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08-13-2013, 03:12 PM   #1
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Before I sell my K-01, a question...

Bought a K-30 recently, am quite happy with it. Which leaves me with a 'surplus' K-01, which I also like, but have struggled with fast focus on my 55-300mm lens, and ended up taping a Hoodman loupe to the screen to make it usable in bright daylight.

So here's my question. Why did Pentax make the K-01? What feature does it have -- relative to the DSLRs -- that I would miss if I sell it? We're just talking photos here, I'm not into video. Like many, I bought it when the price went down to $400, but I'm curious -- what were its unique selling points when it first was introduced? Not counting the Marc Newson styling, which I like, but isn't really a reason to buy a camera.

So -- if worth keeping, why?

08-13-2013, 03:19 PM - 1 Like   #2
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For general photography, not including video, there really aren't any compelling reasons to have it if you have a K-30 or K-5 IMHO other than as a back-up or second body. I got mine when it + the 40XS was at its lowest price and after selling the 40XS I paid net for the K-01 around $150. So, I keep it as a second body, but my K-5IIs is far more capable, and because it is less intimidating to subjects than the "Pro" styling of the K-5 body.
08-13-2013, 03:21 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Bought a K-30 recently, am quite happy with it. Which leaves me with a 'surplus' K-01, which I also like, but have struggled with fast focus on my 55-300mm lens, and ended up taping a Hoodman loupe to the screen to make it usable in bright daylight.

So here's my question. Why did Pentax make the K-01? What feature does it have -- relative to the DSLRs -- that I would miss if I sell it? We're just talking photos here, I'm not into video. Like many, I bought it when the price went down to $400, but I'm curious -- what were its unique selling points when it first was introduced? Not counting the Marc Newson styling, which I like, but isn't really a reason to buy a camera.

So -- if worth keeping, why?
I guess the only real selling point, apart from the design, was that the K-01 was the first mirrorless camera that natively accepted a DSLR lens lineup. It turned out that the market wasn't quite interested in that, as mirrorless is meant to be compact

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08-13-2013, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #4
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The K-01 is a great camera in it's own right, and I like to take it along with me when I don't want to take my K5 gear.
I find doing handheld manual focusing macro work to be especially nice with it.
The brick shape is very nice in my hands, and is a "thumb based" shutter for me.

The below images were taken with the K-01 and DA 35mm f/2.4 "Plastic Fantastic".





While you don't do video with it, the INSTANT ability to shoot video, is also a wonderful feature.
Because there is no mirror to flip up, you can be in photo mode - and BAM - be in video and mode and back again without missing a beat.

I don't know of many cameras that can do that instantaneously from "photography" mode.

I like that the K-01 uses the same batteries as the K5, so I have an additional Pentax OEM battery available.
Native K mount lenses too!

I really really like my K-01 and maligned it at first.
Great camera in my opinion.


Last edited by LaurenOE; 08-13-2013 at 03:56 PM.
08-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
The K-01 is a great camera in it's own right, and I like to take it along with me when I don't want to take my K5 gear.
I find doing handheld manual focusing macro work to be especially nice with it.
The brick shape is very nice in my hands, and is a "thumb based" shutter for me.

The below images were taken with the K-01 and DA 35mm f/2.4 "Plastic Fantastic".





While you don't do video with it, the INSTANT ability to shoot video, is also a wonderful feature.
Because there is no mirror to flip up, you can be in photo mode - and BAM - be in video and mode and back again without missing a beat.

I don't know of many cameras that can do that instantaneously from "photography" mode.

I like that the K-01 uses the same batteries as the K5, so I have an additional Pentax OEM battery available.
Native K mount lenses too!

I really really like my K-01 and maligned it at first.
Great camera in my opinion.
Don't disagree with any of what you said, except the shape . But is there a compelling reason to own it and a K30?
08-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Don't disagree with any of what you said, except the shape . But is there a compelling reason to own it and a K30?
From a purely technical reason? Hmm..kinda/sorta.

The K-01 is currently the only Pentax that has what could be construed as a dedicated "movie" button. I have found that feature to be worth a tremendous amount to me.
The shape of the camera and how it fits in my hands is very pleasing to me.
The sensor on the K-01 is the exact same part number as the K-30, so it comes from the same parts-bin, so in post, you have images that are identical.
The battery on the K-01 is more robust and capable.
The battery on the K-30 is TERRIBLE.

So yes, I think there are enough differences on the K-01 and K-30 to keep them both, but for most people, probably not.

My K5 cameras have grips that never come off, and are heavy and my work-horses.
The K-01 probably fits better with a fully-gripped K5 than a K-30.

08-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #7
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Another aspect is that I shoot with two bodies. Not a body and a back-up, but two bodies with different lenses shooting at the same time.
Having a K-01 and K-30 is kinda like have the "poor man/woman's" dual camera setup.

What is important with dual cameras, is that at the end of the day, with two bodies, you don't want to be post-processing images that come from two different sensors from two different cameras.

With the K-01 and K-30, you get two different capabilities, but the guts/IQ are the same!

That's a compelling reason to have both.
08-13-2013, 04:33 PM   #8
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K-01 = DSLR - VF + design exercise. So excluding the design, there's no real net advantage to the K-01.
However intangible things such as look and feel does affect user satisfaction. I really like the design, despite a few quirks, namely the green button and the rubber door. So the K-01 to me feel more fun to hold and shoot with. It looks especially good when coupled with compact manual lenses, like my SMC Takumar 35mm f/3.5. Shooting with a brick in a world of similar looking DSLR's also has some attraction.
Would I pay its original price for the intangible stuff? Absolutely not, sorry Pentax . But at under $400 with DA 40mm XS, I'll trade VF for intangible stuff any day.

08-13-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by prime.partisan Quote
It looks especially good when coupled with compact manual lenses, like my SMC Takumar 35mm f/3.5
It is a dream to shoot movies using any small MF lens (or even a BIG MF lens or a DA pancake using manual focus) using K-01. I have it rather than a K-30. At the time I bought it I chose to get it instead of getting a K-30.

I would have a K-5II and a K-01, but not a K-30 (and I think the K5II has the same sensor as the K-01 but a different imaging engine so Lauren's consideration might not apply to me).
08-13-2013, 05:00 PM   #10
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I own a K-01 and 2 K5s. The K-01 is just small enough to go places where the K5s can't go and there is no compromise with regard to image quality with it. And truthfully, if you sell it, you won't get a whole lot for it, since most got them for 200-ish dollars.
08-13-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
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I also picked the K-01 rather than a K-30. From my perspective the K-01 is as capable and it's smaller and lighter. But, yeah, I don't need fast AF at 300mm F/5.6.

BTW, one advantage of mirrorless that people don't often mention is that for long exposure photography, you don't need to worry about light bleeding in from the mirror box.

And, also, I personally find such statements as "it turned out that the market wasn't quite interested [...]" (in a mirrorless k-mount) just tiresome. We all know Pentax made mistakes in introducing this camera (initial pricing, slow AF at launch, controversial styling), and using the slow (initial) sales to make the blanket statement that "the market" isn't interested in *any* mirrorless k-mount - no matter its price, styling, or performance - is just useless over-generalization, IMHO.

That being said, for the OP, if you're happy with your K-30, by all means, make someone else a happy K-01 owner by putting up your K-01 body up on the marketplace for a good price.
08-13-2013, 05:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
It is a dream to shoot movies using any small MF lens (or even a BIG MF lens or a DA pancake using manual focus) using K-01. I have it rather than a K-30. At the time I bought it I chose to get it instead of getting a K-30.

I would have a K-5II and a K-01, but not a K-30 (and I think the K5II has the same sensor as the K-01 but a different imaging engine so Lauren's consideration might not apply to me).
In PhotoME under manufacturer notes

K-01 RawImageSize Dimensions - 4936 x 3272
K-30 RawImageSize Dimensions - 4936 x 3272
K5 RawImageSize Dimensions - 4928 x 3264

Also under manufacture notes, there is also a field called "???"

K-01 has a value of 12080, 8008
K-30 has a value of 12080, 8008
K-5 has a value of 12061, 7988

I'm pretty sure the K-01 and K-30 use the same sensor and the K5 is different. There are differences in firmware and other factors in the EXIF data, but those dimensions seem to be constant.
I dunno.

Last edited by LaurenOE; 08-13-2013 at 05:17 PM.
08-13-2013, 05:16 PM   #13
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@LaurenOE -- good comments, particularly about using the K-01 not as a backup but as a dual camera. Right now, I'm using the RX100 for that... fits in my shirt pocket, to complement the K-30 (or K-01) with the longer 55-300mm telephoto lens.

I like the K-01 design too... it does feel good to use, doesn't it? And I appreciate your comment about the movie technology. But, even before i retired a few years ago as a multimedia designer, I was backing away from video -- so much more editing work, gear cost, etc... figured I'd leave that whole experience for a younger generation. What was that movie, The Blair Witch Project? Certainly encouraged anybody with even minimal equipment to get into the game...

As a note, Keh will pay about $200 for a black K-01 with both 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses... about half of what I paid for it, which is quite reasonable, seeing as how they then will have to sell it for less than the $400 I paid for it. Our cameras have become like all other digital products... an initial buying fever at full pop followed by rapid heavy discounting. Sad, but there it is.

EDIT -- psychologically, it's hard to think about selling something you've used extensively. Will have to consider if the $200 or so is 'worth it', as opposed to just knowing I still have it, even if I don't use it. Years ago, scrambling for cash in the '93-'94 recession, had to sell a beloved old Speed Graphic. Hadn't used it in 20 years, but that one still hurts.

EDIT EDIT -- as I was writing this, a helicopter from the Marine base at Miramar flew by, a little closer than usual... was able to run outside, focus, and shoot just before it went behind the trees. 100% crop below, 300mm at 1/1000, f/11, ISO 640. Couldn't have done it with the K-01, autofocus hunting.
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Last edited by jon404; 08-13-2013 at 05:50 PM.
08-13-2013, 05:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I'm pretty sure the K-01 and K-30 use the same sensor and the K5 is different
I glad I'm wrote "think."
08-13-2013, 05:49 PM   #15
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I don't have a K-01 but I think it would be especially good to have when you want to take two cameras and a tripod. It may be just me but I think the k-01 would be a great camera for using with a tripod, when you don't need a viewfinder. Obviously you are using your Sony when you want two cameras, so you may not have a need. I don't understand why you want to give it to KEH though, unless it's really beat up. Looking at the latest completed listings for k-01 on ebay shows a yellow with your two lenses going for $400, the lowest price any have sold for was around $250, body only. By the way there are not many listed on ebay.
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