Pentax K-01: "The Second-Best Mirrorless Camera"

DxO Mark Sensor Scores Posted

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Mar 31, 2012

DxO Labs have just published the results of their test of the Pentax K-01's sensor, ranking it the second-highest among mirrorless cameras in terms of overall image quality. The only camera to beat it was the new (and more expensive) 24-megapixel Sony NEX-7.

The K-01 scored lower than the Pentax K-5 as the K-5 has a higher bit depth in RAW (14-bit vs 12-bit), meaning that it has the potential achieve a better dynamic range.

Below is a table summarizing the test results.  Among mirrorless cameras, the K-01 scored second in all categories except for high-ISO performance, where it came in first place.  For all tests below, the higher the number, the better the result.

Pentax K-01 Sony NEX-7 Sony NEX-5n Pentax K-5
Camera Name

Pentax K-01

Sony NEX-7

Sony NEX-5n

Pentax K-5

Overall Score 79 81 77 82
Color Depth (bit) 23.7 24.1 23.6 23.7
Dynamic Range (EV) 12.9 13.4 12.7 14.1
Low-Light (ISO) 1135 1016 1079 1162

So, if you're loooking for a mirrorless camera and your top priority is image quality, then the K-01 won't disappoint.  To learn more about this camera, read our Pentax K-01 Review.

DxO Labs also compared the Pentax K-01 to two four-thirds cameras, namely the Panasonic GX1 and the Olympus PEN EP3. The Pentax K-01 outclasses both by a big margin: 24 points ahead of the former and 28 points ahead of the latter thanks to its bigger sensor.

It is rumored that the sensor to be used in the successor to the Pentax K-5 will be based on the 24 megapixel unit in the Sony NEX-7.  Its favorable test results, combined with any improvements the Pentax camera will have (such as bit depth), suggest that we will continue to experience exceptional image quality on the 24-megapixel APS-C Pentax, though we will have to wait and see how the Pentax does in low light!

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