With the Pentax K-1 being a pretty heavy DSLR camera coming in at around 2.24 pounds, it is no surprise that a number of the popular gimbals on the market can have problems providing your K-1 rig with the image stabilization that is required. Now only in addition to the camera body, the gimbal is also going to have to be strong enough to support the weight of all the additional accessories that you mount to your camera too that can sometimes bright its weight of the total rig up to the 6 or 7-pound mark.
Due to this, we often see people reaching out and asking for advice on what the best gimbal for Pentax K-1 cameras currently is. We have decided to publish this article as we feel that it should be able to help any of our regular readers who own the K-1 and are looking to add a suitable gimbal to their camera accessories. The gimbal market for DSLR camera rigs can be a bit of a minefield so we are hoping that we are able to save you the time and effort required to research potential gimbals and help you on your way.
We have made our usual comparison table below going over what we feel are the three main gimbals currently available on the market right now that are suitable for use with the Pentax K-1. We feel that the table format makes it easy to show the highlights of all three of the gimbals but in addition to this, we will also be covering our primary gimbal recommendation below the table to explain exactly why we made the choices we did.
Last update on 2020-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
As you can see, our primary recommendation for the K-1 is the Zhiyun Crane 3 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) although we feel that the DJI Ronin S is a very close second but its maximum load capacity can cut it a little close for some of the higher-end heavy professional K-1 rigs. That said though if you already know exactly what accessories you will be mounting to your K-1 and the Ronin S (Click here to check for product prices and availability) can support the rig then it can make a great option, especially if you are on a budget.
Although the Feiyutech AK4000 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is a popular gimbal stabilizer, it does have a few problems with it like its gimbal vibration problem. Although there are fixes available, you may have to run the gimbal through the fix process multiple times per session to prevent the vibration. As the AK4000 has a price tag so close to the Ronin S, we would just take the Ronin S over the AK4000 if you are on a budget.
The Zhiyun Crane 3
Now, getting on to cover our primary gimbal recommendation for your Pentax K-1. At the time of writing, the Zhiyun Crane 3 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is one of the newest gimbals on the market and has all the latest technology available ensuring that it is able to provide your K-1 with the best possible image stabilization. The Crane 3 also has an excellent build quality and has also managed to rightfully earn itself an excellent reputation within the community in a very short amount of time.
Being the flagship, premier gimbal of the whole Zhiyun gimbal range, you can rest assured that your K-1 will be safe and secure when mounted on the gimbal and get you the best image quality possible. There was a fair bit of hype around the Crane 3 in the run-up to its release and we are pleased to say that in our opinion at least, the Crane 3 has definatley delivered.
Performance And Functionality
It supports a massive 10.14-pound maximum load capacity ensuring that it can easily take any camera rig that you may need to work with while also having plenty of payload spare. Although the listed maximum battery life for the gimbal is 7 and a half hours, this is presuming you are using as much of the payload capacity as possible. We would expect that most professional level Pentax K-1 rigs will be using 50-75% of the available payload meaning you can get a longer maximum battery life right off the bat.
That said, if you do feel that the battery life will not be able to get you through your session with your K-1 then you can also take a Power Bank (Click here to check for product prices and availability) with you to charge the gimbal on the go in your downtime. When it comes to recharging the Crane 3, you can take it from empty to full in around 4 hours when plugged into a mains outlet but recharging times via a power bank will depend on the specs of your power bank.
The motors in the Crane 3 is brand new too and have been specifically designed for optimal use with users who have DSLR cameras. They pack a ton of power and at the time of writing at least, are the best gimbal motors on the market in our opinion. On top of that, Zhiyun has also updated a number of the popular modes and functions on the Crane range.
For this price tag, you are right to expect the very best out of your gimbal and we are pleased to say that in our opinion at least, Zhiyun has managed to deliver and the Crane 3 will perform perfectly with a Pentax K-1 mounted on it no matter what accessories you mount to your camera body.
User Interface And Control System
It is located on the build-in inverted handle on the gimbal and although it does come down to personal preference, it does seem more common for people to use their dominant hand to support the inverted handle on the gimbal. This also ensures that you are using your dominant thumb on the main control system that most people tend to find is more accurate for tweaking settings.
The Smartphone App
The app can also allow you to tweak some of the key features of the gimbal too but we are expecting Zhiyun to release a new and improved version of the app soon to end the problems it has once and for all. By the time you read this, the update may actually be live and the app may look totally different that it does in the image above.
Build Quality And Design
The build quality of the Crane 3 is also second to none in our opinion and you would expect that to be the case at this price point in the market. Not only is the body of the gimbal very solid and robust and able to take plenty of bumps during use without having an issue, Zhiyun has also managed to keep the weight of the gimbal down with it coming in at only 3.86 pounds.
As your Pentax K-1 camera body comes in at 2.24 pounds without any accessories mounted, you want your gimbal to be as light as possible to make it as easy as possible to use for those extended sessions of content recording. As we said, the inverted handle goes a long way in ensuring that you are able to easily support the rig even though you may be holding a heavier total load then some of the other gimbals would support, the additional handle ensures it is comfortable to do so.
As you can probably guess, we are massive fans of the Zhiyun Crane 3 and if you have the budget available, it is a great investment to your Pentax K-1 camera accessories. The image stabilization that the gimbal provides is excellent, especially for cameras like the K-1 that are usually running much heavier payloads than other gimbals will struggle with or be outright unable to support.
Wrapping It Up
That brings our article on what we feel is the best gimbal for Pentax K-1 cameras to an end. We hope that you have found our article helpful but keep in mind, like we said earlier in the article, although the Zhiyun Crane 3 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is our primary gimbal recommendation for your Pentax K-1, the Ronin S (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is still a solid bit of kit and can make a great alternative if you are on a budget.
Additionally, we also maintain an article on what we feel are the best gimbals for DSLR cameras on the market right now. It is often updated to reflect new releases on the market and maybe worth reading if you have the spare time.