Sporting Pentax’s first full-frame digital image sensor, the K-1 DSLR Camera is a landmark release for the respected company, and makes sure to deliver on multiple fronts. Packing in a 36.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor and the advanced PRIME IV image processing engine, the K-mount camera will be able to capture detailed images with low noise at sensitivities up to an impressive 204800 ISO. Ensuring the sharpest possible images, the K-1’s image sensor omits the anti-aliasing, or optical low-pass, filter, relying on an AA Filter Simulator function to reduce moire when needed. Additionally, the camera has a built-in 5-axis Shake Reduction system rated for up to 5 stops of compensation.
Ensuring speedy capture, the K-1 features a widened SAFOX 12 AF sensor that is optimized for the full-frame image area. It is equipped with 33 AF points, 25 of which are cross-type, and three f/2.8 luminance sensors as well as the ability to operate in low light down to -3 EV. Users can capture images at up to 4.5 fps and thanks to a fully weather- and dust-resistant magnesium alloy body will not be worried if the weather quickly changes. Along with this, the K-1 has a unique 3.2″ cross-tilt LCD monitor, which can tilt upward 90°, down 44°, and left and right 35° for numerous positions. Additionally, dual SD card slots are available for backup or additional storage when needed.
In addition to stills, the K-1 is able to record Full HD 1080p video at up to 30 fps in either full-frame or APS-C crop modes as well as bolster audio quality by using the headphone and mic jacks. It also has advanced functions enabled by the Shake Reduction system, including a Super Resolution mode that composites multiple images together for maximum sharpness and resolution and an AstroTracer function that combines with the built-in GPS to minimize star trails during long exposures. The K-1 also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for image transfer and remote camera control.
36.4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor & PRIME IV Image Processor
The first full-frame DSLR from Pentax, the K-1 delivers high-quality imagery through an advanced 36.4MP CMOS sensor that is designed to create detailed images with minimal noise. Guaranteeing maximum resolution, the sensor lacks an anti-aliasing, or optical low-pass, filter though this will cause a higher chance of aliasing and moire. For situations at risk of these artifacts users can leverage an AA Filter Simulator function which slightly moves the sensor in order to mimic the effects of a physical filter.
This sensor combines with the power of the PRIME IV 14-bit image processing engine to create large images with ease and speed. Improving upon the past generation by about 150%, the PRIME IV can deliver photographs at up to 4.5 fps in raw format at sensitivities ranging up to ISO 204800. This processor also helps control numerous advanced features, including Pixel Shift Resolution, AstroTracer, and more.
5-Axis In-Body Shake Reduction
A staple of Pentax DSLRs, the K-1 is equipped with a 5-axis Shake Reduction system that can counter the effects of camera shake by up to 5 stops. This larger system is optimized for the full-frame sensor and can account for yaw, pitch, and roll as well as vertical and horizontal motion of the camera. Also, due to the stabilization being incorporated into the K-1’s body, it functions with every K-mount lens.
Pentax takes advantage of the sensor’s available movement in order to develop additional features, such as the Pixel Shift Resolution setting. This mode shifts the sensor in order to capture full color data on each pixel by compositing four shots. This grants exceptional clarity, lowers noise, and boosts the effective resolution to 42MP. Additionally, the K-1 has a motion correction setting that allows this function to be used even when shooting handheld.
Another capability is an Image Composition Assist function, which allows you to shift the sensor up/down and left/right as well as slightly rotate it. This lets users easily adjust their composition without needing to move their camera and can be useful for delicately balanced tripod work.
SAFOX 12 AF System
With coverage widened by about 1.2x, the latest SAFOX 12 AF system is optimized for the full-frame image sensor. It has a total of 33 AF points, of which 25 are cross-type, and three f/2.8 luminance sensors to maximize performance in all lighting conditions. The system can operate down to -3 EV using the 25 center sensor and will benefit dark scenes as well as extreme backlighting. Users will also have access to zone select and expanded area AF modes.
Full HD 1080p Video Recording
In addition to standard stills capture, the K-1 is capable of Full HD video at up to 30p or 60i using H.264 compression. This enables photographers to add high-resolution motion capture to their arsenal without needing to carry another camera. Also, when shooting in HD 720p, users can shoot at up to 60p. Additionally, the camera is NTSC/PAL switchable and it is equipped with headphone and microphone jacks for high-quality audio support.
Weather- and Dust-Resistant Body with Cross-Tilt LCD
Durability has always been one of Pentax’s strong suits, and the K-1 is no exception with a stainless steel chassis covered in a magnesium alloy shell that is tough and lightweight. Also, the K-1 is sealed in 87 places to ensure no rain or dust will take your camera out of commission. The camera is designed to handle freezing temperatures as well, with a rating down to 14°F. This durability is maintained when the optional battery grip is in use, as the grip is also sealed in 47 places.
The K-1 is equipped with two SDXC card slots. These can be configured for backup, splitting storage of JPEGs and raw files, or overflow when card 1 is filled. Also on the body users will find a variety of dials and buttons that will allow for quick and intuitive adjustment of settings. Along with this there are LED-illuminated body points on the lens mount, card slots, the backside of the LCD, and at the cable switch terminal that will help you operate the camera in low light.
One unique feature of the K-1’s design is the use of a 3.2″ Cross-Tilt LCD. This ensures the screen remains aligned with the optical center of the camera while allowing for tilt 44° down and 90° upward as well as 35° left and right. The camera also has settings for quickly adjusting the brightness of the display to account for a variety of shooting environments.
GPS, Compass, and AstroTracer
With built-in GPS, shooters can automatically track their movement and position as they work with data automatically written to the image file. It can record location, facing direction, and Coordinated Universal Time while also enabling using a digital compass feature. Along with this, it can work with the Shake Reduction mechanism to activate the AstroTracer function. This system obtains location data and camera position to calculate movement of stars in the sky. The sensor is then synced with the movement in order to minimize the capture of star trails with long exposures.