Overall Rating:

3

Pentax K-01


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Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£600.00

The Pentax K-01 combines unusual looks with a tried-and-tested 16.28-million-pixel sensor that is capable of excellent results. We find out how much difference the unique design makes in our Pentax K-01 review

At a glance:

  • 16.28-million-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Pentax K mount
  • 3in, 921,000-dot
  • LCD screen
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Built-in flash
  • Street price around £600 (body only), around £680 (with 40mm f/2.8 XS pancake lens)

When digital cameras first became popular, people were saying that reflex mechanisms, mirrors, prisms and viewfinders could all disappear. With these traditional pieces of engineering gone, cameras would no longer have to look the way they always had so they could be all sorts of new shapes and sizes.

Most manufacturers now have a compact system camera range that foregoes traditional SLR technology, with LCD screens and EVFs replacing optical viewfinders. By removing the mirror box, new mounts can be created to make interchangeable lenses smaller and lighter. But what if you kept an existing mount and designed a digital camera that had no optical viewfinder? That is just what Pentax has done with the K-01.

Designed by Australian designer Marc Newson, the K-01 is a mirrorless system camera that uses Pentax’s standard K lens mount. At its launch, it was the K-01’s simple yet striking looks that drew most attention. Yet while the K-01 is unconventional when compared to its contemporaries, its core is built entirely around Pentax’s DSLR range.

In this test I want to find out how the K-01’s unique design works in practice, and whether there are any advantages to removing the reflex mirror and viewfinder.

  • Video: 1960 x 1080 pixels (16:9) at 30, 25, 24fps; 1280 x 720 pixels (16:9) at 60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps; 640 x 480 pixels (4:3) at 30, 25, 24fps; MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
  • White Balance: Auto, 11 presets, custom setting, Kelvin and WB fine adjustment
  • External mic: Yes
  • Dioptre Adjustment: N/A
  • Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 12m @ ISO 100
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Output Size: 4928 x 3264 pixels
  • Viewfinder Type: N/A
  • Memory Card: SD or SDHC
  • LCD: 3in TFT with 921,000 dots
  • Field of View: N/A
  • AF Points: Contrast-detection AF from 81 selectable points
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec
  • Sensor: 16.28-million-effective-pixel, APS-C sized (23.7 x 15.7 mm) CMOS sensor
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, over 3 images
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, sensitivity priority, shutter and aperture priority, bulb
  • Power: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion D-LI90 battery
  • Weight: 560g (including battery and card), 480g (without)
  • File Format: 12-bit DNG raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps plus bulb
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: Approx 6fps (JPEG, Continuous Hi), Approx 3fps (JPEG, Continuous Lo) or 1fps raw
  • Dimensions: 79 x 121 x 59 mm
  • DoF Preview: N/A
  • Metering System: Multi-segment, centreweighted and spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps
  • RRP: £629.99 (body only)
  • Lens Mount: Pentax KAF2
  • ISO: 100-12,800 (expanded to ISO 25,600)
  • Focusing Modes: Manual (with focus peaking), AF.S, face detection, tracking
  • Tested as: Enthusiast CSC

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