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06-01-2017, 09:18 AM   #1
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K1 compared to Oly E-M1

At the moment I have an E-M1 and I like it a lot but I am considering the K1. Please can someone help me with a question?

I use non-auto legacy lenses quite a lot (this possibility on the K1 is attractive) and I use the Oly EVF for focussing by using the enlarged section live view to get in close on a section of the frame AND the 'marching ants' focus detect indication. Are either of these facilities available through the viewfinder?

06-01-2017, 10:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by concentrik Quote
At the moment I have an E-M1 and I like it a lot but I am considering the K1. Please can someone help me with a question?

I use non-auto legacy lenses quite a lot (this possibility on the K1 is attractive) and I use the Oly EVF for focussing by using the enlarged section live view to get in close on a section of the frame AND the 'marching ants' focus detect indication. Are either of these facilities available through the viewfinder?
The K-1 and all pentax cameras have optical viewfinders. None of that is available in the viewfinder. It is all available in live view on the rear screen, however.
06-01-2017, 11:06 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by concentrik Quote
Are either of these facilities available through the viewfinder?
As noted above, the K-1 is a dSLR, meaning that the primary viewfinder is optical. Viewfinder focus aids with manual focus lenses are limited to focus confirmation using the PDAF system and visual determination. Live view using the rear LCD provides magnification and focus peaking, though both may be difficult to use with the camera hand held. These provisions for manual focus are typical of dSLRs.


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06-01-2017, 11:28 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by concentrik Quote
At the moment I have an E-M1 and I like it a lot but I am considering the K1. Please can someone help me with a question?

I use non-auto legacy lenses quite a lot (this possibility on the K1 is attractive) and I use the Oly EVF for focussing by using the enlarged section live view to get in close on a section of the frame AND the 'marching ants' focus detect indication. Are either of these facilities available through the viewfinder?
I made the same switch last September) It'd take some time to adjust to the OVF vs EVF, and overall size/weight. I was so used to my EM1 being small and compact, I didn't think twice taking it with me everywhere. With K-1 I need to plan things out a bit more carefully, I once took my entire kit to NYC without thinking ("i'd definitely need that lens!" etc), regretted later on during the day) But IQ wise it's such a major upgrade, especially if you're into landscapes. I do think EM1 is a much better street shooter camera honestly. Also, AF would take some time getting used to imo, EM1 has more focus points, and to me it seems that AF system was a bit faster/more reliable. I can't stress how much better IQ is though, DR, high iso, resolution and tone depth is massively better. And you'll enjoy that sweet sweet ultra shallow dof too I'd imagine (that's what I was craving when I was shooting mft anyway

Focus peaking and zooming in is not available in OVF, but it has it's own advantages.


Last edited by awscreo; 06-01-2017 at 11:42 AM.
06-01-2017, 02:18 PM   #5
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The difference in sensor size is the most significant thing. Full frame captures 3.84x more light (area) than 4/3 sensor. And legacy lenses will have the field of view that they were intended to have on the K1. Everything is telephoto pretty much on 4/3, I need a 24mm just to get pretty much a normal field of view on my lumix G1.
Perhaps some K1 owners who use legacy lenses can offer insight into how well the OVF handles visual focus. On my K5 I use a 1.36x VF magnifier by default, but even with that visual focus is often difficult to nail. K-r was the same - I used a split prism VF screen canniibilised from an old ME super for a while on that. Focus confirm signals were often a pic saver.
LCD screen on my K5 magnified is not nearly as clear as the magnified view through the EVF on either my G1 or my samsung NX20.
Two more points: OVF like my the K5 is so much better for spontaneous photography, both my mirrorless cameras have inherent delays that mean the shot is usually missed. EVF is so much better with manual stop down apertures, doesn't go dark like an OVF, autocompensates. And with the strong evf magnification I can often leave a lens like my FD 400mm on f5.6 or even f8 and still see focus.

Last edited by marcusBMG; 06-01-2017 at 02:27 PM.
06-02-2017, 01:50 AM   #6
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Still undecided!

Thank you all for that very helpful information. I am very tempted by the improved IQ and DR and enhanced tonal quality along with the range of legacy lens options available. All this is to be considered against my ability to nail focus manually; I have trouble doing this with the Oly if I don't use the aids it offers. A further point - I rarely print bigger than A4 and always b/w, using carbon pigment inks via QTR to a franken-Epson R300. Are the improvements in IQ offered by the K1 going to be noticeable anyway? I would hire one for a week but they are few and far between outside London (read 'not available').
06-02-2017, 06:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by concentrik Quote
Thank you all for that very helpful information. I am very tempted by the improved IQ and DR and enhanced tonal quality along with the range of legacy lens options available. All this is to be considered against my ability to nail focus manually; I have trouble doing this with the Oly if I don't use the aids it offers. A further point - I rarely print bigger than A4 and always b/w, using carbon pigment inks via QTR to a franken-Epson R300. Are the improvements in IQ offered by the K1 going to be noticeable anyway? I would hire one for a week but they are few and far between outside London (read 'not available').
I'd suggest maybe renting one, or testing at the store then, MILC to DSLR is a big switch. I personally got used to OVF by now, and actually have a "knack" on when images should be in focus. OVF is fairly large, and due it's innate better pic (due to it being optics and not a screen, especially not one of the newer higher density screens in EM1 II) you could see in-focus regions more clearly imho. It took some time to adjust for sure. I believe higher output quality (12bit EM1 vs 14bit K-1) translates into better B&W conversion (someone more technical might correct me here, it's just something I read somewhere). 36mp would also offer an opportunity to print much larger with no loss of quality if one desires, and small details are just so much finer and better looking when I'm comparing my old files from EM1 shot with one of the sharper primes for the system (Panaleica 25 1.4) to my K-1 files, for which I don't have the best glass available yet.
06-02-2017, 07:38 AM   #8
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If you shoot wide angles/landscapes much, those would probably be the areas where you would see the biggest difference between micro four thirds and a K-1. Dynamic range at various isos will be better with a full frame camera than with smaller sensors.

On the other hand, you definitely will see a huge increase in size of gear going with full frame. Even with primes like the DA *55 or DA 40 limited, the K-1 is a pretty big camera and weighs a bit.

06-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #9
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I owned the K-3, I also own a Sigma DP 2 Merril, and at one time owned a old Pany. Low light, high ISO ability is my primary reason for getting a full frame. You just cannot beat the images you can get from 800 to 1600 ISO on a full frame sensor. Given that this camera is being compared favorably to cameras costing 1000s more, it's a no brainer for me.

This is basically a Sony A7R packed inside a Pentax body and with all the Pentax Technology inside as well. I don't shoot sports or birds in flight, so for my use this camera is going to blow anything I have ever owned away.

Last edited by JamesDCrockett; 06-02-2017 at 10:40 AM.
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