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11-15-2018, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Should I buy a K-1?

Hello, fellow K-5ers,

firstly: I am very happy with my K-5, the resolution is enough for my purposes (prints up to ~30cm×20cm), the quality is still astonishing, size and weight are just right, and if I ever loose or break it, it's not thaaat expensive to replace.

That said, I obviously was following the reviews and articles on the K-1 and K-1II when they came out. And with the price drop I find myself tempted to buy a used K-1 (I found offers for under 1000$).

Here's my question to the ones of you who own or have owned a K-1 and a K-5: Is it worth it? Apart from the obvious difference in resolution, are there major differences that make the K-1 a better companion for the ambitious amateur?

Thank you for your thoughts!

Steffen


Last edited by szs; 11-15-2018 at 07:24 PM.
11-15-2018, 10:05 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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If your happy with the K5 why change...? The K1 is a fantastic camera. Brilliant dynamic range. But there are also drawbacks compared to a K5.. Expensive, Heavy and a limited number of lenses which are also expensive and heavy..!!
With the K1 you still only buy half a camera as with the K5.. Does not auto focus fast enough. Flash system is way behind the competition. No backing from 3rd party manufacturers and none from Pentax...
11-15-2018, 10:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stub Quote
With the K1 you still only buy half a camera as with the K5.. Does not auto focus fast enough. Flash system is way behind the competition. No backing from 3rd party manufacturers and none from Pentax...
Do I get you right? All these problems are problems of the K-1? Or of both?

I do find the autofocus slow and lost at times. I mostly photograph with natural light, so I don't mind the flash system. And I got used to not finding anything in stores for Pentax, but that's also ok.

So I guess my question is: Is the autofocus as mediocre as the in the K-5?
11-15-2018, 11:33 AM - 3 Likes   #4
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Value and whether something is worth it is subjective. My opinion is that the K-1 is very much worth it because I do a lot of low light photography. Blue hour landscapes and nighttime astrophotography are a step above what the K-5 can do. K-1 raw files are very malleable and shadows can be pushed a lot. Very low noise.

For landscapes in good light, if you don't push shadows and don't need more than 16mp resolution, then the K-5 is already good enough.

For action photography, neither the K-5 nor the K-1 are ideal because of relatively low shot speeds. The K-1 is roughly equal to the K-5 in this regard but AF is better.


K-1 autofocus is substantially improved over the K-5. If your K-5 AF is inaccurate, rather than just slow, you might be able to improve it with the fine adjustment calibration menu.

11-15-2018, 11:47 AM   #5
szs
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Thank you for your input!

The better low light performance would actually be a reason to buy it for me, as I don't like (know how to...) using flash a lot, so that would help. Astrophotography would be another reason. And if the Autofocus is better....

So I have to see whether this is worth the 1000$ (or buy a lens instead....) and how I feel about the weight difference.
11-15-2018, 11:53 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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Hi, I made the choice and switched from K-5 and K-50 to K-1 and I must say, that a K-3, K-70 or KP would´ve been better regarding some aspects, even though I´ll stay with the full frame system.


What i like on the K-1:

- high resolution
- low light image capturing with little noise
- tiltable screen
- build in GPS
- multifunctional wheel
- highly customizable user interface
- more AF points

What I don´t like:
- slow data export / card writing
- small buffer
- sluggish AF in live view with certain lenses


And from my personal situation I also got the following points which might not matter for other users:
- large files - computer upgrade might be necessary
- best AF performance only with new lenses - another major investment
- many lenses which work well on the K-5, are only mediocre on the K-1 or are only useable in crop mode.


In sum, I don´t regret the decision, but wished I´d made it a bit later, because a full frame system needs other resources to be sustained than an APS - C system. It´s really another level of costs to get lenses which can use the full potential of the camera.

Last edited by universalfocus; 11-15-2018 at 12:23 PM.
11-15-2018, 02:02 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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My progression through Pentax DSLR's was K5, K5-IIs, K3, K1 and K1-II. Every one was a bit better than the last one. In 2016 I went to Yellowstone and stopped at a camera store in Billings, MT. They had K1's in stock and I figured that I would try one out. Once I had my hands on it I could not put it down and got it on the spot. Lack of sales tax in Montana was a plus too. I now had a K5-IIs, K3 and a K1 with me. The K5-IIs never left the bag.


Focus confirmation was pretty sketchy on the K5/K5-IIs. It was much better on the K3 and even better on the K1 and K1-II. This year I took a K3, K1 and K1-II to Yellowstone and never took the K3 out of the bag. I love the images from the K1's. Great if you do a lot of post processing. You can crop the heck out of them and still get good images. The dynamic range is awesome. I do not regret getting a K1 at all.
11-15-2018, 02:10 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I made the jump from a K-5 to a K-1 and here are my thoughts:
* I had some old lenses I used to use on the K-5 but now with the K-1 I find them much more useful in focal length! Especially like the FA35 f2 on the K-1!
* There was a noticeable improvement in AF coming from the K-5 - quicker and more accurate (on my K-5 I used to find the AF fine adjust would drift a bit with time).
* Also noticeable was there was an improvement in auto exposure - I find I need to compensate less often with the K-1
* IQ. At pixel level the IQ is a little bit better (not by much) but using the whole frame - wow! The K-1 allows me shoot indoor happily at ISO 3200 or higher with great results. Also there is more scope for cropping images that I really like!
* Dynamic range is fantastic and I seem to be able to get more out of my raw images than with the K-5 (possibly the greater number of pixels helps here).
* While initially I thought I would rather have a flash, I now really like having the GPS, so I know where my shots were taken. Astrotracer good too. Still would be nice to have a "fill flash" occasionally (and not carry a bulky flash).
* The K-1 feels much better in my hands than the K-5 - very comfortable and steady.
* The user modes are easier to use than K-5
* Pixel shift is nice to have
* The K-1 is only slightly bigger than K-5 but heavier. While I find the weight can help with steady holding of the camera, it does make my system a bit heavier to carry around.

Was the move good for me?
Yes, no regrets and my K-5 has been unused for over a year (I really must move it on)!

11-15-2018, 02:11 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
They had K1's in stock and I figured that I would try one out. Once I had my hands on it I could not put it down and got it on the spot.
Mightymike put his in my hands when I was buying my Tamron 300 2.8 from him. I went home and ordered it. Once it's been in your hands resistance is futile.

Tess still shoots her K-5, but more and more she's borrowing the K-1 when she can. We've pretty much come to agree that the K-5 is hers, the K-3 is mine, the K-1 is there to be shared. We just can't afford two of them. And she's always borrowing the 28-105 for use on her K-5. It a fantastic walk around lens. The rendering is superb.

As a person who still would have a K-3 as my only camera, I quite enjoy the K-1 and take it out whenever possible, (as in when I'm not shooting wildlife or macro.)
11-15-2018, 02:16 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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It all depends on what you shoot. I shoot landscape, cityscapes, architecture and astro, usually late afternoons, evenings and night with just ambient light. I upgraded from a K5iis (well partially). A full frame sensor will help with low light (provides an additional stop to a stop and a half, just on sensor size alone).

With the K1 in shooting astro, I have been able to drop my ISO down an entire stop to ISO 800, capturing substantially better dynamic range and star color. I can shoot at midnight, no moon, just star light, so dark - you can't see your hand in front of your face dark, and capture stunning foreground views with the Milky Way over the top. Truly remarkable the difference between the K5IIs and the K1 astro images.

I don't need extraordinary fast auto focus - especially for astro. When you are shooting long exposures, the buffer size doesn't matter. Believe it or not, I still stitch - so yes the file sizes are larger and process a tad slower, but it has never been a problem.
  • I can use my 28mm shift lens as it was intended to be used and it's really wide angle now on the K1.
  • It's now difficult to imagine shooting with out the articulating screen. It's really that useful on a tripod, especially with astro.
  • The work flow with the GPS/astro is streamlined on the K1 - probably the same as the K3. Substantially easier to take a series of back to back astrotracked images.
  • Both Kirk and RRS offer custom L brackets for the K1. The RRS L bracket has a snugger fit around the body.
  • The external remote shutter release (wired) that I use with the K5 is interchangeable with the K1.
  • My Nodal Ninja 3 which is really sized for a crop body, still handles the K1 with the 15-30 pretty easily and the combination is still within the NN3's operational weight envelope.
  • It's truly remarkable how efficient the K1 is in terms of soaking up light. Its capability in bringing out the shadows is wonderful.
The (slight) negatives...
  • The first time you pick it up, you're shocked as how remarkably heavy it is. However, that disappears very quickly. When you pickup the K5, you are stunned as to how feather light it is, in comparison. I use to think that the K5IIs with the Sigma 18-35/f1.8 was a heavy combination.
  • The K1 with the 15-30 is a remarkably large and heavy combination the first time you pick it up. It's like pumping iron. The front element of the lens is really very large. However you very quickly adapt and it becomes pretty natural after a bit of use.
  • It's a beast of a camera. I am sooooo use to the K5 user interface which is extraordinary simple. The K1 (I believe adopted from the K3), has a lot of additional user interfaces - well, it's different - and you adopt quite quickly. Not really a negative - just different.
  • Ok, if you are going to be shooting astrolandscapes or night landscapes in the dead of night - you will get the white dot noise. LightRoom and Affinity Photo can't handle it. Camera One (C1) and RawTharapee does. So depending on how and what you shoot, you may need/want to change/modify your post processing utilities.

11-15-2018, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
It all depends on what you shoot. I shoot landscape, cityscapes, architecture and astro, usually late afternoons, evenings and night with just ambient light. I upgraded from a K5iis (well partially). A full frame sensor will help with low light (provides an additional stop to a stop and a half, just on sensor size alone).

With the K1 in shooting astro, I have been able to drop my ISO down an entire stop to ISO 800, capturing substantially better dynamic range and star color. I can shoot at midnight, no moon, just star light, so dark - you can't see your hand in front of your face dark, and capture stunning foreground views with the Milky Way over the top. Truly remarkable the difference between the K5IIs and the K1 astro images.

I don't need extraordinary fast auto focus - especially for astro. When you are shooting long exposures, the buffer size doesn't matter. Believe it or not, I still stitch - so yes the file sizes are larger and process a tad slower, but it has never been a problem.
  • I can use my 28mm shift lens as it was intended to be used and it's really wide angle now on the K1.
  • It's now difficult to imagine shooting with out the articulating screen. It's really that useful on a tripod, especially with astro.
  • The work flow with the GPS/astro is streamlined on the K1 - probably the same as the K3. Substantially easier to take a series of back to back astrotracked images.
  • Both Kirk and RRS offer custom L brackets for the K1. The RRS L bracket has a snugger fit around the body.
  • The external remote shutter release (wired) that I use with the K5 is interchangeable with the K1.
  • My Nodal Ninja 3 which is really sized for a crop body, still handles the K1 with the 15-30 pretty easily and the combination is still within the NN3's operational weight envelope.
  • It's truly remarkable how efficient the K1 is in terms of soaking up light. Its capability in bringing out the shadows is wonderful.
The (slight) negatives...
  • The first time you pick it up, you're shocked as how remarkably heavy it is. However, that disappears very quickly. When you pickup the K5, you are stunned as to how feather light it is, in comparison. I use to think that the K5IIs with the Sigma 18-35/f1.8 was a heavy combination.
  • The K1 with the 15-30 is a remarkably large and heavy combination the first time you pick it up. It's like pumping iron. The front element of the lens is really very large. However you very quickly adapt and it becomes pretty natural after a bit of use.
  • It's a beast of a camera. I am sooooo use to the K5 user interface which is extraordinary simple. The K1 (I believe adopted from the K3), has a lot of additional user interfaces - well, it's different - and you adopt quite quickly. Not really a negative - just different.
  • Ok, if you are going to be shooting astrolandscapes or night landscapes in the dead of night - you will get the white dot noise. LightRoom and Affinity Photo can't handle it. Camera One (C1) and RawTharapee does. So depending on how and what you shoot, you may need/want to change/modify your post processing utilities.

and for a landscape camera filters dont fit the DFA15-30 lens... Unless you purchase a very expensive bracket system... To be coupled with an overpriced lens... !!
11-15-2018, 03:31 PM   #12
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I switched from the K-5 to the K-1. I found a big improvement in color and noise under low light and Astro shooting. I also notice a big difference in resolution, especially with group photos because you get a lot more detail in people’s faces.

I do miss the pop-up flash when I want to do an indoor shot or use a little fill flash. However, If I am planning on taking portraits or group photos, I use a remote/offset flash anyway to avoid red eye. I did get a little Metz flash to put in my camera bag—not powerful but lightweight with similar power as a pop-up or a little better.

For those who complain about the write speed, that is the price of higher resolution—you are putting 2-3x data to a card with Raw+JPG compared to a K-5 but the write speed to the SD card is not 3x faster. Also, you eat up hard drive space with the higher resolution pics!
11-15-2018, 03:42 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Mightymike put his in my hands when I was buying my Tamron 300 2.8 from him. I went home and ordered it. Once it's been in your hands resistance is futile.

Tess still shoots her K-5, but more and more she's borrowing the K-1 when she can. We've pretty much come to agree that the K-5 is hers, the K-3 is mine, the K-1 is there to be shared. We just can't afford two of them. And she's always borrowing the 28-105 for use on her K-5. It a fantastic walk around lens. The rendering is superb.

As a person who still would have a K-3 as my only camera, I quite enjoy the K-1 and take it out whenever possible, (as in when I'm not shooting wildlife or macro.)
Norm has it right. Even though my skill level would have been too low to justify buying a K-1, when I held it at a nearby store, it created a serious case of want!. I ended up buying a KP since my budget would not allow a K-1 but if I ever find the disposable income, I will be getting one. it just feels perfect when you hold it up to look through the viewfinder.
11-15-2018, 04:43 PM - 4 Likes   #14
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Here are sample photos that show why I like the K-1 so much. The K-5 wouldn't do quite so well:
  • There's a very subtle transition between the different blues in the twilight sky. (Online JPG compression has posterized the sky a bit but the original image is better)
  • Good dynamic range. The bright lighthouse beacon didn't get blown out. The dark side of the lighthouse tower retained enough detail and low noise to push the shadows a lot.
  • Very sharp. The K-5 anti-aliasing filter softened images. The K-1 has no such filter and doesn't need be sharpened so much during processing.
  • The K-1's IR cut filter is less aggressive than the one in the K-5. The red color in the Milky Way doesn't get desaturated.
  • Astrotracer. The K-1 is more precise than the O-GPS1 accessory.



11-15-2018, 05:26 PM - 6 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stub Quote
If your happy with the K5 why change...? The K1 is a fantastic camera. Brilliant dynamic range. But there are also drawbacks compared to a K5.. Expensive, Heavy and a limited number of lenses which are also expensive and heavy..!!
With the K1 you still only buy half a camera as with the K5.. Does not auto focus fast enough. Flash system is way behind the competition. No backing from 3rd party manufacturers and none from Pentax...
Lot of ill-informed talk here, Stuart … not sure what that's all about. Perhaps Szs doesn't have a shooting style that can take advantage of full frame, that's a legitimate reason not to upgrade, but you go way beyond that!

"Expensive"? Compared to a second hand K-5, maybe, but it's one of the cheapest FF cameras you can buy.

"Heavy? You get twice the picture size but it's only 30 percent heavier than a K-3.

"Limited number of … Expensive and heavy lenses?" The K-mount goes all the way back to 1975, it's a vast array. There are plenty of them with 49mm and 52mm threads, cheap on eBay or here from the Market Place. The FA Limiteds are wonderful performers and are small and well-built. You can even use all your existing DA lenses, many without cropping.

"Does not auto focus fast enough" Comes as news to me and others who shoot not just flowers but cars, motorbikes, dancers, people, runners, aircraft, football, wildlife, baseball, cyclists… have I left anything out?

"Flash system is way behind the competition" The Pentax flash system works in the same way as the TTL, HSS, and manual systems of Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. Same hotshoe even. I've shot in studios with their own strobes and triggers, and had to do *nothing* different to what the owners of other brands did on the day.

"filters dont fit the DFA15-30 lens" If you shoot other brands you will know that the pro quality UWAs have bulbous front elements and don't support screw in fliters, you also buy into something like the Lee system. Have a look at the very popular Samyang 14mm f2.8 while you're at it, same deal, landscapers understand this.

"No backing from 3rd party manufacturers" Just in the last month we've seen the Godox Pro release and the Irix 150mm f2.8 Macro.

"none [backing] from Pentax." ? Real 'Sony' Northrup comment that, but even he awarded the K-1 his camera of the year! As of this year, the K-1 now comes with the KP's noise reduction chip and handheld pixel shift.

Last edited by clackers; 11-15-2018 at 09:50 PM.
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