Digital Cameras

Pentax K-01: Review

The mirrorless came to the market as a compact alternative to digital SLR cameras. The removal of the mirror, and then the viewfinder allows to reduce weight and dimensions so obvious, even if it requires to design dedicated optical or to adapt the existing optic. It ranges to reduce the draft, ie the distance between the sensor and the filler grafting of objectives.

It is completely bucking the design choice behind the Pentax K-01, a mirrorless where it is renounced to reduce the draft, thus maintaining dimensions very similar to those of a traditional SLR as the Pentax K-5. Attracts the attention with the incredibly thin pancake XS Pentax 40mm f/2.8 and design signed by Mark Newson, international figure.

Pentax K-01: Design

The Pentax K-01 at first sight leaves a little displaced. A nice brick, hard to slip into a pocket or a fanny pack. Need at least a purse or a dedicated housing. In addition, the copy which I was provided under test is a fluorescent yellow. It is impossible to use it without attracting attention. Aside from the visual impact of the Pentax K-01 is gripped really well, thanks to the textured rubber that covers the body. I did not like. This rubber cover goes to the door of the memory card. Change card becomes cumbersome, and I have some doubts on the strength after repeated openings and closings.

Pentax K-01
Pentax K-01

The collars and buttons, numerous and well placed, make it quick and easy control of various functions. The 3″ display is clearly visible even in bright sunlight, and I appreciated the focus peaking function, that even in auto focus mode provides immediate visual confirmation of proper focusing.

Unfortunately, the auto focus is not very fast, and in low-light conditions, it is hard to hook up, even though it has an assist illuminator. The built-in flash works very well, and the standard slide has allowed me to use the remote control without problems for studio flash. I was disappointed to note that there is no viewfinder available, even as an optional accessory.

Pentax K-01: Features and Functionality

Use the Pentax K-01 is not unlike any other SLR from using the same brand. The size of the body is not reduced it possible to place the buttons and dials to the right place. Apart from the already mentioned problems with auto focus, I had no other difficulties. The camera is used really well at any juncture, from photos to photos at the park cutlery in the studio. The meter works well, supported by an Auto ISO that does its job fairly well. The white balance is a bit tending to be hot, that you can easily fix shooting in RAW.

Pentax K-01
Pentax K-01 – Rear

Also on this mirrorless I have found the intelligent function that I saw for the first time on the tiny Pentax Q: can we decide whether to save in RAW right after shooting a JPG. In this way, if we realize that he had just taken a “masterpiece“, we can make sure a record on the memory card all the data captured by the sensor, so that we can possibly work quietly in the room clear. The trigger is not quite, having a shutter of the mechanical type. Great finally mechanically stabilized by shifting the sensor: any optical Pentax engaged, even a few decades ago, then will draw a benefit.

Obviously inevitable even on the Pentax K-01, the video function, capable of shooting Full HD at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second. To start recording, there is a dedicated key. The audio is stereo and can be connected to an external microphone. The image stabilizer is rightly also helped in shooting.

Pentax K-01 - Top
Pentax K-01 – Top

The files produced by the Pentax K-01 are really good. The sensitivity, which goes from 100 up to ISO 25,600 science fiction, it is easily usable even for large prints up to ISO 1,600. Besides reducing noise starts to take the away details, while maintaining usable ISO 3,200 and 6,400. The sensitivities even higher are only suitable for emergency use or for small prints. The differences between JPG and RAW are very light, except as noted above for the color, sometimes abundant in the red channel and generally very saturated.

It is in any case take a few minutes to the internal settings of the camera, through which you can manage at will yield precisely the JPG. An honorable mention goes finally to the smallest and lightest pancakes Pentax 40mm f/2.8 XS: its yield is noticeable already at full aperture, and returns a really nice bokeh. Only a drawback is the angle of view: being equivalent to a 60mm is not really the ideal optical, especially when shooting in dimly spacious.


The Pentax K-01 is a strange camera. It is a classic SLR. It is a classic mirrorless. Therefore, difficult to understand who can appreciate it fully. Find an alternative to compact SLR really will not find it in its entirety, to his expectations. Find an SLR instead to combine with long and heavy lenses maybe will immediately feel the lack of a viewfinder.

But the ergonomices are well done, the image produced is excellent. Moreover, the choice of a draft standard allows you to use it with as many as 214 types of lenses (the 40mm XS test), since the birth of Pentax products. If you are therefore, in good home kit lenses Pentax at home, and you are looking for a digital body to go with it, the Pentax K-01 is a choice to be taken into account well.

Where to Buy Pentax K-01

Pentax K-01 16MP APS-C CMOS Mirrorless Digital Camera [Body] (Black)
  • 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with low noise image capture at ISO range...
  • Gergeous contemporary styling by world renowned designer Marc Newson
  • Mirrorless body design with Pentax K mount lens compatibility that allows any...
  • Full HD 1080p video capture @ 30FPS with h.264 compression ( 60FPS at 720p)
  • Fast 6 FPS burst mode ideal for fast action photography

PROS : Ergonomics of the keys, Optical light, thin and powerful, Mechanically stabilized by moving the senso, Image Quality agine.

CONS : Aesthetics, Dimensions, Rubber door that hides the memory card slot, Autofocus camera that easily goes in difficulty, Lack of viewfinder also optional.

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