Pentax K-01 first impressions

22Mar12

Its been a while since i added something new, the first camera that has appeared in hand that should be ‘reviewed’ is the Pentax K-01.

No dount there will be countless technical reviews studying resolution and all those techie type things, but what im more concerned about is how it works for average joe photographer.

A little background first, the K-01 was announced in early 2012 and is Pentax’s second mirrorless camera system including the small sensor Q series, but the first that directly competes with the MILC systems from Panasonic, Sony and Olympus.

Like the Sony NEX series cameras, the Pentax K-01 uses an APS-C size 16 megapixel sensor, unlike any of the other MILC systems, the K-01 uses Pentax’s existing KA-F lens mount, this means that all those wonderful K mount lenses from the last 40 odd years are fully compatible with the K-01… so if you are an existing Pentax DSLR user or even thinking of upgrading from a Film Pentax SLR the lenses will fit right on and let you keep on shooting… HOORAY PENTAX for thinking of the existing user base.

The K-01 was designed by famed guru Marc Newson, this gives the K-01 clean lines and a  modern design, but retains a very functional purpose and ease of use that is clearly designed for photographers and not the marketing dept.

All the controls fall pretty easily to hand, and the positioning of the top dial not only allows it to be easily changed on the go, but accidental change of modes wont happen easily as the click stops are firm.

The other standout of the K-01 is the colors, the camera is currently available in Black, Yellow  with black grips, and my personal favorite, white with black accents. Pentax have paid attention to detail, with the bundled 1-55mm lens also color matched to the particular body color you chose.

In use, the K-01 is a dream, the AF is fast, though a little noisy and that impacts on the movie recording with the sandard DA 18-55mm kit lens noise overpowering the mic on the body, a top tip would be to invest in some of Pentax’s SDM lenses or similar from the likes of Sigma with their HSM lenses and this should help reduce the AF noise.

Out of the camera images in JPG are pretty darn nice and perfectly suitable for every day printing at sizes upto A3 without doing to much, and im pretty sure that shooting in RAW and doing a little tweaking the images will be dynamite.

Speaking of RAW, like the last couple of generations of Pentax DSLR cameras, the K-01 has the ability to capture images in the adobe .DNG format, making importing images into the likes of Adobes photoshop series or Lightroom super easy and editing a piece of cake.

Overall, the camera has a lot to offer nearly every photographer, from mum n dad stepping up to a system camera from a point n shoot, or someone who wants a backup to their K- series DSLR camera. With creative modes, and total auto modes the K-01  for me is a 9 out of 10 camera.

Hayden Himburg

http://www.southerncameras.co.nz

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