Pentax K-1

 
Pentax K-1 front
 
  • 36MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3.2" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 100 - 204800
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 1010g - 137 x 110 x 86mm
  • Introduced February 2016
  • Updated by Pentax K-1 II
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
Portability
55
Imaging
79
Features
82
Overall
80

Pentax K-1 overview

Pentax K-1 is Pentax's Advanced DSLR camera originally introduced on February of 2016. The camera houses a 36MP, CMOS Full frame sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 7360 x 4912.

Pentax introduced the more recent Pentax K-1 II (Read Full Comparison) in order to improve this camera.

The K-1 is ranked #8 out of 91 in Advanced DSLR cameras and all-around #41 out of 1422 for cameras in our list. Remember to check our Advanced camera search to find camera ratings based on your customized requirements.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Below is a chart of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax K-1 family

The Pentax K-1 comes with a history of related cameras. Underneath, you can discover all previous and more recent models alongside important features.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Pentax-K-1-Mark-II front thumbnailPentax K-1 II
K-1 vs K-1 II
36MPFull frame4.4 fps2018
Pentax-K-1 front thumbnailPentax K-136MPFull frame4.4 fps2016
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Pentax K-1 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of pros and cons of the Pentax K-1 based on aspects that are oftentimes viewed as crucial in a camera.

above average ISO range (204,800)
above average min ISO (100)
big sensor size (Full frame)
does have Top display
does not have anti-alias filter
fully articulated screen
has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
has manual focus
high megapixels (36 megapixels)
high quality video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
includes HDMI socket
includes headphone socket
includes mic socket
interchangeable lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
max shutter speed is good (1/8,000 seconds)
nice clear screen (1,037 thousand dots)
provides face detect autofocus
provides tracking focus
saves RAW formats
screen size is good (3.2")
sensor has phase detect autofocus
two card slots
weather proof
display is not selfie friendly
heavier than others (1,010g)
not so great battery (760 per charge)
slow continuous shooting (4.4 frames/s)
Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Pentax K-1 Sensor info

The measurement of the sensor in the Pentax K-1 is 35.9mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 862 mm² sensor can resolve 7360 x 4912 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis). In body stabilization is better than digital stabilization as the latter may lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 36 megapixels and delivers a native ISO range of 100 - 204800. RAW photos are saved which means that the user has wider margin for error.

Pentax decided to skip the anti-alias filter for the Pentax K-1. This will result in more sharper photographs but could cause moire under certain situations.

The image below illustrates the K-1's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The K-1 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1 and is presented in green.

Pentax K-1 sensor size World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

To get an understanding of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax K-1 dimensions

Pentax K-1 weighs about 2.23 lb (1,010g / 35.63 oz) and the measurement of the camera is 137mm x 110mm x 86mm (5.4" x 4.3" x 3.4"). The weight of normal Advanced DSLR camera is 775g so the Pentax K-1 is more heavy when compared to its rivals.

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Below is a photo of the Pentax K-1 beside a soft drink to help you to have a sense of its scale.

Pentax K-1 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will highlight the button layout on the K-1.

Pentax K-1 topview buttons dials

Pentax K-1 Lens info

The K-1 uses the Pentax KAF2 mount and has 17 lenses on sale. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the K-1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Samsung-D-Xenon-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6 lensSamsung D-Xenon 18-55mm F3.5-5.618-55mmf/3.5-5.6 225g
Irix-45mm-F1.4-Pentax-KAF-Mount lensIrix 45mm F1.445mmf/1.4925g
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
Pentax-smc-DA-16-50mm-F2.8-ED-AL-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL IF SDM16-50mmf/2.8 565g
Venus-Laowa-105mm-F2-Smooth-Trans-Focus-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 105mm F2 Smooth Trans Focus105mmf/2745g
Samsung-D-Xenon-100mm-F2.8-macro lensSamsung D-Xenon 100mm F2.8 macro100mmf/2.8 345g
Samsung-D-Xenon-16-45mm-F4 lensSamsung D-Xenon 16-45mm F416-45mmf/4.0 365g
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Samsung-D-Xenon-10-17mm-F3.5-4.5-Fisheye lensSamsung D-Xenon 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fisheye10-17mmf/3.5-4.5 320g
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Pentax K-1 Connectivity

The K-1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that have NFC or Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You will be able to send pictures and oftentimes change settings without connecting straight to the camera.

Some applications even give a Liveview and click the shutter whenever you aren't near the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it can easily be attached to an external screen. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery through the USB socket.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Pentax K-1 Video info

The maximum video quality in the Pentax K-1 is 1920 x 1080 and it can shoot in MPEG-4 and H.264 format. 1080p quality offers a decent balance in quality versus file sizes but FULL HD is not going to give you much room to crop. The camera does feature both headphone and mic socket making it incredibly useful whilst capturing sound.

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Pentax K-1 Weather Sealing

Pentax K-1 comes with weather sealing making it a very good pick to use in tough places. This is especially handy in case you are unsure about the conditions you may face in outdoor photography.

Pentax K-1 Display and Viewfinder

The Pentax K-1 is equipped with a 3.2 inch fully articulated screen supporting a resolution of 1,037 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the screen is not a touch screen. The K-1 also has a Top display allowing you to quickly checkout your settings.

Pentax K-1 screen and viewfinder 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

The ViewFinder details regarding Pentax K-1 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100%
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.7x

In those bright outdoor conditions which make the camera screens washed out and tricky to view, viewfinders can be very helpful.

Pentax K-1 Shutter info

Pentax K-1 can shoot continuously at 4.4 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 sec.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Pentax K-1 Flash and Hot shoe info

Pentax K-1 includes external flash ability but does not include built-in flash. The highest flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Pentax K-1 Autofocus info

Pentax K-1 includes both Phase Detect Auto Focus and Contrast Based Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is more snappier & exact when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera supports Face detect making it handy for people photography.

It supports 33 focus points to choose from. It also features Tracking Auto Focus for moving objects. Pentax K-1 supports manual focusing in case it is required in low light scenarios or you need more exact focusing control.

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Pentax K-1 Battery life

The battery (D-LI90) for the Pentax K-1 is built to last for 760 images with respect to the CIPA benchmarks which is lower when compared to its rivals. The general Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 911. Nikon D780 offers the highest possible (2260) battery life in this category of cameras.

Here is a listing of Advanced DSLR cameras with the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D780 front thumbnailNikon D780
K-1 vs D780
2260 yesnoyes
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
K-1 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
K-1 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
K-1 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
K-1 vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Pentax K-1 for specific forms of photography

The following illustration indicates a analysis of the Pentax K-1 for specific forms of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section below.

Pentax K-1 Portrait photography highlights

The Pentax K-1 has a rating of 87 which is brilliant, meaning that it is a excellent pick for portrait images. Shooting portraits favors heavily to sensor dimension, support for RAW files in addition to the option to use external flash.

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manual focus
MP count excellent (36MP)
large sensor size (Full frame)
offers face detect autofocus
saves RAW formats

Pentax K-1 Street photography info

Having a very good rating of 71, the Pentax K-1 is a fine choice to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera comes with a good balance of picture quality and portability.

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screen articulates
has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
supports RAW formats
environment sealing
above average high ISO (204,800)
more heavy than others in class (1,010g)

Pentax K-1 Sports photography factors

A fantastic sports photography points total of 78 means the Pentax K-1 is a tremendous choice for photographing sports. A camera really should have great autofocus and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
max shutter speed is good (1/8,000 seconds)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
great sensor resolution (36MP)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
comes with tracking autofocus
environment proofing
supports phase detect autofocus
very slow continuous shooting (4.4 frames per second)
bad battery power (760 per charge)

Pentax K-1 as a Travel photography camera

Size is very critical in buying a camera for travel. Overall, the Pentax K-1 gets a reasonable 53 for a travelling camera which makes it somewhat acceptable to buy for your travels.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
environment sealing
high MP (36MP)
terrible battery pack (760 shots)
more heavy than others in class (1,010 grams)
does not have a selfie friendly display

Pentax K-1 Landscape photography information

If you're planning to pick a camera for landscape pictures, the most important aspect will be image quality. The Pentax K-1 with it's tremendous grade of 82 as a landscape camera is a great fit within the current market.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
manual focus
switch lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
good sized screen (3.2 inches)
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
MP count fantastic (36 megapixels)
big sensor size (Full frame)
doesnt have anti-alias filter
above average ISO range (204,800)
saves RAW formats
weather sealing
two card slots
terrible battery (760 CIPA)

Pentax K-1 Vlogging details

A camera for vlogging preferably should have a articulating screen, microphone port and preferably image stabilization. Considering everything, the Pentax K-1 is not good as a vlog camera as it receives a horrible score of 32.

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image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
comes with face detect focusing
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
does have mic port
does not contain selfie friendly display
heavier than competition in class (1,010g)

Pentax K-1 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the K-1, here is a number of the top ranked cameras that fall into the category of Advanced DSLR.

The chart down below will give you a summary of the K-1 compared to it's top ranked competitors listed earlier.

There are a bunch of cameras you may take a look at as alternate options. To browse through a full comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Specifications

General Information
Make
Pentax
Model type
Pentax K-1
Type
Advanced DSLR
Introduced
2016-02-17
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CMOS
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor dimensions
35.9 x 24mm
Sensor surface area
861.6mm²
Sensor resolution
36 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
3:2
Maximum resolution
7360 x 4912
RAW files
Maximum native ISO
204800
Minimum native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Touch focus
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Total focus points
33
Cross type focus points
25
Lens
Lens mount type
Pentax KAF2
Total lenses
151
Crop factor
1
Screen
Display type
Fully Articulated
Display diagonal
3.2"
Resolution of display
1,037 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch capability
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
100%
Viewfinder magnification
0.7x
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
96
DXO Color Depth rating
25.4
DXO Dynamic range rating
14.6
DXO Low light rating
3280
Features
Slowest shutter speed
30s
Maximum shutter speed
1/8000s
Continuous shooting rate
4.4 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Yes
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash options
Auto Flash Discharge, Auto Flash + Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On + Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Slow-speed Sync + Red-eye, P-TTL, Trailing Curtain Sync, Contrast-control-sync, High-speed sync, Wireless sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize
1/200s
Exposure
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
Maximum video resolution
1920x1080
Video file format
MPEG-4, H.264
Mic port
Headphone port
Connectivity
Wireless
Built-In
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
Built-in
Physical
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
1010g (2.23 lb)
Physical dimensions
137 x 110 x 86mm (5.4" x 4.3" x 3.4")
Other
Battery life
760 pictures
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
D-LI90
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec, custom)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
Card slots
Dual
Pricing at launch
$1,499