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Pentax K-01 studio test shots published

By dpreview staff on May 3, 2012 at 00:35 GMT

Just posted: Pentax K-01 studio sample shots. We're in the process of running a production K-01 through our studio tests, so wanted to present the results of our standard test scene. The K-01 fits a lot of the excellent K-5 into a somewhat avant-garde mirrorless body. Retaining a similar 16MP APS-C sensor to the K-5, we expect great things from it, in terms of image quality, so does it live up to those expectations?

These test shots are also available from other reviews and the standalone tool, which can be accessed via the 'Review Comparison Tool' link in the Reviews menu on any page of the site.

We've replaced the Raw shots from the K-01, having discovered an error in the Noise Reduction settings used to originally process them. We apologise for the mistake and any confusion caused.

 Click here to see the samples as part of our preview
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Comments

Total comments: 146
ronniemac
By ronniemac (May 8, 2012)

'The Pentax K-01 compact system camera has been selected as a Product Design 2012 winner at this year’s red dot design awards in Germany. The award – the red dot – has established itself internationally as one of the most appreciated quality seals for outstanding designs'.
Clearly we are not all agreed on what constitutes good design, but I for one, really like it.

1 upvote
szlevi
By szlevi (May 22, 2012)

But then again, Germans - they like scat p0rn too...

0 upvotes
tessl8d
By tessl8d (May 7, 2012)

The black and silver K01 is a really cool looking camera, I want one to back up my K5. The image quality is great and the focus peaking function will give me an edge with all my sensational old Pentax glass. ;)

2 upvotes
szlevi
By szlevi (May 6, 2012)

WOW, that's one really BUTT-UGLY camera... not retro, not modern, just plain UGLY.
Seriously: did someone really get paid for designing this awful-looking crap or is it just the CEO's dumb cousin who needs some credits to show his 'artistic talent'?

1 upvote
Valentinian
By Valentinian (May 5, 2012)

DPreview wrote: "the K-01 is a contrast-detect camera in a system designed for phase-detection autofocus, a combination that has rarely resulted in great AF speed".
Nikon has a sensor capable of phase-detection AF. Will Nikon make a mirrorless camera like this Pentax K-01, except that it would use phase-detection AF, so that it could mount the existing Nikon lenses, and have a fast AF?
How long before they will get the idea? (or, maybe are they working already on it?)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (May 5, 2012)

Perhaps the Nikon sensor is only feasible in the Nikon 1 sized sensor? Pentax could also go the semi transparent mirror idea that Sony uses. The fact they didn't means they designed this from the ground up thinking it would ideal for manual focus lenses that people have (they did include focus peaking)...or the other options were not really options for one reason or another. If manual focus was their plan, I can't believe they didn't plan on an EVF option.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 5, 2012)

bcalkins:

Um, that semi-transparent mirror impedes light and makes low light work more difficult; it's only a neat trick up to about ISO 1600.
No matter what Sony claims.

As for phase detection, perhaps Fuji doesn't want to build that kind of sensor and then sell it to Ricoh-Pentax for use in the competition. And this K-01 is definitely competition for the X Pro1.

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 6, 2012)

But doesn't phase detection require another sensor which is not the image sensor itself?

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (May 6, 2012)

@Alizarine
DSLRs and SLTs have a separate AF sensor, but it's possible to build phase detection sensors into the image sensor. Fuji uses that technology in some of their compacts, and Nikon in the J1/V1.

@HowaboutRAW
Fuji isn't the only company with that kind of technology. The Nikon 1 sensors are manufactured by Aptina, who certainly would make such sensors for anyone willing to pay. Of course, the specific sensor design used by Nikon is probably a Nikon patent, and not available to anyone else.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sergio DS
By Sergio DS (May 4, 2012)

Pentax has an amazing RAW (and JPEG has a matter of fact) engine on their cameras since the K-x (and switch to sony sensors), but after seeing the level of detail the new 24MP sensors are capable of, I won't be cashing in for anything less (High ISO can bite me, I seldom go anywhere north of ISO 1600...)
Regarding the K-01, I think Pentax didn't went far enough (I actually like the looks of it), If the point was making am entire different camera they could've gone for a cube look or something like a cross between a video cam and a Lytro... Not having a swivel screen on a non OVF cam is a deal-breaker, they could've capture a huge following if they just tried to make a more forward thinking video/stills camera, and leaving room on their line up for a conventional K-r successor...

4 upvotes
Valentinian
By Valentinian (May 4, 2012)

what is the advantage this Pentax mirrorless camera has over the Pentax DSLRs ???

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (May 4, 2012)

Yes, it has one advantage.... It looks like a baby toy.
You can share this toy with your baby.

0 upvotes
Essai
By Essai (May 4, 2012)

@Velentinian

None

0 upvotes
joshh4000
By joshh4000 (May 4, 2012)

i guess iq and video capabilities.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 4, 2012)

Weight. Size. Price. I guess reliability should be better too with fewer parts.
It was not a bad choice to reuse the same lens system as in their DSLRs compared to Sony/Samsung/Fuji trying to build new systems from scratch, with no advantages in terms of size and weight (as they have to cover the same-size sensors). The advantage for customers is apparent: their first mirrorless body, and the system is bigger than any other mirrorless system already. Plus if you are their DSLR customer, you don't have to re-buy all the glass again or try to work through adapters which are never really satisfying. Milking the customers for all-new glass would be probably more profitable though, in the off-chance they all would not leave for m43/Nikon 1/whatever.

1 upvote
Camp Freddy
By Camp Freddy (May 4, 2012)

they have seen the future and it is mirrorles. toe in the water and educating their rather small audience of loyal buyers into the shape of non whippy-uppy things to come imho

2 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (May 5, 2012)

simple, no mirror shake let you capture better lowlight shots, combined with high iso capability and high iq 35mm lenses made this baby a powerfull "image toy". the advantage of range finder is no the size, it se smooth shutter they have, excellent for night shooting. on other hands inside space let design more compact lens that extence optics to the inside.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (May 7, 2012)

@peevee1 Using a new shallow lens mount has a huge size advantage over legacy DSLR mounts, most mirrorless cameras with a fast pancake prime mounted virtually fit inside the space that the K01 body takes up alone, and wide angle retrofocal DSLR lenses are much larger with worse IQ.

What's wrong with having an adapter? Then you get the best of both worlds, access to all legacy lenses plus new compact lenses.

There is also the problem that, size aside, the ergonomics of the camera are terrible (the mode dial being impossible to use with one hand etc), I'm not sure Marc Newson knows much about cameras...

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 7, 2012)

"Using a new shallow lens mount has a huge size advantage over legacy DSLR mounts"

Size advantage for the bodies, but not for the lenses. And there is no point of making bodies too small/light in comparison to the lenses, it just makes the whole system unbalanced in the hands or on a tripod.

Ergonomics is a totally separate subject, but it should be understood that k-01 is not in the class of NEX-7/E-M5/X-Pro 1, it is one notch down for mostly P&S operation.

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

"Size advantage for the bodies, but not for the lenses. "

Any lens under 40mm benefits greatly from a shorter lens mount because the lens no-longer has to be so retrofocal, just look at the difference between the Panasonic 4/3rds 25mm f1.4 and the m4/3 25mm f1.4, as well as how small the 14mm f2.5 and 20mm f1.7 lens is compared to similar DSLR lenses.

Perhaps you're just thinking of the large Sony E-mount lenses?

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 4, 2012)

Nice at low ISO, but the noise structure at high ISO looks extremely "cooked" and unpleasent to my eyes. There seems to serious raw processing in use.

I wouldn't use this camera to get B&W film grain look.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (May 4, 2012)

These test show clearly the K-01 as the pinnacle of IQ for a mirror-less camera, equal or better than most APS-C DSLRs. The two Fujis, X-Pro1 and X100, NEX-7 and now the K-01 are as good as it gets IQ-wise in this class of camera.

4 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (May 4, 2012)

Each X-Pro1's sample I saw had a brownish color cast

1 upvote
lensberg
By lensberg (May 5, 2012)

Quite frankly i think that both Fujifilm's X-Pro 1 & X100 are grossly exaggerated... I mean don't get me wrong, they're both very good... which should be able to satisfy even the most discerning of critics... but definitely nothing "class leading" about either of them...

In JPEG, the Sony NEX 5N is the epitome of IQ excellence... When it comes to RAW... despite the fact that Pentax does manipulate the final output... i'd still say its an extremely close contest between Pentax, Canon, Nikon & Sony... with none of them being significantly better than the other...

4 upvotes
peterpainter
By peterpainter (May 4, 2012)

Sadly, having read reviews elswhere, I must admit that I've already made up my mind on this one. If they are to be believed (and why not?) the killer for me (well, lack of EVF apart) is 'noisy, slow autofocus.'
Such a shame. Still, it may not be a problem for everyone, and just maybe DPR will see things differently.....

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Mayank B
By Mayank B (May 4, 2012)

Drool!

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mugundhan
By Mugundhan (May 4, 2012)

Any comments from dpreview team regarding shot-shot speed (assuming instant review is turned off)? I dont have any hopes on tracking as none of the CDAF cameras do a good job on that
If K-01 can shoot similar to LX-5 in terms of operational speed, K-01 will be a decent package compared to NEX/ M43 given the APS-C sensor quality, smaller compact primes availability

1 upvote
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 4, 2012)

"Oops," says DPR. Just a minor error in methodology. The funny thing is that even after correcting the error, the K-01 raw files still look cleaner and sharper than those from the K-5 and Nex 5N. Also better than the OM-D's, but not by much up to ISO 1600.

I would be pleased if Pentax were to put this sensor with 14bit processing and some AF improvements into a K-5S. Very pleased, indeed.

Rob

4 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 4, 2012)

Pentax is still applying more RAW NR to files. More than K-5. See dxomark

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (May 4, 2012)

Yup.
But in fairness I don't see any additional loss of detail, (compared to the K-5), so they appear to have improved the NR algorithm without impacting on IQ.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (May 3, 2012)

Let me add my vote to the beauty contest too: E-M5 + the hump - ugly; K-01 - OK.

And now that I got it off my chest: I do not buy camera to look at it.

K-01 is interesting in a way: with minimalistic controls it is definitely somewhat retro in its appeal to basics. But they have managed to resurrect the poor ergonomics (aka: no grip and heavy body) of the retro cameras too. That IMO is a step backward in the wrong direction: it is a great deal to me that many modern mirrorless cameras can be operated mostly with one hand.

Pentax has experience in manufacturing pancake lenses, so not all is lost - to the fans. I personally do see myself buying a large camera of that type. Two niches interest me at the moment: bit largish DSLR for big lenses/OVF/swivel LCD and smallish always-with-me walk-around camera with a pancake.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (May 3, 2012)

I give up on dpreview ... wheres the new NEX-CF3 news???

I get all my camera news from Engadget now ... shame on dpreview, oh how the site has changed!

(Sorry for posting here ... but where else?)

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 3, 2012)

Dpreview has always had a policy of not reporting on cameras before they're released. Sony hasn't released a camera called the NEX-CF3, so we haven't reported on it.

10 upvotes
openskyline
By openskyline (May 3, 2012)

But dpreview did report the RUMOR CAMERA recently , please check again

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 3, 2012)

"shame on dpreview" for honouring embargos and thereby maintaining strong and mutually trusting relationships with manufacturers.

Riiight...

17 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (May 4, 2012)

"strong and mutually trusting relationships with manufacturers"? lol, is that supposed to clarify your independence and trustworthiness?

4 upvotes
thewhitehawk
By thewhitehawk (May 4, 2012)

@ageha: all serious publishers follow embargos, they are contractually obligated to do so in order to maintain a good relationship with the brands whose products they cover.

Only blogs who want brief moments of spotlight break embargos. If you trust someone who breaks contracts more than you do someone that follows them, then you should have your head examined.

6 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (May 4, 2012)

The NEX-CF3 is clearly out there; and this has been reported by various other non camera specific sites. Its a shame then that dpreview don't have the gravitas/relationship with Sony to run a feature. As for dp's policy of not reporting on non released camera's:

a) since when (that hasn't been the case in the past)
b) maybe you should change this stance if you want to be taken seriously in the photographic world. It hardly gives the site credibility when it reports on things weeks after non camera related sites have told all

Can anyone recommend other camera sites that do report on future releases ... don't know about anyone else but I like the rumour stuff and its most helpful (especially to Panasonic buyers who find a new model released 1 week after buying the latest model!)

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (May 4, 2012)

DPR doesn't run features on new cameras before the official announcement, and they never have done so in the past either. The new NEX hasn't been announced yet, and therefore they haven't written about it. That's why they ARE taken seriously in the photographic world, as opposed to all the rumour sites and non-camera specific sites.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (May 5, 2012)

@ chadley_chad: Stop your trolling here and go, fly a kite on one of those other sites you are obviously so enamored with.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (May 5, 2012)

The NEX HAS been announced; so I suggest you quit your trolling insults (I've been commenting on here long before you came to the site!) and stfu! I'm in the 'photographic' world and I no longer consider dpreview to be taken seriously .... This being the perfect example where dp don't ave the quodos with Sony ... and instead fill their pages with iPhone app reviews instead of reporting on what's new in the world of photography (released or not!) I know all about the NEX now, courtesy of other (non photographic!) sites ... Which was my point. If idiots like Francis don't like that then I won't loose any sleep!!!!

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (May 6, 2012)

Actually, the NEX-F3 has NOT been announced yet. The announcement is expected to be made on May 17, together with the SLT-A37. Leaked specs are not the same as an official announcement.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (May 7, 2012)

Actually, the NEX-CF3 HAS been announced - to resellers not the public though. Either way, it exists and as per my first coment, it's poor that a dedicated camera website can't even make mention of it (qualified rumour or not!) whereas other non photo sites have ... Point made!

1 upvote
cbran
By cbran (May 3, 2012)

The lack of chroma noise in the K-01 sample is mysterious. My guess, based on importing both the K-01 and OM-D files into LR4, is that they simply forgot to check that the ACR Color NR slider was set to 0 for the K-01.

To see how the high ISO capabilities stack up in the "real world", I imported both the K-01 and OM-D ISO 6400 RAW files into LR4. With the Color NR sliders set to 0, both samples had lots of chroma noise. With the following settings, the two files look essentially identical in terms of both noise AND detail:

K-01: Color NR +25, Contrast +10
OM-D: Color NR +25, Luminance NR +25

I think the take-home lessons for me are (1) that the OM-D is completely on par with the very good high ISOs of the K-01 (and, indeed, with the best APS-C sensors in general) and (2) that the best RAW comparisons are to be made in LR4 itself with Color NR at default (i.e. +25), not in the DPR Comparison Tool where there is no option to compare the RAW files with chroma noise reduced.

5 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 3, 2012)

Chroma NR is sometimes dangerous because real color detail may be lost, especially on red channel. Better to turn it off for comparison.

0 upvotes
cbran
By cbran (May 3, 2012)

I simply want the OPTION to see the RAW files compared with Chroma NR set to the default +25 (in addition to seeing the RAW files in all their color-blob glory).

1 upvote
pbrooks100
By pbrooks100 (May 3, 2012)

If they had used a M43 sensor and made the unit 1/2 as thick I think it could have been a contender.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 3, 2012)

Naw. To be a real "contendah" the m4/3 would have to be able to use legacy "champ" Pentax lenses without a special (and space using) adapter. Those lenses will fit on the K-01 as easily as (boxing) gloves.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

Cy Cheze, the Pentax-to-m43 adapter is no thicker than K-01. :)

But the lack of camera communication, like need to set focal length manually so IBIS would work (imagine it with a zoom!), makes their use inconvenient.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 4, 2012)

peevee1 the pentax-to-m43 adapter costs money. That increases the cost of system. If it were free they may be comparable as solution.

2 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (May 3, 2012)

I really fail to see how people look at the DPReview samples and make such clear cut statements about one camera being clearly superior than another. I can see differences between cameras, to be sure, but to go from those minor differences to declaring a winner is to completely eliminate the photographer and the rest of the photographic process. These studio tests are useful to get a rough idea of comparative performance, but they are well lit shots taken at one aperture with what usually amounts to the best lens in the system, stopped down.

These samples are a thin slice of what you can expect from a camera system with different lenses, in different lighting conditions, with different subjects. A useful slice, but not defining.

This camera won't move me away from MFT, but it seems like a useful option for people with a stable of Pentax lenses. If it makes Pentax owners happy, great!

11 upvotes
VadymA
By VadymA (May 3, 2012)

Every time I look at DPR studio shots of mirorless cameras I find myself reaching the same conclusion again and again - "Nothing can beat NEX5/7 in IQ". Maybe DPR should "politely" exclude NEX from the comparoson ;0)

3 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (May 3, 2012)

ha, ha, ha - they dream

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (May 3, 2012)

You might be stuck on something, Vadyma. Look at the blue Volkswagen in the studio with NEX-7 and you will see a sea of color artifacts. With JPEGs, raw, low/hi ISO. I think it pukey, and can only imagine how cars with other colors get sick looking through NEX-7, and to what extent this can be seen directly and what just subconsciously.

(I only have one Sony product, a PC -- good but not great.)

8 upvotes
StephanSchmidt
By StephanSchmidt (May 3, 2012)

I like the K-01 look and the really small pencake.

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (May 3, 2012)

Yes, pencakes are nice.

1 upvote
ronniemac
By ronniemac (May 4, 2012)

"I like the K-01 look and the really small pencake" - That's two of us!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
riveredger
By riveredger (May 3, 2012)

Nice IQ. Better than the OM-D to my eye, and cheaper too. If only it had an EVF . . .

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 3, 2012)

get a detachable LCD Viewfinder, and you have one.

http://www.amazon.com/GGS-Hoodeye-Foldable-Viewfinder-Magnification/dp/B004HD3G6Q

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
TheChefs
By TheChefs (May 4, 2012)

I agree, OM-D has lots of noise at iso200. Also the colours look quiet flat at higher iso. I'm talking RAW here. Take a look at the Kodak colour graph and the lighter colours, especially reds are hard to separate. Too many people focus at high iso performance and they forget to take a look at low iso.

0 upvotes
ljmac
By ljmac (May 3, 2012)

The lens on the Pentax is quite soft on the right side - compare the feathers to the E-M5, for example. Still, the ZD50 is one of the sharpest lenses on the planet, and 4/3rds lenses do maintain their sharpness better across the frame.

The Pentax does look cleaner than the E-M5, but it appears Pentax is using RAW NR.

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 5, 2012)

You may want to consider a potential DOF issue, I can tell you that lens is pretty sharp too (tried both versions and currently own the DA 40mm Ltd).

The counter part to the ZD50 seems to be the FA 100 WR F2.8 who also maintains its sharp very very well.

It is true Pentax does some RAW NR coming ISo 3200, but it's also true the sensor it has is still better than the EM5's.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (May 3, 2012)

Not working:

In FF12, WinXP64, the studio widget does not show in the K01 preview.

It's fine in Chrome

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
K_Photo_Teach
By K_Photo_Teach (May 3, 2012)

Doesnt work in Windows 7 64bit with Firefox 12
Works in Internet Explorer 9 though

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (May 3, 2012)

Fine for me, Win7 64 and Pale Moon (customized FF browser).

0 upvotes
peterpainter
By peterpainter (May 3, 2012)

Works OK on IE but not Firefox for me also - W Vista 32bit SP2.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (May 3, 2012)

Solved (partially): DPR studio widget interacts badly with FF's cache system. After I reloaded page with shift-F5 (bypassing cache) it work fine.

1 upvote
morganb
By morganb (May 3, 2012)

its not working in chrome19 for me. xp32bit

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 3, 2012)

Who's seriously still using XP64 in 2012?

1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (May 3, 2012)

Image quality of OM-D is much better than this K-01.

2 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (May 3, 2012)

Thats just not true.

I know the OMD has been well received but lets put it into perspective. It is not a giant killer.

As a K5 owner, I know that this 16mp sensor is capable of great results. Better than anything I have seen from the OMD yet.

But that is not to put down the Olympus. It is a terrific camera, but to generalise that the Oly is "much better" just does not stack up.

19 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (May 3, 2012)

Compare them in RAW and you will see how the K-01 have better results than the OMD5. It´s also known that while the Olympus screen says ISO 200 the true ISO it use is 150, so the comparison could be no equal on JPEG. Any way, the Olympus to be an excelent camera, but for usd500 more than the Pentax.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

Pentax obviously does heavy NR in RAW, at least in the chroma channel. There is no point to compare it to others, who do not (Sony does too BTW).

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (May 3, 2012)

waxwaine, every camera manufacturer cheats on ISO value, not just Olympus. «The ISO sensitivity test allows a certain latitude, so for example a Nikon D4 set for ISO 204,800 is actually shooting at 139,250, according to DxO's tests, and a Pentax K-01 set for ISO 3,200 actually is shooting at ISO 2,724. Pentax's ISO setting might give the camera an edge in a comparison to a rival's ISO 3,200 performance, since the Pentax is actually shooting at a lower ISO with lower noise. But at the same time, other camera makers could be playing the same game...» That's a quote from this article: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57415777-76/how-dxo-labs-tests-hot-cameras-like-canons-latest-slr/

8 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (May 3, 2012)

IS THAT TRUE?!?! wow....

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 3, 2012)

At the end of the day will we see a difference at 11x14 or 16x20?

2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (May 3, 2012)

Photomonkey, that's pertinent. I own an Olympus E-P1, which is considered obsolete and noisy by many. Last March, however, I ordered my first prints, 30 X 40 cm prints of five photos I selected, two of them in B/W with lots of shadows and high contrast, one taken in late evening light with a tripod. They're near-perfect. No noise whatsoever, lots of resolution and fine detail. People overestimate high ISO importance. At the end of the day, the print is the ultimate test to a camera's quality.
@audijam: not sure you mean to be sarcastic or not, but anyway the article is there for you to read it and take your own conclusions.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (May 3, 2012)

Read this post from Andy Westlake:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=41407104

1 upvote
VJVIS
By VJVIS (May 3, 2012)

@Edmond, VadymA, don't know where you are getting your idea. Past ISO3200 K-01 is cleaner AND is retaining more detail (or at least the same amount).
@peevee1, the image IQ is always a balance between NR and retention of detail. Even though pentax is doing NR, it is able to retain as much or more detail than competitors past ISO3200. Yes, I would like to do the NR myself, but I think K-01 definitely is the best based on these comparisons. But as photmonkey pointed out are we really going to see a difference in real life shooting, especially if you are not printing poster size, and if you are printing poster size, you wouldn't be using an image shot at anything over 200ISO anyways, and at the ISO even at a pixel level (assuming you are using a lens with exact same IQ) it will be impossible to tell a difference among all these cameras. more in the next post below

0 upvotes
VJVIS
By VJVIS (May 3, 2012)

Played with the K-01 yesterday. Have to say there is absolutely no size advantage, the looks, well it is just a big BOX. I don't care if a camera does not look like a traditional SLR, but THIS, it was just plain ugly (the black version). Another thing is that the AF is pretty slow compared to a regular SLR, or any of the panasonic, olympus or Sony mirrorless competitors. Sticking with my GH2 for now and waiting for GH3.

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (May 3, 2012)

no!

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

WOW, this quote from cnet was lifted directly from one of my comments on dpreview. :) :) :)

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

@VJVIS :"@peevee1, the image IQ is always a balance between NR and retention of detail. Even though pentax is doing NR, it is able to retain as much or more detail than competitors past ISO3200. Yes, I would like to do the NR myself, but I think K-01 definitely is the best based on these comparisons. "

How do you figure that? After everybody (not only Pentax) did their magic, i.e. in JPEG, it is E-M5 who is actually cleaner. Look at 12800, say, the watch at the lower right corner. Number "15" in the date window is not visible on K-01's sample anymore, while still perfectly readable on E-M5's.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

So, from Andy Westlake: "Sorry, this is because the ACR processing settings are incorrect for those samples, and chroma NR hasn't been turned to a minimum. "

As always, so called "raw" tests are tests of ACR and its operator rather than the test of the camera. Even at the same settings, what are the optimal settings for one camera will be suboptimal for another, and testing of suboptimal settings is meaningless as it is not reflective of the final product of the creation of the picture (JPEG sent to printer or displayed on a website).

0 upvotes
VJVIS
By VJVIS (May 3, 2012)

@peevee1, you are right, at 12800 both EM5 and Nex-5n are more contrasty, so I guess they are the best. Still goes back to, will you see this difference in real life prints.

RAW comparison has to be done because all camera companies (with the exception of Olympus) suck at in -camera jpeg processing and it never gives a true indication of how good a sensor is. I hear you that the RAW setting have to be properly set, in fact dpreview states that they turn off the Auto setting as they know ACR tends to process images differently for different camera companies.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (May 3, 2012)

Either Dpreview forgot to turn off default chroma NR in ACR, or Pentax now officially cooks its RAW files at all ISO's and more than ever, rather than the previous smoothing that kicked inp above ISO 1600.
If the latter, it seems to have fooled atleast a few people already, into thinking it's producing better RAW files.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (May 3, 2012)

Checked the Imaging Resource samples and they show plenty chroma noise, despite the usual smoothing at high ISO. Which can only mean Dpreview forgot to turn off the default NR in ACR where they do for other cameras.....

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
K_Photo_Teach
By K_Photo_Teach (May 3, 2012)

I cannot see any of the photos? Is it just me ?

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (May 3, 2012)

There have been ugly cameras in the past, but this one really does take the cake. Others may say what they like about "absolute image quality," and it's not bad in that regard, but if the absolute in image quality came with a Fisher Price badge on it I'm pretty sure I'd not be the only one to shy away. Or "My First Sony" actually seems most fitting, looks a lot like my cassette deck @ 6 years old.

4 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 3, 2012)

Others would say that its not ugly at all. You are no-one to decide whether this camera is ugly or good looking. Nobody asked for your certificate.

15 upvotes
jkokich
By jkokich (May 3, 2012)

zxaar, ryansholl has every right to decide it's ugly, just as you have every right to decide it's not. What you don't have is the right to tell him he doesn't have the right. Nobody asked for your certificate, either, but this forum gives you the right to voice your opinion, just like ryansholl, me and everyone else.

21 upvotes
familyogre
By familyogre (May 3, 2012)

Whilst it certainly looks rather odd with that 40mm lens on, it looks much better with a more traditional lens attached

http://i47. photobucket.com/albums/f197/leopold44/__IGP6909lower.jpg

2 upvotes
tessl8d
By tessl8d (May 3, 2012)

@Familyogre: The yellow ones with 40mm look toyish, but the black and silver with SMC or limited lenses look great. If it had a swivel screen and weather proofing I'd buy one. They should do that with the next model.

2 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (May 3, 2012)

Yes, but this one's designed by Alfred E. Neumann. I think that's what it said.

0 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 3, 2012)

@jkokich, who is he??? He can only decide for himself. No-one appointed him to decide for everyone.

2 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (May 3, 2012)

"looks a lot like my cassette deck @ 6 years old." - ryansholl

It's a simple rule - if you think it looks like a toy, you're too old for the target demographic.

Inversely, if you think the new Olympus and Fujis look like they're from a deceased estate sale, you're too young for them. ;)

1 upvote
nawknai
By nawknai (May 3, 2012)

This camera is ugly.

Then I saw it in person, and I thought to myself, "Ugly....and big!?"

1 upvote
MP Burke
By MP Burke (May 3, 2012)

Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. I saw one of these on sale yesterday and I think it's ugly too. I think it looks boxy and mis-shapen when compared to other mirrorless cameras. The decision by Pentax to use the same flange back distance as their slrs is the reason for the shape.
This decision is a double-edged sword: while it allows Pentax lenses to be used without an adaptor, it completely prevents compatibility with a wide range of other lenses for L39 and M mount which can be used with other mirrorless cameras.

0 upvotes
chiane
By chiane (May 3, 2012)

Let me guess, you eat dinner at 4:30 for the blue hair special?

0 upvotes
familyogre
By familyogre (May 3, 2012)

I think there is a lot to like about the K-01 but it doesnt quite cut it for me.Ii think the k-02 (or whatever they call it) will be the one to get.

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (May 3, 2012)

Maybe if you take a 2012 Cadillac to the 50s, people should say that it´s boxy, squarish and with no back wings at all looks like a very rare car.
Old sad people think that new things must be as they knew.
As a designer I can tell you is the most interesting and beautiful design I ever seen since Hasselblad 500s. Specially yellow one, I want it so bad.

0 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (May 3, 2012)

I really like the way it looks - largeness aside. My main issue is the lack of an articulating screen which, on a cam without an EVF, is unforgivable. As a result Oly got my money for the E-M5 even though I own a K5...

0 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (May 3, 2012)

Come on, the thing IS ugly. Att least now we know it's got its brains going for it

0 upvotes
rohorn
By rohorn (May 3, 2012)

A camera with snob repellent styling? I like that.

0 upvotes
ronniemac
By ronniemac (May 4, 2012)

The Pentax K-01 compact system camera has been selected as a Product Design 2012 winner at this year’s red dot design awards in Germany. The award – the red dot – has established itself internationally as one of the most appreciated quality seals for outstanding designs. Clearly we are not all agreed on what constitutes good design, but I for one, really like it.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (May 3, 2012)

I really like the way the high iso raw files look.

The high iso jpegs are awful. They shouldn't have reduced noise any more from what they did in the raw.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (May 3, 2012)

Thic camera CHEATS, you can't reduce noise in RAW and still call it RAW.

3 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (May 3, 2012)

The more measurebators obsess about RAW, the more manufacturers will precook RAWS. Next people will like how one camera performs in RAW vs another with buffer and FPS, and soon they will start throwing away mostly useless data or applying just a slight bit of compression, etc. Soon RAW will be the next jpeg!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 43 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (May 3, 2012)

This isn't new.... Both Sony and Nikon have been doing it for a while to their raw files. Nikon uses NIK software in their cameras since 2006, and Sony has their own proprietary method. Sony bent to public pressure and finally offered an option to allow users to shut that function off.

Here's a great article on the subjects from the measurebators themselves: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Insights/Half-cooked-RAW

6 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (May 3, 2012)

All modern CMOS sensors have NR circuitry onboard and although this is a different approach, do note that we all have some level of NR in our RAW's and we still call them RAW's.

8 upvotes
Dafffid
By Dafffid (May 3, 2012)

It's their camera, they can do what they want. Would you prefer to be offered the Red Green and Blue sensor data separately and interpolate them yourself? Perhaps just the stream of numbers and let you decide how they should add up?

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 3, 2012)

Once you have viewable image on your screen from the sensor data, it is no longer RAW. Give it a rest.

2 upvotes
brudy
By brudy (May 3, 2012)

@Dafffid - that's pretty much exactly what we're doing now. Getting a bunch of 1s and 0s and manipulating them.

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 3, 2012)

I believe RAW is the scene you're shooting itself. Once the shutter snaps, it's already "processed", (light goes through the lens, into the sensor, converted to digital signal) so it's no longer "raw"

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

I don't get it. No chroma noise in RAW at 12800 at all? Yet they don't give 25600, and JPEGs are not that good at all? Something is fishy.

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

Actually, the widget does not work in the link, and the camera is not in the list on other reviews where the widget works.

P.S. OK, works already.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 3, 2012)

K01 uses even stronger RAW NR (that you can't turn off) than K-5. See SNR graph of K01 vs K-5 on dxomark.

The RAW NR starts at ISO 3200

4 upvotes
fisherman_lol
By fisherman_lol (May 3, 2012)

So what? look at the amount of details in does pictures.

6 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 3, 2012)

Simple question: If K01 RAWs are so much better, why the jpegs look worse than 5N?

Are you telling us that Pentax starts with 1 stop better RAW, but ends up with worse jpegs than 5N?

Yes, K01 RAWs have less noise, but that's nothing more than applying RAW NR, as noted by dxomark,

2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 3, 2012)

And again, so what? How many people really care about that? Are photographers mathematicians who will incessantly look on graphs, charts and tests before looking at the final output to judge if the photo is OK? :)

4 upvotes
BBViet
By BBViet (May 3, 2012)

So they're deceiving the customers, that's what. People relatively new to camera hardware, who assume that RAW means raw and untouched data, will look at these comparisons and conclude that the RAWs of K-01 look almost as good as those from the D700 and make uninformed purchase decisions. Other companies might be doing this, too, but nowhere near as much as done in the K-01

2 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (May 3, 2012)

If high ISO NR was the only factor here, (you have noted that it begins at ISO3200), why does the K-01 have less chroma noise in the shadows even at ISO1600?

And it appears to have has less chroma noise at ISO1600 even looking at it next to the D4 and 5D III.

In any case, with any visible loss of detail being immaterial, I'm sure it won't be long before other manufacturers follow suit.

2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 3, 2012)

@BBViet

The point you say that other companies might be doing this too conflicts your saying that "So they're deceiving the customers, that's what". Was Pentax the first to do this? No? Then how come when other brands do it (perhaps before Pentax did), why isn't anyone complaining? What, internet wasn't there yet?

Any alteration, may it be .00000000001 or 1000000 or whatever to what the "real" raw file might have looked like, is already "deception" by the manufacturer. That means, everyone might be doing it; who knows what a "real" raw file looks like, after the sensor reads a scene? It's somewhat bad trying to defend something by saying "they're doing it less". If this is the case, then we are all making "uninformed decisions" like you said.We are all being "deceived", like you said.

2 upvotes
joshh4000
By joshh4000 (May 4, 2012)

i agree alizarine.
they are threatened by pentax and they're trying their best to discredit the company.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (May 5, 2012)

All data that is recorded by our five senses are heavily processed by our brains. Still, that's what we call reality.

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (May 3, 2012)

WTF?
Did I just see a 1EV advantage over the all mighty K-5? in RAW???
Pinch me!!!

5 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (May 3, 2012)

*punch*
Sorry, must have misread your request ;)

2 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (May 3, 2012)

Check out RAW @ 6400 vs the K5 at the feathers by the Volkswagen. Amazingly clean.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 3, 2012)

K01 uses even stronger RAW NR than K-5. See SNR graph of K01 vs K-5 on dxomark. The RAW NR starts at ISO 3200

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (May 3, 2012)

Basically what I am saying is it's not " 1EV advantage" .. It's simply RAW noise reduction applied by default.

The jpegs (where both sides can apply NR) look worse than 5N

1 upvote
zxaar
By zxaar (May 3, 2012)

ET2 you must thanks lucky stars that pentax is not Oly, if they were oly not only they would apply NR in RAW they would cheat on ISO too. That way k-01 would beat the hell out of new D4 on low light. It would be best camera ever by now.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 3, 2012)

zxaar, look at EM-5 jpegs. They look good. That can't be said about K01's jpegs

0 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 3, 2012)

ET2 sure jpegs look bad. Do you think none of us know how to use RAW data?? There are two things either you or user of this camera understands photography or not. If he understands then using RAW is not a problem. If he does not understand then it is very unlikely that he would be comparing jpegs with OMD5 and say geez these looks bad compared to OMD, I shall buy OMD instead. So moral of the story if you know what you are doing k-01 is not a wrong choice.

2 upvotes
ljmac
By ljmac (May 3, 2012)

@zxaar: Actually, all the manufacturers except Panasonic "cheat" the ISO in exactly the same way - Oly was in fact the most recent manufacturer to do it. And there's no evidence of NR in their RAW files. But when a 4/3rds camera meets or beats the competition, there just has to be something wrong, doesn't there?

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 3, 2012)

Seems due to a high noise reduction setting that shouldn't have been activated. Fixed now.

0 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 4, 2012)

@ljmac, "And there's no evidence of NR in their RAW files" ------- all the manufacturers also cook their RAW files. Some like pentax does in a way that it is evident and they mention it too, some like Oly do it without mentioning. RAW cooking is fact of life. As far as where IQ of OMD stands in comparison to K-01, wait for dxomark to rank it, it will clear all the mud that is created.

1 upvote
dtra
By dtra (May 3, 2012)

lol, by the time anyone reads this, it'll probably be fixed, but I did Pentax change their name to Canon, and the K-01 to EOS 5D Mark III?

0 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (May 3, 2012)

Well, I just read it too. lol

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 3, 2012)

Still reading it, lol

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 3, 2012)

Ah! The associated camera. Didn't spot that at all.

1 upvote
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (May 3, 2012)

The JPEG engine has been improved significantly from the K-5. As a RAW shooter I would typically poo-poo JPEG but John Flores makes the point on his blog that JPEG might be the only way to go for burst performance. http://whatblogisthis.blogspot.com/2012/04/embacing-jpgs-with-pentax-k-01.html

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (May 3, 2012)

My thoughts are very different from yours. The new JPEG engine is a texture/detail holocaust, but luckily the RAWs are amazing, much better than K-5, however, and no one will convince me otherwise, RAW NR is hiding under the bed...

1 upvote
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (May 3, 2012)

Chroma NR on RAWs at high ISOs - it's too perfect.

0 upvotes
K_Photo_Teach
By K_Photo_Teach (May 3, 2012)

Too perfect? you dont like it because its "too perfect"?
That would not make sense

0 upvotes
ValVe
By ValVe (May 3, 2012)

Don't worry guys, I've developed the raws in UFRAW and chroma noise is where it should be.

So wonder no more -- that NR is definitely coming from ACR.

1 upvote
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (May 3, 2012)

@K_Photo_Teach - who said I didn't like it?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 146