Pentax K-01 Review

By

Review posted 06/18/2012

Quick Take
Pros
  • High image quality
  • 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • K-mount accepts numerous lenses
  • ISO range of 100 to 25600
  • Focus Peaking mode
  • Sensor-shift shake and dust reduction
  • High-resolution 3-inch LCD (920,000 dots)
  • Records 1080 HD video at 30 fps
  • Powerful built-in flash
  • Long battery life (500 shots)
  • HDMI output
  • High dynamic range (HDR) mode
  • Stereo microphone input
Cons
  • Burst modes are slow
  • Autofocus can be sluggish
  • No optical or eye-level electronic viewfinder
  • Lack of hand grip can be awkward
  • Button placement could be better
  • Autofocus does not track during movie recording
Bottom Line
The Pentax K-01 is a great opportunity for old-schoolers with a K-mount lens stash who are looking to go digital, or need an SLR backup. The high image quality is impressive, as is the ability to crank up the ISO to 25,600. The very high-resolution LCD adds to that appeal--but slow contrast detection auto focus and sluggish burst modes limit its abilities in a variety of shooting situations. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
K-01 Group02 LR.jpgFor 2012, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING has announced the K-01, the first backward compatible mirrorless camera to use existing dSLR mount lenses without any adapters, which was designed by one of the world's most acclaimed an influential designers, Marc Newson. Before laying his hands on this camera, Newson designed bicycles, cars, aircraft, yachts, and had his collected works shown at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The idea here was to create a beautiful camera that just so happens to capture world class images.

At the heart of this is a 16-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with settings for Low Noise image capture as well as the ability for users to choose between multiple aspect ration. As an interchangeable lens camera (ILC), the K-01 will work with any K-mount lenses, which is great news considering PENTAX has made over 25 million of them. And don't worry about swapping out lenses; the K-01 has a sensor-shift Dust Reduction System to prevent dirt buildup. And, when you're shooting, that same sensor-shift system also helps with camera shake during still and video recording  Another nice feature is Focus Peak Mode, which "provides fast and accurate manual focusing."

With an ISO range of 100-25600, the K-01 was made to shoot quickly (it has a 5 frames per second Burst Mode) and in all lighting conditions. And thanks to the CMOS sensor, the K-01 shoots full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second and 720p HD video at 60 frames per second, which means you can even shoot and edit slow motion (at 720p). Lastly, to admire your photos and video footage, PENTAX has included a 3.0-inch LCD screen with 920,000 pixels.


PENTAX K-01 Features:
  • 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor
    • Low Noise Image Capture
    • Multiple Aspect Ratios
  • Pentax K-mount lens system, works with any K-series Pentax dSLR lens
  • 3.0-inch LCD screen (920k dots)
  • Full 1080p HD video capture at 30 fps, or 60 fps in 720p
  • Sensor-shift PENTAX Shake and Dust Reduction System
  • 5 fps High-Speed Burst Mode
  • ISO Range of 100-25600
  • Focus Peaking Mode
  • Compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses
  • Li-ion battery pack
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot

The PENTAX K-01 is made with durable machined-aluminum and is available in black, white, or yellow. The K-01 is sold as a body-only kit with a MSRP of $749.95 USD or as a lens kit version -- which includes the pictured DA 40mm XS lens, the world's thinnest interchangeable lens -- for $899.95 USD.  The lens can also be purchased separately for $249.95. See our buy box below for the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • K-01 body
  • Body Mount Cover
  • Li-Ion Battery D-LI90
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • Hotshoe Cover FK
  • Software CD-ROM S-SW120
  • Battery Charger Kit K-BC90
  • Strap O-ST120
  • Manual

Additional Product Views:
K-01_Yellow_3QView_TranspBckgrnd_sm.jpg
K-01_Yellow_BackView_TranspBckgrnd_sm.jpg
K-01_Yellow_3QView_FlashUp_sm.jpg
K-01 Top LR.jpg

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.