“Pixel-peeping Pentax followers are longing for the Ok-1 (although it already feels outdated).”
- Excessive-quality stills
- 5-axis in-camera stabilization
- Distinctive adjustable LCD
- Appears dated though it’s a 2016 mannequin
- Solely 30p video, not even 60p not to mention 4K
Cameras with full-frame sensors are about nearly as good because it will get for pure photograph high quality—apart from medium format rigs for execs. But though they’re all good to some extent, or higher but nice, some are higher than others.
The long-awaited Pentax Ok-1 – the corporate’s first first full-frame (35mm) DSLR — bridges a spot within the Pentax lineup between the APS-C DSLR and medium-format cameras, and carries an honest pricetag: $1,949 (physique solely). Certain, it may well seize nice high quality pictures, however instances are altering, and fashionable camera makers have innovated to push the envelope. Can the Ok-1 stand as much as the competitors?
Design and value
One of many key causes this camera is creating a lot curiosity (at the least among the many many Pentax followers) is a large full-frame imaging machine. The entire majors have been enjoying on this area for years together with the 50.6MP Canon EOS 5DS R, 36MP Nikon D810, and 42MP Sony A99 Mark II. Now, finally, Pentax has entered the world with a Sony-made 36.4MP full-frame sensor – and located its camera instantly back-ordered, due to not pent-up demand from Pentax house owners however an earthquake-caused scarcity of Sony picture sensors.
The jam is loosening finally, and extra high-end cameras from different manufacturers that includes this chip and APS-C variations are arriving because the Sony plant gears up. That stated, don’t count on any type of low cost for this one—at the least not within the close to future.
Past the chip and Prime IV processor, the Pentax Ok-1 is a beefy, weather-resistant DSLR that’s constructed just like the proverbial tank. The all-black camera has a fake leather-based coating and a considerable grip. You need to count on nothing much less of a camera that weighs nearly two kilos (35.6 ounces with simply the battery and card). Add one of many many full-frame lenses obtainable, such because the 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom we used for our check setup, and also you’ll really feel reassured there’s a well-designed, well-balanced piece of drugs in your arms. The important thing characteristic on the entrance is the Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount, which accepts KAF3, KAF2, KAF, and KA glass. The physique has built-in 5-axis picture stabilization so each lens you connect is stabilized, which is an actual plus.
Controls are clearly labeled for probably the most half, and together with a essential mode dial, there’s a second with 9 further choices. The optical viewfinder is an effective one with a 100-percent area of view. Additionally on the again is a novel cross-tilt 3.2-inch LCD display with much more flexibility than typical tilt-screen displays. We solely want the standard was higher than the acknowledged 1,037K dots, and that it was touch-enabled. This provides an inkling of a few of the methods the Ok-1 lags the competitors.
All the things on the Ok-1 is properly labeled and inside quick access. Like each DSLR it provides Reside View, however in contrast to different firms that allow you to swap between nonetheless and video with a lever close by the LV button, Pentax places it on high. This was only a bit puzzling at first, however after enjoying with the camera, it grew to become fairly intuitive.
The camera exhibits its fanatic chops with two SD card slots on the appropriate aspect. There are HDMI and USB outputs on the left, however a USB 3.0 connection could be welcome. There’s additionally built-in Wi-Fi however not NFC or Bluetooth connectivity, which you’ll discover in competing fashions. Backside line, the Ok-1 is only a bit behind the instances.
What’s within the field
Pentax provides the physique in addition to varied caps and a neck strap. The battery is rated over 750 pictures, which ought to get you thru the day with no points. You additionally get a charger with AC twine and a 134-page working guide – comfortable studying!
Pentax is old style past this, offering a CD that comprises the Digital Digicam Utility 5 software program for dealing with information and changing RAW information (PEF/DNG). You’ll need to obtain the Picture Sync app from the Google and iTunes shops to ship pictures to your smartphone or pill. We discovered the app to be acceptable, however nothing extra, providing the flexibility to remotely management the camera and ship information to your units so you may share them with others.
Pentax provided the Ok-1 physique and a 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom, which provides a pleasant wide-angle by means of telephoto vary. With full-frame there’s no digital issue so the focal vary stamped on the lens is what you’ll get. We discovered it to be a very good strolling round package, and we did loads of that taking within the late fall/early winter surroundings — in addition to a visit to the wilds of Las Vegas.
And talking of glass, Pentax has a dozen lenses obtainable for the Ok-1 together with FA, FA Restricted, and D-FA. It’s not an enormous choice, however a lot of the typical focal lengths are coated. Verify the Pentax web site to see if there are any limitations for the glass you personal or would possibly purchase.
The Pentax Ok-1 is a beefy, weather-resistant DSLR that’s constructed just like the proverbial tank.
The camera felt very snug throughout our checks, with a menu system that’s very easy and comprehensible. In different phrases, there’s nothing stopping you from going out and firing away. We set the decision to the utmost for stills and movies; it’s onerous to beat 36.4MP full-frame pictures in a $2,000 physique (7,360 × 4,912 pixels), however the video is a particular weak hyperlink with a high decision of simply 1080/60i. This at a time when many high camera makers provide 4K films in DSLR and mirrorless our bodies.
The Ok-1 has choices galore, with a essential mode dial providing 13 decisions together with 5 which are consumer configurable together with the standard PASM. A second operate dial close to the smallish LCD readout gives shortcuts to frequent chores: flip it to ISO and by turning a close-by dial you may make changes shortly. You are able to do this for publicity compensation, single/burst mode taking pictures, bracketing, HDR, adjusting the show grid, turning shake discount on or off, altering the crop, and accessing Wi-Fi. Though there are duplicate buttons for a few of these changes, it’s a really helpful characteristic.
Many lovers really feel full-frame high quality is overkill for the overwhelming majority of photographers, and we sit in that camp as effectively. Whenever you take a look at big enlargements on a 27-inch monitor, nonetheless, you may readily perceive why some shutterbugs need this stellar decision. We simply cherished the richness and accuracy of pictures from the Ok-1. We began out taking pictures Pentax 35mm cameras again within the day and nonetheless have a mushy spot for the corporate. Stills might not have the complete depth of old style Kodachrome, however solely the fussiest pixel peeper may squawk about them. Serving to matter is a 33-point autofocus system — and 25 of them are cross-type. We had few points shortly grabbing focus, however the system is a tad dated with DSLR rivals like Nikon providing as much as 153.
The brand new Pentax will not be a pace demon, and at 4.4 frames per second, you received’t seize rushing bullets or birds on the wing, even with the 1/ 8,000th most shutter pace (to be truthful, we solely tried with birds). We did handle to take strong pictures of motorcycle riders who weren’t burning up the roads, nonetheless. The buffer will not be the perfect, with a max of 70 JPEGs or 17 RAW+JPEG pictures. Evaluate this to the brand new Sony A6500 ($1,300), which takes 100 RAW+JPEG information albeit with a smaller 24MP APS-C sensor.
We discover HDR seize a type of stuff you love or hate. Pentax provides you 4 ranges to select from to match your style. Additionally the Ok-1 has Pixel Shift Decision to merge 4 pictures, every shifting a single pixel. It slows down the operation of the camera but it surely’s good for landscapes. Once more the built-in five-axis stabilization is a assist. So was a close-by fence on which to relaxation the camera.
The Ok-1 has an ISO vary of 100-204,800 on the excessive finish of full-frame DSLRs, although there are some that hit 3 million. That’s ridiculous, after all, however the high spec for the Pentax is excellent. Extra essential, outcomes are high notch. We had no issues taking pictures at 25,600. Mix this sensitivity with the built-in picture stabilization and capturing comparatively blur-free pictures utilizing obtainable gentle is a slam dunk. One instance was taking pictures an ornate ceiling at Phoenix’s Wrigley Museum—it was handheld at f/3.5 and 1/thirteenth of a second at 1,600 ISO.
As for movies, the perfect phrase we will use to explain them is uneven. We used the Program AE setting, and typically the main target was sharp whereas at different instances it was a miss. Shade was correct, however there have been cases of rolling shutter. We’re effectively conscious of the autofocus limitations of DSLR movies past Canon’s Twin Pixel technology, as most consultants advocate guide focus. It is a ache for many shooters; we advise studying this talent if you happen to plan to buy the Ok-1.
The guarantee is sweet for one-year in opposition to defects in materials and/or workmanship.
The complete-frame Pentax Ok-1 is an excellent camera for stills, but it surely’s very uneven within the video division. And a few of the built-in technology is behind the competitors. With that on the desk, it’s onerous recommending this DSLR to any shutterbug apart from a Pentax devotee.
Is there a greater various?
You wager. If you happen to don’t personal plenty of legacy Pentax glass, we’d go for the $1,499 24.3MP full-frame Sony A7 Mark II, additionally with 5-axis IS however that includes 60p video and Hybrid AF. It’ll prevent $500 you may put towards the lens of your selecting. If mirrorless doesn’t attraction to you, the Nikon D500 DSLR ($1,999), even with a smaller APS-C imager, is a significantly better camera total, because of its world-class 153-point autofocus system. Heck, there’s additionally the older Nikon D610, one other 24.3MP full-frame camera that’s $1,499 for simply the physique.
How lengthy will it final?
Because it took Pentax so lengthy to enter the full-frame area, count on this child to be round for a number of years, with the standard firmware updates producers present.
Must you purchase it?
For pixel-peeping Pentax house owners, the reply is sure — however everybody else ought to take into account options first. There are some nice cameras obtainable for round $2,000. Caveat emptor!