The K-1 has the honour of being the first full-frame Pentax DSLR. Matt Golowczynski takes a closer look at this impressively specified camera in this Pentax K-1 review

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Pentax K-1

Features:9/10
Build/Handling:10/10
Metering:9/10
Autofocus:8/10
AWB Colour:8/10
Dynamic Range:9/10
Image quality:9/10
LCD viewfinder:8/10

Pros:

  • - Excellent image quality; superb resolution and dynamic range
  • - High features-to-price ratio
  • - Excellent handling with many physical controls
  • - One of the most flexible LCD displays around

Cons:

  • - Occasional auto white balance inconsistencies
  • - Video options not as comprehensive as those on other cameras
  • - Artefacts visible in certain Pixel Shift Resolution images
  • - Continuous focus doesn’t track quite as well as other systems

Product:

Pentax K-1 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,599.00 (Body only)

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Pentax K-1 review: Pixel Shift Resolution system

The camera's default Bright colour option delivers pleasingly saturated colours

The camera’s default Bright colour option delivers pleasingly saturated colours

First seen in the K-3 II, Pentax’s Pixel Shift Resolution feature attempts to rectify false colour, a lack of critical detail and other ill effects associated with the process of demosaicing. This is required for any images captured using a camera that employs a colour filter array – present in the K-1 and the vast majority of other cameras – where full RGB colour information of a pixel is partly determined by the values of neighbouring pixels.

The Pixel Shift Resolution option uses the camera’s Shake Reduction system to capture four separate images of the scene, with a one-pixel displacement between each image, before merging them into a single image. This allows for full RGB colour information at each pixel without the guesswork of the demosaicing process, which theoretically means that images should represent the conditions captured more faithfully.

With four images captured in quick succession, this feature is clearly best suited to scenes of static subjects captured with the aid of a tripod. For the K-1, however, this has been augmented with Motion Correction, which notices if a subject moves between frames and takes this into account when processing the result.

  1. 1. Pentax K-1 review: Introduction
  2. 2. Pentax K-1 review: Features
  3. 3. Pentax K-1 review: Pixel Shift Resolution system
  4. 4. Pentax K-1 review: Viewfinder and screen
  5. 5. Pentax K-1 review: Build and handling
  6. 6. Pentax K-1 review: Focusing
  7. 7. Pentax K-1 review: Performance
  8. 8. Pentax K-1 review: Dynamic range, resolution and noise
  9. 9. Pentax K-1 review: Verdict
  10. 10. Pentax K-1 review: (Original hands-on first look)
  11. 11. Pentax K-1 review: Full specification
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  • entoman

    Excellent! I wish Ricoh the best of luck with this new Pentax. It won’t convert anyone from Nikon or Canon, but it will provide a great upgrade path to users of Pentax crop cameras.

    The extra “mode dial” is a really good idea. The camera looks very solid and that will inspire confidence in use.

    A few negative points: I’m not keen on the weird tilting monitor.By far the best design is the fully articulating Canon/Panasonic type. Also disappointing is the AF with only 33 focus points which lags a long way behind Canon and Nikon so won’t appeal to sports photographers.

    Bottom line: Is the Pentax as good as a Nikon D810 or a Canon 5DS ? – very nearly, but the severe shortage of modern high performance glass is a killer.

  • Jens Rueckert

    It looks like a real, serious camera. With its edges and clear structures. A great refreshing difference to the smoothly designed soft-looking competitor’s bodies. Let’s see what it feels like. I think technically it seems to compete easily. All the best for Penatx! Great. Used an APS-C once , now a FXNikon and would like to switch back to Pentax.

  • Nick Randall-Smith

    Really looking forward to getting my hands on this bit of kit, I like the backwards compatibility with the APS-C lenses most existing digital Pentax users will already have invested in. A*

  • Richard Jackson

    An improved SR system but again it’s not used in video. Come on Pentax, it’s essentially the same video offering from 2012.

  • Arn

    It looks like a excellent camera, less sport oriented than Canikon counterparts, but very well equiped for hi-res photography, in tough body.
    Well done Pentax.