Compared to the Ricoh Pentax K-1
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Compared to the Ricoh Pentax K-1

I said earlier that I didn't want to get any hate-mail, and with that in mind, I would be a fool not to mention the perennial 'don't forget the...' camera of our age: the Ricoh Pentax K-1.

In terms of image quality, the K-1's 36MP sensor is basically on a level with the original D800/E, and while perfectly usable for static subjects, when the going gets tough, its autofocus system can't compete with any recent generation of Nikon's wide-area AF arrays in its high-end APS-C or full-frame cameras. Oh, and it can't shoot 4K video either. As such, for most applications it lags behind the D850 as both as a stills and video platform.

The K-1's feature set been very nicely tweaked to suit the needs of landscape and outdoor photographers

Where the K-1 shines is weather-sealing (always a Pentax strength), built-in image stabilization, and an interface and feature set that have been very nicely tweaked to suit the specific needs of landscape and outdoor photographers. Its multi-angle articulating screen and illuminated controls are really handy, likewise built-in GPS, and various sensor-shifting modes that are available to increase color resolution, simulate the effect of an AA filter, keep your horizons level, and to track stars. Oh, and it's much cheaper, too.

Points in D850's favor:

  • Greater resolution
  • Wider dynamic range
  • Better autofocus
  • Faster continuous shooting
  • Touch-sensitive rear LCD
  • 4K movie capture
  • Greater number of (modern) lens options

Points in K-1's favor:

  • In-camera stabilization
  • Various clever sensor-shift modes
  • Built-in GPS
  • Multi-angle rear LCD
  • It's cheaper