DPR review review

Started Mar 1, 2013 | Discussions
DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 6,390
KO1 review situation put simply
2

Hi,

If the K01 was reviewed today at it's current price nearly all it's shortfalls would be considered as minor details and would have scored 93% and an unobtainium award!

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fisherman_lol Contributing Member • Posts: 934
Re: KO1 review situation put simply

DAVID MANZE wrote:

Hi,

If the K01 was reviewed today at it's current price nearly all it's shortfalls would be considered as minor details and would have scored 93% and an unobtainium award!

If k-01 was a Canon or Nikon it would get a GOLD REWARD and a free round trip ticket to the moon no matter how it looked like or how much was the price.

tdwesbo
tdwesbo Senior Member • Posts: 2,166
Re: DPR review review
1

viking79 wrote:

wildkat2 wrote:

I hope to god Pentax never builds an EVF camera. Bottom line is they suck. I would rather shoot off the LCD all day than use an EVF.

They do not, and it gives added flexibility.

+1

I thought all the early EVFs were crap, but I have had the chance to peer through the EVFs of some of the new Oly CSCs and while in Vegas I stopped at the Sony store and tried out the EVF of the a99.  Gorgeous, and better, IMO, than an OVF under almost all conditions.

They are getting there with the technology.  I actually hope that Pentax abandons OVF by the time they cobble together a FF body and adopt an EVF instead.  So much more useful, so much easier to make and package, etc...

Wes

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,355
Re: DPR review review

That's more than a slight difference. Wrapping your fingers around something that chunky has to feel a whole lot different. I'm not a fan of small cameras as-such, I prefer larger cameras, but K-01 looks like a very different experience to hold and use. Some may not care, but if someone does want a smaller camera they probably want it to feel like one when they hold it.

anthony mazzeri wrote:

SIZE:

Fujifilm X-E1 - "The X-E1 is in essence a slimmed-down X-Pro1... The result is a compact body", "Ultimately, the Fujifilm X-E1 is a great little camera"

Pentax K-01 - "The Pentax K-01 is a bulky yet stylish camera"

Okay, vertical profile slightly slimmer on the right...

Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,764
Re: DPR review review
1

tdwesbo wrote:

viking79 wrote:

wildkat2 wrote:

I hope to god Pentax never builds an EVF camera. Bottom line is they suck. I would rather shoot off the LCD all day than use an EVF.

They do not, and it gives added flexibility.


+1

I thought all the early EVFs were crap, but I have had the chance to peer through the EVFs of some of the new Oly CSCs and while in Vegas I stopped at the Sony store and tried out the EVF of the a99. Gorgeous, and better, IMO, than an OVF under almost all conditions.

I saw the best current and next models EVFs, and I wasn't impressed - I prefer a good OVF, by a large margin.

I think the EVF has a looong way to to before getting rid of the "miniature TV few cms from your eye" look.

They are getting there with the technology. I actually hope that Pentax abandons OVF by the time they cobble together a FF body and adopt an EVF instead. So much more useful, so much easier to make and package, etc...

If Pentax would abandon OVF, I would instantly switch for a manufacturer that didn't. I'm not alone in this, trust me... and you, EVF fans, should simply chose one of the manufacturers which already supports EVFs rather than push to eliminate alternatives.

Wes

Alex

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 26,546
You are right
2

That's it, it's worth repeating: anyone getting a 1400 USD camera will likely use RAW and would profit from that. Dealbreaker, no need to go further. RAW is horrible, at all ISOs, detail is gone.

wildkat2 wrote:


Image Quality (RAW) - The Fuji RAW files can't properly process in Lightroom or ACR (even with the update). They have to be converted using the proprietary RAW processor or shot JPG. That is why the Fuji got better RAW scores.

You're massively over-stating things here. The Raw conversion isn't quite as polished as for Bayer sensors (a 20-odd year head-start can do that), but they're pretty good, as I'll demonstrate later.

That RAW conversion is an issue with this is a big deal. Anyone spending $1400 for a camera probably shoots RAW. Yes it got better this week but its still not up to standard.

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wildkat2 Contributing Member • Posts: 899
Re: DPR review review
3

R Butler wrote:

You're not going to like this but, as I think you realise, you're cherry-picking and misrepresenting the situation.

I didn't review either of these cameras, but here's an alternate perspective on your points:

wildkat2 wrote:

Im sorry but you are not considering everything.

Price - The K-01 cost significantly less (even at introduction). That is why the Fuji got a great "value" score wile the K-01 was almost rock bottom in "value."

Value isn't just a consideration of price. It's a consideration of what you get for that money. The X-E1 is around the same cost as the Sony NEX-7 but comes with a considerably brighter, better lens. You also get a smaller, prettier camera with nicer-to-use controls. The K-01 is cheap now they're trying to get rid of stock of a discontinued camera, but it was $899 with a 60mm equiv prime at launch. That's a reasonable price, but you that doesn't mean it's great value.

So I decided to do some digging on "value."  I came up with two cameras that have received lower "value" scores than the K-01 - The Ricoh GXR A12 and the Ricoh GXR S10.  If I were conspiracy minded.....During my search I found this description "Handling isn't great, nor is low light performance, and unless you find one very cheap indeed, it's best avoided."  The camera in question was priced almost the same as the K-01 and received an overall score of 59% and yet some how the Sony A380 was rated a better value than the K-01.

And about those GXR values, here is what DPR said "Viewed in its own right the Ricoh GXR with the S10 24-72mm lens module is an advanced compact camera albeit with a user interface and build quality that can typically be found on semi-pro DSLRs. Unfortunately at $990 ($550 for the GXR body and $440 for the S10 module) the GXR/S10's price tag is also quite close to the latter category of cameras."

The test scene is 3D, so depth of field comes into play. The X-E1 has to be shot closer to the scene because there isn't currently a 50mm lens for it, so depth-of-field is shallower.

Let's see how it behaves in the plane of focus:

Oh look, the X-E1 is sharper . It's not applying so much sharpening, but the definition on the focus target goes closer to the centre - meaning it's sharper.

Low Light/High ISO - the Fuji only goes to ISO 6400 while the K-01 goes to 256000. That is why the Fuji got better Low light/high ISO scores.

The X-E1 goes to ISO 25,600 in JPEG. Where is does very well against the K-01.

And, when it comes to Raw, the X-E1 scored slightly higher. And the performance isn't the walk-over your attack on ACR suggests .

I looked over your examples.  First, given it was shot at F8 I am a little surprised at how shallow the focus is.  That's not a good or bad thing, just surprising.  Second, I think the samples show that the two cameras are VERY close in image quality almost to the point of being a tie - some seem better for the Fuji, some better for the Pentax.  Third, While I agree the JPG output for the Fuji is better at high ISO the fact is that with the Pentax you have the option of processing the RAW and potentially getting better output while the Fuji lacks that option.  Overall I would call them very close to dead even.  All that makes it even more difficult to accept significant and across the board higher ratings for the X-E1 over the K-01, especially the RAW scores.

Plus you are not considering the large selection of lenses for the Pentax. How confusing! its much better to only have 4 or 5.

The K-01 can be used with lots of lenses (as can the X-E1 using the many adapters that its short flange-back distance allows). However, no Pentax K-mount lenses have been designed with contrast detection AF in mind. Not one. As a result, the K-01 is never very fast at focusing and is sometimes terrible.

By contrast, the X-E1 has a growing number of very high quality lenses designed specifically for it and, from what I remember, everything except the 60mm Macro (which I've not used since the last firmware update) is faster to focus than the K-01.

So again, it's not as clear-cut as you imply.

I never used my K-01 with the 1.0 firmware so I have never had the opportunity to experience really bad K-01 AF.  I have also yet to try using it with any of my long throw lenses.  Given its size, it hardly seems appropriate to try using it with a large 2.8 zoom.  Using it with the small primes like the DA 40 XS the AF is reasonably fast except when I am inside the minimum focusing distance.  Then it gets stuck in a do loop.  Lesson?  Use the right lenses and know what your minimum distance is.

By "growing number" you mean 5 with an announcement for 5 more.  Additionally I found 1 third party lens, a manual focus fish-eye.  All of the native lenses are VERY expensive.  5 happens to be the number of lenses available for the Pentax Q/Q10.  I hope you will be as generous in describing the number of lenses for the Q10 if you ever review it.  5 also happens to be the number of lens "modules" for the GXR.

When you take EVERYTHING into account it easy to see why the Fuji was rated so high.

The difference between the best and the worst camera is small, but use both of these for an extended amount of time and it's hard not to draw the conclusion that the X-E1 is among the best and the K-01 isn't.

Richard - dpreview.com

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chillgreg
chillgreg Senior Member • Posts: 1,248
The K-01 is a spade...
1

1. Enjoying this thread very much. I'm a closet Pentax fan since I was a kid using Dad's MV1.

2. Some very valid points made. Why not request an official reply from the DPR Editor?

3. I can tell you (theories aside) why the K-01 is not a commercial success. It is pig, butt ugly.  It's so horrendous that I actually laughed when I first saw it. And not just the design. The finish, the colours, the materials. What the ____ were they smoking when this abomination was approved???

Sorry I know that matters little to some that value function over form, but whether Pentax was trying to set a trend, or follow one (?), they missed the mark by the proverbial mile...

Otherwise obviously its a superb camera, and I hope it comes to light what is going on with Fuji, DPR and the press. Something smells fishy...

Greg

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chillgreg
chillgreg Senior Member • Posts: 1,248
Re: The K-01 is a spade...

I see Richard Butler has been in contact. Perhaps I should read the whole thread next trime. Feeling slightly sheepish :s

I had another look at it too. Pwentax musat have paid (Aussie!) this design "guru" a fortune. Pity. There must be thousands of talented design graduates round the world that wouold chomp at the bit to do it for free. They would have paid him wellllll into the 6 figures...

But what IQ!!! I'm really surprised. Pleasantly.

Greg

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Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,764
Re: The K-01 is a spade...

chillgreg wrote:

1. Enjoying this thread very much. I'm a closet Pentax fan since I was a kid using Dad's MV1.

2. Some very valid points made. Why not request an official reply from the DPR Editor?

DPReview's official position is always that they can do no wrong.

3. I can tell you (theories aside) why the K-01 is not a commercial success. It is pig, butt ugly. It's so horrendous that I actually laughed when I first saw it. And not just the design. The finish, the colours, the materials. What the ____ were they smoking when this abomination was approved???

You are exaggerating. The design is not inspiring, but it's not horrendous, either. The finish - it's quite well made, actually; and the build quality is very good (except for the annoying rubber covers). The colours - nobody forces you to go with the yellow (which isn't that bad looking, either); too bad they haven't made a full-black one. The materials, are the cheap plastic MILCs better than the solid K-01's construction? One touch is enough to feel  the answer.

It appears to me you only saw the camera in pictures, and only the yellow one.

Sorry I know that matters little to some that value function over form, but whether Pentax was trying to set a trend, or follow one (?), they missed the mark by the proverbial mile...

Indeed, the market won't easily accept something different.

Otherwise obviously its a superb camera, and I hope it comes to light what is going on with Fuji, DPR and the press. Something smells fishy...

Greg

Alex

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chillgreg
chillgreg Senior Member • Posts: 1,248
Re: The K-01 is a spade...

Alex Sarbu wrote:

chillgreg wrote:

3. I can tell you (theories aside) why the K-01 is not a commercial success. It is pig, butt ugly. It's so horrendous that I actually laughed when I first saw it. And not just the design. The finish, the colours, the materials. What the ____ were they smoking when this abomination was approved???

You are exaggerating. The design is not inspiring, but it's not horrendous, either. The finish - it's quite well made, actually; and the build quality is very good (except for the annoying rubber covers). The colours - nobody forces you to go with the yellow (which isn't that bad looking, either); too bad they haven't made a full-black one. The materials, are the cheap plastic MILCs better than the solid K-01's construction? One touch is enough to feel the answer.

It appears to me you only saw the camera in pictures, and only the yellow one.

Alex

Allow me to clarify. In the way a Landrover Defender is attractive, then so is the K-01. After I looked at it again, for some time, from different angles, I can say that at best it's flawed. From straight on, it's actually kind of cool, with the "castle" tower mode dial. But some views just grate. And yes, as I learned that it's functionally iand IQ is actually extremely good, perhaps it even started to grow on me. Ever had a homely woman cook you a good meal?

I didn't mean to infer that the build quality is inferior; in fact knowing the K series DSLR's reputation for build excellence, I would assume that the fit, finish and materials chosen are top notch. But they don't look like it. Matte finish metal and the colour combinations don't lend themselves to a quality appearance. As another example of a market with rapidly evolving designs, look at smartphones. Look at Apple. They not only feel right, they look right.

But any competent preliminary market research would have told Pentax that the target market, would not likely take the time or effort required to get over that shock of first impressions aesthetics. Take McClaren Automotive for example. The legendary F1, the new MP4-12C, and the upcoming P1, are not described as beautiful. Their stated design goal is that form must always follow function. Yet their in-house chief designer manages to both "take the pulse" of current design relevancy, and create an individual, timeless design language.

Extremely strong design statements that eschew any market relevancy, can attain classic status, but more often than not become dated. Research Chris Bangle's 1990's BMW design language for an apt illustration of this.

Not just Pentax, but most Japanese electronics companies are like headless chickens when times get tough.

The "reality gap" between Japanese executive's perception of, and what western consumers actually want and need, has never been greater. It's a great pity really. If they were to follow say some Swiss or German companies by example, who knows what true greatness they might acheive.

Greg

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miles green
miles green Veteran Member • Posts: 7,819
very nicely said Pete! [nt]

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Miles Green
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Corfu, Greece

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drummercam Senior Member • Posts: 1,939
Re: The K-01 is a spade...
1

Well, "extremely strong design statement" is much more judicious than "pig butt ugly," which is purely a statement of personal opinion.  I think K-01 one looks great, and I own the yellow one, and I'm sure my opinion is as valid as anyone's.  So where does that get us?

The K-01 design was in fact well executed.  If I get a second one, it will be the b&w because the black with silver is too similar to the classic camera scheme, which the K-01 did not set out to be.  In for a penny, in for a pound, which is why I went with yellow to start.

With respect to the rubber flap, Pentax internal design has long had the SD slot on the right side.   Big expense with cascading effects to change even such a small internal parameter.  The wraparound rubber cover would have been interrupted by the typical plastic door.  Far from being silly and fragile -- and this is a big point that I hope squelches everyone about the flap issue (including Kai at DigitalRevCom) -- the rubber SD cover is effective in both form and function, and robust.  Let me repeat ROBUST.  The only way that the flap will fail is if it is literally ripped from the camera by accident.  Many plastic SD "doors" with tiny plastic hinges no doubt get broken by accident, so they have no advantage on that point, maybe less.  As for external design, the flap allows the ribbed rubber cover to enfold the entire camera without interruption, and, very obviously to anyone who owns one (JoeDaBassPlayer knows what I mean), the selection of materials and the design of the small notches that hold the flap it place were spot on.  If you find the flap hard to close, you probably can't zip your own pants.  If you own the camera and have any sense of design engineering whatsoever (I do), you can readily see a very successful solution of the SD door problem within the K-01's internal and external parameters.

So, to Pentax engineer who actually executed on the drawing table Newson's idea for the cover to fully wrap the camera -- WELL DONE!  Those who criticized the flap have zero sense of design, materials, and parts engineering.  And no, the K-01 doesn't need a traction rest for the thumb on the back, and the "grip" doesn't need to be any deeper either.

Finally, I daresay that few people ever noticed that the ribbing on the cover matches the ribbed milling of the knobs.  The design is in fact very well integrated with itself in ways on which its hand-off detractors have proven themselves entirely clueless from design and engineering standpoints.

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Jim Beverlin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,867
Re: Lenses and Auto-Focusing

Gary Martin wrote:

The K-01 can be used with lots of lenses (as can the X-E1 using the many adapters that its short flange-back distance allows). However, no Pentax K-mount lenses have been designed with contrast detection AF in mind. Not one. As a result, the K-01 is never very fast at focusing and is sometimes terrible.

By contrast, the X-E1 has a growing number of very high quality lenses designed specifically for it and, from what I remember, everything except the 60mm Macro (which I've not used since the last firmware update) is faster to focus than the K-01.

I never tried the K-01 with the original firmware, but I've been using one with updated firmware regularly with all 5 of the DA Limiteds and the FA50 without problem for months. I (just now) tried all of these lenses in a low-light environment, and they all auto-focus quickly and accurately - in fact I have more confidence in the accuracy of the AF than I do with my PDAF bodies, but that's another story. Then there's the fact that Focus Peaking has breathed new life into my manual focus lenses. The 50/1.4A is now fantastically usable in low-light, better than any previous body going back to my film days. So I don't think there was ever a need for special CDAF lenses for the K-01.

Pentax deserves kudus for doing what they've always done well: support backward compatibility and existing users. Too bad most review sites are more interested in parting consumers from their hard-earned cash to buy the latest-and-greatest tech (soon to be obsolete and replaced, thanks), rather than provide a sensible and affordable upgrade path.

Very well said Gary.  I agree 100+%.  Being a Pentax user for over 30 years support to existing owners and backwards compatability is very important.  The K-01 along with the excellent DA40XS lens is the best deal I have found in my over 57 years.

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JRB

ET2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,110
Re: Even more shocking bias here
1

DPR has explained many times that the queen of the heart in the back should be not be used as an example as it's usually out of focus on some of cameras.

Otherwise, Pentax 645D is the worse camera ever made. Why don't you post the queen of hearts on 645D?

wildkat2 wrote:

Well you can see from this shot that clearly there is a difference in performance:

Granted this is at ISO 400 - you know the speed that about 99% of family snapshots used to be take at. Once again, BOTH the K-01 and K-30 are far too sharp.

ET2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,110
Re: DPR review review
1

samhain wrote:

The k-01 is destined to be a classic? Seriously? C'mon now.

LOL .. Claims like these says a lot about people who are starting threads like these.

K01 received mediocre reviews from tons of other credible sites (IR, for example). It wasn't just DPReview

MaKeR Contributing Member • Posts: 941
Re: The K-01 is a spade...

chillgreg wrote:

It is pig, butt ugly.

If they were to follow say some Swiss or German companies by example, who knows what true greatness they might acheive.

Greg

The K-01 received the prestigious Red Dot award for design from the German red dot institute.

K-01 red dot design award

mngsmt Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: DPR review review
1

anthony mazzeri wrote:

...but at the end of the day?

audiobomber
audiobomber Veteran Member • Posts: 5,766
Re: DPR review review
4

Yes, there's a difference in size between a weather-proof 16-50 f/2.8 and an 18-55mm f/2.8-4. That's quite a revelation.

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Dan

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mngsmt Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: DPR review review

audiobomber wrote:

Yes, there's a difference in size between a weather-proof 16-50 f/2.8 and an 18-55mm f/2.8-4. That's quite a revelation.

The main difference here is a flange focal distance of 45.46mm vs. 17.7mm (IMO that's also the difference between a good design and a flawed one - please don't take offense, I'm sure the K01 is a fine camera nonetheless).

I recognize that the weather proofing must add considerably to the bulk, though

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