The trend with camera manufacturers is to invest in Mirrorless cameras with the likes of Canon and Nikon focusing on improving their mirrorless ranges. One company refusing to jump on this trend is Pentax who continue to invest in their range of DSLR’s and lenses. With recent news of a new entry level DSLR, the Pentax KF, we thought we would have a look at the range of cameras and lenses available. All the Pentax cameras have the Pentax-K lens mount which opens up a huge amount of lens options dating back to the 1970’s.
The KF is the new entry level camera from Pentax. The camera features a 24MP sensor and shake reduction. Impressively at this price point the camera is dust proof and weather resistant with solid construction. There is also In Body Image Stabilisation which is quite impressive in a camera of this level. If you are on a budget, but need a well built camera with excellent image quality this is the camera for you.
The K3 Mark III is the top of the range APS-C camera and comes with some interesting features that make it stand out. The camera is dust proof and weather sealed, with five stops of in body image stabilisation (IBIS). It has a full magnesium alloy construction which makes it a robust option for wildlife and sports photography. The K3 MK III is also built to work down to -10 degrees.
The K3 MK III also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to allow transfer of images to smart phones and tablets. The handling and menu systems really stand out on Pentax cameras and the K3 Mark III is the best of the bunch, making it really fun and intuitive to use. The K3 III shoots at a respectable 11FPS which makes it useful for sports photography and wildlife photography.
The K1 Mark II is a full frame DSLR packing in an impressive 36.4MP sensor. Again this camera has a solid build quality and is fully weather sealed, making this a great option for landscape photographers. The K1 is quite heavy and with only 4FPS bursts it is more suited to slower paced shooting. Like the K3 III the K1 has dual SD card slots and basic video functionality. The K1 also has the same five stops of in body image stabilisation as the K3 III. The K1 II comes with an interesting Pixel shift system that is similar to what we are beginning to see in some Mirrorless cameras. This enables the camera to capture high resolution images by shifting the sensor and combining four images to create one high resolution file. There are some limitations to this especially when photographing moving subjects, but it can work well in certain circumstances. The K1 Mk II offers the best image quality in the Pentax range and is an exceptional camera for Landscape Photography and portraits.
As mentioned previously there are plenty of options when it comes to lenses both vintage and new that will fit onto the range of cameras. It is worth exploring the different options available.
In terms of the current range of lenses, probably the most important signifier is whether the lens is a DA (For APS-C only) or FA (can work with Full-Frame alongside APS-C). There are a couple of things to look out for, the star (*) series which is the top of the range lenses and equivalent to something like a Canon L lens. There is also a range of prime lenses designated Limited, which offer exceptional quality and are the best of Pentax engineering.
Pentax K-1 Mk II
Pentax K-3 Mk III