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01-08-2013, 04:51 AM - 4 Likes   #1
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Thanks Marc Newson

I received my K-01 last night - black model (which is actually two tone black and silver.)

I had pulled the trigger for essentially pragmatic reasons. The K-01 seemed a very reasonably priced backup for the K-5, fulfilling the promise of video done right (which the K-5 never achieved.) I liked the look of the K-01, as I enjoy minimalist modern design. (See Dwell magazine.) But I was a little leery. The few glimpses of a K-01 that I have had, it looked LARGE, especially when surrounded by m-4/3s cameras.

When I took my K-01 out of the box last night, my whole attitude changed. Wow. In the hand, this is a handsome camera. There is a sense of proportion to the camera which is very balanced. The size and width fit perfectly in my hand, avoiding the awkward "pinch" style holding that I resort to with smaller cameras. The fit and finish of the camera are astounding. I have the K-5, MZ-S and LX, so I am familiar with Pentax's ability to make a high quality device. Contrary to my expectations, the K-01 is equal to any of those previous devices. Different, yes. It's clearly meant for a different way of shooting, really for a different generation of photographer. I hope that younger generation will look past the K-01 being bigger than the competition and handle the camera, considering it for its own merits. They will be pleased.

The best word for the cameras quality is SOLID. No flex, cool metal to the touch. Sturdy metal knobs with good feedback. Buttons that feel better than those on the K-5. The video update rate on the viewfinder/screen is very fast and fluid, and the image is clear bright and accurate. Autofocus is much better on the K-01 than on the K-5 Live View. I haven't updated the firmware, but I understand AF gets even faster which is great. But the best part of the camera, from a tactile point of view, is the shutter. The sound and feel of the focal plane shutter firing, without any sound of mirror flipping or film advancing, is the most reassuring SNICK. It leaves you with no doubt that the camera contains a real focal-plane shutter. There is no point-and-shoot fake-camera-sound-effect. After the snick, the image immediately pops up on the screen for review. The upgraded PRIME is obvious - the K-5 seemed speedy but the K-01 is fluid and so fast I never notice that the camera is thinking. Everything happens instantly, or at least faster than I can think and press buttons.

I mounted my FA 43 on the camera, which seems the perfect match, and happily spent an hour lost in the tactile joy of picture taking with this machine. At the end of the hour, I flipped the camera over and noticed Marc Newson's signature for the first time. I smiled. You earned the right to sign this camera Marc. Thanks.

01-08-2013, 05:03 AM   #2
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A nice report for a much maligned MILC. Well done and thanks for sharing your thoughts of the camera held and operated in the flesh.
01-08-2013, 05:41 AM   #3
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Doesn't it come with the latest firmware?
01-08-2013, 06:10 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Doesn't it come with the latest firmware?
FW 1.01 was released in October 2012. So far as we know, the K-01s were built in late 2011/early 2012, and were gathering dust in the distributor's or retailers's warehouses until the price came down.

01-08-2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
FW 1.01 was released in October 2012. So far as we know, the K-01s were built in late 2011/early 2012, and were gathering dust in the distributor's or retailers's warehouses until the price came down.
It would be interesting as a reference point, to pop open the EXIF and see what the manufacturing date is. Even if the manufacturing date is very recent, I can see Pentax continuing with the original firmware since their testing systems are aligned and keyed to it.

01-08-2013, 06:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
It would be interesting as a reference point, to pop open the EXIF and see what the manufacturing date is. Even if the manufacturing date is very recent, I can see Pentax continuing with the original firmware since their testing systems are aligned and keyed to it.
Agreed. I suspect that the current backorders are just taking a slow boat from a dusty warehouse in Japan, instead of a dusty warehouse in North America.

(Okay, I take it back - it's probably a very clean warehouse in Japan. )
01-08-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
It would be interesting as a reference point, to pop open the EXIF and see what the manufacturing date is. Even if the manufacturing date is very recent, I can see Pentax continuing with the original firmware since their testing systems are aligned and keyed to it.

I just received my Black and Yellow K-01 and its manufacture date is May 18, 2012 according to the Exif data.
01-08-2013, 07:19 AM   #8
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Thanks for the report! I've been sitting on the fence with this one for awhile now but I think I'll be taking the plunge soon!

01-08-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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Glad to see another happy K-01 owner!

I've said it before and I'll say it again ... these cameras are not photogenic.
They look much, much better in person ... and especially in your hands !
01-08-2013, 08:46 AM   #10
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It's the opposite experience I had trying out the Fuji X100 and X10. They are VERY photogenic cameras (handsome in real life, too) but I was unimpressed when I actually handled them. The buttons and control wheels felt like they wouldn't last too long; the fit and finish was not up to the good looks of the cameras. (The Fuji X-Pro1 does seem better/sturdier however.)
01-08-2013, 09:21 AM   #11
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The K-01 is getting some serious word of mouth advertising of late. Nice to see positive stuff after all the negative comments when it was released.
01-08-2013, 10:34 AM   #12
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I bought my K-01 for pragmatic reasons as well, but it has reignited my passion for photography. I do wish the ergos were better, and that it had an EVF, but for the most part, I love the camera, mainly for its ease of use and stunning image quality.
01-08-2013, 12:32 PM   #13
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This must be the K-01 praise thread!
I've never seen so much positive vibes for this much maligned camera.
mrNewt, bravo for your comment!
01-08-2013, 12:48 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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I never had anything against the looks...always liked the squared off design. I had trouble deciding between yellow and white and eventually chose white (mostly because I always regret not getting my K-x in white). But I didn't pull the trigger until the prices recently dropped. I love the camera so far. I have not had any complaints with it (including button layout, etc). It is a nice second body to go along with my K-x and it has made some of my manual focus lenses MUCH more useable for my increasingly poor vision.
01-09-2013, 01:24 AM   #15
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I use the K-01 as my main camera, I absolutely love it, I even love the fact it's so cheap now even though I paid full price for mine. I plan on picking one up in white and black as I own the yellow one, something about the K-01 fits perfectly with my style of shooting. It's the camera I always needed, something that does exactly what the MX does in a cool looking digital box. I'm only a student so right now there is no need for anything more than what the K-01 deliver's, it's the best camera for me to hone my skills and figure out where I want to go in photography...
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