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03-28-2019, 05:22 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Full Frame battle, what makes K-1 so special?

Knowing that there are plenty of options to get full frame camera, even mirrorless Canon RP which costs $1,300 may be very attractive and may easily force you to move to mirrorless system, what makes you think to get K-1 or K1-II now? I made decision for myself not to pay much attention to it and finally ordered K1-II...

03-28-2019, 05:35 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lev Quote
Knowing that there are plenty of options to get full frame camera, even mirrorless Canon RP which costs $1,300 may be very attractive and may easily force you to move to mirrorless system, what makes you think to get K-1 or K1-II now? I made decision for myself not to pay much attention to it and finally ordered K1-II...
You won't regret it! You will totally enjoy the K-1II, it is a great camera. In fact I'm thinking of getting another K-1 camera as a back up of my main, but I'm waiting till the end of the year and the announcement of the new APS-C before I decide! I won't write down the K-1 characteristics I like because there are only few things I can think of after using it for 2 years that I don't like or would love to be better for some special kinds of photography.

Last edited by redpit; 03-28-2019 at 05:49 AM.
03-28-2019, 05:39 AM   #3
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Hello Lev,

I have bought my K1-II last weekend while there was a promotion sale. Until now I didn't have much time to experiment with it but my first experience is only positive!
The versatility and quality of this machine is just amazing!

Starting with a Pentax K1000 and going up with a K50, the next step up to the K1-II seemed only logic to me, a Pentax fan. :-)
I still consider myself as an photographic amateur but I am eager to go out and learn more about this camera!
03-28-2019, 06:01 AM - 1 Like   #4
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What makes the K1 so special is that it's pretty much the only rugged camera with the type of high dynamic range hi res. sensor, and special features such as astrotracer and pixel shift, for the price point. The K1 II is still expensive, but since the K1 does sell new for as low as $1.3K, is about the same as the K1II (minus tweaks), so at that price of the K1 I don't see any better choice. BTW, mirrorless doesn't bring any photographic advantage, it's just another tech thingy that happens to deliver the same images as the DSLR models. The EOS RP just doesn't deliver as good stills as a K1 from 2016.

03-28-2019, 06:24 AM - 1 Like   #5
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First off, if you've been a Pentax user and have a collection of Pentax legacy lenses, all those will work with the K-1. Secondly, the imager of the K-1 is outstanding and produces very good results even in limited light. Shake reduction (which isn't singular to Pentax) extends low low light abilities even further. Then there's the ability, given a good lens, to crop, crop, crop, without losing image quality since the original shot was captured on a 36Mp sensor with extra pixels to spare. The layout of the K-1's controls has been well thought out and lends its origins to Pentax's experience in film cameras where they introduced instant program override via the adjustment dials. Of course, the K-1's other features like its re-positionable rear screen, HDR mode, focus magnification, shutter timers, pixel-shift abilities, remote control (not just IR but also complete WiFi control), and GPS, all add to its value.

You did good in choosing the K-1. Be happy!
03-28-2019, 06:34 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I don't think you'll regret it.

I will say that to me the most underrated aspect of the K-1/K-1 II is the pixel shift ability. It just gives you medium format quality images. Obviously this requires a more deliberate process of shooting and a tripod, but to me it is worth it as I truly cannot afford medium format (either camera or lenses), but I very much enjoy shooting landscapes with my Pentax cameras.
03-28-2019, 06:38 AM   #7
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The K-1 is on my wish list. I'll probably look for a clean, used , body only. I currently own a Pentax K-3 and a Canon 7d mark II,. Both are excellent APC sensor cameras, but I yearn for a full frame.
03-28-2019, 06:58 AM   #8
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I have the K-1 II. It is a great camera. The detail and resolution in the images it produces is excellent.

03-28-2019, 07:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I don't think you'll regret it.

I will say that to me the most underrated aspect of the K-1/K-1 II is the pixel shift ability. It just gives you medium format quality images. Obviously this requires a more deliberate process of shooting and a tripod, but to me it is worth it as I truly cannot afford medium format (either camera or lenses), but I very much enjoy shooting landscapes with my Pentax cameras.
.

Well said! The K-1 Pixel Shift is just incredible - it's like "turbo charging" for your camera!

Also, all day yesterday I was shooting with my K-1. It's such a comfortable camera to shoot. It's ergonomics are second to none.

Further, I use the tilty screen on the back all of the time. It prevents me from having to lay on my belly when shooting low to the ground. On most cameras, the tilty screen is quite fragile, while the K-1's tilty screen is so robust that it can easily support the entire camera.

Overall, the K-1 is an extremely rugged camera. I own two of them. One is for my light-duty/studio work; the other for my extreme work. The extreme K-1 has been through hell and looks terrible on the outside. But it just keeps on working perfectly.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 03-28-2019 at 07:07 AM.
03-28-2019, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #10
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For me, it's the following:
- image quality
- ease of working with the files in post (DNG)
- live view focusing for macro, landscape (if you are familiar with Nikons, you'll really appreciate this)
- ergonomics
- field ruggedness
03-28-2019, 07:23 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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The K-1 as a camera starts off great and then just continues to grow on you.

I first held one owned by another forum member with no intention to buy. Two weeks later I had my own. It's more like drug than a camera.
03-28-2019, 07:27 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Best bang for the buck for stills photography, period.

There is nothing better in this category, and most are worse in some way. Best feature set available for stills, in toto. It is only surpassed by some cameras when you add in video as a criteria.


I have used my K1 side x side with a 5DmkIV, and the only way the Canon was appreciably better was the UI----the output wasn't much or any better. AFAIC, Sony now owns video. I do rather wish Pentax would improve their codecs. On that score, I will be purchasing a Theta Z1, and so hope we'll see some drift over from Ricoh.


Lens selection deficits of Pentax are mostly hooey----the only big omission is a native T/S E lens. How many need those (I do, actually, but I am an outlier...)? The focal lengths that almost everyone needs are covered. Some more updates will be helpful---a 24 is coming, and the 20 ought to see a treatment like the 35 has gotten. But really, a lot of the sturm and drang about lens deficiencies come from folks who wouldn't buy the supposed missing lenses even if they were available. The used market is rich with great stuff at great prices.
03-28-2019, 07:48 AM   #13
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A slightly different view from my perspective:

First a disclaimer. I borrowed a k1 for several weeks and decided it wasn't for me. I am satisfied with my k3 at least for now.

1) legacy support - fantastic backward compatibility with legacy lenses.

2) unique tilt swivel screen - it may look odd but I found it very useful.

3) superb stills - few sensors and few models are in this league.

4) pixel shift - pushes lanscapes into next level.

5) sd card - unlike some Nikon cameras redundancy is with identical sd cards. This limits performance but keeps cost and complexity of storage to a minimum.
03-28-2019, 08:10 AM   #14
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To me, Pentax is pretty much the Hassleblad of FF (& apsc) dslr's, not in a bad way though!
Though they may not have "blazing fast fps" or "so many af points you can shake a stick at", what they do have is:
- The highest IQ for the price
- WR up the wazzo
- Various shooting modes
- Large legacy lens selection (44 years worth of K-mount lenses) PLUS many M42 screwmount lenses (via adapter)
03-28-2019, 09:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by disconnekt Quote
To me, Pentax is pretty much the Hassleblad of FF (& apsc) dslr's, not in a bad way though!
Though they may not have "blazing fast fps" or "so many af points you can shake a stick at", what they do have is:
- Large legacy lens selection (44 years worth of K-mount lenses) PLUS many M42 screwmount lenses (via adapter)
Not only easily adaptable M42 mount lenses (mostly older designs), but also easily adaptable outstanding Leica R and Zeiss ZF lenses.
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