10 Things that Make the Pentax K-1 Unique

Why the K-1 is a true photographer's camera

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Mar 30, 2016

At first glance, the Pentax K-1 catches the eye thanks to key features like its full-frame sensor, ISO 204800, pixel shift resolution, built-in 5-axis stabilization, backwards lens compatibility, and so on.

But what really makes the K-1 special?  Let's take a look beyond the obvious to discover things that make the K-1 is a true photographer's camera. 

Outdoor-Friendly Monitor Brightness Adjustment

When shooting in bright sunlight, a camera's LCD monitor can often be hard to see.  Similarly, at night, the screen's backlight alone can be blinding or distracting.

In anticipation of these conditions, the "down" button on the K-1's four-way controller is now customizable.  By default, it provides quick access to a new outdoor brightness setting that can dramatically dim or brighten the screen backlight.  Even in the harshest light, the LCD is easily viewable when the +2 setting is enabled. 

This setting can also be added to the control panel.

Outdoor View screen brightness changes

When it comes to outdoor viewing, with the K-1 you no longer have to adjust the intensity of the backlight through the setup menu, which was a slow, tedious, and less effective process on earlier bodies.  Of course, the K-1 retains these additional screen settings should you wish to fine tune the default backlight intensity or color hue.

Comprehensive Pentax Lens Guide

Master the different Pentax lens series

By johnhilvert in Gear Guides on Mar 21, 2016

You may know that all Pentax K-mount lenses ever made can be attached to all Pentax DSLRs, including the mirrorless K-01 and the latest full-frame K-1. But evolutionary differences between each lens series mean that supported features may vary. This guide will make you an expert on Pentax lenses by first explaining lens terminology, then highlighting the main differences between past and present lens generations.

Pentax K-1 Viewfinder Tour

Overview of new customization features

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Mar 11, 2016

The Pentax K-1 is the first DSLR from Pentax to feature a LCD overlay in the viewfinder.  Thanks to this, not only are autofocus points displayed more clearly, but if multiple points report being in focus simultaneously, they can all be shown.  In addition, a number of other viewfinder components can be shown and customized.  See the video below for a demonstration of the K-1's viewfinder features:

The diagram below depicts the K-1's viewfinder with everything visible:

Pentax K-1 Viewfinder Diagram
Pentax K-1 Viewfinder Diagram

Recommended Pentax Gear 2015

Staff-picked top cameras, lenses, and accessories

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Mar 25, 2015

Our staff writers have handled every Pentax DSLR ever made as well as virtually every lens and peripheral currently available for Pentax cameras.  Each piece of equipment found in this gear guide  has been carefully selected as something that delivers an optimal blend of performance and value.  Whether you are looking to expand your Pentax kit or simply planning to upgrade to a new camera, we are re confident that you will be very happy with our recommendations!

If you live in the US, shop with confidence at B&H Photo and Adorama: the two largest Pentax retailers that stock the entire Pentax lineup year-round.  If you're in the UK, WEX Photographic also carries the full Pentax lens line.  If you live elsewhere in the EU, UK-based SRS Microsystems will ship straight to your door.  Users in Australia and New Zealand can order directly from CR Kennedy. Orders under $1000 (AUD) can also be imported to Australia from the aforementioned US retailers with no added GST. If you're in Canada, you can order most items from B&H and Adorama with little or no customs fees, or shop at local photo retailers such as Henry's.

Links to learn more or to order are included alongside each item in this guide. Also, don't miss our in-depth reviews, which are linked in the listings below.

The prices quoted in this guide are US retail prices as of March, 2015.  Prices may vary in different markets.

Building the Perfect Compact Lens Kit

Minimizing size and weight while maximizing quality

By carpents in Gear Guides on Feb 23, 2015

The announcement of the K-S2 has Pentax shooters excited about yet another camera, but many of us are more excited about the lens - a collapsible, small 18-50mm zoom.

Downsizing lenses— while maintaining or improving quality— is what Pentax has long been about. Long before Fuji and Olympus/Panasonic fleshed out their excellent and small lenses, Pentax has been sporting a line of outright diminutive crop-camera lenses which shine.  Many legacy lenses from the film era are also surprisingly small.


New K-S2 DSLR w/ collapsible kit lens (Click to Enlarge)

If you're looking for compact and lightweight lenses, Pentax has you covered from ultra-wides to telephoto. Many of the lenses in the Pentax arsenal are even smaller and lighter than their mirrorless kin, no small feat for those looking to drop pounds from their kit.

The recommendations below are small and light lenses with the ultimate image quality: The Perfect Compact Lens Kit. Added to the weather-sealed retractable 18-50mm, you'll have a take-anywhere kit!

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