K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

Started Mar 17, 2012 | Discussions
NorthwestF Senior Member • Posts: 1,040
K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?
Pentax K-01
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locke_fc Senior Member • Posts: 1,246
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

I will say right now that ME…I am not a fan of the design at all. In use it is very boxy, not ergonomic, and feels like I am shooting with one of those toy cameras you see in the little kid isle at a toy store. Not sure how much Marc Newson was paid for this design but I feel Pentax could have done much better in this area. Not knocking Marc here because he obviously is not a camera designer. Now, some of you may LOVE this design. It IS INDEED different, and I am usually a huge fan of different but not this time. It just was not pleasant to shoot, and I hate to say that about a Pentax, a company whose products I normally adore.

The good news is that while shooting this camera I realized that the image quality was fantastic, the new 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens is superb and TINY! I believe that this K-01 may have the best IQ of any digital Pentax to date. If this is all that matters to you and you have a load of Pentax glass, go buy one now and skip the rest of this review. /

If usability, design and IQ matter, then keep reading to see why I was not inspired to want to own this camera.

That summarizes it all.

Oh, and apparently the LCD is useless in bright sunlight, which is a bit of a problem in a camera with no VF nor the option to attach one.

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Fer

tombell1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,135
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

He loved the Pentax Primes and the K5 ... so his view is I am sure his honest view .... and largely I agree .... I am going to add either a X100 or G1x as a back up to K5
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RStyga
RStyga Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

I think Steve exaggerates in regards to the lack of VF in K-01. If you need to compose in bright daylight and the LCD is no go then you can easily install a small OVF (e.g., the Helios or the Yashica) on the flash shoe and use it. Alternatively, you can use an LCD hood VF and compose with full accuracy via the LCD.

Design-wise is a personal matter. Usability-wise is a matter of how you define it. To me, for instance, K-01 has good usability. Each to his own.

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Infrabasse Regular Member • Posts: 342
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

OVFs are ok for a specific fixed focal length

LCD hoods are massive and pretty cumbersome. So much for the sleek design and extra thin XS lenses ...

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RStyga
RStyga Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

Infrabasse wrote:

OVFs are ok for a specific fixed focal length

Not really. They can be used for most FLs between 24mm and 85mm and provide multiple frame lines. If longer FL is needed then the LCD can be used in most cases with no problem (i.e., I would not need to shoot standing in direct sunlight) or snap fast with a, say, 200mm tele.

LCD hoods are massive and pretty cumbersome. So much for the sleek design and extra thin XS lenses ...

Agreed.

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chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

If Steve doesn't like the design, then I am liking it more.

I shot with someone's m4/3 the other day for a bit using the rear screen, and shockingly, you can still frame and take pictures with it. I know, hard to believe you say, but contrary to this board, it is in fact not very hard to do.

ET2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,110
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

chiane wrote:

If Steve doesn't like the design, then I am liking it more.

lol @ that "logic". So if Steve loved it, you would have "hated" it. It makes perfect sense now.

chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

ET2 wrote:

chiane wrote:

If Steve doesn't like the design, then I am liking it more.

lol @ that "logic". So if Steve loved it, you would have "hated" it. It makes perfect sense now.

You are a true genius at reading between the lines and getting the actual point.

I am scared to think of the reading comprehension you'll glean out of this bit of sarcasm.

timo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,636
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

RStyga wrote:

Infrabasse wrote:

OVFs are ok for a specific fixed focal length

Not really. They can be used for most FLs between 24mm and 85mm and provide multiple frame lines.

Which OVF accessory would you recommend for the K-01 that offers multiple frame lines? I would have loved one for my LX3 when I had it ...
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ccd Regular Member • Posts: 372
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

The very first photo of the dog shows the sharpness of the lens and the nice tonal qualities of Pentax. However it certainly shows the blown highlights! I know that's a tough contrast scene for any camera, and what we don't know for sure is whether or not Mr. Huff had the EV pushed up to extract more shadow details of the dog. I would also be curious as to what settings he used for the highlight and shadow corrections.

That being said, I know the highlight clipping was not the intent of the photo, and to some it might not matter. I have the K-r and I don't have any problem adjusting the exposure just enough to keep the highlights.....then lighten in post processing.

Also, the complaints about the design. The aesthetic part of that is entirely subjective.....so that is not an issue to me if someone like or dislikes. But the practical usage....the handling, and the balance with various lenses....that's something more quantitative. I don't have very large hands, but the NEX still feels way too thin. And the K-r is thicker than the K-01.....the K-r fits my hand perfectly. I wouldn't want a camera that is any smaller than the K-01 for anything more than just very casual shooting.

Have a look at Josh Root's review here....he has some different takes on this camera: http://photo.net/equipment/pentax/k-01/preview/

gaddigad Senior Member • Posts: 1,906
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

Thanks for the review. I'm most impressed by the k01 IQ evident from the review.
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RStyga
RStyga Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

I believe (although have not personally tried it since I do not own a K-01 (yet)) that the Helios or the Tashica OVFs can be adjusted to work on a K-01. Check eBay using the following search terms:

(viewfinder, finder) (yashica, helios)

timo wrote:

RStyga wrote:

Infrabasse wrote:

OVFs are ok for a specific fixed focal length

Not really. They can be used for most FLs between 24mm and 85mm and provide multiple frame lines.

Which OVF accessory would you recommend for the K-01 that offers multiple frame lines? I would have loved one for my LX3 when I had it ...
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marike6 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,088
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

RStyga wrote:

Infrabasse wrote:

OVFs are ok for a specific fixed focal length

Not really. They can be used for most FLs between 24mm and 85mm and provide multiple frame lines. If longer FL is needed then the LCD can be used in most cases with no problem (i.e., I would not need to shoot standing in direct sunlight) or snap fast with a, say, 200mm tele.

LCD hoods are massive and pretty cumbersome. So much for the sleek design and extra thin XS lenses ...

Agreed.

I don't think the above commenter meant a LCDVF style LCD loupe like the kind you use for video. Something like this pop-up hood is great.

http://delkin.com/i-5829814-universal-black-pop-up-shade-for-3-0-inch-diagonal-lcds.html

You can use one like the Delkin Pop-Up Shade, which I had on my GDR III. It's absolutely fantastic, and for a camera with no VF, almost essential. My newest camera, the excellent Panasonic GX1 has no VF and Steve is correct. In sunny conditions, a VF-less camera is brutal to shoot with. But this LCD hood is neither massive or cumbersome. It folds down when not in use.

Personally, the saving grace of the K-01 is it's fantastic IQ. I was sort of hoping for a design similar to the beautiful Pentax Q, but with an accessory port for a viewfinder, like my GX1 accepts. At this price range, this should be an option, IMHO.

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Russ Houston
Russ Houston Veteran Member • Posts: 6,375
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

Well, he finds the LCD useless, but I don't have a problem with it. Keep in mind that's his opinion. Obviously, there are lots of people like me that find the LCD acceptable and in some instances preferable. Doesn't mean it's for everyone, but neither does his assertion that the camera is useless outdoors.

All in all, I don't quibble with his review as he does a good job of qualifying his statements, except about the LCD, which he makes almost as if it's a fact for all users. It's not.
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Don Kiyoti
Don Kiyoti Regular Member • Posts: 464
Who is Steve Huff and why do people pay attention to him?

I watched (or tried to watch) his video review of the K-01, and reading this, I wonder why anyone would pay attention.

I'm not offended that he doesn't care for the K-01 design. But my overall impression of his writing and reviewing style is that this is merely another vanity site and that he is not credible.
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Russ Houston
Russ Houston Veteran Member • Posts: 6,375
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

chiane wrote:

If Steve doesn't like the design, then I am liking it more.

I shot with someone's m4/3 the other day for a bit using the rear screen, and shockingly, you can still frame and take pictures with it. I know, hard to believe you say, but contrary to this board, it is in fact not very hard to do.

I own one of those "crippled' cameras and I've been muddling through for about 3 years now with it. I understand that LCDs aren't for everyone, but for the non-users to keep asserting that they are worthless for all users is ridiculous.
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timo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,636
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

Russ Houston wrote:

chiane wrote:

If Steve doesn't like the design, then I am liking it more.

I shot with someone's m4/3 the other day for a bit using the rear screen, and shockingly, you can still frame and take pictures with it. I know, hard to believe you say, but contrary to this board, it is in fact not very hard to do.

I own one of those "crippled' cameras and I've been muddling through for about 3 years now with it. I understand that LCDs aren't for everyone, but for the non-users to keep asserting that they are worthless for all users is ridiculous.
--

Not useless for all users, but useless for anyone who habitually shoots in bright sunlight; and useless for anyone over 45 (i.e. me) who uses reading glasses.
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Russ Houston
Russ Houston Veteran Member • Posts: 6,375
Re: K-01 Camera Review – Design Masterpiece or Design Fail?

timo wrote:

Russ Houston wrote:

chiane wrote:

If Steve doesn't like the design, then I am liking it more.

I shot with someone's m4/3 the other day for a bit using the rear screen, and shockingly, you can still frame and take pictures with it. I know, hard to believe you say, but contrary to this board, it is in fact not very hard to do.

I own one of those "crippled' cameras and I've been muddling through for about 3 years now with it. I understand that LCDs aren't for everyone, but for the non-users to keep asserting that they are worthless for all users is ridiculous.
--

Not useless for all users, but useless for anyone who habitually shoots in bright sunlight; and useless for anyone over 45 (i.e. me) who uses reading glasses.
--
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Actually, wrong again. I'm 52 and started wearing glasses a couple of years ago. I live in Texas, so I'm habitually shooting in bright sunlight. On both accounts, LCDs work for me. In fact, LCDs work better for me since I started wearing glasses as I don't have to take them off to shoot, the put the on to review the shot or change settings, then take them off to shoot again, and so on. Or leave them on and smear them with the eyepiece, and have light leakage around the viewfinder.

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