Pentax K-5 Memory Card Compatibility

SDXC, SDHC, and SD memory cards are engineered to operate with the Pentax K-5. Video and burst shooting need SD cards with fast write speeds to the card.

The functionality of your camera can be decreased by using an inadequate card.

Don’t want the technical details? This is my recommendation on the SD card for use with your Pentax K-5:

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SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U1, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 10MB/s write speeds.
  • Excellent choice for photos.
  • Capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080) Video.
  • Inexpensive with more than good enough performance.
  • Larger capacities are available for a reasonable price.

SD cards have greatly reduced in price since the introduction of the Pentax K-5.

With costs staying quite cheap, it would not be sensible to invest in anything but a high-quality SD card.

The best SD cards I own have been the SanDisk Extreme Pro, Lexar Professional, and PNY Elite Performance models. I have not experienced a card break or unusable data with any of those SD cards.

All the problems I have encountered has been with low-cost unbranded SD memory cards. Seeking to save a little bit of money is not worth it if your K-5 is likely to have trouble.

A good way to spend less money is to purchase a smaller storage capacity memory card from a quality company. Because of this, you’ll not have to be anxious about the photographs stored on the SD memory card.

SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U1, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 10MB/s write speeds.
  • Excellent choice for photos.
  • Capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080) Video.
  • Inexpensive with more than good enough performance.
  • Larger capacities are available for a reasonable price.

PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Good for burst shooting photos and recording 4K video.
  • Larger capacity cards are available.
  • Reliable & Durable: Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • Comparatively expensive for faster read speeds.
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Only makes sense for professional use or if you need the largest storage capacity available.
  • Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof.

Only SDXC, SDHC, and SD memory cards can be used by the Pentax K-5. Ensure that you have the most recent firmware installed on your camera for the best compatibility.

The newest memory cards, SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity), cannot be used with the K-5.

You need to know of the 4 kinds of Secure Digital (SD) cards that can be found. They are separated by storage size.

  • SD (Secure Digital) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) - 4TB to 128TB.
SD Card Contacts
SD Card Contacts

Here is a fast estimation of the volume of maximum-quality JPEGs photos you can expect to fit on a memory card:

  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images
  • 64GB - 18,560 images
  • 128GB - 37,120 images

The speed rating of an SD memory card is classified by the sequential write and read speeds. Card continuous write speed is essential for continuous shooting and video.

A slow SD card can cause a drop in the number of continuous frames the Pentax K-5 can capture. This is because the camera’s buffer will not be able to write data to the card fast enough.

When recording video, a slow card can cause a sudden end to shooting. The video file may also be corrupted. If you are going to capture video, it is important the SD card you use meets the required minimum write speed for video.

Read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a SD card with a fast read speed will decrease the time it takes the transfer to complete.

SD Card Speed Class
SD Card Speed Class

An SD memory card receives a Class rating determined by its sustained write speed. Cards that have a write speed of at least 10MB/s are labeled as Class 10.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Every brand-name SD memory card that you can get online will be Class 10. To discover the class rating of a card, search for a number inside of a C on the sticker.

Example of UHS Rating
Example of UHS Rating

The Ultra High Speed bus (UHS) can be found in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. UHS memory cards to have increased transfer rates.

Three separate specs have been created. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

You can find out the rating of a memory card by reading the front of the memory card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be on the SD card label.

  • UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s

According to the topics that were discussed is why the the 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best memory card for the Pentax K-5. You are now also prepared for any future camera you own.

Below are more pages on digital cameras related to the K-5: