My initial take on K1 for birding


kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#1
Sharing my experience of using K1 for birding.
It's just a short 2hrs shooting session which I only managed to capture 3 birds and among them, sunbird nesting is good to test out the strength and weak point of K1 on birding.

Focusing speed and accuracy
As shown in The Pentax K1 Thread, I've no issue focusing and shooting this fast moving small little sunbird:

Pentax K1, Sigma 500 F4.5 @F6.3, 1/400s, iso 4000
Brown Throated Sunbird by Ken Goh, on Flickr
 

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kengoh

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Jan 23, 2004
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#2
Resolution @lens' wide open
Pied Fan Tail @100% crop


*No sharpening done

Not tack sharp though as the bird is too small on the frame and shooting wide open.
With a bigger sensor than K3, I will need to shoot >F5.6 which I luckily did on the other 2 birds.
 

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kengoh

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Jan 23, 2004
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#3
High ISO performance
I'm very pleased with the high iso of K1, at iso 6400 is like K3's iso 800/1000

Pentax K1, 500mm, F5.6, 1/2000s, iso 6400
Sunbird feeding by Ken Goh, on Flickr
 

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kengoh

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Jan 23, 2004
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#4
High Speed Continuous shot
I tried 5 times shooting K1 with Sigma 500, I couldn't freeze a single flight shot of the adult sunbird flying towards the nest.
Though this kind of shot depends on luck but at 4.4fps chances of getting 1 shot within the frame is much lower than K3's 8.3fps
I tried the same lens on K3 and I moved backwards so that the framing size is about the same as K1, out of 2 attempts I managed to get 1 shot:

Pentax K3, 500mm, F4.5, 1/2000s, iso 2500
Sunbird feeding by Ken Goh, on Flickr
*noise removal done
 

kengoh

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Jan 23, 2004
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#5
These are based on my 1st birding experience with K1, all are shot with A.FS and jpeg file format, yet to try the A.FC setting.

As can be seen K1 is weak for action shots which is expected, a high fps FF cam like D5 or 1Dx Mark II will cost >3x the price of K1. For the price of 1.8k usd, K1 is considered very good especially shooting birds under low lighting or requires high shutter speed (1/2000s)
For K3, shots with iso >3200 I usually don't bother to process or keep them but with K1 I'm sure to have more keepable shots. :)

For overseas shooting, sure I don't mind the heavy 1kg weight and will definitely include this cam together with K3 in my backpack. ;)
 

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jaiyen

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Jun 22, 2011
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#6
Hope to see more of your works...thumbs up
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#8
Ken, you are certainly a guy, who goes out and 'Do it'. :thumbsup:
 

alfie

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2004
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#9
Very nice stuff !

Does the K1 go at a higher FPS in cropped mode ? (I do birding with my 36mp d810 a lot, and find that the 1.2x crop mode gives a 20% speed increase, and faster buffer flush time)
 

ranchy

Senior Member
Jan 11, 2010
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#10
Kengoh, many thanks for sharing your experience of the K1 on birding. :)
 

kengoh

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Jan 23, 2004
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#11
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kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#12
Very nice stuff !

Does the K1 go at a higher FPS in cropped mode ? (I do birding with my 36mp d810 a lot, and find that the 1.2x crop mode gives a 20% speed increase, and faster buffer flush time)
Thanks alfie, that's a good question, with lower res the fps might be higher.
Just now I tried continuous shot at cropped mode, the speed is much faster, feel like K3's 8.3fps speed. :D

Shot from house windows, Sigma 500 + 1.4x TC, handheld at 1/100s, the SR is so effective. :D
Pentax K1 test shot @crop mode by Ken Goh, on Flickr
 

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airconvent

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2005
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#14
Nice photos Ken...and congrats to be the first new K1D on the Block!
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#16
Field test of Pentax K1 continuous shot @cropped mode

Shot with DA*300, the speed is close to K5's 7fps but below K3, still is a great improvement over 4.4fps @FF mode. :D
Sunbird nesting by Ken Goh, on Flickr
 

Turbonetics

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2009
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#17
nice series..actually the Fantail 100% crop looks pretty sharp(below the neck and shoulder) but the focus seems to be off from the head.
 

jaiyen

Senior Member
Jun 22, 2011
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#18
Field test of Pentax K1 continuous shot @cropped mode

Shot with DA*300, the speed is close to K5's 7fps but below K3, still is a great improvement over 4.4fps @FF mode. :D
Sunbird nesting by Ken Goh, on Flickr
nice lighting and capture...
 

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ramukavis

New Member
Mar 25, 2009
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#19
Beautiful birds. And super shots. I was thinking that for birds K3 should be more than good. Till I see your pics. Hope I can afford a K1 in the near future

Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#20
nice series..actually the Fantail 100% crop looks pretty sharp(below the neck and shoulder) but the focus seems to be off from the head.
Thanks bro, yes you are right the focusing in not on the eye due to bird small and far, as it's just a test shot I only shot once for that "UN-natural" perch, usually I'll shoot a few and sure there will one shot that focus at the eyes.
 

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