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02-09-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
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New/used digital SLR or used K-01

Hi everyone,

So, I've been looking at the posts and reviews of the K-01 and am somewhat impressed with the camera. The biggest thing I like about it is the fact that you can use your manual focus lenses easily. This is something I haven't been able to do on my Kx and K100d-Super. I have a bag full of manual focus 'A', 'M', and 'm42' lenses that go relatively unused because of focusing issues on these particular bodies.

Let me preface this question...I really like my Kx. I am continually learning new things about it and how to use it in more productive ways. I only wish it had a grip or was slightly bigger...and had the ability to take an interchangeable focus screen reliably and/or affordably.

My question is...am I better off to by the K-01 as a supplemental camera - OR - sell off my K100d-Super and Kx and buy a used K5/K5ii?

Pros vs cons? Do I gain really good manual focus control on the K5? How much better is the autofocus between the K5 vs Kii? (I know there was a huge difference between the K100d and Kx...) How's live-view?

How does the K-01 factor as a second body...I know there are quite a few people that own both...

I know approximately what a K-01 will cost me...and I think I know what I can get (maybe) for the two gently used bodies I currently have (selling the k-100 as a kit w/18-55&50-100)...around $400.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions!

02-09-2014, 01:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dwhopson Quote
Hi everyone,

So, I've been looking at the posts and reviews of the K-01 and am somewhat impressed with the camera. The biggest thing I like about it is the fact that you can use your manual focus lenses easily. This is something I haven't been able to do on my Kx and K100d-Super. I have a bag full of manual focus 'A', 'M', and 'm42' lenses that go relatively unused because of focusing issues on these particular bodies.

Let me preface this question...I really like my Kx. I am continually learning new things about it and how to use it in more productive ways. I only wish it had a grip or was slightly bigger...and had the ability to take an interchangeable focus screen reliably and/or affordably.

My question is...am I better off to by the K-01 as a supplemental camera - OR - sell off my K100d-Super and Kx and buy a used K5/K5ii?

Pros vs cons? Do I gain really good manual focus control on the K5? How much better is the autofocus between the K5 vs Kii? (I know there was a huge difference between the K100d and Kx...) How's live-view?

How does the K-01 factor as a second body...I know there are quite a few people that own both...

I know approximately what a K-01 will cost me...and I think I know what I can get (maybe) for the two gently used bodies I currently have (selling the k-100 as a kit w/18-55&50-100)...around $400.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions!
Honestly, I would recommend upgrading your K-x to a K-50. With it you'll get all the great live view features from the K-01, and compared to the K-x a much better sensor, viewfinder, button layout, and build quality, plus weather sealing.

The K-5 is a nice camera, but it doesn't have focus peaking or the same fast live view AF, which it sounds like you want. If you do want the more pro-level build and build quality in the K-5, go for the K-3 as it does have focus peaking.

See our reviews for more info on the AF performance and specs:
Pentax K-3 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
Pentax K-50 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
Pentax K-5 II / IIs Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

There's also a nice K-50 vs K-5 II spec comparison here:
Pentax K-50 Review - Specifications - PentaxForums.com

Adam
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02-09-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dwhopson Quote
My question is...am I better off to by the K-01 as a supplemental camera - OR - sell off my K100d-Super and Kx and buy a used K5/K5ii?
Owning two K-x cameras and a K-5, I picked up two K-01 bodies when they were going for USD 250.

While the K-01 does not quite have the dynamic range of the K5,
its less aggressive anti-alias filter seems to give sharper images.

I have one K-01 dedicated as an M42 camera, with the Pentax adapter permanently mounted.
The advantage of live view is that once you have the M42 lens focused (at open aperture),
you can frame the pictures at the taking aperture without having to mess with the preset lever.

Focus peaking also works very well. For example, it "tames" the 50/1.2 lenses.

The only downsides of the K-01 are that the screen can be hard to see in bright light,
even with the brightness cranked up to the max,
and that there is a slight shutter lag with fast action.
Nevertheless, you can work around those issues.
Anticipate for action, and shade the screen with a hand or hat.

Recently, I also acquired a K-50.
Its live view is not quite as good as on the K-01,
because you get the mirror flipping.
(Using an A50/1.2 on the K-01 in poor light,
I can hand-hold the camera at 1/13 sec with shake reduction,
and still get a sharp picture.)
02-09-2014, 01:44 PM   #4
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I will say the K-01 has great image quality and will give you great results. Its focus peaking feature also allows easy manual focus with fast primes.
But its not a very fast camera. It has slow burst mode, and it has slightly slower AF than DSLR cameras (depends on the lens, though. The DA 40mm XS will focus quickly, as will other DA primes. But the DFA 100mm macro is much slower, because it is a macro)
In that way, the K-01 is a great support camera. Tiny and compact, lots of great features, great image quality. But if you need fast AF, AF in dark spaces, AF with dark lenses (like a slow zoom lens or macro lens), if you need burst mode, then keep a DSLR nearby. I use the K-01 as my main camera, but switch to K-r for the speed. The K-5II would be even faster with great AF, plus it is WR.

02-09-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
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I've got the K-01 and the K-5 IIs.
My advice is get a used K-5 or K-5 II. The K-01 is nice for a certain kind of shooting (and takes great pix), but at the end of the day, the K-5 (II) has far more versatility.
Focus peaking on the K-01 works, but takes awhile to get the hang of. I regularly manually focus my lenses (autofocus and manual focus) on the K-5 IIs and get a greater amount of in-focus shots. I tend to ignore the focus confirmation in the viewfinder as it's often incorrect and it doesn't know precisely where I want the focus point.
02-09-2014, 07:37 PM   #6
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Foto Guy - are you using the stock focusing screen in the K5iis or one of the pentax optional ones?

Not sure I have the money to go the K-3 route...don't get me wrong it's a nice piece of kit but just out of my budget. (Though I would kill for a 645d!). The K-50, iirc doesn't allow for a grip or interchangeable screens which I would like to upgrade to if going with another DSLR.

Not necessarily worried about speed when shooting...more artsy type shooting here (travel, landscape, scenic, etc...).

I do know I WON'T be giving up a full DSLR...either adding to what I have or replacing with another DSLR.

Thanks for the info so far...
02-09-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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I never used K-5ii but having owned both k-5 & K-01, I can suggest k-01 especially if you are into manual focus and can live without viewfinder.

Following are some of the advantage of K-01:

1) Focus Peaking, it's more accurate than the focus confirmation on k-5 and you will likely to get more keepers. If you buy k-5 than you might need a good focusing screen to improve manual focus.
2) Weaker AA filter on k-01, a bit sharper, there are some threads here discussing the same.
3) Better AF accuracy than k-5, this is a big plus IMO.
4) Better liveview
5) Better video, H.264 compression

Following are some of the advantage of K-5:
1) Viewfinder, in a way this also gives a better stability with larger lens.
2) Superb dynamic range due to 14-bit raw output and lower ISO
02-10-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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The K-01 just might grow on you. The lack of viewfinder, and resulting difficulty in bright sunlight, is my only major gripe against the K-01. I would feel uneasy if I had to rely upon it alone, if I didn't have another camera with a VF for those situations. (Also, having only a single command dial is a bit of nuisance.)

Regarding focus peaking... With shorter focal lengths it can sometimes be annoyingly vague. It takes a bit of practice, and there will be times when you will want to use the magnification aid instead. Even so, focus peaking is a very nifty feature with those MF lenses. I have my K-01 configured to toggle it with the red button.

02-10-2014, 10:25 PM   #9
dmc
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Buy the K-01. Simple
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