Wow what a great camera

I recently had an opportunity to buy a camera as part of a job for one of my clients so I decided to go somewhat upscale in the quality of the camera that I would get.  After doing a lot of comparisons, and by reading a lot of reviews, I ended up getting a Pentax K-5 camera.

What really amazed with the way this camera worked and reacted to situations that I found myself in.  I am not a novice photographer, having lots of experience with a 35mm Single Lens Reflector style of camera (actually it was also a Pentax, although that didn’t really sway my decision)

*Here is a list of the key features:

Key Features

Although it might appear to be a near-clone of the K-7, the K-5 offers some significant improvements in specification. Here is a rundown of the key features:

  • 16.3Mp CMOS sensor
  • ISO sensitivity span of 80-51,200 (equivalent)
  • 1080p HD movie mode
  • Limited in-camera movie editing functionality
  • Socket for external microphone input
  • Triple-axis sensor-based shake reduction (horizontal, vertical and rotational correction)
  • New SAFOX IX+ 11-point AF system (improved over the K-7)
  • Support for older Pentax lenses with manual aperture rings
  • Magnesium alloy body shell
  • Improved handheld HDR function (JPEG mode only)
  • Continuous shooting up to 7fps
  • 100% viewfinder coverage (0.92x magnification)
  • Choice of PEF or DNG RAW files
  • 3in, 921k pixel LCD screen

*This list is from a post by By Barnaby Britton and Lars Rehm (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk5)

Right out of the box this camera was easy to use.  In the default mode you can just point and shoot.  It takes amazing pictures in dim light as well.  It has stabilization features that take most of the shake out of your hands, and built in tilt and roll indicators that let you align the camera with the horizon.

I purchased a zoom lens with automatic focus that went from 18mm to 55mm.  This is a great all purpose lens that allowed me to use the camera in most situations without changing lenses.

For production pictures I used the 16.3MP setting which, if I understand things correctly, gives your greater resolution than using a high speed 35mm film.  Pretty amazing.  Depending on how well you focus, you can zoom into the resulting picture a long way before things start to become blurry.

Now this can’t be a great review, because I have not used competitive cameras, but from my standpoint as a designer, this is a great product that fits your hand well, works intuitively and results in consistently great shots.

The menu for finding and turning on and off features is not so great, at least from the point of view of intuitive use, but then there are a lot of tools that require time to learn.  I believe it could be designed in a more user friendly way in my opinion.

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