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04-08-2013, 03:34 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K-01, a very misunderstood camera

I have had the K-01 for about 2 weeks now.

I think the K-01 is the most misunderstood camera in recent memory.

When it was released, it took much criticism for being a brick, a box, too big, too thick, and it did not have a viewfinder.

All true.

But, it was being compared to mirrorless system cameras.

Using the NEX series as a benchmark, the K-01 is thicker.

However the K-01 was built on the foundation of the K5. It has similar imaging capabilities and is in a arguably more durable package that is smaller in all dimensions.

The only thing lacking is weather sealing.

Compared to any dSLR, it is smaller including being thinner. It is smaller than the new Canon Rebel SL1, the "smallest dSLR ever".

While most FA and DA ZOOM lenses are the same size as similar spec Nikon and Canon lenses, Pentax prime lenses are much smaller. They are similar in dimensions to rangefinder lenses (not counting diameter) and classic OM Zuikos of similar focal length.

I can argue that the K-01 is the smallest total APS digital camera with autofocus Prime lenses.

The K-01 does not compete against any compact mirrorless cameras other than the Nex (sensor size is the same). While the K-01 body is thicker and heavier, when mounted with a DA Prime (such as the 21 or 70mm DA Limiteds), the K-01 is a smaller package with arguably better lenses.

I would suggest that the K-01 is best described as an APS interchangeable lens LiveView camera.

While the K-01 is discontinued, I predict that there will be a similar spec APS interchangeable lens LiveView camera released by Pentax/Ricoh with more conventional styling than the K-01. This will give it some marketing space from the Mark Newson design that was polarizing. The real question will be if there will be an integrated EVF. If it does, then I suggest it might be named ME1 to pay homage to the Pentax ME series. I could even see it named Spotmatic as well.

04-08-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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The K-01 has become one of the most beloved cameras in Pentax history. Right after they dropped the price to $299.
04-08-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
The K-01 has become one of the most beloved cameras in Pentax history. Right after they dropped the price to $299.

Yes.
At the $899 (I think that's what it was...) release price with the DA 40 XS, I would have NEVER considered it, but for $300 with the lens, I was willing to give the "brick" a try. And yes, I have ended up liking it.
04-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Once you know you've gotten a bargain, one naturally focuses on the positives and more accepting of the weaknesses. I agree it's a great camera at the current prices.

04-08-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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I think Pentax marketing entirely blew this great camera up. They are the only and real culprit of the <failure> of the K-01.
04-08-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
The K-01 has become one of the most beloved cameras in Pentax history. Right after they dropped the price to $299.
With 40XS! After the 40 sold my K-01 cost me a whopping $152!
04-08-2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
With 40XS! After the 40 sold my K-01 cost me a whopping $152!
I'll take it off your hands for $153, plus any paypal fees.
04-08-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I'll take it off your hands for $153, plus any paypal fees.
it's a descent backup to my K-5 and I could not replace it for that amount.

04-08-2013, 10:59 PM   #9
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More or less agree. I absolutely love my panda-trooper and just ordered a second black one from Adorama for $249.99 which is a price too good to pass up IMO. I would also take Pentax lenses over Sony any day of the week.
04-09-2013, 01:27 AM   #10
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I wholeheartedly agree. About 6 months ago, when the price came down, I decided to get one (with some reservations).
The more I use it, the more I like it. I did have a play the NEX, and I found the body to be too thin for my liking.
04-09-2013, 01:37 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GXRUser Quote
I would suggest that the K-01 is best described as an APS interchangeable lens LiveView camera.
The term I like to use is DSLnR for 'non-Reflex' to keep as it sounding as much SLR-ish as possible because the K-01 uses existing SLR lenses, as opposed to NEX or other MILCs which use totally non-SLR lenses.

Pentax actually tried to sell that aspect of it with the hundreds of existing lenses availabe for it but they failed to differentiate it enough from the more compact MILCs which all the review sites kept comparing it to.

That's why I think inventing a whole new term like DSLnR would have helped them greatly to get across it was a whole new category of camera, not just another MILC:

04-09-2013, 02:06 AM   #12
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Nice to see the K-01 get some love. Its just one of those cameras that you have to see and use to appreciate.
04-09-2013, 02:21 AM   #13
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" K-01, a very misunderstood camera "

I would have thought the other way around, that the designer misunderstood the photographer.
04-09-2013, 02:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by chromo Quote
" K-01, a very misunderstood camera "

I would have thought the other way around, that the designer misunderstood the photographer.
That made me laugh. You know, sorry, but even at $300 I still don't like that camera. Nothing against the innards but that design is still about as ugly as it gets and for me it's total turn off. They could give me one for free I'd probably cover the body up with leather or something just so I didn't really have to look at it. It still reminds me of a plastic kid's toy cam and I don't mean that in a good way. It looks like something Tonka toys would sell for 5 year olds to go along with their dump trucks and that. Considering I usually like toy-like things, collect dolls and all you'd think I would like it, but I just don't. I wish you all joy of them but I'm just not impressed. I'd surely like to see the innards in a better body though.
04-09-2013, 03:25 AM   #15
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It's interesting how polarizing the looks are. I think it is really sharp looking and quite stylish. I give kudos to Pentax for taking a chance and engaging in some forward looking design that I think is modern art museum-worthy.

My main beef is the lack of an EVF, as it is so hard to use on a sunny day.
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