Pentax K-1 II gets two-stop ISO boost, hand-holdable Pixel Shift mode; K-1 becomes first upgradeable DSLR
posted Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 6:00 PM EDT
At the start of 2016, Ricoh finally answered the calls from Pentaxians for a full-frame DSLR with the arrival of the Pentax K-1. We were seriously impressed by this weatherproof, 36-megapixel shooter, which paired great ergonomics with a lengthy laundry list of features, some of them completely unique.
Now, the Japanese company follows up with the 36.4-megapixel Pentax K-1 II, which boosts sensitivity by two stops at the top end, courtesy of the same accelerator unit which sits alongside the PRIME IV image processor, just as in the sub-frame Pentax KP. And it also brings the world's first hand-holdable, super-resolution mode, courtesy of an overhauled Pixel Shift Resolution function.
In other respects, including its body, sensor, PRIME IV processor, viewfinder, displays, connectivity and storage options, the Pentax K-1 II is essentially identical to its predecessor. It will be available from April 2018 in the North American market. Suggested list pricing is set at around US$2,000, and a kit version including the HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR zoom lens will also be offered, unlike the K-1 which was officially sold body-only. This kit will be priced at around US$2,400.
If you're a K-1 owner, you're probably feeling a touch of jealousy at this new model, but fear not! Ricoh has shown impressive commitment to its customers by announcing a paid upgrade program which will allow K-1 owners to have their cameras converted to K-1 II spec. We believe that makes the original K-1 the world's first upgradeable DSLR, as while we can remember similar service programs for several high-end mirrorless cameras in the past, we can't recall anything similar for another DSLR model.
You'll have to act quickly if you want to take advantage of the offer, as it's only valid thru September 30, 2018 in North America. Pricing for the update program, which requires that the main circuit board be entirely replaced, is set at US$550 or CA$690, which strikes us as eminently reasonable for a labor-intensive task like this.
For much more on this interesting update to one of our favorite full-frame cameras (and what you can expect if you decide to pay for your K-1 to be updated to K-1 II spec), be sure and read our just-published Pentax K-1 II preview!