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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Pentax K-01

Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:
Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:

Product:

Pentax K-01 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£600.00
TAGS:

Our verdict

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

Hotshoe
As well as a built-in pop-up flash, the K-01 has a hotshoe for use with Pentax-compatible
flash units.

Green button
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.

Shooting rate
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.

Colour options
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.

In-camera HDR
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.

Interval timer
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.

Interface cover
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.

Red button
This starts video capture, regardless of the current shooting mode.

Details

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
  1. 1. At a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. SMC Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS lens
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Dynamic range
  8. 8. White balance
  9. 9. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  10. 10. LCD, live view and video
  11. 11. The competition
  12. 12. Our verdict
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