Pentax K-01 Review

Availability and Value

The K-01 launched at an MSRP of $749, which is really quite reasonable, even without rebates.  It is also available in two lens kits: for $150, you can get it bundled with the DA 40mm F2.8 XS lens, or for $250 more, with the DA L 18-55mm and DA L 50-200mm. The first K-01 shipments arrived at retailers in Japan and the US during the first week of March.

While the former is a good deal, the DA L lenses can both be purchased used for significantly less than $250 second-hand on our marketplace or elsewhere.

As usual, one can expect the price to fall significantly over the coming months.  The K-r, originally priced aat $799, ended up selling for $499 at some retailers prior to its discontinuation.

K01 Kr back

If you factor in the low cost and wide availability of used legacy/manual lenses, the K-01 will give you much more versatility than other mirrorless cameras if you're on a budget.

What's Keeping it So Affordable?

At first it may be surprising that you can get a camera with the K-5's image quality for just $749 - less than half the price when comparing MSRP's.  However, it should be noted that the only new key component in the K-01 is its PRIME M processor and the design.  It's more than likely that the processor will also be employed in upcoming replacements for the K-r and K-5, further reducing overall development costs.  The sensor is derived from that of the K-5, and so is the screen.  The firmware resembles that of the K-r and the Q, and the scene modes have been around in Pentax point-and-shoots for years.  Plus, the K-01 is much simpler than a DSLR, as there are fewer sensors and mechanical components. So, once again as with the 645D and K-r, Pentax have managed to keep things affordable by re-using as many components as possible and developing technologies for multiple cameras at once.


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