Pentax K-1 II Review

Pentax K-1 II
Overall Rating
Based on 11 expert reviews

The Pentax K-1 Mark II is a solid, pro-worthy DSLR, it's just feels a bit dated overall. Part of it has to do with the fact that the K-1 Mark II, at the time of this writing, is already a few years old and doesn't offer many significant upgrades from the previous 2016 model. Some of the K-1 Mark II's highlights fall into the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" category including the proven 36MP full frame sensor; the rugged weather sealed body that feels great in the hand; the unique, twisty-turny rear 3.2-inch LCD screen; the effective 5-axis image stabilization; and the competitive pricing, which is $100 lower than the original model. Still though, reviewers dinged the K-1 II for its slow 4.4 frames per second burst rate and its old school video features, including measly 1080p HD capture. (So 2016!). The camera's sluggish autofocus also feels like it's from a different era and there's no touchscreen. Still though, there's something about this Pentax full frame workhorse that reviewers clearly have an affection for, particularly its excellent, high-resolution image and the tons of exterior control. A new classic, perhaps?

+ Great image quality from a proven 36MP full frame sensor
+ Rugged, weather sealed body that feels great in the hand
+ Unique, flexibly tilting 3.2-inch rear LCD
+ Solid 5-axis image stabilization
+ Lots of exterior controls
+ High resolution Pixel Shift image capture
+ Competitively priced
- Limited upgrades from previous model
- Slow 4.4 frames per second burst rate
- Dated video features (no 4K)
- Sluggish, inconsistent autofocus
- No touchscreen
- Heavy and bulky
Full Model Name
Pentax K-1 Mark II
Camera Type
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Frame Rate
4.4 frames per second
1080p HD
5-axis (Shake Reduction) sensor-shift image stabilization
ISO Range
ISO 100-819200
Optical viewfinder
Weather/Water Proofing
Weather resistant & dustproof
Rear Screen
3.2-inch fully articulated flexible tilt LCD screen
Card Slots
Dual SD slots (UHS-1)
Built-in WiFi
5.4 x 4.3 x 3.4 inches
35.6 ounces
Top Reviews

"The Pentax K-1 II features a stabilized 36MP Full Frame sensor and one of the toughest-built bodies on the market. Jam-packed with unique features to aide those shooting under harsh conditions, we're big fans of its many control points and great ergonomics. However, its image quality offers no improvement over that of its predecessor." - DPReview, read the full review here.


"The Pentax K-1 Mark II camera is a very minor update to the original K-1, but is a fine entry point for Pentax owners looking to step up to full-frame." - PC Magazine, read the full review here.


"The K-1 II is not a bad camera — in fact, viewed in a vacuum, it’s really quite good. The issue is that it represents a mild upgrade over the original that won’t bring tangible benefits to all users." - Digital Trends, read the full review here.


"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 welcome relief from today’s touch-screen interfaces and digital miniaturization. Furthermore, its excellent all-round image quality and clever use of Shake Reduction push it up even further in our estimation." - Digital Camera World, read the full review here.


"There’s no way around the fact that the K-1 II is simply an amazing image-making machine. Its brutal yet brilliant design make it a uniquely no-compromise camera with an oversized personality that might cause you to consider switching systems if you’re currently aligned with one of the competing camera brands. Pentaxians who don’t already have a K-1 should save their pennies and add the Mark II if they can. The Pentax K-1 and now the Mark II are strong arguments for people looking for a do-anything full-frame DSLR." - Shutterbug, read the full review here.


"The Pentax K-1 Mark II remains an excellent 35mm full-frame DSLR camera, but it feels more like a stop-gap release rather than a fully-fledged successor to the original K-1." - Photography Blog, read the full review here.


"For anyone who has a suitable collection of K-mount lenses and wants to make the step up from APS-C to full-frame, the Pentax K-1 Mark II is very easy to recommend. But I don’t think it’s worth upgrading from the original K-1; there’s too little extra to justify the cost." - Trusted Reviews, read the full review here.


"If you're a Pentax fan, then the K-1 Mark II is a very good camera, and if you are looking for a full-frame Pentax camera, then this is the one to get. If you already have the K-1, then it's a bit more difficult to justify the upgrade." - ePHOTOzine, read the full review here.


"A modest but worthwhile update to the earlier K-1, the Pentax K-1 II is the company's flagship full-frame DSLR, offering the best image quality you can get from any K-mount camera and the most feature-rich shooting experience of any Ricoh camera. If performance is paramount, then you may want to look at an APS-C model for more speed, but otherwise the K-1 II represents the sweet spot in the Pentax DSLR line." - Imaging Resource, read the full review here.


"I would recommend this camera for landscape photographers and portrait artists. It’s a great camera to step up to if you have been using an APS-C camera, especially if you have Pentax lenses already." - The Phoblographer, read the full review here.

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