The Pentax KP is loaded with features, but does it do enough to stand out from the big guns in the enthusiast DSLR market? Michael Topham put it through its paces
Pentax KP review – Pixel shift resolution
The Pentax KP features the same Pixel Shift Resolution system that we’ve seen previously on the K-3 II, K-70 and full-frame K-1. In almost all cameras, the light-sensitive pixels capture red, green or blue light, and a full-colour image is built up using a clever process of interpolation between them. But this can give rise to softness and artefacts when examining images closely at the pixel level.
The Pentax KP’s Pixel Shift Resolution mode captures four images of the same scene by shifting the image sensor by a single pixel for each image, then combines this information into a single composite image. By obtaining colour information in each pixel, the KP can deliver higher-resolution images that assure true-to-life colour reproduction. The camera has to be locked off on a tripod for it to work and you’re provided with a motion-correction setting that takes into account subjects that move between the exposures.
In practice, the system works well. Images taken in Pixel Shift Resolution mode show visibly finer detail as illustrated below and the motion-correction setting dramatically reduces image artefacts on moving leaves or water, although it doesn’t quite eliminate them. Because of this, it’s best used for static subjects such as still life or architecture.