Pentax K-1 Review

Overall 60
Imaging 42
Features 76
Size 70
Price 0

Main Features

  • 36.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 204800
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3.2″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.4 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 137 x 110 x 86 mm
  • Weight: 1010 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced by Pentax K-1 II.

Pentax K-1 Summary

This review is devoted to K-1 that Pentax has first introduced to the public in Feb 17, 2016. This model is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera with a resolution of 36.0 MP and a Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Pentax has replaced this product with their most recent model K-1 II.

In Semi-Pro DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #4 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 60/100 and it takes a rank of #14 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Pentax K-1 Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Pentax K-1 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Screen Size: 3.2″
  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 14.6
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 3280
  • Sensor Resolution: 36.0 MP
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Number Of Cross Focus Points: 25
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Headphone Port: Yes
  • Wireless Connectivity: Built-In
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Timelapse Recording: Yes
  • Storage Slots: 2

CONs

  • Continuous Shooting: 4.4 fps
  • Number Of Focus Points: 33
  • Battery Life: 760 shots

Popular comparisons of Pentax K-1

Complete Comparison of Pentax K-1 With Other Cameras in Semi-Pro DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Pentax K-1. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Semi-Pro DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Pentax K-1

Pentax K-1 has the following external dimensions 137 x 137 x 86 mm (53.94 x 43.31 x 33.86″) with the weight of 1010 g.

The typical weight for average Semi-Pro DSLR type cameras is 783g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Pentax K-1, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Pentax K-1 is wider than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 86mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Pentax K-1 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

HTML
BB

If you want to have a better idea of how big the Pentax K-1 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

HTML
BB

Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Pentax K-1 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Pentax K-1 — 760 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots

Thickness

Pentax K-1 — 86 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Pentax K-1 — 1010 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Unfortunately, Pentax K-1 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Pentax K-1 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Pentax K-1 Photo and Sensor Features

Pentax K-1 boasts of a resolution of 36.0 MP and is equipped with a Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Pentax K-1 has the following ISO range 100 - 204800 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

In a huge database of models that we have collected, Pentax K-1 features a 36.0 MP sensor. In the Semi-Pro DSLR class, there is a high-resolution camera.

High-Resolution Mode

Pentax K-1 has a High-Resolution mode feature. It allows you to take multiple shots of a particular scene, at the same time, move its sensor with a special sensor-shift image stabilization system, and join all these shots into one MP picture automatically. To make the best use of this feature, we recommend capturing static scenes while using a tripod for more stability and less stitching artifacts.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Pentax K-1, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 96 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Pentax K-1’s sensor.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of Full frame sensor featured in Pentax K-1 with other standard sensor sizes.

HTML
BB

Other Characteristics And Features of Pentax K-1

LCD and ViewFinder

Pentax K-1 is equipped with a Fully Articulated 3.2" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 1,037k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentaprism) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in K-1 has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.7x and it also provides a coverage of 100%.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Pentax K-1 are its 4.4 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

Unlike some other cameras from this category, K-1 unfortunately, is not equipped with a built-in flash. Luckily, it has a special slot for external flashes instead.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Pentax K-1 stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 33 points.

In addition, K-1 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Pentax K-1, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 1920 x 1080 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Pentax K-1 allows you to save files in MPEG-4 and H.264 formats.

Pentax K-1 provides full HD resolution, which means that this model shows decent performance in most situations.

In addition, Pentax K-1 is equipped with a special port that you can use to connect an external microphone and, since it comes with a port for external headphones, we can call Pentax K-1 a perfect camera for high-quality videography purposes.

Connectivity and Storage

One more advantage of Pentax K-1 is its embedded wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity. This feature makes it possible to share files with suitable devices without the necessity to connect them physically.

In addition, K-1 is equipped with its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports that make it possible to connect K-1 with suitable external devices.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Pentax K-1 provides a shooting life of 760, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 871 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Pentax K-1 is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Pentax K-1 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Pentax K-1’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Pentax K-1’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the K-1 to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Pentax K-1 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-1 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 99. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-1 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (36 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages


Pentax K-1 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-1 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 99. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-1 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (137 x 110 x 86 mm)

Pentax K-1 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-1 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 95. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-1 can be called a 95 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (25)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3280)
  • Big size (137 x 110 x 86 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.4 fps)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (33)
  • Small battery life (760 shots)

Pentax K-1 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-1 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 70. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-1 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1010 g)
  • Big size (137 x 110 x 86 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Pentax K-1 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-1 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 100. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-1 can be called a 100 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (36 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.6)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3280)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Pentax K-1 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Pentax
Model K-1
Announced Feb 17, 2016
Body Type Mid-size SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Pentax KAF2
Number of Lenses 144
Focal Length Multiplier 1x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3.2″
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.7
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.4 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Built-in Flash No
Flash Range 0
Flash Modes Auto Flash Discharge, Auto Flash + Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On + Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Slow-speed Sync + Red-eye, P-TTL, Trailing Curtain Sync, Contrast-control-sync, High-speed sync, Wireless sync
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area Yes
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 96
DxO Color Depth 25.4
DxO Dynamic Range 14.6
DxO Low Light ISO 3280
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 35.9 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 861.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 36.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 7360 x 4912
Max Native ISO 204,800
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 100
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking Yes
AF Selective Yes
AF Center Yes
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 33
Number of Cross Focus Points 25
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port Yes
Headphone Port Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 1010 g
Physical Dimensions 137 x 110 x 86 mm
Battery Life 760 shots
Battery Type 760 shots
Battery Model D-LI90
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS Built-in
Storage Type Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
Storage Slots 2

Most popular Semi-Pro DSLR cameras

Nikon D800 36.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 30.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Canon EOS 6D Mark II 26.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Sony SLT-A77 II 24.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Pentax K-1 Mark II 36.0 MP CMOS
Full frame