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11-11-2017, 12:30 PM   #16
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The K-01 was a great camera when it came out (or at least after the first firmware update) and is still quite good. The image quality is excellent and holds up well at higher ISO. Not the camera of choice for sports or other fast action but perfectly fine for most everything else. The focusing system is the main weakness but with short and bright lenses it is perfectly usable, and actually quite OK with HSM lenses. No OVF of course so some might miss that. The LCD is however not bad and even usable in fairly bright sunlight. The controls are simple (at least compared to the K-1 that I mainly use now) but pretty similar to what you would get in an enry level DSLR and have never been a problem for me. The pancake kit lens is fine optically and certainly small and light but I don't find the focal length very useful. It would have made more sense for Pentax to offer something like the DA 21 with it or the collapsible 18-50 lens that they brought out later (although reviews of that lens are not great).

11-11-2017, 12:32 PM   #17
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As far as the sensor is concerned, it’s a great camera and definitely useable for 2017.

As others have pointed out, there are other, newer options. Good luck with your decision!
11-11-2017, 01:25 PM   #18
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I've owned my K-01 + 40 mm lens since 2013, and use it primarily with my legacy MF lenses. The previous posters have accurately highlighted the shortcomings - lack of EVF, too slow for fast moving subjects, mediocre UX. When traveling, the K-01 stays home and I bring a consumer grade Nikon SLR. But I enjoy the look of the images from the K-01, a product of my lens choice and the camera sensor. If I had $250 for a new body, I'd save a bit more for something more versatile.
11-11-2017, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #19
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if all you want to do is take nice shots...then, yes, even in 2017 the k01 is worth it

like every bit of gear it has its quirks
handheld, I don't use anything much past 135mm
with a tripod it doesn't matter

11-12-2017, 11:07 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by gylfimag Quote
It would have made more sense for Pentax to offer something like the DA 21 with it or the collapsible 18-50 lens that they brought out later (although reviews of that lens are not great).
IIRC the 18-50 RE is KAF4 (like the 55-300 PLM, with electronic aperture control only), and the K-01 is not compatible.
11-12-2017, 04:32 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cthulhugan Quote
IIRC the 18-50 RE is KAF4 (like the 55-300 PLM, with electronic aperture control only), and the K-01 is not compatible.
The PLM is the only KAF4 lens so far. The 18-50 is KAF3; this can be confirmed on the review page both in the specs and the pictures of the lens.

HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
11-13-2017, 10:56 AM   #22
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The K-01 offers high image quality and can be fun to shoot with but I find focusing with it very challenging in lower light. So, hard to recommend as a primary camera.
11-13-2017, 12:21 PM - 3 Likes   #23
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The K-01 is just fine and most definitely worth it even now, particularly at the low prices you can buy it for.

I shoot grandkids, dogs, sports through high school level, landscapes, macros and many other types of photos with it. About the only thing I haven't tried to do with it is wildlife photography, but only because it looks a bit silly with a long telephoto attached. I strongly suspect it could do that as well if I played around with it for awhile.

It works quite well with vintage, manual focus lenses and focus peaking is certainly a nice plus if you are working off of a tripod. My old eyes combined with shaky hands make working with focus peaking handheld a real challenge so I don't even try.

My major pet peeve has to do with using only the back view screen for everything. First, strong sunlight from behind washes out the view screen. This can be handled by using a hood over the view screen but that option makes the camera more bulky.

The second problem is holding the camera steady, especially with longer focal lengths. Because you are holding the camera out in front of you it is very hard to stabilize longer lenses. The in camera lens stabilization makes this easier to do but it isn't a total cure all. I do use a tripod or monopod with this camera far more frequently then I do with my K10D or K-5iiS when using lenses longer the 90mm.

With the new firmware and short lenses (the Limited 21 is a great example) it makes an awesome street camera. The autofocus is pretty quick and you really don't need to hold it up to look through the display screen if you practice with it. It becomes a great point and shoot if you work with it for a bit. I don't own one but I think that the 15mm Limited would also be a great lens on this camera.

The image is beautiful. Most Pentax camera output is quite exceptional in my opinion. They seem to get the best out of the sensors they work with. I usually work with DNG RAW but I have had really good luck with the jpeg output as well. Just make sure you adjust your white balance (auto white is not bad but not the best) and set the saturation to Natural. Saturation can always be added later in post but IMHO it is harder to desaturate jpegs.

Like just about any camera out there you have to buy it, learn it, use it and experiment to get the best out of it. You probably won't be as as happy if you just pick it up and start shooting without understanding it. A lot of people have maligned the camera just because it isn't a DSLR instead of just accepting it for what it is and learning to use it properly.

Because of what it is there are certain types of photography it is very good at, and others that it can do but not as easily as a DSLR. With the right lens it is a terrific street camera. It does wonderful landscapes. I love it for portraits off of a tripod. I can use focus peaking that way to get accurate focus right where I want. For the same reasons it is a wonderful macro camera.

The autofocus is pretty quick, but not blazing fast. This is really no different than any other Live View camera out there in its age range. The firmware upgrade did a lot to improve this but it will never equal other Pentax DSLRs.

Live View also uses the battery more so battery life will not be as good as your K-5. Not a big deal, buy extra batteries. Charge them and carry them and you will be happy.

Now for the $10,000 question. Will it work for you? I don't know and only you can really answer this question. If you prefer working with a viewfinder, probably not. If you need blazing fast autofocus, probably not. If you want to use long telephoto lenses, probably not. If you are going to photograph college or professional sports you will probably look silly, especially if you use the yellow one.

Other than those things I think it is a terrific camera for the money if you are willing to learn how to use it. For the great majority of people on this forum, if they were really honest with themselves, it is probably the only camera they really need.

It really is one of the most under-rated, used, digital cameras available on the market today. For that reason it can be bought for pennies on the dollar.


Last edited by Pioneer; 11-13-2017 at 12:25 PM. Reason: because I felt like it
11-13-2017, 01:28 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Excellent choice for landscapes, for instance, or for IR conversion.

I had a used "low-mileage" K-01 converted for IR use (720nm), and I've employed it primarily for landscapes (including some architecture), and my DA 15/4 Ltd basically lives on that K-01.

11-13-2017, 05:40 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
The PLM is the only KAF4 lens so far. The 18-50 is KAF3; this can be confirmed on the review page both in the specs and the pictures of the lens.

HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
I stand corrected, I should’ve thought to check that before posting.
12-08-2017, 06:39 AM   #26
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If you need to shoot action, the K-01 is probably not for you. But for my purposes, it's an excellent camera. Far from perfect, but excellent.

I had a K-5 and a K-01, and found myself shooting the K-01 90% of the time. The K-5 only came out when I would shoot aircraft, or I needed a second body. As a result, I sold both and bought a K-S2, thinking it would be the perfect compromise (more modern liveview, with a flippy screen.)

But I am getting less and less happy with DSLR technology. The inherent difficulty in keeping an optical finder / autofocus system aligned with every lens is a continual bugaboo for me, especially with fast lenses and especially with zooms (you can only fine-tune AF for one focal length, so zooms are a compromise on DSLR autofocus.) Mirrorless is not simply the technology of the future, doing away with optical finders and AF "because we can." Mirrorless offers the ability to have PERFECT focus every time, because the focus is being taken right off the imager.

I considered switching completely to a native mirrorless system (Fuji or M4/3.) But I have lots of Pentax lenses I love, and I know how great the results from the K-01 are. So I just ordered another K-01.

For the future, I hope Pentax release a K-02. It needs only three things to succeed: a slightly more traditional look; an eye-level EVF; and a flippy screen on the back.
12-08-2017, 08:00 AM   #27
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I would buy it..it will be a collection classic and its really a nice camera.
Also, until now for what I read about it, it doesnt suffer the aperture block failure like other entry level Pentax, so it seems it uses the K5 aperture block.
Buy a loupe and you're good to go..
12-08-2017, 08:10 AM   #28
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One thing to remember that the camera is still just as good as it was when it came out. Its just that the new cameras coming out now are even better, since technology keeps improving. So it comes down to money; does the new technology give you so much improvement that it is worth the price difference? Is the old technology too expensive, considering what you can buy now?
And yes, many of us would love a K-02, particularly if FF with a couple XS primes, but I think most of us gave up on that long ago
12-08-2017, 08:29 AM   #29
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For landscape, it is still a very nice camera. For most other purposes I would choose about any other camera. I still use mine now and then -- particularly with DA limiteds.





12-08-2017, 09:48 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
I had a used "low-mileage" K-01 converted for IR use (720nm), and I've employed it primarily for landscapes (including some architecture), and my DA 15/4 Ltd basically lives on that K-01.
Where can we see this? I know a few users here had their K-01 converted to IR or full spectrum, but I only ever saw half a dozen photos taken with these cameras. Looked really interesting, though
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