A rather delightful camera to use.
Okay, I have had the "brick" for over 12 months now, and I have shot several thousand images with it.
Firstly, why did I buy it? Well the reasons were, I rather like the looks, it is unique, it is different, it would give my K-5 some breathing space on a day to day basis (I always carry a camera with me, even to work), oh and at the time it was a mere £240 brand new when I bought it. So a quarter of the price of my K-5 when I bought that, yet has the same sensor.
So, after 12 months of using it, what do I think?
Despite the interesting looks, it actually handles really well. Feels well built and solid in the hand. It's footprint when you have a Limited Pancake on the front, is smaller than say a NEX with its zoom lens on it. But you cannot go by what body lens combo on how it performs, of course not.
Well, this has the same 16MP sensor as the K-5II and K30 (a slightly tweaked Sony sensor used in the K-5). I say slightly, as in the real world you don't see a difference.
What it does mean is that the image quality is nothing short of superb. Colours from any lens? Great. Dynamic range? ditto. Hi ISO. Again brilliant.
There are some downsides though.
The CDAF is slow, or should I say SLOW. Having said that it does not matter, this camera is not for AF speed photography. But on the other hand with the small primes that Pantax are renowned for, and I am talking about the Limiteds, the 35mm and Nifty-Fifty, when the light is good the AF is rather good.
That brings me on to lenses. or rather the most suitable lenses for the K-01. Well, all I can say is that this camera is a perfect partner for the aformentioned Pentax primes. Small high quality lenses like the 21mm, 40mm, 35mm, 50mm etc.
I have even used it with my 300mm and Sigma 170-500, It worked on a tripod, but not ideal, my K-5 is a LOT better with these lenses.
When it comes to manual lenses, again, it is a great partner. I have a lot of old manual focus K-mount and M42 lenses, and it is a delight with these lenses, more so than the K-5. Focus peaking is there and works well. Ironically, the M42 lenses are a boon. Put the camera in Av mode and adjust the aperture ring, the camera will automatically change the speed. Bizarre, as with manual K-mount lenses with no "A" on the ring you have to press the green button to get the exposure correct. But it does work.
I have improved the handling of the camera by removing the neck strap and put the Joby hand strap on instead. This improves the handling no end.
I only wanted it to give the K-5 breathing space, but actually it is also a perfect partner/backup for my Event and theatre photography, relegating my K20D to a footnote.
Finally, ignore the camera snobs, this is a great camera. Mere mortals (ie those who don't have a camera) think it is very professional. And enlightened photographers (non snobs) think it is a funky well made nicely made camera.
If you want a camera that is small, interesting and like using the Pentax primes, then this was a perfect choice. I say was, as they don't make it anymore. Oh and another thing, it is great with the 10-17 fisheye.
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