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05-04-2019, 06:26 PM   #1
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K1 or K1 mark ii

Hello!

Iím new to the forum and joined to get answers on Pentax.

I currently shoot with a Canon 77d which works well but getting about time to upgrade to full frame. I shoot nightscapes and landscapes but also want a good all around camera for some occasional wildlife pics. Pentax intrigues me in part because of the weather sealing. Iím not a professional but want professional results.

I was leaning hard towards the K1 ii but then read about it giving soft images at high ISO although donít remember when this kicks in. I absolutely do not want soft images. So, how bad is this or was it just an anti-Pentax review?

If it is an issue I understand that the K1 original didnít have this problem but didnít have great focusing which was fixed with the Mark II.

Any advice or comments?

05-04-2019, 06:40 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin.mcde Quote
Hello!

I’m new to the forum and joined to get answers on Pentax.

I currently shoot with a Canon 77d which works well but getting about time to upgrade to full frame. I shoot nightscapes and landscapes but also want a good all around camera for some occasional wildlife pics. Pentax intrigues me in part because of the weather sealing. I’m not a professional but want professional results.

I was leaning hard towards the K1 ii but then read about it giving soft images at high ISO although don’t remember when this kicks in. I absolutely do not want soft images. So, how bad is this or was it just an anti-Pentax review?

If it is an issue I understand that the K1 original didn’t have this problem but didn’t have great focusing which was fixed with the Mark II.

Any advice or comments?
The K-1ll has a Co-Processor chip on the motherboard that significantly reduces noise at high ISO. 6400 is as clean as 3200 on K-1 and 12800 is respectable and cleans up nicely. A reviewer performed some mathematical testing on the RAW files and alleges that above 640 ISO resolution is slightly reduced. This is pure mathematics, not actual image testing. To my knowledge there hasn’t been a complaint about soft high ISO images from K-1ll. There is, however, a theoretical argument that Pentax is baking the RAW files and certain purists objected to that.

I’d review the sample images available in the Sample Photo Search Engine HERE and Flickr and decide for yourself whether high ISO images are unacceptably soft.

AFA the focusing on K-1 goes I just shot several hundred at the Botanical Garden this afternoon. Snappy, accurate and locks without hunting. I’ve never been unhappy with my K-1 AF.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-04-2019 at 06:57 PM.
05-04-2019, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #3
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We cover the image quality matter in-depth in this review:
Pentax K-1 Mark II vs K-1 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Though some users still don't like the fact that the hardware noise processing can't be disabled, I think the general consensus at this point is that the K-1 II is as least as good in practice (from an image quality perspective). This was mostly an issue for previous K-1 owners contemplating the K-1 to K-1 II conversion upgrade, which ultimately ended up being very popular.

At the end of the day, the difference between the two cameras isn't big. If you're shooting Canon at the moment, and want to buy a brand new camera, IMO there's no reason not to start with the K-1 II since the K-1 is no longer available. If you're looking for a good second-hand deal, then both are fair game.

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05-04-2019, 08:11 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I just went through this question myself.

If you go used, go for the cheapest model. The differences are small. I missed out on some good K-1 deals but ended up getting a K-1 Mark II.

If you look at the Pentax sample gallery at dpreview, you can see the differences in processing. Sharpness initially looks better on the original but if you look at the CORNERS (the red watercolor brush), you will see that the K-1 Mark II is sharper. This means there is a subtle difference in focus points and with the crazy pixel peeping, you can see it.

Next, if you look at PentaxForumsís review and look at the star eater page, you can download the full res photos. Here you can see that there are fewer stars in the K-1 Mark II but that this is probably a focusing error to since the stars are not as pinpoint. The background sky is also better on the K-1 Mark II.

Pentax has stated in some cases that the accelerator may be worse, but I think stacked astrophotography may be the only time thatís happening. I have not seen enough K1 Mark II astrophotography pictures to really tell what is happening (you also need advanced optics on a tracking mount to be confident that you are not just seeing thermal shift between lenses).

PENTAX K-1 Mark II????????K-1??????????DPReview?????????? - ?????

Is a good comparison.

óó-

Last, as you look at the noise, remember that different companies use different measurements. Pentax is pretty honest. At ISO 100 both the K1-Mark II and Panasonic S1R have a 1/40s

Go to ISO 25600 and you see under JPEG that Pentax is 1/6400 but 1/5000 for the S1 and A73. There are some weird differences that way and the RAWs are 1/5000. Makes you wonder why they donít shoot RAW+JPEG?

At DxOMark you can see how the A73, S1 compared to the K1 for ISO and low light. But remember that in good light, you get 36MP

05-04-2019, 08:45 PM - 3 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
A reviewer performed some mathematical testing on the RAW files and alleges that above 640 ISO resolution is slightly reduced. This is pure mathematics, not actual image testing.
From Ricoh's Pentax K-1 special site:
Challengers | PENTAX K-1 Special site | RICOH IMAGING

QuoteQuote:
The key: resolving factors that canít be expressed by numerical values

Even though the noise of RAW-format image data was reduced, the goal of ISO 204800, two steps higher than a top sensitivity of the PENTAX K-3 and PENTAX K-5, was still very difficult to reach. An engineer in charge of image processing spent most of his time fine-tuning a new noise-processing technology. The PENTAX image processing team believed that, by improving this technology, they could effectively eliminate the low-frequency noise, which is more noticeable in high-sensitivity photography.

If the team members had been concerned about the numeral assessment alone, they could have easily attained high sensitivity by suppressing all types of noise. The result, however, would have been flat images not only free of noise, but lacking in details and gradation
. In scenic photography, for instance, every leaf of a tree should have subtle textures and its own original pattern. Even in high-sensitivity photography, he could not lose texture and reality by making the image too flat. What counted most was not the numerical values, but a good balance in the noise-processing stage that could make the most of the exceptional imaging power delivered by 36.4 effective megapixels.

ďThere are many ways to assess image quality. PENTAX has traditionally stayed away from the kind of image quality defined solely by excellent numerical assessment. It is probably because we regard sensory evaluation much more highly than most people would imagine.Ē


In the age of advanced technologies, PENTAX still places great importance on human sensibilities, something that is in complete opposition to much of todayís technological advancement. For PENTAX, this is the primary source for attaining exceptional image quality. Achieving this goal requires a large number of actual images capturing different types of subjects, and taken in varying photographic conditions. Among the PENTAX engineers are a group of photo enthusiasts specializing in such fields as portraiture, landscape and astronomical photography. Every weekend, they take test models out into the field, and shoot photographs without attracting peopleís attention to the models that are still under development. In fact, this has become routine work for them.
In other words Ricoh sought to factor in human perceptions that cannot be expressed simply with mathematics.
05-04-2019, 09:08 PM - 1 Like   #6
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It depends on the price difference between the K1 and K1 II. In EU the K1 II sold for 1800 before Christmas while the K1 was still at around 1600. Early this year I bought a K1 II , and I kept the K1.
Now the situation is different, the K1 sells for 1300 and the K1 II price increased to 2000. If I was going to get another K1 body now, I'd get the K1, not the K1 II, simply because for 1300 the K1 is just so good for still photography.
05-05-2019, 04:13 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin.mcde Quote
K1 or K1 mark ii
I'm still running the original K1s, as they continue to do the job I need done.

Currently the later offerings do not have anything else feature wise, that I perceive I will need in the near future.
05-05-2019, 04:55 AM - 1 Like   #8
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The focusing on the original K-1 is not significantly worse than the MkII in my opinion, and I personally prefer the original K-1 image quality over the MkII version with the added processor.

05-05-2019, 05:47 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin.mcde Quote
Iím not a professional but want professional results.

Any advice or comments?
Would you buy a Ferrari and expect that you would make you able to go around the Nurburgring as fast as a Formula1 driver?

Technique and good lenses is what make professional results.
05-05-2019, 08:21 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I did the upgrade and am quite happy with it. I think the AF speed is improved nicely, especially with screw drive lenses. Regarding loss of detail, nothing that I think applies to anything outside of extreme pixel peeping, and the pluses of being able to take a jpeg out of camera at 6400 that looks really nice for that sensitivity outweighs any pixel peeping scrutiny for me, and I'm a pretty hardcore pixel peeper (goes with that LBA thing). Also, the accelerator doesn't kick in until over 640. If detail is what you're after, I'd question why you were shooting at an ISO higher than that anyway, regardless of the camera. And don't forget about the hand held pixel shift. Pretty neat stuff. Do remember that you have to process in camera to use that feature.
05-05-2019, 08:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GXAlan Quote


Pentax has stated in some cases that the accelerator may be worse, but I think stacked astrophotography may be the only time thatís happening. I have not seen enough K1 Mark II astrophotography pictures to really tell what is happening (you also need advanced optics on a tracking mount to be confident that you are not just seeing thermal shift between lenses).

PENTAX K-1 Mark II????????K-1??????????DPReview?????????? - ?????


I stack my astrophotos. Currently using a iOptron Star Tracker and will take 10 or so 60 second or more images and then take several low ISO images for the foreground. These are blended in processing.


Just how bad is this during stacking of images? This is concerning for me.


I couldn't access the link so will Google.
05-05-2019, 08:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ne! Quote
The focusing on the original K-1 is not significantly worse than the MkII in my opinion, and I personally prefer the original K-1 image quality over the MkII version with the added processor.

That is good to know. Thanks.
05-05-2019, 08:51 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by blacklite Quote
Would you buy a Ferrari and expect that you would make you able to go around the Nurburgring as fast as a Formula1 driver?

Technique and good lenses is what make professional results.


I totally agree. That is why I'm practicing techniques on my crop sensor now and continue to improve. I fully understand that getting a "better" camera will not make me a better photographer. As I push the limits of my current camera it is reasonable to move up to better equipment.


While I understand buying a Ferrari will not make me a professional drive I don't want to buy a Ferrari with bald tires and an oil leak that would keep me from getting the most out of my current skill set.


Love your analogy!
05-05-2019, 09:32 AM   #14
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When Pentax put the 'accelerator' in the KP, DPR loved the results
QuoteOriginally posted by DPR:
In many ways the Pentax KP reminds us of the Olympus PEN-F. It offers a step forward in image quality, and manages to be a stylish, well-made object of desire that may be worth the extra price to some.
Pentax KP Review: Digital Photography Review


so I was flabbergasted at their review of the K-1ii. At first they even talked about it in terms of the "star eating" problem of some Sony cameras, but that went by the way-side when an astronomy site didn't see that problem - in fact, that site's review is much better
QuoteOriginally posted by Astrophotography Review:
On its own, the K-1 Mark II impressed us tremendously with its plethora of features, low price, excellent image quality and unique quality-of-life features that directly benefit landscape and astrophotography. We’ve never tested a camera quite like it. 4.5/5 – Highly Recommended)
Pentax K-1 Mark II Astrophotography Review – Lonely Speck

Last edited by reh321; 05-05-2019 at 10:01 AM. Reason: added blank line to improve readability
05-05-2019, 10:09 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
When Pentax put the 'accelerator' in the KP, DPR loved the results
Pentax KP Review: Digital Photography Review


so I was flabbergasted at their review of the K-1ii. At first they even talked about it in terms of the "star eating" problem of some Sony cameras, but that went by the way-side when an astronomy site didn't see that problem - in fact, that site's review is much better
Pentax K-1 Mark II Astrophotography Review Ė Lonely Speck
The accelerator in the K-1ii is not identical to the one in the KP. A couple members here have noted that fine feather detail is a bit less biting in the K-1 ii vs the original K-1. It's possible Pentax was slightly more aggressive in the noise reduction when programming the K-1ii's accelerator.

This is the entire entry re: Noise from the website you cited:

Noise

A previous version of this review made some hasty conclusions about how the K-1 Mark IIís noise performance affected stacked astrophotos. Iíve removed those changes and am investigating the issue further before deciding to change my original review, if at all.

Overall noise performance on the K-1 Mark II is excellent. There is nearly no tangible sensor bloom or electronic glow in highly pushed images and noise levels are low.

The Pentax K-1 II was criticized by DPReview for a strange behavior when it comes to high ISO noise performance. As demonstrated in our ISO invariance test, the K-1 Mark II seems to exhibit slightly less overall noise at ISOs above 400. Thatís usually a good thing. However, at these higher ISOs, the noise profile appears slightly ďmuddierĒ or smoothed. While my astrophotography exposures at first glance seemed to be generally acceptable for low-light exposures, and Iím fairly happy with most of the images that Iíve made, itís clear that Pentax is applying some kind of noise reduction to ISO settings above ISO 400. The bigger problem is that this noise reduction affects RAW files and cannot be disabled.

While I donít personally have the original K-1 with which to compare this K-1 Mark II, in DPReviewís full review of the K-1 Mark II, they showed that the original K-1 could resolve slightly more detail at ISOs above 400. Itís it a big difference? Not really. In practice, the difference is very small and I never felt disappointed with the K-1 Mark IIís capability to resolve detail at high ISOs.

Most importantly, the problem is not detrimental to star details and does not present the same problem as the Sony star-eater issue. I do, however, agree with DPReview and I wish that manufacturers would stop trying to apply noise reducing techniques to RAW files. These operations are much better saved for JPEGs or for post processing when the photographer can make the choice of how much or how little noise reduction to apply.
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