Pentax K-r Viewfinder

The Pentax Kr's viewfinder is an optical, eye-level through-the-lens type, with the LCD monitor also able to display an image preview, in Live View mode.

Pentax says the K-r's optical viewfinder provides a coverage of about 96% and a magnification of approximately 0.85x (with a 50mm f/1.4 lens focused at infinity). The K-r's dioptric correction adjustment (for eyeglass wearers) has a range from -2.5 to +1.5 m-1. The eyepoint is 19.1mm from the view window and 21.6mm from the center of the lens. The Pentax K-r's viewfinder is a pentamirror design, which is less costly, but also less bright than pentaprism implementations. Like that of the K-x, the focusing screen is not listed as being interchangeable, but it definitely is. We're a little surprised that Pentax doesn't make a big deal out of this, as it would give them another accessory to sell, and helps the K-r stand out from other entry-level DSLRs. From what we can tell, the K-r uses the same focusing screens as the K-m / K2000, K-x, K100D, and K200D. Pentax doesn't sell replacement screens for any of these models, and it should be noted that third-party screens may bring limitations with respect to metering.

The Pentax K-r's viewfinder readout does a fairly good job of communicating camera status and exposure settings, showing most of the usual info such as AF points, flash status, focus mode, shutter speed, aperture, focus confirmation, ISO sensitivity, EV compensation, anti-shake status, etc. Physically, it is largely unchanged from the K-x, with the exception of one very important addition. Where the earlier K2000 / K-m and K-x lacked any indication of approximate AF point location, as well as which AF point(s) were active or had achieved a focus lock, the K-r provides this capability. This makes for a huge improvement in shooting with the camera, both because you can adjust the focus point without removing your eye from the viewfinder, and you can more confidently determine which part of the frame the auto point selection chose for a focus lock. For our money, this is one of the most important differences between the K-x and K-r, and makes it a much more enjoyable camera to shoot with.

AF Frame
Focus Indicator
Spot Metering Frame
Displays camera angle when Electronic Level is enabled
AF Point
ISO / ISO Auto
Flash Status
Remaining Image Storage Capacity
Picture Mode icon
Compensation Value when adjusting EV Compensation (Exposure compensation icon shown and value underlined during adjustment)
Shake Reduction
ISO Sensitivity (ISO icon shown and value underlined during adjustment)
Shutter Speed (underlined when shutter speed can be adjusted)
Displays NR processing countdown
Focus Mode (MF shown when autofocus is disabled)
Aperture (underlined when aperture can be adjusted)
AE Lock
Displays blinking "nr" during NR processing


Viewfinder Test Results

Good accuracy from the optical viewfinder for the class, though below average accuracy from the LCD in Live View.

70mm, Optical
70mm, LCD (Live View)

The Pentax K-r's optical viewfinder showed about 96% coverage with our Sigma 70mm f/2.8 prime lens, which is good for consumer model. (Most consumer SLRs show about 95%.) There was however a slight vertical shift which isn't uncommon, and coverage was slightly lower in the horizontal axis versus vertical. The LCD showed just over 98 percent coverage in Live View mode, which is lower than the 100% most SLRs display when deriving a preview from the image sensor. Again, coverage was a little lower in the horizontal versus vertical axis.


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