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04-30-2013, 07:23 PM   #1
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K-01 versus Nikon (It's not me)

I do not own a K-01 but I know someone who is considering one. He is also considering a Nikon (I don't know what kind). He knows I have (and love) Pentax, and am going to purchase another in the near future.Can someone give me something to say that gives reason to why the K-01 would be the better choice?

04-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
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If it wasn't discontinued, I'd say get the K-01 because it's cheap. But the D5100 can match its IQ, and the D5200 can surpass it...so maybe look at lens compatibility or something like that instead? Can't beat getting an M 50mm F1.4 for $45

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04-30-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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Hard sell if the person doesn't already have good K-mount glass. I just can't see any good reason to buy a K-01 if you do not already have access to good Kmount lenses when, as Adam said, the D5100 is available and matches its IQ and surpasses it in AF and a host of other features (like an optical viewfinder), swivel LCD screen, etc.
04-30-2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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If he's into shooting moving kids or sports or otherwise animate objects, then a Nikon DSLR is hard to beat. For casual photographers, I'd actually recommend a discounted Nikon V1 as it's much smaller and more than good enough for most folks to start with.

But if your friend is more of an arty photographer, likes taking interesting angles of things, likes peeling paint, rust, and things like that, and also has a bit of a hipster in him/her, then the K-01 may be the cat's pajamas. For the price of a D5100 with a kit lens, you can get the K-01 and a fistfull of cool manual focus lenses from thrift shops and garage sales and stuff.

Now that I think about it, you can probably get a K-01 and Q for the price of the D5100. Sounds like more fun, but again, it depends on what kind of shoot your friend imagines themselves to be.

05-02-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ASheffield Quote
I do not own a K-01 but I know someone who is considering one. He is also considering a Nikon (I don't know what kind). He knows I have (and love) Pentax, and am going to purchase another in the near future.Can someone give me something to say that gives reason to why the K-01 would be the better choice?
$250, what more do you need to say !
05-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
If he's into shooting moving kids or sports or otherwise animate objects, then a Nikon DSLR is hard to beat. For casual photographers, I'd actually recommend a discounted Nikon V1 as it's much smaller and more than good enough for most folks to start with.
I admit, I'd be hesitant to recommend the Nikon V1 after the time I spent shooting with one. It's pretty heavy and bulky, the lack of a proper grip makes that all the worse, the control ergonomics are poor (my thumb kept shifting the mode dial out of still photos into movie or that funky 'moving snapshot' mode, which I partly attribute to the lack of grip) and the lens situation isn't that great. (Although they're technically smaller because of the smaller sensor, in actual use they aren't effectively smaller. And the selection is pretty small right now.)

QuoteQuote:
Now that I think about it, you can probably get a K-01 and Q for the price of the D5100. Sounds like more fun, but again, it depends on what kind of shoot your friend imagines themselves to be.
The two make a pretty great combination - K-01 for image quality and lots of native lenses, Q for size/weight/handling and lots of adaptable cine lenses.
05-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Travis Butler Quote
I admit, I'd be hesitant to recommend the Nikon V1 after the time I spent shooting with one. It's pretty heavy and bulky, the lack of a proper grip makes that all the worse, the control ergonomics are poor (my thumb kept shifting the mode dial out of still photos into movie or that funky 'moving snapshot' mode, which I partly attribute to the lack of grip) and the lens situation isn't that great. (Although they're technically smaller because of the smaller sensor, in actual use they aren't effectively smaller. And the selection is pretty small right now.)
I'll agree with the mode dial being funky. I've learned to always check it after pulling it out of the bag, although I've never accidentally moved it while in use. I'm surprised that you consider it pretty heavy in bulky as it fits pretty squarely between the K-01 and Q in those categories:




Lens selection is slim, but the two kits 10-30mm and 30-110mm (~27-297mm eq) are good and compact for kit lenses and the 18.5mm F1.8 (~50mm) is starting to show what the system's potential is:










It's primary strength of course is the fastest mirrorless AF, in good light. It's the perfect family cam for outdoor youth sports:




The V2 fixes some of the ergonomic issues of the V1, and faster glass is on the way, 32mm f/1.2 (86mm eq) and hopefully more. If you already got Nikon glass and like to shoot long, the 1 series deserves serious consideration, what with its 2.7x crop factor and all.

No, the V1 isn't perfect, but no camera is. But at the clearance prices it's a damn good value.

I wouldn't right off the 1 series quite yet. In my real world, it's significantly faster and smaller than APS-C or M43 mirrorless options, and Nikon seems to be in the system for the long haul. Frankly, I think 1" sensors will one day rule the world, but that's another discussion altogether.
05-04-2013, 08:44 PM   #8
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Your friend will need more effort with the K-01 due to its AF (same with MF). After I returned the DA 21 due to mis-AF, I got the XS 40 - which is better but the K-01 still misses the focus quite often. I have no problem with this as my main system is Canon - and I love hunting for vintage Pentax lenses plus I like K-01's image quality among its competitors.

K-01 is a camera that relies on liveview. my experience is that the image quality of the LV is also somewhat worse than other mirrorless (or DSLRs). It will turn to cartoonish look and slow in low light and high magnification (zoomed) - esp when peaking is on. I just compared it to NEX 5 and 650D/T4i - their LV is better, I'm afraid. the T4i's LV is so good that I don't even need focus peaking with this one.

Either Nikon D5100 or D5200 might be more suitable for your friend if he/she is not experienced.

05-04-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I'll agree with the mode dial being funky. I've learned to always check it after pulling it out of the bag, although I've never accidentally moved it while in use. I'm surprised that you consider it pretty heavy in bulky as it fits pretty squarely between the K-01 and Q in those categories:
I was mostly comparing it to the Pana GX-1 and the Fuji X10; I hadn't been shooting much with the Q yet when I used it, and didn't have a K-01 at all. Both the X10 and the GX-1 were lighter, had much better grip and control ergonomics, and were frankly a lot more fun to shoot with. (I did a comparison shoot between the V1 and the X10, and posted pics here.)

M4/3 was also my main reference on lens size. The argument on shrinking the 1 system's sensor is that it made for smaller lenses; the thing is, while they were notably smaller than M4/3 equivalents, the difference wasn't enough to actually make a difference in use for me - not in packing into a kit bag, not in shooting.

In use was also where I really felt the V1 was bulky and heavy, comparisons aside. It's heavy enough, with the way the grip forced me to hold it, that by the end of the afternoon on that shoot my hand was starting to ache. It's bulky enough that moving around the tower observation deck (only about 4 ft. wide, and having to squeeze past people) was awkward, to a degree I actually noticed.

QuoteQuote:
It's primary strength of course is the fastest mirrorless AF, in good light. It's the perfect family cam for outdoor youth sports:
I do very little action shooting, which is probably part of the difference. But I didn't notice the V1's autofocus being faster enough to be noticeable.

I can't emphasize enough, though, how much of a pain it was to shoot indoors in moderate-to-dim lighting with the V1. I can't be sure if it was camera shake or focusing issues, but when I went through the shots at the end of the day, the V1 had many, many more unusable photos than the X10 did. This pic is a perfect example; the blurriness in the 100% crop was very common.

QuoteQuote:
The V2 fixes some of the ergonomic issues of the V1
Yeah, if I were going to seriously consider the 1 system, I'd definitely go with the V2. The ergonomic issues were a killer for me.

QuoteQuote:
But at the clearance prices it's a damn good value.
Eh. Just did a quick PriceGrabber search, and the lowest price I saw for the V1 with the 10-30 lens seems to be around $365-400; that's within $10-20 of the GX-1 kit with the 14-42 lens at B&H, and you can also get the GX-1 body and the Zuiko 40-150 together for about that much. For roughly the same price, I'd take the GX-1 in a heartbeat.

QuoteQuote:
In my real world, it's significantly faster and smaller than APS-C or M43 mirrorless options, and Nikon seems to be in the system for the long haul. Frankly, I think 1" sensors will one day rule the world, but that's another discussion altogether.
For me, that just isn't the case. It's definitely smaller than the K-01, I'll grant that. But I've also worked with an NEX-5, and even with the problems I've mentioned here in another post, I think it's more ergonomic - and, even, smaller - than the V1. And it absolutely isn't smaller than the GX-1. My normal kit there is the Lumix 20mm prime and the Zuiko 40-150mm; from what I remember, the Zuiko is fairly close to the 10-30mm Nikon in size, is shorter than the equivalent 30-110, and lighter than either. The GX-1 with the Zuiko handles much, much better than the V1 did with either lens.

Nikon does seem to be in it for the long haul, and the V2 shows they can learn. But right now, I'm just not seeing any advantages at all to the system, over what you can get with M4/3. And if you're willing to compromise image quality for size, why not go all the way and get a Q? I have a lot more fun shooting with that than I ever did with the V1, and the size advantage is much more significant.

1" sensors... hm, I'm on the fence on that. Any improvement you can make to 1" sensors can be made to APS-C or M4/3 as well, so the larger sensors will still beat the smaller ones - until the larger ones reach a point where the improvements don't matter any more. The question is whether this will happen.
05-04-2013, 10:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Travis Butler Quote
But right now, I'm just not seeing any advantages at all to the system, over what you can get with M4/3.
You said that you don't shoot sports, so that's why you don't see any advantage. If something is moving outside, I'd pick the V1 over M43 any day of the week. I haven't shot NEX so I can comment. The thing that I'm finding out about the V1 is that it won't work if I try to use it like my other cameras, but if you think about what it's strengths are and work with them, you can get some good results.

It's no wonder that we're coming to different conclusions because we shoot different things. I bought the V1 specifically to shoot moving objects where my M43 GH1/GH2 and other cameras struggled for one reason or another. This was with the V1 and 10mm f/2.8 mounted via suction cup to the back of a motorcycle. I set to Aperture Priority 1/500 and Auto ISO and turned on the Intervalometer. And then we rode, and the camera nailed focus and exposure a shocking number of times as we rode up a winding mountain road in and out of shade.




I've used at least a half dozen different camera for rigged shots like these and the V1 is in a class of its own.

Bringing this back to the OP and the reason I mentioned the V1 in the first place is if the person's going to shoot moving objects. If that's the case, then the V1 and DSLRs move to the head of the class. If not, then the GX1 at its current price is a fine alternative.

QuoteQuote:
1" sensors... hm, I'm on the fence on that. Any improvement you can make to 1" sensors can be made to APS-C or M4/3 as well, so the larger sensors will still beat the smaller ones - until the larger ones reach a point where the improvements don't matter any more. The question is whether this will happen.
RIght now, I'd place the V1 at somewhere between Nikon D80 and D90 in image quality. The 1" in the Sony RX100 is better stil. Sure, bigger will always be better, but 1" is already good enough for wide swaths of people.
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