Delivers great performance, weather-resistant build quality
We really can't think of anything bad to say about the new Pentax K-3, other than it deserves a better lens than either the 18-55 or 18-135mm kit lenses to realise its true potential. Pentax may not be as big or have the kudos of Nikon and Canon, but in the new K-3, they definitely have a fantastic semi-pro DSLR camera that's worthy of our highest Essential! award.
Superb clarity in image quality with 24MP sensor
Pentax have been consistently producing outstanding DSLRs, well specified and rugged. The K-3 continues that tradition, but honing areas that needed attention such as the AF tracking system and the video capability. The increased resolution and the clean images it produces all set off a well-rounded package that comes very close indeed to challenging very much more expensive kit.
Very good still image quality, Eye-Fi wireless compatibility
I'm not sure K-30 owners will be rushing out to trade into a K-50 in order to acquire an Eye-Fi capability missing from their current platform, but folks looking for a new or first-time DSLR can rest assured the K-50 is a worthy successor to the K-30, and that's a ringing endorsement indeed.
Excellent image quality, Dustproof and weather resistant
The Pentax K-50 is a very strong offering from Pentax, with a few unique bonuses such as weather resistance and even the range of colours. The idea of personalising a camera is something relatively new in the UK, but why not? It adds a certain something and takes nothing away. A rugged and reliable all weather DSLR that is well worth a look.
Internal shake resistance, Can run on AA batteries
The Pentax K-50 makes for a good starter option, and we were impressed with the lightning quick speed of its operation at this price point - with auto focus being particularly impressive. However, we did feel that overall the translucent APS-C sensor equipped Sony A58, or indeed Pentax's otherwise very similar K-500 DSLR, offer a slightly better value deal for an entry-level camera.
Excellent image quality, Fast operation including upgraded AF
We have in the Pentax K-500 an entry level model punching some way above its weight. Very well made, an excellent performer and ergonomically one of the best designs around. We still have here a 16.28 megapixel sensor, but this is well proven and produces superb results. Noise control is outstanding, colour quality is superb.
Prices may yet fall as this model is new, but outgoing Pentax K-30 and K-5 DSLRs may offer, temporarily, some keen competition themselves.
Good value for money, Decent resolution
If you're in the market for an entry-level DSLR such as the 16.2 megapixel Pentax K-500 there's a good chance that you're not going to be yet wedded to either the Canon or Nikon brands, which means that this easy-to-use means of getting more professional results stands a good chance of a fair hearing.
A great all-arounder
I'm very impressed with where sensor tech has gone in general and very impressed with the sensor in the Mx-1 in particular. And it could be the Pentax processor doing a great job as well in how it handles the info from the sensor. From the quality pics I've taken, it seems that they've matched the lens to sensor quite nicely. I don't usually go above 1600 ISO and the photos are clean and crisp at this mark.
Good image and video quality
If you're looking for a compact to take the place of that DSLR on casual shooting trips, seek to upgrade from an entry-level compact, or are looking for your first digital camera and want something you can grow into as your photographic skills mature, you owe to yourself to include the MX-1 in your search.
Appealingly retro design
Pentax have mostly hit the nail firmly on its head with the MX-1, especially when you factor in its £400 / $500 price-tag, which is quite a bit cheaper than the Olympus XZ-2, Sony Cyber-shot RX100, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and Samsung EX2F all were on launch, even without any drop in the actual street price.
Excellent image quality in JPEG and Raw, Solid build
Pentax's first entry into the premium pocket camera category is big on image quality but also a bit big for the pocket, which narrows its niche a little more than its competitors. Still, it's a very capable camera with a good set of features, a handsome finish, and an impressive sensor and lens combination.
Wide aperture lens
It's hard to get overly enthusiastic about the Pentax MX-1. While it is capable of producing some good images, and it performed reasonably well in our labs test, it just doesn't have the excitement or appeal of most of the other premium compact cameras on the market.
If you're a fan of Pentax, this might be right up your street, but the majority of consumers may find more to suit their needs elsewhere.
Metal top and bottom plates
The Pentax MX-1 has divided opinion in the office, with some liking the styling and others not as keen on the retro looks. It is definitely a unique looking camera, looking more like a classic camera in the silver and black finish. The camera feels good with a rubber grip at the front and back that is part of the cameras styling, although it is quite heavy in the hand.
Excellent design, look and feel
The MX-1 presents excellent value for money. At times during the review process, we thought that it was a much more expensive camera than its AU$499 asking price. With very good photo and video quality, the MX-1 comes recommended for photographers looking at buying an advanced compact camera with bells and whistles to keep things interesting for times to come.
Love this Camera!!!
I am a proud owner of the Pentax K-5 and very happy with everything about it. I just received the Pentax K-5 II and tested it out. I tried it in a low light situation and the images are better. In addition, the LCD screen on the back of the camera is much better and I can better determine if the image is tack sharp or not. I would highly recommend to spend the extra amount and go for the K-5 II instead of the K-5 at a discount.
Vastly improved autofocus in low-light shooting
Photographers buying their first top-tier DSLR will have a tough choice ahead, but Pentaxians are likely to stick with the home team. If you're looking to upgrade from a K-7, K20D, or K-x and don't shoot in low light or with fast primes (brighter than f/2.8), the K-5 is a great choice and a real money-saver. But if you just love shallow depth of field and need the flexibility to shoot in extremely dim light, the K-5 II is your answer.
Image quality is excellent
The K-5 II's image quality is excellent, producing noise-free images all the way from from ISO 80-800. Noise starts to become apparent at ISO 1600, with a little more noise and smearing of fine detail at the higher settings of 3200 and 6400, while the fastest speeds of 12800, 25600 are suitable for smaller prints. The incredible headline-grabbing top-speed of 512000 is frankly unusable - Pentax should have followed Nikon's lead and stopped the range at 25600.
Good detail and dynamic range (even better in Raw)
A good, solid, weather-sealed camera with a tried-and-true sensor, the Pentax K-5 II remains a solid digital SLR that's easy to recommend. With a decided bent toward enthusiast users, the Pentax K-5 II pairs well with the company's line of Limited lenses, and is good to have along with a Weather Resistant lens on a rainy day.
Solid build, Ease of use, Decent sensor
Like its predecessor, the Pentax K-5 II succeeds where it matters most. It produces high image quality (although its resolution scores are a little low), boasts strong autofocus performance, high build quality and is easy to use. It is a pity we can't add the camera's exposure metering to the list of superlatives, because capable though it is, the few occasions where overexposure does occur can frustrate.
However, the biggest problem the Pentax K-5 II faces is the old Pentax K-5.
Impressive AF in low light
First and foremost, the Pentax K-5 II represents a relatively minor upgrade over its predecessor, the K-5. It's worth noting though that the original K-5 was a pretty impressive DSLR, so the lack of any great sweeping changes isn't necessarily a bad thing. The main improvements the new model does bring to the table are with regards to AF performance and the viewability of the LCD screen, both of which make a noticeable difference.
Fast operation, Outstanding colour reproduction
The Pentax K-5 II is a rugged, magnesium alloy bodied, weatherproof, well designed and high quality camera with a kit zoom that is really very good indeed, and provides a package that looks very exciting against its rivals. It is more compact, arguably slicker in operation and provides the highest standards at a relatively low price level. There's not much to dislike, so the K-5 can be totally recommended.
Excellent control over image noise
The Pentax K-5 II follows its predecessor by two years with an almost identical specification which hides the most sensitive autofocus system yet. The new SAFOX X AF system is sensitive down to -3 EV which is beyond any available digital camera. The simultaneously-launched K-5 IIs which lacks an anti-alias filter is the only DSLR to top the image quality of the original K-5. The K-5 II lands right between them.
Image quality, Colour reproduction
Pentax has followed up its highly regarded K5 with an equally impressive consumer dSLR. With good image quality and great interface design in both the hardware and software, it's a very enjoyable camera to use. Although a little more expensive than some direct competitors, it's well worth serious consideration.
Great piece of gear
Has a powerful zoom although difficult to keep steady without tripod. Still great function. Takes great pics. Bought it for my wife who really loves the look and feel. Very tough and versatile and we are not afraid to take it kayaking, backpacking, or biking. Still learning all the functions.
Capable of a low-resolution burst mode
On the whole, the Pentax WG-3 just doesn't stand out in any notable way from any other waterproof cameras this year. It finished right in the middle of the pack in our 2013 Waterproof Showdown, and we don't think that it's the best option for any kind of photographer. The Pentax WG-3 isn't anything more than a run-of-the-mill point-and-shoot that you can put through some extracurricular abuse.
Good photo quality, with respectable high ISO performance, Very rugged body
The Pentax WG-3 GPS offers a curvy, rugged design that can handle tough conditions with aplomb. Its lens is faster than most of its peers at its wide end, which allows for better low light photos. It also features a unique macro ring lamp, front-mounted LED clock/altimeter, and wireless battery charging support. Image quality is typical for a compact camera, meaning good, not great. Low light focusing is quite sluggish, and the flash is weak and slow to recharge. Battery life is below average.
Ideal camera body for using in extreme weather conditions
A lot of thought has gone into the design of the WG-3, it looks like an outdoors camera and it certainly acts like one. You can drop it, freeze it and even go down to 14m underwater, this is as deep as any other waterproof cameras will go. Unfortunately image quality isn't as good as we hoped, detail isn't great and we found the images suffered with noise from ISO 200 upwards, although the bright lens will mean you can stay away from the higher ISO settings, unless you're in really dark...
Waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof
The Pentax WG-10 offers decent picture quality at a reasonable price a waterproof camera. There are better waterproof cameras available, but if you're on a limited budget, or the camera is for a child, you can't go wrong. You can create unique pictures with the Digital Microscope mode, as well has the range of digital filters available for editing pictures in playback.
Grip is large and accommodating, offering great control
We'd recommend the K-30 to anyone looking for a sub-$1000 model to take to an environment where dust or moisture are a constant concern. Even if that's not an issue, the K-30 still handles great and offers performance similar to its peers from Canon and Nikon at this price point. It's not for absolute beginners and it's certainly not for video shooters, but the K-30 when paired with an appropriate lens-can go places other DSLRs at this price simply cannot.
Solid, weather-sealed body
Overall, it's pretty hard not to like the Pentax K-30. For $850 (body only), you get a well-equipped, weather-sealed D-SLR that takes great photos. Sure, I wish it had better battery life, stereo sound recording, and HDMI output, but aside from those issues, there's little to complain about. Whether you're a Pentax enthusiast or someone looking for a first D-SLR, the K-30 is certainly well worth looking at.
Image quality is excellent, producing noise-free images
The Pentax K-30 is a great alternative to similar offerings from the likes of Nikon, Canon and Sony, proving that Pentax can continue to deliver the goods in their core business, despite recent misfires in the world of compact system cameras. If you're looking for an intuitive, fast DSLR that delivers great pictures, then the Pentax K-30 certainly fits the bill.
Good detail at low sensitivities (even better in RAW)
The Pentax K-30 offers a comprehensive feature set, excellent high ISO performance and very flexible Raw files at an attractive price point and is therefore an easy recommendation for any stills photographer. However, if you are looking for a DSLR to shoot video with the competition offers better alternatives.
Stabilised sensor, Detail-rich images
The fact that the body is weather-proofed is a huge bonus as one of the main reasons why cameras area sent for repair is water damage. Of course to get the full benefit of the K-30's weatherproofing it needs to be matched with one of Pentax's WR (Weather Resistant) lenses.
Impressive image quality
The Pentax K-30 is a richly featured mid-range DSLR that combines features from the more expensive but older K-5 with more recent innovations present in the K-01 compact system camera. As such the K-30 offers enough to stand out from its peers, with the overall build quality and weather sealing a notable highlight. Image quality impresses too, as does the 6fps top burst speed.
Excellent colour, Adobe DNG RAW files
The Pentax K-30 offers a vast array of features including 6fps continuous shooting, built-in HDR creation, electronic level, and a weather sealed and compact Digital SLR body, all for a very reasonable price, making it the cheapest weather sealed Digital SLR available. The camera has a slightly un-conventional design for a Digital SLR, and being available in glossy white or blue, may not appeal to some, although it's also available in the more traditional black.
Colours are realistic
The Pentax K-30 shows off what a DSLR can do without blowing the budget. But that doesn't mean this DSLR scrimps on its features. Far from it, it blows most of the competition out of the water.
Not that most of its peers can survive a blast of the wet stuff. The weather-sealed body is a great feature to have, and something that would usually only be found in a pricier camera, but that doesn't detract from the K-30's ability to produce great images too.
Image quality for still images is very good
The Pentax K-30 is an excellent DSLR choice for adventure photographers and creatives who will appreciate its in-camera effects. For most outdoor situations, the 18-135mm zoom provides plenty of width and reach, yet doesn't add much weight to the overall compact package. Image quality for still images is very good, both for raw and JPEG formats, although we like the raws a bit better. And the assortment of in-camera effects, such as HDR and multiple exposure, encourages experimentation.
Pretty nice bridge camera for the price
All in all, if you are interested in a bridge camera with a long zoom range, you really can't beat the Pentax X-5. While the size might put off some, remember you are getting a zoom lens that goes from 22.3mm to 580mm (in 35mm equivalent focal lengths). It is far from perfect, but, given the cost, it is well worth the money.
Macro performance is excellent
Looking at first glance like a fully-fledged DSLR with its pretend lens ring and hotshoe flash cover, the Pentax X-5 soon reveals itself to be something of a wolf in sheep's clothing, leaning much more to the point-and-shoot end of the compact camera spectrum. Those looking for a fully-featured bridge camera will be disappointed, but for everyone else the X-5 is still appealing, especially given its low price tag.
Huge focal range, DSLR aesthetics
While this is a neat little package, you should be aware that there are many other premium compact cameras fulfilling a similar need and producing stronger image quality, offering faster lenses and heavier feature sets, albeit at a slightly higher price point. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and Panasonic Lumix FZ200, for example.
Great value for money, Takes good pictures
Pentax have created a decent bridge camera which will appeal to those who want a DSLR style camera but don't want the bulk or perhaps don't have the budget required. There aren't many cameras available with this amount of optical zoom for less than £200, so you'd expect there to be a sacrifice made somewhere. There is with image quality, but it's not much of one.
Long zoom, Low price, Articulated screen
Line up these specs against the asking price for an X-5 and you'll see it's an absolute bargain. Naturally some corners have had to be cut to keep the price so low, but not to a degree that would leave a hobby photographer disappointed with the results. Overall, a good performance and a great zoom make it a very tempting entry-level camera.
Well designed body, Good handling, Affordable price
If you're looking for an affordable bridge camera, the chances are that the X-5 will be on your shortlist. The good news is that the X-5 is certainly a capable camera, and one which handles well and offers a decent level of performance in a generally well designed package. There are drawbacks - the LCD screen is poor, as is the EVF, while there are some image quality issues and the use of AA batteries will disappoint some.
Clever industrial design
Ultimately, shoppers interested in the Q10 should understand that they're essentially buying into a very well-built, very expensive toy camera system. Maybe the large selection of toy lenses was already tip-off enough, but if not, understand this: the Q system exists for the sake of quirk, and quirk alone.
Lot easier to use, Handgrip a definite improvement
Thankfully Pentax seem to have realised that the Q10 can't take on DSLRs or CSCs and priced it accordingly. While £379.99/$599.95 for the single-lens kit with the 5-15mm lens is still a big outlay, it does make the Q10 cheaper than some high-end compacts, against whom it more naturally competes.
Reasonable price, Compact size, Good build
When compared to advanced compact cameras, the Pentax Q10 has a lot going for it. Image quality falls short of cameras equipped with a larger sensor. This camera is better suited to those who value compactness above all else.
Those looking for a quirky alternative to the current crop of compact system cameras, with portability being their main concern, may be well served by the Pentax Q10, so long as you're well aware of its strengths, and its weaknesses.
Extremely small interchangeable lens camera
The Pentax Q10 has a good set of features and has extremely solid, well-built body. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into its design and it's one of the best looking Pentax cameras you're likely to find, particularly in red! Unfortunately image quality isn't fantastic, about as good as you'll find on an average compact camera, but colour reproduction is good. If you are interested in a mirrorless camera with improved image quality you'd be better looking at those with larger sensors.
Intuitive to use, Reasonable price
We've been conditioned to believe smaller is better when it comes to consumer electronics, and the Pentax Q10 is the kind of camera you'd be happy to have on you at all times.
But naturally, that convenience and portability doesn't come without caveats. Here the biggest stumbling block is that the Q10's sensor at 1/2.3-inch in size is no larger than that found in the majority of point and shoot compacts some £150 cheaper on average.
Compact dimensions and a fairly solid construction in spite of them
What we found most fun about the Pentax was the ability to select on-board Lomo camera-like digital effects at the point of capture by turning a customisable dial on the Q10's faceplate. There are 19 to choose from in total, with 11 applied at the time the photo is taken, and the other 8 when reviewing images. If chosen wisely the likes of brilliant or vintage colour add contrast and visual oomph to the otherwise flat, snapshot-like appearance of JPEGs straight from the camera.
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