Pentax K-01 Review
The K-01 has a pretty nice movie mode in terms of specification. It allows you to record Full HD video at 1920 x 1080 with your choice of frame rates: 24, 25, or 30 frames/sec. Sound is recorded in stereo, as you'd expect, and if you want to attach an external mic, there's a port for that. You can keep recording until the elapsed time reaches 25 minutes, or the file size hits 4 GB. If you're recording 1080p at the highest quality setting (***), it looks like you'll hit the file size limit in about 16 minutes. If 1080p is too much for you, the K-01 also supports 720p (at 60 fps) and VGA resolutions. At all resolutions, you can choose a quality setting ranging from one to three stars.
Not surprisingly, you can zoom in and out to your heart's content when recording movies on the K-01. The camera does not offer continuous autofocus, but you can refocus the camera by pressing the AE/AF lock button. That's not a great idea, though, as the refocusing can be slow and noisy.
The K-01 supports full manual control over exposure while you're taking a movie. You can adjust the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity, along with the microphone level. About the only thing missing here is a wind filter. As I touched on earlier, the camera can take a serious of photos over time and compile them into a time-lapse movie. The K-01 does not permit you to take stills while simultaneously recording video.
Videos are recorded using the H.264 codec, and saved in QuickTime format.
Sample Video 1
|Download original movie (1920 x 1080, 30 fps, 38.2 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format)|
The quality's not wondrous, but it'll probably be good enough for most folks. I did notice that if you have focus peaking turned on, the first few frames of a movie will show that effect. I trimmed that out of this clip.
Sample Video 2
|Download original movie (1920 x 1080, 30 fps, 47.1 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format)|
This clip shows perhaps the main weaknesses of the K-01 when it comes to recording video - rolling shutter. Also known as 'jello cam', rolling shutter (where vertical lines appear slanted when the video is panned) is a consequence of how CMOS sensors are designed. Data from the sensor is read out in lines from top to bottom, which means the bottom lines are read later than the top. This is fine for still images, but in video it can result in 'jello cam' unless it is corrected.
The K-01's video footage displays some of the most severe rolling shutter artefacts that we've seen for a while, and this clip, shot at the long end of an 18-135mm zoom lens, is distinctly wobbly.
Sample Video 3
|Download original movie (1920 x 1080, 30 fps, 39.2 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format)|
The rolling shutter effect seems to be exacerbated, unfortunately, by the K-01's shake reduction function, which if you remember, works by shifting the sensor in response to camera movement to counteract camera shake. Unfortunately, the movement of the sensor, coupled with the severe rolling shutter effect creates distinctly odd-looking footage, which looks rather as if it has been projected onto jello. This clip was taken at the long end of an 18-135mm zoom lens, hand-held, with shake reduction turned on.
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