Pentax K-1 review

September 6, 2016

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


  • - 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


  • - 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



Price as Reviewed:

£1,599.00 (Body only)


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

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Pentax K-1 review: Introduction

At a glance:

  • 36.4-million-pixel, full-frame sensor
  • ISO 100-204,800
  • 5-axis Shake Reduction II system
  • Dustproof and weather resistant
  • 3.2in, 1.037-million-dot, flexible-tilt LCD
  • Built in Wi-Fi and GPS

For years, it seemed doubtful that a full-frame Pentax DSLR would ever materialise. But now that it’s here, the focus has moved to what it represents in an ever-expanding sector. The K-1 isn’t the cheapest way into full-frame photography, nor does it offer the lightweight or small form of some compact system camera rivals. Yet, when you weigh its features against its asking price, it remains a compelling proposition.

The K-1 very much adheres to the format of previous Pentax DSLRs, but it upgrades existing technologies and adds further ones that we’ve not seen on any other camera to date. The camera’s spec sheet suggests that it is targeted towards enthusiasts and professionals who traditionally require high-resolution images, such as landscape or studio photographers, rather than for sports and action. Yet, as the only full-frame model in the line and launched at an aggressive price, its appeal is likely to stretch to a broader range of Pentax users – not to mention others with no strong ties to another system.

  • Sensor: 36.4-million-pixel full-frame CMOS
  • Output size: 7,360 x 4,912
  • Lens mount: Pentax K
  • Focal length magnification: 1.0x
  • Shutter speeds: 1/8000-30sec + bulb
  • Flash sync: 1/200sec
  • ISO sensitivity: ISO 100-204,800
  • Exposure modes: P, Av, Tv, M, Sv, TAv
  • Metering: 86,000-pixel RGB sensor
  • Exposure Compensation: ±5EV
  • Continuous shooting: 4.4fps
  • Focus system: 33 point (25 cross-type)
  • Focus modes: Single, continuous
  • Viewfinder: 0.7x magnification, 100% coverage
  • LCD monitor: 3in 1.037-million-dot, flexible tilt
  • Movie recording: Full HD up to 60fps
  • External mic: 3.5mm stereo
  • Memory card: 2x SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Power: D-Li90 Li-Ion
  • Battery life: Approx 760 shots
  • Dimensions: 136.5 x 110 x 85.5mm
  • Weight: 1,010g with battery + card

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