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Pentax K-01 - Sample Images: General Images

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis



Our Score:


Pentax K-01 Sample Image

Used on the 'Bright' Custom Image setting, the K-01 delivers punchy, sharp and vibrant JPEGs straight out of camera.

Pentax K-01 Sample Image 1

Detail and dynamic range are both very good.

Pentax K-01 Sample Image

Should you need to, you can crank up the vibrancy by changing the Custom Image setting.

Pentax K-01 Sample Image 1

The 'Reversal Film' Custom Image setting does a good job of replicating the look and feel of old-school slide film.

Pentax K-01 Sample Image

The Shadow Correction tool can be used to boost shadow detail in high-contrast shots.

Pentax K-01 Sample Image 1

The Automatic White Balance does a good job, even under mixed lighting.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 8
  • Design & Features 7
  • Image Quality 9
  • Value 7

Martin Daler

February 3, 2012, 2:49 pm

I hate to trample in with a negative comment...
They seem to have taken the best aspects of both CSC and SLR design, and then removed them. What remains is the K-01.
So I'm not sure if this is a Compact System Camera which is not compact, or a Single Lens Reflex without the reflex viewfinder. Either way, I'm searching in vain for anything which compensates for the loss.

But on a positive note, thank you for finally allowing my browser to do its job and furnish my login credentials so that I don't have to type them in manually :)


February 3, 2012, 5:04 pm

I think it's best viewed as a smaller DSLR rather than a CSC. The fact that it takes k-mount glass natively is really great!

This is a camera that K5 owners will pick up and take on holidays, utilizing the lenses they already own without any adaptors.

I don't think this is going to do much in the way of attracting people to the Pentax brand though. The design is growing on me but you can't deny it gets a lot of WTF? reactions.

Martin Daler

February 3, 2012, 5:44 pm

But why? If you already have the lenses then I'm guessing you already have the Pentax D-SLR to match. So why would you pay all that money just to leave the viewfinder at home?


February 3, 2012, 10:39 pm

I don't know, I think there's something of a misconception that CSCs have to be as small as possible. Once you've put lenses on any of them they end up bulky. It's just nice that they're a little bit smaller and lighter (which this one is - 122 x 79 x 58 mm vs 125 x 97 x 68 mm), are better at video and that they're making companies innovate in terms of included features and lenses. Personally I think this camera looks great, like it could handle really well and love that it can be used with all the old Pentax lenses.

Martin Daler

February 4, 2012, 12:05 am

Well, the clue is in the name - Compact System Camera.
But I take your point, once you put the lenses on a NEX is no more pocketable than a D-SLR, although presumably it weighs less which counts on a long hike, and if you must you can fit a pancake lens and have something truly pocketable.
The existing lens compatibility is only a benefit to existing Pentax D-SLR system owners - is the modest size and weight saving of this camera really enough to justify it a place alongside your existing Pentax D-SLR?
Meanwhile, retaining that compatibility means there is no size benefit from losing the mirror box - the void is still there but without the mirror, taking up as much room as ever and robbing the k-01 of much of its potential to be compact. On balance, I would think Nikon's solution of an adaptor to fit existing SLR lenses would be better.

I must say I was not aware that CSC's were inherently any better at video than DSLRs - what is behind that? Other than that possibility, what else does the k-01 offer that a similarly sized DSLR does not, to make up for the loss of optical viewfinder?


February 4, 2012, 1:26 am

I feel this camera could provide an intermediate link between the much loved superzoom and DSLR.

I have sat and looked at the developing compact system camera developments and not been convinced that this would answer my needs for a decent all round camera with printable macro shooting abilities.

I do not like heaving around a vast array of equipment in order to shoot small objects/models in support of my freelance article writing. The fact that this camera will accept established lenses make me wonder why other manufacturers have not gone down this route.

A K-mount macro lens is an expensive assemblage of glass but if this camera can produce needle-sharp pictures, it will tick a few more boxes than the Ricoh GXR with its dedicated lens and sensor unit. A 'link' camera that was on my to buy list until the negative quality of the hardware changed my mind.

I just hope the actual review indicates that this is camera will mark the next step on my path to improved macro photography.

Martin Daler

February 4, 2012, 3:12 pm

"The fact that this camera will accept established lenses make me wonder why other manufacturers have not gone down this route."

Some have, like the Nikon V/J 1. But they use an adaptor. The trouble with existing D-SLR lenses is that they are designed to accommodate the mirror box, so the rear focus distance is necessarily large. CSCs don't have a mirror box, so they can be much more compact, but then existing D-SLR lenses would not be able to handle the much shorter distance from flange to sensor.

So the adaptor solution gives the best of both - you can fit existing Nikon lenses on a diminutive J1, and the J1 can be much smaller than it would otherwise need t be to accommodate existing lenses.

john m flores

April 20, 2012, 4:47 pm

I have officially retired from guessing whether the latest and greatest new camera will be a hit in the market or for whom said cameras are intended for. Instead, I evaluate a camera based on my needs as a photographer, not as an internet pundit. I've had the Pentax K-01 for just over a month and have put it through some of my paces. No test charts, just real shooting. Photos and thoughts are here - http://whatblogisthis.blogs...


June 19, 2012, 3:36 pm

I'm in agreement that there is no need for CSC to be very small. Just compact is fine. I love my K5 and would be interested in this ... but 1/ It would need to be quiet and 2/ it needs in IMHO an articulated screen. I hate holding a camera out in front but the old Roleiflex position is fine by me ... so for me it is clear that a camera without a viewfinder needs this

Jerome Nolas

June 20, 2012, 10:55 pm

Very good IQ in "unwanted" body...maybe they could create a camera like Fuji X 100 or Canon G1X...

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