Pentax K-5 vs KP
The Pentax K-5 and the Pentax KP are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and January 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The K-5 has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the KP provides 24.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Pentax K-5||Pentax KP|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Pentax K mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/25p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (80-51200)||ISO 100-819200|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|7 shutter flaps per second||7 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|740 shots per battery charge||390 shots per battery charge|
|131 x 97 x 73 mm, 760 g||132 x 101 x 76 mm, 703 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax K-5 and the Pentax KP? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Pentax K-5 vs KP
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-5 and the Pentax KP. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The KP can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the K-5 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax KP is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Pentax K-5. However, the KP is markedly lighter (8 percent) than the K-5. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Pentax K-5»||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099||-||Pentax K-5|
|Pentax KP«||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Nikon D7000« »||132 mm||105 mm||77 mm||780 g||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5« »||122 mm||89 mm||43 mm||425 g||360||Y||Feb 2012||1,299||-||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GH5« »||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70« »||126 mm||93 mm||74 mm||688 g||410||Y||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II« »||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3« »||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Pentax K-3|
|Sony A77« »||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399||-||Sony A77|
|Sony A850« »||156 mm||117 mm||82 mm||895 g||880||Y||Aug 2009||1,999||-||Sony A850|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Pentax K-5 vs KP
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the KP is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the KP uses a more advanced image processing engine (PRIME IV) than the K-5 (PRIME II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the KP offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the K-5. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 4.81μm for the K-5). However, it should be noted that the KP is much more recent (by 6 years and 4 months) than the K-5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the KP has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax KP implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the KP for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20 inch or 76.4 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16 inch or 61.1 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.3 inch or 50.9 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax K-5 are 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
Unlike the K-5, the KP has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Pentax K-5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax KP are ISO 100 to ISO 819200 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Pentax K-5»||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.7||14.1||1162||82||Pentax K-5|
|Pentax KP«||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Nikon D7000« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||22.8||12.3||826||71||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.7||13.4||1216||80||Pentax K-3|
|Sony A77« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.2||801||78||Sony A77|
|Sony A850« »||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||-||23.8||12.2||1415||79||Sony A850|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the KP provides a faster frame rate than the K-5. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the K-5 is limited to 1080/25p.
Feature comparison: Pentax K-5 vs KP
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The K-5 and the KP are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the KP has a higher magnification than the one of the K-5 (0.63x vs 0.61x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Pentax K-5 and Pentax KP in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Pentax K-5»||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-5|
|Pentax KP«||optical||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/6000s||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax KP|
|Nikon D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5« »||1440||n||3.0||610||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GH5« »||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3« »||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||Y||Y||Pentax K-3|
|Sony A77« »||2359||Y||3.0||921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y||Sony A77|
|Sony A850« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||n||Y||Sony A850|
One feature that is present on the K-5, but is missing on the KP is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the KP is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Pentax K-5 and the Pentax KP both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the K-5 and the KP write their files to SDXC cards. The KP supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the K-5 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
Connectivity comparison: Pentax K-5 vs KP
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Pentax K-5 and Pentax KP and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Pentax K-5»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-5|
|Pentax KP«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Nikon D7000« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3|
|Sony A77« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A77|
|Sony A850« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A850|
It is notable that the KP offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the K-5 does not offer wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-5 (unlike the KP) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The KP is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the K-5 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the K-5 was succeeded by the Pentax K-5 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Pentax website.
Review summary: Pentax K-5 vs KP
So how do things add up? Is the Pentax K-5 better than the Pentax KP or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Pentax K-5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/6000s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (740 versus 390) on a single battery charge.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).
Reasons to prefer the Pentax KP:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 16.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (PRIME IV vs PRIME II).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/25p).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.61x).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 4 months of technical progress since the K-5 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the KP is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Pentax K-5 and the Pentax KP place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the K-5 or the KP. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Pentax K-5 vs KP
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Pentax K-5»||-||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099||-||Pentax K-5|
|Pentax KP«||-||82/100||5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||+ +||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5« »||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||1,299||-||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GH5« »||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II« »||-||-||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3« »||-||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Pentax K-3|
|Sony A77« »||91/100||81/100||-||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399||-||Sony A77|
|Sony A850« »||-||75/100||-||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2009||1,999||-||Sony A850|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Pentax K-5 vs Pentax KP
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Pentax K-5||Pentax KP|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2010||January 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1099||USD 1099|
|Sensor Specs||Pentax K-5||Pentax KP|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.7 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.09 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||6016 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.81 μm||3.90 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.32 MP/cm2||6.56 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/25p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-819200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-51200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||PRIME II||PRIME IV|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.1||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1162||..|
|Screen Specs||Pentax K-5||Pentax KP|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Pentax K-5||Pentax KP|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000/s||1/6000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/24000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Pentax K-5||Pentax KP|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Pentax K-5||Pentax KP|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||D-LI90 power pack||D-LI109 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||740 shots per charge||390 shots per charge|
131 x 97 x 73 mm
(5.2 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
132 x 101 x 76 mm
(5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||760 g (26.8 oz)||703 g (24.8 oz)|
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