Pentax K-1 – Prispressad Performance

With its modern heritage of weatherproof cameras with proprietary solutions and special features Pentax had a lot to live up to when it was time to launch its first digital full-frame camera. The question is whether they succeeded?

It has tisslats and tasslats long enough for a full-frame camera from Pentax for that expectations should be right up among those who love Pentax cameras. Pentax K-1 is not a sequel to any of their previous cameras. Nor does a replacement.

Pentax K-1 is the manufacturer’s first step into the digital small-screen format. But just because it is a completely new camera it does not mean that it is absolutely essentially different from Pentax other models. Many of the features and technologies available in including K-3 II reappear in K-1. But it has also added a couple new features that elevates the camera some more snap.

Similarities and differences

The basic design, Pentax has brought from previous cameras, s even button layout and features such as image stabilization, pixelshift, weather sealing and simulated anti-aliasingfilter.

Some of the things that now in lats to the arsenal is an update of pixelshiftfunktionen, a clever screen solution and a new functional steering wheel. WiFi was nearly forced to get into the camera. Today’s Wi-Fi camera often as obvious as to shoot at very high ISO. In its previous DSLR cameras have had a specific memory card in order to access the images via their smartphone. This card has cost some money and not given any opportunities in addition to getting access to the right pictures.

In the K-1 can quickly and easily transfer images and control the camera. Already K-3 II had a GPS, but in K-1, the more features we will return to later. For those who are not familiar with Pentax pixelshift-technology means that the camera takes four pictures and between each exposure as the sensor moves one pixel so that the end result is an image where each pixel has full color information, it provides images with less colouring and better color reproduction.

Update in the K-1 means that pixelshiftfunktionen works now also with scenes where parts of the subject moves. Camera detects the pixels that changed between exposures and excludes them from the final result.

Unique screen solution

Pentax has always had a bit of their own solutions. K-1 is no exception. The screen is maybe the main stand out when you look at the physical properties. It is suspended on four» sticks «with beads at the ends. These allow the smoothly can be tilted in any direction, and also rotates about a quarter turn. You can imagine that this construction would be weak, but after using it for a while so it feels more stable than I thought. The downside is that the cables between the camera and the screen is there behind, and exposed when you pull out the screen. You will have very bad luck for them to be injured, but the risk is there. The screen can also fold up horizontally like on many other cameras.

On the back of the screen, as well as in the memory card door, in fjärrutlösarhålet and above the bayonet, sits the small LEDs that light up at the press of a button and thus can be used to illuminate the buttons on the back of the camera, as well as facilitate objective-and memory card replacement. This is something that you can’t really think about that, it could be a feature you want in a camera until you actually use it, then you realize how smart it is.

New knobs

On the top side of the camera, there have emerged two new steering wheels. One is unmarked, while the other has a full Pack of choices. These two knobs work together by what you set one knob on it as the other knob adjusts.

With the new steering wheel combination, you can turn on Wi-Fi, choose if you use the cropped mode on the sensor, switch off and on the stabilization, HDR, ISO, exposure compensation, bracketing, viewfinder grid and selecting the speed burst shooting. You will have quick and easy access to several adjustment options without having to go into the menu. You see, moreover, most of these adjustments in the viewfinder. To see what speed you selected on the burst shooting, however, you need to look at the screen. I also think that you could see in the viewfinder.

The new controls have led to the display on the top rated shrink in size, but the most important information may remain in place.

Get lenses

Pentax has been running for a long time with only their aps-c cameras, which means that it is for the sensor size all their best lenses available at present. However, they have begun to release full frame lenses too.

We tested the new 15-30 mm f/2.8 together with the camera, and there are very few arguments that it is not a significant Tamron 15-30 mm f/2.8, Pentax may have put on their own coatings on the lenses. Likely it is the same story with their new 24-70 mm, it, however, we do not express an opinion on but just guessing. However, this should not be seen as something negative, both the angle and the Tamron’s 24-70 mm is doing, good so it’s not bad lens.

In addition, it is possible to use also the APS-C lenses on the K-1 in a cropped mode. But some of the APS-C lenses draw also out all the small-screen format, including Pentax 300 mm fixed and 200.

Shoot space

With the help of GPS and the moving sensor, Pentax has built a feature that might raise eyebrows among those who are interested in photographing the night sky.

The camera can figure out where it is and in which direction it points, and with the help of the information and the sensor’s mobility, it can follow the stars so that the camera allows for slower shutter speeds than otherwise (without making the stars to dash).

No speed machines

Pentax K-1 has a new autofocus SAFOX 12, this means more focus points, and more of them are cross-shaped, 25 of 33. The focus will of course be both faster and more accurate than before, but no significant difference is not. Several focus points is of course good.

But a huge speed difference from the previous version didn’t we experience in our test. However, it is not bad by any means, fast enough for most situations, but not in the class with Canon or Nikon’s latest focus modules. One thing, however, I may miss with the autofocus is the ability to gain focus points illuminated a little longer than what is happening now when switching point or put the focus. It is not always easy to find the focus point is active without moving on it.

K-1, however, is not designed for situations where it needs to go away, with a burst rate of 4.4 frames per second will probably not so many shooting sports with it. The competition, however, is not noticeably faster. Sony A7R II, Canon 5DS R and Nikon D810 is all of five frames per second.

Slideshow: Press image to enlarge and see more (4 PCs)

Image quality

The big change in K-1 compared to previous models from Pentax (apart from 645Z of course) is the significantly larger sensor. A small image sensor with 36 megapixels sits in the K-1 ‘s vädertätade body. Looking at the image quality delivered, it is very good. In the same class as Nikon D810, both in dynamic range and image quality at high sensitivities.

It ends up a bit after the Sony A7R (II) which has a slightly higher resolution. Do you beat on pixelshiftfunktionen however, a dynamic range that pretty much equals a medium format camera. The picture quality is actually incredibly good. For this to work properly, it is required that the camera is on the tripod and the subject is relatively still. The exposure takes a couple of seconds and then processed the image for another few seconds before it is ready. But for landscape-or stillebenfotografen should such a feature to be very interesting. Råfilerna is, however, fairly juicy, our test images amounted to between 160 and 170 MB, a standard raw file ended up between 30 and 40 MB.

What may seem to be a bit on the tray is that Pentax’s 36-megapixelssensorn might start to feel a bit for years. Sony has switched over to a more high-definition and it is not impossible that Nikon will release a sequel to the D810 with the same (as in Sony A7R II that is) or a similar sensor in the not too distant future. Not to K-1 ‘s sensor is bad, but if all competitors have a newer sensor maybe there might be something that a potential buyer perceives as something negative.

Since it’s so clearly applies also that Pentax manage to perform a decently large collection sharp and nice lenses to full format as well. Many third-party manufacturers have abandoned Pentaxfattningen due to their small market share, which means that you must rely largely on originaloptiken.


Who is it who will stand with the card in your hand and ask the Clerk to obtain a Pentax K-1 from inventory? Yes, actually the same person who could just as well have bought a D810 or a Sony A7R II (but at the last moment were sceptical about this with mirror loose).

K-1s weather sealing, image quality and many smart functions should attract buyers from other brands. It is slightly smaller than the D810 (albeit approximately 40 grams heavier).

Pentax now has a full-frame camera can also attract more users even to the brand’s APS-C cameras which are also done very well in our tests. Pentax is known to deliver great performance at a great price and it’s certainly the case with K-1.

Do you want any of your competitors, you need to go up in price almost ten thousand for a Nikon and 5-6000 kroons for a Sony. Once again succeed so Pentax deliver something really good that is also very affordable!