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06-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #1
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K-01 vs K200D, some thoughts

Hi pentaxians,
I've been using my K-01 for a while now and love it for the size and IQ. A few days ago I happened to acquire a K200D and 18-55mm combo for a good price, mainly interested in the lens. But the K200D turns out to be a pleasant surprise. I feel it's a bit faster than the K-01. Press the shutter and action happens immediately, the picture quickly taken. The immediacy is satisfying. The noise and vibration of mirror slapping and shutter, well, doing the shuttering actually adds to the experience. Looking through the view finder isn't the most enjoyable with me wearing glasses, but I got used to it sooner and easier than I expected. Found myself reflexively pressing the K-01's LCD against my face on occasions
K-01 is smaller, lighter, and produces better IQ especially in low light and tricky lighting. But the experience with the K200D makes me very curious about current crop Pentax DSLR's. They seem like better tools for getting the pictures, if one don't mind a bit for size and weight. And why is the K-01 slower, is it a shared shortcoming of all mirrorless cameras?
Discussion appreciated.

06-26-2013, 12:25 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Well, Pentax is kinda slow in the buffer/write speed department. But Pentax has really fast menus.
The K-01 is a little "slow" because it is in live view, which introduces some lag. Live view also means only CD AF, which is reliable, but much slower than PD AF that DSLRs have. The K-01 also has a pretty small buffer, which is why burst mode with raw photos only allows the "slow" speed, and not the "hi" speed.
Make sure you updated your K-01 to the latest firmware btw, it makes the whole thing work faster.
So, the K-01 has great IQ, it can take some great shots, mount all the best Kmount lenses, has great battery life, but yes, its not very fast. A DSLR has faster AF, can focus on moving subjects better, and should have better AF tracking (AF.C). I like the K-01 because for the kind of photography i do, speed usually isn't an issue, or I can just MF and the camera becomes as fast as a DSLR on MF..

Other mirrorless cameras also use CD AF and aren't very fast. Some now have hybrid sensors with PD AF points, but practical tests have shown that this hybrid thing isn't really any faster than regular CD AF.
Oh, and CD AF is also dependent on the lens used. Some lenses will focus pretty fast, others not so well. There are a couple of threads on this.
06-26-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Well, Pentax is kinda slow in the buffer/write speed department. But Pentax has really fast menus.
The K-01 is a little "slow" because it is in live view, which introduces some lag. Live view also means only CD AF, which is reliable, but much slower than PD AF that DSLRs have. The K-01 also has a pretty small buffer, which is why burst mode with raw photos only allows the "slow" speed, and not the "hi" speed.
Make sure you updated your K-01 to the latest firmware btw, it makes the whole thing work faster.
So, the K-01 has great IQ, it can take some great shots, mount all the best Kmount lenses, has great battery life, but yes, its not very fast. A DSLR has faster AF, can focus on moving subjects better, and should have better AF tracking (AF.C). I like the K-01 because for the kind of photography i do, speed usually isn't an issue, or I can just MF and the camera becomes as fast as a DSLR on MF..

Other mirrorless cameras also use CD AF and aren't very fast. Some now have hybrid sensors with PD AF points, but practical tests have shown that this hybrid thing isn't really any faster than regular CD AF.
Oh, and CD AF is also dependent on the lens used. Some lenses will focus pretty fast, others not so well. There are a couple of threads on this.
I shoot with a K-01 and a K-30 (sold my K-5) for the focus peaking on the K-30. I use my k-01 for at least 60% of my shooting....mainly because my two favorite lenses (SMC-A 50/1.7 and SMC-M 100/f/4 macro) are manual focus lenses. When I want to shoot anything fast moving I just use my K-30 and my Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 lens. I have gotten so used to the K-01 it's the one I reach for the most.
06-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
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They're different tools for different jobs. If you do a lot of LiveView shooting, the CDAF autofocus on a DSLR is no faster and the triple-flap of the mirror getting out of the way can be annoying. For me, I found the K-01 to be a LOT easier to shoot one-handed and getting away from the viewfinder was refreshing. It's also much quieter for indoor work.

The way CDAF works, the camera has to crank the lens through its range, then jump back to the point where it had the greatest contrast. This is time consuming, especially if you have a lens with a long focus throw. PDAF points are either in phase or not - the camera doesn't have to keep going in hope of finding something more in phase.

06-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by prime.partisan Quote
Hi pentaxians,
I've been using my K-01 for a while now and love it for the size and IQ. A few days ago I happened to acquire a K200D and 18-55mm combo for a good price, mainly interested in the lens. But the K200D turns out to be a pleasant surprise. I feel it's a bit faster than the K-01. Press the shutter and action happens immediately, the picture quickly taken. The immediacy is satisfying. The noise and vibration of mirror slapping and shutter, well, doing the shuttering actually adds to the experience. Looking through the view finder isn't the most enjoyable with me wearing glasses, but I got used to it sooner and easier than I expected. Found myself reflexively pressing the K-01's LCD against my face on occasions
K-01 is smaller, lighter, and produces better IQ especially in low light and tricky lighting. But the experience with the K200D makes me very curious about current crop Pentax DSLR's. They seem like better tools for getting the pictures, if one don't mind a bit for size and weight. And why is the K-01 slower, is it a shared shortcoming of all mirrorless cameras?
Discussion appreciated.
The K-01 is a bit of an oddball. Sounds like you'd enjoy a modern pentax dslr like the K-30 or the K-50

Adam
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06-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Well, Pentax is kinda slow in the buffer/write speed department. But Pentax has really fast menus.
The K-01 is a little "slow" because it is in live view, which introduces some lag.
This is what I suspected. Thanks Na Horuk. The shutter lag on K-01 isn't bad, but the writing afterward is a bit slow. I didn't notice the slowness at all until comparing it back to back with the K200D, which feels like it doesn't have any shutter lag and writes very fast afterward too. I love the menu and the fact that they manage to keep it consistent across different models all these years.

QuoteOriginally posted by treebeard Quote
.mainly because my two favorite lenses (SMC-A 50/1.7 and SMC-M 100/f/4 macro) are manual focus lenses
Yup I still like manual lenses much better on the K-01. I only realized how useful focus peaking is when looking through the K200D's view finder trying to focus manually. Catch-in-focus feature is helpful, but somehow not reliable with some of my lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
The way CDAF works, the camera has to crank the lens through its range, then jump back to the point where it had the greatest contrast
This is why I think manual lenses are more enjoyable on the K-01, especially in low light. But that's probably because I have no modern, high grade lenses. My only 2 auto focus ones are FA 50mm f1.4, and 18-55mm AL II.
I don't much mind the slow focus, but wish the shutter lag and writing time can be reduced.

The K200D has another advantage, in my specific case - it's the new toy
06-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
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What SD card are you using? I've never noticed the K-01 to be slow writing to the card compared to *istDS, K100D, K-m, K-x, K-r, or K-30. If anything, it's faster than the older generation cameras, even though it's writing a lot more data.
06-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
What SD card are you using?
I'm using Sony 16GB Class 10 on the K-01, and some old Kingston 4GB on the K200D. Sometimes the K-01 would not recognize the Sony card, so that could have something to do with the speed.

06-26-2013, 04:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by prime.partisan Quote
I'm using Sony 16GB Class 10 on the K-01, and some old Kingston 4GB on the K200D. Sometimes the K-01 would not recognize the Sony card, so that could have something to do with the speed.
The K-01 and the K-30 are picky about SD cards. Seems like Sonys are mentioned a lot (anyone, correct me if I remember wrong). I generally use SANdisk Ultra Class 10s in my K-01. I had a couple Kingston Class 10s that didn't work well at all - until I formatted them in an older body. I've never had a problem since, but I'm afraid to use them for anything but "playing".
06-28-2013, 04:11 AM   #10
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THoog is right, the K-01 files are big, so that might explain why writing takes so long. And also about SD cards.
06-28-2013, 06:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by prime.partisan Quote
I'm using Sony 16GB Class 10 on the K-01, and some old Kingston 4GB on the K200D. Sometimes the K-01 would not recognize the Sony card, so that could have something to do with the speed.
I experienced a couple occurences when the file formatted in/for my k200d would not read in the K-01. It would say unformatted media or something like that.
06-28-2013, 08:02 AM   #12
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I shoot with two K5s and a K-01. If I am out shooting landscapes, the weaknesses of the K-01 don't really bother me, as compared to the K5s, but chasing kids around, I often end up shooting the K-01 with manual focus. CDAF is just much slower than PDAF (although for a lens like the DA *55 at f1.4 it seems to be more precise).

I do think that Pentax restricted specs on the K-01 over much -- the buffer is amazingly puny, no particular reason for limit of just 3 photos in multi-exposure mode. Particularly when you consider the camera launched for, what? 800 dollars?

Anyway, sounds like you need an SLR for some of the time and continue with the K-01 for the rest.
06-29-2013, 09:50 AM   #13
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I'll get a Sandisk and report back any improvement.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Anyway, sounds like you need an SLR for some of the time and continue with the K-01 for the rest.
I think this is the case. I like the speed of a DSLR a lot. But when it comes to manual lenses, focus peaking with 6x zooming on the K-01 are hard to beat. I guess for me the usage would be 75% K-01 and 25% K200D.
Pentax, please bring out a full frame already. I need the price of K30 and K5 to match the spectacular fall of the K-01
01-02-2014, 03:49 PM   #14
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I have several different cards for my cameras, and the Sandisk extreme cards are much, much faster than any of the cheaper "class 10" cards I have here. Class 10 specifies a lower limit on average write speed. Sandisk goes above and beyond that, and they cost more than double. But worth every penny -- and trust me on this, because I'm a freakin' cheapskate!

Charles.
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