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

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Pentax K-01 review


Price as reviewed:


White balance

The colour settings of the K-01 are the same as those used on the Pentax range of DSLRs. The majority of these settings, such as portrait, muted, landscape, black & white and vibrant, are to be expected, but it is good to find a few other interesting picture effects to choose from. Three different cross-process colour effects are available, with the option to customise and save up to three more. Also included is a bleach-bypass effect.

Image: The K-01’s bleach-bypass effect produces some very interesting colour effects 

Not included are the toy camera and pseudo tilt-shift lens effects that we have seen in many cameras released over the past year. Although I enjoy using these effects on point-and-shoot models, I rarely, if ever, use them on compact system cameras or DSLRs, so I don’t particularly see their omission from the K-01 as a negative point.

The AWB setting works very well – and perhaps a little too well. The results are very close to neutral, but this can leave images looking devoid of any natural colour.

Outside in overcast conditions, colours are very flat, whereas switching to the overcast setting produces a more pleasing and realistic image, with more colour in foliage. Similarly, when shooting inside, cream walls are rendered as a neutral grey.

It is possible to adjust each of the white balance settings to taste, and I would recommend that anyone buying the K-01 spends a little time doing so. Of course, if you shoot raw images then any white balance issues are easily solved, but it is always a good idea to try to get the best possible starting point in-camera because it can save a significant amount of editing time later.

  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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