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05-10-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
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Reflections on the K-01 from Soundimageplus

Interesting article where reflections on the K-01 lead to reflections on Pentax as a company:
The SOUNDIMAGEPLUS blog: The Pentax K-01 is discontinued - What do Pentax do?

05-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #2
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But the k-01 and the DA21 make for such a great street photography combo! That DA21 can have some buttery smooth bokeh too. The focus peaking on the k-01 sure helps with those F1.2 lenses. Canikon really have nothing comparable.
05-10-2013, 06:22 PM   #3
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Another person who hasn't actually used one. Seems like he hasn't even used a Pentax camera since the film days as there is no mention of one of the greatest strengths of the K-01: The Sensor.
05-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #4
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Well, as much as it speaks for a lot of the community some points are simply bashing without any real base. "But it seems still nobody wanted to buy it", how come that the stock in many countries quickly disappeared?

"So I've taken a lot of pictures with their cameras. And very good they were too. Its not true anymore but Pentax used to produce some of the best 35mm and MF lenses you could buy."
There are still FF-compatible lenses around and to say that they don't produce great medium format lenses when they have very critically acclaimed 645D ones around is also pretty baseless.

"But some of the small APS-C primes like the 15mm and 21mm aren't as good as they should be, though are still expensive."

Once again critically acclaimed lenses and here at least they are pretty cheap when comparing to the plastic competition that goes for a slightly cheaper price.

"The Pentax kit zooms just aren't very good at all. Pretty cheap looking and feeling with soft results."
Still better optically and mechanically than most of the competition and have the WR that others lack.

"They can still make a decent camera as the K-5 series and the 645D shows, but apart from these fairly limited options there's not much that they offer these days that seems to excite people"
I would say that there isn't much use to Pentax to bombard the market with fifteen different models at once. One flagship in each section is enough. Right now for system cameras the got Q10 as the small camera, K-30 as the lower APS-C (even though pricing is strange over here), the K-5 ones as the flagship crop and 645D for the pro's. the wording of "decent" is just once again condescending of critically acclaimed products.

"Pentax owners are very loyal and it seems to me try to 'talk up' the brand even when it seems the company itself are quite happily sabotaging any possible renaissance by producing multi-coloured 'junk' cameras that seem to appeal to very few. "
Nice way of killing off any kind of critique to the text. Happy users are "talking up" and simply likes "junk".

I'm all for critiquing but this isn't of enough quality to give me anything, probably not for Pentax either.

05-10-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
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He does make some good points, but as noted above I doubt he has ever held one. And his facts are a little loose.
QuoteQuote:
All the talk year after year about will they / won't they make the 645D? In the end they did but it was closely followed by the Nikon D800 and D800E which chopped its legs from under it.
645d was announced March 2010, D800 March 2012. Two years is not closely followed in my book, but whatever. The D800 is a wonderful camera but it's not a 645, not designed for the same market even.

Oddly his comments on the k-01 closely mirror the ones on this forum when it was released. It was not until the price dropped and enough people actually bought one that we found out how good it really was.

And if he thinks Pentaxians 'talk up the brand' he should stop in here and check out the comments.

It should also be noted that he is a very old school photographer, and his dismissal of colorful 'junk' cameras just reflects his bias toward traditional camera aesthetics. I have seen a number of his posts on another forum and in general highly respect his experience and opinion. But in this case I am afraid he simply has not done his homework.
05-11-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
It should also be noted that he is a very old school photographer, and his dismissal of colorful 'junk' cameras just reflects his bias toward traditional camera aesthetics.
It's ironic how many vintage film cameras are turning up on eBay now re-skinned with colorful leather (or leather-like stuff). I saw a bright yellow Spotmatic the other day, and I was tempted.

Skimming the article, though... I don't think he's entirely off base. I also feel like Pentax have been stumbling around without a strategy, and the K-01 is symptomatic of that. Granted that I'm growing to love mine, and it's a better camera than I expected when I ordered it (at the closeout price), but still this is not the direction the camera world is going.

Then he shows photos of a couple of Spotmatics and says, "Why couldn't we have one of these instead of the K-01?" He could get something that looks like that instead of the K-01. The catch is, he'd have to buy it from Olympus!

All this talk about style and fashion is a bit of a sideshow, though. If the K-01 had a smaller body (which would require a new lens mount) and an EVF so you could use it in the sunlight, it would have reviewed better and sold better, no matter what it looked like. Sony NEX cameras are not things of great beauty either, but they seem to be selling OK.
05-11-2013, 03:07 PM   #7
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Something I didn't understand about the K-01 is why wasn't the required depth limited just to the mount rather than entire body? It would then have been like a regular mirrorless body with an adapter attached. Except, it wouldn't have been an adapter - it would have had full electronic aperture control and autofocus. And total compatibility with K-mount. And had the design reflected Pentax DNA (Spotmatic, ME, Super Program, whatever) it really could've been a contender.

No idea what the R&D cost was for the K-01. Possibly less than it might have been given that it was more-or-less a reskinned K-5. Whatever it was, it came to nothing. If you take the view that there's no such thing as bad publicity then Pentax at least got plenty of good publicity out of it!
05-11-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
Something I didn't understand about the K-01 is why wasn't the required depth limited just to the mount rather than entire body? It would then have been like a regular mirrorless body with an adapter attached.
I had to read that a couple of times, but I think I understand what you mean. If you look at the K-01, the mount does protrude about a half inch, or slightly more, from the body. It could have been possible to make the body even thinner, but I'm not sure if it would have gained anything in practical terms, and it would result in less space for the battery, processor, etc.

05-11-2013, 07:21 PM - 1 Like   #9
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The only way to make the body significantly thinner would be to discard Shake Reduction (or a breakthrough in Pentax' SR tech). The SR/sensor chassis is about 1cm thick, and has to go behind the shutter (that is, its thickness has to be added to the register distance of the mount). The K-01 only has 13mm behind the shutter, compared to 3mm for a film body (and ~20mm for DSLRs and many MILCs). This means that if you made the body the same thickness as a Spotmatic or K1000, the "nose" would have to be 1cm longer than on the film bodies. One invisible 'advancement' of the K-01 is the main circuit board. Unlike every other Pentax DSLR, it is more densely populated and does not extend all the way across the camera - this is how they got the behind-the-shutter thickness down to 13mm. If you flip the K-01 over and take out the battery, everything behind the straight line is pretty much non-negotiable (unless you give up Shake Reduction).

The thickness of the grip side is directly related to how much battery life you want. Side note: it seems like there are as many people who complain that the K-01 needs a bigger grip as there are that complain that the body is too thick (probably directly related to how many big zooms they own). I'm going to assume that the logic of the battery choice was that they knew LiveView and the screw-drive motor need a lot of juice, so they went with a big, proven battery. If they had used the K-r/K-30's battery, it would have shaved ~3mm off the grip side, at a cost of about one-third of the battery life. In an interview with the designers, they admitted the non-grip side could be thinner, but they left it alone for symmetry (and all we're really talking about there is the upper and lower front corners).
05-12-2013, 07:34 AM   #10
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Those complaining about the size of the K-01 body need to get a life and get a Q. The IQ is pretty much unbelievable from the small size of the Q.
05-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
I had to read that a couple of times, but I think I understand what you mean. If you look at the K-01, the mount does protrude about a half inch, or slightly more, from the body. It could have been possible to make the body even thinner, but I'm not sure if it would have gained anything in practical terms, and it would result in less space for the battery, processor, etc.
I think he means make everything but the mount area thinner - big chunky block to maintain the sensor-lens distance for the K-mount, slender grip. In other words, the same kind of parlor trick used by the NEX series to make it look thinner, except more of the bulk would be in the body and less in the lens.

Not a good idea, IMNSHO. As I've said about the NEX before, the end result is a huge unbalanced weight with the lens/image box, and a much smaller grip to try and control it with. The end result wouldn't be significantly easier to carry with you; making the grip smaller wouldn't let it fit into a smaller carry bag. (Think of a box fitted to the height, width and depth of the camera; making the grip smaller doesn't reduce the size of the box, it just adds some extra space in one corner.) It might add a little additional flexibility, fitting into oddly-shaped spaces... but I think any real effect would be more cosmetic than practical. And as others have mentioned, reducing the grip means going with a smaller battery.

What I could see doing is taking a slice out of the body between the lens and the grip - adding extra space for the fingers to wrap around the grip, so you get a better hold on the camera. .
05-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Travis Butler Quote

What I could see doing is taking a slice out of the body between the lens and the grip - adding extra space for the fingers to wrap around the grip, so you get a better hold on the camera. .
I would really agree with this. The k-01 is harder to hold than my k-x. Still reasonable, at least more so than any other mirrorless (and also my Super ME), but not as great as my dslr.
05-13-2013, 01:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Travis Butler Quote
the end result is a huge unbalanced weight with the lens/image box, and a much smaller grip to try and control it with
That "milk-bottle-on-a-fag-packet" look so characteristic of the NEX. As it happens, your 18-55 and 50-200 bog-standards are so light and small that they wouldn't look out of proportion (the Pentax lens is a bit smaller than the Fuji zoom and that doesn't look silly on the X-E1) and would be nicely balanced. A Pentax limited on an adapter on a NEX looks fine as well. Imagine it: the classic styling of the ME super with a 21 Limited on the front. That would be almost spoogeworthy, wouldn't it? The 60-250, on the other hand, would be a different matter altogether.
05-13-2013, 06:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Travis Butler Quote
I think he means make everything but the mount area thinner - big chunky block to maintain the sensor-lens distance for the K-mount, slender grip. In other words, the same kind of parlor trick used by the NEX series to make it look thinner, except more of the bulk would be in the body and less in the lens.
The NEX can get away with that because the register distance so much smaller that the main circuit board can go behind the (thinner, non-IS) sensor, leaving the grip free for the battery (which is quite a bit smaller than the D-Li90). With an all-electronic lens interface, it doesn't have to provide any room in the 'snout' for a screwdrive motor or aperture lever mechanism. The comparison holds for most other MILCs, as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by Travis Butler Quote
What I could see doing is taking a slice out of the body between the lens and the grip - adding extra space for the fingers to wrap around the grip, so you get a better hold on the camera. .
That was exactly the spot I was looking at when I asked myself "what if they'd used the K-r battery?". The battery is right up against the shell there - they might have been able to make it 1mm thinner, but any more would have required a smaller battery. Maybe they should have turned the battery sideways for a much deeper grip.

I used to long for something like a digital ME-Super, but once I started running the numbers, I realized what fundamental constraints the register distance and sensor/SR chassis thickness are. You can't keep one the same and make the other ~80 times thicker (from 0.12mm film to 10mm) and expect to have anything like the same camera dimensions, even if you can keep everything else the same (electronics for mechanical works, battery instead of film spools, etc.). At best, it will look weird. I also wonder if the weight of the steel SR chassis and battery would handle well on such a thin body.
05-13-2013, 06:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote

I used to long for something like a digital ME-Super, but once I started running the numbers, I realized what fundamental constraints the register distance and sensor/SR chassis thickness are. You can't keep one the same and make the other ~80 times thicker (from 0.12mm film to 10mm) and expect to have anything like the same camera dimensions ....
The film had a few other bits and bobs above the .12mm surely ?
frame to hold it and hatch to the outside world. I wonder if the LCD is as much the depth culprit
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