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01-09-2013, 12:02 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Well, I now own a K-01. My thoughts.

I took my own advice and bought a K-01. I got it for $316 with the 40XS lens and feel that is a steal of a deal.

For those who have been reading my posts for some time they know that I was an early and vocal critic of Pentax and the K-01. I did handle them and found the ergonomics severely lacking and the rubber SD card door a joke. I have never negatively commented on IQ. I also found the initial price to be absurd for a camera with no view finder and other issues.

Now that I own a K-01, in Yellow by the way, I have other thoughts and wanted to share them. I was struck by the praises in several recent threads that are a bit Pollyanna IMHO. Hopefully I can offer a balanced perspective on the K-01. As background I have owned a K-x, K-r, K-5, and Q (in addition I have several film SLRs by Pentax). I still have the K-5 and Q. My lenses run the gamut from Limited Primes to Consumer Super-Zooms in both AF and Manual flavors.

Image Quality - Excellent - period. The IQ on the K-01 is slightly better IMHO than that coming straight out of my K-5. I realize this is weird given the nature of the sensor and other issues but it’s what I am seeing under real use, non-controlled, circumstances.

Autofocus - Good. Once I installed the new firmware things got a bit faster. It's still not as fast as my K-5 but it’s better than the Q. Accuracy, its apples and oranges for accurate with the two focus systems. I can say that it and the Q are on more equal ground but again I find that the K-01 nails the focus more often than the Q but that may have to do with DoF and crop factor.

Image Write Speed - Poor. It just doesn't take pictures with any real speed at all. On the menu for continuous shooting they have disabled (but it’s still present in greyed out form) the Hi option, so at least they are being honest. Side-by-side my K-5, in the same AF mode, can run rings around the K-01 in the number of images taken and written.

Ergonomics - Poor. Don't care what others have to say, it's a PITA to use the skittle buttons, and the shutter button and the on-off switch design have made me miss the press more than any other camera ever. It's a brick and it is nice to be able to sit it on a flat surface in Portrait orientation but its clunky to handle and the smokestack knob for the mode is huge and disproportionate. The Flash button gets hit by accident, again more than any other camera I have owned, because of its placement. Bottom line is that form took primacy over function in this design, and that is never a good decision outside MoMA.

Intangibles - Good. It uses K mount lenses natively which is a real plus for Pentaxians but relatively irrelevant to non-Pentaxians. Bottom line is that Pentax is an obscure brand with a limited lens lineup now so the K-mount feature on a MILC is not a big selling point outside our community. Common battery with my K-5 is another plus but only for someone with a K-5 or K-7, for others AAs would have been a MUCH better selling point. Negatives are the SD card door and its double layer and the rubber outer cover - it IS going to break, perhaps not right away but it will and I can find no listing for a replacement anywhere on any Pentax website. I hope they have a good supply of them. Rear LCD appears to be superior to the one on my K-5, not sure if it’s just me or there is a real difference I haven't found that spec to compare online.

Bottom Line - I own the K-01 and am impressed with the IQ and image output, which is the real measure of a camera IMHO. The ergonomics are pretty bad IMHO but at $319 with the 40XS lens are something I am, obviously, willing to deal with for now. Would I own this as my only camera, even at this price, no way. Because I already own a range of K-mount lenses and have D-LI90 batteries it makes a descent 2nd camera for me. Why Yellow? A couple of reasons really. It's different. It's less intimidating than Black because it doesn't look as professional. I am finding that the reaction to my K-5 is FAR different from the reaction to my Q, even though both are interchangeable lens cameras in black. The yellow on the K-01 is also defusing the "Pro Camera" reaction from others already and getting me more true candid photos immediately. Overall, if you own a K-mount camera and have the lenses already getting the K-01 at $300ish makes a good bit of sense to me. If you don't already own K-mount lenses - why? So, for now it has a place among my cameras and I hope to enjoy using it as much going forward as I have my Q.




Last edited by Docrwm; 01-09-2013 at 01:57 PM.
01-09-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Check if Hi is enabled in Raw only mode
01-09-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by klkitchens Quote
Check if Hi is enabled in Raw only mode
Thanks, I'll do that. Nope. Still greyed out.
01-09-2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Thanks, I'll do that. Nope. Still greyed out.
Other guess is JPG only (not RAW+)...

I had it greyed out too on RAW+... I wonder if, like you said, it's not fast enough to write the RAW data in hi-speed.

01-09-2013, 01:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by klkitchens Quote
Other guess is JPG only (not RAW+)...

I had it greyed out too on RAW+... I wonder if, like you said, it's not fast enough to write the RAW data in hi-speed.
Yes, bingo. It works in JPEG only mode - thanks. It makes sense because JPEGs are smaller. I didn't see that because I just don't shoot only JPEGs. Appreciate it.
01-09-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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There is one Hi-speed in RAW when using the bracketingmode. With just 1/3EV difference all three images are good and you can make 3 RAW images at 6 fps (well I meassured 5,1 fps).
01-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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Yep. Pretty much how I feel about the K-01. I don't hate it like I once did. However, it sits on my desk, and has never been out taking pictures. It's quirky and I "like it", but I can't seem to take it out and use it. The Q and K5 seem to work pretty well together now that I have the K to Q adapter and Q lenses. Who knows? Time will tell. Besides, I've paid more for more obscure Pentax collectibles.
01-09-2013, 01:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
There is one Hi-speed in RAW when using the bracketingmode. With just 1/3EV difference all three images are good and you can make 3 RAW images at 6 fps (well I meassured 5,1 fps).
Ron, thanks. That does help, but if it can do that and write them to the SD then why not just have Hi as an option in the menus???

QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Yep. Pretty much how I feel about the K-01. I don't hate it like I once did. However, it sits on my desk, and has never been out taking pictures. It's quirky and I "like it", but I can't seem to take it out and use it. The Q and K5 seem to work pretty well together now that I have the K to Q adapter and Q lenses. Who knows? Time will tell. Besides, I've paid more for more obscure Pentax collectibles.
I've taken it out and used it in snapshot situations and its worked fine for me. I'm less artsy in my photography than you are Lauren and when I am I find myself using the K-5 or, even more frequently of late, the Q.

01-09-2013, 01:43 PM   #9
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Docrwm...
A big +1 for your fair assessment! I am kind of in the market for a "take everywhere" camera. If this had a tilting rear LCD, i can totally see the utility of this camera skyrocketing. I love the idea of holding it waist level ang being totally ingognito. But as it sits now, it's still too big for what i consider a "take everywhere" cam. It may be thinner with the 40XS lens, but I would prefer a 24-28mmXS, making it a tad wider than normal rather than a short telephoto, which would be better indoors.
Unfortunately, there are no hints that they are making anymore XS lenses

As you can see, i am really trying to talk myself into one, but it just has too many niggles
01-09-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Docrwm...
A big +1 for your fair assessment! I am kind of in the market for a "take everywhere" camera. If this had a tilting rear LCD, i can totally see the utility of this camera skyrocketing. I love the idea of holding it waist level ang being totally ingognito. But as it sits now, it's still too big for what i consider a "take everywhere" cam. It may be thinner with the 40XS lens, but I would prefer a 24-28mmXS, making it a tad wider than normal rather than a short telephoto, which would be better indoors.
Unfortunately, there are no hints that they are making anymore XS lenses

As you can see, i am really trying to talk myself into one, but it just has too many niggles
Thanks. I got REALLY slammed for my initial comments months ago about the K-01, and I was right then as I know after owning one now.

Let me help sell you on one though The $319 is WITH the 40XS. I have the 40 Limited and so decided to sell the 40XS (its up in the marketplace now). So, once it sells I will be able to subtract some cost from the K-01 kit cost thereby reducing my cost for the K-01 and someone else gets a nice BNIB 40XS for a lower price.

If that doesn't do it you might think about the Q. I'm a BIG fan of that little camera. And its very inconspicuous.
01-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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I'm still waiting on mine (very impatiently, I might add), so I haven't seen the rubber door in person, but I'll toss in my 2 cents. I have been using the same case on my phone for 2 years that has a little "rubber door" covering the vibrate/ring switch. It has a very insubstantial rubber hinge and I probably open and close it about 30 times a day, based on where I am at work or home. It gets a lot of abuse from my 4 and 2 year old too, pulling it open to turn the ringer (and the volume by design) on as well. It does have a small scar, for lack of a better word, on it after all that time, but otherwise it is holding up just fine. I can't imagine that this rubber door is any less substantial than this and, at least for me, I doubt it will be opened/closed as much in a month as this one is in a day. The only way I could see it being done more often is if you were working in a studio and not shooting directly to a computer, but slipping it out after every client.

All that said, I might reverse my opinion of it when I actually get the camera.

There has been some speculation that the processor on the camera is capable of sustained higher RAW shooting, but that Pentax has it disabled due to the lower price/perception point vs other cameras. I've bought a few things where vendors do similar things. All the functionality is technically there, but they just disable it based on price point. Granted, it might not be as capable as a K-5, but if it can hit a 6fps burst on raw using bracketed exposure, you would think it could at least sustain a 2 or 3 fps in raw for a few seconds.
01-09-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrbdm99 Quote
I'm still waiting on mine (very impatiently, I might add), so I haven't seen the rubber door in person, but I'll toss in my 2 cents. I have been using the same case on my phone for 2 years that has a little "rubber door" covering the vibrate/ring switch. It has a very insubstantial rubber hinge and I probably open and close it about 30 times a day, based on where I am at work or home. It gets a lot of abuse from my 4 and 2 year old too, pulling it open to turn the ringer (and the volume by design) on as well. It does have a small scar, for lack of a better word, on it after all that time, but otherwise it is holding up just fine. I can't imagine that this rubber door is any less substantial than this and, at least for me, I doubt it will be opened/closed as much in a month as this one is in a day. The only way I could see it being done more often is if you were working in a studio and not shooting directly to a computer, but slipping it out after every client.

All that said, I might reverse my opinion of it when I actually get the camera.

There has been some speculation that the processor on the camera is capable of sustained higher RAW shooting, but that Pentax has it disabled due to the lower price/perception point vs other cameras. I've bought a few things where vendors do similar things. All the functionality is technically there, but they just disable it based on price point. Granted, it might not be as capable as a K-5, but if it can hit a 6fps burst on raw using bracketed exposure, you would think it could at least sustain a 2 or 3 fps in raw for a few seconds.
I sincerely hope you are right about the door. However, when you get yours you will see that it has a small H shaped piece (1cm maybe wide) that the entire door hinges on.

As for the functionality, if it can do 3 RAW in ~.5 seconds and integrate them it ought to be able to do more RAW than it is doing now in regular photo mode. So, I agree that this appears to be an artificial limit set via the firmware that could be lifted if Pentax decided to enhance the K-01's utility.
01-09-2013, 03:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I sincerely hope you are right about the door. However, when you get yours you will see that it has a small H shaped piece (1cm maybe wide) that the entire door hinges on.
True, but it's more of a retainer than a hinge, i.e. it does not significantly bend each time the flap is lifted. Perhaps no different than all those rubber hinges/covers on the Nikon cameras, which to my knowledge have never been reported to be much of an issue.
01-09-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Ron, thanks. That does help, but if it can do that and write them to the SD then why not just have Hi as an option in the menus???
Well I'm more off a work with what you got then looking for things there aint. I guess the buffer is simply to say not bigger then these three RAW images. So when they put in the option then all the critics would say: Why is that buffer so small? Well it is a basic camera that gives the option to make three shots when I want a groepportrait and as many eyes open as possible.
01-09-2013, 03:36 PM   #15
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I agree with your assessment, sort of. I don't really understand the whole "ergonomics" thing with the K-01. I feel like I have no trouble changing settings, getting to the things I need easily. The hardest problem I have with the K-01 is the whole no-viewfinder thing. Just harder to get things good and steady, particularly if it is kind of cold outside and I am a little shaky. I know that I lose at least a stop in shake because I just can't support it as well as I can a camera with a viewfinder. But that isn't a K-01 thing, it is a MILC without EVF thing.

I mainly got one, because when my wife is out on a photo shoot, she takes both of our K5s and I don't have a camera to use. This seemed to be the perfect camera for me (mainly cause it uses the same mount and it's cheap). I have used it quite a bit. The one thing that I really like is that with lenses with narrow depth of field (77mm limited; DA * 55) it nails focus a lot better than my K5 cameras. I hear the K5 II is better in that respect, but the K-01 does awfully well there.
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