Pentax K-01 Review
For users starting new to Pentax, we would like to offer some recommendations regarding camera settings for the K-01 that we've found to save time and improve your photos.
Most importantly, be sure to disable the startup welcome screen. This is accomplished via the "LCD Display" option on the first page of the settings menu. This will speed up your K-01's startup time by about a second. If you plan on shooting with manual lenses, go in to your custom function menu and set setting 16 (allow aperture ring) to 2 (enabled). This will let you use manual lenses when mounted. Also, go ahead and enable the expanded ISO range via custom function 3, just in case you happen to need it in a pinch. To make menu navigation more convenient, set custom function 14 to 2 (save menu location). Once you get accustomed to the camera, you can disable the guide screen from the same place you disabled the startup screen (the guide screen pops up every time you switch modes otherwise, showing you what each of the buttons is mapped to).
We recommend leaving instant review at 1 second, and shooting in continuous "Lo" mode, as in this mode, the K-01 recovers faster and feels more responsive compared to single-shot mode. Most novice users should stick to using the face-detect AF option, while more advanced users should try select AF. You can also set the camera to "release priority" via the 10th custom option, allowing the shutter to be release even if the camera thinks focus hasn't been achieved.
To improve your AF accuracy, enable focus peaking as well as AF autozoom via the record menu. We recommend that you remap the red button to toggle focus peaking via the button customization option in the record menu. Note that with manual lenses, the pressing down the shutter button half way won't trigger the autozoom feature; you have to press the OK button instead.
In order to save power, set auto power off to 1 minute via the second tab of the settings menu. If you get annoyed by the auto LCD dimming, you can disable that by un-checking "power saving", though we recommend that you keep this on, as the K-01 drains its battery fairly quickly to begin with. Another power-saving optimization is to have SR engage only when shooting. This is controlled via custom function 15, and is enabled by default.
To speed up image processing and display times, disable shadow/highlight correction as well as lens distortion correction. You can always correct distortions via the Pentax desktop software, and shooting in RAW will help you correct any flaws in lighting if you're concerned about image quality. Leaving high-ISO noise reduction on is fine, as it doesn't add nearly as much overhead as the other in-camera correction options. If you're a JPEG shooter, you should also consider setting your own "custom image" profile. Take a single photo in RAW, and open it in the Pentax desktop software. You will then be able to toy with the custom image settings. Once the colors and tones are to your liking, apply that same profile in your camera by pressing "info" when selecting a predefined profile and modifying the parameters accordingly. In the past, we have found that increasing sharpness and contrast by one notch and saturation by two seems in the "vibrant" profile to work well.
To keep your sensor clean, enable startup or shutdown dust removal via the third tab of the settings menu. Finally, whenever you switch lenses, be sure to turn your camera off first, as this will prevent dust from hitting the sensor.
If you've found a particular setting configuration to work exceptionally well, feel free to share it with our community in the K-01 forum!