Different but highly capable

Started May 10, 2012 | User reviews
JoeDaBassPlayer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,591
Different but highly capable

The more I use this camera the more I change how I think of photography. The world of "serious" photography revolves around the large, traditional, film based DSLR. This is not what the K 01 is and should not be criticized for not following on that well worn path. This is more along the lines of being a modern rangefinder. No, it does not have a rangefinder style viewfinder focus system. It has what a modern camera would use instead. This is focus peaking and a live view screen on the back.

Auto focus works and even works well in low light when the AF assist lamp can shed enough green light. This is not a sports camera but there are plenty of them out there. This is more like a range finder where the focus peaking can show one the plane of focus like a rangefinder system can. However, it is no longer limited to eye level perspective. The rangefinder lets the photographer concentrate on the plane of focus and craft a better creative photo. The k 01 does as well. However, one now thinks three dimensionally since the camera is no longer attached to the eye.

Image quality is fantastic. JPEGs in Natural tone are significantly better than Bright tone as used in the test photos. Default settings in ACRwork best IMHO. They provide better results than JPEG, mainly dus to a slightly more contrasty yet subtle tonality.

Primes, especially small ones work best. The camera is then a stout yet highly holdable camera. The XS 40 that comes with the camera is fantastic. Other ultra quality pancakes are available as well. This produces a package that is a viable alternative to a Pro X1 or M9. This is considering Image quality, usabilty, camera size and availability of top quality primes.

ISO 3200 is very good and 6400 is usable. In Body Stabilization and focus peaking add to its abitlites to shoot in low light. It can focus accurately through focus peaking when it may be too dark for a DSLR to work well.

It is no sports shooting camera but for street, most events, product and macro photos, It does an incredible job. It is Horses for Courses and for some courses, this is the camera to have.


AF is slower than that of a DSLR. However, it is more accurate and controllable through focus peaking.

Pentax K-01
16 megapixels • 3 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Feb 2, 2012
JoeDaBassPlayer's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
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