Pentax K-1 Review
Horizon Correction, Astrotracer, AA filter simulation
The Pixel Shift shooting modes may be the most well know sensor shift shooting modes available on the K-1, but three additional shooting modes that utilize the same technology may come in handy- especially for landscape photographers.
The Astrotracer feature isn't new to Pentax shooters as it was available in the K-3 II and prior to that it was available via a separate unit that could be attached to the camera. The mode itself is fairly straight forward to use but the weather and moon phases had other ideas and I was unable to fully take advantage of the feature. With that said we are planing to write a small follow up piece to ensure that we give the Astrotracer feature a proper test.
The automatic horizon correction feature utilizes the same clever sensor shift technology that is used during the Pixel Shift shooting modes. We were really quite impressed by the range of motion that the sensor is capable of.
|The sensor can shift up, down, side to side and it can rotate slightly as well. The studio scene you see here was completely static and the movement present in this animation is the sensor shifting in various directions.|
As you can see the sensor can shift by a fairly remarkable amount: this should enable users to correct for minor horizon issues and even make slight changes to their composition if they should choose to do so.
The final mode made possible by the sensor's movement is the AA Filter simulator. This dates back to the K-3 and uses sensor shake to slightly blur light across more than one pixel during the exposure. This prevents false color appearing where high-frequency patterns would otherwise clash with the sensor's color filters. An 'AA Filter Simulation Bracketing' mode lets you shoot consecutive images with it on and off, so that you have a 'safety' shot if moiré does appear in the image. To see how it performs, read our in-depth analysis of the feature on the K-3 here.
The video capabilities in the K-1 are a bit on the modest side compared to other cameras at this price point. The K-1 includes Full HD/1080p recording capability at 30fps, but lacks a 4k video recording option. In movie mode the K-1 switches to contrast detection autofocus.
|These are the very limited AF settings that you have to choose from. Keep in mind that the majority of these settings will not work while recording is taking place.|
Auto focus is possible before movie capture, but is not available while in recording mode. Manual focus peaking can be used before you begin shooting to dial in your focus, but again the feature is disabled while recording is in progress, so there's no way to confidently adjust focus. Clean HDMI output is also unavailable on the K-1; couple that with limited video support tools and we can easily conclude that video definitely isn't the K-1's strong suit, but it can get the job done in certain situations.
Here are a few examples that demonstrate the K-1's video recording performance. This video includes a daylight sample, a daylight sample with image stabilization and a low light sample shot at ISO 10,000 all taken at 1080/30p. The image stabilization seemed to work fairly well when panning but definitely suffered when walking along with the camera in hand (this is to be expected to some degree, as this is definitely a stress test for the IBS system). When comparing video stills the video appears to be rather soft and it does lack detail when compared to the D750.
|LED's can be found on the back of the LCD, in the memory card slot, in the battery compartment and above the lens mount as well.|
The K-1 features unique LED lighting that proves to be extremely useful in low light or challenging lighting situations. LED's located behind the LCD screen, in the memory card slot, at the top of the lens mount and in the battery compartment give users plenty of illumination options to utilize as they see fit.
The settings can be easily customized using the illuminations settings menu options found tucked away in the camera's main settings menu. Using the customization options you can set the LCD and rear button illumination to different brightnesses and toggle off/on the lens mount, memory card slot and battery compartment LEDs.
|The Illumination options can be found in the second tab of the 'settings' menu. From here you can toggle off/on the lens mount, battery port and card slot LEDs off and on.|
These lighting options are extremely useful in the field, as adjusting camera settings, swapping lenses and changing memory card/batteries in tough lighting conditions can otherwise be awkward. It's one of those details that Pentax really spent a lot of time thinking about, and it translated very well to everyday use.
Wi-Fi and Photo Sharing Abilities
The Wi-Fi can be a bit buggy at times, but you can utilize Ricoh's Image Sync App (for Apple iOS or Android) to connect to the K-1 and download images directly to your phone for easy sharing and editing. The Image Sync App also allows users to utilize live-view to adjust focus, aperture and several other settings directly from their mobile device.
The lens features a 1:1 maximum magnification ratio, a minimum focusing distance of 30cm (11.8in) and weighs 570g (1.3lbs).
Seattle-based photographer Neil Buckland has been working with University of Washington scientist Dr. Tony Irving to photograph, in incredible detail, slices of meteorites that have fallen to earth with his Pentax K-1 and a custom-built rig. Get a look into space, and into the past, with some of Buckland's images.
They say that the best camera is the one you you have with you. Senior Editor Barnaby Britton has been taking the Ricoh GR III with him a lot recently.
The Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400 are two of the newest, most exciting mid-range mirrorless cameras on the market. Chris and Jordan break down the differences between these models to see which comes out on top.
Brian Ach shoots everything from rock and roll world tours to automotive ads. What follows is a detailed look at his workflow.
Nikkei Asian Review says the increasing capabilities of smartphones are at least partially to blame for the downturn in sales.
One of the main features that defines Instagram is its like count. Jane Manchun Wong, who is renowned for her reverse engineering skills, recently discovered that the service is considering hiding like counts.
Leica is facing backlash in China following the publication of a video called 'The Hunt' set in 1989 during, among other things, the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.
Back in March 2019, Facebook said only 'tens of thousands of Instagram users' were affected; that number has now ballooned to 'millions of Instagram users,' according to Facebook's latest update.
The Reframe system offers a user-friendly way of displaying your smartphone photos neatly framed on a wall.
We've spent a little more time shooting with Sony's new a6400, and as we work towards the completion of a full review, we've updated our initial gallery of sample images with additional shooting in and around Seattle.
Fujifilm has released a firmware update for its X-T30 midrange mirrorless camera. It tries to address one of the most frustrating things about the camera: how easy it is to accidentally press the Q.Menu button.
The new Photobooth mode uses AI to automatically detect the best moment to trigger the shutter during selfie capture.
Canon has released the latest firmware for its EOS R camera, bringing with it eye-detection autofocus in servo mode and other incremental updates.
World Press Photo has, for the first time ever, disinvited an award-winning photographer after reports of 'inappropriate behavior.'
AI super slow motion is a software-based method for generating super-slow-motion video from existing footage.
The 12th year of the World Photography Awards, in partnership with Sony, had a record-breaking number of entries. The winners have been revealed in this prestigious, global competition that gives burgeoning artists exposure and funding to develop personal projects.
For most of Managing Editor Allison Johnson's photography, smartphones have already replaced a traditional camera. But a recent trip reinforced a couple of key reasons why she's not ready to quite ready to leave the dedicated camera at home – yet.
In the final part of our beginners' guide to camera fundamentals, we look at the trade-offs you contend with when you choose a sensor size. We hope it helps you find the balance that works best for you.
The roof and spire of Notre Dame Cathedral were destroyed in a devastating fire this past Monday. Drone footage shows the extent of the damage done to the historic Parisian landmark.
Fujifilm's latest firmware update for its X-T3 camera includes an improved AF algorithm for enhanced face detection, better subject tracking and more.
Zhong Yi Optics has released its new Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 III lens for Sony FE, Canon RF, and Nikon Z mount camera systems.
You can now see the artwork on your wall without the need to order it first.
Nikon's Z6 offers 24MP full-frame image quality in a tough and lightweight body. Photographer Diego Rizzo took a Z6 to Guatemala recently to shoot the Fuego volcano - watch our video to see how he got on.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is a $900 camera that's an incredibly capable stills/video hybrid. Image and 4K video quality are top-notch and, aside from some ergonomic and autofocus stumbles, the X-T30 does just about everything right. Learn more in our in-depth review.
In part two of our beginners' guides to the fundamentals of cameras, we're going to look at the benefits that a larger sensor can bring. Part three will look at the trade-offs that this brings.
The 2019 Pulitzer Prize photography award winners have been announced in the Breaking News and Feature Photography categories.
French analysts System Plus Consulting have torn down the Huawei P30 Pro and made some interesting findings.
The PhotoCross 15 is the third and largest backpack in ThinkTank's MindShift PhotoCross lineup, rounding out the PhotoCross 10 and 13 variations.
A Kickstarter campaign is aiming to raise funds for the production of an external smartphone flash.