Pentax K-01 Hands-on Preview
The advent of mirrorless has offered camera makers the chance to move beyond the film-era definitions of just how a camera should look. And few have embraced this opportunity to defy convention as enthusiastically as Pentax. For a company that makes admirably no-nonsense DSLRs, its two mirrorless offerings are both interesting expressions of creative design. The Pentax Q is easily the smallest mirrorless camera on the market, with a sensor size to match while, with the K-01, Pentax also claims the crown for the largest mirrorless camera we've yet seen.
While the K-01 may (intentionally) look un-camera-like, its combination of mirrorless design and a sensor inherited from the excellent K-5 means it shouldn't be dismissed. If the K-01 can successfully combine best-in-class image quality with a dedicated live view camera and many of the K-5's photographic features, then it'll really be the worth some attention.
The K-01 is a camera that's likely to polarize opinion at first glance. Its bulky cuboid design is an inevitable consequence of having a full-depth K-mount. Its rather toy-like buttons and switches, however, were voluntary design choices that will put some people off. Aesthetics aside, it's another consequence of using a conventional K-mount that may present the K-01 with its greatest challenge. On the one hand, the K-mount means that the camera can use a vast range of legacy and current Pentax lenses - avoiding the lens drought that early system adopters usually have to endure. On the other hand, the K-01 is a contrast-detect camera in a system designed for phase-detection autofocus, a combination that has rarely resulted in great AF speed.
Also, because the K-01 doesn't have an aperture coupling, it has no way of working out what aperture a pre-1983 (pre-KA) lens is set to. Instead you have to use the green button, which stops down the lens and sets the shutter speed to the metered value for that aperture. This isn't necessary for KA and newer lenses.
With a list price of $749/£629/823 body-only, it's a much cheaper camera than the K-5 and, with its unconventional styling, manual focusing aids and decent video specifications, there may yet be niches for the K-01 to thrive in. And that's before you start considering how many people would like a body on which to use their existing K lenses.
|The lens mount on the Pentax K-01 is compatible with all of the company's K-mount lenses, with no adapter needed.|
Pentax K-01 specification highlights:
- 16MP APS-C
- 6 frame per second shooting
- Built-in image stabilization
- Lens distortion and chromatic aberration correction
- 1080p video (30, 25 or 24)
- Microphone socket with adjustable volume level
- MF focus assist 'peaking'
- Built-in HDR
Compared to the Pentax K-5
|Christine by JP Zanotti|
from Car wreck
|Fangorn Forest by cand1d|
|Yosemite Falls with Moonbow by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Best Landscape of the Week 4
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more