Pentax K-01 Brief Review


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  • 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Pentax K-mount lens compatibility
  • 1080p full HD video capture
  • In-body sensor shift stabilization
  • 6fps burst mode
  • Manual modes
  • Raw capture
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2012-03-31
  • Final Grade: 87 4.35 Star Rating: Recommended

Pentax K-01
16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor; Pentax K-mount lens compatibility; 1080p full HD video capture; In-body sensor shift stabilization; 6fps burst mode; Manual modes; Raw capture; Lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 9/29/2014

Designed by the renowned Marc Newson, the k-01 looks more like a toy than a well-specified mirrorless camera. Pentax has chosen to use the same K-mount used by its K-r and K5 DSLRS, which means the k-01 is a bit thicker and heavier than most of its competition. Inside the unusual body lies an APS-C 16 megapixel CMOS sensor which possesses image quality similar to the very good k5. Also included is 1080p video with a microphone input, in-body image stabilization, 6fps burst mode, and DNG RAW capture. The camera's reliance on k-mount lenses means many will be larger than necessary for a mirrorless camera, but Pentax does have a trio of tiny pancake lenses that would be perfect. In fact, the k-01 kit comes with the miniscule DA40 f2.8. Reviews have noted the next-to-useless back LCD when shooting on a sunny day, essentially rendering the photographer blind. Autofocus is also good but nowhere near as fast as the new NEXs, Nikon V1, or Olympus E-M5.

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Pentax/Ricoh Reviews

Pentax, who just recently merged with Ricoh, has long been a sort of underdog—but not necessarily in performance or quality. Pentax/Ricoh offers some quirky cameras, but for the most part, we've found that to be a good thing.

The Pentax/Ricoh DSLR’s are mostly weather-sealed, giving them a unique advantage over competing manufacturers that don't offer anything similar. When we tried out models like the K-50, we were quite impressed with the image quality. The autofocus was a bit noisier than a Nikon, but the weather-sealing and often better price is hard to resist when the image quality is so good. Pentax continued to add in innovations by adding an anti-aliasing filter that can be turned on and off to the 2013 K-3.

Pentax hasn't jumped into the mirrorless battle too much, but they do offer the tiny and colorful Q7. With a smaller sensor and a smaller price point, the Q7 and similar models are more of a consumer mirrorless than one for the enthusiasts, but it's an extremely small camera with a whole lot of color options.

Pentax has a few solid compact models out too. The Pentax MX-1 earned our Best Budget Advanced Compact for 2013 for its advanced features yet small price tag. They offer a waterproof line that includes macro ring lights built in, something unique to the WG cameras.

Pentax/Ricoh may be a bit quirky, but many of their cameras are well worth a look and offer excellent image quality for the price.

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