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Body Elements

The K-01 is a bit of a handful - even with the tiny 40 mm pancake lens attached.
Here you can see the K-01 without a lens attached. If you haven't been following along, that's a K-mount in the picture, and it supports virtually every Pentax lens ever made. As always, there's a 1.5X crop factor to keep in mind, so that 40 mm pancake lens is equivalent to 60 mm. Speaking of the sensor, that's a 16.3 Megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor hiding behind the shutter curtains.
Straight above the word 'Pentax' is the K-01's pop-up flash, which is released electronically. This flash is the most powerful one available on an ILC, with a guide number of 12 meters at ISO 100.
At the center of the photo you can see the flash (closed here) and the hot shoe. The hot shoe will work best with Pentax's own flash, as they'll sync with its metering system, which allows for things like high speed flash sync. If you're using a third party flash, you'll probably have to set the exposure manually, and you're limited to an x-sync speed of 1/180 sec. Unlike Pentax's other cameras, the K-01 does not support wireless flash control.
The two pinholes that sit above the lens mount make up the K-01's stereo microphone.
You can switch between manual and automatic focus modes using this chunky switch on the K-01's body, next to the lens throat.
There are just a few things to see on this side of the K-01. The first is the speaker (two small holes), which sits above the AF/MF switch, which does just as it sounds. I'll have a bit more on the camera's manual focus features after the tour.
The red-colored thing at the base of the hand gripis the combination IR receiver (for the optional remote control) and self-timer lamp.
Moving to the upper-right, you can see the K-01's AF-assist lamp, which puts out a blinding green light to help with low light focusing.
On the bottom of the camera you'll find a metal tripod mount, in-line with the lens.
And on the base of the K-01 you'll find the battery compartment. The plastic door over the battery compartment is of decent quality.
At first glance, it looks like there's nothing on the right-hand side of the K-01. However, if you peel back the rubber piece of the left side, you'll find this: It's the I/O ports! They include the memory card slot (which has a cover of its own), the USB + A/V out port, and mini-HDMI.

The rubber cover that protects these ports leaves much to be desired. As you can see, it has just two small straps that attach it to the camera, and I don't know how long those will last. It's also surprisingly difficult to close properly.

Under the small rubber cover at the bottom of the photo is a external microphone input.
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Total comments: 6

Too bad this camera was considered a flop. I feel it was very misunderstood. Personally, I have been happy with mine for thousands of images. It makes me shoot in a way that's quite different than looking through a viewfiender, and for landscapes I've found it's been incredible for composition. Good for street photography, too. Looking at the LCD is much less conspicuous than looking through a viewfinder. It is not good for anything fast (e.g. sports). Anyway, mine has been great for travel. It fits into a tiny bag with the 40mm XS, so that allows me to fit an extra lens in my carryon compared to a DSLR.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting

It was a success in Asia, where it mattered.


I didn't realize that. Unfortunately, the K-01 was discontinued rather quickly so the Asian market seems to have not been enough.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting

The K-01 like every other camera pretty much has/had to make in the American market and the European market to succeed. You don't brush-off the biggest markets on Earth. Having said that, I've owned and used one for some time, because I just like the style and the simplicity and the relatively noiseless sensor.

Ken Kemble

Sharing the same (long-life) lithium battery as the K3 and K5 makes the K-01 a perfect backup camera; especially with the Pentax DA 70mm f2,4

The appeal of Pentax centred on their HD DA lens range like the Pentax 20~40mm f2,8 zoom which is in a class of its own and reasonable value.

RICOH Pentax...a company that continues to surprise!


Forgot to mention DXOMark rates this camera/sensor and sports performance nearly top of its class of hybrid cameras.

Total comments: 6