Sabtu, 09 Juni 2018

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Pentax K-1 Mark II Test. This is not totally new, but nevertheless a consequent update of its reflex flags that Pentax has made. Unveiled at the CP + at the beginning of the year, the K-1 Mark II differs from its predecessor mainly by its new mode Pixel Shift Resolution II and the arrival of an accelerator unit for the optimization of noise reduction in high sensitivity, which allows it to now rise to 819,200 ISO.

Pentax K-1 Mark II CHARACTERISTICS:
  1. Sensor: CMOS 36.4 Mpx, 24x36
  2. Goal: 5-axis stabilization
  3. Reflex: Viewfinder
  4. Screen: 8.13 cm,, 1037000 points, 3/2, non-touch
  5. Sensitivity (ISO range): 100 - 819200 ISO
  6. Video mode: 1920 x 1080 pixels, 60 fps, Stereo
  7. Internal memory
  8. External Support: SDHC SDXC
  9. Connections: USB HDMI input micro claw Flash power GPS Wi-Fi
  10. Watertight
  11. Shock resistant
  12. Dimensions / Weight: 110 x 136.5 x 85.5 mm / 1010 g

PRESENTATION
Heir to the K-1 first version, the Pentax K-1 Mark II is the highest-end SLR of the brand. It has a 24x36 sensor with no low-pass filter, the high-definition 36.4 MP better than the 30.4 MP Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and is close to the 42.4 MP Sony A99 II and A7R III or 45.7MP Nikon D850. This sensor benefits from a five-axis mechanical stabilization system, which clearly distinguishes it from Canon and Nikon SLR cameras. The sensor movement mechanism is also operated in a pixel shift resolution mode, which increases detail rendering without increasing file weight by saving four slightly offset images. This mode is now available in version II with two configurations: on fixed subject on tripod or freehand.

The K-1 Mark II autofocus sensor is identical to that of the K-1. It is a Safox 12 which is based on 33 collimators including 25 cross and its gust rises to 4.4 i / s in full definition and 6.4 fps if you only use the part in APS format. C of the sensor. It has an optical viewfinder that covers 100% of the photographed field with 0.7x magnification. At the rear, the K-1 Mark II takes back the screen of the first K-1 of the name and especially its original system of orientation which relies on four articulated arms. Unfortunately, this screen is still not touch. Finally, note that the noticeable difference compared to K-1 comes from the addition, as on K-70 and KP, an accelerating unit supposed to optimize the noise processing algorithm. As a result, the sensitivity range of the K-1 Mark II now ranges from ISO 100 to 819,200, two more ILs than on K-1. Let's see if this is felt on the ground.

TAKING IN HAND
If you already know the Pentax K-1, you will see absolutely no difference with this version II that takes the chassis and controls. So do not expect any relief on the scale: the newcomer still has a weight of 1.01 kg, which quickly rise to almost 2 kg your shooting configuration when, like us, you associate the camera to zoom FA 24-70mm f / 2.8 ED SDM WR.

This is less than a Nikon D5 or a 1D-X Mark II and is comparable to the weight of a D850, but much more than a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or a Sony A7R III. Above all, the device is massive and wider than most of its competitors. The handle is deep, but not very wide, which gives it a good grip but a relative comfort.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

On the top of the device you'll find multiple setting knobs and a smaller LCD monitor than those usually found on the devices. It displays only aperture, speed and sensitivity information as well as a battery wear indicator and the selected memory card slot. The wheel placed on the left shoulder is a classic way to access the main shooting modes while on the right shoulder is a more original dial for direct access to certain functions such as bracketing, Wi-Fi, ISO sensitivity or exposure compensation.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

A lever at the base of this wheel allows to switch from photo mode to video recording. Three knobs placed at the index and thumb of the right hand allow to change the values ​​of these settings. Finally, note that you will find many shortcut buttons to the various functions of the device. 

At first glance, this profusion of keys is a little destabilizing. Above all, all are not useful and it is found that the first habits taken continue. So we come to always use the same. A little more simplicity would have been appreciable.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Side menu, we can not say that Pentax is in the decorum. Some people even call it austere, but let's face it that once the first impression is over, it has the merit of being sober and efficient. However, some explanations would have been welcome to understand the settings corresponding to the different pictograms, on different modes Pixel Shift Resolution, for example.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Unfortunately, the screen on the back is still not touch. Forget the easy-to-use menus with fast navigation, touch-sensitive AF point selection, or any other finger-slide on the screen to zoom in and check out the point. The mechanism of orientation is original, but does not bring much more than a traditional kneecap system, if not a certain surprise each time. However, it seems solid and is a point that we readily recognize this device. Weatherproof with seals and durable knobs and knobs, the K-1 Mark II is a sturdy box that you can take on any terrain with real confidence.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Pentax has always distinguished itself by some useful originalities such as the presence of four LEDs placed at strategic locations for easy use at night, the ability to customize the intensity of the display or the presence of menus such as Astrotracer well known starry sky lovers since it allows to operate micro-offsets sensor B pose to follow the movement of the stars during installation.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

The overall handling leaves us a little in expectation, between a sense of austerity and complexity and the impression of having small useful assets that no other brand offers.

REACTIVITY
If it competes with the best-defined devices of different brands for studio photography or still life, responsiveness is not the strong point of the Pentax K-1 Mark II that takes more than a second to light up. before being able to record a first photo.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Autofocus is not exemplary either. First of all, the coverage field is not very wide and it is a point that becomes more and more critical when compared to the performance of hybrid autofocus increasingly common in all brands with the exception from Nikon.

Its sensitivity range announced from -3 IL to 18 IL does not display any prowess since in practice we measured with the Sigma 35mm f / 1.4 lens an average speed of 0.73 s in low light and aim optics and 1.72 s in Live View. Speeds equivalent to those of the previous version of the device. As a reminder, the Nikon D850 obtained scores of 0.28 s in reflex and 0.90 s in Live View. On the other hand, the A7R III measured with the low reactive 50mm f / 1.8 FE displayed speeds of 0.72 s and 2.26 s under the same conditions.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Burst side, the K-1 Mark II respects its commitments and even slightly more since we measured a rate of 4.6 i / s in Jpeg as Raw on 15 consecutive views before saturating the buffer. It's not huge and the K-1 Mark II is not like its predecessor not intended for use in sports photography.

QUALITY OF IMAGES
This is the point on which the K-1 Mark II is the most anticipated. In low sensitivity, little reason that it does better than the K-1 which was equipped with the same sensor Cmos 24x36 of 36.4 Mpx deprived of filter low-pass and which already gave excellent results. As a reminder, a filter simulator mode AA is accessible in the menu allowing to eradicate moiré tendentious subjects by micro-displacement of the sensor. On the other hand, the addition of a computing unit to improve noise processing should be effective as soon as sensitivity is increased.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up
For comparison: the ISO rise of the K-1 first version.

In practice, this gain is actually visible between 800 and 12,800 ISO where the device gains in quality on the Jpeg. At this point, the grain begins to appear, but most importantly, we begin to observe a decrease in color saturation that affects the overall rendering. Nevertheless, the device can be used up to 25 600 or even 51 200 ISO with confidence. Beyond that, the degradation is extremely visible and the two additional sensitivity levels are downright bad. This is why the brands are stubborn to propose settings that will necessarily regret having used. 

In practice, the camera was quite comfortable with the exposure metering and the white balance setting that we deliberately used in automatic mode.

The images generated by the K-1 Mark II are quite contrasting and rather flattering in good light conditions. We will not hesitate to use the capture in Jpeg. But under the conditions of strong contrasts, we prefer the use of Raw mode that can recover large deviations, high and low light.

70mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 320s - 200 ISO.
70mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 320s - 200 ISO.
63mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 40s - 12,800 ISO.
63mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 40s - 12,800 ISO.
48mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 400s - 200 ISO.
48mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 400s - 200 ISO.
70mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 1250s - 200 ISO.
70mm - f / 2.8 - 1 / 1250s - 200 ISO.
24mm - f / 11 - 1 / 125s - 100 ISO.
24mm - f / 11 - 1 / 125s - 100 ISO.
70mm - f / 11 - 1 / 400s - 100 ISO.
70mm - f / 11 - 1 / 400s - 100 ISO.
65mm - f / 8 - 1 / 400s - 100 ISO.
65mm - f / 8 - 1 / 400s - 100 ISO.

The Pixel Shift Resolution II mode supposed to offer a gain of precision in the details clearly did not convince us. The improvements are notable on a stage in the studio, as was the case for the previous model.

Pentax K-1 Mark II Full Review: The real image quality up
Example of a traditional Pixel Shift Resolution mode photo, but done freehand. The new mode has the merit of proceeding to a good alignment of the different views!

VIDEO
The video mode of the K-1 Mark II does not change compared to the previous version. Knowing that the latter was already struggling to withstand competition two years ago, it is even more true today. No 4K, no video autofocus and even less Focus Peaking. The K-1 Mark II is really not armed for professional video capture or amateur as it lacks performance for the first and automatisms for the latter.


STRONG POINTS:
  • Nice optical sight.
  • Image quality.
  • Mechanical stabilization.
  • Double compartment SD.
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Original functions.

WEAK POINTS:
  • Low responsiveness
  • Average burst.
  • No touch screen.
  • Limited video.
  • High weight

Pentax K-1 Mark II CONCLUSION:
If it retains the strengths of the first K-1 name and remains as such a device with excellent image quality - still among the best today - developments brought by Pentax to its standard-bearer are quite disappointing. While the results in high sensitivity have slightly improved, but the device remains unresponsive and, above all, the competition is progressing during this time. Pentax aficionados will praise the ergonomics and the specific features of the brand. Its price is also a favorable argument. But the brand shows little ambition and it is regrettable.
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