Previous news story    Next news story

Just Posted: Pentax K-01 review

By dpreview staff on May 30, 2012 at 23:01 GMT

Just posted: our sixteen-page Pentax K-01 review. In the third of our collaborative reviews with the Digital Camera Resource Page's Jeff Keller, we look at Pentax's first large-sensor mirrorless camera, the 16MP APS-C K-01. The K-01 is unusual for a mirrorless camera in that it uses a preexisting lens mount - so it has to be the same depth as a DSLR, despite the lack of mirror. The idiosyncratic approach is emphasized by the camera's unconventional styling by designer Marc Newson, but what's the K-01 like to use, when you get past its looks?

The use of the full-depth K-mount means the camera is immediately compatible with the many K lenses made Pentax and other brands over the decades. However, this added depth limits the options for adapting other lenses, as is popular with other mirrorless systems.

This review is based on one originally published at the Digital Camera Resource Page, enhanced with a full set of our own product images, our usual studio comparisons and an expanded samples gallery, plus the addition of a standard dpreview score.

122
I own it
10
I want it
16
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 358
123
solarider
By solarider (Jun 11, 2012)

Woodyvx said:
"A 40mm kit lens is a bizarre choice for a 1.5x crop sensor.A cracking new 28mm or 24mm was called for and badly needed for the dSDLR range anyway."

How about similar just announced from Canon, but for a 1.6 crop? Well, more strange then it is.

I agree though, wider choices would be good.

1 upvote
ageha
By ageha (Dec 27, 2012)

Well, both are full-frame lenses. ;)

0 upvotes
ronniemac
By ronniemac (Jun 11, 2012)

With so much of the internals taken from the K-5 (83%) it is surprising that the review scored so low, but I guess that tells us about how important ergonomics and a view finder are. Others have tested the focus with much better results than in this review.
From my own perspective, I like that there is an alternative to the run of the mill cameras - not everyone wants a Q sized camera, not everyone wants DSLR functionality. Although flawed, this could be the beginning of a new direction in cameras. I've got a K-5 - it is a fantastic camera, but if Pentax brought out a 'F-01' (full frame, EVF, fast focus version with better ergonomics) I like to think I would buy it. Lots of lovely lenses are ready and waiting.

0 upvotes
woodyvx
By woodyvx (Jun 9, 2012)

Reader comments and the review itself suggest that the K-01 was a missed opportunity. Hopefully Pentax are finalising the K-02 as we speak, without the help of Mr Newson.

A 40mm kit lens is a bizarre choice for a 1.5x crop sensor.A cracking new 28mm or 24mm was called for and badly needed for the dSDLR range anyway. Ergonomics are a mess. For example this camera will be extensively used with M-lenses so the 'green' button ought to be right under your thumb and not somewhere else. Optional EVF at least, and an articulated screen for low-level natural history shots and suchlike.

And for heaven's sake make it look like a photographic tool not some first-year art student's styling project. Hard to believe there was marketing input at any stage. I suspect the K-01 is an embarrassment to the Pentax 'Old Guard' who, like me, have been waiting for something like a K-01 but expected it to be far better executed.

1 upvote
tony brown
By tony brown (Jun 5, 2012)

So near and yet so far.

Seen this review and another showing live in human hands - it is big.

If it was Full frame, same mount, 5 Fps for RAW AND HDR groups, preferably faster auto focus, and not too much dearer, I would buy it for all my old K-mount lenses.

The only advantage of the APS-C for FF capable lenses would be the smaller size but it isn't. The size is no problem as a user but would also almost do for a FF so the loss is the rest of the usable lens field in a camera whose major selling feature is the ability to mount all Pentax K lenses.

I await a Pentax FF follow-up with great anticipation. The K-01 is pointed right at the appropriate market and proved they are capable of delivering just what is needed, so let's be having it.

1 upvote
AmateurSnaps
By AmateurSnaps (Jun 4, 2012)

I don't understand why the camera only gets 1fps in RAW?

I thought one of the advantages of a mirrorless system was the fact that with no mirror been physically moved this would allow for faster fps.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Cheezr
By Cheezr (Jun 4, 2012)

Well DPReview it is official!

You can't please any of the people any of the time, on the internet!

Bit of a bummer, really.

0 upvotes
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (Jun 4, 2012)

Oh yeah? Say who?

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Jun 3, 2012)

Marc "who he?" Newson should go back to packaging frozen turkeys.

0 upvotes
Take5
By Take5 (Jun 3, 2012)

Since there is an issue with the quality control for Pentax lenses I am assuming that this is only with the glass coming out of their Vietnam unit - if so is there anyway one can find out the origin of mfg. before buying the lens ?

0 upvotes
j land
By j land (Jun 3, 2012)

Although the K-01 may look "big" compared to other mirrorless systems, it can certainly take advantage of the compactness and non-retrofocus lens designs that other mirrorless cameras allow. Pentax has shown a prototype (or mockup) lens with a rear element that protrudes deeply into the body and a front element which doesn't stick out much beyond the lens mount. Because there's no mirror in the way, the overall length of camera + lens can potentially be reduced compared to the equivalent retrofocus lens. The K-mount FF distance doesn't stop the whole lens from being shifted backwards relative to the mount. And any existing lens can be used straight on the camera without buying an extra adapter. Not such a bad idea.

2 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Jun 3, 2012)

Its lack of EVF and its slow AF make this camera a special purpose one. Landscape and still photography is what one can use K-01 for with great success. Street photography would a big stretch, on the other hand.

1 upvote
Zinnj Jinn
By Zinnj Jinn (Jun 3, 2012)

Yo all...just like to say something in behalf of DP.
When they first reviewed the EP-1 from Olympus and gave it a poor review I was very upset as well...I thought if it was labeled Cannon it would of come up as the greatest camera ever. then I bought one. They were right about all, and that is hard for me to say as I am a big fan of Olympus since the OM-1. OK then the EP2 came out and same poor review...then the EP3 and it got a pretty good review. now the OM5 and it is a great review...Dont you get it...if DP review did not push the manufacturers forward then we would all be in a complacent place. Also when DP review complained about lack of EVF on the EP1..I thought big whoop...Now that I have a EP3 w/ a EVF that is all I use. Just sayin...I dont think they are trying to sink Pentex..maybe they are trying to get them to build all of you great fans of Pentex a better camera...

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 3, 2012)

Hi, Zinnj Jinn. I didn't find the E-P1's review so destructive. In fact, it was one of the reviews that aroused my curiosity about this camera and ultimately helped me make up my mind about buying one. All DPR findings on the E-P1 match my own experience with this camera, and they even made me aware of some problems I hadn't noticed, or thought they were inherent to digital photography, e. g. the tendency to clip highlights. (It must be said, however, that DPR reviewed the 1.1 version, and FW 1.4 brought the E-P1 to a whole new level.) On the other hand, their review of the E-P2 convinced me it wasn't worth buying it over the E-P1 unless I couldn't live without an electronic viewfinder (I can...)
I find great consistency in DPR's reviews, and never felt they were biased at all. Simply, some people rant when *their* camera doesn't rate very high in DPR's reviews. This is foolish, but some people are just like that. There's nothing we can do about it...

0 upvotes
Zinnj Jinn
By Zinnj Jinn (Jun 3, 2012)

The EP-1 got a 66...that is I believe a lower rating then the K-01 with its 69. Mostly due to the slow auto focus...takes great scenery...god forbid you try to get a moving subject though.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 3, 2012)

That depends on the moving subject. I find it relatively easy to pan a car or a train - providing they aren't moving too fast...
Despite the 66% overall rating, the review wasn't really that dismissive: "Arguments will continue to rage about the E-P1's features and performance but few could find any serious fault with its image quality, which is easily as good as most SLRs at a similar price point." That's hardly a criticism! Had they reviewed with firmware 1.4, and the rating would certainly be better.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zinnj Jinn
By Zinnj Jinn (Jun 3, 2012)

I agree with you...I still have a EP-1..ready to moth ball it though...the EP-3 is a world above it w/ a flash, Focusing light for low light levels, touch screen LED, EVF, and most important a very fast focus...I have a OM5 on its way...EP-3 will be playing back up.
To me The EP-1 was revolutionary as was the original PEN serious was. or the K0-1 is...Just making the point that there is good room here to grow. I look forward to seeing Pentax grow this line of camera's into to something totally unique and amazing.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jun 4, 2012)

With all due respect, the only people who should be upset (or euphoric) about a camera review are the people who designed the camera and the people whose job it is to sell it. The rest is just brand worship. When I read user reviews at Amazon or B&H, the 3 star reviews are frequently very helpful and from people with enough experience to make a comparison and draw a conclusion. The 5 star reviews (which everybody loves) usually say the product is great and "built like a tank".

0 upvotes
mgm2
By mgm2 (Jun 2, 2012)

That's fine, it is your rating system after all. So I guess in theory the Pentax Q could get a higher rating in image quality than the 645D even though the image quality is not as good? I am having trouble getting my hands around the less is more concept and the fact that standards for things like resolution and noise are not fixed objective standards across all ranges of cameras.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jun 2, 2012)

do you really think it would help someone choosing a $200 superzoom compact to see they all got 1/10 for image quality merely because of the existence of the 645D? Is it really so hard to see that if I'm buying a van to transport my extended family around it makes no difference to me how its performance compares to a Ferrari 599 GTO, only how it compares to its peers? That's how we score (and your requirement - the ability to compare apples and oranges is why we have all those comparison widgets).

4 upvotes
Winston Loo
By Winston Loo (Jun 3, 2012)

@mgm2 I dont think you understand how DPR does the reviews. The K-01 is compared to its peers. so if the pentax Q scores better its because its compared to its peers (which are more P&S). If you compare the Pentax Q to the K-01 or even the E-M5, it will probably score in the 60s.

1 upvote
mgm2
By mgm2 (Jun 2, 2012)

Can someone please explain the rating process? Example:

Canon G1X: Pros 13, Cons 14 listed as having a "relative small portable body" Score 76 (Silver)
K01: Pros 14, Cons 9 listed as being bulky" and "chunky". Score 69

Yet the Pentax has a larger sensor, better output, more features, large number of available lenses. The cameras are practically the same size and price. Does any of this make sense?

2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jun 2, 2012)

You conveniently ignore the size difference if you include a lens equivalent to the G1X's 28-112mm F2.8-5.8 on the K-01. Putting aside the awards (which are our 'opinions'), scoring is 'per category' - the K-01 and G1X are in different categories.

3 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Jun 3, 2012)

You don't have to put a lens equivalent to the G1X's on the K-01. You can use whichever K-mount lens you want; but with the G1X, you don't have a choice.
It's just another case of double standards; and you shouldn't try and find excuses, but solve such issues.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jun 3, 2012)

there's a difference between an explanation and an excuse

1 upvote
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Jun 4, 2012)

Yes, there is; in this case you have no explanation for this inconsistency. Just an excuse.
Let me remind you, DPReview believes the compact-styled (but not sized!), smaller sensor, small battery camera is entitled to have a largish body, unlike the bigger sensor, DSLR-sized battery, interchangeable lens camera.
Double standards.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Jun 4, 2012)

By the way, Simon; what excuse do you (DPReview) have for persisting in using the wrong buffer figures for the K-5?
It's - officially - 20 frames, FFS; not 8, nor 15. Yet you're still using the incorrect figures...

0 upvotes
draschan
By draschan (Jun 2, 2012)

I like the design. looks verny nice to me. for any photographer who onws a lot of good pentax lenses it's a nice way to go mirrorless. I am curious what thei future of this camera will be. any variety in mirrorless is very welcome. (currently pan G3)

1 upvote
tonywong
By tonywong (Jun 2, 2012)

They should have stuffed a switchable internal ND/polarizer or teleconvertor in the spot where the mirror would normally be. At least it would make the spot vacated by the mirror/prism/AF sensor seem more useful.

Of course both of them would affect light gathering as well so it might have fubar'd the CDAF system.

0 upvotes
ethanolson
By ethanolson (Jun 1, 2012)

Has anybody else noticed on the "Compared to" pages when looking at the wristwatch (or clock) that some cameras divide some of the hour markings, but others don't? I noticed that the Pentax K-01 does this as does the K-r, but the K-5 doesn't nor does the 645D.

What's causing this? I noticed the Nikon D3100 doesn't seem to do this but the D3200 does.

I can't quite figure this out. I have speculations, but is there a way to tune the K-01 or other cameras out of this?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Jun 1, 2012)

Why do people automatically assume that the point of 'mirrorless' is to make a smaller camera? Obviously it can be smaller (usually amounts to larger lenses) but it's more about simplification by removing complex parts than 'smaller' in my opinion.

Confucius say: One large brick and many small bricks weigh much less that one small brick and many large ones.

People mouthing off about a camera they've never used and citing wrong spec's to justify their rant is just pathetic. The hatred here points to issues with the haters more than the camera I think. And the smug "I know better than Pentax" guys are just funny.

RE' the D800. Go to any camera store and they're walking out the door en masse... not bad for a B-Grade camera. There really is something wrong with the scoring system here if that camera is a B-Grade.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 1, 2012)

Totally agree about the D800. I've used many cameras and my D800 is by far the best. Ergonomics are perfect, focus is fast and accurate, and files from it are lightyears ahead of my previous FF body, the 5D2. DPR, which I usually like, really lost it for me with the equivalent grading of the 5D3 and D800 cameras. A camera that gives you the absolute ultimate IQ in a DSLR simply cannot be equivalent to one with 3 EV lower DR, JPEG and banding issue. 2 fps more motor balance the significantly better IQ of the D800.

I know no polite way to say all this but it was a shocking conclusion by DPR. But notice how the 5D3 is not the most popular camera by clicks on DPR after the review. I'm sure this is a coincident but it makes you wonder. Sorry for the rant.

3 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

Bossa, it was Panasonic and Olympus that started the mirrorless ball with micro 4/3; the idea was to shorten the flange by getting rid of the mirror so that the bayonet could be narrower, thus allowing for smaller lenses for any given focal length. From its inception, the purpose of mirrorless was to get DSLR (or near-DSLR) image quality with bodies not much larger than compact cameras. Mirrorless cameras would be pointless if they were as bulky as DSLRs - that's why many of us think the K-01 defeats the whole purpose of mirrorless.
And no - small bodies do not amount to larger lenses. Actually it's quite the opposite, as you will see if you check Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and Fuji lenses line-up and compare them to their full frame conterparts.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Jun 2, 2012)

The point of mirrorless is a reduction in the lens flange to sensor distance. There are two advantages: a more compact camera and no need for a reverse telephoto design for wide angles, make them sharper and more compact. Without a reduction in lens flange to sensor distance, neither of these advantages can be realized. The only benefit goes to the manufacturer since it reduces costs to remove some of the parts. To add insult to injury, the camera costs more than a similar, conventional camera. It is like paying more for less.

2 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Jun 2, 2012)

Bossa it´s right. Thinking on the benefit of mirrorles system about photography IQ, extrectly related to IQ. That it´s the most important think on gear. It´s the reduction of shake produced by mirror slap. So, you can take sharper pictures on slow shutter setup. Contrary of that, reducing flange and sensor you lose DOF control. Equiped with the amazing K-5 sensor K-01 it´s about IQ. On the space where were the mirror box, Pentax can offer on the future diferent focal distance "pancake lens", that screw focus(proyect) into the inside.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (Jun 2, 2012)

The point of a mirror-less camera is to make cheaper cameras by removing expensive and complex parts which takes labor to assemble and install. Just because Panasonic and Olympus use the concept for a certain way to make cameras and lenses doesn't mean it's the only way to go. The mirror and pentaprism were only added originally (by Pentax I believe) to allow seeing and metering what was coming through the lens. If cheaper method had existed at the time to achieve that I'm sure manufacturers would've opted for it. The weird thing about these thin cameras is that they tend to have very large (and out of proportion) lenses that compensate for the small flange distance and the heavier the system gets. Pentax tried something different and are definitely not receiving any love for their effort. I find it strange, the amount of hatred for this camera, when it's really just a camera.

3 upvotes
j land
By j land (Jun 3, 2012)

..

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jun 3, 2012)

History baffles many kids hanging around DPR and many working at it. Pentax has practically invented a thing called SLR, pentaprism, mirror, etc. The reason they have done mirrorless like they did with K-01 only shows they know how to think outside the box.
The real issue here is that public seems to be ignorant of the past, but cannot even imagine any different future, any other approach to photography. A tunnel vision, narrow minds, unable to fantasise even about alternate reality, which is possible and can be even more exciting.
Pentax Q, Pentax K-01 and Fuji X100 (kudos to Fuji) are three groundbreaking photography products of the decade, and surely are concepts many barely comprehend.

1 upvote
ValVe
By ValVe (Jun 1, 2012)

Where does this stupid +-0.5EV bracketing bullcrap misleading rumor come from?

I am getting the advertised +-3.0EV in 0.3EV steps, the limits are set by pressing down in drive mode menu and rotating the knob or pressing right-left.

I tell you that as an owner, F/W version is 1.0

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (Jun 2, 2012)

It's one of those things that people assume because it's a default, like the fact that lens correction is turned on by default which slows the burst frame rate, especially in RAW.

0 upvotes
Helena777
By Helena777 (Jun 1, 2012)

Not trying to be offensive, but this camera seems little useful nor funny: if you make a large mirrorless (a great idea) make it as comfortable as a traditional DSLR. This camera uses classic DSLR lenses (heavy) and weighs 480 gramos by herself, yet is held by a grip a la small NEX-3.

Pentax lately I do not understand you.

4 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

The main reason many people ridicule this camera here is because it ashames Pentax's legacy - but fanboys will never understand it. The K-01's greatest feature is the possibility of mounting virtually any lens Pentax has ever made, but they did it in a rather clumsy way: it's too bulky by mirrorless standards and it misses on useful DSLR features: a proper viewfinder and fast, phase-detection focus. A camera that can't find his way, built by a company that seems to have lost its way... Aesthetics aside, I can't see why people should prefer this camera to a K-r or even the new K-30 (which is another case of bad design, but at least it doesn't skimp on anything).
And there is at least one mirrorless camera built like a DSLR and with the ergonomics of the breed - the Panasonic GH2.I think there's also a Samsung model built that way, but I'm not sure.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (Jun 1, 2012)

Yes, Samsung NX5/10/11/20. Superb size, function, ergonomics, If you want to lose the OVF, Panasonic and Samsung have got it right in their compact system cameras.

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 1, 2012)

The NX11 is a stunning camera with iq better than my Nikon D5100 ... and its a beaut to hold and use!

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jun 1, 2012)

If we accept that it cannot be super small because it takes our fine K mount lenses, there are still some mistakes.

- There is no real grip - even though its plenty of room for one. Totally 100% strange.

- The auto bracketing is only -0.5,0,+0.5. Thats a totally weird choice.

- There is no view finder. Some can live without it, I know.

- Its 12 instead of 14 bits. This does not take advantage of the 14 stops of sensor dynamic range.

- The rubber flaps. How cheap!

- The design. Some may like it. But it seems most dont.

- The weight. This camera is heavy for having no penta prism, mirror or AF optics.

- The price. It should be cheaper. Its much, much, much simpler to make than a DSLR and lacks the nice optical VF of a DSLR.

I know that the other mirror less cameras also are quite expensive. But they are totally new systems and have extreme miniaturisation.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
ValVe
By ValVe (Jun 1, 2012)

I've been using this beast since the beginning of May, and the good (== well exposed, well composed, blur free) photo output is considerably greater than from my trusty K20D with a Katz Eye focusing screen. Like, 60 out of 100 compared to 10 out of 100.

Well, real-time histogram and better stabilization are really helpful here.

It also performs quite well in low-light, I've been able to make some really sharp and usable ISO-20k+ photos, mainly in dimly-lit restaurants/pubs.

Focus peaking is completely useless for me though.

Internal HDR is hardly useful, and HD resolution looks more like scaled SD.
I rarely shoot in JPEG, but this camera features some funny NR algorithm which tends to produce large grain, kinda high-iso film-like.

When used with 40mm lens, this camera is really quite compact and hard to damage, even more so than all these funky NEXes, and fits nicely into a soft leathery lens holster of a Tamrom 90mm Macro, so I am finally able to always have it in my backpack.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
ValVe
By ValVe (Jun 1, 2012)

BTW, rolling shutter effect is considerably less pronounced when Movie SR is off. Panning also seems much smoother.
SR works really well when shooting handheld and without fast panning/tilting of the camera body.

1 upvote
redeye47
By redeye47 (Jun 1, 2012)

As it gives the K-01 a ready lens collection, I thought that the choice by Pentax to use the K mount was somewhat brilliant. I hadn't considered the phase detect vs. contrast detect dilemma. I hope that they can improve their auto focus.

3 upvotes
Chris Vincent
By Chris Vincent (Jun 1, 2012)

If you squeeze it does water come out of the front?

7 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

No, but a little clown puppet pops up by means of a spring when you press the 'flash up' button.

4 upvotes
chiane
By chiane (Jun 1, 2012)

Remember, photography is serious business. No fun is allowed. Cameras must be black, have lots of protrusions, and look like every other camera. We don't deserve a choice! We are sheeple!

13 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

Some of us don't like to be made fools of ourserves in public by carrying a camera that could double as a box of tricks in a circus number, that's all. Fun is allowed - ridicule isn't.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 1, 2012)

@ManuelVilardeMacedo

If someone is going to ridicule you for the camera you carry, it's really more their problem than yours. One thing is clear, nobody can say anything at all negative about images from the K-01. To me IQ is the most important factor in choosing a camera. Looks, and preconceived notions about what a camera should look like, are secondary. Personally I like the looks of the K-01 a lot (rubber ports cover aside). Who said you can't have fun with a camera? Have you ever seen all of the customized cameras of Kai from DigitalRev? I doubt anybody is laughing at creative mods like his, and I find them fun, just like this camera seems a fun, quirky camera with awesome IQ.

5 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

@marike6: I agree that image quality comes first, but I can't help wondering why anyone should buy this camera rather than a K-r or the K-30, which will give you an optical viewfinder, phase detection autofocus and a decent grip. If it's a question of taste, the latter cameras can get almost as garish as the K-01 with their bizarre colour schemes, but still they make a lot more sense.
The people who joke about this camera are not Pentax haters - they're genuinely offended by the lack of taste that this offering from an otherwise respectable brand displays so conspicuously.

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Jun 1, 2012)

The "chimney" on this camera gives me an idea: a drink bottle shaped like this camera, with the dial on top of the chimney serving as the cap. Twist it open, and you can drink from the liquid stored inside the camera body. Of course, the shutter release will cause the camera to squirt out a stream of water. So the camera doubles as a water pistol. I think I should patent the design. :)

2 upvotes
cooldragon
By cooldragon (Jun 1, 2012)

Consistent Vertical and Horizontal Review Criteria

Vertical: Cameras released in different years.
If the camera was released in the year when DP introduced the scoring system, would it get a different score?

Horizontal: Cameras released in the same year.
Are the review results from other cameras released in the same year affect the score of this camera?

Human Factor:
Does different person have different interpretation of DP's scoring system?

If any of the above is not consistent, the score number is pointless and there would be a shame on DP's reputation.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Jun 1, 2012)

The K-01 is better than it is here evaluated:
DxOMark: 79% is already a house number

7 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

Bear in mind that DxOMark only reviews the camera's sensor, leaving everything else aside. That "everything else" includes photometer, processing engines, handling, etc. And aesthetics, too!

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 1, 2012)

And the D800 scored at 95% the highest in DxOMark history, yet DPR only gave it a B, and deemed it "as good" as the 5D3.

This kind of puts the politics of the camera review into perspective.

4 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

@marike6: reviews always have an element of subjectivity, often in the form of a preference - which must not be taken as a bias. If you reviewed a camera or lens yourself, your review would embed your own experience and ideas on photography, no matter how hard you'd try to keep it impartial. Of course there are facts about which there should be unanimity, but subjectivity always creeps in. That's why a camera can be rated highly by a reviewer and poorly by another. Reviews are not to be taken as words carved is stone. I follow DPReview because they're impartial and objective, but I always allow for some subjectivity and don't take them as the final word about a product.
Re. the DxOMark score, you should be aware that they perform tests, not reviews.
That said this KO-1 is a hell of a fugly camera!

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Jun 1, 2012)

DxOMark doesn't test ergonomics or performance which the K-01 unfortunately fall down on.

5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 1, 2012)

@ Andy Crowe What is it you don't like about your K-01? And how are the images you are getting subpar?

0 upvotes
berbeluch
By berbeluch (Jun 1, 2012)

One thing caught my eye in this review: the red eye problem.

In the old Pentaxes this is solved by a dedicated mode in the flash settings.
It results in a pre-flash.

I couldn't believe that this function was removed so I found the manual and it's the same here.

Fix, anyone?

1 upvote
Benjamin Kanarek
By Benjamin Kanarek (Jun 1, 2012)

I really like the feel of the K-01. In fact we used it for our Behind the Scenes video for our VOGUE Magazine China Fashion Spread coming out late summer or early Fall. The output was excellent and it was used at 24 fps to mimic that film look. The behind the scene snaps were pretty goos as well. Our videographer Frederique Renaut got some amazing rushes. The whole video was shot with the Pentax DA 18-250 lens. The still photos for the shoot were all done with the Pentax K5's. :)

8 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (Jun 1, 2012)

I'm tired of hearing all the haters moan about DPR outsourcing this review.

Ultimately WHO CARES?.. outsourcing has been happening since the dawn of time.Canon and Nikon DO NOT make all their components exclusively in house. No business or organisation should be condemned because they outsource the labour.

At the end of the day its the Quality Control that matters, and DPR obviously feel that the reviewers Qualifications and work is worthy of their approval, and they published it.

This is business its not personal, all the Pentax loyalists are just trying to find reason to vent their fustration about the low score. Maybe they should vent to pentax, and inspire them to make a better "all round" camera.

8 upvotes
senn_b
By senn_b (Jun 1, 2012)

I'm a Pentax user, .. outsourced or not I'm grateful to DP for having issued this review, .., it sounds perfectly credible

2 upvotes
mgm2
By mgm2 (Jun 1, 2012)

Outsourcing is not the issue. The issue is that there is an appearance that there are two independent objective sites reporting on this camera when in fact there is just one. DPR should have contracts in place with the folks they outsource with that prohibits posting the same material on two sites.

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jun 1, 2012)

Why would anyone think that it's two independent reviews, when DPR clearly state the source of the review? Seems to me that too many people here are looking for problems where there are none to be found. The reviews are written by the wrong people, are biased, are too few and far between, cover the wrong cameras, the conclusions are wrong, the test methodologies are incorrect, the sample images are crap, and so on and so forth. Every time a review is published it's the same story.

2 upvotes
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Jun 1, 2012)

What the k-01 NEEDS:
1) a more indented and comfortable grip with a indent for your middle finger without making it bigger
2) Much better AF (ep3 like)
3) more lenses that take advantage of the big hollow space inside
4) an optional evf

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 1, 2012)

"...Take advantage of the big hollow space inside". Not that easy. The big hollow space is called flange. This camera is deliberately built that way to ensure compatibility with K-mount lenses.
Take the example of micro 4/3: as flange is shorter compared to 4/3 DSLR bodies, the bayonet can be made 6mm smaller, allowing for smaller lenses.
That empty space is there for a purpose: it's the room taken by the mirror in a DSLR.
On the other hand, I'm not sure a lens can protrude into that big hollow space - as many have suggested - without creating optical problems.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jun 1, 2012)

A lens sure can protrude into that space. But ... then its a K01 camera only lens. Needs some serious motivation to make such lenses.

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jun 1, 2012)

I understand its gripes, but I would only get one for its great video, good build and K-mount compatibility. Design-wise though, I'd still prefer something else...

1 upvote
DonInPgh
By DonInPgh (Jun 1, 2012)

I really enjoy Jeff Keller's reviews but would rather see them exclusively on his own DCRP. Warming them over and putting them here too doesn't really do much for anyone and to me it is evidence of further decline of this website. I for one would appreciate two points of view on the camera, rather than Jeff's posted on the two major sites for US readers. Though dpreview.com is still the world leader overall and the place I go for technical info, I think Steve Huff's reviews outclass everyone right now. He gave me a better feel for the camera than anyone else did and I think he "got" the K-01 perfectly when he wrote about it.

2 upvotes
toomanycanons
By toomanycanons (May 31, 2012)

First thing I saw was: no viewfinder at all. Well, darn!

Next I saw: 3 auto exposure bracketing at only 1/2 EV steps. Double darn. I stopped reading the review.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jun 1, 2012)

This bracketing choice is a total mystery to me. You can select 4 different orders of the images (out of 6 possible), but you cannot control the step and the number of exposures. It all feels so wrong. I dont think anyone can think of a reasonable motivation for this choice.

On my K-5 I often take 2 images - one correct and one 1 stop under exposed, in case highlights are blown.

I hardly see a need for +- 0.5 steps. The sensor is so good at dark areas that 1 step under exposure is perfectly fine.

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (May 31, 2012)

Looking at the samples fro DPreview, I can understand why DxO ranked this camera so high.
IQ is really impressive if we consider RAW alone. A hair above the NEX-5N in high ISO performance.
However, the in camera JPEG processing seems to be very destructive. That is a shame, since most K-01 users will go for OOC JPEGs.
All that said, I would go for the K-30 if I were intending to become a Pentax customer. Much better product at almost the same price point.

1 upvote
robbo d
By robbo d (May 31, 2012)

Yip, just read the conclusion again and found it to be pretty impartial and reasonably well written.
DPR givs Pentax DSLR's a good wrap, but with its unusual design and leaving some things out has got a few people stumped, not to mention the very polarising design, the K-01 deserves what it got.
Again, this doesnt make it a bad camera! it scored high in IQ and a few strong points, but I can only guess that we are now comparing it against the very best in all facets of camera technology.
Just because it AF's slower than modern tech, I would be happy compared to my kx with kit lens ??? Design, if you really want to like it, then you will adapt and not find the ergonomics a problem.
I think the nit picking of reviews has gotten as bad as nit picking cameras themselves for pretty small differences.
Its pretty hard to compare to anything though and I find comparisons to the Nex getting tedious. Obviously good cameras, their ergonomics dont make sense 2 me.....but hey they sell well!!

0 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (May 31, 2012)

Looks like something you would pull out of a kid's toy box.

1 upvote
chiane
By chiane (May 31, 2012)

Good, because every other camera looks EXACTLY the same.Toys can be cool mr. sheeple.

11 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Jun 1, 2012)

Some people love kids. Others don't. Your point?

0 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (Jun 1, 2012)

You're right. Hadn't seen it that way. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on where you're coming from), it doesn't handle like a kid's toy. This thing is a true brick; solid, but pretty heavy for a camera in its size class. Some will like that. Others, myself included, think the K-01 defeats the whole purpose of a smaller camera. I can't justify its weight-to-size ratio.

1 upvote
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (Jun 1, 2012)

Well the camera sure gets us all talking and thinking and maybe even realizing more about what we all really want out of cameras. Lets face it, Pentax (or any other company) could release a dozen different types (size, styles, ect.) of bodies surrounding a single sensor and there would still be people that wouldn't find something they like. For whatever their thinking is, Pentax clearly wasn't aiming this at a consumer who wanted a smaller camera (maybe they feel they did that already with the Pentax Q?)

It's probably more appealing to existing Pentax users (even though there's quite a split amongst them as well) because it works well with the old manual lenses and the newer small limiteds. I don't know whether this camera will be a one-off design, but I can say that I find it to be a useful and fun camera (imperfections and all) and to me that's what photo taking is all about.

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jun 1, 2012)

It's a grown-up's toy for a grown-up's hobby. The only difference I see is the age of the person using it.

0 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Jun 1, 2012)

I buy cameras to take pictures with them. Not to admire their beauty or impress other people with my remarkable taste and sophistication.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (May 31, 2012)

It's probably better than it looks but when I see an "O Product" like this I always wonder if the reason for the design was just to be different, to stand out, or if they felt the need to turn things over to a "designer". Either way, this approach suggests they are trying to compensate for some shortcomming. It might be a great tool, if it looks less threatening than a regular camera or it might appeal to people to go with those white sunglasses, for example.

2 upvotes
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (May 31, 2012)

History is full of failed cameras that produced spectacular images. Both Pentax and Ricoh have a long history of producing excellent cameras producing superior images. But images aside, the camera simply lacks the look and the features that will make it a seller. The design of the camera makes it the Pontiac Aztec of the photographic industry; truly ugly. The lack of an EVF, either built in or as an accessory is a deal breaker. The images from my NEX5N and OM-D (EM-5) are equally spectacular, as is the focusing speed and fps speed, and both cameras are in great demand. If this camera is an example of what we may expect from the marriage of these two fine brands ( Ricoh and Pentax), I predict that we will ultimately find them in the dustbin of photographic history.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
Nerdlinger
By Nerdlinger (May 31, 2012)

I guess you somehow missed the K-30 launch announcement? Pentax is doing just fine thank you very much.

9 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

Dustbin? Hardly. If you don't like the looks of this camera fine, but you are ignoring that Pentax has several other outstanding offerings including the 645D, K-5, and the K-30, which as it share a sensor with the K-5/K-01 will easily equal the NEX-5N as it should, and trounce the OM-D in IQ (high ISO, DR, color depth). The K-30 is higher specified and will easily outperform nearly all cameras in it's price range and even higher priced cameras like the OM-D.

5 upvotes
ikehayden
By ikehayden (May 31, 2012)

...and if we're talking design, for me, the Sony design looks a little amateurish and uninspired.......dock it with one of those monstrous lenses and you have a terrific looking boat anchor.

4 upvotes
tgutgu
By tgutgu (May 31, 2012)

The K-30 is almost as ugly as the K-30. What Pentax has to do urgently is firing it's product chief designer. Nobody buys such ugly stuff!

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

Sorry but the EM-5 does not match the K-01 nor K-5. This is one of the biggest lies being perpetrated around- that it matches APS-C. It matches *some* APS-C's and that is great! But it doesn't match the K-01. You should get hands on experience with both cameras before making that assessment.

Now, if all you do is web sized shots, then yeah. But many cameras match the EM5 that way too.

7 upvotes
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (May 31, 2012)

My comments were directed towards the lack of features and certainly not towards the quality of the product nor the image quality. This camera in terms of ergonomics, features and appearance is clearly a miss. Fortunately, the same cannot be said for Pentax's other fine cameras. But if this camera, apparently the first new design since the merger of the two companies is any sign of things to come, then I stand by my gloomy outlook for the company's survival.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (May 31, 2012)

Funny thing. Many of the newest cars (crossovers; hatchbacks; etc.) resemble that Aztec. Especially the window treatment and semi-wedge.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
chiane
By chiane (May 31, 2012)

The Nex is even uglier, and the OM-D looks like it's from 1970! Whoohoo! Is everyone in DPR like 70 years old? I don't want a tube tv, a two piece cell phone or a camera that reminds me of bell bottoms.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

@raist3d Totally agree and m43 is one of the formats I shoot. Many of the reviewers lost credibility with the claim that the OM-D equals the best of APS-C.

@others
I don't find the K-01 ugly at all. It has a Swedish, industrial modern aesthetic that I find quite elegant.

Looks aside, there's a lot of negativity directed at a camera that few of the posters have shot with. I've seen the AF Test videos on YouTube and the K-01 seems quite competent. Add a good LiveView implementation with focus peaking to a bright 920K display, and I don't see anything to complain about. I understand the desire for a real VF, but I'll still take no OVF, and rock solid IQ over a noisy, stuttering EVF with average IQ.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 31, 2012)

@marike6

Its obviuos based on RAW studio samples that Pentax cheats with the high ISO noise. Highly artificial noise structure with lost details.

APS-C is not that much bigger to make much real world difference with m4/3.

3 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 31, 2012)

@Darkshift nice trolling but even with that 'cheating' pentax still has same or more resolution than others. If APC is not that much bigger than why these m43 fanboys always telling us that in APC lenses will be significantly larger because sensor is large? Can't have both ways you know.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jun 1, 2012)

@Darkshift - the "cheating" you talk about is for ISO 3200 and above and guess what? Still gets better results which is what counts. But since you talk about "cheating" you could look at the EM5 over stated ISO.

As for: "APS-C is not that much bigger to make much real world difference with m4/3."

You are completely wrong. I am not talking theory here but practice. I have shot an Em5 side to side with a K-5. The EM5 does great- for micro four thirds. The K-5 does better and it's notable. And it goes beyond just high ISO- tonal range (14 bit RAWs vs 12 bit raws, you don't think that makes a difference?), still better noise. Zero banding (EM5 sensor starts banding coming ISO 12800 though it's still well controlled on many shots at that ISO.).

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Jun 1, 2012)

@zxaar

One thing is aspect ratio, APS-C is wider in comparison so imaging circle must be larger to get sharp corners.

If you did actually compare those RAW samples, you would notice that detailwise K-01 is shoft even at low ISO. Might be result of stronger AA-filter vs. OM-D.

1 upvote
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (May 31, 2012)

The only weird thing I can find about the review is that you have let it to somebody who isn´t familiar with Pentax gear, so a big part of this review sounds a little bit strange (like the remark of the by default "strangely" turned off distortion control - every Pentaxist knows how much this is slowing down things in Pentax cameras, as opposed to Nikon, for example). Could you please the next time "invite" somebody who knows his Pentax stuff.. :=)

4 upvotes
Sergio DS
By Sergio DS (May 31, 2012)

Actually Jeff is quite familiar with Pentax, and he is quite fond of some of the options Pentax made (The AA batteries for example) If you read carefully the review you can see that he owns quite a few lenses for Pentax cameras. I started going to his site about 10 years ago, a year before DPR (actually I found DPR becuse of him ), and I can't stress enough how professional and detailed he is in his reviews... He's already adressed that issue with Pentax cameras (I own a K-x and I rather do those corrections on the computer because of the camera lag) exactly because there doesn't seem to exist a similar problem with the Nikons, I think it's a valid point.

3 upvotes
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (May 31, 2012)

Nothing against Jeff, or his competences; but why to hell try this camera with plastic kit zooms (that aren´t in any way worse than the Nikon or Canon ones, being in the same time water-sealed) or heavy DA* lenses - the interesting thing is to use the DA and FA Limiteds on it. A pentaxist, that´s what I wanted to say, would have automatically had this reflex. As for in camera lens correction, naturally that it is a valid point, and naturally that Pentax should be up to the level of competition, but it is the way he says it, that will irritate every non-pentaxist reader.

1 upvote
jeff@dcresource
By jeff@dcresource (May 31, 2012)

I can only test cameras with the lenses that are provided to me. Pentax sends their review cameras out with the kit lens. I had asked for something nicer and they did not have anything at that time. Finally they sent me the 16-50 DA* lens, which ended up begin decentered, and worse than the kit lens 90% of the time.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 31, 2012)

Also, just for the sake of some clarification, our 'in-house' IQ samples were all shot with the Pentax 50mm macro lens, and we collaborated with Jeff on the analysis of these samples.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 1, 2012)

Why would you want a "nicer" lens than the cool little 40 2.8 KS kit lens? This lens is one of the coolest things about in this camera. I can't see shooting a bunch of zooms with this camera as Pentax primes are one of the best things about them as a brand.

0 upvotes
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (Jun 2, 2012)

Thank you very much, Jeff, for answering; I think you have understood that it wasn´t in any case against you. So, definitively, I don´t unterstand Pentax marketing, Pentax being unable to send you the DA and FA Limiteds.

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (May 31, 2012)

I strongly suggest DPReview staff to be less sarcastic, especially Mr. Britton: reader's complaints are much valuable because even if some of you think like "if you don't like don't read", in the end your salary depends on readership, even if we don't pay directly the "magazine" called DPReview.
C'mon guys, in your about page you say that the staff is made of 8 (eight!) editors, and you say you can't manage to publish 8 full reviews per month? 8 editors it's a huge staff, I'm in the publishing industry and I know that many magazines are made of far less editors, what's going on? You don't have the resources to make a single review per month per editor?
I mean, if we had 8 full review per month plus Jeff's reviews it would be great, but Jeff's reviews are published because 8 of you can't do what he do alone!

7 upvotes
Richard Franiec
By Richard Franiec (May 31, 2012)

If you look at origin of some of more demanding reviews, usually more than one person is involved in evaluation process.
It take more to run the website than just spitting up speedy, meaningless reviews, as you suggest to make the quota.
Delivering quality product takes time and patience.
DPR is constantly looking for contributors to help to distribute the load:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/25/freelancewriterswanted
Bitching always takes less effort than hard work. Maybe some of the complainers should respond to the ad and tackle the "deficiencies" and slackness for real.
I strongly agree with Mr Barney Britton. Take your (frivolous) complaints somewhere else, preferably where you have to pay to see the content. As for paying the salary of DPR staff comment I find this repeating statement incredibly offensive, beyond my sense of appreciation for the free #1 photography related website in the planet.

3 upvotes
raztec
By raztec (May 31, 2012)

These guys at DPR provide some of the most comprehensive and detailed reviews on the internet. They are very thorough and critical as well. Its' why people take their reviews so seriously.

Sure, I wish they'd do more reviews as well, but I think they need to hire more staff for that. I'm glad they don't sacrifice quality for quantity.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (May 31, 2012)

we have 3 full-time camera reviewers, not 8. Most reviews involve several of our editors and take many weeks to complete. We're constantly beating ourselves up about getting more reviews out faster, and are looking at many options. Ultimately however, what we won't do is to drop our standards, and that means there's only so much faster we can do them.

7 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (May 31, 2012)

@Izu: Presumptuous comments like yours deserve all the sarcasm they get. I'm sure the DPR staff appreciate constructive criticism from their readers, but mindless complaining from grown-up children, armchair experts and back-seat drivers isn't appreciated by anyone.

2 upvotes
increments
By increments (May 31, 2012)

@Richard Faniec

I agree with much of what you say, but (and it's a big but) I'd love to have access to the amount of feedback that DPR gets.

Sure some of it is ridiculous whining, or just baiting, but a lot of it is positive or constructive.

The readers of the site are important for the revenue stream and the notion that they shouldn't be allowed to give a negative opinion (civilly and constructively) is counter to the whole idea of having a comments section.

Most DPR staff try to answer questions or comments posted here in a really helpful manner which I appreciate a lot.

Much of the controversy about reviews seems to stem from the score and awards, which serve a commercial purpose, I'd urge people to ignore those and pay more attention to the content.

2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (May 31, 2012)

in what way do the scores and awards serve a commercial purpose?

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Jun 1, 2012)

They get you hits, because more casual readers/camera users are attracted to the idea of a quantifiable comparison.

The amount of time and effort you guys spend in comments sections downplaying the importance of the scores and awards, if they aren't improving your traffic by having them, then get rid of them and save yourselves from all the nonsense arguments.

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jun 1, 2012)

First of all i will answer to Mr. Joinson. The fact that you have only 3 full-time editors makes my comment totally wrong, and I apologize for that. I only saw 8 (actually 7, BTW) editors in your about page and that lead me to the conclusion in my comment.

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jun 1, 2012)

@Richard Franiec: think what you want, 1 month per review is plenty time, even more than enough for a compact camera. I am sorry if you feel offended by my statement, but it's true: the income of almost any website is correlated to how many readers they have, the fact that you don't pay means nothing. Actually even if you pay for a magazine and complain they can say "if you don't like just buy another", and in the end they will close.

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jun 1, 2012)

@Revenant: I like so much the kind of people that can say anything about someone just reading a comment. I like them because they are always wrong and cover themself of ridiculousness.
Maybe you should read again: I am in the publishing business, so I know probably more than you and I wrote that 8 editors are plenty to write 8 reviews per month. Ok let's say 7? You prefer 6? Ok, 6 sull reviews per month. This is a fact, not a complaint from an armchair expert.
Now that Mr. Joinson revealed that they are only 3 full-time editors it's obvious that the whole thing is different and they manage to publish A LOT: 3 full-time editors is not a big number for the ammount of reviews that they publish per month (around 4 plus previews).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Franiec
By Richard Franiec (Jun 1, 2012)

@Izu
To be successful in any enterprise is to provide great majority(!) of customers with quality product and service. DPR website ranking suggests that they are rather successful in doing so.
I'm not offended by constructive criticism and disagreement, everyone have a right to the opinion. What offends me is a chronic lack of fairness in case of some posters who jump to the conclusions often without checking the facts.

1 upvote
Izu
By Izu (Jun 1, 2012)

Richard, as you may have read I was lead to think they were 8 editors by their very own About page. I checked the facts, but the source was incomplete.
Anyway, they are successful, sure, but to say "if you don't like don't read" is not a good way to keep reader's loyalty. Again, I know this because we do a similar job and I to have to deal with readers...

0 upvotes
Richard Franiec
By Richard Franiec (Jun 1, 2012)

Izu, In retrospect I can see your point on both counts. Sometimes negativity could be overwhelming to the point when something snaps. Being in the business myself I can understand and be sympathetic to the Pavlovian reaction under some circumstances.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jun 1, 2012)

@Izu: I'm not questioning your credentials as a publishing professional, something I know nothing about, but you came across as somewhat presumptuous, since you just assumed that the DPR review process is just like any other similar site's. Even if they were 8 full-time reviewers, we don't know exactly how DPR conduct their reviews. They certainly seem to be much more thorough and thoughtful, and involve more extensive real-life use of the cameras, than most other review sites. Of course, I could be wrong.
And I apologize if I offended you with my armchair expert remark. It may not apply to you, but certainly to many others posting in these pages, possibly including myself! ;-)

0 upvotes
carlgt1
By carlgt1 (May 31, 2012)

the review (69% conclusion) seems a bit harsh considering what we've seen of IQ and a DXOMark of 80 -- all in a $749 camera? It seems easy to overlook the quirky design/ergnomics for that.

6 upvotes
tgutgu
By tgutgu (May 31, 2012)

To me 69% is even too much for this ugly brick. The camera is bulky and feels terrible in hand. The controls have one of the worst layouts, I have ever seen. The IQ can be as good as it is, with such a bad usability, it is a no go.

1 upvote
chiane
By chiane (May 31, 2012)

Did a Pentax employee run off with your wife?

4 upvotes
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (May 31, 2012)

Sorry to have to say that again: but the IQ of the posted images in the sample gallery is simply BREATHTAKING. No matter, what the flaws of tha camera are, it is, and this in jpeg, capable of some of the best real-world images I have seen lately (and especially for this prize!). So, thanks DPR to posting this!

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (May 31, 2012)

There's some VERY nice work by a Pentax SLR Forum member with this camera. I would have rather seen a "junior" K-5, brought in at a better price point. But this camera gains Pentax buzz.

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (Jun 1, 2012)

For the 'junior' K-5 you are after, check out the new K-30.

0 upvotes
cheenachatze
By cheenachatze (May 31, 2012)

DPReview always pride themselves that image quality comes first. And yet, the conclusion to this review, clearly ignores that. How can this camera be rated so low, and the Fuji X100 receive a silver award? I think that if this camera would have been reviewed in-house, it would have been rated much higher.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
7 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 31, 2012)

We worked with this review with Jeff - you'll see the joint byline. We were in touch during the period when he was working with the camera, we shot and incorporated our own samples for this expanded review, and I edited the whole thing and stand by our joint conclusions.

A 100% 'in-house' review would not have been significantly different in tone or findings. But it would have taken much longer to complete.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

Cheenachatze makes a good point. With this review, it seems to me Jeff Keller drew various conclusions and DPR ran with them. A more organic, from the ground-up DPR review would have been must preferred. Haven't yet used the K-01, but the small number of "Cons" and the outstanding IQ do not describe a "C" grade. If Olympus had made such a pancake lens as the 40 2.8 KS, DPR would have invented a Platinum award. If Keller had an issue with his copy of the lens, he probably should have waited for a new one to complete his review.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 31, 2012)

If you read the review you'll discover that Jeff had more than one issue with more than one copy of more than one lens (and camera).

As for the 40mm pancake, it's existence/performance have no bearing on this review of a camera. Saying we'd give it a platinum award if it were made by someone other than Pentax is misguided in the extreme.

5 upvotes
sunhorse
By sunhorse (May 31, 2012)

@cheenachatze. This is what happens when you skip the review and go straight to the conclusion. You've missed the various problems with the camera bodies and lenses. DPR would be doing a disservice to its readers if it overlooked the QA problems of this camera. No matter how good the sensor is, poor QA cannot compensate for it. Decentered lenses, especially high-end DA lenses are not acceptable.

0 upvotes
cheenachatze
By cheenachatze (Jun 1, 2012)

FYI I read the original review at DCResource as well as this one. There are plenty of cameras that suffer from poor quality control, and yet manage to get endorsement from DPreview - Canon S100 for one.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jun 1, 2012)

@cheenachatze - we went to extraordinary lengths to pin down the issues we had with the S100s we used but it's not a very good comparison. The K-01 is an interchangeable lens camera, so lens QC issues mean something rather different when you can... change lenses.

1 upvote
tesch
By tesch (May 31, 2012)

No Viewfinder?

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (May 31, 2012)

Yeah... and no provision for an external EVF, too.

3 upvotes
chiane
By chiane (May 31, 2012)

Oh the humanity!

1 upvote
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (May 31, 2012)

Damn, I just noticed that my iPhone has no viewfinder either!

1 upvote
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (May 31, 2012)

Here's the thing though, Pentax already makes some of the smallest DSLR cameras out there. Because of the native K-mount, they can only make it so small (personally I don't care for the Sony NEX thin body with a honkin' lens hanging off it... others will disagree.) If they had stuck a viewfinder on the K-01, it would be the same size as a DSLR, so what would be the point? Some could argue for that reason maybe it shouldn't have been made, but I think to concentrate on the lack of VF/EVF misses the point. Some people swear they won't use a camera without a viewfinder and this camera isn't for them.

As someone who has tried a K-01, I can say that it is actually a pretty fun camera to use and the photos compare very well (if not better at times) to my K-5. I admit that this camera requires a bit more of an "open mind" but just because it doesn't conform to rigid camera ideology doesn't mean it is an any less capable image-making device.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 31, 2012)

It is not so much that it is a recycled review but one that had some obvious out of the ordinary issues. As a result, the original is tainted and should not have been chosen to be reused.

DPR also admits it is the only review of a serious camera to be outsourced. Why make an exception and then use a flawed review as that exception.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Richard Franiec
By Richard Franiec (May 31, 2012)

Since 30 April DPR reviewed total of 6 cameras including very detailed and labor intense reviews of two professional cameras from Nikon and Canon. At the same timeframe they also previewed 4 cameras.
I think this is a lot for one month span.
Jeff Keller is a very thoughtful and well regarded reviewer. His insight combined with technical side of the review provided by DPR makes a great combo resulting in this particular review being presented in a timely fashion.
Every review, no matter who has done it, will be received as great or flawed depending on reader opinion. Personally, I dont think that K-01 review is more flawed than any other review but this only reflects my opinion.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (May 31, 2012)

Richard, they are 8 editors, 6 full reviews in 2 months is not that much IMHO, just normal.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 31, 2012)

There are three full-time reviewers and a reviews editor. The 'About' page needs to be updated.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 31, 2012)

...and has now been updated.

http://www.dpreview.com/misc/about.asp

1 upvote
mgm2
By mgm2 (May 31, 2012)

"Pentax’s new mirrorless compact system camera has edged out 4,500 applicants from 58 countries for the honor. The judging criteria ranged from innovation, ergonomics, functionality, durability and ecological compatibility – the consensus being that the K-o1’s design excelled in each facet for the “Entertainment Technology and Cameras” category." Say what you want about the design and looks. The folks at Red Dot obviously like it.

1 upvote
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (May 31, 2012)

The only positive side about the design I could think of is its originality.

5 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 31, 2012)

So, there is absolutely no reason for anybody to buy it over K-30. The price should have been half.

On the other hand, I do not mind larger and heavier body than other APS-C mirrorless. If you are going to use APS-C lenses, you might as well have a body which balances better with them, both in the hands and on a tripod. Look how unbalanced NEX-C3 or NX1000 with their lenses are, especially in the tele range, like a lens with LCD attached to it's back, except tripod mount is for some reason placed in the LCD. :)

To be in balance with Pana G3 or Oly E-M5-sized body, you need m43-sized lenses. And for even smaller, "compact-sized" bodies Nikon One-sized lenses would be actually even better (if there were any good).

4 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (May 31, 2012)

Would have liked to have seen a rear LCD that flipped down to the horizontal. Would make for great waist-level viewing. None of the OEMs are really thinking outside the box on how to expand the power of the traditional SLR form and mount.

1 upvote
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (May 31, 2012)

This thing is ugly! That's what happens when crazy designers put their hand on a camera. I prefer when they spend time designing garden furnitures.

5 upvotes
z9z9z9z9
By z9z9z9z9 (May 31, 2012)

The most important thing I got from this article, and my only real reason for reading it: the image quality on the K-30 is going to be excellent!

3 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (May 31, 2012)

The person below said it best: This is a new digital back for your Pentax lenses.
Pentax lenses are quietly awesome for actual picture taking and often less expensive than their equivalents from Canon and Nikon—especially used. So what's not to love? Plus the bodies come in fun colors that will provoke natural smiles from your subjects.
People get too worked up about camera bodies—they're such an insignificant part of the imaging chain nowadays—the focus needs to be on composition, lenses, software, and lighting.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (May 31, 2012)

You still (mostly) have to hold a camera body to take photos, the problem with the K-01 is not just the size, but many controls are awkward to reach which makes using the camera (other than in fully auto mode) more painful than it should be.

2 upvotes
ikehayden
By ikehayden (May 31, 2012)

Have you held one?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 31, 2012)

I have, and I agree with Andy entirely.

6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 31, 2012)

Aren't all DSLRs digital backs, too? Why should we care about this one?

0 upvotes
ikehayden
By ikehayden (May 31, 2012)

I had an istDS......I have a K20D.......I have a K-01. Holding and operating a K-01 is not "painful" for me. Fabulous camera and shooting experience.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

@Richard- and I have too and I can say that other than the green button, I think the ergonomics are actually pretty decent. Where I think Pentax completely failed was the rubber door. That to me is the #1 problem in its design.

I would even say the K-01 has *much better ergonomics* than some other cameras out there, for a photographer (yes, Sony, I am looking at you with your Nex, Nex-7 exempted).

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
1 upvote
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (May 31, 2012)

I own one and don't find ergonomics to be an issue. The rubber door takes more effort than a solid plastic door would, but (at least on mine) it closes flush with the camera body. Another person suggested an articulating screen and I would agree that would be a nice addition.

1 upvote
Total comments: 358
123