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If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it is clearly Pentax’s thinking behind its decision to keep the hugely capable K-5 going largely unchanged, but is it still competitive against the latest rivals from Canon and Nikon?

Even when it was selling at its launch price around two years ago, the original K-5 was still one of the best value enthusiast-level D-SLRs on the market. As it did with its 35mm models, Pentax has been loading its D-SLRs with extra goodies, leading with the way with comprehensive collections of filter effects (available for both at-capture and post-capture applications), multi-shot HDR capture, in-camera RAW file processing, multiple auto bracketing functions and even manual leveling adjustments. When it was launched back in 2011, the K-5 was easily the best-equipped D-SLR in its class, but was it sufficiently advanced to still be competitive over two years later?

Pentax obviously thinks so because the K-5 II embodies only some very selective tweaks over its predecessor, leaving the basic recipe pretty much unchanged. However, there is another version called the K-5 IIs which is interesting because its sensor doesn’t have a low-pass or anti-aliasing filter – an arrangement that’s starting to gain in popularity.

After also offering ‘either/or’ models with the D800 and D800E, Nikon has simply abandoned the LPF altogether on the D7100, arguing that the compromises to image quality really aren’t worth the few times it might actually be useful (possibly never if you don’t ever shoot certain subjects). Pentax describes the K-5 IIs as being “perfect for photographers who value image resolution above all other factors and fully understand the function and characteristics of an anti-aliasing filter”. Pentax K-5 ii  $11489*

Thank-you for looking up our  Pentax K-5-II Camera Review. This equipment review is currently available only as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages originally printed in the March / April 2013 issue.

You can download it here:  Pentax K-5-II Camera Review.pdf