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Pentax K-1 Mark II review

Canon and Nikon may dominate the full-frame DSLR market, but the Pentax K-1 Mark II is a compelling alternative


The Pentax K-1 Mark II initially looks and feels like a bit of a throwback to an earlier time, but its blunt, weighty handling and solid, intelligent controls actually provide some welcome relief from today’s touch-screen interfaces and digital miniaturisation. Furthermore, its excellent all-round image quality and the clever use of its Shake Reduction II system provide a range of features and a level of image quality that makes the price seem even more reasonable.

You wouldn’t chose it for sports photography or for video, but if what you want is a solid, powerful, high-quality stills camera at an affordable price, the Pentax K-1 Mark II deserves some serious attention.

Pentax K-1 Mark II rivals

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

With faster continuous shooting, better autofocus and 4K video, the EOS 5D Mark IV looks better on paper than the K-1 Mark II, although for outright still image quality, the much cheaper K-1 Mark II edges ahead.

Nikon D850

It's a more accomplished all-rounder than the K-1 Mark II, especially for video and action, but the Nikon D850 is also getting on for twice the price.

Sony A7R III

Sony’s mirrorless maestro does everything brilliantly, but unless you need 4K video and high-speed shooting, its advantages over the Pentax K-1 Mark II are modest.

Pentax K-1 II Mark specifications

  • Sensor: 36.4MP full-frame CMOS, 35.9 x 24.0mm
  • Image processor: PRIME IV
  • AF points: 33-point phase detect AF (inc. 25 cross-type)
  • ISO range: 100 to 819,200
  • Max image size: 7,360 x 4,912
  • Metering zones: 86k-pixel RGB sensor
  • Video: Full HD at up to 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
  • Viewfinder: Optical, approx 100% coverage
  • Memory card: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (both UHS-I)
  • LCD: 3.2in vari-angle, 1,037,000 dots
  • Max burst: 4.4fps
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, GPS, USB 2.0
  • Size: 136.5 x 110.0 x 85.5mm
  • Weight: 1,010g (with battery and memory card)