Capture Perfect Shots with Pentax K-r: A Beginner's GuideKeywords: Pentax K-r, Beginner's Guide, Perfect Shots

Are you ready to take your photography skills to the next level? Look no further than the Pentax K-r camera. In this beginner's guide, we'll go over everything you need to know to capture those perfect shots with this powerful and user-friendly camera.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Pentax K-r article cover photo

Key Features

Mar 11 2011


12 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

Other similar cameras

Pentax K-1 thumbnail

Pentax K-1

Released Feb 17 2016 | 36MP resolution

Pentax K-3 thumbnail

Pentax K-3

Released Apr 10 2014 | 24MP resolution

Pentax K-5 thumbnail

Pentax K-5

Released Dec 18 2010 | 16MP resolution

Overview of the K-r

If you're new to the world of photography, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which camera is right for you. That's where the Pentax K-r comes in. This versatile camera is perfect for beginners who want to take their skills to the next level. With its impressive features and user-friendly design, you'll be capturing stunning shots in no time. In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of the Pentax K-r, so you can start taking photos that truly showcase your creativity and skill.

Pentax K-r Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Pentax K-r camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


12.4MP APS-C CMOS sensor
ISO range up to 25600
High-speed 6 fps continuous shooting
11-point AF system with 9 cross sensors
Built-in shake reduction system
Full HD 1080p video recording
Weather-resistant body
Customizable functions
Affordable price for advanced features


No built-in autofocus motor
Limited lens options and accessories availability compared to bigger brands
LCD screen is not articulated or touch-sensitive
Mediocre battery life compared to competitors
Menu interface can be confusing for beginners
No built-in wireless connectivity
Limited buffer capacity for continuous shooting
Low-light autofocus performance can be inconsistent.

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Pentax K-r

Weather sealed
Dimensions125 x 97 x 68mm

Weather Sealing

The Pentax K-r is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentamirror)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution921k dots
Body typeCompact SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 921k dots. This makes the Pentax K-r not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


K-r includes a optical (pentamirror) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 96% and a magnification of 0.57x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Pentax K-r has a 12MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Pentax K-r has a native ISO range of 200 - 12800 which can be boosted to 100 - 25600. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Mar 11 2011


200 - 12800

ISO Range

Extended ISO100 - 25600
Max resolution4288 x 2848 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


72 / 102

Color Depth

22.9 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.4 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

755 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Pentax K-r camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the K-r is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life470 shots
Battery ModelD-LI109,4 x AA
Wireless Connectivity


The Pentax K-r supports SD/SDHC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Pentax K-r uses the D-LI109,4 x AA model of battery pack. This is rated for 470 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Pentax K-r has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Pentax K-r boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/6000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Pentax K-r includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 11 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

View on Amazon


What is the sensor size of the Pentax K-r?

The Pentax K-r features a CMOS sensor

Is the Pentax K-r weather sealed?

No the K-r does not have weather sealing.

When was the Pentax K-r announced?

The Pentax K-r was announced on Mar 11 2011

Does the Pentax K-r have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the K-r does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Pentax K-r?

The K-r has a native ISO range of 200-12800, which can be expanded to ISO 100-25600 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

View on Amazon

Similar Camera Reviews

Pentax K-1 article cover photo

Pentax K-1 Review: Unleash Your Creativity with This Pro-Level Camera

Are you a professional photographer in search of the perfect camera for your art? The Pentax K-1 might just be what you need. This full-frame DSLR camera is designed to provide exceptional image quality and versatility, making it one of the best cameras you can get your hands on. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the features, specifications, and capabilities of the Pentax K-1 that make it a popular choice among professional photographers.

Pentax K-3 article cover photo

Blog Pentax K-3 Review: A Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Camera

The Pentax K-3 is a high-performance DSLR camera that is designed to meet the needs of professional photographers and enthusiasts. With its exceptional image quality and advanced features, this model has quickly become a favorite among photographers worldwide. If you're looking for a reliable camera that can capture stunning photos and videos, then the Pentax K-3 is definitely worth considering.

Pentax K-5 article cover photo

Discover the Power of Pentax K-5: A Comprehensive Review

If you're on the lookout for a high-end DSLR camera that combines advanced features, great image quality, and excellent performance in a durable body, then the Pentax K-5 should be on top of your list. Our blog post offers a detailed look at the camera's specifications, features, and performance to help you make an informed buying decision.