Pentax K-r

Pentax K-r front
  • 12MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 200 - 12800 (Increase to 25600)
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/6000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 598g - 125 x 97 x 68mm
  • Released March 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax K-r overview

Pentax K-r is Pentax's Entry-Level DSLR camera initially revealed on March of 2011. The camera includes a 12MP, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a peak resolution of 4288 x 2848.

The K-r is scored #49 out of 80 in Entry-Level DSLR cameras & all round #404 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. You can look at our Advanced camera finder to see camera results based on your personalized requirements.

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Below is a chart of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax K-r family

The Pentax K-r is part of a family of digital cameras. You can see the full list below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Pentax-KF front thumbnailPentax KF
K-r vs KF
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2022
Pentax-K-70 front thumbnailPentax K-70
K-r vs K-70
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2016
Photography Glossary
Pentax-K-S2 front thumbnailPentax K-S2
K-r vs K-S2
20MPAPS-C5.4 fps2015
Pentax-K-500 front thumbnailPentax K-500
K-r vs K-500
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2013
Pentax-K-50 front thumbnailPentax K-50
K-r vs K-50
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2013
Pentax-K-r front thumbnailPentax K-r12MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
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Pentax-K-x front thumbnailPentax K-x
K-r vs K-x
12MPAPS-C5.0 fps2009

Pentax K-r Pros and Cons

Here is a shortlist of advantages and disadvantages of the Pentax K-r based on aspects that are normally seen as necessary in a camera.

built-in flash
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
exports RAW formats
great max shutter speed (1/6,000 seconds)
has manual focus
has phase detect autofocus
interchangeable lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
supports face detection autofocus
very good screen resolution (921 thousand dot)
bad battery power (470 per charge)
continuous shooting slow (6.0 fps)
doesn't feature selfie friendly display
lack of external mic port
lack of HDMI port
lack of headphone port
megapixel count low (12 megapixels)
screen is fixed
video res low (1280 x 720 pixels)
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Pentax K-r Sensor features

The Pentax K-r is powered by the Prime II processor chip. The sensor spec on the Pentax K-r is 23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C). The 373 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 4288 x 2848 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2. The camera has Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Sensor stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization since the latter can lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 12 megapixels and features a native ISO range of 200 to 12800. The ISO can be expanded digitally to 100 to 25600. RAW photos are supported so the user has more margin for error.

The graphic below shows the K-r's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The K-r sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is outlined in green.

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To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax K-r dimensions

Pentax K-r weighs around 1.32 lb (598 gr / 21.09 oz) & the physical size of the camera is 125mm x 97mm x 68mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.7"). The weight of general Entry-Level DSLR camera is 540 gr and the Pentax K-r is weightier as compared with various rivals.

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Below is a pic of the Pentax K-r alongside a softdrink so you're able to get a sense of its size.

Pentax K-r dimensions scale

The top view here will show you the button design on the K-r.

Pentax K-r topview buttons dials

Pentax K-r Lens features

The K-r works with the Pentax KAF2 mount and has 17 lenses on the market today. Here is a few of the lenses we have in our collection that will work with the K-r.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Pentax-smc-DA-60-250mm-F4.0-ED-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 60-250mm F4.0 ED IF SDM60-250mmf/4.0 1040g
Samsung-D-Xenon-100mm-F2.8-macro lensSamsung D-Xenon 100mm F2.8 macro100mmf/2.8 345g
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Samsung-D-Xenon-50-200-F4-5.6-ED-Pentax-KAF lensSamsung D-Xenon 50-200 F4-5.6 ED50-200mmf/4.0-5.6 255g
Pentax-smc-DA-50-135mm-F2.8-ED-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 50-135mm F2.8 ED IF SDM50-135mmf/2.8 685g
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-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6 lensSamsung D-Xenon 18-55mm F3.5-5.618-55mmf/3.5-5.6 225g
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Samsung-D-Xenon-12-24mm-F4-ED-Pentax-KAF lensSamsung D-Xenon 12-24mm F4 ED12-24mmf/4.0 430g
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Pentax K-r Connectivity

The K-r has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that consist of NFC and Bluetooth support are able to be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You will be able to copy pictures and at times change settings without connecting directly with the camera.

Several apps also give a Liveview and press the shutter if you aren't near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it can easily be attached to an external screen. Many cameras will allow you to recharge the battery through the USB socket.

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Pentax K-r Video features

The highest video quality on the Pentax K-r is 1280 x 720 and you can record in Motion JPEG format. 720p is terrible for today's requirements. You should go for a minimum FUll HD quality for video. The body doesn't include a microphone and headphone socket so you have got absolutely no control over the sound. It is perhaps best to shop for an alternative camera in case you require good sound for your video clips.

Photography Glossary

Pentax K-r Weather Sealing

There is no weather sealing for the Pentax K-r so you have to be cautious in rainy and dusty conditions.

Pentax K-r Display and Viewfinder

The Pentax K-r includes a 3 inch fixed display having a resolution of 921 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display is not a touch screen.

Pentax K-r screen and viewfinder President Biden pushes bill mandating TikTok sale or ban

The ViewFinder specifications for Pentax K-r are below:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 96%
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.57x

Viewfinders are very handy during bright outdoor conditions which can make the camera display washed out and difficult to see.

Pentax K-r Shutter features

Pentax K-r continuous shooting speed is 6.0 fps. The highest shutter speed is 1/6000 sec.

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Pentax K-r Flash and Hot shoe features

Pentax K-r has both integrated flash along with external flash ability. The max flash sync speed is 1/180 sec.

Pentax K-r Autofocusing features

Pentax K-r has both Phase Detect Auto Focus as well as Contrast Based Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster & accurate as compared with Contrast Based focusing. The camera includes Face detect which is valuable for portrait photography.

The AF system includes 11 focus points to choose from. Pentax K-r has manual focusing when required during low light occasions or you need to have more precise focusing control.

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Pentax K-r Battery life

The battery power (D-LI109,4 x AA) for the Pentax K-r is made to last for 470 clicks as per the CIPA requirements making it lower when compared with it's competitors. The typical Entry-Level DSLR camera battery life is 589. Pentax K-x offers the highest (1900) battery life within this category of cameras.

Below is a list of Entry-Level DSLR cameras which have the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
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Canon-EOS-Rebel-SL3 front thumbnailCanon SL3
K-r vs SL3
1070 yesnoyes

Pentax K-r for various forms of photography

The following graph shows a overview of the Pentax K-r for various forms of photography. To view more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Pentax K-r Portrait photography information

The Pentax K-r has a score of 63 which is above average, meaning that it is a good choice for portraits. Shooting portraits favors heavily to sensor specs, RAW support & flexibility to use external flash.

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focusing manually
nice sensor size (APS-C)
has face detect focusing
saves RAW files
low megapixels (12 megapixels)

Pentax K-r Street photography information

With a above average rating of 67, the Pentax K-r is a good pick for street photography. A decent street photography camera provides a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

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built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
exports RAW formats
fixed screen

Pentax K-r as a Sports photography camera

A reasonable sports photography score of 55 means the Pentax K-r is reasonably suitable for photographing sports. A camera needs to have excellent tracking and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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maximum shutter speed is high (1/6,000s)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
sensor has phase detect auto focus
very slow continuous shooting (6.0 frames/s)
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
low battery pack (470 per charge)

Pentax K-r Travel photography highlights

Portability is very crucial when selecting a camera for travel. Overall, the Pentax K-r gets a decent 47 as a travel camera which is fairly acceptable to purchase for your vacations.

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flash built-in
bad battery pack (470 shots)
resolution not great (12MP)
does not feature selfie friendly display

Pentax K-r as a Landscape photography camera

For anyone planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the most significant factor is going to be image quality. The Pentax K-r at it's nice rating of 65 as a landscape camera is a fine choice within the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
swap lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
nice screen size (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
good sensor size (APS-C)
exports RAW files
megapixel count low (12MP)
low battery power (470 shots)

Pentax K-r as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging should really posses a moving display screen, microphone input and preferably image stabilization. Taking everything in to account, the Pentax K-r is just not good for vlogging as it delivers a lousy rating of 26.

Photography Glossary
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
provides face detection focus
does not offer selfie friendly screen
low video resolution (1280 x 720 pxls)
does not have external mic support

Pentax K-r Alternatives

If you are shopping for alternatives to the K-r, below is a range of the top rated cameras which fall within the category of Entry-Level DSLR.

The graph down below offers you a bird's eye view of the K-r versus it's top ranking competitors suggested earlier.

Following are additional cameras you might have a look at as alternate options. To read through a complete comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Pentax K-r
Entry-Level DSLR
Body design
Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Prime II
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.6 x 15.8mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Maximum resolution
4288 x 2848
RAW photos
Maximum native ISO
Maximum boosted ISO
Lowest native ISO
Lowest boosted ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Continuous AF
AF single
Tracking AF
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Total focus points
Cross type focus points
Lens support
Pentax KAF2
Amount of lenses
Crop factor
Display type
Fixed Type
Display size
3 inches
Display resolution
921 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Display technology
TFT LCD monitor
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentamirror)
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
1/6000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
12.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash modes
Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync, High-Speed Sync and Wireless Sync
External flash
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Highest flash sync
1/180 seconds
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (25 fps), 640 x 480 (25 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Motion JPEG
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
598 grams (1.32 pounds)
Physical dimensions
125 x 97 x 68mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.7")
Battery life
470 images
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
D-LI109,4 x AA
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Storage slots
Retail price