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03-23-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
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My first impressions on the K-01

I received my K-01 yesterday. Here are my first impressions.

Best thing about it:
- It focuses accurately with my Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 10-20. My K-x could not focus accurately with these lenses using PDAF. (My k-x focused fine with the kit lenses, but it could only focus the third-party lenses accurately using CDAF). This was my main reason for getting the K-01.

Good things about it:
- Shake reduction can be put in continuous mode. This always bothered me with the K-x, which has a short delay before the shake-reduction system gives me the confirmation signal. What’s the point of having fast focus if you need to wait another half-second after focus is confirmed?
- Focus speed is “acceptable” with the 17-50 and 10-20 lenses.
- For difficult-to-focus situations, I can use manual focus with focus peaking. I can often judge focus fine without zooming in, and you get a 6x zoom by pressing the OK button if I need it.

Bad things about it:
- When using the fill-flash in bright daylight the scene is completely overexposed & washed out. Somebody else has pointed out this problem already. I assume that this will be repaired with a firmware update – If I didn’t think so then I would return the camera.
- Focus can be painfully slow with the DAL 55-300. But not always – once I get some distant point in focus, then I can usually shift and re-focus without the lens moving through the whole cycle.

Minor changes that would improve it (Pentax, please address in firmware updates!!!)
- More options for customizable buttons, so that we have quick access to the following:
(a) Focus point options. Normally I use center point auto-focus and this was never an issue with the K-x. However, I find that the K-01 often focuses faster with face-detect AF – I guess it’s because it can choose a good high-contrast point to focus on. So it’s useful to switch between center-point and face-detect depending on the scene.
(b) LCD brightness: I found the display to be OK in bright light IF I use maximum brightness. But it is a pain to access this setting through the menu system.

03-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by RJSPBR Quote
Bad things about it: - When using the fill-flash in bright daylight the scene is completely overexposed & washed out. Somebody else has pointed out this problem already. I assume that this will be repaired with a firmware update – If I didn’t think so then I would return the camera.

It was to my understanding that there are ways to change the "power levels" (output GN??) of the fill flash. Sorry I don't have the K-01 with me at this time, but I'll instruct how to do it in a later posting. I rarely use any type of fill flash, but can in fact state - that numerous cameras do have problems with theirs - especially Sony. The hotshoe is one of may major likes about the K-01 - because I'm more of a creative photographer. I like to get as creative as possible with light if the the time and location allow it.
03-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
It was to my understanding that there are ways to change the "power levels" (output GN??) of the fill flash. Sorry I don't have the K-01 with me at this time, but I'll instruct how to do it in a later posting. I rarely use any type of fill flash, but can in fact state - that numerous cameras do have problems with theirs - especially Sony. The hotshoe is one of may major likes about the K-01 - because I'm more of a creative photographer. I like to get as creative as possible with light if the the time and location allow it.
Someone explained this problem in his Amazon review. I have been trying to duplicate the issue, but I haven't had sunlit conditions to do it in so I haven't been able to do exactly that. I've been setting up different types of backlighting situations as the reviewer described, and messing around with different settings (flash levels, shutter speed, etc.) I have always been able to coax pleasing results. But, as I said, it's been cloudy/rainy here, so I haven't been able to duplicate the exact conditions in which the problem is said to occur.
03-23-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RJSPBR Quote
fill-flash in bright daylight the scene is completely overexposed
I missed this exact wording on my first posting... That this might happen with a majority of all digital cameras. Any type of flash use in daylight conditions might ovderride most (if not all) of the automatic settings and then set them purposely low for most daylight conditions. Case in point; most daylight conditions set a camera for higher shutter speeds and smaller aperatures, but... Also noting the default flash sync shutter speed; that would also give overexposure in most daylight consitions.

Again let me point out that when using automatic settings - this would indeed happen with almost all digital cameras ever made under bright daylight conditions. That's what the manual setting are there for. Sure they are not as fast an/or convenient as the automated settings for people that prefer the P&S settings.

I will also try to duplicate the same general conditions at a later time.

But also remember that the default settings of almost all cameras are a type of cover-all that don't cover every instance. It's like asking autofoc to work literally all the time - which in fact it will not on any camera.

03-23-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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More details

I didn't do a good job of explaining this, and I will try again with a couple of photos.

Both of these photos were taken seconds apart, with aperature priority and multi-segment metering.

First photo has no flash and looks great - iso 100 time 1/1250.

For the second photo I popped up the flash. This time the camera chose iso 800 and time 1/180 and so the scene is totally wiped out.
I promise that my flash was not so powerful that it lit up the sky like a supernova.
And the camera did not lower the exposure to compensate for the flash, it raised it.

Now I would not normally use a fill-flash in a scene like this. But if I have this problem now then I expect it to pop up again.

I can't believe that more others haven't seen this....
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03-23-2012, 03:25 PM   #6
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Does it have auto ISO or did you set the ISO to 100 ?
03-23-2012, 03:38 PM   #7
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03-23-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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I dunno, on the K-5 I think popping up the flash limits the shutter speed to 180th. I use it in manual now having had a lot of overexposure problems to begin with. If you are in aperture-priority mode the camera seems to expect you to change the aperture now that it has set the shutter to what may be a much lower speed. Or maybe the P (program) setting takes care of shutter and aperture for you when using flash? Another work-around is to buy an external flash which has high-speed sync. Maybe the K-01 has the same or a very similar system?

03-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #9
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Per EXIF from PhotoMe, Exposure Mode was (semi) Auto Exposure - Av, f/2.8 ISO 800 1/180. To use this setting adjust your Aperture and set your ISO manually to a single ISO or a smaller range. The camera should select a shutter speed.

Fill Flash is hard. I've never gotten it right. Hell, any flash work is hard. I always over-expose.
03-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #10
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My guess is your camera is faulty. Obviously you could do with someone else trying this with the same type of camera. As you say though, its hard to
beleive it wouldnt come to light being such a massive flaw. Some cameras have auto settings for fill in flash but if not, its normaly just a matter of setting
the flash - 1 or 2 stops. Thats obviously not the flash thats over exposing the pic, its the fact the camera decided to use 800 ISO on what appears to be
a bright day. If its possable, I would ask for an exchange. Im taking it that you dont have the option for controling the ISO manually, otherwise that would
be the obvious thing to try ! I wish you luck with it !
03-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Per EXIF from PhotoMe, Exposure Mode was (semi) Auto Exposure - Av, f/2.8 ISO 800 1/180. To use this setting adjust your Aperture and set your ISO manually to a single ISO or a smaller range. The camera should select a shutter speed.

Fill Flash is hard. I've never gotten it right. Hell, any flash work is hard. I always over-expose.
Flash is pretty easy realy. The K5 isnt very good though lol. I use a metz 50 and mine too over exposes but its consistant so its quite
easy to fix. Ive simply set my metz 50 - half a stop. If you want fill flash I would set it at minus 2 stops.
I would be amazed if that was still overpowering your subject. I prefer underexposure than over exposure too since its easier to
manipulate than blown out stuff.
03-23-2012, 06:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RJSPBR Quote
aperature priority and multi-segment metering.
First photo has no flash and looks great - iso 100 time 1/1250.
For the second photo I popped up the flash. This time the camera chose iso 800 and time 1/180

Sorry haven't had time to duplicate these conditions just yet; but I promise that I'll look into it further. -And I'll also try my best to get it both answered and solved.

But here's what I've got so far based upon the facts as presented... I did indeed notice the first good picture setting which does in fact look good. But also the fact that you prefered aperature priority' which also does not appear out of the ordinary. I also might have tried the pic in manual yet also making the clear distinction NOT to go above the flash max shutter sync speed - 1/180 as nioted, but...

In doing so the aperature would have needed to be closed more to compensate for the new shutter speed; off the top of my head at least three to four stops - perhaps more based upon flash output - even though technically it is a built in color correcting type of fill flash. I'll have more of the exact numbers later. I'll also thoroughly review the exif data; the problem may very well be in the lens - not that the lens does not work well generally, but there may be an issue with the lens and the K-01 - it's possible bur rare. Which not to make a bad criticism, but that is why i prefer to stick with the Pentax brand whenever possible.

So it may be possible to get a good results based upon a number of factors. First by possibly switching to manual and experimenting. It may take more than a bit of experiementing. Which is why I like to run my camera through as much of a battery of test pics (many hundreds of them) before looking to go into the real world with it, Also the problem may still be in the menu settings. Third option and also the most probable one - the lens being properly interactive with the camera body.

I've seen Pentax bend over backwards for the Pentax camera body in relation to a Pentax lens, but for the third part ones; to be honest -I'm not sure if they could or would do much about it.

Have patience with it; again I'll be checking on more of an answer soon. There most likely is a solution
03-23-2012, 06:26 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RJSPBR Quote
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This may not be helpful, but I never use auto ISO, and I urge you to try setting your ISO manually and doing this again. I have had no trouble with flash blowout when doing my setting manually - so far, anyway. Haven't gotten very deep into it.
03-23-2012, 06:26 PM   #14
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Just checked the exif data and the problem is most likely the Tamron lens. Again I personally find literally nothing wrong with the Tamron lens line or with this lens in general. I've used a number of Tamron's in the past and have had very few issues; but haven't used this particular model or range specifically. But I was also try to find someone that has one and will also still try to duplicate those near exacting conditions.

And just of a general note as well... Could you (or have you) tried the same with any Pentax brand lens??

BTW this Tamron should still work under most (if not all setting with a bit of adjustment); such as... Switching to another mode - such as manual. Also possible override setting via the menus. There's also the **option** which may or may not work such as throwing moiney at it. I would even try nd filters or even an off camera flash; especially a flash with both manual settings and also franctioned settings. But it is indeed doable.

More answers will come soon
03-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #15
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Good suggestion. I will try with Pentax lens tomorrow.
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