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Gear & Apps

Pentax K-1 Mark II Announced | ISO 819,200 & Hand-Held Pixel Shift

By Holly Roa on February 23rd 2018

While often overlooked, Pentax is still out here plugging away, making impressive cameras and quietly out-innovating Canikon. Pentax introduced their first full-frame DSLR, the K-1, in 2016. The K-1 offered 5-axis in-body image stabilization and enhanced resolution via Pixel Shift technology, the latter only usable when mounted on a tripod. 

Now, the K-1 Mark II has been announced and will offer modest, though useful performance boosts, mainly via a newly added ‘accelerator unit,’ which makes improvements on the camera’s signal-to-noise handling. Notably, the K1-Mark II gets a two-stop bump in native ISO capability, increasing to 819,200 from the K-1’s 204,800, and technology advances have allowed the new camera’s Pixel Shift feature to be used while hand-holding. 

What’s interesting about this update is that it can be installed into pre-existing K-1 bodies. For $550 USD or $690 CAD, K-1 owners who ship their cameras into a Ricoh service center between May 21st and September 30th will receive an upgrade via hardware modification to turn their camera into the new Mark II version.

[Rewind:] Pentax K-1 Ranks Top 5 On DxO & Adds Electronic Shutter | Perhaps The Best Landscape Deal Around

K-1 MARK II SPECS

  • 36.4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • PRIME IV Image Processor
  • 3.2″ Cross-Tilt LCD Monitor
  • Full HD 1080p30 Video Recording
  • SAFOX 12 33-Point AF Sensor
  • Native ISO 819200; 4.4 fps Shooting
  • Pixel Shift Resolution II
  • 5-Axis In-Body Shake Reduction
  • Built-In Wi-Fi & GPS; Dual SD Card Slots
  • Weather-Sealed Magnesium-Alloy Body

While not exactly an action shooter’s body its 4.4 FPS burst, the K-1 Mark II and its predecessor are pretty cool cameras, offering up features that aren’t found in other DSLR bodies. Pixel Shift Resolution does make a noticeable difference in detail captured, as seen in the 100% crops below.

Pixel Shift disabled

Pixel Shift enabled

While not suitable for moving subjects, landscape and still-life
photographers who make large prints will find value in this feature.

The Pentax K-1 Mark II will ship in April 2018 and can be pre-ordered via B&H now for $1,996.95

About

Seattle based photographer with a side of videography, specializing in work involving animals, but basically a Jill of all trades.
Instagram: @HJRphotos

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Roberto Duran

    Nice upgrade.. but more than this new features we needed a bigger buffer and some AF-C improvements..  what happened with that??

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    • Matthew Saville

      I too would have liked to see a bigger buffer, and maybe a better battery, but alas, this is only a 2-year update, so it’s like an “s” update for Canon / Nikon. (Although ironically, a buffer and AF upgrade was sometimes the most you’d get out of an “s” upgrade from Nikon!)

      Speaking of AF, I thought I read somewhere that this K-1 mk2 DID get an AF algorithm upgrade, even if the AF module itself wasn’t brand-new? I’ll have to re-read the press release.

      Definitely eager to get my hands on this bad boy for a landscape photography review!

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