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Pentax K-1 II

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
Reviews Views Date of last review
5 9,504 Sat January 12, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,928.40 9.60
Pentax K-1 II

Pentax K-1 II
Pentax K-1 II
Pentax K-1 II
Pentax K-1 II
Pentax K-1 II
Pentax K-1 II


The Pentax K-1 II is a 36MP full-frame DSLR (image sensor size 24 x 36 mm). The K-1 II is an upgrade of the K-1 with a few additions, one of which is innovative (pixel shift available in hand-held shooting).

The K-1 II continues the trend of Pentax flag ship models of being a photographer's camera with a user friendly layout, superb handling in a relatively compact form factor, and a feature set targeting the serious photographer.

New features compared to the K-1:

  • Pixel shift super resolution is now available also when shooting hand-held
  • Sensitivity up to ISO 819,200 (for an extra two stops)
  • Hardware accelerator unit which preprocesses the image before it hits the Prime IV engine
  • Improved image quality at high ISO thanks to the accelerator unit (image resolution, color reproduction, and noise reduction)
  • Improved autofocus performance through updates to the AF firmware

Other key features common with the K-1:

  • Full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 36.4 megapixels w/ 15-megapixel crop mode
  • 3:2 as well as 1:1 aspect ratio
  • No AA filter
  • AA filter simulator
  • Shutter rated for 300,000 actuations
  • Electronic shutter as an option in live view shooting mode
  • 5-axis sensor-shift stabilization
  • Viewfinder with LCD overlay
  • 6.5 FPS in crop mode, 4.4 FPS in full frame mode with up to 100 JPEG buffer
  • Rear monitor tilts and pivots
  • Rear monitor night view mode
  • LED illumination of lens mount, buttons, and card slot
  • Dust & weather sealed
  • Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi
  • USB tethering support as well as tethering via Wi-Fi

The viewfinder has an LCD overlay with a customizable grid, crop area indicator, and dual-axis electronic level. The grid can be enabled or disabled via the menu, as can most of the other features of the overlay.  A dedicated light illuminates this overlay on demand. The viewfinder has 100% coverage and a 0.7x magnification which makes it a tad bigger than the viewfinders of the APS-C format cameras.

The pixel shift capability has been improved over the K-3II in that it will attempt to correct artifacts stemming from moving objects. Furthermore, with the K-1 II pixel shift can be used when shooting hand-held.

The shake reduction is rated good for 5 shutter steps compensation.

The camera has no anti-alias filter in front of the sensor. Should moiré be an issue the K-1 II includes the unique Pentax feature of an AA filter simulator that works by vibrating the sensor ever so slightly during exposure thereby reducing or eliminating moiré. The simulator has three settings (off - weak filter - strong filter). An AA simulator bracketing mode is available.

The body is made from magnesium alloy surrounding an inner steel chassis.

The K-1 II will be available in a body-only kit and in a kit with the high quality, budget friendly HD D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens. For shooters wanting fast F2.8 zoom lenses, the range from 15mm to 200mm is covered by the HD D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ultra-wide zoom, the HD D FA 24-70mm F2.8, and the HD D FA* 70-200mm F2.8. For additional reach the HD D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 is available. All lenses mentioned cover the full frame format.

All current and legacy K-mount lenses are compatible with the K-1 II. M42 screw mount, 645 and 6x7 lenses can be used with the appropriate adapters. With DA K-mount lenses the camera will shoot in a 15 MP crop mode with the active area outlined in the view finder. The crop mode can be overridden which is useful in connection with those DA lenses, that perform well on full frame. Among these are the DA* 200mm, DA* 300mm, and DA 560mm lenses. The K-1 even offers lens correction for these three lenses when they are used in FF mode.

Until we get our hands on a K-1 II we point you to the in-depth review of the original K-1 here.

Major features subsequently added through firmware updates:

  • None at this point

Camera Manuals:

Pentax K-1 II
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Sensor Type
7360 x 4912 pixels
AA Filter
No (AA filter simulator)
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
100 - 819,200
Exposure Modes
Auto (green), HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B, User(5)
Program Modes
Auto, Normal, Action, Depth of field (deep/shallow), MTF
Maximum FPS
4.4 (6.5 in crop mode)
Continuous Shooting
Full frame: H: 4.4 fps (70 JPG, 17 RAW) M: 3.0 fps (100 JPG, 20 RAW) L: 0.7 fps (100 JPG, 100 RAW)
APS-C crop: H: 6.4 fps (100 JPG, 50 RAW) M: 3.0 fps (100 JPG, 70 RAW) L: 1.0 fls (100 JPG, 100 RAW)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/8000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 1200s - 1/8000s. Up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
EV bracketing: 2, 3 or 5 frames, one-push bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
86K Pixel
Meter range
-3 to 20 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Interval shooting
Up to 2000 frames, 2 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 2000 shots
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
None. Auto (green) sets exposure based on scene analysis
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes (sensor-shift SR II)
Power zoom
Supported (zoom only)
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount including the latest KAF4 variant. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration,Vignetting,Diffraction
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX 12, 33 focus points, 25 cross type)
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-3 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
0.70x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-3.5 to 1.2
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
3.2 in., 1,037,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio, flexible tilt/angle, red light night mode
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
D-BG6 (takes D-LI90 or 6x AA)
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I Compatible)
Size (W x H x D)
136.5 x 110.0 x 85.5 mm
925g (1010 with battery and SD cards)
File format
Battery life
670 images, playback time: 340 minutes
D-LI90 Rechargeable
Built-in flash
Sync speed
P-TTL flash
Flash functions
Auto discharge*, On (leading curtain sync)*, Redeye reduction*, Slow-speed sync*, Trailing curtain sync*, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless**, Contrast control**
* Requires an external flash
** Requires two (or more) external flashes
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p,
1280x720 (16:9) at 60p, 50p
Interval Movie (4K, Full HD, HD)
Star Stream
Exposure Modes
P, Av, TAv, Tv, M
Movie mode restrictions
AF During Recording
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic), Stereo (built-in mic). Adjustable sound level
Wired (native),Via built-in Wi-Fi
USB 2, HDMI out, stereo mic, headphones, DC in, X-sync, cable release, GPS, Wi-Fi.
Latest Firmware
User reviews
In-depth review
Astrotracer functionality with the built in GPS, Buttons, top LCD, and card and connectivity doors can be illuminated Electronic level, Embed copyright information in EXIF, GPS and electronic compass, High ISO NR, can be customized for each major ISO value, Image plane indicator, In-camera RAW development, Moiré suppression via SR mechanism, Moiré suppression bracketing, Save last JPG as RAW, Save JPG from movie, Several buttons are customizable, The function selector plus third control wheel provides a short cut to a variety of settings

In Production: Buy the Pentax K-1 II
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-1 II in-depth review!

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Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,001
Review Date: January 12, 2019 I can recommend the Pentax K-1 II: Yes | Price: $1,650.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versatile, first digital camera to allow for full field of view with timeless FA Limited lenses, Robust built, Highly customisable, Excellent DR
Cons: Awkward "fit" with battery grip, Slow image transfer to SD, Button layout was better on K-5
Years Owned: <1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

This camera is closer to 10/10 than 9/10, but the cons were enough to not give it full marks.
The K-1 Mark II, like the K-1, is built solidly, performs adequately in most photographic settings, and expands the photographer's capability in low-light and dynamic range like never before. Now we have a camera that demands more from its lenses whereas previously lens imperfections were not as obviously identified.

The ergonomics of Pentax cameras are renowned. This camera carries on that legacy of an enthusiast photographer's tool to capture images in a wide variety of settings, with the need for fewer keystrokes and dial shifts to get the desired results from photograph to photograph. The user friendliness is so good, they have even gone overboard with the multiple methods of being able to adjust settings now with the function wheel and third e-dial.

The top LCD screen is clearly smaller than APS-C predecessors, however something had to give with the function wheel and third e-dial coming on board, and yet it still features all the relevant information desired on it. The back LCD is clear and attached on a very solidly built flexible mount that is unlikely to break in even the toughest applications. What it does do, however, is push the back edge of the camera further backwards such that the back of the camera is no longer flush with the battery grip. This to me is somewhat disconcerting, and I prefer the level alignment the K-5 had with its grip.

All lenses play nicely with this camera, and the autofocus of screwdriven lenses is much quieter and faster. I almost wonder whether it could be accurate with how it lands on the target focus in one direct motion, when previous cameras hunted even if very briefly before they fixed focus. The new features of Pixel Shift and Dynamic Pixel Shift are not gimmicks. They work well to add more sharpness than ever before in a still scene. The addition of motion correction is nice, but its results are hit and miss, as has been demonstrated in a few other reviews.

The viewfinder is something to get used to coming from the K-5. The K-5 VF had the AF points overlaying the screen with a faint red LED indicator. The K-1 VF has a customisable grid with AF points only indicated by open squares that turn red when fixing focus, no longer showing the red spots. It certainly is a wider experience coming from an APS-C camera, but I had the OME53 eyepiece that made the VF quite enjoyable on the K-5. This eyepiece on the K-1 is expansile, perhaps even beyond necessary.

The DCU5 software in the package is no better since its earlier iterations. It is cumbersome, clunky and not user friendly. I will go back to ACR thanks. I would have preferred it sold separately, such that the K-1 would be priced even more competitively. In any case, overall, this is a fine piece of engineering, and I look forward to many more years of taking quality photographs with it in the future.

FA 31, 1/4sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600
Russell St by Ash

FA 31, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200
Grand Central mural by Ash
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 5,120

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 9, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax K-1 II: Yes | Price: $1,896.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Improved focus, wonderful controls of almost all operations from body directly
Cons: Just the weight but I am used to it now

I can't believe there are so few reviews of the Mark 2. The improvements over the K-1 are not revolutionary but there are significant, incremental improvements. I bought the Mark 2 as soon as it came out but sold that copy a few months ago when I thought I needed smaller although I was otherwise very happy with it. I was wrong so I purchased the copy I have now. This may be at or near the pinnacle of DSLR development. The HD level video it provides is more than enough for my needs although some do believe they need 4K and advanced video functions so I suppose that is where the next Pentax FF will head. The images this camera produces are outstanding ( have also owned and used extensively the Sony A7RIII which is a wonderful camera with the most advanced FF sensor but it does not give more than the K-1 and Mark 2, at least in areas i value). Probably the most impressive aspect for me is the control you have with this body. With the buttons and the clever third dial you have complete control of almost all shooting settings you need. Anything left over can be accessed on the Info screen. The handheld pixel shift is intriguing but I have not used it enough to be sure how much it adds to a straight shot. I did notice improved AF speed as soon as I tried it with a BIF and the 70-200.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Wairarapa, New Zealand
Posts: 9,385

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 20, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax K-1 II: Yes | Price: $1,896.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very fast AF, lovely solid feel, packs a mighty punch in a small package.
Cons: Faster burst speed would be nice.

This machine is solidly built. It feels even more robust than the K-5.
These dials and buttons feel solid, but with a lovely smooth motion. Like something well engineered with fine tolerances.
It's smaller than I thought. It really is not much bigger than the K-5. I think I'll need to get a battery grip for it, as I did for the K-5.
The shutter sounds glorious. In the K-5 it's noisier and more of a jarring sound. This just sounds smooth and controlled.
Man oh man, this thing focusses fast.
The viewfinder is sublime. Large, very clear, super easy to read the displays.
Under the Mode Dial, there's this neat little "lock-unlock" slide. Turns out, you can slide that to one side and it removes the need to push the centre button to rotate the Mode Dial. The Mode Dial still has a nice smooth click function from one setting to the next, but you need not depress the centre button when the 'lock' is unlocked.

As some of you may be aware, I won this camera in the raffle.

A huge thank you to Adam!
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Glenorie NSW
Posts: 45

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 18, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax K-1 II: Yes | Price: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good handling, cheap for a FF, great features, video adequate.
Cons: Too early to tell, focussing speed not comparable to Canon but much better than K3.
Years Owned: .1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I had considered waiting for the K3 III however due the bargain price from the distributor in Oz I bit the bullet. At first I thought oh-oh can I afford new FF lenses but when I checked my current lenses a few were rated as FF. I have now had a practice with my suitable lenses:
70 -200 Sigma f2.8 (upgraded mount and firmware - free), Voigtlander 58mm Nokton and 40mm Ultron, Tamron 90mm Macro . I have since purchased the 18-105 kit lens and I am mightily impressed with K1 MkII, particularly with the low-light capabilities providing a few more stops to 6400iso and allowing slower lenses to be used. The increased ability to crop makes up for the gaps in the range of lenses. I am no great shakes as a photographer but this camera is fun to use and complements my KP (another bargain at $700) nicely. Or maybe vice versa. It is well balanced without a grip. As far as the comparison to the K1 goes, I wouldn't know and don't care. Not everyone can afford or wants every iteration of Pentax cameras.
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Hawai'i
Posts: 1

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 21, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax K-1 II: Yes | Price: $2,500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Full frame, Light sensitivity, handling, intuitive operating, weatherproof. Love the tilting display, rugged like a tank, but most importantly: makes great pictures.
Cons: Layout feels a little clunky at first. Power hog!
Years Owned: 0.024 years    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

What can one say after 8 days? I will adjust this review as time passes. For now I am thrilled with picture quality, though for me, full frame with regards to vignetting on various lenses is a developing skill set. Tons of features, and higher light sensitivity. The accelerator in the processing makes a difference. Of course, don't expect to ever take useful pictures at 800,000 ISO. However, with that being said, IQ good enough for good portraits at 1600 ISO seems possible. For now, very happy. Some pictures are on my Flickr gallery or THIS GROUP.
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