Best Pentax Camera

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Pentax is known for building a reliable camera. They also have earned recognition for not using deceptive marketing tricks. Pentax cameras are more than good enough for professional photography. Their lenses are very good and can match the performance of any other DSLR.

Pentax is backward compatible with many different lenses so that offers you an opportunity to use lenses you already have. And their waterproof Optio point and shoot deserve mentioning.


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Top Best Pentax Camera Reviews

Best Full Frame Camera

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The Pentax K1, is a first of its kind – a full frame Pentax DSLR. Photographers, especially the Pentaxians have been waiting for that camera for a long time and here it is finally.

Very quickly a roundup of the best features of the camera. This is a full-frame (yeah!) 36.4 megapixel CMOS sensor powered DSLR. It is capable of producing large file JPEGs or RAW 14-bit files of size 7360 x 4912 pixels. It has a five-way sensor-shift type image stabilization system and a 33-point phase detection AF system with 25 cross-type sensors. It is also capable of shooting full HD videos at 30, 25 and 24 fps with the option to plug in an external mic to record sound along with it.

AA filter simulation

The K1 does not have an AA filter. The lack of the AA filter is made up with an AA filter simulator.

These filters work in a sort vibrating movement which blurs out the image and resultantly reduces the overall sharpness.

Sensor-shift image stabilization

The K1 is the only full-frame camera in the world that has a sensor-shift type image stabilization. The big advantage with that system, as you may imagine is that all compatible lenses are immediately stabilized. Image stabilization is rated to be around 5-stops which means you can use a shutter speed that is five times slower than what is required for the LV.

Auto-focusing

The K1’s auto-focusing performance is powered by the SAFOX 12 AF sensor module. The K1’s auto-focusing is powered by a 33-point system out of which 25 are cross-type. Cross-type sensors are basically a dual-line sensor that detects contrasts both horizontally and vertically thus ensuring that the camera is capable of locking focus even when it is held sideways for portraits shots. In addition to this, these 25 AF points are capable of locking focus in extremely low light situations. -3Ev to be precise. Additionally, 3 of the sensors – one on the middle and two on either side can auto-focus precisely with f/2.8 or faster lenses significantly improving the auto-focus performance with large-aperture lenses.

Still Shooting

A dynamic color image shooting mechanism involves moving the entire sensor by one pixel and each time taking one photograph. The result of this is that color saturation and contrast is resultantly a lot higher than standard systems.

The large sensor with 36.2 megapixels is capable of producing large files. 7360 x 4912 pixels to be precise. If you shoot fashion, landscape and stock photos you would love the opportunity to capture a lot of detail and print big, without always having to upscale.

ISO range and ISO invariance

ISO invariance is a term that you will hear about increasingly more. It is the property of some cameras wherein if you shoot an image with an incorrect exposure settings and then boost the exposure later in post-processing, you would get the same image without additional noise. The Pentax K1 has in recent testing been proved to have a very low noise signature. You can routinely shoot at -2 or even -3 EV and boost the exposure in post-processing. Plus, the dynamic range retained in the under-exposed areas is great. The benefits are immense. First, you can get away even if you miss the EV by 2 or 3 stops. Second, as the noise is low you can get a better dynamic range than when compared to other traditional systems.

Viewfinder & LCD Screen

For Pentax APS-C users like the K3 or the K5 and in general any Pentax user the most striking thing when you look through the viewfinder will be, well the viewfinder itself. It is large, bright and covers so much. I remember having used a Canon PowerShot camera some years ago with a tiny viewfinder (probably a few mm). Then when I bought my first DSLR the difference was obvious. It was like lightyears better!

Another stand out feature of the K1 is the rear LCD screen. The 3.2” LCD screen has a resolution of 1037-k dots. But that is the normal specifications. The stand out feature is the way the LCD screen ‘moves’. The movements possible are really weird, to the extent it may appear completely unrealistic. Aptly named ‘cross-tilt’, and you can probably imagine what you can expect out of it, the only time you are going to make use of such weird shooting angles is when you are probably shooting around corners. Both the viewfinder and the LCD screen have 100% frame coverage.

Build quality

Pentax’s rugged build quality is a joy to wield in bad weather. The K1 is designed for bad weather. Pentax systems are one of the best cameras that you could use in inclement weather for shooting storms, landscapes in snowy conditions as well as in dusty conditions.

Video Shooting

The K1 does have the standard video shooting features. This includes full HD videos at a choice of 30, 25 and 24 frames. You can choose to record at a higher frame rate, in which case the frames will be interlaced and not progressive. You can choose to record sound using the built-in mic or use an external mic to record better more crisp sound. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Other Features

The other features of the K1 include –

  • Pentax has improved the real-time scene analysis system on the K1
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
  • A built-in TAv mode that allows you to select aperture and shutter speed and leaves ISO to be decided by the camera.
  • Compatible with 645 series medium format lenses via the use of an adapter
  • Diffraction correction system for working with lenses that you normally use at small f-stops.
  • Improves the overall image sharpness.
Conclusion

The Pentax K1 is definitely a still shooter. The designers did not envision it as a multi-utility camera, something that you can use to shoot both great stills and great videos. If you are looking for a video camera then opt for a Nikon or Canon full-frame.

The K1 is definitely going to be picked up by an outdoor shooter, someone who is looking for a great weather sealed body, with good handling, excellent auto-focusing and image stabilization. Even the queer looking LCD screen will have its own use when shooting wildlife.

Pentax APS-C shooters, no doubt would have been waiting for this full-frame offering for long. They would find the controls familiar with the added benefits.

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Best Entry Level Camera

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The Pentax K-S1 for many is the ideal entry-level camera. It is one of the cheapest entry-level DSLRs with a host of features. The K-S1 has since been replaced by the more illustrious K-S2. But let’s yet look deeper into the camera’s features and find out more about them.

Sensor

The Pentax K-S1 is powered by a 20 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. The sensor produces large fine RAW and JPEGs of the size 5472x 3648 pixels.

Pentax systems, just like Nikon has a crop factor of 1.5x. All lenses that are designed for the larger full-frame cameras when mounted on crop sensor powered cameras have the effect of ‘extending’ the effective focal length. Mind you, the actual focal length never changes. But what does is that the image frame gets smaller because of the smaller sensor and that gives the illusion of ‘telephoto effect’.

Image Processing

Image processing on the Pentax K-S1 is powered by the PRIME M II Image processing engine.

Auto-focusing

Auto-focusing is powered by the SAFOX IXi 11 point AF system. 9 out of these are cross-type. Cross-type sensors are much more sensitive when you are shooting low contrast scenes and when shooting in low light.

ISO Sensitivity

The Pentax K-S1 is capable of shooting images with a native ISO range of 100 to 51200.

Still Shooting

Invariably when someone speaks about still shooting, the first order of business is the continuous shooting speed of the camera. The Pentax K-S1 isn’t the ideal camera for sports or action or wildlife. As it can shoot at a frame rate of 5.4 fps.

Image Stabilization

A big advantage to using Pentax systems is that their camera comes with body-based (sensor-shift type) image stabilization. This technology is apparently more convenient than traditional system of lens-based image stabilization. This is because all compatible lenses are stabilized by default.

Video Shooting

Full HD video recording is possible with the K-S1. It shoots full HD videos at a frame rate of 30 fps and with sound. The built-in mic, however, can only record monaural sound quality.

Rear LCD Screen

The rear 3” LCD screen of the camera comes with a resolution of 921k-dots. In terms of LCD screen resolution this is not something extraordinary. The screen does not articulate.

Connectivity

No built-in wireless or NFC or Bluetooth. Standard USB options are available.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

The Pentax K-S1 is designed to impress the entry-level DSLR users. Obviously with it Pentax has persisted with the concept of multiple colors. Then on top of it you have an array of lighting which ensures that the camera stands out in the crowd when used. There is a green light ring around the shutter button which turns to red when the camera mode is switched to video recording. There are additional lights at the back of the camera for the ‘OK’ and the shooting mode buttons. There are more glitter and twinkles around. Obviously, serious users wouldn’t care for a camera that resembles a Christmas tree with lights on.

The overall design is also not the usual DSLR type. Pentax for some reason attempted to make this noticeably demure camera more a smartphone than a camera. You will notice the lack of friction in the smooth plastic areas. In fact there are serious lack of grip on the camera making it a slippery customer.

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Best Auto-focusing Prowess Camera

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Pentax has always been the favorite of people who wanted an all-weather functional design that does what it is supposed to do without being pretentious. In fact not many professionals use the brand. Well, if I can rephrase that, there are a lot more pros using rival Nikon and Canon than Pentax DSLRs. But as they say looks can be misleading. And certainly the Pentax is more of a camera than an object of desire. Today, we are going to discuss about the Pentax K-s2.

Sensor

The Pentax K-S2 is an APS-C DSLR powered by a 20.12 CMOS APS-C sensor. Pentax systems, just like Nikon has a crop factor of 1.5x. That mean when you mount a lens the effective focal length will become longer in 35mm terms. Maximum resolution of the sensor is 5472 x 3648 pixels.

Maximum resolution is augmented by the absence of the anti-aliasing filter. That gives the sensor the ability to produce greater image sharpness.

However, you are likely going to get some moiré and false colors as well because of this.

Image Processing

The Pentax K-S2 is powered by Ricoh’s PRIME M II image processing engine. This is an updated image processor.

Auto-focusing

At the heart of a camera’s autofocusing prowess lies the AF points. The SAFOX X autofocus mechanism uses a total of 11 AF points. 9 out of which are cross-type. The world has moved on from a basic 11 –point AF system and thus the dated AF system of the Pentax K-S2 isn’t something to write home about. Having said that, 11 AF points is a lot if you know how to use it. plus, you get 9 cross-type AF points.

ISO Sensitivity

The ISO range of the camera is 100 – 51200.

Still Shooting

Continuous shooting speed of the Pentax K-S2 is 5.5 fps. That should be enough for shooting everyday photography such as weddings, parties, get togethers and vacations. Don’t expect to shoot too much of sports or action.

Image Stabilization

Image Stabilization on the Pentax K-S2 is a sensor-shift type. Sensor shift type actually makes micro adjustment of the physical sensor to compensate for inadvertent hand movements when the exposure is being made. Unlike lens based image stabilization systems these make all compatible lenses image stabilized.

Video Shooting

You can shoot full HD videos (1080p) at a maximum frame rate of 30 fps. There is a built-in stereo mic that records crisp audio. Maximum audio that can be recorded is 25 mins.

Rear LCD Screen

The Pentax K-S2 incorporates a number of unique features by Pentax standards. One of them is the vari-angle rear LCD screen. The 3” screen has a resolution of 921k-dots and most importantly it tilts and swivels. That makes it ideal for experimenting with the camera angle shooting from low down and high up while still maintaining desired composition.

Connectivity

Another feature that erstwhile Pentax users would love is the presence of built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. Built-in wireless would no doubt add the freedom to back up your work seamlessly and NFC will ensure that you can control your camera remotely for those neat selfies and as well for transferring images and videos between your camera and your phone or tablet.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

Without a doubt Pentax systems provide excellent weather sealing even for their budget DSLRs, something you have to end up paying quite a lot more to get on rival systems. The Pentax K-s2 is well protected from the vagaries of Mother Nature.

Conclusion

There are some really nice touches in the camera that makes the Pentax K-S2 an interesting camera. We have already discussed a few of these features here. One I would like to mention about here is the extra front facing shutter button. Going with the demands of the time Pentax has made it possible to make selfies a lot easier, thanks to a rewired Wi-Fi button that doubles up as a shutter release when the LCD screen is turned all the way to the front.

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Best Equipped Shooter Camera

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The 24.35 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor powered Pentax K-3 II is a mid-range range essentially targeted at the enthusiast photographer. This is an upgraded version of the older Pentax K-3. It has a bunch of features that should make him happy. Though some of them are just superficial. E.g., the Pentax K-3 (original) had a 23.35 megapixel sensor. The new K-3 II has a 24.35 megapixel sensor.

Sensor

The 24.35 megapixel sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs and RAW frames of the size 6016 x 4000 pixels. A lot of pixels a larger number of detail can be captured and that evidently means you can print big. Plus, it helps that the sensor does not have a dedicated AA filter. You can switch on the effect when you need, therefore cutting down moiré and false color whenever you need.

Image Processing

Image processing on the camera is handled by PRIME III image processing engine.

Auto-focusing

Auto-focusing on the Pentax K-3 II is handled by SAFOX 11 27-point AF system. 25 of these are cross-type. Cross type AF points have two line sensors instead of one, arranged one perpendicular to the other. This allows the AF sensor to be able to ‘see’ contrast in two dimensions.

ISO Sensitivity

Native ISO range of the camera is 100 – 51200.

Still Shooting

The Pentax K-3 II sports an optical pentaprism. That ensures that the view through the viewfinder is bright.

Continuous shooting speed of the Pentax K-3 II is a respectable 8.3 fps. At that speed the Pentax K-3 II is capable of capturing up to 23 RAW frames or up to 60 JPEG captures. That is easily 2 – 3 frames faster than most entry and upper entry level cameras. That should be enough for those sports and fact action sequences.

The Pentax K-3 II also features an in camera image stabilization system. This system compensates up to 4.5 stops. In plain English that means you can use up to 4.5 stops of slower shutter speed without the risk of image blur coming into effect.

The sensor shift mechanism is used in a host of other features of the camera. E.g., the mechanism is used in the Pixel Shift Resolution function. In this the camera takes four different exposures each time shifting the sensor by one pixel. Then these four exposures are combined to produce a single exposure with deeper colors and lower noise.

The effect is much more dramatic because inherently as all the individual pixels capture their own set of RGB data, no interpolation is used in converting the analog information into digital.

Video Shooting

Every DSLR camera released in the last 5 years or so have something in common. They are decent video shooters. Gone are the day when a camera could be sold with just the pedigree to make great stills. To be a complete digital camera you must have the ability to shoot great videos as well. The Pentax K-3 II shoots full HD videos at 1080p and at a frame rate of 30 fps.

Rear LCD Screen

A large 3.2” LCD screen with a resolution of 1.03 million dots ensure that every image you capture comes alive. A bright high resolution LCD screen is probably not what pros would trust to ‘check’ their images, but it does not do harm when reviewing the images.

Connectivity

The Pentax K-3 II has built-in GPS technology as well as compass and an astrotracer mechanism. Built-in GPS ensures that you can easily geotag your images. The astrotracer systems comes in handy when you are shooting stars especially the Milky Way and those sort of things.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

The Pentax K-3 II is rated as fully weather resistant. A magnesium alloy shell over a stainless steel chassis plus 92 independent seals ensures that the camera can tackle pretty much everything that Mother Nature can throw at it. It is even rated to work at a low of 14 ˚ F temperature.

The Verdict

The Pentax K-3 II is a decent camera, no doubt. You cannot go wrong with it. One of the things missing in the camera, though, is built-in wireless. But it more than compensates with a long line of features. It is definitely a good choice.

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Best for Outdoor Shooting

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The Pentax K50 is a 16.3 megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor powered DSLR camera. It is an entry level DSLR from Pentax which comes with robust weather sealing and an array of manual controls.

Sensor

The 16.3 megapixel sensor is capable of producing decent sized images (4928 x 3264 pixels). That said sensor resolution is hardly the USP of this camera. The crop factor of Pentax’s APS-C sensors is 1.5x. Simply multiply the focal length of the lens in question by 1.5 to find out the effective focal length (35mm format equivalent) on the camera.

Image Processing

Image processing on the camera is handled by Pentax’s PRIME M image processing engine. The PRIME M image processor is rated to produce clean images even in poor lighting situations.

Auto-focusing

Auto-focusing on the K50 is powered by an 11-point phase detection AF system and SAFOX IXi+ system. 9 out of these AF points are cross-types. Manual focusing is assisted by focus peaking that highlights areas of contrast.

The camera employs a 77-segment exposure metering system that ensures the most accurate metering possible, even for scenes which are poorly lit.

ISO Sensitivity

Native ISO sensitivity of the camera is 100 to 51200.

Still Shooting

Pentax cameras employ sensor-shift type image stabilization. That means all lenses are going to be image stabilized automatically. Image stabilization is rated at 3 stops. Meaning you can use up to three stops slower shutter speed than what the camera meter tells you and still the camera will compensate for the shake. The other major feature of the camera is a reasonable continuous shooting speed of 6 fps.

Video Shooting

The K50 can shoot full HD videos (1920 x 1080p) at a frame rate of 30 fps. There is a built-in audio mic but it records only monaural sound. You have the option to choose between H.264 AVC or MPEG 4 compression when recoding videos. Files are saved in .MOV format.

Rear LCD Screen

The 3” rear LCD screen has a resolution of 921,000 dots. Unlike some of its more illustrious competitors the LCD screen of the K50 does not articulate nor does it have a touchscreen option.

Connectivity

Standard connectivity options. No wireless or GPS.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

Despite being an entry-level DSLR, the Pentax K50 comes with two command wheels. Both of them are customizable which means you can assign an array of functionalities to them.

Make no mistake, this is one well-built piece of photography tool. A polycarbonate exterior cover which houses a stainless steel chassis. Pentax cameras are known for their extremely good built quality as well as fantastic weather proofing. The K50 reaffirms this. The operating temperature of the camera is 14 – 104 ˚. You will hardly find a cheaper weather sealed camera as good as the K50.

The camera comes in a choice of 120 color combinations. You should be able to find one matching your eye color, or even match the color of your car.

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Best Beginner Photographer Camera

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The Pentax K-70 is a 24.24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor powered DSLR. This is a fantastic camera that comes with an array of features. Essentially aimed at an entry level user, or someone looking for their first ever DSLR, the Pentax K-70 should be an attractive choice. Let’s find out more about the camera.

Sensor

The Pentax K-70 is powered by a 24.24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with no AA (anti-aliasing) filter. As you are aware, an anti-aliasing filter is used for the purpose of softening down the image. This is done so that fine patterns don’t end up creating moiré on the image as well as to avoid false colors.

Having said that there is the option to select the effects of the anti-aliasing filter on demand. For example, when you are shooting landscapes you can keep the anti-aliasing filter off. This will facilitate capturing a greater amount of detail. Then again when shooting portraits or headshots or fashion you can turn on the effects of the AA filter. This will ensure that moiré and false colors will be avoided.

Image Processing

Image processing on the Pentax K-70 is powered by Pentax’s PRIME MII image processing engine.

Auto-focusing

SAFOX X 11-point AF system with 9 cross type AF points makes up the auto-focusing mechanism of this camera. Spec-wise 11 AF points don’t make interesting reading but the fact that there are 9 cross type points does. If you know what you are doing 9 cross type points can help you create interesting off-center compositions. Though tracking moving subjects would be a definite problem.

ISO Sensitivity

Native ISO range of the camera is 100 – 204800. That should be sufficient for shooting in most situations.

Still Shooting

Continuous shooting speed of the Pentax K-70 is 6 fps. That should be sufficient for shooting in most situations. Family, weddings, portraits and everything else would be fine to shoot with, but you wouldn’t be able to shoot fast action and sports with nearly the same result as with faster camera.

The Pentax K-70 comes with sensor-shift type image stabilization system. Sensor shift makes micro vibrations which compensate for hand movement. This movement stabilizes the image coming through the lens. The sensor shift mechanism also assists the AA filter stimulation mentioned above.

This camera has a built-in time-lapse stitching option. You can record 4K (3840 x 2160) stills and those will be compiled into a video file (MPEG4) for instant playback.

Video Shooting

The Pentax K-70 is capable of shooting full HD videos (1080i) at a maximum of 60 fps. It can shoot full HD in 1080p at 30 fps. Stereo mic ensures that the camera can record great quality audio along with the recorded video. Plus, you also have the option to plug in an external mic that will ensure that the camera will record even better quality sound.

Rear LCD Screen

The rear LCD screen of the camera is a standard 3” one with a resolution of 921k-dots. The screen can tilt and swivel. That usually means you can shoot those acute low and over the top angles much easily than with fixed LCD screen cameras.

Connectivity

The Pentax K-70 comes with built-in Wi-Fi and is compatible with O-GPS 1. We all know the advantages of a wireless connection. The last feature enables geotagging of your images. There is also an AstroTracer function which assists in taking those breathtaking night time skyline images as well Milky Way photos.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

The Pentax K-70 is built according to Pentax standard. It has good weather sealing and is dust proof. Pentax rates the camera to be operational up to temperatures of 14 ˚ F.

The Verdict

Overall the Pentax K-70 is a great budget camera with most of the features you would need to shoot in everyday situations. High resolution, quick auto-focusing, 60 fps full HD videos and built-in time-lapse stitching features makes it a great consumer oriented camera.

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Best for Weather Sealing

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The Pentax KP is an APS-C sensor powered digital SLR camera. The newly designed sensor comes with a resolution of 24.3 megapixels. The sensor does not have an anti-aliasing filter. And that means two things. First, you would be able to capture an incredible amount of detail. And second there is likely going to be some false coloring and moiré. But let’s not be judgmental right at the very beginning. Let’s find out more about the camera.

Sensor

As already detailed above, the Pentax KP sports a new 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. This sensor produces images of the size 6016 x 4000 pixels. Additionally, the sensor does not have an AA filter.

Image Processing

Image processing on the Pentax KP is powered by a PRIME IV image processing engine.

Auto-focusing

Auto-focusing on the Pentax KP is powered by a SAFOX 11 27-point AF sensor. 25 out of these are cross-type. The AF mechanism is able to work even in – 3 EV light value and also has a dedicated LED focus assist light to be able to focus in such low light situations.

ISO Sensitivity

The Pentax KP is capable of shooting at an ISO range of 100 – 819200. Would you be able to use the images shot at ISO 819200? Well, that’s a completely different discussion. It is safe to assume that you can use ISO 3200 or ISO 6400 images easily. Even then it is an incredible advantage shooting low light images or Milky Way photos.

Still Shooting

One of the stand out features of the Pentax KP is the new 5-axis in-body image stabilization system. In body image stabilization ensures all lenses are automatically stabilized when you mount them to the camera body.

The image stabilization system is rated to provide up to 5 stops of image stabilization. That means you can shoot at a shutter speed of up to 5 stops slower than what the camera’s metering system tells you when image stabilization is engaged. This will come in handy when shooting low light portraits, backlit subjects, indoor images and so on.

The Pentax KP sports an electronic (& mechanical) shutter that is capable of firing off an exposure at 1/24000 seconds. It is incredibly fast, capable of freezing movements of a bird or a football player especially when used in combination with a fast wide prime.

The Pentax KP comes with a bright pentaprism powered viewfinder with 100% coverage of the view coming through the lens.

Video Shooting

The Pentax KP captures full HD (1080p) videos at a frame rate of 30 fps.

Rear LCD Screen

A 3” LCD screen with a reasonable screen resolution of 921,000 dots. The screen tilts which means it is easier to shoot those difficult to get shots from low or high angles. Screen coverage is 100%.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

Look wise the Pentax KP resembles the design of the older K-1. It has a similar hump that houses the pentaprism viewfinder as the older camera. Pentax cameras are like old American cars. They are designed not to turn heads but to be functional and durable. They would not appeal to users who love the streamlined looks of Canon or for that matter Nikon. But then, looks are not everything.

Pentax cameras are known for their incredible weather sealing. Even at the lower end of the DSLR segment Pentax produces a lot of cameras for the discerning action, sports and outdoor photographer. These are cameras that a photographer heading outdoors and into inclement weather would love to use. Pentax rates the Pentax KP to be dustproof and weather sealed. It can operate at a temperature of -10 ˚ C.

The Verdict

The Pentax KP is a fantastic outdoor camera. It is the perfect companion when you want to work outdoors in bad weather and for a long duration. It has got good weather sealing, goof auto-focusing, a 27 point AF system with 25 cross-type AF points and 4K internal movie recording. It also shoots full HD videos at a 30 fps. All in all a complete digital camera for the price point.

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Best Travel Camera

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The Pentax XG-1 is a digital bridge camera. The name bridge suggests that the camera is a cross-over of sorts and combines the fundamental advantages of a small sensor camera with the form factor of a DSLR.

Main Features
  • 16 megapixels 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor
  • Maximum still picture resolution of 4608 x 3456 pixels
  • Auto ISO of 100 – 3200
  • 52x optical zoom which is a 35mm focal length equivalent of 24mm – 1248mm
  • 3” fixed LCD screen with a resolution of 460,000 dots
  • Maximum aperture of f/2.8
Sensor

Two things about the sensor that stands out – first is the BSI technology. BSI stands for back-side illuminated. This basically is all about putting the wiring on the sensor at the back of the sensor freeing up space for the light sensitive photo diodes. Second is the individual pixel size.

The thumb rule for low noise digital imagery is that the individual sensors must be large so as to be able to collect a lot of light.

The less the number of individual pixels on the sensor surface, compared to other sensors, without the actual sensor size not getting small, the cleaner the image will be. Unlike some of the other cameras that we have reviewed with high resolution, the resolution on the Pentax XG-1 is only 16 megapixels. Plus, it also has BSI technology.

Extremely long focal length lenses are susceptible to image shake. Blame it on the wind or your unsteady hands or whatever else, when you are zoomed in all the way at 1248mm, even the slightest movement will turn your images into a blurry disaster. To counter this Pentax use a type of image stabilization technology that actually moves the sensor. It is called sensor-shift image stabilization.

Lens

The fixed lens on the Pentax XG-1 has a 52x optical zoom range. On a 35mm format parlance that tantamount to 24-1248mm. Maximum aperture on the lens is f/2.8.

LCD screen

The fixed 3” LCD screen at the back of the camera has a resolution of 460,000 dots.

Viewfinder

The viewfinder at the back of the camera has a resolution of 200,000. There is no flipping mirror. This is a bridge camera. Thus, the viewfinder is of electronic type.

ISO sensitivity

Auto ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 3200.

Built-in flash

There is a built-in flash. Compact cameras mostly do. The flash can be fired in a multitude of modes. Though it is not always the first preference when you need extra light or to compensate when ambient light is poor, it can do a decent job if you use it the proper way.

Movie recording

Being able to shoot video is a must-have feature on all cameras and not just bridge cameras. The Pentax XG-1 is capable of shooting full HD videos at 30 fps. If you scale down the resolution to 720p it can shoot videos at 60 fps as well.

Pricing

The Pentax XG-1 is a great camera to boot. It has almost everything that you need to be an ideal companion when traveling. A series manual shooting modes, full-HD video shooting, powerful 52x optical zoom, continuous 9 fps burst rate, built-in flash and most importantly a BSI sensor design. Everything adds up to make an excellent travel camera. The only things missing are probably native 4K shooting ability and RAW support.

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