New Pentax K5II, K5IIs and Q10 – Pentax releases updates to their already great cameras

New Pentax K5II and K5IIs – They improved the K5? Looks to be so! 

To those asking me about new Sony products (over 340 e-mails flooded my inbox about this today) I will have a full write up and hands on report tomorrow night, so check back then for the lowdown. 😉

Today we have Pentax announcing a couple of new significant cameras that I will be keeping an eye on. I loved the Pentax K5 and found it to be one of my favorite DSLR’s ever so how will the brand spanking new K5II and IIs be? I found the K5 to be fantastic with the Pentax limited prime lenses and the K5II and IIs will offer even more bang for the buck in the small-sized DSLR market.

I love when the smaller guys release products that are giant killers in many ways and that is just what the K5 was. Now for $1299 and $1399 you will get a small-sized DSLR that is full featured, weatherproof and sealed, has a great LCD, great HD video, great control and customization, and this time even better IQ with the all new SAFOX X sensor which will offer better DR, better high ISO and overall better IQ than the previous K5. Basically this is an update to the sensor and AF more than anything and we now get to choose a version without an AA filter (this is GOOD) for an extra $100. Not bad.

This release is sort of NOT a big deal but then again it sort of is…the ability to buy a K5 without an AA Get ready for extra detail and crispness. Id have all cameras without an AA filter if it were up to me because I shot with an AA filterless M9 forever and ever and had maybe 3 shots with a moire problem. I’ll take extra detail and crispness any day of the week and I look forward to reviewing the new K5IIs (wanna send me one to test Pentax)?

I love Pentax and while I think they made a blunder with the K-01 a few months back I think they are on the right track even with an improved K5 because the K5 was beautiful as it is even better.

You can pre-order the K5II below (DID NOT SEE A IIS OPTION YET):

Order the Pentax K5II Body only at B&H for $1299

Pre-Order the Pentax K5II with 18-135 zoom for $1599


The Pentax K5II – what it is all about:

  • 16.3 MP CMOS Sensor
  • 11 Point SAFOX X Autofocus System
  • 3.0″ Air-Gap-Free LCD w/ 921k Dots
  • 1080p HD Video w/ External Mic Jack
  • High Sensitivity 80-51200 ISO Range
  • Body-based Shake Reduction (SR) System
  • Steel Chassis with Magnesium Alloy Cover
  • Fully Weather Sealed and Coldproof
  • 7 FPS and 1/8000 Maximum Shutter Speed
  • HDMI Output for Stills, Video and Sound

The Pentax Q10!

I loved the Q even though it was small! About half the size of my iPhone 4s length and height wise. The thing was and is tiny but the IQ and usability was super! I remember shooting with it at my Chicago workshop  and the video and images were so good that at that time I was secretly thinking “wow..I am buying one”! Ultimately I found it to be a but too small but for some this is the whole reason to own a Q. Small body and teeny lenses that still deliver the IQ. Almost spy like. Actually, very spy like.

Pentax upgraded the Q to the Q10 with a new sensor, new anti shake technology inside and a newer and better defocus control. They also announced some new lenses like the 83-249 zoom lens at f/2.8. This lens comes in at $299. They are also releasing a K mount adapter so Pentax users can shoot with their old and trusty K mount glass. Wow. What a sight on a Q body 🙂 The Q10 will come in at about $599 USA with a kit lens.

The Pentax Q10 will be pretty cool. The build of the original Q was excellent and I can not wait to give the 10 a spin 🙂


Q10 in Silver

Q10 in Red


PENTAX Q10  – what it is all about:

  • back-illuminated CMOS sensors with12.4 million pixel
  • high sensitivity noise reduction
  • ISO100-6400
  • Burst (JPEG) five consecutive 5 fps
  • telephoto lenses and dark Faster AF speed when Face Detection AF (can recognize up to 12 people)
  • Custom Image, digital filter function, Smart Effect function
  • Auto Picture mode, Scene mode
  • full movie HD (1920×1080), 30fps, H. 264, smart effect
  • Bokekontoru feature image stabilization in the body
  • features HDR
  • Exposure modes P-Av-Tv-M
  • DR II dust removal function of ultrasonic vibration formula
  • built-in flash guide number 7
  • the battery life – improvement
  • body colors: black, silver, red,


  1. I really like the idea of the Q system, however I still think the sensor is too small. And Pentax should release their Full Frame sensor already, the gap between the K5 series and the K645 is too huge.

  2. SH: SAFOX is the name of the AF-system, not the sensor…
    Now, to the important issues 😉
    Nice to see this new camera, based on a already very very good camera, updated exactly where it counts the most,in AF & sharpness. Not that K-5 was bad before, but this was both economically and performance wise sound, from a small manufacturer. Not too much “feature galore” but to the point; IQ. I almost bought a K-7 when it arrived…but funds allowed “only” a cheaper purchase that time, thus I happened to become an “Olympian” by getting a E-620.

    Nevertheless, I like it when both Pentax and other smaller marques make it good, as it is always good that the 2 (3) big ones are not left alone in making good and soundly priced alternatives.

    This well made update of an existing model would be the equivalent for an “Olympian” having owned a E-5 (got better funds after the first Oly camera was aquired) if an E-7 was launched, with at least the sensor quality of the OM-D…or better if possible, and maybe some other modernisations.
    Maybe that wont happen, but a higher speced OM-D will surely come…good enough for me, having just got the EM-5 😉

  3. The New Q10 – according to the specs listed on B & H photo the camera is ” crafted from reinforced polycarbonate plastic” …not magnesium alloy like the original Q… a major step back in my opinion

  4. Now we can only wish for an all-black-bodied K-01-ver02 with clean HDMI out during recording and a doubling of the data rate to the card during video recording….


  5. I’m a big K5 fan, but I guess i’d like to see a table showing exactly how the new K5s are different from the old. The old one already has (for instance) Body-based Shake Reduction System, Steel Chassis with Magnesium Alloy Cover, and is Fully Weather Sealed.

    The removal of the AA filter is a big deal, but I’ll have to see some reviews to be sure that doesn’t do more harm than good. If your photography includes a lot of fabrics, as in fashion or certain products, you might not want it.

    And what exactly is an “Air Gap Free LCD,” and why do I want one?

    I’m not usually a fan of self-consciously “retro” cameras, but the brown Q10 looks really cool. Almost makes up for the K-01. 🙂

    • “And what exactly is an “Air Gap Free LCD,” and why do I want one?”

      I assume that it is similar to laminated screens that the newer, higher end phones are coming with. The LCD is fused with the glass so that the image appears to float on top of the glass as opposed to appearing beneath it.

      • LCD displays have a protective glass layer on top. Filling the gap behind it with an appropriate material reduces reflections off two surfaces, increasing contrast, especially noticeable as darker blacks. It’s becoming common and I’m sure will be standard in no time.

    • “Air gap free LCD”, however it is constructed, most probably results in a display where it is much less likely for dust to get in between the sensor surface and the covering glass. Ever got dust inside a lcd? I have, for sure, both on phones and cameras. To make dust less intrusive is what I´d consider the main advantage of getting rid of the air gap.

    • @scott:

      The main improvement as Pentax themselves seem to phrase it, is the new improved AF-system,and a slightly lower noised, or “cleaner” sensor.
      The AA-filter less camera is a choice you can make, since there are 2 new K-5, the 5II, and the 5IIs. Thus, if you shoot a lot of “man made, regularly patterned” subjects like fabric, you simply don´t get the 5IIs…can it be better?
      Since it is named K5 it is still a K-5, so that those main assets you mentioned stil are there is nothing other than to be expected, and nothing that have been very prminent in the presentation of the new versions (as far as I have sen, anyway)
      It´s the AF and sensor that got improved, not much else. Fair enough, since the original K-5 was already soo good in most respects…

  6. I realize I’m opening myself up to. a chuckle or 20 but I have a really stupid question. Here it goes: Why is it that its more of a “feature” (other than it not being common) for a camera to lack an AA filter and get charged more for the lack of it? I’d think that if there was one less part to have to ship and put on the assembly line, that it would shave $ off the price tag and not add to it.

    Dumb enough question?


    • I’d say it’s got to do with simple supply and demand. Since most camera sensors have AA filters on them, manufacturing those without AA filters is a deviation from mass production. So they charge more to make up for the time and resources spent in doing so.

    • @bainphoto:

      IF Penatx made it like NIkon did with their D800, the “AA-less” camera does not have fewer components at all. They (Nikon) made the “AA-less” camera by making the sensor/filter kit in another way than the normal way, kind of making the filter be arrnaged in another way, effectively negating itself, not taking it away physically. I don´t know how Pentax did it, but if that is the way it is simply two things that could make it a bit more expensive:
      It´s seen as a feature from the customer´s piont of view, thus “for those who want it, it is worth it”. Second,:
      It is most probably sold in quite lower quantities than the normal model, which never(?) is possible without at least some cost increases at the manufacturer´s side of it, and also from dealers having to stock two models, they may need a percent or two extra margin to do that…

  7. I always liked Pentax cameras/lenses; I wish I could justify buying another system
    🙂 The K5-S sounds very good indeed.

    But what is the deal with the Q system? Nice design and all that, but is it anything more than a curiosity? Where is the wireless iOS/Android integration? If you are after a little, take-everywhere camera to take photos of your mates, why would you pick a Q over the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy III?

  8. I think I actually prefer the style of the original Q over the Q10. Of course, ultimately that won’t matter for me if it takes a better image (which are pretty amazing to begin with on the Q). It will be interesting to see some sample shots and reviews on it with that new sensor. As far as a K5 without an AA filter…WOW, bravo Pentax! I’ll be all over that one when it comes out.

    • Is that a joke or am I still reeling from the last inspired, hilarious remark about sensor sizes?

      K-5IIs, here is my wallet, please take it.

  9. Hey Steve, this is great news when smaller players come out with great products. I owe my start to photography to Pentax (ME Super) and loved that camera – so I have a soft spot for them and I’m always interested to see what they bring out.
    A point of clarification – the SAFOX X upgrade refers only to the AF system and not the sensor (which I think you implied?). Do they have a new sensor with this new release K5?

  10. My K5,the mini Sherman tank is awesome. I’m still a beginner to the world of photography but I am so pleased with the end results from this camera. It’s been by my side virtually every day since purchasing it 5 months ago. The fact that it’s size lets me carry it in a medium size bag with 2 extra lenses and that my old 50mm lens from 1982 fits it is the best! Took it to a Rally race in Maine a few months back,got it covered in mica dust and filth. I just carefully washed it off with a mist of fresh water and its good as new.
    Kinda bummed about the new upgrade so soon after I bought, but so be it.

  11. I am a big fan of the k-5 with the limited primes and weather sealed zooms. Probably the best, most compact, weather sealed, magnesium alloy on the market that delivers absolutely mind blowing image quality. Part of the reason i purchased the K 5 ws the very enthusiastic review of the k7 followed by the k5 on this site. Pentax is different and their product delivery strategy, although controversial at times for those in foto-fanatic camp, is deliberate and will ensure that the Pentax brand remains competitive and relevant. Glad to see Pentax continue to evovle the incredible classic K5 wih upgrades that make sense.

  12. Nice set of cameras. First I was surprised that you did not mention anything about the Sony RX1 today but then I realized that you wrote about the Sony visit and I bet they made you sign some paper. 😉 Curious to hear your thoughts and I guess that you are already playing around with it. It sounds so promising, yet still not fully there. My bigger hopes are on the 17th. D!RK

  13. It is difficult when you have a bag of L lenses. Pity all mounts aren’t universal.
    Didn’t realise the Q was so small.

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