The Pentax K-r, like the K-x before it, is a superb camera for keen photographers who either don't want, or can't stretch to the likes of the Nikon D300 or the Canon 550D. Certainly you lose nothing in terms of image quality – we were delighted with the high ISO performance of the K-r, and the kit lens is pretty impressive.
Video quality is more mixed – for our money those looking for a low-end DSLR that shoots decent video files will do better with the Nikon D3100, which feels a little cheaper in the hand but shoots 1080p, H.264 video rather than 720p Motion-JPEG.
Although the K-r is a good choice, the current Pentax system simply can't contend with the breadth and quality of lenses, flashes and accessories supplied by Canon and Nikon – a point well worth considering. It's worth bearing in mind that there a many compatible second-hand optics available though.
With current systems in mind, you should consider the excellent Nikon D5000 before spending money on the Pentax K-r. Nikon's camera currently costs around £100 less, has the same resolution sensor, and has an almost identical video mode to the K-r.
You also get a Vari-angle monitor and, as mentioned, compatibility with Nikon's vast range of DSLR accessories. The Pentax K-r is a great little camera that's easy to fall in love with, but the Nikon D5000 should be higher on your list.
Pentax K-r Ratings
Build quality: 5
Image quality: 4
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