Pentax K-1 users now have the option for a quieter, steadier electronic shutter, thanks to a new firmware update.
Firmware update 1.30 allows users to select the electronic shutter option in the menu over the traditional mechanical shutter. Electronic shutters don’t use any physical parts (instead a burst of energy tells the sensor when to start and stop recording), which means that there aren’t any moving parts within the camera to create shake in long exposures.
While some electronic shutters produce more grain in the image at high ISOs, the electronic option is also sometimes favored because it’s quieter than the traditional type. The electronic shutter on the K-1 has a few trade-offs as well — the image stabilization cannot be used with this setting, though the steadying feature is more for using the camera with a tripod in any event. With the electronic shutter, external flashes also won’t trigger. The electronic shutter also isn’t available in burst mode or for in-camera HDR shots.
The firmware update also brings the 1:1 aspect ratio to the K-1, allowing users to shoot with a square crop of the sensor. Pentax also added new bracketing options, including the option to use only two frames in the camera’s unique anti-aliasing filter simulation.
Pentax says general updates were also added to improve the camera’s stability and performance.
The Pentax K-1 is the only full frame DSLR with in-body stabilization (rather than the in-lens type), rated at five stops, according to the manufacturer. The camera also includes Pentax’s weather-sealing, along with a digital anti-aliasing “filter” that can be turned on and off. The K-1 is Pentax’s first full frame DSLR and the firmware updates continue to refine the 2016 camera’s features.