take the time to type the "-"), we've used the designations K-5 and K5 interchangeably in our writing. The correct model number is in fact K-5, however.

Pentax K-5
Pentax's K-5 digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeSLR
Model NumberNorth America: K-5
Dimensions5.2 x 3.8 x 2.9 in.
(131 x 97 x 73 mm)
Weight26.1 oz (740 g)
Planned Price$1,750 (with 18-55mm WR kit lens)
$1,600 (body-only)
Planned AvailabilityOctober 2010
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCMOS
APS-C (approx. 1.12 in. diagonal)
16.93 megapixels (total)
16.30 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier1.50
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image Dimensions4928 x 3264 (16.1 megapixels)
3936 x 2624 (10.3 megapixels)
3072 x 2048 (6.3 megapixels)
1728 x 1152 (2.0 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 7.0 frames per second
Image Quality4 levels
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, SLR type; eye-level pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.92x mag., 21.7mm eyepoint, -2.5 to +1.5 diopter
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
921,000 dots (approx. 307,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom32.0x max
Lens TypeInterchangeable Lens
3x optical zoom
52mm lens thread
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length18.0 - 55.0mm (actual)
27 - 83mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 - f/22 (wide) / f/5.6 - f/38 (tele)
Focusi g SystemSAFOX IX+, 11 point (9 cross type focus point in the center), with light wavelength sensor
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 10" - 4,081" (25 cm - 9,999 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 100-12800, expandable 80 to 51200
Shutter Speed30 - 1/8000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering ModesTTL open-aperture: 77-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 5.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, fluorescent (D, N, W, L), tungsten, flash, CTE, manual (up to 3 settings), Kelvin temperature (up to 3 settings)
Internal FlashGuide Number: 13
Modes: P-TTL, Red-eye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Rear Curtain Sync. High-Speed Sync and Wireless Sync also available with PENTAX dedicated external flash.
Range: Depends on lens
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- -2.0EV in 1/2EV increments
Scene ModesSensitivity Priority, Shutter and Aperture Priority
Self TimerYes, 2 or 12 seconds
Time LapseYes
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format14-bit RAW (.PEF, .DNG), JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMini HMDI, DC input, wired remote, 3.5mm external stereo mic jack
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary D-LI90; optional D-BG4 Battery Grip
Product Bundle
SoftwareSoftware (CD-ROM) S-SW110
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary D-LI90 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantNo
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes, Optional Wired or IR
NotesNew 16.3MP CMOS APS-C sensor with ISOs up to 51200, sensor-shift shake reduction, 1080p HD video at 25fps, 11-point SAFOX IX+ AF system, 100%, 0.92x viewfinder, electronic level with tilt scale, improved in-camera HDR, SDXC compatible with firmware update, weather sealed magnesium allow body on stainless steel chassis.
More Photos
Pentax's K-5 digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-5 digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-5 digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K-5 digital SLR. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Pentax Announces K-5 Digital SLR For Advanced Amateur Photographers

GOLDEN, CO (September 20, 2010)…PENTAX Imaging Systems has announced the PENTAX K-5 digital SLR camera. The K-5 DSLR offers a true high-end prosumer design and features normally found only on the most costly of professional cameras. With exceptional reliability, user-friendly operation, and the compact, lightweight body of its predecessor, the PENTAX K-7, the new K-5 offers several important and improved features.

The pro-oriented "prosumer" features that take this latest PENTAX DSLR to the next level include:

  • High resolution 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor.

  • Fast up to 7 FPS to capture fast action shots.

  • High sensitivity 80-12800 ISO range, expandable to 51200, with improved noise performance overall.

  • Widescreen 1080p HD video at 25 FPS with sound via built-in microphone or external 3.5mm stereo microphone jack.

  • Newly improved, highly responsive and accurate 11 point SAFOX IX+ autofocus system with dedicated AF assist lamp and light wavelength sensor.

  • Focus and shutter speed priority during AF-C.

  • Native support for both PENTAX PEF and Adobe DNG 14 bit RAW files.

  • Improved in-camera HDR image capture with more blending modes and better image alignment for handheld HDR shots.

  • SDXC memory card compatibility (via firmware update).

Additional important features on the new PENTAX K-5 digital SLR include:

  • A fully weather sealed and coldproof design.

  • A large 3 inch LCD with 921,000 dots of resolution.

  • Durable magnesium alloy that surrounds a rugged stainless steel chassis.

  • Highly accurate 77 segment metering system.

  • Pentaprism viewfinder with 100% field of view and 0.92X magnification.

  • PENTAX body-based Shake Reduction (SR) stabilization system that works with every PENTAX lens ever made.

  • A maximum 1/8000 second shutter speed.

  • HDMI port outputs high definition images and video (and sound).

  • A wide range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters.

  • Customizable RAW/Fx button.

  • Built-in electronic level with tilt scale display in LCD panel.

These improvements and features are a direct result of customer feedback provided to PENTAX by dedicated "prosumer" Pentaxian shooters that help refine the K-5 to deliver a wide feature set and make it a perfect all-purpose camera for field or studio use. The K-5 is an excellent choice for advanced enthusiasts looking for a compact, yet highly advanced camera without spending thousands of dollars more for a true professional system.

The PENTAX K-5 digital SLR will ship in October 2010 in two options priced as follows:

K-5 Body Kit: $1,599.95
K-5 Lens Kit w 18-55mm WR: $1,749.95

PENTAX Imaging also announced the smc PENTAX-DA18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR lens designed exclusively for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras. This interchangeable zoom lens features a simplified weather-resistant construction and extra-smooth autofocus operation using a built-in motor, in addition to its high 7.5X zoom ratio.

This new lens will ship in October for $529.95 USD. More information is available here: www.pentaximaging.com and product images are available here: www.pentaximaging.com/press/pressfiles.html An informational video is available here: www.youtube.com/pentaxian1.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of a variety of digital cameras including weather resistant digital SLRs and stylish, compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For over 90 years, PENTAX has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

# # #

Contact: [email protected]


High-resolution, low-noise, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-5 incorporates a newly designed CMOS image sensor with a wide image-sensitive area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm to deliver higher-speed image data readout than previous sensors. With the reliable PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II imaging engine, the K-5 produces extremely high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, while reducing digital noise to a minimum. The K-5 offers a wide sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800. This range may be expanded by the user from ISO 80 to ISO 51200 via a Custom function to accommodate applications intended for more creative expressions, such as open-aperture shooting using a large-aperture lens, and indoor and nighttime shooting with available light.

High-speed continuous shooting at approximately seven images per second
The K-5's high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 22 images (in the JPEG recording format) in a single sequence at a maximum speed of approximately seven images per second, allowing photographer to preserve sharp, crisp images of active, fast-moving subjects - such as sports action, stage performers and wildlife.

Responsive, high-precision AF system
The K-5 features a new-generation, wide-frame SAFOX IX+ autofocus system with 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). This sophisticated AF system has completely redesigned optics and factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations to improve the accuracy of autofocus operation. The AF system offers a choice of shutter-release options - between focus priority and release priority in the AF.S (single) advance mode, or between focus priority and speed priority in the AF.C (continuous) advance mode - to better equip the photographer for varying photographic situations. The K-5 also is equipped with a spotbeam projector to assist the AF system in poorly lit locations.

Compact, solid, functional camera body
Despite compact dimensions, the K-5 is exceptionally solid and durable with a body of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy and a chassis of highly rigid stainless steel. With 77 seals in the body, the camera is dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant for reliable operation even in harsh environments and at temperatures as low as -10°C. The K-5 features a reliable shutter unit that provides a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and an outstanding durability to withstand as many as 100,000 shutter releases.

Bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view
The K-5 features a pentaprism finder with nearly 100 percent field of view and at approximately 0.92-times magnification (with a 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity) to provide a better view of the image field and improve the accuracy and speed of focusing and image composition. The K-5 features the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen to assist photographers with manual-focus operation. The K-5's bright, clear viewfinder assures greater visibility in outdoor shooting - especially when using a telephoto lens - and allows photographers to concentrate on the subject and image composition.

Effortless Live View shooting
With a new image sensor and a more sophisticated algorithm, the K-5's Contrast AF mode assures better performance and greater focusing speed than before during Live View shooting. The addition of a Golden Section display allows the K-5 to offer a choice of three different grid patterns to facilitate image composition.

PENTAX-original SR mechanism with user-assisting options
The K-5 features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates for the adverse effect of camera shake by approximately 2.5 to 4 shutter steps to produce sharp, blur-free images. This innovative mechanism works with almost all PENTAX interchangeable lenses - even those designed for film-format cameras.* The SR mechanism's flexible design compensates in all directions. The camera also includes an Auto Level Compensation function to assure high-precision framing and effortless adjustment of horizontal alignment and an image-composition fine-adjustment function to automatically compensate for the camera's inclination during handheld shooting - vertically, horizontally, and in the direction of rotation.
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

HD Video (1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 frames per second)
The K-5 captures 1080p video in 16:9 Full HD proportions (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second* for cinemagraphic quality movie capture. The application of custom image modes and digital filters to video capture is also supported.**
* Movie recording may be terminated when a memory card with low transfer rate is used in the K-5.
** The number of frames may vary when in certain image processing mode.

Four innovative image-processing functions produce distinctive photographic expressions:

Custom image function for distinctive finishing touches
The K-5 features the custom image function, which allows users to easily select the desired finishing touch for a particular image for visual creativity. The K-5 offers a choice of nine Custom Image modes, including Bleach Bypass, which is designed to create a dramatic visual effect used in motion pictures. In addition to the conventional Sharpness and Fine Sharpness modes, the K-5 offers a new Extra Sharpness mode that is designed to place extra emphasis on the outline of even the most minute details of the images to enhance resolution.

Versatile digital filter function
The K-5's digital filter function allows the user to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways and produce highly individualized visual expressions without a computer. Users may choose from 18 filters including a new Sketch and Posterization mode, and allows users to apply different filters one after another to a single image to create more inventive visual effects.

Cross process mode with three options
The K-5 features the unique cross process mode, in which the camera automatically shifts photographic parameters for each exposure to create eye-catching images with unique, dramatic colors - just like photographs treated with the cross process* in film photography. In addition to Random where the results are unpredictable until the image has been processed, the user also has two other options: Preset, with three different sets of preset parameters; and Favorite, with user-selected parameters.
* A film development technique that uses unconventional film development to create a distinctive finish with dramatic, stylized colors.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) function
The K-5 features the HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures without a computer. The HDR function offers a choice of Auto, Standard and Expanded modes (at three levels) to accommodate different creative intentions. An automatic composition correction function allows better image alignment for sharper HDR images even with handheld shooting.

Additional features

  • Electronic level function with a newly added tilt confirmation tool.

  • Extended-exposure NR (Noise Reduction) function with a choice of Auto, On and Off modes.

  • High-sensitivity NR (Noise Reduction) function with a camera-dependent Auto mode and user adjustable reduction strength preset for each ISO setting.

  • RAW/Fx button, for single-action switching of image file format as well as for assignment and instant recall of a specific function.

  • Large, easy-to-view 3.0 inch wide-view color LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots.

  • 77-segment multi-pattern metering system for extra-accurate light measurement.

  • DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism, to shake dust off the CMOS image sensor as effectively as any other dust removal device.

  • Long battery life, for recording of approximately 980 images on a full charge.*

  • User-friendly Hyper control system, to flexibly and accurately respond to the photographer's creative intentions.

  • Dynamic-range expansion function, to compensate for both whitewashed (overexposed) and black-out (underexposed) areas.

  • Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA, DFA- and FA Limited-series lenses).

  • CTE mode, to automatically adjust the white-balance level to emphasize primary image coloring.

  • The ability to post copyright credits on recorded images.

  • D-BG4 Battery Grip (optional) for extra power supply with an exclusive rechargeable lithium-ion battery or six AA-size batteries.

  • Color-specific control buttons/dials for easy recognition and quick access, based on the universal color design.

  • PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, including a RAW-data processing and browser application (based on the popular SILKYPIX RAW-data processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) and a browser application.
    * Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, when using a rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery with no flash discharges.

PENTAX, K-5 and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
PENTAX Digital Camera Utility and SDM are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
HDMI, the HDMI Logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.
All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice.

smc PENTAX-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR FACT SHEET

Pentax's smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR lens. Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co. Click for a bigger picture!

Pentax's smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR lens.
Photo provided by Pentax Imaging Co.

High zoom ratio
When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this standard zoom lens offers a high zoom ratio of approximately 7.5 times covering the focal length range equivalent to 27.5mm wide angle to 207mm telephoto in 35mm format. This high zoom ratio gives the lens the versatility to capture images of a wide range of subjects and scenes that photographers come across in their shooting sessions from scenic images and snapshots to portraits and sports photos. The advanced PENTAX optics design technology keeps the lens compact and lightweight despite its high zoom ratio making it a versatile, maneuverable everyday-use lens.

Simplified weather-resistant construction
This zoom lens features a simplified weather-resistant construction to prevent the intrusion of water and moisture. By mounting it on a weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, the user is assured of a durable, dependable digital imaging system that performs superbly even in rain and mist.

Extra-smooth Direct Current autofocus operation
A DC motor built into the lens' AF (autofocus) unit assures extra-smooth autofocus operation.* With a rotation-free mechanism to keep the focus ring stationary during autofocus operation, users may hold the lens exactly as they would when using the lens in the manual-focus mode.
* This lens is compatible with the PENTAX K-5, K-r, K-7, K-x, K-m, K20D, K200D, K100D Super and K10D (with Ver. 1.30 or later firmware installed) camera bodies. When mounted on other camera bodies, the focus mode is automatically switched to manual.

High-quality image rendering Incorporating an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element, a hybrid aspherical element and a glass-molded aspherical element in its optics, the lens assures exceptional image rendering with minimal aberrations. These elements also contribute to the downsizing of the lens footprint.

Round-shaped diaphragm to produce beautiful bokeh
The lens features a completely rounded diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus) effect in depth of field imaging, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.

Additional features

  • Minimum focusing distance of 0.4 meters over the entire zoom range

  • Quick-Shift Focus system for instant switching to manual-focus operation after the subject has been captured in focus by the AF system

  • SP (Super Protect) Coating applied to the front surface to repel dust, water and grease

PENTAX and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION. Design and Specifications is subject to change without notice.

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