Pentax Okay-1 Full-Physique DSLR Digicam Review

Pentax Okay-1

MSRP $1,799.99

“Pixel-peeping Pentax followers are eager for the Okay-1 (though it already feels outdated).”


  • Extreme-quality stills
  • 5-axis in-camera stabilization
  • Distinctive adjustable LCD


  • Seems dated although it’s a 2016 model
  • Solely 30p video, not even 60p to not point out 4K

Cameras with full-frame sensors are about practically pretty much as good as a result of it should get for pure {photograph} top quality—other than medium format rigs for execs. However although they’re all good to some extent, or greater however good, some are greater than others.

The long-awaited Pentax Okay-1 – the company’s first first full-frame (35mm) DSLR — bridges a spot inside the Pentax lineup between the APS-C DSLR and medium-format cameras, and carries an trustworthy pricetag: $1,949 (physique solely). Sure, it might properly seize good top quality photos, nonetheless cases are altering, and trendy camera makers have innovated to push the envelope. Can the Okay-1 stand as a lot because the opponents?

Design and worth

Considered one of many key causes this camera is creating loads curiosity (at least among the many many many Pentax followers) is a big full-frame imaging machine. Your entire majors have been having fun with on this space for years along with the 50.6MP Canon EOS 5DS R, 36MP Nikon D810, and 42MP Sony A99 Mark II. Now, lastly, Pentax has entered the world with a Sony-made 36.4MP full-frame sensor – and positioned its camera immediately back-ordered, as a result of not pent-up demand from Pentax householders nonetheless an earthquake-caused shortage of Sony image sensors.

The jam is loosening lastly, and further high-end cameras from completely different producers that features this chip and APS-C variations are arriving as a result of the Sony plant gears up. That said, don’t depend on any kind of low price for this one—at least not inside the near future.

Previous the chip and Prime IV processor, the Pentax Okay-1 is a beefy, weather-resistant DSLR that’s constructed identical to the proverbial tank. The all-black camera has a pretend leather-based coating and a substantial grip. You must depend on nothing a lot much less of a camera that weighs practically two kilos (35.6 ounces with merely the battery and card). Add one among many many full-frame lenses obtainable, such as a result of the 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom we used for our examine setup, and likewise you’ll actually really feel reassured there’s a well-designed, well-balanced piece of medicine in your arms. The vital factor attribute on the doorway is the Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount, which accepts KAF3, KAF2, KAF, and KA glass. The physique has built-in 5-axis image stabilization so every lens you join is stabilized, which is an precise plus.

Controls are clearly labeled for in all probability essentially the most half, and along with a important mode dial, there’s a second with 9 additional decisions. The optical viewfinder is an efficient one with a 100-percent space of view. Moreover on the once more is a novel cross-tilt 3.2-inch LCD show with way more flexibility than typical tilt-screen shows. We solely need the usual was greater than the acknowledged 1,037K dots, and that it was touch-enabled. This supplies an inkling of some of the strategies the Okay-1 lags the opponents.

All of the issues on the Okay-1 is correctly labeled and inside fast entry. Like every DSLR it supplies Reside View, nonetheless in distinction to completely different corporations that assist you to swap between nonetheless and video with a lever shut by the LV button, Pentax locations it on excessive. This was solely a bit puzzling at first, nonetheless after having fun with with the camera, it grew to change into pretty intuitive.

The camera reveals its fanatic chops with two SD card slots on the suitable facet. There are HDMI and USB outputs on the left, nonetheless a USB 3.0 connection might be welcome. There’s moreover built-in Wi-Fi nonetheless not NFC or Bluetooth connectivity, which you’ll uncover in competing fashions. Bottom line, the Okay-1 is barely a bit behind the cases.

What’s inside the discipline

Pentax supplies the physique along with various caps and a neck strap. The battery is rated over 750 photos, which must get you via the day with no factors. You moreover get a charger with AC twine and a 134-page working information – comfy learning!

Ricoh Pentax K-1 review

Pentax is previous model previous this, providing a CD that includes the Digital Digicam Utility 5 software program program for coping with info and altering RAW info (PEF/DNG). You’ll have to acquire the Image Sync app from the Google and iTunes outlets to ship photos to your smartphone or capsule. We found the app to be acceptable, nonetheless nothing additional, offering the pliability to remotely administration the camera and ship info to your models so chances are you’ll share them with others.


Pentax supplied the Okay-1 physique and a 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom, which supplies a nice wide-angle via telephoto range. With full-frame there’s no digital challenge so the focal range stamped on the lens is what you’ll get. We found it to be an excellent strolling spherical package deal, and we did a great deal of that taking inside the late fall/early winter environment — along with a go to to the wilds of Las Vegas.

And speaking of glass, Pentax has a dozen lenses obtainable for the Okay-1 along with FA, FA Restricted, and D-FA. It’s not an unlimited selection, nonetheless loads of the standard focal lengths are coated. Confirm the Pentax website online to see if there are any limitations for the glass you private or may buy.

The Pentax Okay-1 is a beefy, weather-resistant DSLR that’s constructed identical to the proverbial tank.

The camera felt very cosy all through our checks, with a menu system that’s very simple and understandable. In several phrases, there’s nothing stopping you from going out and firing away. We set the choice to the utmost for stills and flicks; it’s onerous to beat 36.4MP full-frame photos in a $2,000 physique (7,360 × 4,912 pixels), nonetheless the video is a selected weak hyperlink with a excessive determination of merely 1080/60i. This at a time when many excessive camera makers present 4K movies in DSLR and mirrorless our our bodies.

The Okay-1 has decisions galore, with a important mode dial offering 13 selections along with 5 that are client configurable along with the usual PASM. A second function dial near the smallish LCD readout offers shortcuts to frequent chores: flip it to ISO and by turning a close-by dial chances are you’ll make modifications shortly. You’ll be able to do that for publicity compensation, single/burst mode taking photos, bracketing, HDR, adjusting the present grid, turning shake low cost on or off, altering the crop, and accessing Wi-Fi. Although there are duplicate buttons for a number of of those modifications, it’s a extremely useful attribute.

Many lovers actually really feel full-frame top quality is overkill for the overwhelming majority of photographers, and we sit in that camp as successfully. Everytime you check out massive enlargements on a 27-inch monitor, nonetheless, chances are you’ll readily understand why some shutterbugs want this stellar determination. We merely cherished the richness and accuracy of images from the Okay-1. We started out taking photos Pentax 35mm cameras once more inside the day and nonetheless have a mushy spot for the company. Stills won’t have the whole depth of previous model Kodachrome, nonetheless solely the fussiest pixel peeper might squawk about them. Serving to matter is a 33-point autofocus system — and 25 of them are cross-type. We had few factors shortly grabbing focus, nonetheless the system is a tad dated with DSLR rivals like Nikon offering as a lot as 153.

The model new Pentax won’t be a tempo demon, and at 4.4 frames per second, you obtained’t seize dashing bullets or birds on the wing, even with the 1/ 8,000th most shutter tempo (to be truthful, we solely tried with birds). We did deal with to take robust photos of bike riders who weren’t burning up the roads, nonetheless. The buffer won’t be the right, with a max of 70 JPEGs or 17 RAW+JPEG photos. Consider this to the model new Sony A6500 ($1,300), which takes 100 RAW+JPEG info albeit with a smaller 24MP APS-C sensor.

We uncover HDR seize a sort of stuff you’re keen on or hate. Pentax supplies you 4 ranges to pick out from to match your model. Moreover the Okay-1 has Pixel Shift Resolution to merge 4 photos, each shifting a single pixel. It slows down the operation of the camera however it absolutely’s good for landscapes. As soon as extra the built-in five-axis stabilization is a help. So was a close-by fence on which to leisure the camera.

The Okay-1 has an ISO range of 100-204,800 on the extreme end of full-frame DSLRs, though there are some that hit 3 million. That’s ridiculous, in spite of everything, nonetheless the excessive spec for the Pentax is great. Further important, outcomes are excessive notch. We had no points taking photos at 25,600. Combine this sensitivity with the built-in image stabilization and capturing comparatively blur-free photos using obtainable light is a slam dunk. One occasion was taking photos 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 films, the right phrase we are going to use to elucidate them is uneven. We used the Program AE setting, and sometimes the principle goal was sharp whereas at completely different cases it was a miss. Shade was appropriate, nonetheless there have been instances of rolling shutter. We’re successfully acutely aware of the autofocus limitations of DSLR films previous Canon’s Twin Pixel technology, as most consultants advocate information focus. It’s a ache for a lot of shooters; we advise learning this expertise when you occur to plan to purchase the Okay-1.

Assure data

The assure is good for one-year in opposition to defects in supplies and/or workmanship.

Our Take

The whole-frame Pentax Okay-1 is a superb camera for stills, however it absolutely’s very uneven inside the video division. And some of the built-in technology is behind the opponents. With that on the desk, it’s onerous recommending this DSLR to any shutterbug other than a Pentax devotee.

Is there a higher varied?

You wager. When you occur to don’t private loads of legacy Pentax glass, we’d go for the $1,499 24.3MP full-frame Sony A7 Mark II, moreover with 5-axis IS nonetheless that features 60p video and Hybrid AF. It’ll forestall $500 chances are you’ll put in direction of the lens of your choosing. If mirrorless doesn’t attraction to you, the Nikon D500 DSLR ($1,999), even with a smaller APS-C imager, is a considerably higher camera whole, due to its world-class 153-point autofocus system. Heck, there’s moreover the older Nikon D610, one different 24.3MP full-frame camera that’s $1,499 for merely the physique.

How prolonged will it last?

As a result of it took Pentax so prolonged to enter the full-frame space, depend on this little one to be spherical for quite a few years, with the usual firmware updates producers current.

Should you buy it?

For pixel-peeping Pentax householders, the reply is certain — nonetheless all people else must consider choices first. There are some good cameras obtainable for spherical $2,000. Caveat emptor!

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