Ricoh Imaging has spent the previous several years revamping the DSLR series of the Pentax brand, while there has been little recent action in the company’s mirrorless camera lines for the Pentax brand. After releasing the K-70, which is considered to be an upper-entry-level camera, and the K-1, which is a full-frame camera, the business has now introduced a model that looks to lie somewhere in between these two cameras.
The Pentax KP will be available at a price much greater than the K-70 when it first launches. This may come as a surprise to some people when the two models’ specification sheets are compared; nevertheless, the KP does provide a few benefits over the K-70.
To be more exact, you may find it on the Ricoh Imaging website, where it is referred to as “low light photography in a new dimension.”
Therefore, it has a surprisingly broad sensitivity range and an autofocus system that is more advanced than the K-70. Additionally, it has the advantage of a Shake Reduction system of the second generation, which should also help while shooting in less-than-ideal situations.
Pentax KP Features
The KP is equipped with many intelligent and helpful settings, and it also takes a few features from the very capable K-1. This is typical behavior for Pentax cameras.
The KP is built on a brand-new APS-C sensor that has 24.32 megapixels and operates across an astonishingly wide sensitivity range, which goes from 100 to 819,200. Surprisingly, it seems that this is the breadth of its native ISO range rather than a mix of both the original settings and the extensions settings.
Pentax KP Build Quality
The Pentax KP has dimensions of 101 by 135 by 86 millimeters when it does not have a lens attached. However, considering how compact it is, its weight of 703 grams with the battery and card installed is rather higher than what we would anticipate for something of this size.
When using the majority of lenses, the camera has a sensation of being perfectly balanced. Still, more extensive and heavier optics can have the effect of preventing the camera from sitting flat on its base when it is put on a table or other surface.
You may make things a bit more pleasant for yourself when taking portraits by connecting the optional D-BG7 battery grip to the camera’s base. This will allow you to shoot in a portrait position.
The ability to remove the grip and replace it with a different option is the defining characteristic that sets the KP apart from other handguns of its era. This is relatively uncommon for a DSLR, but it is not wholly surprising when you consider the unorthodox design of some of the prior models that used the K-mount.
And there is some logic to it, if you think about it. Understandably, you might favor a different level of support when utilizing a relatively compact and light lens as opposed to when you are using the camera in conjunction with a more substantial telephoto lens; consequently, the manufacturer has included three grips with the camera as standard equipment.
One of them has a reasonably flat profile, another boasts a more substantial design, and the third offers something that is somewhere in between the two, and they can all be removed and replaced with ease using the hex key that is provided.
Even though it has the highest mass of the three, it is still considered relatively compact for a body of this size; yet, we discovered that it offered superior control. It may not feel quite as comfortable in hand as the deep grip on the K-70, but all things considered, we discovered that this worked best with the lenses that were provided for our evaluation.
It is a little cramped for the HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm f/2.8ED SDM WR, but that particular optic is not precisely made for APS-C cameras.
Pentax KP Performance
Upon starting up the Pentax KP, there is a minimal wait before the information is displayed within the viewfinder and before the focusing system becomes operational. However, this should not offer practical concerns for anything other than the most spontaneous situations.
The menus are easy to navigate because of their logical layout and the absence of obscure acronyms, which is a nice feature; nevertheless, the lack of color coding sometimes makes things a bit more challenging to discover than they need to be.
It is a pleasant surprise to find that there is practically no latency while adjusting the shooting parameters and browsing the menu screens. Additionally, the camera responds quickly to turns of the command knobs, which is another welcome feature.
Pentax KP Image quality
It has been noted that earlier Pentax digital single-lens reflex cameras had a propensity toward underexposure. However, it does not appear that this is the case with the KP. The only situations in which the camera noticeably underexposed an image were those that would force most cameras to take the same approach, such as when confronted with some backlighting and a lot of highlight detail; however, even in these situations, it didn’t do too poorly, and could generally be left to its own devices. Although the occasional image could benefit from a little positive exposure compensation, the only times when the camera noticeably overexposed an image was in the types of conditions that would force many cameras to take the
Pentax KP Verdict
When viewed in a vacuum, the Pentax KP is undeniably a high-quality camera with a lot of weight in its favor. Its size is unexpectedly compact, yet it offers a high level of tactile control and a considerable degree of personalization in its configurations.
It is easy to use, has a sound autofocus system while photographing static subjects, and is packed with a multitude of ingenious tricks to accommodate various shooting styles and scenarios.
The image quality produced by the KP is excellent, with well-balanced metering, low noise levels, and lovely colors out of the camera. This is an essential feature.
It is in your best interest to become familiar with its various image-processing options because these can make a significant difference to the quality of its images. These options range from its lens corrections and Pixel Shift Resolution mode to its post-capture raw processing options. Getting to know these options is well worth your time.
Pentax KP Pros & Cons
- Capable AF system (in AF-S) (in AF-S)
- A highly efficient information system
- Great ISO noise control
- Small frame for the category it belongs to
- Lackluster video quality
- LCD technology is a little bit dated.
- Performance in Continuous AF mode