What do you think

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
sroute
Senior MemberPosts: 2,459
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Re: What do you think
In reply to abluesky, Feb 26, 2013

abluesky wrote:

Have any of you guys actually used the K01?

Not me. Why should ownership or use be a prerequisite for determining if the camera is likely to work for us as individuals? If we have to try everything to find a good photographer-camera match, there'll be no time left for photography. Someone we as buyers need to filter down what's available to fewer choices from which to evaluate or pick.

Sizing up the K-01 didn't take long for as is often the case with any new camera, there is nothing particularly revolutionary about it, but the unconventional choice they made in terms of going with a full size mount certainly lends itself to judgement. If the overall size or Newson design doesn't phase one much then look deeper. I stopped looking when it came to the lack of an eye level finder.

I always assumed the camera delivers very good image quality when paired with an appropriate lens as the K-01 has the very same sensor as found in Sony NEX 16MP cameras and other models from Pentax and other makers.

IQ isn't an issue then, so other factors like the system family itself, longevity of the platform, ergonomics and usability, functionality, responsiveness and other qualities will determine if it is useful to us as individuals. Some of these traits also determine whether a camera is going to be a success in terms of saleability.

K-01 Pros: (for me)

+ Modern Sony sensor found in the NEX system

+ Large line-up of Pentax lenses available, plus others via adaptation

And that's it, from *my* perspective although I guess I could add the sensor-shift image stabilization system as a positive but I don't consider IS a mandatory requirement when buying cameras for myself. You'll note that the two positives I've listed are also true of other, compact, mirrorless camera systems.

K-01 Cons: (for me)

- Not very compact, which is a big negative if I'm looking for a compact camera system

- One pancake K mount lens; the rest of the K mount lens ranges from merely bigger to bulky. There simply isn't a size advantage available with this camera, particularly when not using the otherwise apparently good pancake lens.

- No eye level finder built in or available; no contacts for a future EVF; immediately disqualifies the camera from further consideration, for me.

Planning on investing in the K mount now.

That's interesting. At the time (and now) I couldn't see myself investing in K mount because their DSLR bodies don't interest me that much, and I was certain the K-01 is doomed to extinction so investing in K mount didn't make sense, for me. If I was interested in APS-C DSLRs certainly I'd give Pentax a look, even though I can't see myself then being attracted to the K-01 due to the eye level finder deficiency.

Will Pentax Do It Again?

Will they ever again release a "compact" camera based on a full sized DSLR mount? My guess is no, because there's really no advantage other than a cost advantage to Pentax (no lenses to design) although for the long time Pentax shooter, re-using existing lenses sure is a benefit. But is there sales growth  potential in going that route?

Evidence suggests no. With the K-01 you get most of the size of their already smallish DSLRs but lose some of the advantages of the DSLR leaving price perhaps as the sole important advantage over say a K-5. That doesn't seem like a winning formula, certainly not if attracting legions of buyers new to Pentax is one of the objectives.

What's really behind the criticism of the K-01?

There is something simply odd about how disconnected the criticism of the camera is from actual use.

Imaging performance has nothing to do with my criticism about the camera and no doubt that is true of most critics and criticism.

Sure, the Newson design inspired a lot of guffaws from those who prefer a traditional look and some less thoughtful commentators no doubt stopped at outward appearance and never looked deeper.

It would be tempting to blame the sales failure on Newson but that'd be a mistake in my opinion.

The K-01 I feel was doomed mostly due to the overall technical design choices Pentax made, but it was also a victim of timing.

When the K-01 was launched the buzz in compact mirrorless cameras was running at a fever pitch. New and very compact APS-C camera systems had been released by others yet it seemed that in the minds of many there was always something not quite right so expectations for every new MILC camera launch ran high. Given Pentax's capabilities and new interest in them due Ricoh's acquisition, no doubt some looked towards Pentax with high hopes of seeing the next best thing in compact mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

And then the K-01 with its largish size arrived... I remember hearing air rushing out of the launch party balloons.

The K-01 wasn't a me-too camera and it has some interesting ideas in it but as a package was it a compelling offering? Apparently not for the masses, yet it was a camera that had to sell in numbers to be viewed as successful. It wasn't, but lack of success certainly had nothing to do with comments in forums like these.

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