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09-25-2018, 09:37 AM   #1
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Pentax K-1 Video Quality - Dynamic Range/Matching with other cameras/Best Practices

I'm looking to pick up a Pentax K-1 (been wanting to get back into landscape photography for a long time), but am also about to start preproduction on a low budget documentary. Was originally planning on shooting on the Panasonic GH4/GH5 for everything, but am going to be needing multiple cameras for some days, and because of a lack of budget was wondering how the Pentax K-1 stacks up. I'm mostly wondering in terms of its dynamic range specifically in video mode and matching with footage from other cameras.

I know there are some film professionals here that I've seen in other threads and am wondering what their conclusions are for those wanting to do a bit more than casual video with it. Are there any best practices for video capture on the K-1, i.e. turn down sharpness, contrast, etc.? How well does the footage hold up to color correction (planning on Da Vinci Resolve)? I heard the K-1 does not have clean HDMI output, but what exactly is it outputting? Is it 4:2:0 8-bit? Can it be masked in post (for a 2.35:1 crop) or is it too obtrusive?

Yes, I realize that the K-1 isn't known for video quality, but I've shot documentaries on the Canon 5D Mark II, so if video quality is at least on that level, I think I can be satisfied.

09-25-2018, 10:06 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Happy K1 owner here.

I work professionally in film/video, and while I haven't messed around with the K1 seriously - I think even with low/no budget you can get much better options. A used GH2 will blow it out of the water and can probably be found for $200 bucks or less.

5D MKII with Magic Lantern is a substantially more flexible option. GH4 shot on 4k and downres'd to 2K will absolutely destroy it.

I mean - I am sure it is usable if you are OK with heavily compressed 4:2:0 8bit and almost no customizable options. But I don't really know why one would when there are so many better cheap options floating around.

The K1 is a camera designed for photography, and for that, I think it is the best bang for buck currently on market. Honestly, I think they could have just left video off altogether, a la the Nikon DF, and put something else where the REC button is.
09-25-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
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You should do some basic testing when you can.

Every time I have done any basic video work with the K1 (i.e. messing around at home) the results have been miserable. Footage quality is poor... objectively speaking.
09-25-2018, 10:55 AM   #4
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I once mixed footage of public speakers taken by me on a K-1 and my friend with his Panasonic Gh5. There was no difference in quality in that real world situation. I recommend vanilla colour settings though, leave all that to postprocessing.

09-25-2018, 12:00 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I once mixed footage of public speakers taken by me on a K-1 and my friend with his Panasonic Gh5. There was no difference in quality in that real world situation. I recommend vanilla colour settings though, leave all that to postprocessing.
I've never looked at K-1 video samples, but was watching this just now:


I know the K-1 isn't comparable to some others in terms of video capability, but this looks pretty darned good to me when viewed full size on my 17" laptop monitor...
09-25-2018, 12:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobcobb Quote
I'm looking to pick up a Pentax K-1 (been wanting to get back into landscape photography for a long time), but am also about to start preproduction on a low budget documentary. Was originally planning on shooting on the Panasonic GH4/GH5 for everything, but am going to be needing multiple cameras for some days, and because of a lack of budget was wondering how the Pentax K-1 stacks up. I'm mostly wondering in terms of its dynamic range specifically in video mode and matching with footage from other cameras.

I know there are some film professionals here that I've seen in other threads and am wondering what their conclusions are for those wanting to do a bit more than casual video with it. Are there any best practices for video capture on the K-1, i.e. turn down sharpness, contrast, etc.? How well does the footage hold up to color correction (planning on Da Vinci Resolve)? I heard the K-1 does not have clean HDMI output, but what exactly is it outputting? Is it 4:2:0 8-bit? Can it be masked in post (for a 2.35:1 crop) or is it too obtrusive?

Yes, I realize that the K-1 isn't known for video quality, but I've shot documentaries on the Canon 5D Mark II, so if video quality is at least on that level, I think I can be satisfied.
If you're looking to produce for viewing on standard size domestic television screens, not computer monitors, the K1 video will be embarrassingly soft. As others have posted here, low cost Panasonic cameras and particularly the GH4/5, will kill it. If you need one of the best compromises for still photography, high dynamic range video, low light capabilities, multiple CODEC options, the Sony a7III is an option.
09-25-2018, 11:57 PM   #7
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Disappointing, but not unexpected. Saw some comparisons elsewhere, and the video is really quite soft. Going to pick up a GX80 as a B Cam, then.

Will definitely be using the K-1 for timelapses though.
09-26-2018, 04:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobcobb Quote
Going to pick up a GX80 as a B Cam, then.
Thats a smart option!

10-08-2018, 04:30 AM   #9
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it really is up to what one want from video. I’d say that K-1 for just documenting and some creative stuff is okay, manual everything is cool too, that has been said many times. There are shortcomings. If you are going to get K-1 anyway, just try it. use external recorder for audio, if needed(I do recommend anyway, since there is that port) If you want more, just get what you need. I have oly E5MII also. it is great and small but for most things I just use my K-1, because it is usually there available. Honestly spoken, I’m going to if I get more in to video, going to get more video oriented camera, for video. I’v been eyeballing that blackmagic pocket camera and looking forward to see how it fares. one video guy who’s work I like and who I know uses blackmagick and one thing is that it’s colour and all is so good since developed just for digital film. And I can see why.
2 Days Ago - 1 Like   #10
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My video experience with K1

Hello.
Iíve been using the K1 on small video project and as it is my only camera, Iím happy with the results. Of course in the future I would love to get a Sony A7III, to get more filming options and more freedom in post, especially color grading. But with some nice manual M42 or K mount old school lenses as my Asahi 50mm 1,4 (33Ä on ebay), he will definitely do the job.
And as itís known, if you want a solid, life and weather proof, full frame, completely adapted for travelers/landscape/stars photography, under 2000Ä, just go for it!
If you want to see some exemple of what you can achieve, here are my videos:
Simon Espinoux - YouTube
Done with Pentax K1 in most cases, Mavic air for aerial and go pro for undermater/sport. Simon Espinoux - YouTube
PS: any likes or subscribers are welcome, thanks.
Simon.

Last edited by NataniHell; 2 Days Ago at 06:46 AM.
2 Days Ago - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NataniHell Quote
Hello.
Iíve been using the K1 on small video project and as it is my only camera, Iím happy with the results.
...
If you want to see some exemple of what you can achieve, here are my videos:
...
Done with Pentax K1 in most cases, Mavic air for aerial and go pro for undermater/sport.
Very nice

I'm sure other video folks will be more stringent in their appraisal of your work - at least in terms of video quality - but it all looks great to me!
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