Pentax's first foray into the full-frame world was very well received, so it is only fitting that the K-1 Mark II takes care to refine many features and functions while retaining the qualities that make it appealing to landscape and nature photographers. Central to the K-1 Mark II's performance is an upgraded PRIME IV processor with an Accelerator Unit that will dramatically improve detail and color rendition in images captured with the high-resolution 36.4MP CMOS sensor. This results in sharper images and video at sensitivities up to ISO 819200 for stills and ISO 25600 for video. Another notable upgrade is Pixel Shift Resolution II, which uses the Shake Reduction II system to capture four images of the scene, with each shot shifted by a single pixel, allowing the capture of full color information in each pixel. It also offers Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution for shooting handheld with the benefits of added resolution.
Diving into some of the K-1 Mark II's most notable features, we should start with the Shake Reduction II five-axis in-body stabilization system. By being integrated into the body, this mechanism will help compensate for up to five stops of shutter speed with almost any lens. It also enables some Pentax-specific functions like Automatic Horizon Correction, a Selectable AA Filter Simulation, Composition Fine Adjustment, and the AstroTracer setting when the stabilizer is used in combination with the built-in GPS. Of course, the most significant feature is the previously mentioned Pixel Shift Resolution II for capturing highly detailed photographs, especially since there is a motion correction ability for using it handheld.
Making a return on the Mark II is the SAFOX 12 33-point phase-detect autofocus system with 25 cross-type points in the center and three f/2.8 sensors to work in low light down to -3 EV. Continuous shooting is also of decent speed with a 4.4 fps maximum at full resolution with a buffer that will hold about 17 raw frames. Another function of this full-frame camera is Full HD 1080p video at up to 30 fps for added versatility as a multimedia tool. Additionally, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi for connecting directly to a mobile device.
Where Pentax truly separates itself from the competition is with build quality; the K-1 is a camera that is designed to hold up in harsh weather. This design principle of Pentax makes them coveted tools for landscape and nature photographers who continually find themselves out in the elements. The body is sealed to protect against rain and dust and is freezeproof to 14°F. Also, it features two SD card slots for backup and overflow storage and a variety of dials and buttons for intuitive operation. Other benefits include a unique 3.2" cross-tilt LCD, which can be tilted into odd positions and LEDs that will help illuminate various controls on the body at night. Another advantage is the 0.7x optical viewfinder with a near 100% field of view for comfortable composition.
The K-1 Mark II is a nice upgrade for Pentax shooters, especially those looking to jump up to full-frame for the first time, as well as adventurous photographers. Is the K-1 Mark II an appealing option for you? Jump right in and let us know in the Comments section!