Pentax K-5

Pentax K-5 front
  • 16MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 12800 (Boost to 51200)
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 740g - 131 x 97 x 73mm
  • Revealed December 2010
  • Replaced the Pentax K-7
  • Successor is Pentax K-5 IIs
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax K-5 overview

Pentax K-5 is Pentax's Advanced DSLR digital camera originally announced on December of 2010. The camera houses a 16MP, CMOS APS-C sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 4928 x 3264.

Pentax introduced this model in order to upgrade the previous Pentax K-7 (Read Full Comparison) & subsequently launched the fresher Pentax K-5 IIs (Read Full Comparison) to upgrade this camera.

The K-5 is positioned #37 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras & all round #207 out of 1459 for cameras in our database. You can check our Advanced camera search to get camera ratings based on your custom factors.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

The following is a diagram of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax K-5 history

The Pentax K-5 has a history of related cameras. Below, you can find all older and the latest models along with key specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Pentax-K-3-Mark-III front thumbnailPentax K-3 III
K-5 vs K-3 III
26MPAPS-C12.0 fps2021
Pentax-KP front thumbnailPentax KP
K-5 vs KP
24MPAPS-C7.0 fps2017
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
Pentax-K-3-II front thumbnailPentax K-3 II
K-5 vs K-3 II
24MPAPS-C8.3 fps2015
Pentax-K-S1 front thumbnailPentax K-S1
K-5 vs K-S1
20MPAPS-C5.4 fps2014
Pentax-K-3 front thumbnailPentax K-3
K-5 vs K-3
24MPAPS-C8.0 fps2014
Pentax-K-5-IIs front thumbnailPentax K-5 IIs
K-5 vs K-5 IIs
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2013
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Pentax-K-5-II front thumbnailPentax K-5 II
K-5 vs K-5 II
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2013
Pentax-K-30 front thumbnailPentax K-30
K-5 vs K-30
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2012
Pentax-K-5 front thumbnailPentax K-516MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Pentax-K-7 front thumbnailPentax K-7
K-5 vs K-7
15MPAPS-C5.0 fps2009
Pentax-K20D front thumbnailPentax K20D
K-5 vs K20D
15MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Pentax-K10D front thumbnailPentax K10D
K-5 vs K10D
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006

Pentax K-5 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of upsides and downsides of the Pentax K-5 based on criterias that are oftentimes seen as necessary in a digital camera.

above average min ISO (80)
built-in flash
change lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
environment proofing
exports RAW formats
focusing manually
has HDMI socket
has mic socket
has phase detect AF
high res video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes Top LCD screen
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000 seconds)
megapixel count decent (16MP)
nice screen size (3 inches)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
provides face detect focusing
provides tracking focus
screen has good resolution (921 thousand dots)
doesn't posses selfie friendly screen
lack of headphone socket
no moving screen
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Pentax K-5 Sensor specifications

The Pentax K-5 is run by the Prime II chip. The size of the sensor in the Pentax K-5 is 23.7mm x 15.7mm (APS-C). The 372 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 4928 x 3264 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2. The camera features Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Optical stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization as the latter can cause cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 16MP and delivers a standard ISO range of 80 - 12800. This ISO can be increased electronically to a high of 51200. RAW files are saved which means that the user has wider room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below illustrates the K-5's sensor dimensions in comparison to other popular sizes. The K-5 sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is highlighted in green.

Pentax K-5 sensor size Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax K-5 dimensions

Pentax K-5 has a weight of 1.63 lbs (740 gr / 26.10 ounces) & the measurement of the camera is 131mm x 97mm x 73mm (5.2" x 3.8" x 2.9"). The weight of general Advanced DSLR camera is 776 gr so the Pentax K-5 is very similar when compared with other competitors.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

The following is a pic of the Pentax K-5 besides a soda so you're able to get a sense of its scale.

Pentax K-5 dimensions scale

The top view here will illustrate the button arrangement on the K-5.

Pentax K-5 topview buttons dials

Pentax K-5 Lens specifications

The K-5 fits the Pentax KAF2 mount and has 17 lenses available on the market. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the K-5.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Venus-Laowa-105mm-F2-Smooth-Trans-Focus-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 105mm F2 Smooth Trans Focus105mmf/2745g
Pentax-smc-DA-60-250mm-F4.0-ED-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 60-250mm F4.0 ED IF SDM60-250mmf/4.0 1040g
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Venus-Laowa-25mm-F2.8-2.5-5X-Ultra-Macro-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro25mmf/2.8400g
Samsung-D-Xenon-12-24mm-F4-ED-Pentax-KAF lensSamsung D-Xenon 12-24mm F4 ED12-24mmf/4.0 430g
Pentax-smc-DA-50-135mm-F2.8-ED-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 50-135mm F2.8 ED IF SDM50-135mmf/2.8 685g
Samsung-D-Xenon-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6 lensSamsung D-Xenon 18-55mm F3.5-5.618-55mmf/3.5-5.6 225g
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
Pentax-smc-DA-16-50mm-F2.8-ED-AL-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL IF SDM16-50mmf/2.8 565g
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

Pentax K-5 Connectivity

The K-5 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras which include NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility can easily be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You are able to send images and at times adjust camera settings without connecting straight to the camera.

Several applications even give a Liveview and press the shutter whenever you aren't near the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it could be attached to an external display. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery through the USB port.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Pentax K-5 Video specifications

The highest video quality in the Pentax K-5 is 1920 x 1080 and you can shoot in Motion JPEG file format. 1080p quality will provide a decent balance in video quality and file sizes but FULL HD is not going to leave you with any room to crop. While the camera offers a mic jack, it is sadly lacking a headphone jack which means that you will not have the ability to monitor your sound levels.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

Pentax K-5 Weather Sealing

Pentax K-5 provides environment sealing which makes it a good choice for use in challenging climates. This is especially useful if you are unsure about the conditions you may face in outdoor photography.

Pentax K-5 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax K-5 is equipped with a 3 inch fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 921 thousand dots.

Sadly the display screen isn't a touch screen. The K-5 also includes a Top LCD screen in order to quickly checkout camera settings.

Pentax K-5 screen and viewfinder World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

The ViewFinder specs for Pentax K-5 are below:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • Coverage 100%
  • Magnification 0.61x

Viewfinders can be really beneficial in bright outdoor conditions which might make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to see.

Pentax K-5 Shutter specifications

Pentax K-5 continuous shooting speed is 7.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/8000 seconds.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Pentax K-5 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Pentax K-5 features both inbuilt flash as well as external flash ability. The max flash sync speed is 1/180 seconds.

Pentax K-5 Autofocus specifications

Pentax K-5 features both Phase Detect Auto Focus as well as Contrast Based Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is more snappier & accurate when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera supports Face detection making it valuable for portraits.

It supports 11 focus points to select from. It also comes with Tracking Auto Focus for moving things. Pentax K-5 includes manual focusing if needed in low light occasions or you want more accurate control on focusing.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Pentax K-5 Battery life

The battery power (D-LI90) in the Pentax K-5 is built to last for 980 clicks according to the CIPA benchmarks which is about the same as it's rivals. The typical Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 has got the highest (2260) battery life in this range of cameras.

Below is a listing of Advanced DSLR cameras which have the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D780 front thumbnailNikon D780
K-5 vs D780
2260 yesnoyes
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
K-5 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
K-5 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
K-5 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
K-5 vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Pentax K-5 for different forms of photography

The following graph indicates a overview of the Pentax K-5 for different forms of photography. To learn more, check out the specific section below.

Pentax K-5 Portrait photography advice

The Pentax K-5 gets a points tally of 74 which is nice, and means the camera is a fine option for portraits. Taking portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor dimensions, support for RAW photos plus the potential to use external lighting.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
you can focus manually
MP count good (16MP)
good sensor size (APS-C)
provides face detection autofocus
delivers RAW formats

Pentax K-5 Street photography information

Getting a very good score of 66, the Pentax K-5 is a respectable fit to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera comes with a fine balance of image quality and portability.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
supports RAW files
environment proofing
fixed screen

Pentax K-5 Sports photography info

A excellent sports photography points tally of 78 means the Pentax K-5 is a brilliant choice for shooting sports. A camera really should have excellent focusing plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
high shutter speed (1/8,000s)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
MP count decent (16MP)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
comes with tracking autofocus
environment proof
comes with phase detect auto focus

Pentax K-5 Travel photography features

Size is extremely critical in getting a travel camera. All things considered, the Pentax K-5 gets a nice 65 for a travel camera which makes it a very decent option to purchase for your journeys.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
weather sealing
resolution is good (16 megapixels)
has built in flash
display isn't selfie friendly

Pentax K-5 Landscape photography info

For anybody looking to choose a digital camera for landscape photography, the biggest factor will no doubt be image quality. The Pentax K-5 with it's excellent score of 78 for a landscape camera is a brilliant choice in the current marketplace.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
focusing manually
swap lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent MP (16MP)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports RAW formats
environment proofing

Pentax K-5 Vlogging information

A vlogging camera should offer a moving screen, mic input and if possible IBIS. Considering every thing, the Pentax K-5 is just not very good as a vlog camera as it gets a bad rating of 33.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
features face detection focusing
high res video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
includes external microphone socket
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen

Pentax K-5 Alternatives

If you are trying to find replacements to the K-5, below is a range of the highest ranked cameras that fall in to the class of Advanced DSLR.

The line chart underneath will give you a bird's eye view of the K-5 vs it's highest scoring competitors shown earlier.

These are some more cameras you may view as alternate options. To review a complete comparison, visit the "compare" link.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records


General Information
Model type
Pentax K-5
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Prime II
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.7 x 15.7mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Maximum resolution
4928 x 3264
RAW photos
Maximum native ISO
Maximum boosted ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Total focus points
Cross type focus points
Lens support
Pentax KAF2
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
3 inches
Screen resolution
921 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Screen technology
TFT LCD monitor
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
7.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
13.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, High speed, Rear curtain and Wireless
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/180 seconds
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (25 fps), 1280 x 720 (25, 30 fps), 640 x 424 (25, 30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
740 grams (1.63 pounds)
131 x 97 x 73mm (5.2" x 3.8" x 2.9")
Battery life
980 photos
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
Card slots
Price at launch