Pentax K-01 and Leica Q

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drummercam Senior Member • Posts: 1,160
Pentax K-01 and Leica Q

The original DPR K-01 review pointed out, repeatedly, the K-01’s “chunky” size: “The K-01 is much larger than other mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. . . . Since one of the big selling points of mirrorless cameras is their diminutive size, the K-01 seems a bit awkward. . . . The camera is very thick, and I think the grip is a bit too small considering that. . . . The K-01 is a bit of a handful - even with the tiny 40mm pancake lens attached. . . . Chunky body defeats the purpose of mirrorless design.” And a table was provided depicting square-inch volume comparison;s with 5 other mirrorless contemporaries, in which K-01 was indeed the largest.

I’ve now compared my K-01 with another mirrorless camera, my Leica Q. Of the new Q2, DPReview says it’s “not too big nor is it too heavy.” And the original Q1 review said the Q had a “[c]ompact, solid, well-built body.” Well built, no question. Compact? Standards change, I guess, or, at least, what one chooses to emphasize in a review can change. Here’s my side by side of the Leica Q and the K-01.

Leica Q dimensions as reported by DPR: 130 x 80 x 93mm; Pentax K-01: 122 x 79 x 58mm. Now, that K-01 58mm depth front-to-back will have been with the K-01’s pancake lens, while the Leica Q has the permanent mount 28mm Summilux. So to even that up, I measured my K-01 mounted with the nearest Pentax equivalent lens I have, the SMC-A 28mm f2.0, focused at infinity. With that I get 95.3mm front-to-back, yielding Leica Q: 130 x 80 x 93mm; Pentax K-01: 122 x 79 x 95.3mm. I call that pretty close, yet one camera is called “compact” while the other is repeatedly called “chunky.”

As for that chunkiness, the Q’s have no grip bump at all, but with a 4.5K camera, you are well advised to add a grip to it – “chunk it up” somehow, in other words. The K-01’s grip was called “too small,” but at least it’s there. I personally find nothing further needed, although both cameras benefit equally from "thumbs up" attachments on the hot shoe.

As for the Leica being full frame and the K-01 being aps-c, the K-mount and mirror box Pentax uses is the same as on the full frame Pentax K-1. K-01 could have had a FF sensor to start with. In fact, a K-01 MkII with a full frame sensor and other downsized internal engineering improvements – a Pentax strong point now proven again by the feature-packed yet diminutive Pentax KP – could easily be a great machine, and even less "chunky."

(Obviously, the Q's dramatically better IQ and it's very nice EVF, missing from the K-01, are not discussed here.  But neither is the fact that the K-01 mounts literally hundreds of lenses as against a single 28mm.)

 drummercam's gear list:drummercam's gear list
Leica Q Pentax K-01 Pentax K-30 Pentax K-3 Pentax K-S2 +1 more
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-1 Pentax KP
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