Sep 23, 2018

Pentax K-1 Mark II vs K-1 Review

Introduction

The Pentax K-1 full frame camera launched in February 2016 and made quite a splash in the Pentax community. This first full frame Pentax DSLR, loaded with many new and innovative features, was the camera many users had been waiting for. A popular and well-liked camera, the K-1 includes elements such as night illumination, a unique tilting LCD, a built-in GPS, shake reduction and pixel shift.

Fast forward in 2018. The K-1 is still as capable as before, and full frame cameras have a longer upgrade cycle than entry-level APS-C products. Nonetheless, Ricoh felt the time had come to offer an upgrade to their flagship. Enter the K-1 Mark II, a new DSLR which is almost identical to its predecessor, but with the inclusion of several new elements:

  • A new accelerator unit for improved noise handling at high ISO
  • A Dynamic Pixel Shift mode allowing the capture of handheld pixel shift images
  • Improved AF speed and tracking
  • Increased ISO sensitivity (two stops added, up to ISO 819200)

Apart from the camera logo, all changes are internal. In part thanks to this, Ricoh took the previously unheard of step of offering current K-1 users the possibility to upgrade their camera body to the newer K-1 II by replacing internal electronic components.  This service will be available through the end of September, 2018 and is available worldwide; details can be found here.

In this comparative review, we take a look at the key differences between the K-1 and K-1 II, to assess if the upgrade is worth it.

Note that because the K-1 is identical to the K-1 II in all areas other than those discussed in this comparative review, you should read the original K-1 review if you haven't already to become familiar with the basic features of the camera.

Is the K-1 II a true improvement over the K-1? Read our review to find out!


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