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The Pentax K1. My next camera?

The Pentax K1. My next camera?

Moving to a full frame camera requires a major investment in time, effort and money as these babies aren't the cheapest things on earth. However, they are gorgeous! The Pentax_K-1 is a full frame camera redefined with approx. 36.4 megapixels, 35 mm full-frame format CMOS sensor, 5 axis five shutter step built-in SR mechanism. It features pixels shift resolution, shoots up to ISO 204800, has a newly developed image engine, the PRIME IV as well as a flexible tilt type LCD monitor, AA filter simulator and a new AF system, the SAFOX 12. It also includes built-in Wi-Fi, GPS and ASTROTRACER (for astronomy buffs). The Pentax K1 is also dustproof, weather-resistant and -10℃ cold resistant.

Why do I love it? 

A model as widely anticipated as the Pentax K-1 has to work hard to meet the expectations of professionals and serious amateurs. For those who have waited patiently for so long, are, thankfully, likely to be very pleased. Its design for success is simple: not only does it offer an awful lot for its very reasonable asking price, but it also marries this with amazing performance in many key areas.

Crucially, and this is the primary goal of any top end camera, image quality is one of its major strengths. The camera is capable of and excellent dynamic range and high resolution, noise is well controlled. And while the abundance of colour and white-balance options means that you can easily get the results you want in camera – particularly if you take advantage of post-capture raw processing.

Just as noteworthy is the model’s design, and more specifically its handling and operation. With only very minor exceptions, there isn't any physical aspect of the camera’s design that would benefit from being revised. Controls are easily accessible and clearly marked, and the camera has a comfortable feel in the hands, providing the ideal body for both everyday lenses and some of the more weightier optics.

With its agreeable price tag and a handful of more specialist features, it’s clear that this is a camera is designed for a broad audience, and although there are some areas where the advantage lies with rivals such as Canon, Sony and Nikon bodies. Video quality is perfectly good, for example, but control over it isn’t quite as good as you’ll find elsewhere. Meanwhile the performance of the continuous autofocus system is average at best.

On a practical level, while the model is compatible with a wealth of legacy lenses and supports APS-C lenses, too, there is understandably a more limited range of full-frame lenses available than in other stables, and fewer third-party options, too. This may be something to consider for photographers working in specific genres. Hopefully we’ll see the Pentax range expanding in the near future.

For me, the Pentax K-1 is well worth a spot on my full-frame shortlist. With what seems to be a more than solid set of specs, excellent handling, strong image quality and best of all, a very competitive price, it’s one of the most exciting DSLRs I've seen in recent times.

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