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03-22-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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DPR K-01 Preview - They've Made A Hash Of It

There's a mini-controversy brewing in the DPR Pentax SLR forum over yesterday's K-01 Preview. The reviewers made a couple of glaring errors (no stopping-down on manual lenses, plastic chassis), since corrected without apology or explanation & chose to subjectively emphasize certain attributes negatively (size, button-placement) while downplaying the camera's strengths. Apparently a few rebuttal comments have been deleted and DPR's Andy Westlake has waded in to the comment section, defending his team without much distinction (more errors in fact & more subjectivity).

This camera's had a rough ride since its announcement - ridiculed, ignored, misunderstood - but this might take the cake, considering DPR's reach and influence.

03-22-2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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DP Review normally tends towards hating on Pentax products. I don't know why.

Were the rebuttal comments well written, or were they inflammatory?
03-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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Well - PF was formed in part as a response to various bannings of Pentax partisans from the hallowed Fora of DP Review, so in effect we should all be grateful to Andy.

And the K-01 is a great camera. The (I presume) college-intern writer obviously hadn't previewed anything about the camera - probably just grazed a few of the other cam-blogs. In their defense, there are some differences in implementation that aren't well documented in the manual (TAv under M Mode, Green Button stop-down metering), but plastic body is inexcuseable and defending the error is indicative of blatant brand bias.

Things that make me go Hmmmmm - the D800 Buy Page on Amazon has a direct link to the DPR preview - DIRECT LINK - I wonder who paid for that and whether it affects the review of the camera.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-22-2012 at 12:34 PM.
03-22-2012, 12:28 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
last point - the D800 Buy Page on Amazon has a direct link to the DPR preview - DIRECT LINK - I wonder who paid for that and whether it affects the review of the camera.
I hate forum wars, seriously. Lived through several in the watch world and they are nothing but trouble. As for who pays for the direct link to DPReview, I wonder.......

03-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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So they previewed the camera a second time? Lol.

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03-22-2012, 12:33 PM   #6
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Jeez - the OP made me go over there. I promised myself I would just sit back and eat some popcorn. Now I have to go take a shower.

The prereview writers actually admitted their error, pointed out where the manual misled them (and I agree, it could be better written, as I have already posted), referred to the fact that this is a preview, not a review (they don't ahve a production model yet to review) and in general, I thought, handled themselves fairly well. If any comments were taken down they must have been pretty bad bnecasue the ones left up weren't lily white.

Almost of the comments could be cut and paste from the first week here - all about everything Pentax didn wrong.

I say DPR's writers could have done a better job, but having been informed of their error, promptly admitted and corrected it. Maybe it was a bit weasely to blame the Manual but the implementation of things we are accustomed to such as Green Button metering for pre-KA lenses is different this time.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-22-2012 at 12:52 PM.
03-22-2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Were the rebuttal comments well written, or were they inflammatory?
Not sure. My only source is a commenter who claimed his and other (according to him, polite) responses were taken down. I'm inferring a lot, I suppose, but I've also seen how DPR has acted at other times when heavily criticized.
03-22-2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Jeez - the OP made me go over there. I promised myself I would just sit back and eat some popcorn. Now I have to go take a shower.
That bad? Geez.

03-22-2012, 12:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
That bad? Geez.
Actually the DPR people were pretty fair about the whole dustup. The comments are running about 218:1 against Pentax surviving until next week - did everything wrong. Of course not ONE of the commenters has seen or held the camera.

I'm not even going to try. Just too overwhelming.
03-22-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Actually the DPR people were pretty fair about the whole dustup. The comments are running about 218:1 against Pentax surviving until next week - did everything wrong. Of course not ONE of the commenters has seen or held the camera.

I'm not even going to try. Just too overwhelming.
Genuinely not sure what thread you are referring to over there because I just went to the original review and looked at the comments section. I didn't go back past the first page but that one was about 50-50 IMHO.
Pentax K-01 Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review
03-22-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Actually the DPR people were pretty fair about the whole dustup.
Fair? Except for the major role they just played in solidifying the internet myth that the K-01 is a failed product. If that sounds like I'm opposed to criticism, I'm not. In fact, bring it on - as long as they do us the courtesy of pointing out the positives, preferably beforehand. It's the disinformation and negative spin that's driving me up the wall.
03-22-2012, 01:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
DP Review normally tends towards hating on Pentax products. I don't know why.

Were the rebuttal comments well written, or were they inflammatory?
Not sure about that.... Depreview gave the K5 the gold award and convinced me to go out and buy one
03-22-2012, 01:11 PM   #13
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Docrwm, go to this thread in the Pentax SLR forum. It may not quite be 218:1. I think monochrome was employing poetic license. :-)
03-22-2012, 01:12 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
Not sure about that.... Depreview gave the K5 the gold award and convinced me to go out and buy one
Have to agree, their review was a big part of my decision to buy the K-x instead of one of the others.
03-22-2012, 01:25 PM - 1 Like   #15
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For The Record

This was my main reply to some of Andy Westlake's arguments:

Andy Westlake wrote:

But here's the point - the K-01, no matter who it's intended for, is still a camera, and it therefore still has to be judged on the primary function of a camera - how good it is for taking photographs. That includes whether the buttons are well-placed or not, and whether the AF turns out to be problematic in real-life use.

My reply:

I've had this camera for a few days now and you can take it from me, it is EXCELLENT for taking photographs.

The concern about button placement is subjective, is it not? That is, the unfamiliar always feels wrong - a new bike, a new car, a new phone - until you learn where the controls are and the best way to use them, there will always be some anxiety. After a couple of sessions, I've come up with a way to shoot that is comfortable and intuitive. Did your review team give itself time to adjust to a different approach?

You remarked above that the NEX-7 has best IQ, bar none (for APSC). Actually, according to dxomark, the K-5 comes in at a point higher than the NEX-7, so it's reasonable to assume that the K-01 has better image quality than the Sony product at a much lower price. Sony also can't offer its NEX users a full line of high-quality prime lenses.

Back to ergonomics and subjectivity, not everyone thinks tiny bodies with largish lenses is a viable design approach. You speak as if making ever-smaller cameras is a worthy goal in and of itself - which then necessitates rejecting what is, in fairness, a medium-sized body, as a mistake. I have the K-01 & 4 prime lenses packed into a shoulder bag that I previously used for a single DSLR with one constant-aperture zoom. The K-01 with the Limited primes is a very compact approach.

I'm not completely enamored with this camera - some of the Famous Designer fooferaw puts me off, the corners are a little too sharp and I wish it had a folding screen, but I chose to look at this camera's strengths first. For me they are: top-grade IQ, ready access to serious primes (w/o adapters), solid construction, a realistic size and, finally, value.

Value. Try putting together a system with 3 or 4 good primes with any of the other latest high-end offerings and see what it costs. The K-01 wins that battle by a wide margin. (Also, many K-01 buyers already own these lenses, making the cost of entry that much lower.) This should be the starting point in any fair assessment of the K-01.

Against that you have middling (but perfectly fine, real-world) AF speed, unusual button placement and a boxy shape. Those weren't deal-breakers for me. And I don't think a highly influential review site should be emphasizing them to the point of steering potential buyers right past what is actually a serious photographic tool.
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