Pentax KP First Shots: Going head-to-head against the Nikon D500 at ISO 819,200!


posted Friday, February 10, 2017 at 6:25 PM EDT


The Pentax KP has touched down at IR labs, and we're thrilled to have it in our midst. The engineers at Ricoh have been busy indeed, filling every nook and cranny in this stoutly-built, yet sleek-for-a-DSLR camera, and have primed it for ultra-low-light shooting with a native ISO range that reaches to a lofty ISO 819,200! It's even reported to come "very close" to the image quality of the popular flagship full-frame Pentax K1.

So I guess you can see why we're excited here at IR. Perhaps more than anything else in a camera, what we want most is great image quality, especially as ISO rises. The Pentax KP has now completed its first leg of the lab journey, and our signature First Shots are now ready for the super-curious as well as the casual observers. Has Ricoh struck paydirt with this small yet seemingly powerful APS-C DSLR?

Below are side-by-side crops at 1:1 from our Comparometer pitting the Pentax KP against the enthusiast-grade Pentax K3 II, and also the biggest current DSLR competitor in the similarly-priced Canon 80D, at both base ISO and ISO 6400. We then serve up the headliner in the ISO 819,200 comparison against the Nikon D500!

Pentax KP vs. Pentax K3 II

Pentax KP                        base ISO                        Pentax K3 II

Pentax KP                        ISO 6400                        Pentax K3 II

Pentax KP vs. Canon 80D

Pentax KP                        base ISO                        Canon 80D

Pentax KP                        ISO 6400                       Canon 80D

But we'd be remiss to not at least take a quick look at ISO 819,200! Below are side-by-side images as compared to the Nikon D500 at that lofty gain, and the results are certainly interesting. 

Pentax KP vs. Nikon D500 at ISO 819,200

Pentax KP                        ISO 819,200                       Nikon D500

And what about those claims regarding the KP being close in image quality to the full-frame Pentax K1? Our Comparometer awaits you! Stay tuned for much more to come on the intriguing and powerful Pentax KP, as it now heads to Mike Tomkins in Knoxville for some real-world action.

Pentax KP Lab SamplesOverviewBest Prices

Canon 80D vs. Pentax KP

Nikon D7200 vs. Pentax KP