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Body & Design

To say the Pentax K-01 differs physically from its mirrorless rivals is an understatement. The decision by Pentax to maintain compatibility with its K-mount lenses without the use of an adapter means the camera must accommodate a large flange-back distance (and essentially leave space for a mirror it doesn't have). And Pentax has shown no hesitation in embracing a large-camera aesthetic. Indeed the K-01 is much closer in size to a DSLR than a mirrorless camera.

Build quality appears solid with a sprinkling of aluminium parts adorning the plastic-coated body (there's an aluminium chassis under there somewhere). The front and side plates of the K-01 are covered with a ribbed rubber layer.The rear half of the rubber side-panel doubles as the accessory port door. It makes sense as part of the design but we found slightly awkward to close and have real concerns about its durability, especially as the rubber starts to lose its flexibility over time.

The camera sports a total of 13 external controls points in addition to a 4-way controller. The size of the camera allows for large, easily identifiable buttons, though we have some reservations about the control point layout.

In your hand

The K-01 is by far the heaviest mirrorless camera we've handled. Even more disappointingly, the lack of a sufficient hand grip makes it not only awkward, but uncomfortable to hold. While the red and green buttons atop the camera are customizable, it is impossible to actually reach the green one with your hand in a shooting position.

With the buttons arranged over such a large camera area, we found key controls difficult to manipulate without large shifts in your hand position. While you can reach both the red and exposure compensation buttons with your hand in the shooting position, neither of them are particularly comfortable, as they are set so far to the rear of the camera plate. The rear thumb dial, by comparison, is very well placed.

There's no getting around the fact, however, that the K-01 is a heavy camera. In addition, it feels particularly unbalanced, with significantly more weight distributed along the grip side of the camera. When using anything other than the Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 XS pancake lens, we find the only comfortable option when holding the camera is to support the bulk of its weight with your left hand holding the lens barrel. From an ergonomic handling standpoint, the K-01's external design falls far behind a DSLR form factor like that of the Pentax K-5.

Compared to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

The Pentax K-01 and the Panasonic GX1 make for an interesting comparison. While both cameras offer 16MP resolution and are available as kits with a very compact lens, the camera bodies themselves sit at opposite ends of the size spectrum for mirrorless cameras.

The K-01 is a significantly taller camera than the Panasonic GX1. And while the K-01 houses a physically larger APS-C sensor, it is clear from the top-down view that the extra depth needed to support the K-mount lens specification accounts for much of the drastic difference in size between the cameras.

Furthermore, it's worth remembering that the GX1's lens covers a 28-84mm equivalent range, while the K-01's pancake prime leaves you stuck with a fixed 60mm equivalent field-of-view.
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Comments

Total comments: 376
1234
John Farrer
By John Farrer (Mar 28, 2013)

Th rubber side access door is idiotic, there is no weather resistance which means it will also be susceptible to dust and condensation, and (something I haven't seen mentioned) the On/Off and function dial are easily displaced when taking in/out of some cases, the LCD is a pain in bright light and the auto focus is awful (it is years since I have had a camera that worked that badly) especially in low light. It does however take beautiful pictures. The price had plummeted when I bought mine, so I am not complaining, but I will review any future new Pentax products very carefully before buying.

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...

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 4, 2012)

Yes, but dpreview posted dngs.

0 upvotes
czadpoom
By czadpoom (May 5, 2012)

K-01 is mirrorless not DSLR camera. Keep in mind!
(from Q to K-01)
(from nex-5 to nex-5n)
That's the step up.

0 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (May 8, 2012)

The KM/K2000 was when the JPEG engine really got worked out. Pentax has always used Sony sensors except for the Pentax/Samsung 14MP sensor.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 4, 2012)

Does the K-01 shoot in the Pentax raw format in addition to the DNG format? And if so can DPReview supply those Pentax raws?

The B&H store website does not say if the K-01 shoots in PEF or not and the Pentax website doesn't really have any English language information on this new camera.

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (May 4, 2012)

K-01 is better than NEX-5N in RAW at all ISO.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 3, 2012)

Along with two Fujis, the X-Pro1 and X100, the new K-01 seems to have the best IQ of any mirror-less camera. Nice pancake lens too. If only I need a camera like this.

3 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (May 3, 2012)

Well I started with Pentax. kx, 20d, k7, k5. The last two stinkers drove me to Canon.
I spent 6 months getting the sensor stain, shutter, and never fixed AF. I will never buy another Pentax product as long as I live. Honestly a very poor product by today's standards.

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

Better stay with your Jumbo-7D, and take care to suffer skin intoxication of excess of plastic in your hands.

0 upvotes
tessl8d
By tessl8d (May 4, 2012)

Parrallel universe, I owned 3 g series Canon's and all ended up with dust on sensors, and one with lens retraction issues, I now shoot K5,very happy with it.

3 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (May 4, 2012)

my time with Canon is over - now that I own an awesome K-5

4 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 4, 2012)

How unfortunate you never tried getting a replacement unit for your K-5.

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (May 4, 2012)

Got the K-5 replaced once and sent in to Pentax 2 times for AF issues. Pentax is just a poor product in these times of excellent cameras being built. Actually I am rather surprised this site doesn't check AF with these cameras correctly before submitting reviews. The Fuji and new Oly look very good for small cameras for me that is. You guys can have Pentax. I am Done!

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 4, 2012)

It seems a lot of other people aren't complaining about theirs, garyknrd. And to conclude that a manufacturer is a "poor product" based on personal account only, to go as far as generalize even with a reputable review site that they're "not doing their job properly" is somewhat moot. I don't believe you're really **that** unlucky with the fixes you want. Maye you're just too conclusive, but well, "you're done" already aren't you?

2 upvotes
William Koehler
By William Koehler (May 5, 2012)

You wouldn't be reading and commenting about products you have no interest in if you were really done.

1 upvote
LaFonte
By LaFonte (May 6, 2012)

I had K-5 and returned it, got fuji x pro 1 instead. I know there were some problems wit k-5 but it is the most ergonomic dslr with vast amount of photo features from any camera I owned. Pentax is like really made by photographers for photographers.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (May 3, 2012)

Handled KO-1 in a store. Fairly heavy but I can imagine that if I had some K lenses I'l like the cam.

My marketing guess is that Pentax did not want to invoke the 'mirrorless' technology at all and hoped the KO-1 to be just a different and cheaper and perhaps sturdier K-5.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (May 3, 2012)

Ok, mystery solved... The real raw files look similar (or even a bit better) to the ones of the K-5.

0 upvotes
oscarvdvelde
By oscarvdvelde (May 3, 2012)

I just downloaded the ISO 6400 K-01 JPEG from RAW (imgp1382.acr.jpg) but it looks very different from what we see in the corresponding preview image! What happened, DPreview?
Ah - when I scroll around, the preview gets more color noise. Apparently I was seeing a cached image section of a lower ISO. Beware!

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 3, 2012)

Good. An ASP-c sensor camera with AF live view, IBIS, compatible with legacy lenses, a very compact kit lens, good JPEG, nice RAW, multiple video modes, plus something you don't find on anything less than a D5100 from other makers: an intervalometer.

The "baby face" design is ingenious: a quality camera that won't intimidate people or alert security guards into seizure mode. It's as innocuous as a cell phone or a disposable. When people see it, they will be apt smile, which is what you want, and which is not easy with conventional designs that resemble weapons or taurine groins. The controls look friendly too. The full review will be interesting. I'd wager DPR will rate it 75 or better, unless some fluke appears in the menu or functionality.

2 upvotes
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 3, 2012)

I wouldn't count on such a high rating. More than likely, DPR will nitpick this camera to death, just as so many other gainsayers have already done. The lack of a VF will loom large. It will be interesting to see what category they place the K-01 in and what cameras they will choose for comparison.

Rob

1 upvote
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 3, 2012)

Come to think of it, DPR is probably mildly stunned by these results, and they will have to do some real soul searching when they write their review. Will they be able to get over the unique styling and the lack of a VF in order to judge the camera on performance and IQ?

Rob

1 upvote
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 4, 2012)

I feel the same as I did earlier, even after seeing the corrected raw files. The K-01 appears to have the best IQ of any of the 16MP cameras (with the possible exception of the Fuji X-P 1, which has not yet been tested by DPR). If they loved the OM-D, how are they going to not love the K-01? No VF? How about all the fabulous pancake lenses that are available? It will be interesting to see how they frame it.

Rob

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (May 3, 2012)

The raw files look veeeery impressive indeed, way better even than the K-5. The full review will clarify what is behind all this.

1 upvote
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 in 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 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Boissez
By Boissez (May 3, 2012)

Yeah, there's some cooking going on... But the results are impressive nonetheless.

Although I wouldn't be caught dead with that camera I would seriously consider a large sensor compact from Pentax given the IQ. Hopefully they'll anounce an LX5/X10 competitor at Photokina.

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (May 3, 2012)

We don't care. NR in RAW were applied at high ISO by ALL BRANDS from the era of 5-6 MP DSLR already. Sony is even proud of it in marketing brochures of A cameras.

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (May 3, 2012)

You're talking about a Sony camera from many years ago.
If cameras were to remove all chroma NR by default, you'd miss out on a lot of red channel detail (which this test scene sadly lacks, see Imaging Resource).

Anyway, the RAW files as posted here show that Dpreview forgot to turn off the default NR in ACR, which they did with all other cameras.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 3, 2012)

Cooked, shmooked! These files are remarkably clean, sharp and detailed. If they were soft and smeared, then one might have justification to complain, but they are not.

Rob

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (May 3, 2012)

This is about testing consistency. In general, the output from all cameras looks better with chroma NR left to default in ACR/Lightroom, rather than off, which is what Dpreview --> normally<-- uses.
Apples and oranges applies here.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 3, 2012)

It is entirely possible that the K-01's on chip NR is more effective and less destructive that what can be done in PP with NR software. Having done lots of NR with various programs, I must say that I am very impressed by how clean and detailed these samples are. I do not think that I could achieve the same results with ACR, Topaz DeNoise or Dfine.

Rob

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (May 3, 2012)

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

And for the record, while Pentax uses pretty effective NR, I can achieve better results with Lightroom and a little Topaz when using the output from other cameras carrying this sensor.

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (May 3, 2012)

Yes they are cooked and there is some loss of detail - compare the image of the Greek God to the Sony NEX-5N or the E-M5 at ISO6400 and you will see more detail in those. Samsung do a sililar thing and the same happened with the original Nikon 1 studio comparison.

If I ask for RAW, I want real RAW so I can reduce the chroma noise myself.

Still, the camera is not compact for a mirrorless design which , for me, is the whole point of MILC, EVIL, CSC etc.

Cheers

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (May 3, 2012)

If one compares the D7000 6400 raw as converted by CNX2, then things look a whole lot different. The Pentax is good too, though.

0 upvotes
Pixel Judge
By Pixel Judge (May 3, 2012)

Oly OM-D might have a company?!
I like the OM-D's JPeg performance. But K-01's Raw at high ISO is a killer!

I guess I will stick with OM-D, because I am too busy shooting and too lazy to process images on computer.

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (May 3, 2012)

Yup, it is. Considerably better than the 5N at 12800 - MUCH less chroma noise and only slightly (in no way as bad as with, say, earlier Oly cameras at 6400+, where, practically, they've become b/w) less saturation. With the same detail level.

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (May 3, 2012)

K-01 is the sharpest between 16-20 MP APS-C

0 upvotes
drummercam
By drummercam (May 3, 2012)

It seems obvious to me, especially after seeing DPR's studio test shots with the K-01, that the full review of this camera will be widely anticipated. Say what you will about it -- I like my K-01 a lot -- Pentax continues to be highly capable of interesting concepts in cameras.

4 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (May 3, 2012)

I love this camera. I want to buy it in 2 years for maybe $400, then get adaptor for legacy lenses.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 3, 2012)

Nothing special.

K01 uses even stronger RAW noise reduction (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

If K01 RAWs were so much better than everyone else, why the jpegs look worse than 5N at ISO 6400?

0 upvotes
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 3, 2012)

Perhaps its because JPEGs are the result of a myriad of unknown (to the user) factors that comprise the camera's processing algorithm. I don't shoot in JPEG mode and could not care less about them. OTOH, these raw samples are very impressive--definitely a step above the K-5, assuming that DPR used the same lens and focused accurately for both tests.

Rob

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 3, 2012)

so much talk about the camera's looks, lol.

Seems so many people want everything so Nazi'd into the "every-camera-must-be-black-and-looks-like-a-Canon/Nikon"

how about discussing image quality output? :)

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (May 3, 2012)

Because I don't want to walk around with a fisher price toy in my hands. 3% of people would think I have a great sense of humor, and the other 97% would assume that I suffer from Down's.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (May 3, 2012)

But those that know, will just think that you hold a very good camera. Too much worry about what people will think about your equipment, it's rather sad...

4 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 3, 2012)

No, most people would think the camera was a ploy to hide your age, and that you also used Botox, a toupe, and hair dye. One must credit Pentax for offering a design that might appeal to clients younger than old-school codgers, but the camera does look a bit like an Austin Powers "mod" prop.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (May 3, 2012)

Come on, one can have it in black and get unnoticed. The challenging looks are well hidden with the black color. Leave the yellow for those you describe (and for me...).

1 upvote
DrugaRunda
By DrugaRunda (May 3, 2012)

they appear to have eliminated all chroma noise in Raw even at ISO 12800, suprising.

0 upvotes
avgcitizen
By avgcitizen (May 3, 2012)

Yes, I'm impressed too. No chroma noise yet not more grain or loss of detail. For once, too, a look that is not a clone of everyone else's.Actually, I'm amazed!

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 3, 2012)

Same here, I'm impressed. Unless the widget mis-linked the K-01'sreference image for ISO12800 to be something from ISO1600.

0 upvotes
Clark Jung
By Clark Jung (Apr 20, 2012)

Here's the K-01's review.

http://www.popco.net/zboard/view.php?id=dica_review&no=779

Images quality's looks fantastic!
I really likes video, too.

0 upvotes
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (Apr 19, 2012)

The K 01 arrived and it is no toy. It is solid and quite advanced. Reviewers pan it for no VF. That is not a problem. The issue would be the other similar cameras that do not have focus peaking or IBIS. Those are the necessary features.

It is an easy transition for those coming from P&S cameras but it is incredibly advanced as well. This can give a FF camera more than a run for its money.

1 upvote
keekimaru
By keekimaru (Apr 13, 2012)

I really enjoy this camera.

I owned a K-r for a short period of time before I sold it for this and I don't have buyer's remorse for doing it.

Things I like:
-The thing isn't plastic. And it doesn't feel it.
-The picture quality in RAW...
-The controls are simple.
-Because it is designed for a screen, live view can be used all the time and not drain the battery quickly like it did on the K-r. That is of course if you like the live view.
-When you put on the kit lens this camera takes up the same space as a 4/3rds. Most times you carry a camera around and want to take quick shots you don't need a zoom anyways. It is a slightly genius maneuver to make the lens smaller as that is what half the size of the 4/3rds cameras are, the lens.

More Detail :
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00740MR78/tipfla-20

4 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Apr 14, 2012)

You are the target audience. You are a point and shooter who found that DSLRs were too complicated but wanted to use the same lenses, I suppose. You say

"Most times you carry a camera around and want to take quick shots you don't need a zoom anyways."

And this is totally off the mark mostly for all but point and shoot mentality. Snap snap on vacations and such. That is not what most serious photographers do. The don't just wear the camera for quick shots. Where's the part about pre-visualizing your image and making careful compositions?

I just think the whole camera is a little expensive for that group of people who might consider a camera with no viewfinder. You see all the time people asking for compacts with a viewfinder and lamenting they about don't exist. You never see someone looking for a better camera, but asking for no viewfinder. I can see zero advantage for not including one other than price, and at $899 that's not the reason. ;)

2 upvotes
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (Apr 17, 2012)

Yeah... and for all that money Pentax doesn't even include a "Protentious Photog-Guy" club card!! Now how will I go around telling others they can't make any good photos with their new-fangeled "camera." I recomend everyone go look at Canon or Nikon instead.

1 upvote
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (Apr 23, 2012)

Guidenet needs to try one before making snap judgements. It can be set up for the typical P&S user. It also offers extensive options such as customizing the controls to fit one's preferences. On mine, the red is for focus peaking and the green is for exposure taking on old manual lenses.

The focus peaking gives one incredible control over focus location. IBIS and incredible High ISO abilities make it capable in a wider range of lighting than most cameras. Tone quality, image quality and video quality can all go against the best.

For event, street, and creative shooting, I would be hard pressed to pick a better camera.

1 upvote
JeffAHayes
By JeffAHayes (May 2, 2012)

Ummmm, Washcoll2004, one thing I'll say for Pentax, they DEFINITELY DON'T build DELIBERATE OBSOLESENCE (sp?) into their camera systems like Canon and Nikon have.

Last year at this time when I was FINALLY ready to "bite the bullet" and go DSLR (after 8 years of buying nothing but the best P&S cameras -- 4 successive megazooms, first two Lumix, then to Canon -- ALL of which had viewfinders, offered RAW mode, AND the last two of which worked with Canon's pro-level flashes -- I seriously considered going Canon, since I already had a 430 EXII flash).

What changed my mind was discovering my 90s-era Pentax 135mm F2.8 lens would work with the K-5. I agree the K-01 looks like an over-priced toy, and I wouldn't buy one. But not only will NONE of the older Canon nor Nikon lenses work with their stabilization systems (since it's built into the lens, instead of the camera), With Canon, if you go from APS-C to full frame(Nikon, too?), you have to buy ALL NEW LENSES again!

No thanks!

1 upvote
Max Privette
By Max Privette (Apr 10, 2012)

Why so ugly !!!

2 upvotes
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 3, 2012)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I like the chunky modern design, and I give Pentax credit for allowing an industrial designer to create a new camera from scratch. Over time, I think that many people will get over their initial horror at seeing a camera that doesn't look like any other.

Rob

3 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (May 4, 2012)

This is a designer item. It is like modern art, the actual object is not as important as the long pretentious description that goes with it. You are just so 19th century when everything stood on its own merits.

0 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Apr 8, 2012)

Can any owner of both the K-01 and a m43 camera (e.g., Oly, Panny) comparatively comment on K-01 autofocus?

0 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (Apr 4, 2012)

Kinda like an IL Ricoh in a shiny new bumblebee suit. I'm intrigued.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dragonhand
By Dragonhand (Apr 4, 2012)

what is this talk about weight? it is a lot lighter than the K-5.
I worry a little about the lack of VF, not so easy to focus on (with my eyes).
And if the focusing system is sufficiently good in low light.

I think it would fit nicely in my somewhat smal hands and I love my old lenses.

0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Apr 2, 2012)

Anyone know if they will ever offer an option, like Nikon, to choose between 12 and 14 bit? Probably not a huge difference in DR, but why not use if if you don't care about larger files?

And what's this about an intervalometer? That sounds incredible.

1 upvote
Luke1
By Luke1 (Apr 17, 2012)

Every current Pentax model has a built in intervalometer, including the k-r, actually.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
fredscapes
By fredscapes (Apr 1, 2012)

got my k-01 delivered and played with it this weekend.

summary: looks great, feels great, makes great pictures!

see on the web flickr/fredscapes for samples

1 upvote
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Apr 6, 2012)

thanks for sharing.
how'd you comment on the AF speed?

0 upvotes
Privateye
By Privateye (Apr 1, 2012)

This is a highly competitive & with high expectations for camera features, quality, design, etc. The design engineers have done a great job in putting Pentax in a glorious quality spot. In the real world, choices are aplenty and they are bound to be acceptable to many categories of users. Bearing this in mind, it is sad to say that this K-01 design if placed side by side with the others, it will be overlooked as a piece of cheapskate. Miniaturization, high perceived value with quality is the way forward. It is simply not appealing because it does not look serious and it is thick and bulky obviously by comparison difference with the others. I know the quality is highly acceptable as being tested by DxOMark but I am sure not buying it. I am really curious to know at the end of the day, the number of K-01 units can be sold worldwide.

0 upvotes
CJ Lan
By CJ Lan (Apr 1, 2012)

I am neither Canonian, Nikonian, Pentexian, or micro 4/3 users. I use/like a camera as long as it is good in features and practical. Honestly speaking, I do not quite understand the philosophy behind the Pentax design engineers. Not getting into full frame market before jumping into very expensive medium format 645, interchangeable lens system with tiny p&s sensor (Q), now a bulky mirrorless camera. and who knows the next in the future. Correct me if I am wrong. I thought the main purpose getting rid of mirror is to achieve portability of a interchangeable lens camera system. What does K-01 try to accomplish in this regard? If just for using the existing line of lenses, I would rather stick with K-5 or any other Pentax APSC for their professional looks, not this as bulky and toy-looking "SLR".

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Apr 1, 2012)

That's not the main reason for removing the mirror.

No one set rules on what anything is supposed to be, by the way.

And if you're looking for "professional looks" as a priority in your equipment, then maybe you need to be a professional instead of acting like one on the internet.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
CJ Lan
By CJ Lan (Apr 2, 2012)

It is interesting that you think the main reason for mirrorless camera is not reduction of size and weight. I wonder what benefits will that be. It already sacrifices the optical viewfinder and faster AF (contrast detect instead of phase detect) featured in the regular DSLR. If not for reduction in size and weights, again, what other advantages does a mirrorless camera offer. Please advise. Maybe I could learn something here.

0 upvotes
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (Apr 2, 2012)

You're obviously free to disagree with the path that Pentax has chosen, but if you look at what they say when they talk about their strategy, they clearly state that they have no interest in being a "me too" camera company. They have said many times that they are considering a full frame camera, but that they will only make it if they can do it in a way that is different than what the others are doing. I personally think FF will happen and I expect that it will probably be equally polarizing. The Q, like it or not, is different than anything else (especially at release.) And I think the K-01 has followed in that same pattern. I do admit that this way of designing is not going to appeal to everyone or probably ever make them a top seller. But Pentax is at least doing exactly what they told everyone they would do.

3 upvotes
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (Apr 2, 2012)

I also think you (CJ Lan) and others have rightly made up your mind at this point and that no matter what anyone says, you will not be swayed. And I think that's great because you know what you want and this isn't it. I will offer my point of view: People complained that the Q had a small sensor and that you couldn't natively mount K lenses. The K-01 offers the flip side to the Q. It is not as small as some mirrorless cameras, but Pentax, by using the K-mount, was somewhat restricted in size (ie registration distance.) The K-01 is 1/2 an inch wider than the mount to the right and 2 1/4 inches to the left which makes it smaller than the K-5 (already a small DSLR) in height and width. In my opinion as an owner, it does "feel" more portable.

0 upvotes
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (Apr 2, 2012)

Pentaxians are also used to being able to put any lens on their K-mount cameras which means everything from the new 40mm XS lens (slightly thicker than a body mount cap) to zoom lenses made in the 80's and 90's that are huge. The bigger the lens, the more the thickness of the K-01 is appreciated. As Pentax releases more XS lenses (which will be smaller and made specifically for the K-01) I would expect to see a quick and smaller version of the kit lenses, which will make use of short focus throw and be optimized for the contrast detect focusing.

1 upvote
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Apr 14, 2012)

CJ Lan, it might be interesting to note that people seem to disagree with you, but failed to even attempt to answer your question properly. The reason might be there is no answer. I agree with you in that the primary advantage for a mirrorless design is so that you can make the whole thing smaller by shortening the registration distance usually taken up by the mirror box. The camera makes little sense to me.

Another thing is the lack of a viewfinder. I can't imagine serious photographers considering a model with no viewfinder or really a way to add one. Even a lot of point and shooters complain that compacts no longer have even a rudimentary viewfinder. I'm just not sure who Pentax is marketing this to. I would imagine it might be to someone who bought a Pentax DSLR, found it too complicated but wanted to preserve their lens collection. Seems to me to be a narrow audience.

Actually, I love the looks though. So I have strange tastes. ;)

0 upvotes
mbpm
By mbpm (Apr 16, 2012)

I absolutely agree with washcoll, especially on the part of interchangeable lens. I still have a K200d with M42 lens.

Yes, Pentax has always been bold. That's what they are known for, but it's a hit or miss idea.

Take the K200d for example, and ask yourself this question: who did it appeal to? Enthusiast? Amateurs? Pros? It does not have a FF sensor and no live view; it only has a top continuous burst rate of 2.8fps.
But, you still won't find a cheaper weather sealed small DSLR with an amazing ASPC sensor. And it's been over 4 years!!

This gem was discontinued because only a few consumers bought the idea of a cheap DSLR that was rugged and reliable, and Pentax struggled to make a profit.

Like it or not, this is what Pentax is known for, they think outside the box. With so much competition around the corner, the K-01 is a miss for me, though.

But, that's my opinion. Cheers!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
mbpm
By mbpm (Apr 16, 2012)

Self correction. It's APS-C format, not ASPC. My bad.

0 upvotes
jhualde
By jhualde (Apr 24, 2012)

Hello CJ Lan,

I can see some advantages of eliminating the optical viewfinder besides compactness/portability:

-Cost cuttings, so the camera can be cheaper.
-Quieter operation (no mirror flip).
-Hence, no need for mirror lock up when using a tripod for landscape photography.

Some people uses live-view with their SLR's (not me) and makes a lot of video too, so it makes sense to sell a K-mount camera without mirror and pentaprism.

Anyways, I'd rather have the viewfinder, so it would be the K-5 for me.

0 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (May 3, 2012)

Mirrorless design has many advantages AND disadvantages. Possibility to reduce lens to sensor distance (hence smaller body design) is but one possible advantage. Amongst other, more accurate AF not dependent on the lens used, lens design can include protrusion further into body allowing for better wide angle lens design (which otherwise have to use a reverse tele design), no mirror slap = sharper images, less mechanics = more reliability, no need for expensive optical VF = reduced costs are all good reasons to remove the mirror.

0 upvotes
00112233
By 00112233 (Jun 14, 2012)

Interesting to read when you say that you are neither Canonian, Nikonian, Pentexian, etc. but anyway it seems to me you’re not satisfied with any camera that doesn’t have the DSLR Canon or Nikon look. If you know something about industrial design, you should know that you have to offer something to get something. Therefore it’s important to note:

1 The K-01 is a mirrorles camera
2 The K-01 weights approximately 200 gr. less than the already small K-5
3 The body thickness with kit lens DA 40mm XS is around 64 mm. 37mm less than NEX cameras with kit zoom lens.
4 Instead of buying a whole new array of new lenses you can stick with your excellent K mount lenses.
Now perhaps you will understand the philosophy of Pentax better.

0 upvotes
Francis Sawyer
By Francis Sawyer (Apr 1, 2012)

Holy crap, an INTERVALOMETER! Finally some common sense.

Of course, there's always something: Why a 999-picture limit?

3 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Apr 6, 2012)

battery won't last that long anyway

2 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (May 3, 2012)

"...battery won't last that long anyway..."
I don't think so.
I've made some T-l with my K5, and, i can make a 999 images sequence with less than half power of a battery.
You just have to disable the LCD screen and the AF.

0 upvotes
kimsch
By kimsch (Mar 30, 2012)

DXOmark just tested the Pentax K-01 and it is the second best hybrid camera and as good as the Nikon D7000

0 upvotes
Pakio
By Pakio (Apr 1, 2012)

No surprise is as good as the D7000, they both have the same Sony sensor...

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Apr 1, 2012)

Bear in mind DxOmark only tests sensors and lenses. Image quality is more than sensor performance.
The trouble with this camera is that, despite its potential for high image quality, many prospective purchasers will be put off by price, awkwardness and aesthetics. (Not necessarily in that order.) As for me, I wouldn't like to be seen holding this camera in public...

0 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Apr 6, 2012)

D7000 is 14bit vs 12 bit of the K01

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Mar 30, 2012)

To all those persistent comments about the lack of viewfinder I can respond that since this an ILC, an OVF is generally problematic (but still available from a 3-party maker). An EVF, on the other hand, would have made the camera much more expensive and directly competitive to other Pentax DSLRs. I think Pentax might have a good point in intentionally omitting a viewfinder on K-01.

Also, as far as the 'boxy' design, I can comment that if this was a fancy Leica not many people would have had complained...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Sawyer
By Francis Sawyer (Apr 1, 2012)

People bitching about the lack of a viewfinder clearly don't understand the purpose of mirrorless cameras.

And if you can't understand the point of mirrorless cameras, this site is way beyond you. So of course they're frustratedly posting stupid comments.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 1, 2012)

So what purpose do mirrorless cameras have that makes a viewfinder redundant? Sony NEX-7, Olympus E-M5, Panasonic G3/GH2, Samsung NX10/11, Nikon V1, Fuji X100/X-Pro1, these mirrorless cameras all have viewfinders, and yet they are all less bulky than the K-01. Of course, not all people need or want a viewfinder, but that's why there are also mirrorless cameras without one.
The main purpose of any camera is to take pictures, and if one thinks that a viewfinder makes this easier, then what's wrong with that?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Apr 5, 2012)

First of all, there are plenty of mirrorless cameras with built-in EVF's. Secondly, of the mirrorless cameras that don't have built-in EVF's, they at least offer the option of an add-on/removeable EVF. For example, I use an Olympus Pen m4/3 camera, and I also have the Olympus VF-3 add-on viewfinder, which I can choose to use or choose not to use, based on the conditions. (I *greatly* prefer to use the VF3 for any outdoor shooting).

The Pentax offers neither of these options- neither a built-in EVF nor the option of an add-on EVF. This is going to turn off a lot of potential buyers.

What's also bizarre is that a viewfinder greatly improves the handling of a camera when you are using larger lenses. Since the K-01 can use all Pentax K system lenses, including some that are rather large, being able to support the camera against your face is a huge advantage. Besides, even with smaller lenses, being able to put the camera to your face is still quite comfortable for a lot of folks.

3 upvotes
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (May 3, 2012)

An EVF would likely have added $250 to the price, which would put it out of reach for much of the target market. Rest assured, Pentax will produce MILCs with EVFs in the future.

Rob

1 upvote
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (May 6, 2012)

"....So what purpose do mirrorless cameras have that makes a viewfinder redundant? Sony NEX-7, Olympus E-M5, Panasonic G3/GH2, Samsung NX10/11, Nikon V1, Fuji X100/X-Pro1, these mirrorless cameras all have viewfinders..."

Yep, but all these cameras have as prime ancestor cameras than was evf-less.
This is the first generation of Pentax aps-c mirrorless, let's give some time to Pentax to bring a EVF on a mirrorless.

0 upvotes
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (Mar 27, 2012)

After two weeks of using it, I am really enjoying this camera. It is easy to see how its design can be polarizing, but in real world use I have found it to fill a need (something more portable than my K-5.) It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the K-5 but it does have some of it's own pluses. The think the boxy look makes it appear more cumbersome than it is in real life. The images and ISO performance are great and I can use all of my lenses (and with focus peaking, some of them even easier than on the K-5... I'm looking at you 50mm f1.2.) At the end of the day, I care more about the images I get than the look of the camera.

Would this replace my K-5? No. But I don't believe that is the intention. Though I haven't really had much issues with it not having a VF, I know that's a problem for some. Of course, I've been using point and shoot cameras in the sun for many years without issue and it really hasn't been any more difficult on this camera.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Sumicron69
By Sumicron69 (Mar 26, 2012)

Pentax I simply do not get your design philosophy. First the Q mad no sense. Than this project would have had some potential but you forgot the viewfinder?!?!?!? Maybe talk to some photographers next time.

0 upvotes
Pakio
By Pakio (Mar 26, 2012)

I think if it was a bigger Pentax Q with same specifications of the K-01, K mount, sensor, etc... would sell definetly much better. The Pentax Q is much prettier and intelligent design.

1 upvote
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Mar 27, 2012)

Yes. I want the Q's look and K-01's sensor. But now nothing is available.

1 upvote
Francis Sawyer
By Francis Sawyer (Apr 1, 2012)

if it WERE a bigger Pentax Q

2 upvotes
Pakio
By Pakio (Apr 1, 2012)

Sorry if i make some mistake, english is my third language.

0 upvotes
BasilFawlty
By BasilFawlty (Mar 26, 2012)

Alright, I think it's time we officially declare Pentax irrelevant.

0 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Mar 29, 2012)

Not necessarily. I don't like the K01 but videographers may take to it. Also, the K5 replacement will probably use the new 24MP Sony Exmor found in the Nex 7 (likely the Nikon D400, too). Given how capable Pentax was extracting all the goodness out of the 16MP Sony, I have high expectations.
There is also that nice 560M lens in their roadmap.

0 upvotes
R Thornton
By R Thornton (Mar 26, 2012)

I am indifferent as to the looks, but would like to see the sorry a.. who is going to hold the setup in the photograph above at arm's length and try to snap a picture!

0 upvotes
bankebrett
By bankebrett (Mar 27, 2012)

At an arms length!? Why? I never do that with my compact camera. (Except when I'm stretching to take pictures from weird angles)

2 upvotes
PG Thomas
By PG Thomas (Mar 25, 2012)

If it had a leica badge,it would sell. It's design is as rediculous as the M9. Without.....? The should have followed the Fuji/Olympus retro theme. (Although I think the K5 design is itself a future classic). Plenty examples in the Pentax catalogue.

0 upvotes
nanoer
By nanoer (Mar 24, 2012)

Rumor is that Hoya and Holga just merged and is now 100% owned by Diana. Just kidding!

0 upvotes
MatsudaMan
By MatsudaMan (Mar 24, 2012)

Was this camera designed by a bunch of people in an insane asylum? It looks ridiculous and the large size serves no purpose - look at all the wasted space. I'm sorry, you can't just make things and wacky colors and expect it to be a smashing success. Do they really think people are that stupid? Pentax is really in danger of completely going under....wow.

1 upvote
rusticus
By rusticus (Mar 26, 2012)

The K-01 was not made ​​for the broad mass of imbecile
It is a designer camera
Very few recognize good design - for ever

5 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (May 3, 2012)

Wow... your really don't get it !

0 upvotes
toomanycanons
By toomanycanons (Mar 24, 2012)

First thing I noticed was no viewfinder. End of my checking out this camera.

3 upvotes
Francis Sawyer
By Francis Sawyer (Apr 1, 2012)

Good. Get the K-5 then.

For extra credit, do some reading and try to understand the purpose of mirrorless cameras.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (Mar 24, 2012)

I see some positive points for this "designer's" camera:
1. If you buy it in yellow, thieves may believe it is one of those disposable Kodak-like cameras.
2. If you buy it in pink, thieves may believe it is a Barbie's camera.
3. If you buy it in green, you can match to the color of your hair and add to a nice punk-like look. You can buy green trousers and shoes as well.
Imagine yourself beside some folks by the race track with their huge SLRs and you with your yellow K1 and a 300mm f4 Pentax teleprime...well, you will miss all the shots because the AF is horrid, but you will be in the center of all discussions.
That is what this camera is about: it is not for you gearheads who come here to discuss if the custom button is in the right place or not. It is for people who paint their hair green.

6 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Apr 2, 2012)

Ironically, I think I do agree on that point.

0 upvotes
alfredo_tomato
By alfredo_tomato (May 3, 2012)

What if I plant chia on my bald head? I don't care about color. I'd buy a yellow camera if it fit my needs, and returns good results.

0 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Mar 24, 2012)

Some good ideas here, great specs, but I can't help commenting on some poor case design choices:

1) for all the room on this big camera case, most of it is wasted blank space. Much better to have more dials if it has to be so big.

2) no articulating screen... seriously?

3) no little rubberized nook for your right thumb to help hold this hefty device, while your left hand is twiddling with the lens?

4) Overall design looks like the designer was more enamored with his idea for some arbitrary architectural form, rather than the natural beauty of optimized functionality in case design.

5) Modular approach to the K-mount would have been better. Just have the K-mount stick out of a slimmer body and be replaceable with a special pancake lens for traveling light.

3 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 24, 2012)

If the body were slimmer flange would have to be shorter, which would imply a smaller bayonet, an adapter to mount K- lenses and manufacturing new lenses for this camera. It would negate the only clever feature of this camera - the possibility of using any K-mount lens.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Mal_In_Oz
By Mal_In_Oz (May 3, 2012)

5) This was a no-brainer that the designer some how missed.

0 upvotes
Sandy Fleischberg
By Sandy Fleischberg (Mar 24, 2012)

... well finally a small camera that would fit my hands.

My respects Pentax !!! : you seem to stay somewhat true to your brand philosophy.

When is the digital Pentax 67 and K1000 coming - I am waiting !

1 upvote
Pakio
By Pakio (Mar 24, 2012)

It would look fine with a lensbaby attached...

0 upvotes
Carlos AF Costa
By Carlos AF Costa (Mar 24, 2012)

Well, in my opinion, it looks like a toy. But they show a great respect for the customers with that compability lens thing. Also the IQ seems to be great.

0 upvotes
MeScooper
By MeScooper (Mar 24, 2012)

If you look at the "K-01" logo sideways it reminds me of the retro Space Invaders arcade game :)

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Mar 23, 2012)

GREAT!!!
awesome Design
awesome APS-C Sensor (K-5!!!)
awesome System (Pentax Lens . . .)
awesome all . . .

8 upvotes
Francis Sawyer
By Francis Sawyer (Apr 1, 2012)

awesome Capitals

2 upvotes
Streetsmart
By Streetsmart (Mar 23, 2012)

Honestley, for the size / weight gain, they should have put a better grip on that thing and EVF. At least battery life is better than most if not all mirrorless cameras. Hope they get the next gen right

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 376
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