ReviewGist Report for Pentax K-r
The Pentax K-r is the follow up to the entry level DSLR Pentax K-x from Pentax, released in September 2010. In this report we take a deeper look at the features that Pentax has launched with the K-r. We further analyze 22 expert reviews from sites like CNet, PC World and Imaging Resource and take a look at their findings as they put the K-r to the test. At the end of the review we will present you some buying advice on the Pentax K-r.
What the Manufacturer Says
The Pentax K-r brandishes the new generation 12 megapixel CMOS image sensor from Pentax. The sensor is coupled with the high-performance PRIME II imaging engine for high quality images and optics rivalling those of the high-level DSLR's from Pentax.
The Pentax K-r also supports the SMC PENTAX DA 35mm F2.4 AL, a versatile lens able to produce high resolution images and comes with a large 3 inch LCD, improved image capture with a Night Scene HDR mode and a faster frame rate that can capture 25 images in a sequence.
Noteworthy also is the K-r's compact and lightweight body which comes in a stainless-steel chassis with what Pentax claims, an in-body shake reduction mechanism for blur-free images.
Other important features include:
1. Highly responsive auto-focus system
2. Dust Removal Mechanism - which shakes dust off the CMOS image sensor
3. Bright, Clear Optical Viewfinder - with a 0.85X image magnification with a 96% field of view.
4. Dual Power-Source Design - In addition to the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the K-r can also use a 4-AA batteries through an optional battery holder.
What the Reviews Say
According to experts like PCWorld, MacWorld and eCameraTalk, the Pentax K-r's image quality is excellent and impressive. The camera's stabiliser works well, making small jitters unnoticeable. High ISO performance seems to be good, too and data processing is fast and accurate.
Review experts seem to be satisfied with the quality of the videos produced by the Pentax K-r. HD video shot with this camera was rated as good by the experts like PCWorld and MacWorld.
The K-r produces those high-quality images thanks to the incorporated CMOS image sensor and the high-performance PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) II imaging engine. The camera's auto-focus receives mostly positive comments as being responsive, from such reviewers as Engadget. DemystifyingDigital and eCameraTalk. To help the camera focus in poorly lit locations, it is equipped with an AF assist beam, a feature commended by DigitalReview.ca. Other reviewers note that the shutter is fast, and that the optical viewfinder is clear and bright. However PC World not only reports a slight rolling shutter problem, but terms the AF as somewhat slow.
Reviewers found the camera to be well-designed, compact and lightweight, having a good grip that allows very comfortable hold. The interface is simple and menus are fast and easy to operate. The LCD screen is nice and large featuring high resolution. The only complaint reviewers had about the LCD was that it has to be turned of and on manually.
With the K-r, Pentax brings something new to the table. Besides AA batteries, the box includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can capture about 560 images on one charge. But in case you run out of power and cannot recharge the battery, you can simply buy a pair of AA's, and the camera is good to go.
As Pentax claims the camera indeed takes beautiful, high resolution images according to experts. The shake reduction mechanism works well and the auto-focus is responsive.
All in all, the Pentax K-r is an easy to use compact and lightweight DSLR that combines excellent image quality, good HD video performance, user friendly interface and fast menus, with the option to use either AA batteries or a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
If what you're looking for is a relatively inexpensive, lightweight and small but somewhat high-end camera as your first DSLR, the Pentax K-r is a smart choice.
At the moment competition in the entry level DSLR category comes from the Nikon D3100 and the Canon EOS 550D, so you might want to check out both these models. Also check out the mirror-less, live-view only cousins the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 and the Samsung NX10.