Pentax K-01 review
May 5, 2012
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
As photographers, we should be interested in how our photographs, not our cameras, look and to judge the K-01’s appearance in this test would be purely subjective. What is important about a camera, though, is that it feels comfortable for a photographer to use, and while all the K-01’s controls are in the correct places, it feels very much like a box with buttons.
In a compact system camera there are advantages to the lack of mirror box, namely a reduction in the size of the body and lenses. With no moving mirror, the shooting rate is often better than a comparable DSLR. By using the existing K mount, the K-01 has none of these advantages. In size and weight, it is not much different from an entry-level DSLR.
However, as would be expected from Pentax, the image quality is excellent, as is the huge range of available lenses.
Pentax K-mount users looking for a compact system camera may be intrigued by the K-01, but if they require a small, light camera for travelling they may be better served by a smaller compact system camera and a suitable K-mount adapter.
Pentax K-01 – Key features
As well as a built-in pop-up flash, the K-01 has a hotshoe for use with Pentax-compatible
This is a function button and can be assigned to a number of different features. I set it to turn focus peaking on and off when manually focusing.
The Pentax K-01 is reasonably fast, shooting JPEG images at around 6fps. However, when shooting DNG raw files the rate drops significantly to just a single image a second.
As well as the black version of the K-01 pictured here, a yellow version is available. In the yellow version the black rubber is replaced with yellow rubber, which makes it look a little like an underwater camera.
As we have previously seen in Pentax DSLRs, the K-01 has the ability to combine bracketed exposures into a single HDR exposure with a full range of highlight and shadow tones.
Built into the K-01 is an interval timer that allows a set number of images to be photographed at given intervals, which is useful for time-lapse photography.
Behind this cover is the memory-card socket, and USB and HDMI ports. Annoyingly, the cover is rubber, and fiddly to fit back into position.
This starts video capture, regardless of the current shooting mode.
- 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