Pentax K-01 Review

K-01/K-5 Sensor Comparison

The sensors in the Pentax K-01 and K-5 have the same specifications on paper. Is it the same sensor or is the K-01 a newer, upgraded version? To shed some light on this question we shot the same scene with the same lens and the same settings with the two cameras.

The settings were ISO 100, 1/400 seconds, F8, and the lens an FA* 85mm F1.4.

The images were shot in RAW (DNG format for the K-01, and PEF for the K-5), and no adjustments were made in the RAW converter (Adobe Camera RAW) other than balancing the exposure and the same highlight recovery on both images. Highlight recovery was necessary because the yellow and orange patches came out with a slight overexposure on both cameras.

The images in the drop down below are JPG conversions, slightly sharpened. The first two are 100% crops, the next two are the full scene. The original RAW files are available here (39 MB zip file).

Pentax K-01/K-5 Sensor Comparison

From the above example and the many other shots we took we can conclude that the Pentax K-01 and K-5 produce identical results at the RAW file level.  Note that auto focus was used for both shots, and it seems that the K-01's system may have chosen a different AF point that the K-5.  While this doesn't affect our conclusion, we will aim to re-shoot the comparison photos when possible.

The K-01 uses the Adobe DNG uncompressed RAW format, and the files came out in the 16 MB range.

K-01/K-5 In-camera JPG Conversion Compared

We actually shot the above sample images in RAW+ so that we can also compare the images at the JPG level as generated by the cameras' processors. We used the Bright image setting and no post processing other than reducing the resolution. Click here for the full size straight out of camera images (14MB zip file).

Pentax K-01/K-5 JPG Engine Comparison

The K-01 images come out with slightly more punch to them so it would appear the Pentax has tweaked the JPG conversion engine for the K-01.

All in all, this test just confirms the stellar image quality of the K-01.


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