Pentax K-1 II Performance


Timing and Performance

Mixed performance for a full-frame DSLR, about the same as its predecessor's.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.4 seconds

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.4 second

Time until first shot is captured.

The Pentax K-1 II's startup time was a little slow for a DSLR, but switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was quite fast. Both times tested just slightly slower than the K-1.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF-S
(Center AF point)

0.100 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measured with Pentax 55mm f/1.4 SDM lens).

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF-S
Flash enabled

N/A

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, Auto Flash enabled.

Manual focus

0.087 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Prefocused

0.086 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Live View mode
Mechanical Shutter / Electronic Shutter

Prefocused
Live View

0.328 / 0.670
second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Pentax K-1 II's full autofocus AF-S mode shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was quite fast for a pro-level DSLR. The K-1 II required only 0.1 second for full AF using the Pentax 55mm f/1.4 SDM lens. That's just a bit slower than the K-1's 0.090 second result, but still quite fast. Manual focus shutter lag was just a touch faster at 0.087 second, the same as the K-1. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped only slightly to 0.086 second, which is a little slower than average for a pro DSLR and also the same as the K-1.

The Pentax K-1 II's prefocused shutter lag time in Live View mode was 0.328 second, noticeably slower than when using the optical viewfinder, and a little slower than the K-1's 0.247 second result. We also tested prefocused shutter lag with the K-1 II's new LV Electronic Shutter mode (only available in Live View mode), and it roughly doubled the lag compared to using the mechanical shutter. Note that we no longer test full AF lag in Live View mode for DSLRs, because the lens used makes such a huge difference that comparing is pointless. We'll try to comment on real-world Live View AF performance in our our field reports.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Best JPEG

0.40 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode
DNG RAW + L/B JPEG

0.38 second

Average time per shot.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Best JPEG

0.22 second
(4.55 fps);
77 frames total;
29 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 77 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.28 second or 3.54 fps when buffer is full with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
DNG RAW

0.22 second
(4.57 fps);
17 frames total;
27 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 17 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 1.34 second or 0.75 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H
DNG RAW + L/B
JPEG

0.22 second
(4.56 fps);
13 frames total;
32 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 13 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 2.10 seconds or 0.48 fps when buffer is full.

APS-C crop mode
Continuous H
15.3MP Best JPEG

0.15 second
(6.84 fps);
167 frames total;
29 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 167 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.33 second or 3.06 fps when buffer is full.

APS-C crop mode
Continuous H
15.3MP DNG RAW

0.15 second
(6.56 fps);
60 frames total;
35 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 60 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.85 second or 1.17 fps when buffer is full with a lot of variation.

APS-C crop mode
Continuous H
15.3MP DNG RAW + L/B
JPEG

0.15 second
(6.76 fps);
37 frames total;
42 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 37 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 1.13 seconds or 0.89 fps when buffer is full with a lot of variation

Flash recycling

N/A

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle time in single-shot mode was quite fast, at about 0.4 second. Note that we no longer test just RAW files in single-shot mode, as it's usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG cycle time.

Continuous H mode speed tested a little faster than Pentax's 4.4 frames per second spec, measured at 4.6 fps no matter the file type. That's very similar to the K-1 but just a little below average for a full-frame DSLR, though. The K-1 II also offers Continuous M and L modes rated at 3.0 and 0.7 fps respectively. The K-1 Mark II's APS-C mode is rated at 6.4 fps, but again the camera tested slightly faster, ranging between about 6.6 and 6.8 fps in the lab.

Buffer depth in Continuous H mode was excellent when shooting just JPEGs at 77 Large Best Quality JPEG frames, exceeding Pentax's 70 frame spec and slightly exceeding the K-1's 74 frames. When shooting RAW files, buffer depths were much lower at 17 DNG RAW frames and 13 DNG RAW+JPEG frames before the camera slowed down, the same as the K-1. Buffer depths were deeper when shooting 15.3-megapixel files in APS-C Crop mode, ranging from 167 JPEGs to 37 RAW+JPEG frames.

Buffer clearing was quite slow, ranging from 27 seconds to 42 seconds depending on mode and file type, however the camera does let you make settings changes while the buffer is clearing. (Note that while the Pentax K-1 Mark II is not UHS-II compliant, we've found that our 2000x Lexar Pro UHS-II card is just as fast if not a bit faster in UHS-I mode than our older 95MB/s SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I card which we tested the K-1 with.)


Bottom line, the Pentax K-1 II's performance was mixed in our tests and very similar to its predecessor's, ranging from very fast autofocus and single-shot cycle times to sluggish startup, mediocre full-res burst speeds and slow buffer clearing.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Optical Viewfinder,
(CIPA standard)
670
Live View LCD,
(CIPA standard)
Unknown

The Pentax K-1 II uses the same custom rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery pack as the K-1, and ships with a dedicated charger. CIPA-rated 670 shot battery life when using the optical viewfinder is about 12% lower than the 760 shot rating for the K-1, likely due to the K-1 II's added "Accelerator Unit." That's well below average for a full-frame DSLR, especially when you consider the K-1 II has no built-in flash which is normally fired every other shot during CIPA battery-life testing. Pentax does not specify battery life in Live View mode, but it will certainly be a lot lower. We strongly recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, and consider purchasing the optional D-BG6 portrait grip which doubles battery life with a second D-LI90 battery installed.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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