The K-5II is the current Pentax DSLR flagship, sharing the product line up with the K-30. While it may share an identical sensor resolution with the K-30, as befits the premier offering within the brand the K-5II offers a faster ultimate shutter speed and access to a few more shooting settings via external controls, rather than having to resort to internal menus. In the middle of the ISO range the camera looks to be perhaps as much as 1 EV better in noise performance. The 11 point AF system offers the same number of points as the K-30 but is a newer technology and holds focus on moving subjects a little better than that its stable mate, but maybe not quite as as well as AF systems from other manufacturers that feature higher focus point counts. A 7 fps continuous shooting rate and decent buffer capacity for JPEG or RAW images give the camera the potential to be a good sports or action still image shooter.
Persons for whom video is a major selling point in a DSLR may want to look at a brand other than Pentax. While the K-5II produces a fairly decent quality full HD video image, the full HD is available only at 25 fps, which may impact faithful rendition during capture of fast moving subjects. More significantly, the AF system does not feature a continuous autofocus and, unlike the K-30, doesn’t even allow the user to re-establish a second autofocus point, albeit slowly, during any single video capture. Like the K-30, the K-5II is a little slow to transition to live view after switching the mode dial into video. Arguably, the entry-level/prosumer model K-30 offers a superior video component to the company’s flagship.
If, however, you’re primarily interested in still image capture, the K-5II offers a lot of top-end features at a price well below the top offerings from Canon, Nikon or Sony. The AF system may scare away folks whose work tends to include a healthy dose of demanding autofocus type subjects, and current K-5 owners may not see enough value added to the new model to make them want to change bodies. For all the rest, the K-5II is a nice camera and the logical next step for an entry-level Pentax DSLR owner seeking to move up in performance.
- Very good image quality
- Weather resistant
- “Flagship” featured camera at a prosumer camera cost
- In body stabilization compatible with any Pentax lens
- Relatively small and light given overall feature set
- No continuous autofocus in video mode
- Live view/video a bit slow to initiate following selection of video mode
- Video clip length in full HD video less than six minutes
- Shooting mode dial lock button/turning a bit awkward
- Might be too small for large hands