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03-20-2016, 03:12 PM - 8 Likes   #1
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You soon-to-be K-1 owners are getting a Rolls Royce of a camera...

I got back from The Photography Show in Birmingham today, after two very enjoyable days looking around, attending seminars and playing with all the new and existing kit that's out. This morning, I played with the K-1. Folks, it's fantastic - Ricoh has done such a fine job. I have handled every high end model from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm and Panasonic over the last couple of days, and the K-1 is right at the top in terms of build quality - a real Rolls Royce. The ergonomics are superb too - everything easily to hand, and everything easy to use / adjust - K5 / K3 users just won't need the owner's manual for the majority of things. The new dials are *great* - I completely "get" them. Viewfinder takes a little getting used to after a K3, but it's nice all the same. I'm surprised how compact the camera is - really not much bigger than the K3; a bit deeper, but it doesn't feel appreciably different in the hand. The 24-70 was mounted on the camera, so that's what I got to play with. Nice lens, and seems sturdy enough, though I would describe it as "solid" rather than "special" in terms of the build quality, but certainly value for money assuming the optical quality is as good as we have come to expect (and I have no doubt that it will be).

I'm excited for you K-1 folks... what a *lovely* camera.

Oh, an interesting aside... Right after trying the K-1, I happened to pick up the D810 at the Nikon stand. Now, don't get me wrong - it's a super camera... but it honestly doesn't feel as solid as the K-1, nor does the finish feel quite so "premium". This is in no way a criticism of the D810 or Nikon in general... they had some very impressive kit at the show, and their pro gear was amongst the best quality (Canon's pro stuff was very nice also). But the K-1 feels like a piece of well-finished military-duty equipment compared to their top enthusiast models

Having not handled many other manufacturers' high end enthusiast equipment much before, I was surprised just how good the Pentax gear is by comparison. My own K5, K3 and K3II have always felt impressively robust to me, but I had no idea just how good they were until I tried all the equipment at the show. We Pentax owners are a lucky crowd, for sure

I will say that I was quite impressed with some of the Leica and Hasselblad kit... but those are different markets entirely


Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-20-2016 at 05:24 PM.
03-20-2016, 03:43 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Comparing all of the Pentax dSLRs to their respective competitors has consistently shown this difference - the features are plentiful even if the specs are hard to match with the competition. The build quality and feel, however, are something to behold with all Pentax cameras. They are well balanced and fit just right. I look forward to the K-1.
03-20-2016, 03:58 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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The quality 'feel' of Pentax bodies is something that many shoppers are sadly unable to experience anymore, with the decline in bricks and mortar camera stores. It's a great Pentax selling point, but most camera buyers will simply never know what they are missing.
03-20-2016, 04:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
The quality 'feel' of Pentax bodies is something that many shoppers are sadly unable to experience anymore, with the decline in bricks and mortar camera stores. It's a great Pentax selling point, but most camera buyers will simply never know what they are missing.
Agreed.

Actually, I have one negative to mention about today's Pentax experience, and it's nothing to do with the equipment... The rep on the stand that spoke to me had no personal experience of the K-1 and couldn't really answer any questions about it. He told me he owns a K-S2, and he clearly knew the basic product info on the K-1, but... seriously, Ricoh... this is probably the most significant product launch from the company in years, and this was a *BIG* show, with both retail and trade importance. There were some serious 'togs there, and I only hope the Ricoh guys they spoke to were more knowledgeable...

That aside, product-wise, the Ricoh stand was tops This was also the first time I got to see the DA 560 in the flesh... Man, it's a *beast* <drool>...


Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-20-2016 at 04:20 PM.
03-20-2016, 04:37 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
You soon-to-be K-1 owners are getting a Rolls Royce of a camera...
Oh happy days... that's all good to hear, thanks for sharing your handling experience.
03-20-2016, 05:18 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Seeing as I'm getting a 'Roller' in the near future, do I also need to start interviewing chauffeurs? Perhaps a 'Jeeves' for the photo editing suite? A Downstairs maid to keep all the equipment neat and clean?
03-20-2016, 07:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
We Pentax owners are a lucky crowd, for sure
Yes, indeed we are. Well done Ricoh! And thanks Mike.
03-20-2016, 07:24 PM   #8
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I am so glad that the D7000 was out of stock (factory under water) and I did research and found the K5 to be a better camera. The solid feel is in a class of it's own. The K3 is superb and I expect my K1 will be in the Penthouse. I am lucky to be close to B&H so I can handle all of the equipment.

03-20-2016, 07:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Oh, an interesting aside... Right after trying the K-1, I happened to pick up the D810 at the Nikon stand. Now, don't get me wrong - it's a super camera... but it honestly doesn't feel as solid as the K-1, nor does the finish feel quite so "premium". This is in no way a criticism of the D810 or Nikon in general... they had some very impressive kit at the show, and their pro gear was amongst the best quality (Canon's pro stuff was very nice also). But the K-1 feels like a piece of well-finished military-duty equipment compared to their top enthusiast models
I haven't handled a K-1 but as an owner of the D810 and K-3 this doesn't really surprise me. The K-3 feels superior in build quality. Although smaller and lighter than a D810 to me the perception is that the K-3 is heavier. Maybe because it is more dense being smaller? But it feels more solid and more like a body I would trust in tough conditions. If it's wet out, I know which one I trust more, and it is the one considerably cheaper.

---------- Post added 21st Mar 2016 at 12:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
The quality 'feel' of Pentax bodies is something that many shoppers are sadly unable to experience anymore, with the decline in bricks and mortar camera stores. It's a great Pentax selling point, but most camera buyers will simply never know what they are missing.
I loaned my K-3 to a Nikon shooter whose crop sensor Nikon was out of action. I handed it over and warned that once they touch it, they will want to keep it. That and it had the FA77 on it.... And yes by the end they were enamoured by it. Not enough to buy one though...

I forgot to add in my previous post... I find it funny when Canikon people put down the quality of third party lenses like Tamron as feeling cheap and plasticy. Everything Canikon, including their premium stuff, feels cheap and plasticy.
03-20-2016, 09:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
The quality 'feel' of Pentax bodies is something that many shoppers are sadly unable to experience anymore, with the decline in bricks and mortar camera stores. It's a great Pentax selling point, but most camera buyers will simply never know what they are missing.
I'm sure glad they were still in stores back in 2008 when I was debating my first dslr, and it was down to either a Nikon D40 or K100D. The K100D was in the lead on paper and price, but when I was able to compare them both in the hand at the store, that's what sealed the deal for the K100D. It wasn't long after that when the local stores all stopped carrying Pentax..
03-20-2016, 10:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The new dials are *great* - I completely "get" them.
Could you give some more details? Can they be operated with your eye on the viewfinder or you need to look at the camera top-down? I must admit I don't really "get" them yet ... the only features that seem useful to me are the iso and exposure compensation but we have dedicated buttons for these + the rear dial so it is kind of redundant. Other features like wifi crop and so on I'll use so rarely that I would not mind to be burried in the deepest of the menus...,
03-20-2016, 11:27 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Seeing as I'm getting a 'Roller' in the near future, do I also need to start interviewing chauffeurs? Perhaps a 'Jeeves' for the photo editing suite? A Downstairs maid to keep all the equipment neat and clean?
Ahem. Actual owners, I believe, call them a "Royce". Only vulgarians like Arthur Daley, apparently, call them "Rollers".
03-21-2016, 12:12 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Ahem. Actual owners, I believe, call them a "Royce". Only vulgarians like Arthur Daley, apparently, call them "Rollers".
I can't say that I have a wide experience of RR owners. Hence I only know what to call them from my telly viewing.
Certainly Mt A Daley referred to them as Rollers: Audrey Forbes-Hamilton (whose family had been on the Grantly Manor estate for 400 years) referred to her ancient RR as a Rolls.


To answer Wiz's query: no you don't need a Jeeves. Why would you buy such a lovely thing and then get someone else to play with it: Absurd.
03-21-2016, 01:34 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Only vulgarians like Arthur Daley, apparently, call them "Rollers"
Vulgarians and antipodeans apparently

QuoteOriginally posted by rod_grant Quote
Why would you buy such a lovely thing and then get someone else to play with it: Absurd.
Generosity of spirit? Noblesse oblige? (which I learned about from the formidable Mrs Forbes-Hamilton) or because sometimes I spend too long on the 'beer o'Álock forum'?
03-21-2016, 04:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by npc Quote
Could you give some more details? Can they be operated with your eye on the viewfinder or you need to look at the camera top-down? I must admit I don't really "get" them yet ... the only features that seem useful to me are the iso and exposure compensation but we have dedicated buttons for these + the rear dial so it is kind of redundant. Other features like wifi crop and so on I'll use so rarely that I would not mind to be burried in the deepest of the menus...,
You can certainly operate the smart dial with your thumb while the camera is to your eye - very much so. I'd guess most people will select the function of the smart dial before raising the camera, as it requires the thumb and forefinger to operate that main selection dial. I wouldn't say the ISO and exposure compensation settings are redundant at all... with the smart dial set up to operate one of these, it feels easier and more convenient to have what is then a dedicated dial to adjust it, rather than holding down a button and using one of the other wheels. Trust me - it's better than you'd think. As for the other available smart dial functions... I used the crop function, and I can see that being useful for cropped / "tele" shots straight from camera rather than having to rely on post processing - I quite liked that. I can also see the continuous / single shooting mode adjustment being useful, and I definitely like the bracketing value adjustment. The remainder of the functions aren't items I would think you'd need to change on the fly, but having them accessible via the dials is no bad thing.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-21-2016 at 04:47 AM.
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