Pentax K-r

Last Update (29 May’12):
– Review by MacWorld

Pentax K-r is a 12.4 MP Digital SLR Camera features ISO 100-25600, Improved in-camera HDR image, Faster high speed 6 FPS framerate that captures 25 images in a single sequence, Infrared data transfer, High-precision AF system, HD video and a 3 inch LCD display. The camera measures (W x H x D) 4.9 x 3.8 x 2.7” and weighs Without battery or removable memory: 19.2 oz Loaded and ready: 21 oz.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Expert Reviews

Pentax K-r Reviews

MacWorld reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“Noise is very low all the way to ISO 1600, but 3200 and 6400 are still quite usable. Even 12800 and 25600 produce nice print images, though they look noisy on screen. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

TrustedReviews reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“To rate its picture quality, what really stood out for us was the slightly warm, well saturated colours and even exposures achievable straight from the camera’s default settings – which again should appeal to the mass market, family user. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“We were overall very pleased with the K-r and its results. The camera is able to produce pleasing photographs in a variety of conditions, including low-light thanks to good performance when using its higher sensitivity settings. Shooting performance is quite robust, and the K-r is loaded with cool and useful exposure options that many will find handy.”
Rating: N/A

WDC reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“Coupled with the 18-55mm SMC Pentax DAL kit lens the K-r is capable of delivering acceptably sharp images, especially when stopped down to an optimum aperture and used at low to mid-range sensitivities. “
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“The Pentax K-r doesn’t really do enough for us to recommend it over equivalent Sony, Canon or Nikon models, but it’s a reliable performer with a great kit lens. If you’re already a Pentax DSLR user looking to step up it’s a great choice.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CameraGearGuide reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“In conclusion, the K-r comes highly recommended so long as your focus is largely photographic. Fast, compact, and adept at taking a pretty picture, the Pentax K-r in our opinion would make an excellent first DSLR and certainly would be a well chosen gateway into the compact Pentax system and its library of fun in their own right prime lenses. “
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“Picture quality was reasonably good with each resolution setting and colours were accurately recorded; audio quality was pretty ordinary. We found occasional clips where the so-called ‘jello effect’ produced wobbly videos when shooting fast movement or panning too quickly. “
Rating: ★★★★½

DCR reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“The Pentax K-r follows the K-x with solid performance and image quality, adding a few more premium features. First-time DSLR buyers would be smart to consider this or its K-x predecessor.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Pocket-Lint reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“Lacks HDMI output but there’s otherwise not much wrong with this entry level DSLR contender that delivers near professional image results from a feature set that feels carefully pared down from the more grown up K-7 model”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Pentax K-r and writes;
“In terms of image quality, we were really impressed by the well-saturated colours that the K-r delivered under its default settings. Colours are pleasingly warm and vivid when shooting JPEGs, so you won’t often feel the need to try to add visual punch in Photoshop.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Video Reviews

Pentax K-r Reviews

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Pentax K-r Sample Photos

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Pentax K-r User Manual (PDF)

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Pentax K-r Features

The compact, lightweight Pentax K-r is easy to use with Auto Picture, Scene, and Custom Image Processing modes that take the guesswork out of shooting stunning images while still offering a high degree of manual and priority control. The K-r offers a variety of new and improved features including a fast framerate, high ISO sensitivity, responsive autofocus, an improved 12.4-megapixel low-noise sensor and widescreen HD video capture that take it a step above an entry-level DSLR camera.

Key features of the Pentax K-r that are new or have been improved upon from the most recent entry to mid-level Pentax DSLR models include:

* Large 3-inch LCD with 921,000 dots of resolution
* Faster high speed 6 FPS framerate that captures 25 images in a single sequence
* A maximum 1/6000 second shutter speed
* Viewfinder focus point indicator
* Improved in-camera HDR image capture including a Night Scene HDR mode
* High sensitivity 100-25600 ISO range with improved noise performance from the new 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor
* Versatile dual-power-source design, which offers the choice of either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or four AA-size battery power (using optional AA Battery Holder D-BH109)
* Infrared data transfer compatible with the IrSimple high-speed infrared data transmission system for wireless data transfer to the web or other IrSimple-compatible devices (includes a match-game between two Pentax K-r’s).

Other important features of the new K-r models include: widescreen 720p HD video at 25 FPS; Pentax-original Shake Reduction mechanism for sharp, blur-free images that works with every Pentax lens ever made; Dust Removal mechanism, to shake dust off the CMOS image sensor; Highly responsive and accurate 11 point SAFOX IX autofocus system with dedicated AF assist lamp; and wide range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters.

With a highly portable, compact and lightweight body in a choice of colors, the K-r holds appeal for busy parents, family memory-keepers, travelers and anyone who reflects personal style in all their pursuits including their journey into photography or videography as a skill or hobby.

Pentax K-r Highlights

High-quality, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-r incorporates a new generation CMOS image sensor with 12 megapixels and the high-performance PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) II imaging engine for accurate and high-speed data processing equal to that of upper-level Pentax digital SLR models for high-quality images. The camera also offers a wide sensitivity range between ISO 200 and ISO 12800 that may be expanded from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 via a custom function.

Compact, lightweight body
Even with the 23.6mm x 15.8mm image sensor, the K-r features a compact, lightweight, stainless-steel chassis with in-body Shake Reduction in a space-efficient design.

High-speed continuous shooting at approximately six images per second
The K-r’s high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 25 images (in JPEG recording format) in a single sequence at a maximum speed of approximately six images per second (fastest of all entry-class models) for sharp, crisp images of fast-moving subjects.

High-precision AF system
The K-r’s high-precision, wide-frame SAFOX IX autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) for pinpoint focus on the subject. The K-r is also equipped with a spotbeam projector to assist the AF system in poorly lit locations. Accuracy and speed of contrast AF operation during Live View shooting is enhanced with a new-generation image sensor and drastic upgrading of AF algorithms.

Bright, clear optical viewfinder
The Pentax-original finder optics and the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen ensure the K-r’s viewfinder offers a bright, clear subject image at 0.85X magnification and with a 96% field of view. The viewfinder offers excellent visibility even in bright outdoor locations and provides delay-free, real-time display of the subject’s image. This is helpful when shutter release timing is critical such as in sports photography. The in-focus point is indicated as a red point in the viewfinder for at-a-glance confirmation.

Large, easy-to-view 3-inch LCD monitor with wide-view design
The K-r features a large, high-resolution color LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots and its wide-view design assures a clear view of the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it particularly useful in low- and high-angle applications during Live View shooting.

Versatile dual-power-source design
In addition to the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which allows the photographer to capture approximately 560 images with a single recharge,* the K-r can also be powered by four AA-size batteries using optional AA Battery Holder D-BH109.
* Based on the Pentax in-house testing conditions conforming to the CIPA standards, using a rechargeable D-LI109 Lithium-Ion Battery.

Pentax-original Shake Reduction mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The K-r features the Pentax-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates the adverse effect of camera shake by up to approximately four shutter steps. This innovative mechanism extends its benefits to almost all Pentax interchangeable lenses–even those designed for film-format cameras.* The K-r produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, and shooting sunsets.
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: Pentax K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions
(1) Custom Image function for distinctive finishing touches The K-r features the Custom Image function to allow users to select a desired finishing touch for a particular image with a choice of nine custom image modes including Bleach Bypass, which is designed to create a dramatic visual effect used in motion pictures.
(2) Versatile Digital Filter function The K-r’s Digital Filter function allows users to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways and produce highly creative visual expressions–without a computer. Users may choose from 18 filters, including a new Starburst, Sketch and Posterization and may now apply filter upon filter, one after another, to an image for more creative results.
(3) Cross Process mode with three options The K-r features the unique Cross Process mode that automatically shifts photographic parameters for each exposure to create eye-catching images with dramatic colors (as with photographs treated with the cross process* in film photography). In addition to “Random”, where the results are unpredictable until the image has been processed, users now have two new options: “Preset” with three different sets of preset parameters; and “Favorite” with user-input parameters.
*A film development technique that uses unconventional film development to create a distinctive finish with dramatic, stylized colors.
(4) Improved High Dynamic Range function The K-r features the High Dynamic Range function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures without a computer. Users may choose from Auto, Standard and Expanded (at three levels) modes to accommodate different creative intentions.

Auto Align function
Allows use even with handheld shooting.

High-speed infrared data transmission system
The K-r is the first Pentax digital SLR camera equipped with the IrSimple high-speed infrared data transmission system, which allows users to transfer image data to IrSimple-compatible digital devices and post their K-r images on the web via a cellular phone. This also allows users to exchange image data between two K-r cameras and play a simple match game using image Exif data (such as aperture or shutter-speed values) to judge images and offer techniques and suggestions for better images.

High-quality, HDTV-proportion movie recording at 1280 x 720 pixels and at 25 frames per second
The K-r provides a movie-recording function,* which captures beautiful, true-to-life movie clips in 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second. This extends many benefits of high-quality SLR photography to the world of movie shooting: For example, users may reduce the depth of field to make a subject stand out, or use different interchangeable lenses to create distinctive visual effects. The K-r also assures a greater possibility of visual presentation in movies–either through the application of digital filters, such as Toy Camera and Retro, to add specific visual effects during shooting, or through the use of various movie-editing functions after shooting.
*When the Pentax K-r’s AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output at normal resolution. The data must be transferred to a PC for the playback of movie clips at high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels).

Additional Features

* User-friendly layout of essential control buttons and levers, all positioned on the camera’s grip side for quick, effortless access by the photographer’s right hand.
* Auto Picture mode, for effortless, automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting.
* Versatile white balance control, featuring a new CTE mode designed to emphasize the dominant color components of the captured images which works best with scenes such as sunset.
* Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA-,DFA- and FA Limited-series lenses).
* Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with RAW-data processing and browser applications.


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