Pentax KF review

Just when you thought DSLRs were done, along comes the Pentax KF. But is it a new camera or an old friend in disguise?

Pentax KF
(Image: © Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Normally we try to separate the camera from its lenses, but that’s not so easy with the Pentax KF because the user experience is defined not so much by the camera, which is good, but the hotch-potch array of lenses to go with it, many of which are not. The body-based screw-drive AF of so many older and cheaper lenses, and ‘Limited Edition’ primes, makes this camera feel far more agricultural than it actually is. Worse, the KF is essentially indistinguishable from the 2016 Pentax K70. The name is new, but the camera is not.


  • +

    In-body SR stabilization

  • +

    Sturdy, weather-sealed build

  • +

    Vari-angle rear screen

  • +

    Hybrid phase/contrast live view AF


  • -

    Stone-age video capabilities

  • -

    Noisy screw-drive lenses

  • -

    The same as the K70 but pricier

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Canon and Nikon may dominate the DSLR market, but we must never forget there’s a third contender – Pentax. It’s been making DSLRs as long as the other two and after an early dalliance with mirrorless, it’s committed fully to the digital SLR design, aiming at a small but passionate band of enthusiasts who appreciate the traditional values, rugged design and the brand’s heritage.

The Pentax KF is the latest of Pentax’s innumerable and sometimes almost indistinguishable APS-C format DSLRs, all of which seem to share the same 24MP CMOS sensor but varying combinations of body design, burst speeds and other features.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at