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Pentax K-1 Full Frame DSLR Camera (Body Only)
|Price:||$1,696.95 & FREE Shipping|
|You Save:||$103.00 (6%)|
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- 36.4MP AA Filter-less CMOS Sensor w/ 33 AF Points; SR Shake Reduction w/ Pixel Shift Resolution System APS-C Crop Mode for backward compatibility with PENTAX APS-C Lenses
- GPS/Electronic Compass/Astro Tracer
- Cross-tilt LCD display. Weather-resistant body
- 1080/60i video; Focus peaking in video mode will assist with manual focusing..LED illuminated body points
- Weight:32.6 oz
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||SSE Photo & Video||Amazon.com||TheCameraBox||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Screen Size||3.2 in||3.2 in||3.2 in||3.2 in||3 in||3 in|
|Focus Type||manual-and-auto||Includes Manual Focus||Auto & Manual||—||—||—|
|Image stabilization||Image Stabilization||Sensor-shift||—||Dynamic||Dynamic||Dynamic|
|ISO Range||—||Auto, 100 - 51200||100 ISO-204800 ISO||—||—||—|
|Item Dimensions||5.37 x 3.36 x 4.33 in||5.16 x 3.03 x 3.94 in||5.37 x 4.33 x 3.35 in||10.3 x 7 x 4.6 in||5.18 x 2.99 x 3.97 in||2.9 x 4.9 x 3.7 in|
|Item Weight||2.22 lbs||1.76 lbs||3.01 lbs||—||1.54 lbs||2 lbs|
|Megapixels||36.4 megapixels||24.4 megapixels||36.4 megapixels||36.4 megapixels||24.32 megapixels||24.24 megapixels|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||36.4 megapixels||—||—||36.4 megapixels||24 megapixels||24.24 megapixels|
|Photo Sensor Size||Full Frame||APS-C||Full Frame||Full Frame||APS-C||aps-c|
|Style Name||—||N/A||—||28-105mm||None||Body Only|
|Video Capture Resolution||Full HD 1080i||1080p||1080p||1080p||1080p||1080p|
|Viewfinder||optical viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism)||optical viewfinder||optical viewfinder||optical viewfinder||lcd|
|Wireless Technology||Wi-Fi||Optional, Special version of Flu Card available||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi||—||—|
The K-1’s new full frame 36.4 MP effective CMOS sensor isn’t just another full frame sensor. The K-1 is engineered to incorporate all of the performance requirements of high resolution full frame 35mm digital photography, adding PENTAX unique performance features and characteristics. An improved noise processing algorithm provides unprecedented performance in shadows or low light shooting where high ISO settings are critical for good performance. With the highest ISO in it’s class, the K-1 has achieved a staggering sensitivity range of up to ISO 204,800. This is attributable to a combination of the new large pixel, full frame sensor that has high noise resistance, and the new PRIME IV processor. Newly developed 5-axis SR II system covers the shake of yaw, pitch, roll, vertical, and horizontal motion of the camera. Shake reduction performance is improved to 5 shutter steps of compensation effect. Since SR is built-in to the K-1 body, it’s operation works with every K-mount lens. Combining both the K-1’s SR mechanism and the GPS feature, Astro Tracer easily tracks and photographs astronomical objects. By using movement of the image sensor during image exposure, the K-1 sensor generates the same level of moiré-reduction effect as optical AA (anti-aliasing) filter, without the softening effect. Unlike fixed optical AA filters, this allows the user to adjust the level of the moiré-reduction effect from OFF, Type1 and Type2. Bracketing of these settings is also available. For quick and easy operation in dark situations, the K-1 has new operation assist lighting placed in strategic locations on the body of the camera. The K-1 is carefully sealed in 87 different places for durable usage under harsh weather conditions. Get the shot anywhere, from any position, using the extremely nimble and flexible Cross-Tilt display. Shoot from the ground up, over the crowd, and around the corner, with extreme agility not found in other full frame offerings.
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Conclusion? I'm still smiling about my decision. Pentax, what a home run of a machine you've created!
The possibilities available with this camera - inventiveness of design, ease of layout, imaging options, customization, robust RAW file generation, ISO capabilities, user friendliness, dynamic range, solidness (can kinda go on and on in no particular order). What a pleasure it is roaming around any shoot scenario knowing you have a camera that can handle whatever is thrown at it.
Battery life is ridiculous. I have 3 new batteries, pretty much used only 1 on my Southwest Trip shooting close to 2,000 RAW images on a single charge, around 1,000 on 1 of the other batteries. Dual memory card slots worked perfectly (using 2 SanDisk Extreme PRO SDSDXPA-064G-X46 SDXC Flash Memory Card with a SanDisk Extreme PRO SDSDXPA-128G-X46 SDXC Flash Memory Card as my backup). I've attached a sample image from the trip from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon - 5 exposure image merged in Photomatix, post in Adobe Camera Raw, slight contrast and warmth in Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.
Can't recommend this camera any more highly - you will be smiling all the time while using it :-) . . .
For a summary of my thoughts, feel free to skip to the last section.
The camera is extremely well built with a perceived build quality that comfortably rivals anything else even close in price. Nearly everything is metal and tolerances are tight.
Ergonomics are like a K3 (generally excellent) but with a bit more bulk and a better grip; now my pinky can grip the camera without a battery module installed :)
Buttons are the same as the K-3 but the live view and playback buttons are swapped; this required a temporary adjustment period.
Pentax/Ricoh also added additional buttons and dials. One is a "lamp" button that can turn on little LEDs around the camera for nighttime use. It seems like a great feature to me. Another added control is a "third top dial" with a selector that decides what that dial does. It's very innovative but comes with a trade-off: a smaller top LCD that displays less data. Speaking of the back monitor, Pentax now makes it convenient to change the brightness.
Pentax K3/K5/K7 accessories, like the battery, IR remote, etc, all "just work" so those who already shooting Pentax might literally be able to just buy the camera and be good to go.
The camera also has good support for "DA" APS-C lenses. Versus an APS-C camera like the K3, you lose some resolution (15.3 MP vs 24), body compactness and that nice low price. You gain better autofocus coverage and the ability to see outside the frame. Also, many DA lenses can actually support full frame - the camera will let you try.
I did some tests with in body shake reduction (which is now reportedly improved from 3 to 5 axis) and I'm VERY impressed. Shooting at speeds like 0.5 seconds is giving me usable shots. This tech has really evolved into something special.
My original K-5 had issues with auto focus consistency. Ever since the K5-iis however, single shot auto focus with Pentax has been excellent for me. I'll note that I've done many "head to heads" with cameras like the E-M1 and D750 and, for still subjects the Pentax is just as good and sometimes better (at least in dim light vs the E-M1). The K-1 feels like a slight improvement to the K-3.
Moving subjects. My experience with Nikon cameras, particularity the D750, show that Nikon is still ahead in moving subject tracking. I'll note that mastering a camera's auto focus tracking system is not trivial and I'm no expert. I'm sure that I could improve with practice and settings experimentation. That said, the default setup with the D750 gives me an extremely high hit rate of kids and pets running through the frame. I'll also note that I've seen impressive K-1 results online from other photographers so there's definitely potential there when not focusing on comparison aspects.
For Macro, the camera is "as good as it gets", arguably the best.
For starters, the macro lens selection is superb with many options. This includes the 100mm f/2.8 WR which is insanely good for the price (and, like the camera, it's weather sealed). I currently have 4 macro lenses and each seems to have it's use.
The camera offers (optional) focus peaking and convenient 100% magnification in live view. Live view is smooth and responsive. There is also a near-instant 100% magnification playback review which is more uncommon in high end cameras than it should be. That tilting monitor comes to great utility when the camera is near the ground or in another awkward position. Sometimes I wish it was even more tillable but appreciated nonetheless.
When it can be used (which can be often in macro), "pixel shift" mode brings out a level of detail that no other camera can match..
UPDATE (2016/10/12): Starting with firmware 1.3, Ricoh added a fully electronic shutter option. Complimenting pixel-shift, this allows another way to get completely vibration-free images. Using the mechanical shutter is fine in many cases, but one always has to think about motion blur when using a mechanical shutter regardless of camera brand - this is especially true with long lenses at macro distances where even the slightest movements can register in the image. Electronic shutter is only available in live view.
All that said, the K3-ii is also an excellent choice for marco with a comparable feature set. The K-3 (and K3-ii) happen to have a tighter pixel pitch - meaning you can get a bit more "practical magnification" with the same lenses. It's also significantly cheaper making it a stronger value proposition. If macro work is the main usecase, the K3-ii might even be the better overall choice - with trade-offs of course.
For landscape the K1 is an incredible body, strongly arguable "as good as it gets".
It has weather sealing.
It has a tiltable LCD for high and low tripod setups. There are LED lights for night work. There's built in GPS for location astrotrace for clear star images. It has image stabilization for a better hit rate on "opportunity" shots that are off the tripod.
Lens selection is behind Canon and Nikon but honestly good enough for non-specialists (e.g. someone who needs tilt-and-shift options). The most modern choices are the 15-30mm, 24-70mm and 28-105mm. I personally prefer the smaller size of primes which currently means older designs for me. In primes, I'm finding the 31mm f/1.8 to be an excellent choice; pixel-sharp even though it was designed for film. I also have the 20mm FA 2.8 which requires more attentiveness for good corners. I also happily found the 10-17mm fisheye works well at 15mm and above (where it looks like 10mm on a K3). There are many more options as well, too many to list them all. Also, If you are willing to explore the used market for legacy Pentax lenses (M and A series), the choices becomes even greater. Most of these older lenses work best stopped-down but landscape images are generally shot this way anyway.
Portrait is solid with good focus and excellent IQ. There are some hold backs though. One is the auto focus point coverage; it's not bad but a bit more spread would be ideal. A second thing is that a dedicated focus point joystick would help make point selection more fluid.
I'd also love to see modern 85mm, 105mm, and/or 135mm portrait-focused prime lens. In the mean time, one can do well with the 77mm limited, 100mm macro, 70-200mm and many legacy options.
Usecase: Sports & Wildlife
The Pentax K-1 is not designed to be a sports camera and it shows in multiple aspects. The frame rate of 4.4 FPS (full frame) is OK but not competitive with a sports camera Lenses cover the basics (with a 150-450 and a 560 plus many legacy options) but lack the comprehensive telephoto lineup of Canon and Nikon. Auto focus is fine for still subjects but sports camera's (such as Nikon D5, D500, D750. Canon 1 DX II, 7DII, 5DIII) are better-equipped for tracking moving subjects.
One can definitely get nice sports and wildlife shots with the K1 and many have demonstrated this by posting excellent images. Still, with the large amount of $$$ needed for top sports lenses, I hesitate to recommend a camera that is not custom built to support those lenses - it just comes down to individual priorities.
Video capability is incrementally improving with audio monitoring and improved ergonomics. That said, recording specs are dated for 2016 (1080 60i) and clearly not where engineers placed their efforts. Similar to sports, if you occasionally need video, it will accomplish the task but there are better options for those who are serious about video.
As this review covers many aspects I think it's important to wrap up with my general feelings. This is an excellent all-around camera that is a very strong contender in most applications. The weak point is currently sports and wildlife, where I would call it a "good" camera but not a clear choice dedicated sports shooters. This appears to be exactly inline with the goals Ricoh had when designing this camera, so well-done Ricoh!
A few features that I especially love:
-screen brightening, when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight
-tilting screen, combined with awesome live view (You can hold the camera way up and shoot directly down on things and are actually able to see what you're shooting.)
-the third dial. I know others don't like it, but it is really handy to set it for ISO and not have to press a button and a dial.
This camera feels intuitive. Whenever I pick up a Canon or Nikon, they don't feel right in my hands and there are things that are buried in the menus that I can easily get to with a push of a button or dial on my Pentax cameras. Coming from a k-3, I was able to figure everything out without going to the owner's manual.
This camera can compete against cameras that cost twice as much in terms of autofocus speed and accuracy and image quality. Well done, Ricoh!
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