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Pentax K-1

Ergonomics 
 9.5
Build Quality 
 9.8
User Interface 
 9.6
Autofocus 
 8.8
Features 
 9.8
Value 
 10.0
Image Quality 
 9.8
Noise 
 9.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
14 24,279 Tue December 27, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $2,040.91 9.57
Pentax K-1

Pentax K-1
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Pentax K-1
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Pentax K-1
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Pentax K-1
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Pentax K-1
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Pentax K-1
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Description:

The Pentax K-1 is the first full-frame Pentax K-mount DSLR to reach production. After a year's worth of teasers from Ricoh it finally hit the market in February 2016. The K-1 continues the trend from the K-3/5/7 series 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.

The K-1's key features:

  • Full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 36.4 megapixels w/ 15-megapixel crop mode
  • Pixel shift super resolution
  • No AA filter
  • AA filter simulator
  • Sensitivity up to ISO 204,800
  • Shutter rated for 300,000 actuations
  • 5-axis sensor-shift stabilization
  • Redesigned viewfinder with LCD overlay
  • 6.5 FPS in crop mode, 4.4 FPS in full frame mode with up to 100 JPEG buffer
  • LCD screen tilts and pivots
  • 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 K-1 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 the K-1 will attempt to correct artifacts stemming from moving objects.

The shake reduction feature has also improved and is now rated good for 5 shutter steps compensation.

The K-1 has no anti-alias filter in front of the sensor. Should moiré be an issue the K-1 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. An AA simulator bracketing mode is available (off - weak filter - strong filter).

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

The K-1 was launched alongside two new full frame lenses: the HD D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 budget-friendly kit lens, and the HD D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ultra-wide zoom.  These lenses supplement the recently-launched HD D FA 24-70mm F2.8, HD D FA* 70-200mm F2.8, and HD D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 full frame lenses.

All current and legacy K-mount lenses are compatible with the K-1. 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.

Read our in-depth review of the K-1 here.

Camera Manuals:


Pentax K-1
Year Introduced
2016
In Production
Yes
Current US Price
$1795
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Sensor Type
CMOS
Megapixels
36.40
Resolution
7360 x 4912 pixels
AA Filter
No (AA filter simulator)
Super Resolution
Yes
Bit Depth
14
Minimum ISO
100
Maximum ISO
204800
ISO Range
100 - 204,800
Imaging
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: 6.5 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
300000
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
2, 3 or 5 frames, one-push bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Yes
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
Yes
Interval shooting
Up to 2000 frames, 2 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 2000 shots
Pixel mapping
Yes
Scene Modes
None. Auto (green) sets exposure based on scene analysis
Restrictions
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes
Stabilization
Yes (sensor-shift SR II)
Power zoom
Supported (zoom only)
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses. Support for lenses with the KAF4 mount variant requires a firmware update. 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
Focusing
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX 12, 33 focus points, 25 cross type)
AF Points
33
Autofocus sensitivity
-3 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
Viewfinder/LCD
Viewfinder
0.70x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism
Diopter adjustment
-3.5 to +1.2
AF Points in viewfinder
Yes
Exchangeable screen
No
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Yes
Top LCD
Yes
Focus Peaking
Yes
Back LCD
3.2 in., 1,037,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio, flexible tilt/angle, red light night mode
Body
Weather resistant
Yes
Control wheels
3
Battery grip
D-BG6 (takes D-LI90 or 6x AA)
Card slots
2
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
No
Memory card type
SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I Compatible)
Size (W x H x D)
136.5 x 110.0 x 85.5 mm
Weight
925g (1010 with battery and SD cards)
File format
PEF (RAW),DNG (RAW),JPG,TIFF,MOV
Battery life
760 images, playback time: 390 minutes
Battery
D-LI90 Rechargeable
Flash
Built-in flash
No
Sync speed
1/200s
P-TTL flash
Yes
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
No
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Video
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p,
1280x720 (16:9) at 60p, 50p
MPEG4 AVC/H.264
Interval Movie (4K, Full HD, HD)
Star Stream
Exposure Modes
P, Av, TAv, Tv, M
Movie mode restrictions
AF During Recording
On-Demand
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo with external stereo mic
Interfacing
GPS
Built-In
Tethering
Wired (native),Via built-in Wi-Fi
Connectivity
USB 2, HDMI out, stereo mic, headphones, DC in, X-sync, cable release, GPS, Wi-Fi.
Latest Firmware
Link to Download Page
Notes
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

Megapixels: 36.40
ISO Range: 100-204,800
Weight: 925g
FPS: 6.5 (Crop) / 4.4 (FF)
LCD: 3.2" tilting/pivoting
In Production: Buy the Pentax K-1
Type: Full-frame DSLR
Weather Sealed: Yes
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-1 in-depth review!



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New Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 27, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: dynamic range, build, ISO
Cons: non
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Amazing dynamic range with this camera. What always has been difficult to reproduce are images of the sky. If you shoot in RAW, you will be able to get all these different shades of grey of the cloud formations. It seems to me that is was each time really the sky I photographed. That is an new experience to me .

ISO is impressive as well. Indeed, no more flash needed. I live in an apartment which does not get a lot of sunlight and sun goes down always early in my country. So shooting indoors was often an bad experience for me. AF problems, IQ problems.....so flash was always needed. But I do not like to shoot with flash. It ruins every picture. Makes it looking artificial. Sure there are a lot of techniques like bouncing flash-light and filters but .......I do not care any more about that. I can shoot now in very low light conditions. So cool ! ISO of 12000 or 25000 is usable.

I did not tested features like ASTROTRACER yet, but this will come soon

WiFi works fine. Your camera will be the "server" where you have to connect to, if you like to get your pictures quickly onto your smart phone. Some free app from RICOH is needed therefore. Worked fine.

And as always, veeery good interface, handling and ergonomics with PENTAX.

I am an very happy K-1 owner but I have to admit, it is my first full frame camera.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 888

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 20, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $2,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: FF, extremely nice package, pixel shift, SR, ...
Cons: limited number of DFA lenses, AF is not a highlight
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 6    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Ongoing review

At last, a Pentax full frame digital camera. Nice.

Dimensions are small for a FF camera, but significantly larger than APS-C. All Pentax lenses presented along with the K1 are also large. You cannot easily switch from APS-C to FF. I came to Pentax for the compact dimensions of the K5 with lots of DA prime lenses.

That said, K1 feels rock solid even with DFA 70-200 - also without battery grip. Perfect size for hand holding. For travelling I will have to get used to size and dimensions. The camera fits perfectly in your hands even when walking.

AF is not improved over K3 and focus area only covers APS-C area. It works, it is OK, it can follow some faster action, but it is not a K1 highlight. High-ISO performance is also great and much improved over K3(s).
Pixel shift resolution is great, 36 MP is amazing, 5 stops SR s great, performance in general is great. K1 uses standard Pentax batteries, so I already have spares.

I am still missing a possibility to save user settings. It would have been nice to transfer settings from K3, ... or save K1 settings on disk for later use. The new quick selection wheel has some benefits, I mainly use it to switch crop mode while still working with APS-C lenses. APS-C lenses in crop mode make for decent panoramas and often some more area with dark corner is more important than no coverage at all.
Viewfinder has no blinds and the plastic cover cannot be fixed on the carrying strap. I am missing an inbuild flash, but I am also happy with the current size.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Paris
Posts: 80

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 30, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sensor, ergonomics, WR, af, shake reduction, pixelshift, wifi, screen, gps, size, price
Cons: none
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

After two months usage and more than 20,000 actuations this is my conclusion :

It's flawless and it's the best deal FF camera on the market today.
It has a great amount of available new and used full frame AF Pentax & third party lenses and a huge number of full frame manual lenses to cover all possible professional needs.
In terms of ergonomics, it is the best full frame 35mm DSLR ever created.
In terms of autofocus, i've never imagined i could use a camera with 80 to 100% AF succes rate, depending of the lens attached.
The screw driven AF is fast enough for 99% of the needs. The SDM AF is fast and ..silent! enough for 99% too.
I won't talk much about everything else that i find perfect and covering the 99% of top notch full frame photographer's needs.

The 1% downside is the shots/sec rate. Do not forget that Pentax doesn't have a line of sport specific cameras like Canon and Nikon that aim high shooting rate. But what you loose in high end sports photography with this one, you gain in studio shots with the pixel shift technology, and you get yourself the cheapest medium format equivalent quality possible.
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Central Plains of North America
Posts: 50

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 23, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $1,796.95 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 36 mm x 24 mm sensor size, intuitive controls
Cons: Chunky appearance, no pop up flash
Years Owned: <1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Here’s the reaction of one older photographer who cut his teeth on a 1960s era manual everything (including aperture) Pentax 35mm SLR, who has shot digital since 2005, and is adding a K-1 to a photographic stable which until recently was headed by a K-5. With a little luck, it'll slice the pie in a different enough way from other reviews to provide just enough new insight to help someone with an upgrade decision.

Things I don’t like:

- The body style. It’s chunky, and the biggest body Pentax has ever offered in the 35 mm SLR form factor, albeit smaller than its current competition. It does fit my hand well though, and as at least one other person has mentioned, my pinky fits on the grip instead of having to go under the base plate.

- The loss of the pop up flash. It’s something I use fairly frequently with other cameras to control off-camera flash, and the removal of this convenience is an annoyance. Some have rationalized the camera is more professional without the popup, but if professional is the aim, how about removing the clutter of the Auto and P modes from the exposure mode dial? I suspect it’s more a matter of physically fitting guts into a space-constrained shell, and as such will deal with it with no further complaint.

- The change of of the metering mode switch from a lever under the exposure mode dial to a selection button. The physical lever is simple and direct, the button a little more complicated and less direct. This was apparently introduced with the K-3, but this is the first time I’ve experienced it.

Things I like:

- Faster, quieter, surer focusing, in dimmer ambient light than the K-5.

- Insane low noise sensor sensitivity.

- Use of the same battery as the APS-C cameras.

- The rear display. It’s wider and clearer than the K-5, and of course, articulated. I don’t have an opinion of the mechanics other than I wish it would tip down further for overhead shots. More about this in the WiFi comment. I use focus point selection a lot, and the way the 4-way controller is depicted on the display in different modes is WAY better and more intuitive than the K-5 and previous models.

- GPS. Geotagging images is an extremely useful capability, one I’ve grown to love for snapshots on my iPhone. There’s also an option to keep a separate log file of periodic position updates for trip/expedition records, if you don’t have another means to do so.

- Wi Fi. Not sure why it can’t be used to connect with computers for file transfer, but it will connect with mobile devices using the Image Sync app. Using the capability to synch images to my iPhone is something I’ll probably never use, but the ability to use a smartphone as a remote control is a great feature. There is a remote viewing capability which could probably be used to overcome the inability of the articulated display to point directly downwards, along with other obvious uses. Exposure settings can be made in accordance with the exposure mode set on the physical camera dial, as well as selecting focus points. The green button is also available as well as a quite responsive virtual shutter release button.

Using Image Sync to control the camera appears to work only when the shutter is in single shot mode, and you should be sure it’s set that way before connecting the camera to the phone. While the app can be a little finicky, the actual WiFi connection seems quite robust and reliable, connecting quickly and easily, and maintaining the connection to at least 30 feet or more.

- The controls. They’re close to a direct transition from the K-5 (and even closer for a K-3 as far as I can tell). The changes seem to be a change for the better.

— The viewfinder diopter adjustment is a dial like on the K-3 rather than a slider like on the K-5 and previous models. Much easier to use.

— The addition of the smart function dial. Unlike some reviewers, I see it as a real plus, giving direct physical or alternative access to 9 settings. As I use the camera more, I may have reason to quibble with the functions chosen by the designers, but overall it’s an improvement over the K-5.

— The addition of all 5 user modes to the exposure mode dial. This is a step up from the innovative but awkward 1 user position on the mode dial on the K-5 and 3 positions on the K-3.

— Making the MF/AF switch a two-position switch. It was always awkward selecting single AF vs. continuous AF from MF without directly looking at the switch. Now you can go between MF and AF easily, and change the AF mode as needed with a separate control. This is apparently featured on the K-3 too.

— Moving the focus point selection mode change function from the OK button to a separate button above the 4 way controls. Quicker and less ambiguous for me.

- I didn’t buy a DSLR to do video, but I appreciate the addition of being able to focus with the AF button as needed while video is in progress. I also look forward to having the ability to adjust audio recording levels. Again, these features were introduced to the Pentax lineup with the K-3, but they’re new to me as they would be to anyone else upgrading from a K-5 or earlier body.

- Focus peaking. Very cool feature which highlights in-focus edges in live view. Another new to me but not K-3 users option.

- 36 mm x 24 mm full frame sensor size. As a person raised on 35 mm film, putting a camera with a full frame sensor to eye quite simply feels like returning home. Lenses have the proper field of view, and although subtle, have the proper depth of field.

— My 30 year old A 24 mm f/2.8 lens didn’t get much use on my other digital bodies because it didn’t offer much, if anything over the DA lenses I had. It’s a different story on the K-1. Although at similar magnifications it’s similar in performance to my DA 15 mm Limited, it completely blows the 15 mm out of the water when used to provide a similar field of view. It’s not a knock on the DA lens, which has to work in a much more stressful setup to provide a wide field of view in a smaller image, but is a clear demonstration of the advantages of the full frame sensor size, especially for wide angle lenses. For telephoto lenses, it’s pretty much a wash, because even if there’s a wider field of view in full frame for the same lens, you can always manually crop for the same performance as APS-C, or even set the camera to capture in APS-C mode (even with an FA lens).

— 36 MP is nice, but not necessary for a lot of photography… it’s the actual physical sensor size which makes the biggest difference for me with the K-1. I expect that at least one of my user modes will involve a lower pixel count capture setting. That being said, being able to print a 33” x 55” enlargement directly from the image file is nothing to scoff at. And the difference between really good and magnificent lenses will be more obvious than ever!

— The FF/APS-C mode implementation is slick. For lenses, you can choose APS-C, Full Frame, or Auto modes, the latter setting automatically choosing the effective sensor size based on whether you’re using a DA or FA lens. When in APS-C mode, the viewfinder displays an outline of the area that will be captured in an image. I expect to continue getting full use of my DA lenses when they make sense, particularly in the transition period where I’ll be filling in holes in my full frame lens stable.

Bravo to Ricoh for keeping the Pentax tradition alive, and for introducing such a masterpiece as the K-1. It’s a bit humbling to have to say this, having been a Pentax snob who wouldn’t have given a Ricoh camera or lens the time of day in 1975!
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Location: NC
Posts: 7

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 13, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality, Consistent Performer, Solid Build, Weather Sealing, Value
Cons: Video
Years Owned: .4    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Full review here.

Growing K-1 500px gallery.

K-1 perks from review listed here:

K-1 perk 1) Stellar spec sheet on par with the best full frame cameras available today. Getting the well knowns that separate it from the rest of the Pentax clan out of the way in one perk. 36MP, full frame, 1/8000s shutter speed, and improved 5-axis image stabilization. Few cameras operate in this company.

K-1 perk 2) To add on to the Pentax perk above it has to be said again. Price. Until the K-1 was released the full frame camera I wanted most was a Nikon D810. No more. At $1,000 less not only does it match the D810 spec sheet it keeps going offering features no other DSLR I know of offers regardless of price (Cameras like the Leica SL baffle me what you get for what you pay wise, but much respect to those who can afford them.) like GPS and image stabilization and…

K-1 perk 3) Built in WiFi. Above not only many of it’s siblings, many other DSLRs like the D810 either do not have or require a dongle for this. Of note the D750 has WiFi, but priced above the K-1 it has 24MP, no IS…

K-1 perk 4) 3rd control wheel of many purposes. Agreed they went crazy with the choices, but that control wheel has been fantastic in use.


K-1 perk 5) A ‘unique’ tiltable screen. I will be first to admit that it seemed wonderfully over engineered to me initially (I am an Industrial Engineer by degree you understand). But in use this is what it is about. My preference is flip down/up screens (E-P5, E-PL5, NX300, NX1, RX-100ii for instance) and central to the K-1 screen is this type of mount. No sideways motion with those above however. Side 180 degree swing out and swivel screens (NX30 for instance) are less discrete when used as a waist level viewfinder and have an inherent single point failure point where the screen meets the camera. So what if you want a bit of sideways view action, but with more anchor points? Mount the up/down tilt mechanism to the camera using an interesting rods with sliding ball socket mechanism that works as billed.


K-1 perk 6) LED access lights. Brilliant. Why has no one else done this?




K-1 perk 7) Full frame. Unique to the K-1 this makes the K-1 so much more usable with the 28-75mm and 70-200mm ranges of the 2 Tamrons mentioned above. On the K-3ii the crop factor was not a plus making the 70-200mm too tele for in a pinch walkabout use.

K-1 perk 8) Low noise and image quality on par with the best cameras out there. This cameras performance far outshines the full frame film and digital cameras I have used and my only real IQ comparison can be made with my 2 medium format film cameras. And I am talking about normal mode. Pixel shift mode provides even greater results where the shooting situation allows. The image quality is that good.

I may add perks if more come to me, but these are more than enough in my book. It is my sincere hope that Pentax can get these in to as many hands as possible. It may not convince die hard brand loyalists to switch. I understand. A lot, emotionally and fiscally, goes in to choosing and building a system. But if you have only APS-C bodies and lenses you owe it to yourself to take a look if you have been thinking of moving to full frame. Same applies if you are looking to start off new with a full frame. If you have found yourself with a full frame body, but like I did you now realize you cannot bring yourself to spend the astronomical sums companies, factory and 3rd party, are asking for primes and image stabilized constant aperture zooms consider this: Backwards legacy lens compatibility and the availability of non-stabilized 3rd party constant aperture zoom lenses means I have spent $100 less for a new K-1 ($1,799), 3 legacy primes ($149), and 2 used zooms ($750) combined than the current new price for a D810 ($2799) body alone. A trade could go a long way is all I am saying.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 13

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 10, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $2,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: High end in every aspect
Cons: None so far
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Well, been using it for a month now and it's a sheer joy to use. The image quality and dynamic range is just stunning. Have tested around 20 lenses of all ages this past month and even with old Pentax-F zooms it delivers fantastic images but it's most impressing when putting on old Zeiss Jena lenses or my Limited's (35 & 70)

My K-1 is still on v1.00 but I have not encountered any bugs yet.
   
Moderator PEG Judges

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Posts: 30,585

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 29, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $2,600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Full Frame
Cons: Being picky would have liked interchangeable focussing screens for use with fast manual lenses

Fine solid camera, well built with many many features.

Stunning image quality gained from my old legacy glass.

Will report back here over time.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 17

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 29, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $2,011.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build, operation speed, AF, interface, tilt screen, pixelshift, crop, wifi etc etc
Cons: Ummmm, don't know
Years Owned: 0.05    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

The sheer feature set, value for money and feel of a true piece of hi tech in your hands just puts a smile on your face...........

The unfortunate thing for me is not yet having one of the new lenses, but the trusty FA's are helping me out in the meantime, especially the old FA 28-105 f4-5.6 IF seems to be doing a good job.

The write speed, shutter feel / sound and operation of this machine is sublime, leaving the aps-c's in it's dust and the write speed of K3 looking sad.

With older FA's I feel the image quality compared to good glass I have on my K5iis/K3 is not always a massive step but even with the 28-105 when it locks ... yes still noticeably detailed and sharp.

Using my FA's even sounded different ... they don't grind, they squeek, a much better sound, lol

Unsure if it was me, or the old lenses but I felt that hand holding even wide angles at low shutter speeds i.e. 1/60th @ 28mm left me with a little blur whereas I can easily do this with the K5IIs at 12mm .... Further investigation required as a handheld night shot at 1/2 sec yielded a better result. This was something I noticed going to the K3 ....... K1 has same pixel density as K5, so .......

The wifi, astro tracer, gps, pixel shift, 5 axis stabilisation, tilt screen and 36mp sensor with the auto crop capability just packs so much into a body its unbelievable. As one who does a few weddings, landscapes, portraits and low light / night photography ... WOW !!! I can see Pentax gaining a few more pro's and serious users again.

Interface is pretty much the same and you know where to look for the new features. A few buttons in different places on the back but that's been juggled around over the years and i'm ok with that.

Will take some time to get the full use and knowledge of all the features, but basic use is just another world.

Congrats Ricoh for being bold enough to go there ... it's going to be a winner, another classic and a game changer that along with 645, K3 and new lenses is about to start Pentax brand back along the slow journey to credibility in the photography world ......
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 1,435

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 17, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatilty, Ergonomics
Cons: Accessories options (hopefully expanding)
New or Used: New   

The K-1 has pulled from earlier models with its ergonomics, which means switching to it is a breeze! The various buttons are very configurable, so you can set it up the way you work the most comfortably. An example, it has a button for RAW. As I always shot RAW and JPG at the same time, this button would normally not be used, but it was reconfigured to give access to the Flash Exposure Compensation module of the firmware. NICE!

I have tried a number of lenses with it so far, including Tamron's 80-300 Macro zoom (I thought this was for the ASC-P sensors, but works fine with no vignetting) some older Pentax A and M lenses and even a Sigma 10-20 f3.5. OK, there is vignetting below 15mm, but until then, it works fine without any noticeable corner vignette deterioration. Auto focus lenses focus spot on. Manual focus lenses are easy to focus using the focus assist function (semi- auto focus)?

OK Pentax & Ricoh, now how do you top yourselves?

With a 50mm FA macro

With a 24-70 f2.8 Sigma EX DG
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Hanoi
Posts: 191

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 16, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $2,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Focus point
Cons: Battery duration
Years Owned: 2016    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

For using K-1 just one week, I could wirte in my own opinion about pros and cons as following:

Pros:
- Focus points: easily to determine the focus which could help us set the lay-out.

Cons:
- Battery duration might be shortened than K-3.

It's really a monster, I do satisfy.



K-1, on Flickr


K-1, on Flickr


meadow, on Flickr


Aunt May, on Flickr


Aunt_May, on Flickr


   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 28

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 13, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $2,086.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid build, ergonomics, high ISO / low noise, features, IQ
Cons: AF speed in LV, AF points too centralised, continuous shooting speed
Years Owned: .1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

After using it only for couple of weeks I can easily say, it is the best DSLR I've ever used and in my opinion the best DSLR on the market under $5,000.
AF speed coped a lot of criticism in the past among Pentax cameras and it was main reasons that I left Pentax a few years ago and switched to Sony. However build quality, ergonomics, usability and availability of K mount lenses and overall "Pentax feeling" won me back. I sold all of my Sony gear and got myself , what I consider an ultimate piece of photographic equipment . The masterpiece.
Of course K1 has it's flaws. No camera is perfect. AF points, IMO, should cover more of the area and should be more of them. The way they are spread, covering the central area of the focusing screen, you wouldn't find them really useful for AF tracking. But I am trying to learn to work with it.
AF in live view is a bit hesitating and sluggish. Also some of the functions on the new function dial are unnecessary doubling up already easy accessible functions. But this flaws are negligible when you put them up against an excellent high ISO performance, brilliant IQ, in body image stabilisation, pixel shift resolution, build quality, ergonomics, WR body and lenses, big, beautiful viewfinder and quirky but very useful and unique LCD screen. There is some more excellent features as TAv exposure setting, 5 user setting memories, option of extracting RAW data from the last reordered image even when file format set to JPEG and so much more.
All that would be worth nothing if image quality is not there, but in my honest opinion, K1 is a real deal. Complete package. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a non compromise, top notch semi-pro DSLR.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 2,812

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 8, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Outstanding IQ, lots of features, pro level
Cons: AF relative to previous models, tiny little AF select button remains a pain to use
Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Using this camera extensively for about one week, here are the pros and cons from experience.

Pros:
- good comfortable handling of well sized and shaped grip
- overall image quality
- image stabilization works very well, perhaps better than K3's (hard to compare)
- silent operation
- feels like a serious piece of technology
- better view finder compared to previous cameras
- lighting in the viewfinder
- choice of crop modes in the viewfinder
- memory operation quite fast
- a couple of smart improvements of menu functions that where missing in K3
- ability to lock wheels or front panel buttons = good
- possibility to customize INFO menu
- 5 programmable user modes

Cons:
- K1 firmware a little slower than K3's
- FPS rather slow, slower than K3, but that's as specified, I keep my K3 for fast FPS, so that's ok
- AF a bit less snappy then K3 AF, waiting before AF confirm (firmware issue?), sometimes hesitate for a while to lock focus in dim light, K3 AF is decisive in the same condition
- layout of buttons, in particular AF mode lock button, tiny button right next to upper button of the 4 way selector (this button spacing is better on the K3)
- direct access of key features such as AF modes via INFO button? Workaround = customize INFO menu tiles, and/or configure User 1,2,3... settings to program directly a set of AF modes.

Generally speaking, this camera is a great piece of technology, fully featured, so I can't really not recommend it. It's about the complexity/intuitive use, getting used to more complexity without having to think. Ricoh's wanting to differentiate from competitors, there is a risk increasing complexity. The default camera menu settings may not be intuitive, fortunately it is still possible to customize the menus in order to make it easier for the user to access directly frequently changed settings. Ergonomics / usability not as good as previous Pentax dslrs
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Stockport, Manchester. UK
Posts: 377

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 6, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, AF speed, quiet shutter, features, ergonomics, IQ
Cons: Tight AF cluster but because of the excellent APS-C feature
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Lets start by saying that I have had the camera 4 days as I write, and I am trying to be objective and not seeing it through Pentax rose tinted glasses due to the fact that it is the first FF digital body Pentax have made.
If it was solely rose tinted all of use would give it a 10 even if it had 12MP a slow AF and ISO noise above 800. Why? because it was FF and we can use our legacy glass on it as they were meant to be.

The truth though, is that the K-1 is one mighty camera anyway and the performance and feature set would honour any of the rivals hall of fame. That is something that Ricoh should be proud of. Not only have they produced a camera that Pentaxians have been crying out for, but produced a camera that is worthy for any photographer.

So the nitty gritty so far.
Apart from the superb build quality, weather sealing and the fact that it is FF. there are several things that make the K-1 such a delight to use.

Crop mode option - Unlike Nikon which forces their FF bodies to crop when a DX lens is on the front, you have the option to choose AUTO, APS-C or FF in your choice. A bonus as a number of DA lenses cover the sensor with ease, and some (10-17 fisheye for example) cover the sensor when zoomed in. This means that you are not forced to shoot at 15MP and use the full 36MP for the shot.
AF speed - This is the biggest leap of them all, it is fast and snappy indeed. I thought that the K-3 was good (from a Pentax point of view) but the K-1 has really reached the fast AF of CaNikon standard bodies, but not the D5/1DX. Then again nothing matches those two. For those who accept the slight slow but accurate AF of Pentax will be delighted on how fast it is.
Shutter - K-5 was quiet, the K-3 was quieter, the K-1 even more so, especially considering the size of the sensor and mirror. Couple this with the AF and in actual use is a wonderful thing.
Old lenses - Okay we have all wanted a FF due to the amount of lenses going back decades. We have read various "opinions" on the web that you will only get the best IQ with the latest lenses. Guess what? It is a pack of lies! I have used already lenses going back fifty years deliberately, and the IQ is fantastic! Pentax lenses have always been over-designed and over-engineered (more recent film zooms excepted on the whole) and they love the K-1. If you have great lenses that you have used on film and the APS-C bodies, I can tell you that they will shine on the K-1. I am going to play with my cheap lenses to see how they go shortly, the FA28-80 springs to mind, but I am not expecting much, but then again I never expected much from film days nor APS-C.
Finally, Price. - How have Ricoh produced a gem of a camera at a price that undercuts the rivals by a large margin, yet has so many features is beyond me. But we are the winners here.

If you are only thinking about getting one, seriously, do not hesitate, get one, you are getting one of the finest FF digital bodies out there, not just the best (and only) Pentax FF body.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 817

8 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 3, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-1: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, high iso performance
Cons: AF points are a little centralised
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Ok, so this review is possibly premature. I picked my K-1 up the day after it landed at SRS, and in the 5 days since then (using it constantly), I'm now racked up over 1200 shots, and have gone through most of my glass. That's by no means time to fully understand this camera, but I feel it's enough time to form an opinion.

Let's get the one bad thing out of the way:

1. I find the autofocus points to be a little bit clumped into the central region. Give me 20 extra points towards the edges of the frame, and frankly, this camera would have no flaws at all. That is literally then only flaw, but considering the advantages this camera brings to the K-mount, I'm willing to let it go!

2. The E-dial programming. Please Ricoh/Pentax, please give me some more options here! Ok, so in AV, I could set the rear dial to aperture, the front to ISO, and the new one to exposure (If i set the new dial to exposure). If I switch to 'M' though, I can't set the front to ISO (But with a change of the top dial, I can use that one instead). It's a mild annoyance that with 3 dials, I can't set them up exactly as I'd like them. Not a deal breaker, but a mild annoyance. I don't care what mode I'm in, I want the controls to behave in the way I choose. This is probably just personal preference though, but it's also something I'm hoping Pentax can fix with a

Now onto the good.....

It's a pentax camera that allows me to use the FA limiteds, high iso performance is superb, and the image quality is superb. I could talk about how well built it is, or how much bigger the viewfinder is, or how fast and responsive the camera feels, or the weather sealing, or the pixel shift, or the in-body camera stabilisation. Now I could talk about those things, but if you're a pentax user you already know about this right? So have some pictures instead.....

IMGP0692 by Rob Bateman, on Flickr

IMGP0596 by Rob Bateman, on Flickr

IMGP0538 by Rob Bateman, on Flickr

IMGP0817 by Rob Bateman, on Flickr

tl;dr version: It's an exceptional camera, buy one.
Add Review of Pentax K-1 Buy the Pentax K-1



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