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Features (continued)

HDR Mode

As I've already noted, on the K-01's exposure mode dial you'll find a high dynamic range (HDR) mode. This improves contrast by combining three different exposures, each taken at a different value, into a single image. There are four HDR modes to choose from: 'auto' and then 'HDR' 1 - 3. The HDR modes basically control how strong the effect is, with higher numbers being more artistic than realistic. You can also set the interval between the exposures (by using the camera's main dial) from 1EV to 3EV.

HDR off HDR on (±3 EV interval)

While the results are not as impressive as with the Sony cameras I reviewed recently, the K-01's HDR mode still produced more shadow detail and a bit less highlight clipping. The camera will align the images automatically, so a tripod is generally not needed. I should add that you can use HDR in any shooting mode via the main menu, though you can't adjust the exposure interval when you do that.

Lens Corrections

Let's go over some of the 'correction' options I listed on the previous page. I'll start with distortion correction, which is strangely enough turned off by default. Since the 40 mm pancake lens isn't the kind of lens that has a lot of barrel distortion, I'm using my personal 18 - 55 mm lens for this example. Do note that this is probably not the same 18 - 55 that comes in the dual lens kit.

Distortion correction off (default) Distortion correction on

As you can see, the distortion correction feature 'flattened' the test chart, reducing the fairly strong barrel distortion on the 18-55 lens. If only it worked as well for vignetting!

Highlight Correction

Next up is highlight correction, which is found in the D-Range Correction options. This is set to 'auto' by default. In order for the camera to do its thing, it will set the sensitivity to ISO 200. Here's a crop of our purple fringing tunnel showing what this feature can do:

Highlight correction off Highlight correction on

While the highlight correction helps a little bit, it doesn't work miracles. The most obvious changes can be found by looking on the ground, to the left of the column - you get some detail back there. The sky remains blown out - it's supposed to be blue in reality. Even with the relatively minor improvements, I see no reason to change the setting from its default 'auto' position.

The other half of the DR correction feature is shadow correction. As you might've guessed, this brightens the dark areas of your photos. You can choose from auto, low, medium, high, and off positions. Unfortunately, the effect is so subtle that I couldn't come up with a decent example for you (despite numerous attempts).

Sensor Stabilization

The K-01's sensor is stabilized, and the stabilizer will provide up to 4 stops of shake correction on nearly every Pentax lens. In addition to reducing the likelihood of blurry photos, the shake reduction system smooths out your movies, as well. You can also have the camera 'shake off' the dust when its powered on or off, though you need to turn that feature on in the setup menu.

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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
1 upvote

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