Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs refresh company's DSLR camera range

Pentax has put to bed all of the pre-release rumours and has announced details of the refresh to its K-5 DSLR camera that graced the back end of 2010.

Coming in the guise of two separate models, the Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs are nigh-on identical save for the latter of the two coming without the anti-aliasing filter, for photographers who favour image resolution above all else.

Other than that, the specifications for are the same for both. The K-5 II and IIs each come with an improved autofocus module over their forebear, the K-5. The SAFOX X AF module offers a broader AF working EV range (-3 EV to +18 EV). It also promises increased autofocus accuracy when used with fast lenses.

There is a new AF algorithm too, which includes a select-area expansion function, giving the camera the ability to track a subject even if it is moving within the frame.

A tempered-glass rear screen features a 3-inch LCD display sporting approximately 921,000 dots. There's an anti-glare film coating, and a resin layer between display and glass panel is there to cut down on reflections.

The camera comes with a 23.7mm by 15.7mm 16.28-megapixel CMOS image sensor, and boasts an ISO range of 100 to 12800 in its standard setting; 80 to 51200 in an expanded mode.

Its shutter unit is capable of a top speed of 1/8000 second and durability is claimed to be up to 100,000 shutter releases. High-speed continuous shooting is possible at up to 30 frames per second. And like with the Pentax Q10, the company's proprietary SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism in built into the camera body itself.

A number of custom image modes are selectable on the K5-II (or K5-IIs), including Bleach Bypass and Cross Process image settings to make a crisp, detailed and colour-filled high resolution picture look like it's been taken by a toy camera. And there is automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration when DA, DFA and FA Limited-series lenses are used.

Other features include the ability to shoot in RAW format (and PC software is included to process them). Plus, the company's DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism is present to keep the image sensor clear from specks. Battery life is claimed to last approximately 980 images before it needs a recharge.

The Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs will both be available in the UK from early October, with the K-5 II priced at £799.99 for the body only, £869.99 including an 18-55mm WR kit lens, £1,119.99 for the body and an 18-135mm WR kit lens.

The Pentax K-5 IIs will be £949.99 for the body only.