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01-18-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
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K-01 Advice Needed

so i am on the fence regarding this camera. i have never owned anything greater than a point and shoot. my current is panasonic z20 which i've had for about a month. it replaced a canon sx260 which i had for couple weeks and flash got stuck. i wasnt impressed with it's pics so i replaced with the panasonic. i like the panasonic but it is very inconsistent in picture quality and video quality indoors isnt very good. i have young kids and am mainly looking for a family type camera to get good pictures and video so when i am old, i can look back and enjoy my family growing up in images ... and not blurry ones!! my kids are in non action activities (orchestra, school concerts, etc.) and action activities (soccer and dance), we also have dogs and we go boating quite a bit. my concern from reading reviews is this camera won't cut it for the action stuff with it's slow autofocus. but everything else seems to be telling me to get this camera. i have been looking for a couple months now off and on. it started with the sx260 and z20 then to canon sx50 super zoom then to olympus and panasonic 4/3s and then lately i've been focusing on the aps-c sensor cameras based on what i've read about image quality ... i.e. the k-01 and sony nex options. i do not want a bulky dslr and was really hoping to find something a tad more compact than this but like a lot have mentioned about this being like a fungus and it growing on you, i like it more and more the more i read about and look at it ... although i have not seen it in person yet. what opinions are out there based on my needs/desires?

and if i am convinced this is the right camera for me, amazon has 2 bundle types. i can get the camera with the DA 40mm lens for $420 (and buy a separate zoom?) or get the camera with both a 18-55 and 50-200 lenses for $520. again, based on what i am wanting to accomplish and what people know about these lenses, what are opinions/recommendations for the two camera bundles?

thanks and i appreciate in advance any information that i can use to help me out!!

01-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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If you get it, I would get the bundle with the DA 40 lens; it offers stellar optical quality and makes the K-01 as compact as possible. I'm not a big fan of the kit lenses so I'd recommend skipping the 18-55 and 50-200. If you really want those, you can usually buy them very cheaply in the used marketplace. (So, for example, get the body-only for $315, then buy used DA-L 18-55 for $30-40, and DA-L 50-200 for $50-75; if you do that, you'll still come in at less than the $520 for buying new lenses). If I had to do it all over again with my kit building, I would have gotten body-only, then gotten a used DA 16-45, or DA 18-250, or Sigma 17-70. Or get a used 18-55 kit lens and a used DA 55-300. in any case, you have lots of options.

whether this set up is small enough for you, I'm not sure. The NEX-6 is a pretty awesome camera, as is the NEX 5R, and they're more compact than the K-01. still, the NEX lenses aren't quite as good as Pentax ones (at least in terms of variety available).

If you want a camera to capture action activities as well as for boating, you may need a weather-resistant camera like a K-30. Still, if you don't like bulky DSLRs, you may find K-30 is too unwieldly; it's definitely bigger than K-01.
01-18-2013, 01:58 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Not to discourage you but just buying another new camera is not going to automatically improve your images. K-01 or a dslr gives you the POTENTIAL for better images, but does not guarantee it. Especially coming from super zooms or P&S cameras there will be a learning curve.

I ended up with a k-x after following a similar path to you and the first month I really, really doubted my decision. I had been getting much better images with my P&S than I was getting with the k-x. NOT the camera's fault, but simply that I was used to 'point and shoot' without much thought to composition, exposure, shutter speed and so on. Once I got past that learning curve I am glad I did but it was a rough go the first month or so, especially after telling the wife how much better the pictures would be from the new camera.

If you are looking for compact APS-C camera then the k-01 will do nicely. You might also take a look at the Pentax Q if you want something small.
01-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #4
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I'm in the camp with 76er; the fixed 40 kit lens is optically a great way to start, and the dSLR kit bundle is not as good a match for the K-01, or the needs for a smaller package as you have expressed.

It really is up to you to what extent you want to expand as a photographer, and I believe the K-01 is a great way to start in as a serious photographer. As for mirrorless cameras, none are going to be great at action shooting; now that the K-01 has updated firmware (after all those negative reviews were written), the K-01 will perform as decently as the other mirrorless cameras - especially if you can use obtain lenses that are faster than the kit zooms. Learning manually focus is very possible with the K-01, as excellent focus peaking will allow you to capture some fine action shots will a little practice. Without getting into a big deal about brands, it is safe to say that the K-01 is a great value given its build and image quality compared to the competitors. I paid only about $100 under retail for the body, and even that was a very good value in my opinion.

01-18-2013, 05:09 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I think the advice you got here is great. Get K-01+40mm XS, later you can buy 16-45mm and 55-300mm, even if used.
The great thing with Pentax is that it has a lot of great prime lenses and you can even use legacy lenses. Those lenses might not have AF, but they have great IQ and focus peaking makes manual focusing much easier. Feel free to look at the lens reviews database on these forums.
Oh, one more thing. If you want to use the camera in dark places (schools, auditoriums, concerts) or to freeze action (so you don't get movement blur with moving objects) you will need a lens with a fast aperture (low f-number). These are usually prime lenses (fixed focal length, no zoom).
01-19-2013, 05:57 AM   #6
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The only reason I like the 40 xs lens is because of the extremely small size of the lens. But that size is also one of it's largest drawbacks - especially if one likes to use filters; then one is basically forced into using filters that are considerably larger than what was originally intended for the lens.

But one also would find it difficult to lose given the price point of the existing K-01 with the XS lens.
01-20-2013, 05:51 PM   #7
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I agree with most of the posters here. At least that's what I did, buy the kit with 40mm xs and buy the zoom lenses used.
01-24-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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Get K-01+ 40mm XS bundle.

01-25-2013, 04:14 AM   #9
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Video quality with the K-01 is very good but you need to really read the instructions and develop the right technique in focusing and zooming manually. This camera has many more settings than the Panasonic point and shoot and the K-01 does not have automatic focusing during video recording. Zooming and focus really need to be manual because you get feedback in the stereo microphones from the motor. This can be offset thru use of a wireless microphone or a exterior stereo mic. (there is an audio input on the body). I have a DMC-ZS3 and with the smaller sensor it is relatively easy to get sharp videos compared to the larger sensor in the K-01 but if you want to have more creative control get the K-01.
01-25-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Markitectonic Quote
Video quality with the K-01 is very good but you need to really read the instructions and develop the right technique in focusing and zooming manually. This camera has many more settings than the Panasonic point and shoot and the K-01 does not have automatic focusing during video recording. Zooming and focus really need to be manual because you get feedback in the stereo microphones from the motor. This can be offset thru use of a wireless microphone or a exterior stereo mic. (there is an audio input on the body). I have a DMC-ZS3 and with the smaller sensor it is relatively easy to get sharp videos compared to the larger sensor in the K-01 but if you want to have more creative control get the K-01.
My daughter is a network television news producer. The cameramen (though many are now women) she uses all focus manually. She produces news feature pieces. Visual subjects are often in motion or are distant - so motion is simulated by a zoom shoot. She rarely orders set shots.

That doesn't mean those who purchase video-capable consumer digital cameras don't want autofocus and power zoom - just that many pros prefer manual over motors in their own work.
01-25-2013, 08:16 AM   #11
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Yep, especially if you get a nice manual prime with long focus throw. That way you can focus pretty precisely even in video, without peaking.
01-25-2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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As far as video goes, I think it is important to realize that videos with the K-01 are a whole different animal than Point and shoot cameras. For most people, taking videos is a simple affair. Put the camera in video mode, press the record button, and capture the scene. The big difference is that because the sensor in a P&S is so much smaller, the focus depth of field is much greater, much more is in focus, and the camera can autofocus easily. With an APS-C camera like the K-01, the depth of field is shallow, and the camera does not continuously autofocus while filming. It requires manual focusing. Iíve found it not easy to do. For most people, lower quality in-focus video is better than higher quality out of focus video.

If you are the type though that wants to make creative videos that take advantage of shallow DOF and other features, the K-01 would be much better though.

As far as the lens to get bundled with the camera, I totally agree with others, the easy answer is to get the 40mm XS. Itís good quality, inexpensive, and tiny. Itís the only lens that will make the camera come close to Point and shoot size. If you decide that you prefer the flexibility of a zoom after you buy it, you can wind up selling it on our forum for more than you paid for it. This leads me to the place where I think Pentax made a mistake with the K-01. Most people in your situation NEED the flexibility of a zoom. With the 40mm, group pics inside are very difficult. Once you add an available zoom lens to the K-01, it becomes almost the size of a DSLR, you lose the size advantage vs. a point and shoot, or bridge camera. In order to attract people like you, they should have come up with an inexpensive zoom with elements that protruded back into the camera body, so that it could still be small on the outside.

In summary, if you want the IQ and functionality of a DSLR, donít mind not having a viewfinder, and are willing to learn how adjusting camera settings can improve your pictures, then the K-01 might be for you. Iím not aware of any other camera that will be as good at producing high quality still images for the low price you pay. The current price/value is absolutely amazing. I grabbed one, even though I have a K-5 and a K10d, and Iím trying to justify to myself and more importantly the wife why I need to keep it. If small size is important to you though, once you add a zoom, itís not small.
01-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #13
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Just like buying a Steinway piano won't make you a concert pianist, buying a decent camera, and the K-01 is a decent camera, won't make you a better photographer.

What it will do is it will give you good images in less than perfect lighting, when a point and shoot would find it difficult.

At least 80% of what makes a good image is external to the camera, having an interesting subject, good lighting, the angle of that light on your subject, your angle to the subject, composition, the 'moment' are all more important than the camera. To continue the musical theme, it takes time to learn how and when all these things come together and work in harmony, like the individual parts of an orchestra. All need your attention before you press the shutter.

For image quality lenses are more important than camera. All a camera needs to do is record with high fidelity, without adding anything to the image file, little noise, no artifacts, just a 'clean' recording, which the K-01 is very good at, at it's price point surprisingly good at. But any camera is just an image recording device, it records what you point it at. What you point it at is the most important thing of all.

The most useful lens is the 18 - 55mm kit lens, it covers the most used focal lengths, and the ability to zoom is an asset when shooting children, shooting with primes needs a more considered approach, you zoom with your feet for example, but primes will give you better image quality - sometimes, when the light is right. The kit 40mm f 2.8 is a (relatively) cheap lens at £149.00 here in the UK, but the L series 40mm f2.8 is in a different class, but at more than twice the price at £319.00 it should be.

If small is important to you then the Pentax Q has better image quality than it should have with such a small sensor, here's my Flickr photo-stream for the Q

Pentax Q - a set on Flickr

The K-01 is better still, with a faster response than the Q, important when trying to capture young children, but it is larger, not much smaller than a DSLR.

Chris
01-25-2013, 10:16 PM   #14
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thanks to everyone who commented. all great info. i ordered the k-01 today and it will arrive tomorrow (love me some amazon prime with $8 1 day shipping!!). anyway, i've got the weekend and a few days next week to get the basics down before my daughters orchestra concert on 1/31. hopefully i can be taking some solid pictures by then. thanks again to everyone, i truly appreciate all the opinions. by the way, i went with the 40mm package. that seemed to be the consensus. i'll start perusing ebay for additional lenses.
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