Review: Pentax KP1 min read . Updated: 18 Jul 2017, 04:27 PM IST
The Pentax KP is significantly robust in handling exposure and scenes with complex ambient lighting. The detailing is quite good, particularly at lower ISO settings
The Pentax KP is a DSLR from Ricoh Imaging, which takes a lot of inspiration from the top-of-the-line K1 (around Rs1,65,000) camera. At the heart of the KP is the 24-megapixel APS-C (also known as Advanced Photo System type-C) CMOS sensor, topping out at a staggeringly high 819,200 ISO. There is the 5-axis image stabilization (known as Shake Reduction II), the PRIME IV image-processing engine and a new Pixel Shift system, which captures four images of the same scene by shifting the image sensor by a single pixel for each image and then combines them all together into a single image for better detailing.
The Pentax KP is significantly robust in handling exposure and scenes with complex ambient lighting. The detailing is quite good, particularly at lower ISO settings. With the Pentax DA 20-40mm lens, you get an adequately sharp frame. The low-light photos are well-detailed. The Pixel Shift photos are processed quickly too, and they are perceptibly richer than standard photos. What stands out with the KP would be the very pleasing colours it pulls out—no one shade jumps out unnaturally. You get multiple HDR modes as well, for challenging environments where details in shadows may otherwise get compromised.
While the high ISO number of 819,200 is good on paper (even the Nikon D500 can reach 1,638,400 ISO), most photos beyond ISO 25,600 are not useable as detailing is significantly compromised.
The KP lacks 4K video recording, which is a bit of a surprise because that is the future—even rivals are adopting 4K video capabilities. This will record video in Full HD resolution, but the quality is a bit of a mixed bag.
The body of the Pentax KP is surprisingly small for a DSLR. It measures 131.5x101x76mm, and weighs 643g. The chassis is magnesium alloy in parts, while the rest are made of high-quality polycarbonate. The control layout poses a slight learning curve if your are switching from another brand.
When viewed in isolation, the Pentax KP is a very capable DSLR camera, which impresses with detailed photos and accurate colours. However, the price does put it in competition with the Sony Alpha 77 (Rs84,900 onwards), which also has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with fast focus, and the Nikon D7200 (Rs71,450 onwards) DSLR, which has a 24-megapixel Nikon DX format lens and 51-point autofocus system.