32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I was looking at different cameras while I was making the switch from point and shoot to dslr. Pentax had really nice features but was not nikon or canon. I was a little nervous about it since Pentax does not have as big of a market share as some of the other camera companies. Everything I read was very positive about the k-r and so I decided to go for it. At this price, it was a bargain compared to the ones with similar features.
The camera showed up and I took it the next day to photograph my sister's wedding. All weekend I played with it, taking pictures of family and friends, decorations, kids, etc... I had a great time and came away with some really solid looking pictures. My brother was shooting with a nikon D90 (which is a little older camera) and I thought my pictures looked sharper and more true to color. My wife was worried that she would not be able to use the camera due to the complexity of some dslrs. She loves the camera and uses it constantly. It has actually gotten her very excited about photography. One negative thing is the plastic-y built lenses that it comes with. The lenses work very well, turn out great pictures, but aren't quite as solid feeling as others I've held. I have not had any issue with them and may never have any issues with them. One more issue is the shutter noise which is very robust. I actually enjoy the sound most of the time but have noticed when I'm trying to take candids of our baby, it can call attention to the camera and lose the shot. The camera itself is built very solidly and is very responsive. The grip is large and feels very comfortable (I have large hands and Canon cameras were way too small for me). It will take pictures as fast as you can click and the features are fairly easy to navigate once you get going. I really like the option of using the included rechargeable battery or buying the adapter and sinking in some AA batteries. The focus matrix on the viewfinder was one of the reasons I chose this over the k-x and I'm glad I did because I use it all the time. Another plus is the camera does not weigh too much so it was much easier than I expected to take with us. I'm very happy with my purchase and do not regret anything about it. I think the Pentax k-r is a very solid camera and even after using the cameras of friends and family, I would make the exact same purchase that I did a month ago.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I love Nikon, and tend to be a Nikon fanboy... but wow! Pentax is superb! Image quality, AF, ISO, and all are amazing out-of-box, and even better on manual mode (if you know what you are doing haha)!
I had such a tough time choosing between this and a Nikon D3100. I kept on looking and looking and looking at reviews, previews, test images...etc. And all ACTUAL proof or side-by-side comparisons showed that this Pentax K-R (and even the K-X) was the winner.
Yeah, it only has 720p, but that is still HD quality. I'm not buying this for filming, I'm buying it for a friggn camera. And I tested out the video on it, and it looks really sharp! Don't know why so many people with their biased opinion based on the video quality? They must have not ever have actually touched either cameras.
I snagged an amazing deal on this one with the 2 lenses and paid $595 instead of the listing price ($699 for the cheapest at the moment), So it was just a amazing find. Loving it, and will treasure it for many years to come.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I wanted to make a transition from the point/shoot used camera I own. I felt that I need more liberties, more decisions to make when taking pictures. I am not pretending to become a serious enthusiast or even a professional, but I would like to improve my skills. I have used an old mechanic Pentax K-1000, and I trust this dear brand. I made some research for entry level DSRL. I have read reviews and compare features, and known since then that K-r was for me. K-x is the cheaper sister for this, but it does not have a lithium battery as K-r does. The kit deal for this one is incredible: two zoom lenses! I have used telephoto zoom lens and have no complains about it. I have not used the other one yet.
The camera has behaved nicely. It does offer the quality results it features here and at pentaximaging website. I have only used the MF because I need to practice in doing myself (XD), but the AF has received feedback that it would not work at certain light conditions. It does have expanded ISO sensibility, but it does have a noise drawback after higher ISOs. Its HDR mode is really fantastic because it offers pictures taken in ways you would not dream about with a point/shoot camera, and it does not need to be blown out or over-saturated. And I have only started using few of its many features, and I cannot wait to test the rest of them.
If you are another person really interested in photography as a hobby, and want to expand or improve your skills, this entry level DSRL is for you. You could start little by little changing from auto mode to priority mode, and then moving into fully manual mode. And this kind of camera is made for that, and more! I highly recommend this camera. Of course, there are better DSLR out there, but this one works more than just fine, and at a very good price (I only wish it would be weather resistant as K-7). This has been the best purchase I have ever made on Amazon, or else.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Have been avid photographer since the age of twelve or so (ahem, a LONG time); started using 35mm SLRs as the "yearbook photographer" while in high school and have lugged one or more around for years and years, but had never had a digital SLR (waiting for technology to come up and price to go down). Bought the Pentax based on reviews and features of comparable cameras. So far it's been great, there's something of a learning curve while I get up to speed, but basically the camera is smooth, fast, and does the work while I do the composition and siting. It does make some noise (that's real noise, not image quality noise)as other reviews note, and there's been a few times when the camera doesn't want to focus on what I'm trying to focus on, but that's part of the aforementioned learning curve. It's still so new that I actually haven't downloaded any pics to my computer, nor have I attempted any video, but did take several hundred shots on a trip through the four corners region (Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, etc). Based on first impressions and reviewing photos on the monitor screen I'm very satisfied. would highly recommend buying extra batteries or the AA battery adapter that's available.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
This review was written by someone who buys a new camera every year, always seeking better photos, bigger zoom, more mega pixels. My quest for outstanding photos led me to my first SLR, a Pentax K-r with two lenses. Rejected was my first love, an Olympus Pen camera which has a lens factor of 2x meaning a 200mm lens has an equivalent of 400mm. The Pentax has a lens factor of 1.5x so my 200mm lens has an equivalent of 300mm. For wildlife and bird shots even that reach seemed lacking, so I bought a 50-300mm zoom lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. After a few uses I sold the teleconverter because of its finicky focusing and noise. The 300mm lens has enough reach for most occasions, but I still lust for that far-reaching mega zoom which may propel me to sell the 300mm lens and buy a new Nikon with an advertised 42x zoom. It never ends with me.
So how does this first time SLR owner like his Pentax K-r? For the most part I do like it, and I have taken some outstanding photos along with hundreds or thousands of throw away shots. Having an SLR doesn't guarantee photographic success. The K-r's 350 page operating manual would indicate that this is a complex piece of apparatus that takes time, practice, and study to achieve those longed for great shots.
My success has been mixed. I've found that it's best to concentrate on one aspect at a time before moving on to another. The filters alone and the various scene settings take many hours of practice to master. Some produce excellent shots, and others just aren't worth the effort. One can process images in-camera with a slew of filer effects; the effects can be eye-pleasing, but I prefer to post process photos on a big screen using software. I will say that in the scene mode the night scene HDR setting for low light pictures has produced some magnificent results, without the extremes of highlights or shadows.
The camera comes with software for organizing and retouching photos. I loaded it onto my computer but have seldom used it.
Even with intensive searching I haven't been able to find any supplementary books about the K-r. I did download an e-book for the K-x that's actually pretty good and most of the content also applies to the K-r which is a very similar camera.
I don't like lugging around three lenses and a handful of filters. Mostly I just keep on the 50-200mm filter and back up if I'm too close to the subject.
Be aware that though this camera can use AA batteries, you have to buy an adapter to make that happen, an adapter that isn't cheap. I've had no problem with the battery life of the standard battery. It's actually very good.
The Pentax K-r feels good in the hand, comfortable and sturdy. With practice accessing the controls can become second nature. My problem is that I have three cameras with different ways to access the same features, such as bracketing.
The on camera menu is extensive and quite complicated. When on vacation, I made sure to keep the manual in the camera bag for ready reference.
This camera really shines in the bracketing mode. I've achieved some of my best photos using this technique and later processing the pictures with Photomatix pro. Taking the three bracketed shots in the raw mode has produced even better results.
Finally - Looking to step up to SLR? The Pentax K-r with its self-cleaning CMOS sensor is not a bad choice if one is willing to devote time for practice and study. Other options are the smaller but more expensive SLR's from makers like Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. Just don't expect all of your photos to be great right out of the box.