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08-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #1
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K-01 compared to K20D or ist-DS

Hi,

I am interested in buying the Pentax k-01.Unlike a lot of people, I actually like the look etc. I am a little unsure I'll like not having a viewfinder, but I think I might get used to it. The main thing I am concerned about is the autofocus.

No shops nearby stock it, so I haven't been able to try one out in person, so was wondering if anyone could comment on this (and anything else) - particularly those who have bought one.

I have read, in a number of places, that the autofocus is slow - especially in low light, and sometimes isn't able to lock at all.

Could K-01 owners let me know how you have found this.

In the past I have had an ist-DS, a K20D, and now have a k-r.

If any K-01 owners have experience of any of these cameras (especially the earlier ones), any comments would be very much appreciated.

I liked my old ist-DS, but the slow AF was problematic at time. The K20D was better, but AF speed was still one of the reasons for switching to a K-r.

I don't really have any problems with my k-r, but the K-01, and the prospect of K5 quality at a cheaper price (and smaller), is appealing.

But is the AF on the K-01 as bad as the ist-DS or the K20D?

Also, one complaint I do have about the k-r is the shutter noise. Is the K-01 as quiet as the K5?

Any thoughts appreciated.

08-19-2012, 12:20 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Hello,
i have like you the DS and K20D, and regarding Autofocus it is not that easy to compare in fact.
The K-01 has an AF assist lamp which can help in some situations, whereas this features doesn't exist with the 2 other ones.
I would nevertheless state that Pentax contrast AF is not as quick than phase detection AF, like say the K20D or surely K-5 has.
But as far as speed and accuracy is concerned, in my opinion and for most of my uses i have no problem with K-01
Also, the different possibilities offered like face detection, width of area selected and great number of AF positions and modes give you a lot of possibilities actually better than the traditionnal 11 AF spots.
So if you shoot wildlife or sport, prefer SLR ; if you shoot lanscape or like nice videos, take K-01.
08-19-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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Hi,
i don't use AF very often but K-01 is not the fastest camera around.

The shutter is very quiet since there is no mirror, i never used a k-5 but my k-01 is a lot quieter than my K20D and Sony NEX-3!
08-20-2012, 01:17 AM   #4
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Hi Leopold. I understand that the K-01 isn't the fastest, but how does it compare to the K20D? Faster or slower?

08-20-2012, 04:43 AM   #5
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I did some quick test with the same lens (DA35 Ltd) on both camera and the K20D was faster at any distances. The K-01 tend to miss the focus the first time and adjust after that, but it's very accurate. Same experience with other lenses. The K-01 is faster with certain lenses and slower with others, it really depends, with my DA14 it's quite good.
08-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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K20D vs. K-01 focus, shutter, etc.

I have the K-01, as well as the K20D, and the original *istD.

As far as AF is concerned, I agree with others that it depends on conditions and lens used. Generally, with lenses faster than f/2.8 the K-01 is considerably quicker and more accurate. With slow zooms, the K20D is a bit quicker and does not have the miss and hunt problem. However, I also find that both bodies are inadequate for critical shooting of moving objects. (Luckily, I also have some Canon equipment for that.) The K-01 is superior in very low light situations with fast lenses using focus peaking in MF; and good for macro for the same reasons. K-01 will be better than K5 for pTTL, and video. However, if you don't like using the screen for shooting, or you plan to ditch the K20D and KR - which is going to be far better for action shooting - I think going with the K-01 as your only body is the wrong move. The K5 is the best single option unless you do a lot of pTTL flash, then the K30 is your best option. Pricing and size differences just aren't that great.

The K-01 shutter is very quiet. It is even quieter than the *istD which I kept because of CCD look, small size and quiet shutter (hard to part with it now - as it has so little worth).
08-20-2012, 03:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
As far as AF is concerned, I agree with others that it depends on conditions and lens used. Generally, with lenses faster than f/2.8 the K-01 is considerably quicker and more accurate. With slow zooms, the K20D is a bit quicker and does not have the miss and hunt problem. However, I also find that both bodies are inadequate for critical shooting of moving objects. (Luckily, I also have some Canon equipment for that.) The K-01 is superior in very low light situations with fast lenses using focus peaking in MF; and good for macro for the same reasons. K-01 will be better than K5 for pTTL, and video. However, if you don't like using the screen for shooting, or you plan to ditch the K20D and KR - which is going to be far better for action shooting - I think going with the K-01 as your only body is the wrong move. The K5 is the best single option unless you do a lot of pTTL flash, then the K30 is your best option. Pricing and size differences just aren't that great.
Well I had a K20D, long ago. I use K-01 with my fast lenses (FA31mm, DA*55mm and FA*85mm) and that works very well, both in speed and accurate. But that is for portraits and not movind objects, for wich I use my K-01. As a stand alone camera you would probably miss the futures that are in dslr like K-5/K-30.

I find it more easy then with K-5 to use these lenses with a wide aperture.


On the one hand I did have a lot of misses in the beginning, but I made 8000 images with it and that feels comfortable. I learnd when it works and when not.
08-20-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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The only camera I've ever owned that has a quieter shutter is a 1980 Olympus XA.

08-21-2012, 02:23 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone. That's really useful.

I am not 100% sure it makes my choice much easier, but I am at least more informed now.

ScooterMaxi Jim, I have already got rid of the K20D (some time ago) and would have to get rid of the k-r if I got the K-01. I can't afford both, so it is one or another. I would love a K5 - and would probably prefer a K30. But I don't agree that the size difference is not that great. K5 is 32% heavier. I do prefer smaller cameras (but also want my K mount lenses). More significantly though, at the moment (in the UK at least), the K-01 is definitely cheaper than the K5 (such that the K5 is not an option but the K-01 might be).

Speed is not usually my priority. I don't shoot sport. But I certainly did appreciate the quicker AF when I got the k-r. But I am one of the few people who likes the K-01, even before considering the image quality etc. And havng a quiet camera, rather than the k-r, is very appealing.
08-21-2012, 06:26 AM   #10
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Believe me, I understand your perspective on the size of camera. I have gotten beaten up in the forums for saying that the K-01 is considerably smaller. It does pack much easier into a very small shoulder bag as the brick form is a real advantage without the hump. My shooting habits are much like yours. Truth be told, I have shot the K-01 exclusively for months now.

Pricing might be different in the UK - you might want to wait a bit longer as I can't see Pentax trying to hold the K-01 price much longer. Those of us who appreciate the camera are few and far between. I just want you to be fully aware of what compromises are made with the K-01. You won't find fault with image quality, build, or focusing in the vast majority of situations. Ergonomics aren't as bad as the reviews, but they are an issue compared to the K5.

Good luck with your decision!

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 08-22-2012 at 05:01 AM. Reason: misplaced word
08-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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To my surprise, the local Jessops actually had the K30, the K5 and the K-01 (as well as the Q), so I actually got to have a play with them all.

I have to say, I was impressed, and 99% sure I will be getting the K-01 now.

The K5 actually feels quite heavy to me. Obviously, unlike the K-01, it didn't have the tiny 40mm on it, but the kit lens isn't that heavy, and the K5 also felt heavy compared to the K30. As I say, I like to keep things smaller. My choice of lenses too seems to be getting smaller all the time too. So the K-01 is a natural choice. It just felt really good. I don't get the people who say the ergonomics are bad, or complain about the position of the green button. I was very impressed.

Also the autofocus seemed quick enough. Admittedly, I think they have it reasonably bright in the shop, but it seemed pretty good.

The lack of a viewfinder may be an issue, but I live in England, so can't see it being a problem too often!

I think it is a real shame the K-01 hasn't been more popular. On the other hand, if it had been, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford it.

Now the question is, body only, or with the 40mm and sell my 35mm?

And silver or black?
08-21-2012, 07:21 PM   #12
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It isn't as though you are going into the decision blind. You know the limitations, and you have dismissed the popular sentiment which makes you a true Pentaxian!

For me, overall weight with lens isn't an issue. I have three zooms covering 40mm - and find that field of view unconvincing on a crop sensor. That's why FF in the film era never had a 60mm lens. I have the FA 35 f/2 (and several nearly as capable fast zooms that cover the same FoV) - and that is small enough for me. But if you are intrigued by a pancake, and the slim factor - the kit lens has been universally well received for image quality. Just not my cup of tea.

As for the two monochrome colors offered, certainly the white on black aluminum has been the sleeper of the three styles offered. I'm just not a fan of Apple white, and the black on silver has a really nice, stealth look to it. I am happy with it, but I'm pretty much into neutral to anti-fashion statement in camera styles. We had an art museum Pentax K-01 event here in Minnesota, and the hipsters came out to try them - and all three styles got a lot of views. I came away happy to have gone with the least obtrusive choice (black). In my book, if a camera is wearing a yellow raincoat it really should be water resistant. Not that any of this counts for anything more than marketing.

EDIT: I wasn't aware of the silver version in Europe - quite sharp. I agree with Adam that the silver lenses and K-01 would be a good looking match.

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 08-22-2012 at 05:04 AM. Reason: further understanding of model color
08-21-2012, 08:57 PM   #13
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Purely in terms of focal length, I would probably prefer the 35, but a couple of things are making me lean towards getting the 40mm, in addition to the tiny size (and I don't think I can justify keeping both). The rounder look on the bokeh etc. I don't like it when you take a picture with the sun in the shot, and the sun is hexagonal rather than round. Also I've heard the 40mm is a little faster with the autofocus.
08-23-2012, 02:43 AM   #14
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I did it. I bought it. It seems you can get the K-01 at a very good price these days - I am guessing because it hasn't proved that popular. In Jessops, the K5, K30 and K-01 are all similarly priced, around 650 (although that is with the 40mm lens on the K-01, and the 18-55 on the others.)

On ebay though, the difference is much bigger. The K5 is typically still around 600. Even used, over 500.

For the K-01, someone is selling a used K-01 with 18-55 and 50-200, starting at 250, and no one has bid yet. New, SRS are selling K-01s (on ebay) for 350, body only. So that is half the price of a K5! Another shop is selling them with the 40mm lens for 450.

I was tempted to bid for the used one, to see if I could get a bargain. But in the end I decided I wanted the 40mm, and also prefer the silver and buying new is always an advantage if the difference isn't too big. But the K-01 basically looks like a bargain at the moment. A K5, minus the viewfinder, for half the price.
08-23-2012, 07:12 AM   #15
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Enjoy the purchase! I think it was wise to go with a new one, getting exactly what you want.

Pentax does have a bit of a problem now as its three interchangeable lens cameras are priced so closely together (with the K5 on its way out).

The company did not realize that Pentax culture is to rebel against celebrity veneer (i.e. Marc Newson), and has created two offerings in the K30 and K-01 with the same image processing internals - neither fitting into the conventional market channels. Obviously, the K30 is well above entry level status, and will be able to hold value far better than the K-01. As usual, the engineering side is much more talented than the product planning and marketing side of the operation.
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