Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Camera Reviews » Pentax Digital Cameras » Pentax Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras
Pentax K-01 Review RSS Feed

Pentax K-01

Ergonomics 
 7.7
Build Quality 
 9.2
User Interface 
 8.9
Autofocus 
 7.9
Features 
 8.6
Value 
 9.6
Image Quality 
 9.8
Noise 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
51 99,165 Thu July 14, 2016
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $384.87 8.76
Pentax K-01

Pentax K-01
supersize
Pentax K-01
supersize
Pentax K-01
supersize
Pentax K-01
supersize
Pentax K-01
supersize
Pentax K-01
supersize

Description:

The PENTAX K-01, introduced in 2012,†is an industry first. It is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC) with an APS-C sized sensor (16 x 24 mm) that takes the full range of legacy K-mount Pentax SLR/DSLR lenses and accessories as well as the new XS series ultra-compact lenses. Recently introduced mirrorless cameras from other brands with APS-C (or smaller) sized sensors have lens mounts incompatible with the DSLR/SLR cameras of those brands. Pentax has once again shown its commitment to its customers by not obsolescing their lens collection.

See our In-Depth K-01 Review

See the Pentax K-01 Exclusive Overview

The Pentax K01 camera is designed by the well-known industrial designer Marc Newson, so Pentax has not just focused on the technical specifications, but also paid attention to the looks and feel of this new camera.

The K-01 uses the 16.3 MP Sony sensor similar to the one used in the PENTAX K-5, so the K-01 makes the excellent image quality and high dynamic range of the K-5 available in a more compact and less expensive package.

Being mirrorless, the K-01 uses the imaging sensor for auto-focus (contrast detect) and exposure metering, but has inherited the floating sensor shake reduction mechanism from the Pentax DSLRs. The autofocus system has 81 focus points.

The lens mount is of the KAF2 type without aperture ring coupler. This means that all current KAF/KAF2/KAF3 K-mount and legacy K-mount lenses can be used although the oldest generations, K- and M-series lenses, must be used with stop down metering. 645 and 67 format lenses can be used with adapters. The lens mount supports autofocus for drive shaft as well as SDM autofocus lenses. Lenses with the KAF4 mount variant introduced in 2016 cannot be used.

The K-01 offers a wide sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51,600, and a wide range of shutter speeds from 1/4000 sec to 30 seconds and the full range of shutter speeds are available at all F-stops, something that is not a given for a mirrorless camera.

A HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode has been added to the exposure mode dial which makes it easy to engage this mode. The mode dial also has settings for scene modes of which there are 19, and Auto-Pict, a mode which based on an analysis of the scene will pick the optimal scene mode.

The K-01 has an upgraded video capability as compared to current and past Pentax DSLRs. It offers full HD-proportion movie recording at 1920 x 1080 pixels at 24, 25 and 30 fps, and 720p HD recording up to 60 fps, and a built-in stereo microphone. There is also a connector for an external stereo microphone.

The K-01 has no view finder. The LCD monitor is used for composing the image. There is a choice of four image aspect ratios: 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, and 1:1, and a 4x4 or 3x3 grid can be superimposed to aid composition.

Discuss the K01 in our Dedicated K-01 Forum

Camera Manuals:


Pentax K-01
Year Introduced
2012
In Production
No (Discontinued 2013)
Current US Price
N/A
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor
Sensor Format
APS-C
Sensor Type
CMOS
Megapixels
16.28
Resolution
3264 x 4928 pixels
AA Filter
Yes
Super Resolution
No
Bit Depth
12
Minimum ISO
100
Maximum ISO
25600
ISO Range
100 - 12,800 (100 - 25,600)
Imaging
Exposure Modes
Auto Picture, Scene, HDR, P, Hyper Av, Hyper Tv, Av, Tv, TAv, M, B
Program Modes
Standard
Maximum FPS
6
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 6 fps up to six frames (JPG, RAW not possible), Lo: 3 fps until card is full (JPG)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/4000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/4000s
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-3 EV
Auto bracketing
3 frames, one-push bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Yes
Self timer
2 s and 12 s
Metering Sensor
Meter range
-1 to 21 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
N/A
Interval shooting
Up to 999 frames, from 1 sec to 24 hours between frames
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes, average and additive, 2 to 9 shots
Pixel mapping
Yes
Scene Modes
19: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Forest, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR (JPG only), Night Snap, Food, Pet, Kids, Surf & Snow, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, Museum
Restrictions
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes
Stabilization
Yes (sensor-shift SR)
Power zoom
Not supported
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses except for lenses with the KAF4 mount variant. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration
Focusing
Autofocus (viewfinder)
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Not necessary
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
Viewfinder/LCD
Viewfinder
None
Viewfinder type
None
Diopter adjustment
AF Points in viewfinder
No
Exchangeable screen
N/A
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Use live view with histogram overlay
Live View
Yes
Top LCD
No
Focus Peaking
Yes
Back LCD
3 in. 921,000 dots
Body
Weather resistant
No
Control wheels
1
Battery grip
No
Card slots
1
Dust removal
Yes, Sensor Shake DR
Dust alert
No
Memory card type
SD, SDHC (max. 32GB), SDXC, UHS-I speed class support
Size (W x H x D)
121 x 79 x 59 mm (4.8 x 3.1 x 2.3 in.)
Weight
480 g (16.9 oz), 560 g (19.8 oz) with battery and SD card
File format
DNG (RAW),JPG,MOV
Battery life
500 images (50% flash usage), Playback time 320 minutes
Battery
D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable
Flash
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 12 (ISO 100/m)
Sync speed
1/180s
P-TTL flash
Yes
Flash functions
Auto discharge, On (leading curtain sync), Redeye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Trailing curtain sync, High-speed sync*, Manual*
* Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
No
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Video
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 30, 25, and 24 fps 1280x720 (16:9) at 60, 30, 25, and 24 fps 640x480 (4:3) at 30, 25, and 24 fps MPEG4 AVC/H.264 Recording time up to 25 minutes HDMI out
Exposure Modes
Movie mode restrictions
AF During Recording
No
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic) Stereo (built-in mic) Adjustable sound level
Interfacing
GPS
Via Accessory
Tethering
None
Connectivity
USB 2.0, AV out, HDMI out (Type C, Mini), 3.5mm stereo mic
Latest Firmware
Version 1.05
Notes
Focus peaking, Embed copyright information in EXIF, High ISO NR can be customized for each major ISO value, In-camera RAW development, The green and red buttons are customizable and can perform a variety of functions, hereunder start movie recording
Megapixels: 16.28 MP
ISO Range: 100 - 12,800 (100 - 25600 extended range)
Weight: 560 g with battery and SD card
FPS: 6 fps
LCD: 3 in., 921,000 dots
In Production: Buy the Pentax K-01
Manual: http://c758710.r10.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/support/manual/1330621102_Manual_K-01_EN_official.pdf
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-01 in-depth review!



Add Review of Pentax K-01 Buy the Pentax K-01
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 51
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2015
Posts: 39
Review Date: July 14, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Compact size, availability of Pentax (small) glass
Cons: No viewfinder, primitive display
Ergonomics: 6    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 7    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

DISCLOSURE: I don't own this lens and in fact have never even held it in my hands. I'm writing this "review" based entirely on reading.

I'm someone with 4 film and 6 digital Pentax bodies and 20 or so K mount lenses. For travelling light, I'm using a Panasonic 2.3 sensor ZS-50 camera (spectacular for what it is); I've been thinking of upgrading to a Lumix GX-8 MF43 system for improved image quality and carry-ability.

In the midst of these ruminations, it occurred to me that the K-01 might serve even better. It's a little bulky, but not objectionably so, and it accommodates an entire DSLR lens system to which I'm already committed. Furthermore, Pentax/Ricoh has long been known for its compact lens designs, and Pentax' APS-C format lenses are size-competitive with MF43 offerings, and are no more difficult to carry.

At the end of the day, though, I declined the K-01, but for reasons which could be addressed without too much difficulty in a future release. What the K-01 lacks for me is an electronic viewfinder first, and a tilt-out screen with touch-focus capability a close second. Not being interested in video myself, I do recognize that 4k is becoming common so that should be implemented as well. I think a product like this would be very attractive.

My "review" ends. I'm someone who would have liked to buy this camera for really compelling reasons. In a sense I still do. But I feel it was released before its time, and by now lacks several critical features, which if implemented would make its successor a welcome product.

FWIW.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 16

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 2, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: cheap, great sensor, easy use of old lenses, solid and stylish
Cons:
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

Very well made, classic pentax. Put a nice old zeiss or schneider lens on it and the picture quality is super. Focusing with live view is so much easier, using zoom and peaking, and metering is much easier than with the Kx - the viewfinder gets very dark with a closed aperture manual lens. Great quality video too. Composing on screen, instead of at the eye can get some interesting perspective - I get some lovely pictures from my lumix lx2 this way.

Cant really find a fault with it.

Not terribly impressed with the 40mm xs - a bit dull, but usable. Kit zoom 18-55 does incredibly well for such a cheap lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2011
Posts: 3,615

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 24, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent IQ, solid body, compact size
Cons: Slower than a DSLR for action shots
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

Mirrorless done right!

The K-01 came in for a lot of criticism when it appeared on the
market around three years ago, but after owning a couple for
more than two years now (acquired cheaply, and carrying the
updated firmware), I have developed an increasing appreciation
of the value of the concept, and its usefulness for a number of
specific photographic tasks.

As a mirrorless camera, the K-01 has often been compared with
the Sony mirrorless cameras, which also have bigger sensors
than the four-thirds format. In this comparison, the K-01 has
been seen as too heavy and too bulky. However, the smaller size
of the Sony bodies becomes much less of an advantage when
bigger lenses are attached, and the Sony bodies have had
various problems, such as light leaks, because of their flimsy
construction. On the other hand, the K-01 is superbly made. The
weight of the body balances heavier lenses nicely, and offers a
lot of thermal inertia to avoid the inevitable heating that
follows continued use of live view. The big D-L190 battery is
interchangeable with other top-line Pentax cameras, and keeps
on powering the K-01 throughout a long session or trip.

Many photographers, familiar with (D)SLRs, are critical of the
LCD screen finder. It is what it is: a sensible compromise
between resolution and battery drain. Sure, it is not always
clearly visible in certain lighting conditions, even if the
screen brightness is cranked up to full. But every viewfinder
system has its disadvantages. Those of us familiar with
rangefinder film cameras are conscious of how a (D)SLR will
black out at the critical moment when the photograph is made.
On the other hand, rangefinder cameras are not very good for
closeups, or for lenses outside a limited range of focal
lengths. I have actually found the K-01 screen to be very
versatile in its applications. In panning shots, it is easier
to keep tracking a subject when the camera is held away from
the eyes, as compared to a (D)SLR in that situation. And for
portraits, you can keep eye contact with your subjects as you
make the photograph. For use in bright light, I've never
bothered with an LCD hood, just shading the screen with a hand.

OK, so for the photographer who has one or more DSLRs
available, maybe even a K-50 which is virtually a K-01 with a
prism, why use the K-01? Above all, the IQ. The very weak AA
filter, and the sensor that is still unrivalled at high ISO
settings, make for absolutely wicked image quality, especially
in a camera that costs less than 300 dollars.

Beyond that, there are three specific classes of lenses that
really work well with the K-01:

1. "Problem" zooms where you cannot adjust for front or back
focus accurately at all focal lengths or focus distances.
(Tamron 17-50, I'm looking at you here!) The CDAF of the K-01,
in the native live view for which the camera is designed, may
be a little slow, but it really nails the focus with these
problem lenses. Suddenly, their real life IQ begins to match
what the lab tests promise.

2. Fast lenses, especially in low light. Once I'd become
familiar with the K-01, I had no hesitation in acquiring an
A50/1.2. Focusing a lens like that with focus peaking is very
accurate, and then you can stop down to f/1.4 or f/1.8! With
shake reduction, the lack of mirror flip, and the big solid
body, shutter speeds of 1/15th second are completely usable.
Coupled with the maintained quality at high ISO, the K-01 with
a good fast lens is a low light demon.



3. M42 screwmount lenses. Once you have them focused fully
open, or using their generally excellent distance scales, you
can stop down to taking aperture and still get a good image in
the LCD screen. This is a distinct advantage of the K-01 over a
DSLR. Metering is automatic with the "Av" setting. Also, the
lack of mirror lets you use lenses, like the ISCO Westron
35/2.8, that may foul an SLR mirror when focused at infinity.

The boxy body of the K-01 ends up being very practical.
Certainly I have no trouble holding it, generally two-handed,
with one hand cradling the lens. You can rest the body easily
on a level surface, in landscape mode or even in portrait mode.
Standing it on end like that, I've found the access to the USB
connection to be the most user-friendly of all my Pentax
digital cameras. My one ergonomic gripe concerns the on/off
switch, which all too easily gets moved back on by the strap
when I put the camera back in its case.

Despite the lack of mirror flip, the shutter action on the K-01
is not quite as discreet as on the K-5. But it is certainly
quieter than its K-50 stablemate. I'd love to see an updated
K-01 appear, especially with a full frame sensor, but until
that (unlikely) event occurs, I'll keep on running up the
shutter count on the original model.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Belgium
Posts: 61
Review Date: June 27, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Original design, K-mount, K5 sensor, manual focus options
Cons: bulky, AF in low light
Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 7    Value: 7    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: Used   

Not usual to use a DSLR without VF but Pentax made a nice camera with the same K5 sensor.
Some kind of people (and reviews) critize this choice but it has the merit to try a new approach in digital photography.
I loved to use the K5 and i feel again here the same image quality with great color rendition.
AF is not bad at all and for every day use, it's very acceptable.
Focus peaking is a great option for those who use old manual K mount lenses.
Unfortunately Pentax discontinued the K-01 concept.
So no update will not be available anymore in the future excepted the last firmware option.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2009
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 122
Review Date: February 8, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: No | Price: $325.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IQ, compactness, solid build
Cons: Ergonomics, slow shot-to-shot
Ergonomics: 6    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

Like jimmm18, I recently supplemented my K-01 with a used K30. I had bought my K-01 body a little more than a year ago on eBay as a compact second body to my K3. Since I already had a DA40Ltd, I had what amounted to a higher quality version of the original kit. As a kit that is easy to carry around, yet is capable of producing large, detailed images, this combination has been very useful. As a companion to my K3, it has saved me when the (prime) lens on the K3 was not ideal for the scene at hand.
So why did I buy the K30? The ergonomics of the K-01 donít work very well for me except in point-and-shoot mode. I wear progressive bifocal glasses, so itís difficult to hold the K-01 at exactly the right distance from my eyes. The LCD is not very visible in bright light to begin with, so I use a Kaiser shade, which adds bulk as well as shadow. For serious shooting, I much prefer using two hands, an OVF with diopter, and two control wheels. So the K30 will accompany the K3 when I want to carry two bodies.
For casual shooting, the K-01 with DA40 (but no shade) can fit in a coat pocketóIíll leave it in P-mode.
-----
The used K30 was defective so I swapped it for a used K50, which works fine. Although I got lots of keepers with the K-01, unlike jimmm18, I just couldn't get used to the LCD and having to use a lens shade at almost all times, and I still prefer the K50's controls and general feel. So I sold the K-01.
My next mirrorless cam will have a good EVF.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 61
Review Date: February 3, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, High IQ, low noise, pretty in white,
Cons: LCD in bright light, focusing with large lens
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

Well I have had my k-01 for nearly two years. Bought it prior to a trip to Italy in the spring of 2013. I bought mainly for the lens and ended up really loving the camera

My initial impressions can be found here.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/138-pentax-k-01/218546-omg-i-think-i-am-love.html

After nearly two years I have not grown tired of it. I recently upgraded to a used k-30 so I could gain the quality sensor in a DSLR. The funny thing is the DSLR feels odd after using the k01 as my main digital camera. My two biggest issue, seeing the lcd in bright light and the slow focusing speed on big lense, are the only reasons I chose the k-30. Don't me wrong the k30 is a great camera and I am loving it as well but I don't see my self not using the K01 because of it.

I have gotten use to all it other "quirks" that were criticized and it feels normal to me now.

My K-01 has traveled with me on two trips to italy and countless day trips. It has never missed a beat. All the button, dials and levers continue to perform flawlessly and it still feels as solid as the day I got it. I love using it with my manual focus lens because of the focus peaking. The 40mm XS lens that it came with is one of my favorites and I have used it on my other cameras as well.

Finally what this camera reminds me of are my 70s film camera. I have been shooting a bunch of film lately due to the acquisition of a Minolta XD11. I like the rectangular box feel that era cameras and the K01 sits right in line with them.

Highly recommended. I have notice the used prices have seem to be holding steady not much below the blow out prices. I am sorry this didn't work out for Pentax. It is a very solid, well made, high performing camera and it must have cost them some to build it.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 13
Review Date: December 26, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: same sensor as K5, good for video
Cons: none for the price
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   



At the current prices this camera is a bargain. It is a very good second camera if you have the K5 or other model with an optical viewfinder. This camera works very well with the Carry Speed VF-4 view finder attachment which magnifies the image and enables you to focus very well. For me this attachment doubles the usefulness of this camera. I can manual focus with it better than the K5's optical viewfinder so it is great to use with older lenses.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,479

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 11, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $339.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: High IQ, good video, focus peaking, so Beautiful!
Cons: No viewfinder,
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

When this camera was first introduced it seemed like the dumbest idea Pentax every had. That impression was reinforced by the foolishly high price it had at first. When the price came down better reports began to appear. I purchased my K-01 two years ago but I continue to be astonished at the quality and ease of use of this much maligned and misunderstood camera. When I decided to go with Sony (A6000) and sell my Pentax equipment, this camera and the DA*60-250 made me change my mind. The quality and reliability of the camera are outstanding. It has a very weak AA filter so photos were always noticeably sharper than from my K5. Focus peaking was new then but it made the camera very friendly to manual focus lenses. The autofocus is both a strength and a weakness. The contrast detect system is very accurate but it is also slower than the phase detect used on DSLRs. But for most purposes the camera behaves very well. Many people have complained about the design but I find it practical and very elegant. It feels good in the hand and is very stable when place on a surface. It is not as small as some mirrorless cameras but it is significantly smaller than my DSLRs have been. It seems just the right size to me. At current prices it is an amazing bargain.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 22, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, Design, Price, Image Quality, Everything
Cons: Green Button Position, Maybe lack of viewfinder
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: Used   

I just got this camera today, and have been shooting with it the whole day so I thought that I should share my views.

First Impressions:

The first time you look at it you realise two things, one, it is rathe big for a mirrorless camera, but this isn't a bad thing, it's actually Pentax's fault for marketing in such a way that it was competing with much thinner, more expensive, and somewhat less capable cameras. It is more of a hybrid. The thickness of the camera is caused by the DSLR-style flange distance required for Pentax K-Lenses and because of that, It also has an amazing range of lenses and more capability than standard mirrorless cameras. And two, the design is very different which is NOT a bad thing, I will talk more about this below.

Specs:

Google them!

Body and Design:

Wow, just, wow, is all I can say, the moment I took it out of the box I was blown away. It really feels like a premium product that one would pay big bucks for, It feels nice in the hand and is pleasing to the eye. Marc Newson did an amazing job with this and I congratulate him on doing so. I own the yellow version and although sometimes it looks like it belongs in the Wizard of Oz (Yellow brick road!) I really enjoy the design. Although ONE feature is annoying when using vintage glass and that is the positioning of the green button used for stop down metering on Pre-A lenses, I feel like I'm doing finger yoga whenever the light changes. The lack of a viewfinder has some people bothered, but you get used to it and the screen is not as bad as people make it seem

Software Features:

Most are just gimmicks for your average person but for a serious amateur photographer, I don't use them, they don't get in my way. Something that is sort of software based is the in camera shake reduction. It works really well with old and new glass alike and is something more cameras should have.

Image Quality:

With the Sony sensor inside this is one awesome camera when it comes to IQ, better than my Canon 60D and any other camera I have used for a matter of fact, it is up there with some of the best Canon's and Nikon's on the DxO mark charts. Being able to use superb quality old Pentax glass from the 80's makes it even that much better. High-ISO performance is tested and proven to be the best for any mirrorless camera and competes fiercely with the high end DSLR's. There isn't much image degrading noise until 12800 which then is still very usable and with the boost ISO of 25600 it is noisy but useful when doing photography at night when most light is needed and the picture just needs to be taken and image quality takes second priority. There is a wide dynamic range meaning that more shadows are captured especially. The sensor is sharp and accurate.

Video:

I hate video.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase and the only annoyance is the awkward position of the green button, but apparently you might be able to assign that feature to the red button in a future update, so I'll wait and see.

I would definitely recommend this camera because with focus peaking and old glass you can take some really nice photos.

Thanks for reading







TL;DR: Amazing everything!
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 17
Review Date: April 29, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: super sharp, build quality
Cons: no VF, screen in daylight, handling? AF
Ergonomics: 5    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 6    Features: 7    Value: 8    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

Purchased second hand in Au as a second camera and for some wedding time lapse type work, due to the cheap availability.

The advantage of mirrorless has shown up, where, the lenses are used to their maximum sharpness (no need for micro adj?) This seemed to be the case with a 50mm f1.4 Sigma lens I trialled.....WOW impressively sharp and no need for PP sharpening, otherwise too many skin defects, seriously that good.

However, I am struggling with the AF hitting the target correctly. The AF zone seems to miss sometimes, so one has to be careful. Not getting this with my K5IIs.

Handling is ok, I am used to old film camera's but spoilt by the K5. I did miss a couple of shots due to not having the finger on the trigger correctly(oops). No VF is off putting, even though I am used to smart phones, felt I wanted to put it up to my eye all the time.

The sensor is brilliant as expected, the 16mp in these is a true classic. HDR mode has been fun to play with, backlighting fun outside portraits.

A Jeckyl and Hyde camera, one I am keen to get in my new studio set up. It's a fun cam with great IQ, but misses out on not having an EVF and being slightly older tech mirror less. The AF accuracy bugs me, but a great landscape shooter and for fun, being slightly different. Overall doesn't inspire me with as much confidence as I would have hoped. It would be good to see Pentax give this another go, new design, better AF, EVF, not worried about size issues with k mount flange, just the benefit of mirrorless using lenses to their full potential without all that micro adjustment garbage............ Nice try and a capable back up for what I need.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Posts: 342

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 9, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $315.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sensor performance, build, fun
Cons: not much
Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I'm a little sad that the K-01 was discontinued -- but then again I probably wouldn't have bought one if it wasn't for the crazy discounts that were the result of its "discontinuation". For just over $300 you get a stylish mirrorless with the sensor from a K5 and support for all K-mount lenses. I've been using mine in place of my K20D. Although I miss the viewfinder, ergonomics, and more extensive controls of the K20D, I always choose the K-01 because of the sensor. Pentax really hit a home run with this sensor -- it has amazing noise performance, amazing dynamic range, and superb color reproduction. I adore the images I get out of this thing.

First off, the build and ergonomics. Build quality is fantastic. The aluminum parts have that classic cold metal feel, and the mode/control dials are snappy and responsive. Ergonomics are a little bit worse. I didn't have a problem with the squared edges or seemingly far button placement (I have big hands) but what annoyed me a bit is how "thin" the rear controls were. The buttons on the back feel a little cheap -- light and clicky. Sometimes I press them on accident because theyre too easy to press while holding the camera. Button placement itself is good, everything was reachable and easy to get used to. On-screen info is accessible and easy to discern. Overall, only a few minor complaints. I didn't care much about the flappy SD card door

Noise performance is outstanding compared to my K20D. To get the same amount of noise that I get with ISO800 on my K20D, I would have to push the K-01 to ISO 6400. And noise at ISO100 on the K-01 is much less present than on the K20D at ISO100. The images are sharper too.

The video mode is alright. I was excited to use it since it supports 1080p 24fps videos. However I found that it doesn't reproduce fine detail very well -- it looks pretty compressed, even at the highest bitrate. Things like leaves in distant trees turn into green blobs. It's decent and I use it for shallow depth of field -- but for scenes where I do not need my "special" lenses (wide angle or large aperture) I continue using my Canon HF S11 camcorder -- it resolves a LOT more detail at 1080p.

I won't say much about autofocus since it's contrast AF and I don't shoot anything that requires fast focus. I worked for me 99% of the time.

For $300, it's an amazing value. I will say I am planning on getting either the K-3 next year or the new flagship (if there is one) to upgrade both this camera and my K20D. I bought this as a sort of "stepping stone" to my next DSLR. I have absolutely no regrets. The images I get out of this thing are fantastic and it's extremely fun to shoot with. Granted, you don't want to mount a giant lens on it because A) It's uncomfortable and B) It looks weird. It'll also ruin the whole "zen" of the mirrorless camera and probably intimidate your subjects. I've been shooting this with my primes exclusively. I find people react much more naturally to this camera compared to my K20D.

Overall, it deserves a 10 because for $300 I can not think of a single camera that could possibly outperform it.

   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2011
Location: SkŚne, Sweden
Posts: 418

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 4, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build and image quality, good for manual glass, compact for a K-mount
Cons: Screen in bright daylight
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Wow, just realized I haven't posted a review of my K-01. I have used it for almost a year now.

I bought the K-01 with the kit lens after the discount had set in. I didn't really want the 18-55 but it was at pretty much no extra expense, always good for reselling (though I won't be doing that!).

I wanted a backup for my K-5 and the K-01 at its lowered price fit the bill nicely. It also shares the same battery so it was a backup for chargers and batteries too. If your are going to shoot weddings you want backup for everything! I quickly fell in love with the K-01. Sure, it is pretty big for a mirrorless, but it is still compact compared to a DSLR. The image quality is very high and it makes for a good second body to the K-5 as the files can be edited in the same way. If I shoot at events I put a wide lens on the K-01 (like the DA15) and a short tele on the K-5 (like the FA77). The ergonomics are much better than expected, but it will not play well with larger lenses. I use mostly DA/FA Limiteds and M42 Takumars and they all work fine. Anything bigger than a kit-lens would be too large IMHO. The looks was not my very favorite in the early pictures, but after using it and experience the build quality I like it! My "not-so-into-photography" friends always notices the K-01 and it looks pretty cool if you are open minded and don't necessarily need a camera to look like a modern DSLR or a classic Spotmatic.


The K-01 can be used for studio work as well


This was not such a very good idea, but it looked nice!

I think most things has been said about the K-01 in other reviews, so I will just highlight a few of my main positives and negatives.

Positives
  • Build quality
  • Image quality
  • Focus peaking and handling with manual lenses (i shoot with M42 Takumars)
  • Design (subjective, but looks like no other - more futuristic/stylish, all other seems to be going for serious or retro)

Negatives
  • Screen hard to see in bright sunlight
  • May hunt with some AF lenses

A lot of reviews have complained about stuff like that the SD-card door is flimsy, but it is in no way as bad as I thought it would be. No problems at all. No viewfinder can be a issue in bright sunlight or if you want to operate the camera in say an concert without disturbing. I was aware of these things before I bought it so I can't put these as negatives. The screen could have been better in sunlight though. In a darker environment it is very sharp and clear.


Can be used for studio portraits


Macro fun with old takumars


Small enough to carry around on hikes
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 159

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 7, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Smaller than DSLR, Screen, Excellent Image Quality, High ISO, Price, Looks, Firmware Updates, Focus Peaking, battery Life
Cons: Power Issue, Warranty Length, Fix Time, RAW Shoot Speed, no RAW-> JPEG customization 4 button,no Raw->JPG conversion in camera, 25 min video length(15min for 1080)
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I love this camera. For the price, it's been UNBELIEVABLE and the jump in camera evolution is much like the Celeron 300a was in computer technology for price/performance. $450 total price w/ 40mm XS, waterproof camera, SD Card, case in a Adorama package deal. Due to faulty chip, there is a battery issue where the camera dies completely during shooting w/o recovery using original Pentax batteries charged(3rd party batts work great, have 2). Starting to become a large issue now that it's been over 3 weeks since they received it for repair. For a part to take at least 2 weeks for them to get is painfully long and sounds like average service at best but luckily my Sony friend let me borrow his Nex 5(he's got an A99). I placed a $4 order for an M39 adapter on Ebay from Hong Kong to try some lenses I already had: M39 Flektogon based Mir1 Grand Prix 37mm/2.8 and Industar 69 28mm/2.8 pin-removal modded. May later get other EMount adapters as they are readily available for $x to $xx. Pentax made the best IQ at the time(2012 Nov) for the price (Sony coming close) using focus peaking. Lots of lenses so chances are with so many choices there's a lot of good ones you can find. I've used 30+ lenses over 10 months, esp manual Takumars because focus peaking and thin depth of field lenses work very well together on this camera. So far SMC Tak 35/3.5, ST 50/1.4 or 55/1.8, SMC 105/2.8, Helios 44-2 for $25-$60 are ones that I'd HIGHLY recommend. TIP: USE M42 adapter WITH INFINITY flange for $6 on ebay. Bend the flange at end down so it comes off easily and stays on the lenses for easy interchangeability. If you leave flange straight it will be a pain to switch lenses and most likely will need tool to unmount adapter and screw back on lens. With this mod, the lens can turn off with some force on its' own without button use which can be even easier to interchange. I use these modded M42 adapters with all my main M42 lenses and they are better than using K Mount manual lenses which, even with tape, don't always work for aperture adjustment.

Still waiting eagerly to use recently purchased(all during the 3 weeks in repair-need something to do while waiting) Tak 135/2.5, DA 12-24, DA35, DA40, Tamron 28-75 Macro, FA50 2.8 Macro. A fact/suggestion is focus is easy when depth of field is narrower so open aperture at widest to get focused faster. The screen is bright, colorful and clear and still going strong. 1080p/30fps video at the time was best you could get for $xxx(great w/ Russian M49 Helios 44-2 58mm/2) although the 15min 1080 limit meant I'd never record much event wise w/ it. The 25 min limit for non 1080 made recording a chore while watching the timer count down to stop recording. The Sony Nex 5 has a buffer for a few seconds to capture more during writes and starts recording a new clip automatically.

Audio leaks in from screw motor so external mic is needed or SDM/HSM motors in lenses, but this has the external jack whereas some newer models don't. Continuous Auto focus was also needed but is available in K3/K30/K5IIs/K5II/K50 although most not in video.

Snow/beach, sunset modes have been useful presets, otherwise I use AV, M or Tav modes. Auto WB is pretty good but manual wb is primary.

RAW 1fps speed continuouos is too limiting. They should've upped this in firmware to 2fps and I would've been happy. Otherwise another crippling unused feature to MAKE you get a big clunker DSLR(When is a mirrorless upgrade coming?!)

Easy for my bigger hands to hold but red button gets pressed by strap too often. Thumb placement needs to be specific or button gets pushed or grip is lost. Long periods of holding not fun w/ this solid heavy camera.

I actually have been complemented on the looks by ladies I'd keep this rather than sell it for $2xx just for the size, as a backup or smaller comes out or to give to someone with manual lenses and maybe DA 35 to learn photography with.
Cheap wide variety of lenses make this a shopping extravaganza for LBA(lens buying addicts).
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 165

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 29, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Everything.
Cons: Needs another dial/wheel, not weather-sealed.
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

It's kind of hard to judge this camera because mostly, it's excellent. My complaints are more "what I would have loved the K-01 to have too", and some are justified [necessary] and others would just be cool to have.

This camera rocks, it's comfortable, has a good weight to it, takes amazing photos AND video.. You know what? I'll list the cons, they are easier to list, as they are few.

First of all, that rubber cover is awful. Also, another wheel would have been nice, because changing ISO, aperture and shutterspeed is not as fast as with other cameras. And it would have been excellent if it featured weather sealing. This camera is so small and powerful, that the ability to take it everywhere is truncated by the lack of weather sealing.

Other than that, I'm very happy with this camera, and the only reason I'll be getting another camera later is because of the weather sealing. It won't be a replacement, but one that can go where my beloved K-01 can't.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 157
Review Date: October 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-01: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap! Small, light. GREAT images
Cons: Noisy AF and metering
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 3    New or Used: New   

VERY noisy camera. Metering is very noisy. Focus is also noisy. Just overall noisy. Fine for my concerts but not so for weddings.

IQ is amazing. way better than my 200d.
grip is cool.
covers for ins and outs is annoying. Cheap made and makes me worry about quality of those.
not weather sealed kind of sucks.

easy menu to interact with. Super fast changing of settings. I find I dont need the wheels on the pros with this cam.

JUST last week the mode dial knob came unglued so I am not sure what to do about that yet. Going to search the forums.

Overall a great buy!
Add Review of Pentax K-01 Buy the Pentax K-01



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:00 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top