Pentax K-1 II Review: Worth the upgrade?

Written by Gina Stephens

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The Pentax K-1 Mark II is a supremely weather-sealed, tough-built full-frame camera with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel a 36MP stabilized sensor. Billed as more a refinement of its forebear than a replacement, the K-1 II gains a new hand-held Pixel Shift mode and sees improvements made to its AF Tracking algorithm – it also has a new pre-processor. Unfortunately, our trial reveals this additional processor applies full-time noise reduction to Raw files resulting in inferior image quality to that of its predecessor.

Key visages:

  • 36.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter
  • 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 100{b2ee9981cbbb8b0b163040ea529e4efa9927b5e917c58e02d7678b19266ae8ff} pentaprism viewfinder with 0.70x magnification
  • 33-point AF structure (25 cross-type)
  • Updated AF Tracking algorithm
  • New hand-held Pixel Shift mode
  • Extensive weather-sealing
  • 1/200 sec flash sync speed
  • 14-bit Raw time (DNG or PEF)
  • Built-in GPS with electro-magnetic compass and Astrotracer function
  • 4.4 fps continuous shooting (6.5 fps in APS-C crop mode)
  • 1080/30p video
  • Wi-Fi

The K-1 II faces unyielding competition from other full frame models at this price point, many of which out-spec it across the board. But for landscape and speculation shooters, you’d be hard-pressed to find a full frame camera with as many useful and unique features, like built-in GPS, an Astrotracer mode for gloom sky photography, sensor shift technology, and LED lights on the body (to assist in the dark).

Over the course of several weeks, we’ve put the K-1 II through its paces in both the sward and in our test lab. Read on to see how it performed and how it stacks up as a whole against the competition.

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What’s new and how it compares

Here’s what’s new in the K-1 II plus how it compares to existing models from other companions.

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Body and design

The K-1 II has a host of unique body features borrowed from its predecessor including its clever articulating LCD mechanism.

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What’s it like to use

From landscapes to portraits, we’ve spent plenty of time shooting with the K-1 II in several different situations.

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Image Quality

Our lab testing reveals the K-1 II’s image quality is actually a step back from that of its predecessor. Will you notice the difference?

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The K-1 II’s 33-point AF system may have limited coverage, but it shows improvements over its predecessor when it comes to tracking.

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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