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Pentax K-01 review

May 5, 2012

Overall Rating:

3

Pentax K-01


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

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

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Metering

In bright conditions, the evaluative metering system of the K-01 produces appropriately bright images. The metering system is not afraid to blow out highlights in a sky for the sake of producing well-exposed midtones and shadow areas. In situations such as this, I found it beneficial to underexpose images slightly in order to preserve some highlight detail. I then lightened the shadows in raw conversion software where there is much more control.

Image: There is a choice of in-camera black & white styles. This image was taken with the red filter effect

In dimmer conditions, the evaluative metering seems to want to expose most things as if they are a mid-grey tone. As a result, images can be slightly underexposed. To counter this, I needed to increase the exposure of some shots by up to 1EV to obtain the bright image I wanted. I have often had similar experiences when using Pentax DSLRs.

However, one thing I do like about the K-01’s metering system is that it is predictable: it is almost possible to dial in the exposure compensation required for a scene before even a test image is taken. In this respect, the K-01 feels like a camera that photographers will enjoy using and experimenting with.

For those who don’t want to spend time adjusting exposures, there is an option in the custom menu to link the AF point to the exposure metering. This is a common feature on most cameras and it helps ensure that the subject is correctly exposed. What is nice is that the K-01 has the option to turn this facility on or off, which is the real control that photographers want.

Image: The metering and colour rendition of the Pentax K-01 are perfect for landscapes
  • 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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