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01-05-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
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To be a Pentax k-01 head or not to be?

Hello!

I have now a very very very big question on my mind.

To be a Pentax K-01 user or not to be.
So the story is this. I am a poor multimedia design artist and tend to get into some photo shoots and video shoots.
I wasn;t able to afford a DSLR for a long time and as in my introduction and hello thread revealed that I used to barrow various DSLRs ranging from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Lumix etc.
And now due to some projects I would really need to have a cam and to my misfortune resources of borrowing has shrank. But destiny seems to offer me a chance to get my own cam.

However my funds are not that big. And now since Pentax K-01 is half the price it used to be, it became more and more attractive solution considering its features offerings against the competition.

Could Pentax K-01 be considered a good primary camera body?
And here is what it would be used for:

I am an amateur photographer and I don't think I would take a risk to ruin someone's wedding, however I would have some studio and outside photo shoots of models etc.
I am also thinking to use this camera for video production, not holywood level movies, but would use it as a main camera for multimedia projects. And to be fair interchangeable lens video cameras are way out of my luxury reach and since I also do photo shoots DSLR kind camera with videography features is this all round solution at the moment.

This question of mine is for people who already has K-01 and could tell it from the first hand experience, would it perform considerably well as a main body for somewhat professional level projects. They would be commercial projects. Would K-01 be this inspirational tool to be used for production?

I will confess I am not fond of its ergonomics, at least yet. I went to a camera store and tried it. While the looks of it is not scary to me at all, the ergonomics wasn't as impressive as k-05 and k-30 and other Pentax cameras. While when I take K-30 to my hand it instantly feels like it is extension of my own body, K-01 in my hand feels solid but it just makes me question my self and don;t feel as great as with k-30 and k-05 that instantly grow on me. I would love to take k-30, however it is a bit expensive for me and if I take k-30, I could get it with less appealing standard kit lens while k-01 would be with this nice 40mm f2.8 pancake which is sharper than the 18-55mm f3.5 and I woudl still save couple hundreds of money. And my experience lead me to this conclusion that I do better with sharper prime lenses than with standard zoom lenses.

I believe I could sacrifice ergonomics in regards to get better output.

Are those floppy rubber doors really that annoying as most reviewers claim it to be? Aren't there any accessory kind door replacement to change from rubber door to plastic ones that would be less annoying? In the store I didn;t play much with them so would appreciate opinion from a long term user about this.

I would also like to get a very honest opinion, I already like Pentax products, so no need to be too much positive about Pentax. I tried many different cameras and even Canon 5D Mark II with its glorious sensor didn;t impress me. I mean Canon and Nikon cameras while they are amazing and good cameras do not inspire me, they are cool but I lack this feel that I enjoy taking imagery with those cameras, I like shooting but the tools doesn;t communicate with me if you know what I mean. While the old Olympus E-420 is so inspiring and even with all the limitations it has for today's innovative world. And when I take Pentax cameras to my hands, I feel this same joy as with E-420, I like the menus, the feel of quality of the cameras ( I didn;t try k-x nor k-r, I heard those are less solid built than lets say k-01).

So my main reasons of why I look at Pentax cameras are that I kind of like them, I like the menu of the controls, I love that Pentax keeps backward compatibility with all K mount lenses. I guess this is the biggest highlight there for me. Compared to the competition for the same price Pentax offer not only better built solid cameras, but the feature list is far more attractive. yet there is video shooting field that some people claim to be weak point of Pentax. However I witnessed very impressive videos from K-x and K-r that has less good video mode than Pentax k-01. So if there is anyone who would also happen to have Canon 600D or Nikon 5100 next to K-01, could you elaborate more about how k-01 raw videos compare to those others cams videos?

Another question is would it be better to go with k-01 and a better lens, or k-30 with average lens and a bit bigger trouble to pay for it?
Oh and viewfinder, how is life without one? Does the lack of view finder feels very much or the LCD screen is good enough for most things you do?
While I am not new to DSLRs Pentax could actually become my first owned interchangeable lens cam. This is why I am troubling you with these questions.
While there is a lot of feedback about k-01 being a backup cam, I would like to get some advice would it be good as a primary tool?
Thank you very much for your time!

Kind regards,
Danas
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01-05-2013, 07:33 AM - 1 Like   #2
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My opinion-the camera that felt good in your hand , with a cheap lens, will work better for you than a camera that you don't like, with a great lens.

Besides, you can find other lenses.
01-05-2013, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #3
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tl;dr: Yes, get it. It allows almost everything a DSLR does, except PD AF and OVF.
Usually its better to invest in lenses than in the camera, since lenses will keep their value for years and are a huge part of overall IQ, regardless of what camera you put them on.
A great thing about Pentax is that you can use legacy lenses, which are cheaper, but still have great IQ. And the K-01 comes with a great 40mm lens. You seem to know about cameras, so you probably know the benefits of using a prime.
On the other hand, you might buy a used Pentax DSLR. You can get some quite cheap, like the K200D for 300 euro. But its old technology and no warranty.
edit: oh, and don't buy something if you will regret not buying the other thing. That's just general advice, because even if the product turns out great, you might still regret not buying the other one, which will ruin your experience with it.
01-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #4
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I agree with Na Horuk that thinking long-term you want to focus on your lens arsenal, as that defines image quality and you will be using lenses far longer than the particular body. And, yes, on a budget Pentax (and third-party brand) legacy lenses will tend to keep your costs down. If you plan to be using heavier or slower lenses (zooms at f/4 or slower), the K30 is your choice. The CDAF system on the K-01 works very well on fast lenses, but is slow focusing in dim situations with the slower lenses. Given your talent level and potential for a solid professional career, you need to build your lens kit with strong emphasis on image quality.

If video is a real need, the K-01 is a better choice due to the mic input and stereo mics (lacking in the K30). I find that fast lenses, especially primes, are an advantage in video work. No viewfinder can be overcome with the use of a 3x loupe (the $60 GGS Perfect on ebay is high quality); especially helpful for video and macro stills. An advantage of no VF is it encourages you to shift perspective height to get better shooting angles (an articulating screen would offer even more encouragement). K-01 ergonomics are odd, but you can adapt pretty quickly. I have never felt like I might drop the camera.

Floppy doors are not an issue. No one has reported breaking one off, AFAIK. It fits tight, if you close it properly; and it isn't a main door - just protection over the main card slot door.

Comparisons with the other brands are largely personal choice. In my view, Pentax is best IQ/build quality at any given price point (I shot with the FF Canon 5D, and even my K20D matched or outperformed it, especially at high ISO). However, if you plan to shoot a lot of flash - especially multi-source - there are better choices than Pentax (Nikon is probably best); and for action shooting, Canon probably has the best continuous AF at any given price point.


Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 01-05-2013 at 10:34 AM. Reason: answered added questions from original post
01-05-2013, 08:32 AM   #5
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I think you could have success with the K-01, but if a dSLR feels better to the hand, go with the tool that suits you best.

You could get a used K-x or K-r for about the same price as a new K-01. Image/video quality is one generation older and not quite as good, but still very good. I don't know who said the build quality isn't as good - they have a plastic shell over steel instead of aluminum, but they are still solid little cameras. My K-x hit pavement hard enough to crack the faceplate and kept shooting. I used a consumer Nikon last night (for a "can you take our picture?"), and it felt like a plastic point-and-shoot - the K-x/r are nothing like that.

If you are used to a viewfinder, you will miss it, but life without it isn't terrible. (The rubber door on the K-01 is a non-issue, by the way). It all depends on how well you cope with the K-01's "differentness".
01-05-2013, 08:35 AM   #6
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Simply to say: the 40mm pancake is a far better deal then any 18-55 kitlens.
01-05-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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I think the nicest thing about the K-01 is that it makes manual focus (and therefore older lenses) easier to use. Focus peaking is definitely helpful there (although it is not present with video). If the ergonomics don't feel right to you, or you are really attached to an optical viewfinder (or a viewfinder at all), then you need to look for an SLR.
01-05-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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Original Poster
thank you very much for your input!

I am still quite lost. I guess once I feel better after getting cold I will go to check on both cams to the store again.
k-01 with 40mm f2.8 pancake would cost me a little bit less than k-30 body only.
While for k-30 I have these options: k-30 with standard not wr kit lens, k-30 with standard wr lens (standard I mean 18-55mm one) and K-30 with 35mm f/2.4 SMC AL DA


I really appreciate sharing your experiences with k-01 since it is the one that is most friendly to my wallet and makes it more real to happen, while k-30 is a bit problematic but possible.

What I would need the camera for is shooting at studio, shooting outside, both stills and 1080p videos. This is why older Pentax cams are out of the game. And the camera will have to take a role of my primary camera for both hobby activities and work.

while canon has some alternative offers with some better but minor advantages for video shooting, Pentax has way better IQ in general, better built, and gorgeous philosophy to support legacy k-mount lenses out of the box with no need for adapters. But now they have two cams that has their own advantages and disadvantages that is making my head want to explode

Thank you very much for your time and advice!

01-05-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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You're on the right track, Danas, and I think you will get a lot of help from the well-informed folks on this forum.

I have one concern to raise, though. Given the choices you are indicating above, it sounds to me that your local shop has the pricing of the K-01 and K30 much closer together than current market rate (with the K-01 on closeout, but the K30 holding fairly close to its original MSRP). I have no idea where you are located, but in the US the K-01 body is priced well less than half the price of the K30 (making it an awfully good deal). I'm not saying anything against your local shop (we want to keep them), but I'd be careful about how they are pricing it.

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 01-06-2013 at 12:12 PM.
01-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
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I think for video work, the K-o1 is the best IQ of any of the Pentax cameras presently at market. For stills, it is fantastic, smart as hell, easy to manual focus. See if there is someone that could let you work with the k-o1 for an hour or two to see how it feels. Ergonomically speaking, I was using an entry level, $50 FujiFilm AX330 that I got on closeout at NewEgg for months before my wife gave me the k-o1 for xmas. I had taken to holding the Fuji like one would hold an old brownie or waist-level focus camera: that is, I operated the shutter button with my thumb instead of forefinger. I find this works pretty well with the k-o1, especially two handed manual focus. I am right handed, so I put my left hand under the frame of the camera (the boxy design is an asset with this approach), thumb and forefinger of left hand operate focus/aperture rings. Right hand I can use my thumb to operate shutter, OK button (which assists with zooming in on a focus area and dialing in the focus) and the green button is well within reach using this method. It can be challenging using larger lenses this way, but I have found this is pretty comfortable.

Granted, I am pretty much in love with the k-o1: not only was it a gift from my wife, but it is a superb camera. My understanding is that it is basically like a no-frills k-30 (not WR), but has superior video capabilities. Also, about the "flap" -- I think it is overblown.Yeah, you gotta put it back in a particular manner, but I have never once had to figit with it to make it close.

In any case, all that said, I'd hate for you to blow the bank on something that really isnt for you or your style of shooting. Like I said, see if the folks at your local shop will let you take a floor model for a spin for an hour or so. Try it out with different lenses. My wife has a K-10D, and I have not used it much. Some of it is great and having dedicated buttons all over the camera body is also nice. On the k-01 for instance, you have to dig into a menu (granted, not deep into the menu...all you have to do is press the info button) to change the metering...the k-10D has a 3-way switch on the body. On the other hand, it can be nice to have a simplified body design too at times.

Hope the input from this forum is helpful and I hope you get the correct camera for you
01-07-2013, 09:06 AM   #11
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@ ScooterMaxi Jim, Well I live in a very unfortunate place and usually to buy online is not an option because after conversion, VAT and shipment fees I do not win anything usually.
Local stores simply use the situation and well, people want to earn something, can;t blame, however cheaper options are always welcomed.

But the prices are considerably not that much scary for Pentax k-01, because it is with 40mm f2.8 pancake. So in my country it cost 1899Lt and this lens as stand alone cost 899Lt. While Pentax k-30 is 1999Lt body only and with wr kit lens is 2699 + a gift till it is on sale. And yes, on ebay it cost a fraction smaller amount but with shipment taxes included I actually get it a bit more expensive than in a local store plus I have to wait.

Another thing is I would take it by paying installments so well, I am left with local stores for that.

Could you elaborate more about multisource flash shooting and pentax? What problems could there rise? For example Olympus brand is less supported usually and I had no problem to shoot with an old E-420 in studio using 3 flash setup. But the studio I had rented gave me an attachable widget for the cam to communicate with the flash system. It goes on the hot shoe and works well. I suspect Pentax cameras should work well this way too. But I never had a change to shoot with any Pentax camera with flash systems.

I am not a pro photographer, but I tend to get in photoshoots, so it is also important for me to know if pentax k-01 will perform good for studio shoots. As you mentioned shooting with flash systems is not the area Pentax is bold what other issues there might be for shooting in the studio cases?

@ cristigj, definitely all the feedback I get is of great value and very useful On internet reviews I can read lots of stuff and not always the reviews reveals all there is about the camera, there fore I went to ask more info from actual users who used it longer than a few days as most review websites' guys.

Tomorrow I will go to check on the cams again.

thank you very much for your replies.
01-07-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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Short answer ... Yes!
Great camera, I do not regret buying it!

As for those rubber door, is greatly exaggerated. I do not find them to be a problem. Slide it out, slide it in. You do not have to pull hard on it.

The kit lens that comes with I just love them. I even used them more on my K-5 than K-01. The K-01 uses mostly old glass in manual mode.
01-07-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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Regarding pTTL flash

Danas,

I don't think I'm best qualified to speak regarding multi-flash using pTTL, but I will say that the K-01 should be able to handle three flashes fairly well. On the other hand, if you are doing that kind of shooting on a regular basis (once a week or more), it is generally agreed that Nikon handles a complex set up better than most other brands - and is more consistently accurate with exposure. That said, the K-01/K30 has been far better than the difficulties experienced with the K5 (by reports of users - not me per se). I tend to shoot flash is auto-mode, having had problems with droopy eyes in pTTL with the older Pentax bodies. By all reports, the pre-flash is much quicker in the newer body models.

I'm sure others with more extensive experience with pTTL flash can give you a better idea.
01-08-2013, 05:10 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Danas_Anis Quote
Hello!

I have now a very very very big question on my mind.

To be a Pentax K-01 user or not to be.
So the story is this. I am a poor multimedia design artist and tend to get into some photo shoots and video shoots.
I wasn;t able to afford a DSLR for a long time and as in my introduction and hello thread revealed that I used to barrow various DSLRs ranging from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Lumix etc.
And now due to some projects I would really need to have a cam and to my misfortune resources of borrowing has shrank. But destiny seems to offer me a chance to get my own cam.

However my funds are not that big. And now since Pentax K-01 is half the price it used to be, it became more and more attractive solution considering its features offerings against the competition.

Could Pentax K-01 be considered a good primary camera body?
And here is what it would be used for:

I am an amateur photographer and I don't think I would take a risk to ruin someone's wedding, however I would have some studio and outside photo shoots of models etc.
I am also thinking to use this camera for video production, not holywood level movies, but would use it as a main camera for multimedia projects. And to be fair interchangeable lens video cameras are way out of my luxury reach and since I also do photo shoots DSLR kind camera with videography features is this all round solution at the moment.

This question of mine is for people who already has K-01 and could tell it from the first hand experience, would it perform considerably well as a main body for somewhat professional level projects. They would be commercial projects. Would K-01 be this inspirational tool to be used for production?

I will confess I am not fond of its ergonomics, at least yet. I went to a camera store and tried it. While the looks of it is not scary to me at all, the ergonomics wasn't as impressive as k-05 and k-30 and other Pentax cameras. While when I take K-30 to my hand it instantly feels like it is extension of my own body, K-01 in my hand feels solid but it just makes me question my self and don;t feel as great as with k-30 and k-05 that instantly grow on me. I would love to take k-30, however it is a bit expensive for me and if I take k-30, I could get it with less appealing standard kit lens while k-01 would be with this nice 40mm f2.8 pancake which is sharper than the 18-55mm f3.5 and I woudl still save couple hundreds of money. And my experience lead me to this conclusion that I do better with sharper prime lenses than with standard zoom lenses.

I believe I could sacrifice ergonomics in regards to get better output.

Are those floppy rubber doors really that annoying as most reviewers claim it to be? Aren't there any accessory kind door replacement to change from rubber door to plastic ones that would be less annoying? In the store I didn;t play much with them so would appreciate opinion from a long term user about this.

I would also like to get a very honest opinion, I already like Pentax products, so no need to be too much positive about Pentax. I tried many different cameras and even Canon 5D Mark II with its glorious sensor didn;t impress me. I mean Canon and Nikon cameras while they are amazing and good cameras do not inspire me, they are cool but I lack this feel that I enjoy taking imagery with those cameras, I like shooting but the tools doesn;t communicate with me if you know what I mean. While the old Olympus E-420 is so inspiring and even with all the limitations it has for today's innovative world. And when I take Pentax cameras to my hands, I feel this same joy as with E-420, I like the menus, the feel of quality of the cameras ( I didn;t try k-x nor k-r, I heard those are less solid built than lets say k-01).

So my main reasons of why I look at Pentax cameras are that I kind of like them, I like the menu of the controls, I love that Pentax keeps backward compatibility with all K mount lenses. I guess this is the biggest highlight there for me. Compared to the competition for the same price Pentax offer not only better built solid cameras, but the feature list is far more attractive. yet there is video shooting field that some people claim to be weak point of Pentax. However I witnessed very impressive videos from K-x and K-r that has less good video mode than Pentax k-01. So if there is anyone who would also happen to have Canon 600D or Nikon 5100 next to K-01, could you elaborate more about how k-01 raw videos compare to those others cams videos?

Another question is would it be better to go with k-01 and a better lens, or k-30 with average lens and a bit bigger trouble to pay for it?
Oh and viewfinder, how is life without one? Does the lack of view finder feels very much or the LCD screen is good enough for most things you do?
While I am not new to DSLRs Pentax could actually become my first owned interchangeable lens cam. This is why I am troubling you with these questions.
While there is a lot of feedback about k-01 being a backup cam, I would like to get some advice would it be good as a primary tool?
Thank you very much for your time!

Kind regards,
Danas
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"While when I take K-30 to my hand it instantly feels like it is extension of my own body, K-01 in my hand feels solid but it just makes me question my self and don;t feel as great as with k-30 and k-05"

You answered your own question. A 'bargain' that you are not comfortable with is a waste of money.
01-08-2013, 09:23 AM   #15
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Well apparently I am a very confused person in general.
So today I was at the store and asked for both cameras.
This time I got the black k-01 and to my surprise its ergonomics felt good. I guess this camera needs this second take or color makes difference.
So after researching more about k-01 it began to have it's own appeal. It is different, sometimes it makes the one do odd handling but today this camera felt surprisingly pleasant in the hand. It has its own character.

Yet after many thoughts I think I might be aiming to getting k-30,
I will estimate further how much photography stuff I will be doing for which OVF is helpful and k-30 handles perfectly especially with two dials to control settings. Two dials are just so convenient.

Both cameras are so solid built that is why it is so difficult to pick.
I will go through the headaches of thinking more how much video shooting there will be that will need stereo sound recording and what options there are in my area for such devices like zoom h4.

The only advantage I see in Pentax k-01 video mode is the external mic input and stereo internal sound recording, other than that it is same on both cameras while k-30 offers more in terms of photography. I will also recalculate my wallet options.

Thank you very much for your opinions and shared knowledge about k-01! If Pentax made one of the cams less solid feeling I guess it would be more simple to choose, but that is what is so special about Pentax, their solid quality everywhere.
Again thank you very much for your help
Kind regards,
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