Sensor: 36.4MP full body
Lens mount: Pentax Okay
ISO vary: 100 to 819,200
Viewfinder: Optical, 100%
Video functionality: 1080p 60i
Dimension: 5.37 x 4.33 x 3.37 inches
Reminiscence: 2x SD UHS-II
Assume DSLRs are useless? Don’t say that in entrance of the Pentax Okay-1 Mark II, as this imply machine would possibly simply slap the style out of your mouth. The place most fashionable mirrorless cameras are smooth, svelte, light-weight and unobtrusive, the Okay-1 Mark II has little interest in being a shrinking violet.
As a substitute this can be a large, cumbersome, sturdy, shoot-first physique that’s constructed like a lumberjack – and packs simply as a lot muscle. It boasts a full body 36.4MP picture sensor to ship very good decision, backed up by a powerful sensitivity of ISO100-819,200.
This imbues it with really enviable low mild efficiency – which, together with some intelligent social gathering tips (which we’ll come onto later), makes it one of many greatest astrophotography cameras. Pair this with one of many greatest astronomy books to assist information you across the evening sky and you will have a successful combo that may’t be beat.
In an uncommon characteristic for a DSLR, the Okay-1 Mark II options in-body picture stabilization (IBIS) within the type of Pentax Shake Discount II system, which gives as much as 5 stops of compensation. This does way more than simply decrease digital camera shake, although.
Through the use of the IBIS system to make micro-movements to the sensor, it simulates anti-aliasing, stopping artefacts comparable to moiré as if it had a low-pass filter. The identical sensor-shifting magic additionally lets you straighten wonky horizons, or create an extremely high-resolution picture (fashioned from 4 separate pictures) with higher element and RGB replica.
The Pentax Okay-1 Mark II can also be one of many ever-more endangered species of digital camera with a built-in GPS, enabling you to geotag your pictures for identification and simpler cataloging.
Pentax Okay-1 Mark II assessment: Design
- Totally climate sealed
- Feels nice within the hand
- Good Operate dial
Even in case you’re a seasoned DSLR shooter, the Pentax physique feels bulbous. And in case you’re used to dainty mirrorless fashions, it seems like any person has overinflated it like a comedy balloon. Nonetheless, for a rugged all-weather digital camera constructed to resist the weather, it simply feels proper; it’s large and boxy and will most likely be used to fend off wildlife on a safari.
The chunky grip offers nice buy, and the burden of the magnesium alloy physique makes it really feel excellently balanced with larger lenses. As a flagship skilled digital camera it’s absolutely climate sealed (when utilizing acceptable lenses, after all) and all the many controls, buttons and dials really feel suitably sturdy whereas remaining extremely responsive.
The place different cameras make a binary alternative between a tilting or absolutely articulating rear display, the Okay-1 Mark II marches to the beat of its personal drum with a novel scissor-mechanism design. This allows the display to tilt up, down and sideways whereas remaining on the identical optical axis because the lens.
It’s an intriguing alternative, although one we’re not altogether keen on – it feels over-fiddly and we have a tendency to depart it flat each time we’re capturing. Sadly, the display doesn’t assist contact controls both, which isn’t the tip of the world however does really feel like a little bit of a obtrusive omission. Nonetheless, as with all Pentax cameras, the standard of the optical viewfinder is nothing wanting wonderful – crystal clear, with 100% protection – so utilizing the pentaprism is a pleasure.
Along with a Commonplace Mode dial, the highest plate additionally includes a Good Operate dial. This can be utilized to shortly choose choices comparable to ISO and publicity compensation, which may then be adjusted by a 3rd (unlabeled) dial, slightly than having to click on into or out of a mode or menu to make modifications. The plate additionally options an LCD to examine your settings.
Pentax Okay-1 Mark II assessment: Performance
- Night time imaginative and prescient mode!
- Astrotracer know-how
- Pixel Shift Decision System II
The Okay-1 Mark II boasts some completely unbelievable performance, notably relating to low mild pictures generally and astrophotography in particular. We’ve already talked about the spectacular ISO100-819,200 sensitivity, which delivers stunningly clear pictures and dynamic vary that eclipses extremely regarded performers just like the Nikon D859, Sony A7R III and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Take a look at these gorgeous views of the evening sky from the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Yr competitors for inspiration.
That meaty 36.4MP sensor, coupled with intelligent processing energy, can natively deal with capturing in low mild situations like a breeze. Nonetheless, relating to astro capturing, it has some gorgeous social gathering items.
Central to that is its Astrotracer operate. This impressed little bit of know-how unifies the in-body picture stabilization with the built-in GPS. The result’s that, as a substitute of the IBIS getting used (as was designed) to maneuver the sensor so as to compensate for digital camera shake, the GPS tracks the motion of the celebrities and the IBIS adjusts the sensor to comply with them – enabling you to take longer exposures with out introducing undesirable star trails!
It’s a superb little bit of considering, and we bought nice outcomes when capturing with the Okay-1 Mark II on nights with poor visibility. Higher but, the digital camera has actually been designed with astrophotographers in thoughts.
It has a Night time Imaginative and prescient possibility to show the rear LCD display pink, to optimize it for capturing at nighttime, and the physique options exterior illumination that lights the underside of the LCD, the digital camera mount (so you may change lenses at nighttime) and the important thing buttons mild up as properly.
The aforementioned Pixel Shift Decision System II, likewise powered by intelligent use of the IBIS system, additionally makes the output of the beefy sensor even higher. Whereas it doesn’t produce a bigger picture (in contrast to different cameras, such because the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, whose Excessive Res Shot mode generates an 80MP picture from the 20.1MP sensor), it does produce a richer and extra detailed picture, delivering archive-quality pictures do you have to want them.
Pentax Okay-1 Mark II assessment: Efficiency
- Very good picture high quality
- Superb astro capturing
- Very good stabilization
Package lens: HD Pentax-D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
Greatest vast lens: HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR
Greatest zoom lens: HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8 ED DC AW
Spare battery kind: D-LI90P
Reminiscence card: SanDisk Excessive Professional 128GB
Whereas the Pentax Okay-1 Mark II is a good photographic workhorse, it completely comes into its personal relating to evening time and low mild capturing. It actually does really feel prefer it was designed with this style particularly in thoughts.
We’ve used devoted astro cameras just like the Canon EOS Ra, which mainly simply have a modified sensor to permit extra frequencies of sunshine to be captured extra simply, however this digital camera has truly been designed for use as an evening shooter.
It’s additionally an extremely succesful digital camera for normal pictures, too. The decision is bigger than you’ll discover in any DSLR wanting the (now discontinued) Canon EOS 5DS/R, and is completely superb for outside capturing, landscapes, nonetheless life, studio and portraiture.
It isn’t, nevertheless, a very quick digital camera; with a most steady capturing velocity of 4.4fps, this isn’t one thing that’s properly suited to capturing sports activities, quick motion or erratic wildlife.
Likewise, its video specs are very restricted – it doesn’t seize in 4K, and its 1080p tops out at 60i. Sure, 60i, as in interlaced (not 60p, as in progressive) which is hilariously redundant today. Couple that with the truth that Dwell View loses the part detect AF system, that isn’t a digital camera for video both.
For every little thing else, although, it’s completely unbelievable. Having a DSLR with in-body picture stabilization is a rarity, however not solely is it right here, we discovered that it really works rather well. The climate sealing and construct high quality imply that we wouldn’t have a coronary heart assault if we left it on a tripod within the rain, and the pictures produced are fairly dang flawless.
Do you have to purchase the Pentax Okay-1 Mark II?
In the event you’re into astrophotography, there’s little doubt that that is the very best all-round digital camera for capturing the celebrities. From the picture high quality to the ingenious Astrotracer characteristic to the Night time Mode and exterior illumination, there’s no higher digital camera for working at nighttime.
It’s an awesome common objective shooter, too. With sufficient decision for fantastic photographic work and detailed prints, it’s a unbelievable possibility for studio work, landscapes and common apply pictures. And the in-body picture stabilization implies that capturing handheld, even with lengthy lenses, liberates you out of your tripod.
Simply keep in mind that it’s not your best option for quick motion or sports activities – and the Okay-mount isn’t the very best supported format on the planet, so that you received’t discover probably the most unique vary of lenses, however there’s nonetheless loads of nice glass on the market for professionals and amateurs alike.
If this product isn’t for you
If you wish to shoot astrophotography however you desire a mirrorless digital camera, then it is best to positively look to the Canon EOS Ra – a particular model of the Canon EOS R that’s been designed particularly for star capturing, with an IR-optimized filter on the sensor and a 30x zoom to make focusing simpler.
In the event you’d like to stay with a DSLR, however desire a unbelievable all-rounder, then your greatest guess may very well be the Nikon D850. Not solely does this supply unbelievable low mild efficiency for issues like astrophotography, however it possesses the burst capturing (as much as 9fps) and video capabilities (4K 30p) that the Pentax lacks.
If you wish to take images of the celebrities, however need the comfort of doing it in your cellphone slightly than lugging an enormous digital camera and lenses round, the Google Pixel 5a is difficult to beat. Its Astrophotography mode brackets collection of 15 exposures for 15 seconds every, utilizing software program magic to provide an awesome point-and-shoot resolution.