Pentax K-5 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: September 30, 2019
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Pentax SD Memory Card Compatibility

SDXC, SDHC, and SD memory cards are compatible with the Pentax K-5. For video and burst shooting, it is critical the SD card you use has a fast write speed.

The wrong SD card can greatly reduce the performance of your camera.

Don't want the technical specs? Listed below is my suggestion on the SD card to use in your Pentax K-5:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.

Best SD Cards

In the time since the launch of Pentax K-5, the cost of SD cards has dropped.

Seeing as to how low prices are, it is not going to be smart to get anything other than a high-quality SD card.

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

All the trouble I have experienced has been because of no-name unbranded cards. Hoping to save around a buck isn't worthwhile if your K-5 does not work properly.

If you want to save some money, pick a smaller capacity memory card from a high-quality supplier. By making that choice, you will know your photographs are safe and sound on the SD memory card.

Recommended SD Cards

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.
PNY Elite Performance SDXC 128GB Memory Card

PNY Elite Performance 128GB SDXC Card

  • Lower priced card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof.
Lexar Professional 1066X 128GB SD UHS-I Memory Card

Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card

  • Lexar Professional Silver Card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 160 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Includes Lexar Recovery Tool Software.
  • Designed for durability in harsh conditions.

Pentax K-5 SD Card Compatibility

Only SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards can be used by the Pentax K-5. Check to make sure that you have the most up-to-date firmware installed on your camera for the best compatibility.

The newest SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) memory cards are not able to be used with the K-5.

You should be aware of the four kinds of Secure Digital (SD) cards that can be used. You can identify the cards according to their 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.

Image Capacity

Pentax SD Memory Card Contacts

Listed below is a fast estimation of how many maximum-quality JPEGs shots you should be expecting to be stored on a card:

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

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

Speed ratings of an SD memory card is determined by the sequential write and read transfer speeds of the card. The write speed of a card is critical for clearing the camera buffer for continuous shooting in addition to recording video.

A slow memory card can cut down the number of continuous photos the Pentax K-5 can take. This is because the camera's buffer will not be able to write data to the card quickly enough.

With video, a slow card can cause a sudden end to shooting. The video file could also be corrupted. If you intend to capture video, it is critical the SD card you use meets the requirements of the K-5.

Read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you are filling up cards with images or video, a card with a fast read speed will save you time.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
The 10 inside of the C means the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of an SD card is related to the sustained write speed. SD cards that have a minimum write speed of at least 10MB/s will be rated 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 name-brand SD card that you can purchase online will be rated Class 10. You can find the class rating of a memory card by looking for a number inside of the C on the front label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
The UHS rating of a card can be determined by a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label of the card.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus can be found in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. The UHS bus makes it possible to provide a way to increase file transfer rates.

Three separate versions have been specified. The versions are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

To find the rating of a card, look at the front of the card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be on the front of the card.

  • 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

Related Cameras

Taking the specifics into consideration, the 128GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best memory card for the Pentax K-5. Any future camera you own, you will know what SD memory card to buy.

Here are a few more pages on digital cameras with similar specs as the K-5:

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