Pentax K-01 review

May 5, 2012

Overall Rating:


Pentax K-01

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Price as Reviewed:


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


SMC Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS lens

Complementing the Pentax K-01 is the 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. It is staggeringly thin, and when mounted on the camera is not much thicker than a standard body cap. Pentax claims that, at the time of introduction, it is the world’s ‘thinnest interchangeable lens’.

In fact, it is just 9.2mm deep, not including the mount that protrudes into the camera body. It is also light, weighing just 52g, and it can be carried around in a pocket.

Impressively for a lens as thin as this, the Pentax pancake optic comprises five elements in four groups and has an f/2.8 aperture.

With a 61mm equivalent focal length, it is ideal for travel, street and portrait images, and the f/2.8 aperture makes it useful in low light.

With such a thin lens there is no manual aperture control ring, although manual focusing is possible with a very thin focusing barrel.

Marc Newson has also designed this 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens, so it has the same minimalist styling as the K-01. The pair complement each other rather well, although it is strange to see such a thin lens on what is, comparably, quite a substantial body.

Optically, the lens is very good, almost matching the resolution chart images taken with the Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 optic. This pancake lens is also sharp at the edges, and while there is the merest hint of red/cyan fringing in a couple of images, it is so faint that it is easily removed and won’t be noticeable in most photographs.

Resolution chart: Despite its small size, the 40mm f/2.8 lens can resolve a lot of detail. It almost matches the resolution of the 16-50mm f/2.8 optic.


  • RRP: £289.99
  • Filter diameter: 27mm
  • Lens elements: 5
  • Groups: 4
  • Diaphragm blades: 9
  • Aperture: f/2.8-22
  • Minimum focus: 24cm
  • Length: 9.2mm
  • Diameter: 62.9mm
  • Weight: 52g
  • Lens mount: Pentax KA
  • 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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