The Pentax K-5 II and its sibling, the K-5 IIs, are upgrades to the now-discontinued Pentax K-5. The K-5 II has an improved autofocus system and some welcome changes to the LCD screen. Continuing Pentax's commitment to quality and performance, the K-5 II is a good choice for those moving beyond beginner DSLR cameras, and it consistently produces good images and excellent video.
Substantial grip. The Pentax K-5 II is as well designed as any other Pentax DSLR camera, with a substantial grip covered in rubber and buttons that press firmly into the body. One reviewer says the K-5 II has "the easy portability of a Canon Rebel with the gravity of a pro camera." The viewfinder is conveniently large compared to the size of the camera. All buttons and dials are clearly labeled but there's no dedicated video shooting button, which may become an issue if you plan to shoot a lot of movies.
Impressive autofocus system. The improved autofocus system of the Pentax K-5 II (over that of its predecessor, the K-5) draws rave reviews, especially in low light conditions and even with low-contrast subjects. Image quality performance is consistent, with only the occasional unexpected over- and under-exposure. Video quality is "better than expected" and compares very favorably with that of rival DSLRs in this category. The K-5 II's LCD screen has also been improved, and now shows less reflection and better contrast. The battery has an impressively long life at 980 shots per charge.
Long-lasting metal body. The Pentax K-5 II has a sturdy body made from magnesium alloy and stainless steel. Its weather sealing and dust protection is the same as on the Pentax K-5, but you'll need to use a weather-resistant lens from Pentax's WR line to fully weatherproof the camera.
Useful functions. New features on the Pentax K-5 II include its autofocus system and LCD screen. The camera has "decent customization and post-processing options," many of which are not found on peer DSLR cameras, according to reviewers. One such useful function is the ability to delete JPEG and RAW versions of an image independently from each other. You can shoot video in full HD mode, as well as at 30 and 25 fps, and VGA footage at the same frame rate. Pentax has released a sibling model DSLR, the K-5 IIs, which is identical except for the removal of the anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor.
With a "photographer-friendly design," the Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs DSLR cameras offer a compact form factor jammed full of features. These nearly identical models provide excellent image quality and a proven interface. An extensive collection of features will satisfy most enthusiast photographers.
Review: Pentax K-5 II and K-5 II S, Shawn Barnett, June 2013
After explaining that the main feature of the Pentax K-5 IIs is that it has dispensed with the anti-aliasing filter in order to produce images of higher clarity and resolution, Mark Goldstein concludes that the camera succeeds in this goal.
Review: Pentax K-5 IIs Review, Mark Goldstein, April 3, 2013
Calling the original Pentax K-5 "one of the best cameras in its class," Ben Andrews says that users will struggle to tell the difference between that model and the new K-5 II, even after studying the specs. He reports that some of the not-so-good elements of the original model, like the tendency to overexpose, have been carried over into the K-5 II.
Review: Pentax K-5 II Review, Ben Andrews, May 16, 2013
4. What Digital Camera
Matt Golowczynski says the Pentax K-5 II boasts just a few improvements over the previous K-5 model and is virtually identical to the K-5 IIs released at the same time. That said, he likes the K-5 II for its excellent build and large viewfinder, as well as its "impressive" low-light autofocusing.
Review: Pentax K-5 II Review, Matt Golowczynski, Feb. 12, 2013
At this U.K. site, the Pentax K-5 II earns a recommendation as a well-designed and high-quality camera that "is really very good indeed." The only cons are that it's not a full-frame viewer, Pentax offers fewer lenses than Canon or Nikon, and the live view focus and shutter response are sluggish.
Review: Pentax K-5 II DSLR Review, John Riley, Nov. 19, 2012
John Riley reports that the Pentax K-5 IIs has the same sensor as the Pentax K-5 II but not the anti-aliasing filter, and asks if it offers sharper images. His answer is that the K-5 IIs is worth the extra cost because it produces wonderfully clear images with a "new, totally impressive level of detail."
Review: Pentax K-5 IIs Digital SLR Review, John Riley, Jan. 24, 2013
Paul Nuttall says the Pentax K-5 II isn't a significant advancement over its predecessor, the K-5 model, although the original K-5 was an impressive DSLR camera. Still, upgrades to the K-5 II in autofocus performance and LCD screen are noticeable and make a difference.
Review: Pentax K-5 II Review, Paul Nuttall, March 11, 2013
With more than 60 reviews between the Pentax K-5 II and its sibling, the K-5 IIs, Amazon.com owners give these cameras an average of 4.65 stars out of 5. The very few complaints focus on the lack of features rather than the performance of the camera.
Review: Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs Reviews, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014