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Pentax K-1 II

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
Reviews Views Date of last review
14 69,439 Wed December 29, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,778.24 9.57
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 II (and K-1) even offers lens correction for these three lenses when they are used in FF mode.

Our in-depth review of the K-1 II is to be found here.

Major features subsequently added through firmware updates:

  • Version 2.41: Fixed a number of bugs in 2.40.
  • Version 2.40: Added Astrotracer type 3 which lets the camera track stars without the use of GPS. Also added was type 2, which is a variant of the original Astrotracer function requiring GPS. The original Astrotracer function is now called type 1.
  • Also in 2.40: Added focus limiter for the HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8  Macro Limited lens
  • Version 2.10: Added focus limiter for the HD Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 AW Macro lens
  • Version 1.21: Optimized focus operation for the DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW lens
  • Version 1.20: Optimized focus operation for the smc and HD 31mm, 43mm, and 77mm Limited lenses
  • Version 1.05: Optimized performance with the D FA* 85mm F1.4 lens
  • Version 1.04: Optimized performance with the D FA 70-210mm F4 lens
  • Version 1.03: Optimized performance with the DA* 11-18mm F2.8 lens

Various custom image profiles were added over time, some of which are lens specific. Refer the download site for details  (follow the link in the table below).

By installing the most recent update you also get the contents of all previous updates.

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
4912 x 7360 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 priority
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, 30s - 1/8000s. Up to 20 minutes in Timed Bulb mode. Up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
Exposure (2, 3 or 5 frames), one-push EV bracketing, AA filter (2 or 3 frames)
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 lenses. 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
Clips up to 4 GB / 25 minutes
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
Link to download page
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
Special Editions

Limited quantity silver version with matching grip (announced in August, 2020)

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

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New Member

Registered: August, 2020
Location: Cremona
Posts: 11

15 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 29, 2021 Recommended | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredible awesome dynamic range, astrotracer, temporized Bulb, on body stabilization.
Cons: Only 5 shot Bracketing, there is no real 10mm for her, firmware abandoned.
Years Owned: 5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 5    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I am part of one of the most important photography groups in Italy and what people say explains everything, explains my anger towards those who take care of the promotion of this product. I am nobody, but Pentax has not listened to my emails and my advice, and they are idiots, because this reflex is a legend, but legend only for the few who know it, or those who have accidentally had or tried it.
It is a night photography group and we do meetings twice a year but on the group we compare the shots and the teacher (for privacy I don't mean) edits the raws of all the students every day and he shoots with a Sony.
On the spot, during the excursions everyone had heard about this Pentax, in short, everyone knows this name, Pentax K-1, but nobody really knows what the hell it can do. During the day we are all somewhat equal, the Sony A7rIV, Nikon Z7ii, etc. all have equally excellent cameras, but the amazement is at night . In the dark it gives one-minute shots without disturbance and without hot pixels, almost perfect shots. In the dark, many find it difficult to change lenses but the Pentax K-1 has the lights to do all the maneuvers comfortably. When we shoot to the sky the student expected to see me mount the star tracker but nobody in my photography course knew about this function and while everyone was using the Mini-track I did it myself and everyone looked in disbelief as if this reflex were extraterrestrial. I ask, is Pentax waiting for other houses to produce this feature and as always, is she the last unknown? The stabilization of the camera body, some friends of mine boast as if only a6600 had this function and they do not know that Pentax has always had this ... I don't use "ND" filters, because the K-1 automatically combines many shots and many other things unique like the smartphone controlled bulb that on Sony have to buy a Nisi accessory ... Finally when the master edits my raws, he is speechless, its quality is equal to that of his a7riv, she colse the lights and open the shadows better than any other reflex and he edits every day the photograph of a different student and therefore knows the raws of dozens and hundreds of reflex cameras. To do better, maybe you have to spend a lot and fall back on Nikon Z9 or canon R3, I'm not exaggerating, but I've seen lessons and photo editing on these reflex cameras. But Pentax is unknown, or let me explain better, the name of Pentax is known, that's enough. How to tell an American from Seattle if he knows Boston well just because he went on vacation one day there. Of course everyone knows the name "Boston" but what is this city really like? FIRST DEFECT: This reflex does not have a real 10mm and it is a very serious defect. Because in the landscape challenges that we do many use the Voiglander 10mm f5.6 which as a draft is not compatible with reflex but only with mirrorless, 10mm is essential for shots inside cathedrals or inside the beautiful Italian squares. Pentax is idiotic not to make a 10mm for full frame. The group I'm talking about is one of the best in the world and would do a lot of publicity because I'm the only one using Pentax. They even answered me badly. Pentax K-1 has software flaws that must be fixed flaws that would make it incomparable, if they did a fusion of bulb and m for multiexposition or if they did bracketing at 9 shots or more, it would be something extraordinary but do as you like, if not listen to those who buy, every year more and more people will choose Fujifilm, Panasonic ... much smarter houses than Pentax. Pentax is technically the most incredible but commercially also the most stupid.If Pentax's policy is not to listen to consumers then I wish them badly, to fail in bankruptcy,
because with Pentax K-1 they have come close to the largest and most incredible reflex ever produced in the world.
I'm Italian, forgive my awful English.

To take this picture my tripod was 180 high (manfrotto 190 extra), as you can see this is the widest lens for Pentax K-1, but to have no falling or crooked lines I went too close to the top edge. The difference between 10mm and 11mm would have brought the tip of the tower lower for me to have more harmony. Pentax does not have a true 10mm for full frame.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2019
Location: Illinois
Posts: 21

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 29, 2021 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great Image Quality, I can't imagine any camera being better for nightscapes. Astrotracer is just too strong esp full frame, wide-angle, Articulating Screen is convenient
Cons: Definitely heavy, battery life is...not great, modern lens selection is lacking
Years Owned: 1.5    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I shoot nightscapes. I love this camera because it makes them soooo easy. Pentax has the nightscape market cornered with this one feature. They need to fully realize its potential before other brands release something similar, especially since they aren't developing mirrorless. I love all the imaging aspects of this camera, but it really sets itself apart with it's star tracking. I can't see a scenario happening where I would ever get rid of it, unless it were to buy another full frame Pentax with a better feature set, (maybe astro-modded or better/existing? tethering ability). I have seen that they have upgraded the Astrotracer tech, and I have heard rumors that there may be some modded bodies in the future, but it seems it is maybe all targeting the K3 III. I get that it's the flagship, but you need full frame for nightscapes. Nightscape shooters are almost all using full frame. 14mm lenses would be usable on APSC and are fine, but if you want real light gathering you're going to be at least 24mm and even up to 35mm, which is just too narrow at 1.5 crop. Astrotracer alleviates that somewhat, but would you rather take a 30s exposure or a 120s exposure. Anyway, I have done a lot of good landscape work with this camera, as well. It is a great stills taker, if you remember your spare battery. On almost any trip out over a couple hours, your battery will die, if you shoot often, like I do. Weather-sealing, build quality, it's got it all. I haven't been able to use Pixel-shift much. I would love to do more architecture with this body, but the tilt-shift lens selection is dire for this mount. Modern lens selection in general, is just kind've bad. I love vintage lenses and shooting manual, but most people are going to want the more modern feature set and autofocus of newer lenses.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 2,032

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 18, 2021 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, build, handling, value for money
Cons: Bulk
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I have only had my K1 ii a few days now, but this really is the easiest camera to review if one has or has had a KP or K3. This beast is a KP mated with a K3...on steroids with a few tricks of its own.

I have prevaricated ever since the first iteration of the K1 whether to get on or not. I have been hesitant due to a fear of large file sizes and the bulk of the camera. I finally gave in as I now spend a lot of time photographing still life and other static subjects with a camera mounted to a tripod. The K1 ii adds better IQ keeps familiar controls and handling and allows me to use my extensive collection of legacy K mount glass to its full potential. You also get that FF look to your images.

Handling, bulk aside, is superb. All the buttons and controls are where you need them to be. They are pretty similar to the KP's and like all Pentax interfaces, the menu is easy to follow with little learning curve required. I have pretty large hands, and often find I need a battery grip for a comfortable hold. Not with the K1. It is big enough without one. Not that matters in my case as once I get over the new toy syndrome, most of the time this machine will be on a tripod to make the most of that sensor. The larger viewfinder is a welcome bonus over any crop DSLR's. Lenses which could be hard to focus properly via the small dim crop viewfinders now become a breeze to use. This camera is beautifully thought out and engineered. I have flirted with FF Nikons, and they feel like they are made of cheese when compared to this camera.

AF is typically Pentax. Single shot AF is pretty reliable and quick. My screw drive lenses seem marginally quieter on the K1 ii than my K3 or KP. I do not bother with continuous AF. This is not for sports or action photography, but for considered images.

IQ is superb. All the resolution one could need, great dynamic range and subject separation with appropriate lenses.

My DA limited lenses work with it too! OK I might need to revert to 1:1 crop for the 15mm f4, but I can live with that just fine. The 70mm f2.4 and 40mm f2.8 have no problems.

A word on lenses. I have a large range of old K mount glass. I have not tried them all out on the K1 so far, but one thing is apparent. Some of these lenses produce better quality images on the K1 than they do on crop (M 20mm f4 is pretty awful on crop, but the higher end of decent on the K1 for instance), some produce worse images on the K1 (eg K 35mm f2.0) than on crop and some are about the same (K 28mm f3.5) on either system. So do not expect any lenses you currently use on crop to behave the same on the K1 if you are upgrading from APSC. They may be better, worse or the same.

Someone below has written this is a stupid camera. Far from it. It is a wonderful machine, but it not ideal for all purposes. Once I get out of the fact that mine is new and I have fully explored my lens collection capabilities, I will not be using this as a walk around camera for casual snaps. My APSC bodies make far more sense for this.

Finally then let us talk about value. This camera is available new in the UK for between £1450 and £1800, depending on where you get it from. I paid £1550 from a LCS who have been around for years and I trust with after sales service. No other manufacturer makes a FF camera with this degree of engineering and quality any where near this price. I had considered a K3 iii as an upgrade to my existing stable, but fine as that camera is (I actually got to play with one in the same LCS) the K1 ii matches my needs more and I can also add a 77mm Ltd. to the camera purchase and still come away with change from the cost of a K3 iii with grip (which I would have needed for comfort). Highly recommended, even though the basic design is now 5 years old.

UPDATE May 2023

So a year and a half later and this beast just gets better and better. I did not think I would use it much for casual shooting due to its size and bulk, and no I don't use it for a bit of a walk around town with SWMBO!, but I do take it out with me with a prime or two when walking the dog for any off the cuff pictures and it is joy to use, Especially I find with old MF glass. Even relatively weak wide angle lenses like the K 24mm f3.5 still produce pictures of gorgeous contrast and colours, and stick a 50mm 1.7 of your choice on and the camera becomes significantly nicer to haul around. I am having enormous fun testing out my old lens collection and there have been some real pleasant surprises such as the Helios 44-4 58mm f2 and the A pairing of 28mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.7. Both of which I always struggled to get nice results with on my KP or K3. Who needs adapted lenses on mirrorless when you have a Pentax?

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 3,726

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 12, 2021 Recommended | Price: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: controls, rear screen, optical viewfinder
Cons: limited info shown in top LCD
Years Owned: 1.5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I'm using the k1ii with the fa 43, dfa 100 macro wr, dfa 28-105 kit lens, and a couple manual lenses. I use it equally hand held and on a tripod.

I like the way it handles, how it's built, and of course that there's a nice optical viewfinder. It's as enjoyable to use as the results are nice, and to me that's important since it's a hobby. Features are all there and quite useful, including the accelerator chip. Usually I edit raw but if there's no need for local edits, the jpegs are also quite nice with tweaking the settings a bit.

The one thing I wish it did better is the top lcd, which doesn't show the metering or AF mode; I understand the compromise to add the extra control dials, but it's still something I'd like to have.
New Member

Registered: April, 2020
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 7

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 18, 2021 Recommended | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, Astrotracer, rear screen, LED lights & Large veiwfinder
Cons: none
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Having used Pentax SLRs since 1979 I was really excited about the release of a FF DSLR so I could continue use my treasured Pentax Film Lenses with a digital camera, and I have not been disappointed. The built in GPS allows the Astrotracer function to be used any time, and I'm happy to trade that ability for the loss of a built in flash. The tilting screen works well for landscape photography and the focus peaking allows sharp focusing of vintage glass. But I have have also found the K1ii to be equally at home photographing motorsports when I have been out watching car rallys. The autofocus works well and found the performance better than I was expecting from some of the reviews. The drive rate is low at 4.5fps compared to my K3s 8fps, but both these figures are way above the 2fps I had with my MX and a winder.
Closed Account

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 415

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 19, 2019 Recommended | Price: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superior sensor
Cons: None so far
Years Owned: 9 months    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I'm a bit disappointed at some of the reviews compared to the ones posted for the K1. I'm not sure that the differences between the models warrants such ratings:
1 - This AF system is a major improvement from earlier models to the point where you need a course to use it properly and I find that there is too much hype on this. Pentax has never been a big sports/wildlife/fast AF user but I find the improvement very welcomed. They are on the right track and there is a learning curve to using this new AF. So, lets get moving...
2 - The major change I see in this model is the sensor. I do mostly landscapes, copying of artists art work and full 360 panos and my images show a consistent improvement in quality. Since I haven't changed anything in my workflow and in the menu settings from my K5IIs the only explanation is the sensor - crisp, alive and superior tonal range.
3 - I'm still getting used to other features such as the astrotracer and pixel shift and it's a lot of fun for someone who started with a Spotmatic in 1975.

Just my 2 cents and, I'm very happy with the camera.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 220

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 5, 2019 Recommended | Price: $1,796.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality, IBIS, Build Quality, Ergonomics, User Modes, Live View Focusing
Cons: Write Speeds, Buffer
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

When I was deciding to make the move back to Full Frame after selling my D750, I was left with one of three options:

Further expand on my Nikon System with either the:
Option 1: D810
Option 2: D850

Return to Pentax with the:
Options 3: K-1II

The D850 was knocked out of the running mainly because of the 100MB Raw files. Being a Nikon user, upgrading your system is a common 'hidden' cost for some D850 owners. I was seriously considering the D810. Despite being an older camera, it compares well to the newer K-1II.

I went with the K-1II over the Nikon D810 for two reasons.
1. Image Quality. I far preferred the color depth, dynamic range, and noise handling of the K-1II.
2. Price. A new K-1II is $1,000 less than a new D810.

Now the disappointing news:
Write speeds.

Having owned the Pentax K-5IIs previously, I noticed the slow write times with the first handful of images I shot. That little orange light just flickering away. As a consumer, I should have done my due diligence and not expected improvements in this area just because it was a recently released camera.

When I searched the forums for potential ways to mitigate it (excluding the obvious of 'deactivate all image correction/reduction'), I came across some gems:
- 'shoot in APS-C'
- 'JPG processing is just as good'

Seriously?!? What's the point of buying a full frame camera with arguably some of the BEST Image Output coming from a Full Frame Sensor to just limit? This should have been addressed by the Pentax product team.

Rant aside...the K-1II is a PHENOMENAL camera.
- the image quality is fantastic
- it is a bulky camera, but balances well when paired with the new full frame glass
- ergonomics are spectacular
- mode dial is helpful and you rarely need to dig into the menus
- live view focusing is predictable and a joy to use
- write speeds are a disappointment, but for Stills, Landscape, Portraits, you will be more than fine
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2019
Location: Bridge Creek, Oklahoma
Posts: 86

9 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $1,799.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IBIS, exceptional image quality, weather sealing for days, will survive the apocalypse
Cons: Only 33 AF points, A tad heavy, USB 2.0
Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I recently received a review unit from Ricoh and posted my full review on The Phoblographer. I am the Gear Editor there. Please feel free to go and read the review (Spoiler alert...I just sold all of my camera gear and have moved over to the Pentax platform). Lots of things to love from the build quality to the image quality. Couple of things not so great, but there is no such thing as the perfect camera. It was good enough for me to make a permanent switch to it and I couldn't be happier.

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 12,236

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 8, 2019 Recommended | Price: $1,800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Hand held pixel shift
Cons: Workflow for processing of hand-help PS raw files
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 7    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

I ordered the K1 II with the plan to send my K1 for servicing, then sell the K1 or keep the K1 as backup body (still having and using the K1 for comparison with the K1 mk II).

The K1 mk II happened to have few things improved over the K1:
- decisive auto-focus (I press the shutter fully, the camera focuses take the shot straight away, and it's in focus every time)
- better color consistency over the entire ISO range,
- native raw contrast/saturation a little more than the K1, just the right amount (landscape photographs look better overall)
- image noise optimized at high ISO settings

- buffer optimization at high ISO (1 image less buffer depth of K1II vs K1 base ISO; K1II can captures more frames at higher ISO).
- currently one of the camera models that deliver the very best image quality,
- overall best image quality with hand held pixel shift (4 x RGB frames automatically aligned)

I expected less battery life, but practically I havn't perceived any difference between the K1 and K1 mk II.

The K1 is very good, but the K1 mk II is THE camera I would have liked to have from the beginning when I received the K1. Pentax K1 II at its price point is an excellent camera for landscape, and people photographs, and still capable to shot at sport event occasionally. I plan sell my serviced K1 and replace it by a second copy of the Pentax K1 mk II.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,920

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 12, 2019 Recommended | 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
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Registered: September, 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 7,594

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 9, 2018 Recommended | 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.
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Registered: May, 2012
Location: Wairarapa, New Zealand
Posts: 20,406

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: September 20, 2018 Recommended | 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 Recommended | 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 Recommended | 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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