Searching for new photography equipment is a task that takes time and thorough consideration. Since purchasing a new camera or additional equipment can be expensive, we want to take the time to examine a few of the leading digital SLR camera options on the market today. We will be focusing on providing you with a full Pentax K1 review, and we will evaluate how it compares with three other quality cameras from other brands.
The Pentax brand was first launched in the 1950s with the reveal of its first SLR camera. RICOH Imaging is the company responsible for the development and evolution of the Pentax brand, and they continue to build innovative cameras with the highest-quality technology available. Pentax is renowned for its DSLR cameras, which offer compact, beautiful, and diverse features to fit a variety of uses and skill-levels.
First up, we will examine that Pentax K1 model from Ricoh.
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What Is the Pentax K1?
The Pentax K1 is a full-frame digital SLR camera that has been on the market for several years. The version we reviewed is the Pentax K1 Mark II with a full lens kit. The Pentax K1 Mark II is a progression of the original Pentax K1 model, which was voted camera of the year in 2016 by Imaging Resource. We admire the original K1 for its superior image quality, thoughtful performance, diverse sensitivity range, and amazing low-light focus ability. It is a very affordable full-frame DSLR, as well; all around, this camera is approachable for all skill levels all the while astonishing some professionals, too.
Let’s outline the product specifications for the Pentax K1 Mark II. Operating this camera, we noticed right away the Pentax K1’s ability to capture high-sensitivity or moving objects while in the handheld shooting mode. The camera does this by examining and recognizing even the slightest change in a subject’s placement while shooting continuously.
This camera shoots beautiful, high-quality images. You can expect a quiet shooting experience due to its advanced noise-reduction mechanisms. The Mark II’s improved PRIME IV engine accounts for many of these gains: It improves the overall function of the camera, ultimately producing near-flawless, sensitive, and intuitive shooting. The package we evaluated comes with the Pentax K1 Mark II 36MP weather-resistant DSLR; an HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE lens; one Pentax 85231 sling bag; and one Pentax 85232 padded strap. The camera’s total weight is 5.5 lbs.
The Pentax K1 Mark II we are reviewing is bundled with a lens kit, and the package lands in a very accessible price range. This camera, plus the lens kit outlined above, can be purchased for around $2,300 USD on Pentax.com or Amazon.com.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR
- Canon EOS 5DS Digital SLR
- Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Pentax K-1 Mark II with Lens Kit
We found the product we reviewed available from online retailers in the $2,300 to $2,500 range.
EASE OF USE
Overall, ease of use is very intuitive. This camera has many great features for improved shooting under extreme conditions or low-light situations. Some modes and options may be challenging at first for novice users, but with practice and exploration, the camera is wonderful. Superior stabilization gives users more freedom and requires less reliance on a tripod to get crisp, clean images.
The Pentax K1 Mark II is equipped with a 36 MP AA filterless shake reduction sensor that operates with an APS-C crop mode for fluid compatibility with the Pentax K-mount line of lenses. This Pentax is also set up with handheld Pixel Shift resolution, which allows four images to compile into one image for increased color and sharpness — creating a masterpiece landscape or nature shoot with ease.
The Pentax K1 Mark II is crafted with highly durable and weather resistant body made of a magnesium alloy, giving you more flexibility and confidence regardless of your surroundings. Some other notable features are GPS location tagging, control-lighting, console-based image combining for long-exposures and stargazing, and an incredible 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization system. Battery life is approximately 670 images or 340 minutes of video playback with a fully charged lithium-ion battery.
Made of a magnesium alloy, this camera is weather-resistant and durable enough to accompany you on all of your adventures regardless of the elements. The on-body lighting and image stabilization are thoughtful inclusions that give the photographer more flexibility and freedom from carrying heavy gear. The heavy-duty shutter is great for professionals and is capable of a 300,000 shot lifetime. Another awesome element of this K1 Mark II is that all Pentax K-mount lenses are interchangeable with the body, giving you more options and opportunity to combine gear you may already own.
Warranties are provided by the manufacturer with product registration. See Pentax.com for more information.
- Affordable full-frame DSLR with many practical features
- Durable and built with professional use in mind
- Superior image stabilization
- Quality battery life
- On-body lighting makes it easier to shoot a variety of conditions with less additional gear
- Average video quality
- Poor auto-focus response for sports or high-speed shooting
Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR
Next, we will look at the Nikon D750 FX-format DSLR. This full-frame Nikon is unique for its size, Using the same autofocus as the D4S and the D810, this Nikon camera operates with an awesome autofocus system and 3D Color Matrix metering by a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor. Its features are very diverse, and you can shoot stills in various formats or enhanced-definition video. A tilting LCD display offers sharpness and depth in all it captures.
The Nikon D750 FX-format DSLR is available at a moderate price point. You can purchase this camera for around $1,700 or more on Nikonusa.com or Amazon.com, for example.
EASE OF USE
We found this camera to be easy to use and handle by any user. There are many preset options which make it a strong choice for customization, user-friendliness, and overall intuitive operation.
This Nikon camera features a tilting Vari-angle display with professional grade video features, an awesome autofocus and metering system, and a 24.3MP FX-format image sensor. The EXPEED 4 image processor delivers quality performance from within a sleek, compact, and durable body.
You get full HD 60/50/30/25/24p video capability, Wi-Fi connectivity, and up to 6.5 fps at full resolution. Our reviewers appreciated the manual focus option, 3.2″ screen, and space for two SD cards. Great low-light image quality is another nice bonus from this SLR.
A super lightweight camera weighing in at 1.65lbs, this is a well-designed model with thoughtful design aspects. The shooter gets smooth, sensible access to a Type C mini-pin HDMI connector, headphone connector, high-speed USB port, EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery, GPS location labeling, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The LCD screen is easy to fold out when using the camera from unique angles.
The Nikon D750 comes with a full 14-day, money-back guarantee and a 90-day parts and labor warranty. The camera is covered under warranty with product registration for one year following the date of purchase. See nikonusa.com for more details regarding the warranty.
- Full HD 60/50/30/25/24p video
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility
- Excellent low-light sensitivity
- Moderately priced and accessible to a wide variety of users
- The camera does not come with a screen protector
- No autofocus for recording video
- Lens could be better
Canon EOS 5DS Digital SLR
The Canon EOS 5DS DSLR sits at the highest price point among the cameras we are reviewing. This camera can be purchased for around $3,500 on Amazon.com, for example.
EASE OF USE
This camera has excellent out-of-the-box dynamic range and a silent shutter that makes shooting a pleasurable, even stealthy experience. The Canon EOS 5DS DSLR weighs only about 2.05 lbs., and it has a wide variety of lens adaptability. Although this camera is great and approachable, we find it to have a lot of specific features which are best handled and operated by a more experienced user. With the price point and performance, we believe this camera is fine for the professional-caliber photographer who can afford the price.
The Canon EOS 5DS DSLR has many unique features that separate it from other full-frame yet small-format cameras. Perhaps the most notable feature is the full-frame CMOS sensor. This sensor hosts 50.6 mega pixels and is the highest resolution sensor of any EOS Canon. It captures 8712 x 5813 pixels and works side by side with dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors.
A mirror-control mechanism helps lower vibration impact, and a time-release lag function helps stabilize camera shake to produce clear and sharp images. Full HD video capture, including time-lapse capability, gives the operator many creative options. The design is fluid, and the interface is intuitive, giving the operator many customization options and easy-access settings. Quick transfers are possible with a WiFi adapter and USB 3.0 connectivity.
Camera ergonomics are great on this model, and the build feels extremely sturdy. The USB 3.0 port makes for quick and easy transfers, which is great for intensive, high-volume shoots. Quality materials and thoughtful design makes this camera extremely durable and great for years of outdoor photography, adventure photography, and more.
A warranty is offered by Canon, and it covers mechanical or manufacturer defects up to one year from the date of purchase.
- Extremely high-resolution captures
- Rugged, durable, heavy-duty camera built to last
- Easy and quick transfers with USB 3.0
- HD video capture and vibration/impact reduction
- High-end price
- Tough to navigate and operate for any beginner
- No wireless connectivity, WiFi, or GPS
- Slow processing and very large file sizes were noted during reviews
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is available at a moderate price point for all it delivers. You can purchase this camera for around $1,700 on sites such as Amazon.com.
EASE OF USE
We find this camera very approachable and easy to use even though it takes a quality lens and time to configure everything up to its full potential. The camera’s compact design makes it a great travel camera requiring no sacrifices image or video quality.
This Olympus is robust in its features while only weighing 1.27 lbs. This factor is remarkable due to the camera’s high processing speed, 4k video capability, image stabilization technology, and superior quality resolution modes. With a fully articulating 3.0″ touch monitor, editing your settings on the fly and reviewing images is quick and intuitive. Equipped with a 20 MP sensor, 121-Point Dual FAST AF, built-in WiFi capabilities, this camera is a high-performance tool.
Built for durability, compact size, and performance, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a beautifully designed camera. It is highly capable of a long day of shooting; it has excellent battery life giving you about 440 shots on a single charge; two SD slots; and shutter durability tested to roughly 200,000 shots. High processing speeds make for seamless use and overall function.
Warranty details are available from the manufacturer with a registered product. If you wish, you can visit getolympus.com for more information.
- Weatherproof, lightweight, heavy-duty build
- Affordable at a moderate price point
- 4K video capture
- High resolution mode (50MP)
- Built in WiFi connectivity
- Firmware freezes
- Poor AF in video
- Poor low-light performance
After examining these four high-performance cameras side by side, we are confident in our conclusion that the Pentax K1 Mark II is great for all levels of photographers. It delivers an affordable, all-inclusive kit (including an excellent lens) with diverse and practical functions, durability, and image stabilization.
Our favorite distinguishing qualities of the Pentax camera are its on-body lighting and image stabilization sensor, which give the operator outstanding freedom to capture images and photos without carrying extra gear. Overall, the Pentax K1 Mark II is a versatile and affordable option. This camera produces high-quality images with its many functional features. We hope that this review has been helpful to you in your search for the perfect camera.