The biggest news with the Pentax K-5 is its 16.3-megapixel image sensor. Testers at DxOMark.com call it "simply the best APS-C we have tested so far" (APS-C is the type of sensor often found on under-$2,000 digital SLRs). Experts say the K-5 is also more full-featured than the earlier Pentax K-7 and Pentax K-x -- now replaced by the Pentax K-r (*Est. $630 with kit lens), and DPReview.com calls it "a no-brainer upgrade" from either one. The Pentax K-5 delivers better autofocus, faster burst speed and the ability to shoot 1080p HD video at 25 frames per second (fps). Testers find it intuitive to use, with highly customizable settings and a good range of quality lenses (it's backwards-compatible with all Pentax lenses).
The K-5's vaunted new image sensor shows magnificent dynamic range in tests, with dim-light images at high ISOs that are "finally É up to speed with the competition," says PhotographyBlog.com, although the K-5 still can't quite measure up to advanced, full-frame cameras such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (*Est. $1,900 body only). The Nikon D7000 (Est. $1,000 (with kit lens)) offers a similar sensor to the Pentax K-5 for a slightly cheaper price, and -- unlike the Pentax -- the Nikon can autofocus while shooting video.
Top review sources have paid plenty of attention to the Pentax K-5. Photography specialist sites DPReview.com, Imaging-Resource.com and PhotographyBlog.com test and evaluate every aspect of the camera in minute detail. DxOMark.com tests the Pentax K-5's new image sensor in even greater detail. Amazon.com is a good place to find user feedback for this camera.
At the conclusion of this detailed, vividly illustrated review, DPReview.com bestows its Gold Award on the Pentax K-5. It's "a no-brainer upgrade" from a Pentax K-x or earlier Pentax K-7, but it costs more than its main Nikon competitor, the D7000.
Review: Pentax K-5 In-depth Review, Barnaby Britton and Lars Rehm, Dec. 2010
The Pentax K-5 costs more than its predecessor, the K-7, but it's also "an extremely capable digital SLR," earning a spot on this site's list of top picks. Mike Tomkins minutely evaluates the K-5's design, optics, performance and more.
Review: Pentax K-5, Mike Tomkins, Shawn Barnett and Zig Weidelich, April 2011
Pentax took the excellent K-7 and added a better image sensor, among other things, making this a "Highly Recommended" camera at PhotographyBlog.com. Mark Goldstein says it's "arguably more intuitive to use and more customizable" than the Nikon D7000 or Canon EOS 60D, but he does find some drawbacks with video mode.
Review: Pentax K-5 Review, Mark Goldstein, Nov. 2010
This site specifically -- and in great technical detail -- reviews camera image sensors. The Pentax K-5's "is simply the best APS-C we have tested so far," editors say, but it "isn't still quite up to its solid full-frame competitors" such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Nikon D700.
Review: DxOMark Review for the Pentax K5, Editors of DxOMark.com, Nov. 2010
Owners give the Pentax K-5 an average of 4.8 stars in about 50 reviews. The reviews do include criticism; for example, a couple of users note that the K-5 can't autofocus in video mode.
Review: Pentax K-5, Contributors to Amazon.com