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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.

120
I own it
10
I want it
16
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 358
123
Michael49
By Michael49 (May 31, 2012)

I really want to like Pentax, but what where they thinking?. K-mount and no EVF? Really? That makes this camera only of interest to those already invested in Pentax glass. Pentax needs to broaden their market and they had an opportunity to do so with this camera but they didn't, sadly.
If this camera was "universal mount" like the NEX then I would have seriously considered it as it would give provided a mirrorless platform with an APS-C sensor and IBIS, which would have made it a unique and truly appealing camera. So sad Pentax. I'll have to stick with my NEX and E-PL2 for now.

0 upvotes
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (May 31, 2012)

Ok, I'll chime in. Many have commented that the K-01 misses the point of a mirrorless camera, which is apparently to be small. If that is indeed the point, then Pentax already has an answer to that in another camera, the Q. I'll admit, I don't "get" the mirrorless craze. For me, IQ is paramount, all other consideration like size must take a back seat.

One thing that hasn't drawn a lot of attention is that the K-01 utilizes an APS-C sized sensor which affords better DoF control than a μ4/3 or smaller sensor found in many mirrorless systems. The other thing that is largely overlooked is the camera body is only part of the equation when it comes to IQ, a small part at that. The larger part of that equation is the glass you mount on it, and here is where the K-01 shines.

That being said, I don't want the thing; too small for me and no viewfinder, but my point is Pentax obviously has a different target market in mind than the typical mirrorless camera buyer. The K-01 is about great glass.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 31, 2012)

The Q is the smallest ILC, sure. But it fails in the other goal of mirrorless systems - better IQ than a regular point and shoot.

We already had really small cameras with PnS quality and we already had small DSLR sized cameras with good image quality and liveview. So the K01 and the Q offers us nothing.

4 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

The Q has on average, better IQ than a regular point and shoot and even dedicated ones like the Panasonic LX5 (though that will probably change with the next LX model).

The Q actually offers a lot. It offers the smallest camera you can pretty much wear with the *best* photographer centric ergonomics in its class and even above. And it has other surprises- like a very fast flash sync (internal 1/2000 with the premium lenses and external - as high as most DSLR's at 1/250th!). Solid build. Excellent ergonomics. High quality small lens. Invisible.

It's great for street life.

And at ISO 6400 you can still use it in some shots and outclasses the other point and shoots for sure.

http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/imgp1680.jpg

1 upvote
mgm2
By mgm2 (May 31, 2012)

Regardless of the rating, DPR using a DCR review is unconscionable. They can try to rationalize it all they want but it's just wrong. The end result is that there is an appearance of "two" reviews out there in the market place when there is in reality just one. It's not fair to the manufacturer or the buying public.

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

People complain there's not enough reviews. People complain if we try to pay for more in-house writers to produce those reviews by selling advertising (every time we increase the amount / size of ads for a day the comments switch from 'you're not doing enough' to 'here's how to block ads'). We decided to syndicate and expand on Jeff's excellent reviews to cover products that would have otherwise slipped the net. This was done for all the right reasons, and to describe it as 'unconscionable' is unfair.

11 upvotes
increments
By increments (May 31, 2012)

@Simon Joinson

You wouldn't have reviewed the K-01?

I'd have thought something that unusual would merit a review before the latest minor iteration of a DSLR/SLT series.

EDIT:

BTW "unconscionable" is a ridiculous term to use. DPR has been very clear what this review is.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 31, 2012)

It may have been reviewed, but not soon. There are plenty of cameras ahead of it in the queue and, in a Photokina year where you can expect a lot of cameras to be launched, there is a chance it might have joined the infamous list of cameras we've not managed to review.

4 upvotes
increments
By increments (May 31, 2012)

Ok, thanks for the reply. I'd prioritize the new or different ahead of the usual upgrades, but thanks for explaining.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

@Simon- I agree Jeff Keller does high quality reviews, even if I disagree with him a bit on some aspects of the K-01 review :-)

0 upvotes
mgm2
By mgm2 (May 31, 2012)

Simon, it's fine if you want to syndicate and expand on Jeff's talents. But then have contract terms that stipulate he can not publish the same review under the DCR banner. It's just not right having the same review come from two different sources. It appears as if there are two independent objective reviews when in fact that is not the case. Yes I know you stated from DCR but we both know how search engines work.

1 upvote
chiane
By chiane (May 31, 2012)

If it had Nikon or Canon on the name plate, I think things would have gone allot differently.

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

My only objection to the review is that while the AF may not be as fast, the manual focus with the focus peaking on this camera is really good. I think when manual focus is that good that should be taken into account.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 31, 2012)

Yes, but the Sony NEX-5N costs $50 less with an 18-55mm lens than the K-01 does body-only (comparing MSRPs, to be fair). The 5N offers essentially identical image quality, focus peaking that also works in video (video that is also much better). It's smaller, has a customizable interface, can be used with a much wider range of legacy lenses and comes with a lens it can autofocus properly.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (May 31, 2012)

Yet the NEX has a much smaller dedicated lens base (about 8, I think), and you're out of luck if you want to use a flash. It wasn't important enough to mention it, right? ;)

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

@Richard- except that the focus peaking of the K-01 works better overall, into lower light than the Sony Nex 7. Given that, you correct me here, the Nex 5n focus peaking probably works about same- meaning as light goes lower you start losing the focus area which is what I saw for myself comparing both. This is why I brought it up as an advantage- because its focus peaking seems better.

Moreover, if we want to go a bit further- the lens that the K-01 gives you at its price with a lens is much better than Sony's lens. Most Sony Nex mount lenses will make the camera feel and be actually bigger than say a K-01 with pancake primes.

And I am not going to agree with you the K-01 doesn't come with a lens it can't autofocus properly because the AF with it seemed pretty reasonable to me.

Finally the ergonomics from a photographer centric point of view on the Sony, its interface is *worse* than the K-01 even with the K-01 quirks.

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

Finally as far as the wide selection of lenses, I don' think the K-01 lenses that made for the K-mount are a "little selection" and in fact, have some rather unique lenses (the primes).

Most Sony Nex mount lenses are not very good. Except the Carl Zeis one and the other recent Sony lens one, the others aren't really all that good. Yes, I have used them first hand, this is not me trying to guess anything.

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

The NEX has the lenses that most of it's users seem to want (no big teles ain't a problem for them I imagine) The flash might be an issue yes, but NEX-F3 has it, so... I'm a Pentax guy, and I would buy a K-01 for any reason... specially with the K30 being announced and a K-x replacement being announced in the next few months...For me the K-01 has to be completely rethought, Why not a APS-C compact Video camera with K mount? That I would buy in a heartbeat!

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 31, 2012)

@Sergio- my point is most of the Sony Nex lenses aren't very good. The good ones- as usual, are pricey (so are Pentax's though Pentax has some more affordable high quality options also).

But I think it's a bit unfair banging the K-01 for example in size, when its size is not too big and with the lenses available for it, it's smaller than Sony Nexes with several of its lenses.

This amongst other things- as I mentioned, the focus peaking experience seems better to me than Sony's Nex-7's.

0 upvotes
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (May 31, 2012)

I think for R Butler to suggest that the lenses don't AF correctly is unprofessional and misleading. Most people who would buy this camera would get it with the 40 XS lens, which was designed specifically to work well on this camera (and it does.)

The fact that the reviewer had bad luck with his lenses is unfortunate, I've aquired over 25 Pentax lenses over the last decade (some brand new and others made as far back as the 1960's) and I have only recieved one that had a QC issue. That lens was returned for a replacement that worked perfectly. Reviewers bad luck or my good luck?

Sorry, but as I see it, R Butler would never in a million years say the same about Canon/Nikon in their review comments because DPR knows where its bread is buttered.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov
By Yanko Kitanov (May 31, 2012)

Once again the samples are so poor that I am amused how can these people take such poor shots with such cameras....

1 upvote
bcalkins
By bcalkins (May 31, 2012)

I'm still trying to figure out which sample images people are impressed by in comments below.

1 upvote
armanius
By armanius (May 31, 2012)

What an impressive amount of whining just because the K01 didn't get a "real" DPR review and got a bad score. Yes, it must have been a big conspiracy due to the Canon-Nikon bias. Never mind that the K5 got more love than its Canikon counterparts. Just can't make everybody happy.

4 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 31, 2012)

Look, Jeff Keller did a perfectly workmanlike job with the review, but the added dpreview content does nothing to change the the fact that this is a DCR cut-and-paste job, the style and tone are his, not dpreview's.

DCR tends to do 'statement of the obvious' type reports. All cameras evaluated equally, pedantically, with little analysis or insight or exploration with regards to the novel or unique points a particular model might offer. I used to expect dpreview to go further. Consistent testing and a consistent viewpoint, but actual depth as well, honest expert opinions, which made reviews interesting to read.

Maybe the K-01 was considered so flawed as not to be worth the resources of a full review. If so, fine. I would like to see the content of this site tightened up though, standards upheld. If I want to read a DCR review, I can point my browser to the DCR web site just fine, thank you.

3 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (May 31, 2012)

When I look up an old camera and it's a Phil Askey review, I enjoy them more. Maybe, back in the day when things were fresher, newer, so much wasn't riding on each content. But, this site is a tremendous resource and one of many excellent reviews available. I like Imaging Resource but the forums and other content bring one back here.

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

@ Richard - you're being incredibly unfair on both Jeff and us. This is very far from being a 'cut-and-paste' job, as you'd know if you looked through the several pages of studio comparisons and analysis that we've added in collaboration with Jeff.

3 upvotes
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (May 31, 2012)

I haven't read the review yet, but something about this camera has "car crash" written all over it...

0 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 31, 2012)

Having shot with it at indoor events, in lower light, it is comparable in speed to a sub pro canikon DSLR. However, it always gets the AF right.

When things get too dark for AF, it will still MF accurately due to focus peaking. Meanwhile, a DSLR is out of luck. The OVF will be too dark to get an accurate MF. This is not just my experience. Ask anyone who owns one.

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 31, 2012)

Focus peaking is a cool feature, but it can be implemented in any camera with live view, including dSLRs.

This recent obsession with taking photos in the dark is something I don't understand. If it is to dark to use the AF, or even to focus manually in the viewfinder, what are you possibly taking photos /of/?

3 upvotes
spidermoon
By spidermoon (May 31, 2012)

Megapixel race is almost over, so it's now the turn of AF. It's something like a chlid game : "Hey, my cam have 101 AF points, can focus in -10ev in 2µs and climb to 200000 iso and your camera have only 52 AF point"

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (May 31, 2012)

Spider..........love your style and your right.
i feel that far too much attention is paid to minute or even just relatively small differences that dont always affect the real world user. Sure nice snappy AF is good, but where are we going with all of this?????

0 upvotes
Richard Biffl
By Richard Biffl (May 31, 2012)

I don't have a problem with this design. Sure, there are smaller mirrorless cameras, but they have smaller sensors. With this APS-C size sensor, Pentax could have made a flatter camera by putting image stabilization into the lenses, but then you'd have something like a Sony NEX, with big chunky expensive lenses and no real reduction in carrying size or weight. Pentax opted for a big chunky camera that can stabilize the image from any K-mount lens. If I had K-mount lenses from the film era, this looks like a near-perfect digital back for them.

0 upvotes
Photo Care
By Photo Care (May 31, 2012)

The problem with this Camera is the name PENTAX. Pentax should put Canon or Nikon in front ot this Camera and send it to DPR for review, In that case a great score would be posible.

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

It's not that its big, it's that it is a big *brick*. It is far less comfortable to hold and manipulate than the K-x for example. If it is not smaller than a dSLR, and it is not easier, simpler, or more pleasant to use than a dSLR, then what exactly is the advantage again?

3 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (May 31, 2012)

That's a big "if". Well, not really, because the K-01 is smaller than any DSLR (even the cheapest, plastic-fantastic ones) and it's also not the biggest mirrorless.
Having tried one:
- it's certainly not as good as a K-mount DSLR, e.g. my K-5 is way more comfortable to hold/shoot with (having a sizable grip)
- it seems designed to be used with two hands; do that and it will be OK
- many other MILCs I've tried aren't any bit better.

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jun 1, 2012)

I think Pentax has quite figured out that MILCs aren't really that compact; Sony NEXs can't be slid into a pocket once a lens is slapped on to the camera. So Pentax did away with the slim-mania and opted to exploit the vast range of lenses available natively with the K-mount.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 31, 2012)

DPR "dings" the K-01 for ergonomics, which would never be held against a bulky FF DLSR, nor the imbalanced NEX (more lens than camera), and paradoxically not help the petite GF3. The K-01 also gets a poor score for "value," which does not hinder the pricey OMD or boost a bargain P&S.

Gee, the thing offers full manual controls, time lapse, compatibility with plenty of lenses, easy controls, and lo and behold: a printed manual!

The styling is ingenious: it makes people smile or snicker, just what you'd like for a photo. "Hey, folks, look: a YELLOW CAMERA. Wow. Gee. Hooray." The snout of the usual DSLR is so sinister, like the face or hind of a boar, that it makes people scowl, flinch, or summon the police. Of course, if the user is equally homely, that may offer camoflage.

Let the price soften a bit, and it will sell.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
1 upvote
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (May 31, 2012)

It seems that you like it very much, but take into consideration that you are being subjective. For me, it looks like a disposable yellow kodak camera, it is too bulky for a mirorless, it has a slow Af and it is too expensive. I would consider buying a mirorrless if it were an olympus, it is sleak, it has some nice high quality lenses available, and has nice pocketable ones as well. The K-01 seems to be in a neutral zone, not a DSLR, not a true mirorrless. It's just not up there with the best of them in all respects, just in some.

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 31, 2012)

Your comment shows you have never actually held the K-01 in your hand. I really wanted to like it, I loved the way it -looked-, but frankly the ergonomics are borderline appalling. Against al professional dSLR like the D3s, for example, there is simply no comparison.

4 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (May 31, 2012)

"Against al professional dSLR like the D3s, for example, there is simply no comparison."
And with the D3s against the 645D , for example, there is simply no comparison. Does the D3s cost $700 ?

1 upvote
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (May 31, 2012)

Agree with Richard -- I was predisposed towards liking it -- but feel like Pentax/Newson screwed it up when they lined up all the top-panel buttons in a straight line. I don't need to compare it to any pro DSLR -- it fails vs. every other DSLR that *Pentax* has made. I'm hoping that the K-02 (?) fixes a few of these bugaboos.

1 upvote
edu T
By edu T (May 31, 2012)

In page 11-dynamic range, the "Shadow Correction" graph is actually the "Highlight Correction" graph and vice versa. (It took me twelve hours to figure out why both looked so strange.)

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

Fixed, sorry about that.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

So the major problem for the reviewer was the AF speed/accuracy, but you can see from this video that the K-01 has no problems locking onto targets even in low-light and the speed is more than adequate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbVKgSVdab0

The more I read about this camera the more I want it, but am waiting for the recently delayed DP2 Merrill to hit the shelves to decide.

0 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (May 31, 2012)

In this one the speed is rather low, and at some point it can't even lock, with the Af assist on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-f2Mah2Das&feature=relmfu

It badly needs AFs lenses especially designed for this type of camera, otherwise it's just another John.

2 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (May 31, 2012)

You mean it can't lock when torture tested (near EV -1, at a point it's out of metering range), with the AF assist light partially blocked by the lens hood and it's asked to focus on an empty wall? What a surprise!

1 upvote
TheBees
By TheBees (May 31, 2012)

Frankly, and with the maximum respect for the people working on this site, anytime a new model by Pentax reaches the shelves, the only real doubt about DP's review is where will they place the flaw, this time, and how much the final vote will be affected...
If the camera would have been from another brand from the "big bunch" the review would have oulined the unique design, unbeateable image quality and the great opportunities given by large number of customizable esternal controls... "if you are not a naturalist photographer and you think you can live up the AF relative slowlyness..." they would have written.
i love many things of this site but reviews...
that said, one of the ugliest and worst thought camera's ever, and bad news from assembly quality control, too. This is not good!
in my verrrrrry humble opinion...

1 upvote
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (May 31, 2012)

Didn't this very site laud the K5 and give it a gold award?

3 upvotes
ManuH
By ManuH (May 31, 2012)

"Didn't this very site laud the K5 and give it a gold award?"

Yes but the Pentax K-5 was perfect, they couldn't find any flaw even if they wanted ;-)

Seriously, bias is real and is unavoidable as it would be almost impossible to do tests in double-blind, except maybe for IQ. We have to live with it and it didn't deter me from buying the K10D a few years ago even if it was panned for so-called "soft JPEG" by dpr.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 31, 2012)

By looking at its studio RAW shots, its very obvious there is serious in camera NR in use. High ISO images has very smeared out micro details.

This means this is not a good camera for B&W shooting with artificial looking noise structure. I prefer to do NR with PP software.

dpr://galleries/8674923806/photos/1997463

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
MP Burke
By MP Burke (May 31, 2012)

I think Pentax got it wrong with this camera. If you see it alongside other mirrorless cameras it looks very bulky as a result of its greater depth.
Pentax seems to have been concerned with having compatibility with its slr lenses, but they have designed something with such a large flange back distance, that it largely defeats the object of it being a mirrorless camera, as the review correctly emphasises.
A notable disadvantage of the longer flange back distance is that the K-01 can not use the recently announced Sigma lenses (first third party AF lenses for mirrorless systems) or use any lenses made for older rangefinder cameras, such as those for Leica M or screw mount.
A more sensible answer to the problem of compatibility with slr lenses would be to supply a dedicated adaptor which permits AF. Even this would not solve the AF speed issue. Obtaining higher AF speeds with CD-AF cameras really needs lenses to be specially designed for them, with internal focussing.

7 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (May 31, 2012)

The K-01 is the perfect companion to the K-7 user who wanted full manual control in video mode. The people who use the K-01 are happy with them . Go look at the Nex-5N with $600 A-mount adapter and you will see why Pentax did it this way. The K-01 has 24 million K-mount lenses out there and everyone has IS since SR is built in. I even use my Pentax 67 MF lenses on the K-01 and it has AF with 67 lenses like my 165mm F2.8 with Pentax 1.7x AF adapter.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
TheBees
By TheBees (May 31, 2012)

could you please tell us the main use you make out of it (meaning portraiture, street, arc, whatelse...)

1 upvote
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (May 31, 2012)

It's a friggen camera so it could shoot anything your heart desires people.

0 upvotes
MP Burke
By MP Burke (May 31, 2012)

The "$600 A-mount adaptor" is presumably a reference to the Sony LA-EA2, which incorporates a mirror arrangement to implement Phase detect AF. Adaptors without this function (e.g. Sony LA-EA1) are much cheaper.
When you look at the K-01 overall, you see the disadvantages of the longer flange back distance as I mentioned above, you see it has to try to use CD-AF with slr lenses, that it has no EVF and also has rolling shutter issues. All of this combined gives the impression of a badly implemented mirrorless design.
The principal reason for the design is surely that Pentax did not want to produce a range of dedicated lenses for mirrorless cameras.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jun 1, 2012)

"If you see it alongside other mirrorless cameras it looks very bulky as a result of its greater depth."

I don't see Sony NEXs being anywhere near compact or non-bulky with any lens mounted on. Unless the Pentax DA 40 XS can be mounted natively on a NEX-7 will I truly call it a "pocketable MILC".

0 upvotes
kadardr
By kadardr (May 31, 2012)

If price go down like 15%, this camera is a very good deal, for those with Pentax glass. Can be good for street shooter prime lens maniacs too. Also for travellers with the 18-135 zoom. Or for anybody who is going for the techy look. This review is unable to predict market success. This camera is having too many good selling points for the non-experts.

The final judgement on success the turnover figures will tell anyway.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 31, 2012)

The score on ergonomics and handling is too low. Sure it isn't the best, but give it some leeway, for it's off beat design. Which you are simply not used to. Also the value score is too low. The picture quality it delivers is way above par and pricing? €829 is not realistic. In Holland you van buy it voor €200 less.

Also I do not think blaming it for poor AF on old or cheap tele zooms is fair, since those behave poorly on any dslr and are not available on other system camera's anyway. You are beating it up for a drawback from a big advantage of the camera, but dismiss this advantage (K-mount almost all together) Quality glass will always deliver better AF (and there is plenty of that around from Pentax, sigma, Tamron and some other brands.) Focus peeking will also be great for MF, which is a great advantage because of the huge amount of hight quality but cheap glass from the 70's en eighties you can get for almost nothing.

3 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 31, 2012)

continued:
It would have been nice to have reviewed this camera with a broader view. In my opinion it deserves 73%. It's not an om-d e-m5 which is a very well balanced package, but it is a great camera with drawbacks, that real photographers can work around.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (May 31, 2012)

Have you held one? The ergonomics are objectively poor, with many important controls such as the mode dial being difficult to reach from either the left or right hand. Looking different is not a free pass for being hard to use.

Also all the screw-drive lenses, including the brand new 40mm pancake, focus slower than the comparable native designs on other mirrorless systems.

Personally I think they ruined great internal technology by putting it all in a gigantic, awkward body. Unless you're on a budget the K-5 or even K-30 seems like a much better option in every respect.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
wepwawet
By wepwawet (May 31, 2012)

Actually no, the IQ is not 'way above par' - it is excellent but no better than comparable offerings from Sony or Olympus.

6 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 31, 2012)

@Andy I have held one and loved the ergo. So no they are not objectively poor, thats your opinion and in this case matches with reviewer who it seems has anti pentax bias.

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

i've used every DSLR/ILC since 1996 and the K-01 (which I confess I actually quite like the look of) has some of the worst ergonomics and most annoyingly slow autofocus I can remember. It's usable with the pancake lens but I found myself cursing it when using a zoom (and when trying to use the screen in bright light). And this is a camera I really wanted to like. If nothing else it serves to remind me why we liked the K5 so much. I do like the IQ with the 40 tho.

9 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Jun 1, 2012)

okey, simon let me ask you, how many of the mirrorless cameras without VF you found using screen in bright light was as good as dslrs?? Further pentax K-01 comes with 1 specially designed lens and do you think it was that slow with that lens, i did not find the autofocus to be that slow with it. Further do you know any mirrorless camera that AF very fast with lenses not designed for it. (exception may be sony ). The point is i have never seen you voicing all these with any other model. You have made your dislike for Q and K-01 quite earlier and frankly i did not expect your review to be any different than what it is. You may have used every dslr from 1996 but your thinking is from 1970s, you like classic designs and you do not have open mind. You may not like what i am writing but this is my observation. BTW I have also tried all cameras from 2004 because i live near to yodobashi shop. This is one of the perks of living in japan. I do not agree with you that ergo of k-01 is disaster.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jun 1, 2012)

living near a camera store and using a camera exclusively for a month or more are not the same thing. I am not wedded to 1970's design. As i mentioned I liked the K-01's design, which ironically look to my eye to be highly influenced by Deiter Rams' work for Braun in the 1970s. The big difference is that Rams put as much emphasis on the functionality of the product as he did on the aesthetics. The point about lenses 'not designed for it' is somewhat disingenuous since there's only one lens 'designed for' the K-01. If pentax didn't intend it to be used with K-mount lenses why didn't they introduce a new mount with a shorter flange-back distance?

2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jun 1, 2012)

Even as a Pentax user I can't help but agree with the score on ergonimics. Handling it is going to be very difficult coming from an SLR standpoint.

This is one of those stuff where form preceded function as it was conceptualized. It's not everybody's camera.

0 upvotes
spidermoon
By spidermoon (May 31, 2012)

There seem to be a problem with the lense. On studio shot the center is sharp, but the "Paul smith" on the watch is really blurry. It's a good camera, but for me the price is wrong, it's the same price than the new K-30, witch is a small camera too, have 100% OVF, is weather resistant and share the same sensor and af, only missing the mic input..

0 upvotes
altis
By altis (May 31, 2012)

Thank goodness real customers have more diverse tastes than reviewers.

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (May 31, 2012)

and you seriously think those 3 customers will pay for the R&D and manufacturing costs to make this product profitable for Pentax ?

5 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 31, 2012)

There is no much R&D involved to remove mirror, viewfinder and PDAF system from K-30 and make a different body for it.

1 upvote
Najinsky
By Najinsky (May 31, 2012)

The review says the K-01 is the largest mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, but to my eyes it's smaller than the X Pro 1:

http://tinyurl.com/cof7kjl

It's true the K-01 is deeper, but with a lens attached (in other words a camera, not a body) it's comparable there too.

Just wondering how to interpret this. It seems to suggest DPR don't consider the X Pro 1 a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Or perhaps they consider a lens as optional?

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (May 31, 2012)

The body of the K-01 is much boxier, being 59mm deep vs 42.5 mm for the X Pro 1. The K-01 also weights 24% more.

3 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (May 31, 2012)

Is it 1982 again already?

1 upvote
h2k
By h2k (May 31, 2012)

Sorry, wrong click.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
MonkRX
By MonkRX (May 31, 2012)

Just going to echo some comments here: I was a bit taken back after reading the first page of the review. Totally different style writing, so I went and checked and who wrote it. Jeff Keller is a great reviewer, but I expected a dpreview review. That's why I like this place, the style of writing, the analysis, and the objective point of view.

Jeff's writing is filled with "I's" and opinion-like statements. Its a bit off putting. While I appreciate dpreview's recruitment of Jeff, I'd prefer if future reviews of "popular" cameras (like Pentax's first APS-C mirrorless) be written by dpreview staff. I value the opinions and observations they make. I don't mean to discount Jeff's observations... I think he should be left to do compact round ups or other more minor reviews, where people only read those reviews to check for dp's robust lab/objective tests.

8 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (May 31, 2012)

I agree that Jeff's sound is off-putting. It sounds like a bar brawl. It doesn't fit in. He needs serious editing. (By the way, i believe you can sound entertaining without sounding all too rambling at the same time.)

I also stumbled at this sentence in the conclusion:
- "all lenses will have shake reduction built-in, courtesy of sensor-shift IS system"

I understand what you mean, still the sentence is plain wrong and annoying. Better say something like:
- "all lenses profit from the camera's built-in shake reduction"

And while we're at it, i think the terms IS and SR are used intermittently throughout the review, which is confusing too.

2 upvotes
JohnMatrix
By JohnMatrix (May 31, 2012)

well I disagree! I normally find dpr's reviews to be quite tedious and 'safe' (if that's the right term). They sit on the fence too much with their reviews in order not to offend. If a reviewer thinks a camera or one of its features is terrible etc I'd want to know.

1 upvote
h2k
By h2k (May 31, 2012)

John, i don't mind clear words. Still they should not come in a rather ordinary voice. I do see your point though and maybe DPR could be a bit more "explicit" occasionally.

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

We'd have loved to review the K-01 but in a Photokina year it just wouldn't have happened for months. So we decided to collaborate with Jeff, whos work we have a lot of respect for, to get a decent length (albeit shorter than a full 'in-depth') review out in good time.

This free'd up our in-house resources to do other things, some of which you've seen, some of which are still to come.

2 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (May 31, 2012)

Barney, thanks for the background. Still in a site as polished as this, you'd expect the text to be homogenous as well. Then again, it is free quality information, so who am i to complain.

0 upvotes
MonkRX
By MonkRX (May 31, 2012)

Barney, its unfortunate that you wouldn't have time to release the review of the K01 in a timely manner if it was done in house. Still, I'd love to see reviewing priority on new designs/interfaces, and perhaps leave Jeff to review "old bodies with new sensors".

I can't help but feel that dpreview staff would have been slightly more detailed, more descriptive, and more analytical about the handling of the K01. Like the K7 and K5, there were key sentences that described and compared its grip and handling, commending its small design yet comfortable grip. These are things I'm looking to find in the K01 review, but they remain absent, or under described.

If you guys intend to have Jeff review new bodies/interfaces (Like the Pentax Q), I highly suggest expanding on the interface/handling parts of the review to give users a better view of the camera as a whole. I'd love to see the collaborative opinion of the handling of such bodies.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 31, 2012)

I really dont get it. This is a very odd camera. I do think dslrs will eventually be replaced with larger pro mirrorless cameras that use slr mounts. but this just feels odd and maybe a bit premature

5 upvotes
Emacs23
By Emacs23 (May 31, 2012)

Mirrorless with SLR mounts? That's odd by definition.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 31, 2012)

absolutley not eventually it will make more sense to make top end dslrs mirrorless. f mount and eos arent goin anywhere

1 upvote
iamphil
By iamphil (May 31, 2012)

K-mount mirrorless truly is pointless. I know there was a contingent of Pentax users trumpeting the virtues of legacy compatibility in the forums but it brings far more negatives than positives, even more so with the lack of swiveling screen.

Enough with this and the Q. If you want to compete in the mirrorless market, put out a real mirrorless camera and not just a concept that miraculously escaped containment at Pentax HQ.

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

" If you haven't been following along, that's a K-mount in the picture, and it supports virtually every Pentax lens ever made."
EVERY Pentax lens???
Are we to assume that the 42X...something (don't remember the pitch) screw thread lenses were NOT made by Pentax? (OK, I'll admit they were made by other manufacturers as well but, I seem to recall that the mount in question was called 42mmm Pentax Thread)
DAMN, this stuff makes me feel old!!!!!

0 upvotes
DonThomaso
By DonThomaso (May 31, 2012)

If you distinguish between "natively support" and just "support", the statement may feel more correct.
K-mount and M42 has the same flange focal distance, so a simple and small adapter will do. Also medium format (645/67) lenses will fit, but with bulky adapters.
Lenses not supported will then be Auto 110 and the new Q-mount lenses.
In this interpretation of support, all of the other mirrorless cameras has better support for old glass, so I'm not really sure what to make of the statement. The main point for me (if I were to buy a K-01) would definitely be in body auto-focus support for the K-mount lenses.

1 upvote
PaoloBosetti
By PaoloBosetti (May 31, 2012)

Yup, worst score in a while, and yet best samples gallery since a long time. There are probably many good reasons for that, but still it does not make much sense to me.

1 upvote
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (May 31, 2012)

Seems the image quality was one of few real pluses, and the reviewer deducted mostly for the non-compact size that makes it near pointless compared to a DSLR.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (May 31, 2012)

If you reed the conclusion the excellent image quality was offset by poor size, ergonomics and autofocus speed.

2 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (May 31, 2012)

I suppose a firmware update won't take care of the fugly design...

2 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (May 31, 2012)

.......unless transformers is the 1.02 update.!!! Lol

I agree on a personal note, its a very polarizing design and it aint polarising in my direction.

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (May 31, 2012)

Also, the 69% (practically 70) score is realistic if you think from a purely photo technical usage point of view against the known best of all areas in modern camera technology.

When the K5 and Kx scored so high when they came out its easy to see how this score is arrived at. Does this make it a bad camera.....NO !!!

Its horses for courses, which on the face of it doesnt make for good reading, but when real world users (non forumites) arent worried about the AF or VF or size, then whats left, oh thats right ......very very good IQ. Then its job done.

0 upvotes
Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (May 31, 2012)

The major flow of this camera is the missing of an EVF. The second one is the K mount. No problem to make the camera thinner and mount the K lenses with an adapter.
I appreciate the "cat" pictures. They have to be in every review.

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

Simon, appreciate you have a point of view, but smart phone users dont consider this a flaw, they consider it a benefit.

why is a camera flawed if it doesnt suit you, go buy a DSLR or similar, which i am sure you have. Just trying to get people to think outside the square and what millions of real world average people out there actually want. Perhaps Pentax did their market research right????

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (May 31, 2012)

Solarider.....agreed, its not for forum junky gurus

Take one look, open your mind, think laterally,consider people who arent DSLR, MILC lovers. Its for the phone crowd, fashion conscious and some getting stunning macros.
The review was bang on, but your links are typical real world users who arent worried about blinding AF, but moving on from smart phones and loving the IQ.

I dont know how well it sell, but as a marketing tool for mostly non traditional photographers its excellent. I probably wont buy one myself, but I can see who would. Yes AF is not exactly Pentax's strong point up till now, but they have a lot of other qualities lost on many.

It does seem to have a negative effect on the traditional DSLR market who seem to think its a joke. Will that harm Pentax sales of K30 etc......one wouldnt think so, because the negative comment people will always stick to their own prefered camera or brand regardless.

But would my wife or daughter want one........hell yes !!

0 upvotes
WartyMcFly
By WartyMcFly (May 31, 2012)

Someone should tell your wife and daughter then that all they have to do is ask. ;-)

0 upvotes
nickthetasmaniac
By nickthetasmaniac (May 31, 2012)

If it's a marketting tool for 'non-traditional photographers' then why the hell did they base it on the K-mount, which is ONLY going to appeal to buyers with an existing stock (or interest in) of Pentax lenses...? Do you really think the smartphone upgrader will care if you can mount an FA Ltd 31mm?

I don't think even Pentax knows what the K-01 is for...

2 upvotes
forsakenbliss
By forsakenbliss (May 31, 2012)

I would think this camera is a rushed-out product.
Either...too lazy to properly design the mirrorless internal specs or do not have the means to do so.

Look very much like taking one of the existing DSLR, remove the mirror & prism..get some unknown to design the outer shell...and wooh-lah...Pentax is now officially in the mirrorless league...

5 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (May 31, 2012)

Marc Newson is anything BUT unknown... This does not mean that his K-01 design must be to anyone's liking by default, but fair is fair. I bet you haven't heard of Philippe Starck either. Or maybe Giugiaro or Bertone?...

3 upvotes
forsakenbliss
By forsakenbliss (Jun 1, 2012)

oh really...
so what camera has he designed before this bright brick?

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Jun 1, 2012)

He is a freelance industrial designer, mate, and he is a big name. He designs whatever he is appointed. This is his first camera. If you're interested in his other works, just google or wiki it. You may not like its works but his name gives kudos to any product.

0 upvotes
forsakenbliss
By forsakenbliss (Jun 1, 2012)

yup, that explains. he never designed a camera before.
honestly, he should stick to designing anything but camera.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 31, 2012)

What?! Where is the 82%? :D

1 upvote
solarider
By solarider (May 31, 2012)

Wake up and smell the coffee moment - it's for the phone crowd.

http://www.robertstech.com/blog/?p=541

http://www.thefoxisblack.com/2012/04/09/pentax-k-01-the-best-and-coolest-camera-ive-ever-used/

Wake up and smell the coffe again, it's for smart shooters:
http://steevemarcoux2.com/2012/05/11/how-i-use-the-k-01-for-ground-level-photography/

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (May 31, 2012)

This camera has nothing to attract people with, except its awful design.

3 upvotes
mark25
By mark25 (May 31, 2012)

i think the photo samples in the review are the best in a long time here on dpreview reviews. good work reviewer!

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

They do look amazing, better IQ than in most including OM-D samples.

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

Jeff had some issues with bad lenses. I do not know if it was QC or shipping damage. Either way, his experience was not the norm. However, DPR chose to use this outlier review as their own. That should be a red flag.

Having owned one for a while, I know it is smaller than a DSLR. I also know the usability is very good.

AF performance is complicated. In bright light, it is slower than a DSLR. As the light goes down, it maintains its speed. At medium low light, it is competitive with a DSLR. It's AF will cease to be usable before that of a better DSLR. However, in really low light, focus peaking allows accurate MF while a DSLR would be hopeless.

For product shots, macro, street, and creative shooting, it is a fantastic tool. Go check out the Pentax DSLR forum. there are some great shots done with this camera. The people who use it do understand the camera and what it can do. It is not a sports camera but it does make a less expensive alternative to an M9 or Pro 1.

7 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

Finally some sane comments from an actual user. The 40 2.8 is a sharp little Tessar design lens like the DA 40. The output from this camera is as good as it gets and the 920K LCD with peaking is implemented really well.

Puzzling dismissive comments and a head scratcher of a review.

5 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 31, 2012)

It is a joy to use for street shooting. It is amazing what you can do with a very high quality camera that is no longer attached to your face. There is a lot more capability as far as framing and perspective. One is also far less conspicuous as well. I can get more, good shots taken due to its form factor. Plus, the images are fantastic.

3 upvotes
Cheezr
By Cheezr (May 31, 2012)

I can say from personal experience that the AF is as good as my E-PL1 and better than my ex X100. Image quality IMO is better than any camera i have owned.

1 upvote
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (May 31, 2012)

JoeDaBassPlayer writes:

"AF performance is complicated. In bright light, it is slower than a DSLR. As the light goes down, it maintains its speed. At medium low light, it is competitive with a DSLR. It's AF will cease to be usable before that of a better DSLR. However, in really low light, focus peaking allows accurate MF while a DSLR would be hopeless."

Focus peaking has been on the Sony SLT's for a while now and is on the Nex line as well but the AF of the A series SLT's will beat this Pentax to a pulp performance-wise in any light,

0 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (May 31, 2012)

Still NR applied in RAW at high ISO...disappointing. It's a good sensor already

2 upvotes
Pixel Judge
By Pixel Judge (May 31, 2012)

Funny. Many questioned the look of the camera.
I actually like this unique look. 'Avant Garde' style! Images looks very good, too. But I really like to see BETTER sample photos. The sample photos are......yarn.....sleeeeepy.

4 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 31, 2012)

Ditto on the samples. I was hoping for a good gallery instead of a rehash of Jeff's stuff. The camera can supply some stunning images. Rehashing Jeff's issues and then his bad images does not do this camera nor its designers justice.

2 upvotes
VadymA
By VadymA (May 31, 2012)

Modern look - plus!
Slow AF - minus!
No VF - minus!
... stopped reading after that as it looks like a failure in the current market.

One step forward, two steps back from Pentax IMO.

1 upvote
jl_smith
By jl_smith (May 31, 2012)

*sigh* Pentax, such a quirky company - at least they tried something a bit new. Alas, it seems this one needs to go back to the drawing board.

As to the DPR detractors that shout "Isn't IQ everything!?!" Erm, no, no it isn't. If it was, then we'd all be shooting with large 4x5 or higher MF cameras because their IQ is amazing.

There's a thing called "usability". If you're camera has very good IQ but actually using it to get those nice shots is a pain in the rear, then the score should reflect that as appropriate.

Really, this camera offers little to nothing better than the K-5 and a lot of drawbacks.

I can see it MAYBE taking off in Asia due to the styling (as it does look to have that Eastern flare) but looks to be luke-warm elsewhere.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (May 31, 2012)

Usability cannot be stressed enough. Cameras that are hard to use eventually get left in the cupboard once the novelty of the new purchase wares off.

I also think aps-c is the wrong starting point for mirror-less cameras. Yes it delivers very good IQ but even if you can make the camera small (as with the Sony Nex) the lenses are still large.

With this Pentax you get large lenses and a large body so it seems completely pointless to me.

I think Olympus and to a slightly lesser extant Panasonic are the only two manufacturers who "get" the concept.

If I could afford the luxury of a smaller alternative to my Sony A77 it would be a no-brainer to go for one of the Oly's. Why would I want the alternative to my SLR to be bulky?

Yes the IQ of the 4/3 range may be a bit less but I would accept that for the convenience. If quality is paramount then I would use the A77 anyway.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 31, 2012)

Oddie: "With this Pentax you get large lenses and a large body so it seems completely pointless to me. "

The K-01 offers better AF in video mode than you'd get with a DSLR. The a77 is a much bigger camera. NEX's have a pecular center of gravity. A shoot off comparison of the m4/3 vs the K-01 in low lit would be interesting. It may be cheaper to find a fast legacy K lens than buy a new m4/3 fast prime.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 31, 2012)

"The K-01 offers better AF in video mode than you'd get with a DSLR."

Actually no, you get absolutely no C-AF in video with k-01, and S-AF, quote, "slow and noisy".

2 upvotes
BayAreaWZ
By BayAreaWZ (May 31, 2012)

Love the continued contributions from Jeff and also Andy from eoshd. Bringing in top flight talent is always a smart move.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 31, 2012)

I applaud Pentax for trying something new, but this is just a failure. It takes the worst traits of both the SLR and mirrorless formats and combines them into one weird camera that excels at nothing.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

How does the K-01 excel at nothing when IQ is as good as it gets in the mirror-less market segment?

As far a slow focus, it's not that slow, and besides for static subjects Live View with MF is the way to go anyway, and peaking is a wonderful feature.

Knowing that the K-01 gives you K-5 IQ which is as good or better than the very best ILCs and APS-C cameras on the market, I don't understand all the dismissive comments at all. Is everybody so into spray and pray, point and press AF photography that they cannot focus a camera with Live View if necessary?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 31, 2012)

AF does work and is very accurate. It is slower in good light but does not really drop in speed until it starts to get fairly dark. For indoor shots, it can go against most DSLR's for speed. AF accuracy is not an issue.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 31, 2012)

It has k5 IQ but so does a k5 which is about the same size and price. This also has none of the performance of the k5. If you use the evf the k5 is mirrorless too.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 31, 2012)

Sorry last reply was on my tablet so I made some errors. I meant to say that while the k01 has very good IQ, so do most DSLRs (like the k5). Those DSLRs also have liveview modes that operate like the K01, but this K-01 does not have a high performance mode or a viewfinder. So what's the benefit? A tiny bit less height of camera?

1 upvote
Jonathan Lee
By Jonathan Lee (May 31, 2012)

great review on the little ... Hummer. :) Thank you, folks.

1 upvote
JohnBee
By JohnBee (May 31, 2012)

I'm chalking this one up as a first step for Pentax.
Not great by any stretch, but... a beginning nonetheless.
I just hope that Pentax's takes the criticism from this model and uses it to deliver something much better next round.

1 upvote
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (May 31, 2012)

At least it's not wood paneled like that sigma ...good work pentax

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 31, 2012)

Which Sigma?

0 upvotes
jonikon
By jonikon (May 31, 2012)

The 69% review score is a gift for this deeply flawed camera.
No viewfinder and slow and dodgy auto-focus in a $900 camera?
Pentax, what were you thinking?

10 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 31, 2012)

Yeah. Im going to agree with you on this. It could have been a great camera. Even with how thick it is(due to all of the great lenses). They need to implement PDAF.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

The Nikon 1 has blazing fast PDAF, excellent IQ, fast write times and menu performance, and it scored only 2 points higher than the K-01 and was not even recommended.

0 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 31, 2012)

The Nikon 1 with kit lens compacted is every bit as thick as the K 01 and XS40. AF is fast but IQ is bad in comparison.

1 upvote
Cheezr
By Cheezr (May 31, 2012)

Nikon V1 will focus better in low indoor light but image quality noticeably poorer than the Pentax (and the Pentax with focus peaking will manually focus quite nicely in low light).

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (May 31, 2012)

@JoeDaBassPlayer I know the K-01 has better IQ. Someone above said Pentax needs to implement PDAF. My point was that Nikon out of all mirror-less camera makers DID implement PDAF, and still got poor marks from DPR.

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 31, 2012)

This is gonna get ugly.

Not pentax and have never used this camera, but if "style/looks" contribute to the final score, then its bang on!

0 upvotes
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (May 31, 2012)

Jeezel Petes, you think they'd at least test the lenses that are being sent out for review by the media. Honestly folks, every Pentax lens I've ever owned has been perfect right out of the box, I really haven't even noticed any FF/BF issues, they're not all this bad. Some days I'm ashamed of my brand.

1 upvote
DanK7
By DanK7 (May 31, 2012)

The lack of a view finder is a fatal flaw, sorry Pentax. I like the fact that Pentax thinks a bit outside the box, but this camera is more about design than taking photographs. The cart is definitely in front of the horse.

2 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (May 31, 2012)

If it had a viewfinder, it would be a K5. This is supposed to be more compact, while retaining the K mount. I'm tempted, I have 3 SMC-M primes.

2 upvotes
VJVIS
By VJVIS (May 31, 2012)

I am not sure if you have actually held this camera. I did and did along with the K5. K-01 is as big as K5 without a viewfinder. It is not compact at all. In fact Pentax's lower end models are smaller than this camera. I am a huge pentax fan, but this is a very poorly designed camera. The main purpose of a mirrorless camera is smaller size and this isn't that, mainly because pentax didn't want to make lenses with a different mount.

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 31, 2012)

Yeah, mirrorless are supposed to be more compact. But keeping the K mount made that an impossible feat. So now it isn't compact, but doesn't have any of the performance of a DSLR.

0 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 31, 2012)

I have the smallest Pentax DSLR and the K 01 is smaller.

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 31, 2012)

They should have created and adapter..... 2 lines of lenses, native k mount (CDAF) and non native (PDAF). That would've allowed them to reduce size of body dramtically (one of the major complaints), and also create CDAF lenses (even if only in future... smaller, and faster AF).

Perhaps they shouldve taken a leaf from Micro 4/3s book.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 31, 2012)

technically, the K 01 is the smallest, but in real world usage, it's the same size as the other Pentax DSLR:
http://camerasize.com/compact/#285.68,210.68,187.68,ha,t

0 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (May 31, 2012)

@JackM "If it had a viewfinder, it would be a K5. This is supposed to be more compact, while retaining the K mount. I'm tempted, I have 3 SMC-M primes."

The Sony Nex 7 has an outstanding EVF and it certainly isn't an A77. True it has a different lens mount but it shows an EVF can be added to a mirror-less camera without turning it back into an SLR

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (May 31, 2012)

I agree with Dan. The lack of a viewfinder and the inability to add one is definitely the fatal flaw here. IMO, focus peaking is just the gimmick du jour. The slow focusing and poor LCD in bright sun makes the ergonomics score low too.

Even some owners of compact cameras often complain about the lack of an optical viewfinder. My 84 year old mother refused to use one. I had to lend her an old Pentax Optio that had one for her travels. How can Pentax think it's ok to leave off the viewfinder on this camera? Where's the engineering sense? Where's the marketing sense? Did they really think there were that many point and shoot upgraders out there who'd not notice the lack of a viewfinder or novices who would not care?

Other than this, I think the camera is really good looking. I love innovative looks and Pentax did a good job here, IMO. I love the colors too. There's nothing ugly about it to me, but form needs to follow function and that's where they failed unfortunately.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (May 31, 2012)

ok, scratch my earlier comment. I am no longer interested.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 358
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