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12-17-2019, 12:16 PM - 1 Like   #46
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Apparently it found some success in Japan but not so much elsewhere.

Lots of reasons (some fair, some not IMO), but in any case it was met with mediocre reviews which would have affected its sales (along with pricing a bit on the high side).
The design tends to polarise people and traditional camera reviewers in particular seem to dislike the look of it.

My journey with the K-01:
1. First saw it released and did not mind its looks (at least it looked different for a change!) but a bit on the expensive side and reviews put me off a bit
2. Price dropped though the floor - I just have to buy one for my wife!
3. Received a K-01 and found I really like using it.

Disagree with size complaints - in that it is significantly smaller than my K-5 (its fits into a very small bag where as the K-5 has no show fitting) and the K-01 still goes with me when traveling very light (along with DA 15, 40, 70)! Does a great job with exposure and AF accuracy.
But yes a lack of a view finder can be a bit of a pain out in the sun.


Last edited by kiwi_jono; 12-17-2019 at 02:17 PM.
12-17-2019, 12:24 PM - 3 Likes   #47
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12-17-2019, 01:19 PM   #48
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It 'succeeded' for me, just packed it in my carry on for the next trip, along with my k50. I just leave the 35mm lens on the K01 and use it for general shots.
12-17-2019, 11:45 PM   #49
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I seriously considered buying one but it was a terrible hold. I couldn’t find a way to get a comfortable grip. I looked at it many times too. An EVF would have also been nice but that wasn’t the deal breaker in the same way the feel was.

12-17-2019, 11:59 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I am tempted to laugh because I use the two-handed hold similar to what I learned fifty years ago on range-finder cameras, and I have no 'balance' problems at all on the Q-7 which I use regularly, at least once or twice each week. But I believe you, partly because people here also report 'balance' issues with the KP; for some reason, Sony, Canon and others keep selling MILC cameras even smaller than the KP, though.
It was top-heavy, and tended to flop forward. I wasn’t talking about balance in use.

Last edited by RobA_Oz; 12-18-2019 at 12:20 AM.
12-30-2019, 05:07 PM   #51
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I remember when I was looking at used cameras, and considered it, but got an M43 instead. A huge thing for me was the lack of an EVF. Displays hadn't yet gotten as good as they are now, and some of the ones out there (remember, P&S cameras were more prevalent back in the day) were just mirrors in bright outdoor light.

One thing I thought was rather nice, and appreciate even more today, is that no adapter was required to use existing lenses. These days, I would that that even more important, especially with FF sensors, as once you stick on a lens it's hard to see the weight or size difference of mirrorless/DSLR. Certainly compared to say my M43.

I could definitely see my next Pentax being a mirrorless, but not with any adapter.
12-30-2019, 10:16 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
It was top-heavy, and tended to flop forward. I wasn’t talking about balance in use.
I don't believe 'balance when not in use' decides whether a camera succeeds or not.
{in #47 above, K-01 isn't flopping forward when not in use}

12-30-2019, 10:42 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I don't believe 'balance when not in use' decides whether a camera succeeds or not.
{in #47 above, K-01 isn't flopping forward when not in use}
Well, of course not, and I didn't suggest that. My comment was about using the Q with the multi-finder in the hotshoe.
12-30-2019, 11:19 PM   #54
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I think a lot of the comments in this thread are wrong. It had nothing to do with lacking an EVF, it had nothing to do with the slow af and it really had everything to do with the size WITH the polarizing styling. Keep in mind this camera came out in 2012 and I don't think any mirrorless at the time could boast even decent AF let alone what they do now. On top of that have you ever used an EVF from 2012? The refresh rate on those things are so bad it makes your head spin.

However the K-01's design was unfitting of such a thick design, it looked like a toy and not in a good way. It really looks like one of those cheap imitation hongkong knockoffs that get the proportions all wrong. If they had gone with a design that was more flattering for the size of the camera I think it would have been far more successful, but I mean Hoya had to have known what they were getting into when they hired Marc Newson.

I think it's a shame that Pentax canned it entirely due to the exceedingly bad results of the first attempt, but I think a MK.II would have been substantially better.

Still, with that, it's a camera that still puts out great results in an unassuming body.
12-31-2019, 01:10 PM   #55
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My Thoughts

QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
Why did the K-01 not succeed? I like some of the features coming out in mirrorless cameras, but I have no desire to start a new collection of lenses, or give up things like auto focus and exposure or open aperture metering. It would have been swell if the K-01 started a series that carried on with newer models.
Most here have already covered what seem to be the obvious issues with this camera, but I think one overlooked aspect was the fact that it was designed to use the normal K mount lenses, which is great for us existing Pentaxians, and very much in line with the Pentax way, but I do not think that was a selling point for non-Pentax users.

The requirement to use K mount glass without an adapter is what dictated the basic size of the camera. I think a new design with purpose built lenses that worked with a fully functional adapter for K-mount glass would have been a better choice. Think of the Q with a bigger/better sensor and better IQ.

The quirky design is cool in the minimalist style, which I understand might not appeal to everyone, but I do like it (except for the fact that it flips the lever on when I take it out of the bag).

Pentax could have been early into the mirrorless market, but even back then I am sure that they really did not have the resources to design another new mount and lenses in any reasonable amount of time, especially considering the fact that they had been developing a new system with the Q.

While tech back then wasn't was it is today, to make a splash with the K-01, it needed to be state of the art for a mirrorless camera in terms of performance, but it turned out to be worse than most point and shoots (albeit with a great sensor and vastly superior IQ to any point and shoot).

At the end of the day, it looks like mirrorless isn't going to save the industry anyway, so maybe Pentax made the right decision to focus on the enthusiast DSLR market and to cater to the very loyal Pentax base.

Oh, and yes, I have yellow K-01, which I do not use enough, but do like it and think that the 16mp Sony sensor was a sweet spot in terms of IQ.
01-01-2020, 02:30 PM - 2 Likes   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray Pulley Quote
Most here have already covered what seem to be the obvious issues with this camera, but I think one overlooked aspect was the fact that it was designed to use the normal K mount lenses, which is great for us existing Pentaxians, and very much in line with the Pentax way, but I do not think that was a selling point for non-Pentax users.

The requirement to use K mount glass without an adapter is what dictated the basic size of the camera. I think a new design with purpose built lenses that worked with a fully functional adapter for K-mount glass would have been a better choice. Think of the Q with a bigger/better sensor and better IQ.

The quirky design is cool in the minimalist style, which I understand might not appeal to everyone, but I do like it (except for the fact that it flips the lever on when I take it out of the bag).

Pentax could have been early into the mirrorless market, but even back then I am sure that they really did not have the resources to design another new mount and lenses in any reasonable amount of time, especially considering the fact that they had been developing a new system with the Q.

While tech back then wasn't was it is today, to make a splash with the K-01, it needed to be state of the art for a mirrorless camera in terms of performance, but it turned out to be worse than most point and shoots (albeit with a great sensor and vastly superior IQ to any point and shoot).

At the end of the day, it looks like mirrorless isn't going to save the industry anyway, so maybe Pentax made the right decision to focus on the enthusiast DSLR market and to cater to the very loyal Pentax base.

Oh, and yes, I have yellow K-01, which I do not use enough, but do like it and think that the 16mp Sony sensor was a sweet spot in terms of IQ.

I don't think it has anything to do with the mount. If Pentax wanted to make a mirrorless full frame with the k mount that was the size of the KP it'd be a big success. I just think Ricoh needs to not bother with the APSC mirrorless market.

Imo, just handling some of the mirrorless competition the smaller register distance is a compromise on ergonomics.
01-30-2020, 04:27 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
Why did the K-01 not succeed?
A.
Marc Newson made it fugly, and Pentax screwed up the video features, which are x1000 more important to Mirrorless buyers then they are to traditional Pentax "I Only Take Photos!" buyers.

I own two. One for video, one for occasional stills.,

---------- Post added 30-01-20 at 10:40 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by EssJayEff Quote
I am planning to make videos with it next, as it has movie features that were a step up from those offered on the K-5.
Stick to the K-5 - it has Sensor based IBIS, everything after had it disabled.
And it has the superior Mjpeg CoDec, which doesn't require anywhere near as much PC processing power to edit compared to h.264.

Both K-01 and K-5 have 32kHz audio, so you'll need an external audio recorder, like a Tascam or Zoom - the DR-70D is a good choice.

Last edited by PiDicus Rex; 01-30-2020 at 04:48 AM.
01-31-2020, 03:27 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I think a lot of the comments in this thread are wrong. It had nothing to do with lacking an EVF, it had nothing to do with the slow af and it really had everything to do with the size WITH the polarizing styling. Keep in mind this camera came out in 2012 and I don't think any mirrorless at the time could boast even decent AF let alone what they do now. On top of that have you ever used an EVF from 2012? The refresh rate on those things are so bad it makes your head spin.

However the K-01's design was unfitting of such a thick design, it looked like a toy and not in a good way. It really looks like one of those cheap imitation hongkong knockoffs that get the proportions all wrong. If they had gone with a design that was more flattering for the size of the camera I think it would have been far more successful, but I mean Hoya had to have known what they were getting into when they hired Marc Newson.

I think it's a shame that Pentax canned it entirely due to the exceedingly bad results of the first attempt, but I think a MK.II would have been substantially better.

Still, with that, it's a camera that still puts out great results in an unassuming body.
It was the cost to performance ratio. Pentax thought they were making a camera for hipsters who wouldn't care about frame rates, but just how cool the camera looked. Marc's design didn't hit it off with them and true Pentaxians saw it as really expensive and under powered.

While other mirrorless options may have had poor specs too, they weren't quite as limited as the K-01's specifications. But honestly, when Pentax dropped the price to 250-300 it sold really well -- well enough that they did a second production run with the Smurf colors.
01-31-2020, 09:39 AM - 2 Likes   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
Why did the K-01 not succeed? I like some of the features coming out in mirrorless cameras, but I have no desire to start a new collection of lenses, or give up things like auto focus and exposure or open aperture metering. It would have been swell if the K-01 started a series that carried on with newer models.
Two words: Marc Newson
They let a guy with no experience in camera design create the user interface. Worse, they let a furniture designer who designs ugly and user unfriendly chairs that are uncomfortable to sit in design the user interface.
So, we got a camera designed by a guy with no camera design experience but who designs unusable stuff in other fields design the camera.
What could go wrong?

---------- Post added Jan 31st, 2020 at 10:40 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I'm not sure that it didn't succeed... though it certainly wasn't the most popular Pentax camera when it was current - yet it has a bit of a cult following now
Charles Manson had a bit of cult following too.
Just sayin'
01-31-2020, 09:44 AM   #60
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It might have helped if Pentax didn't release the K-01 with what was practically beta firmware.
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