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back to article Pentax K-01 16Mp APS-C hybrid camera review

Mirrorless camera sizes seem to be ever-reducing, yet the company that brought us the tiny Pentax Q, has now produced its antithesis. The Pentax K-01 is a big, rubber-clad, brick-shaped monster – a 16Mp APS-C interchangeable lens camera which rather defies categorisation. Pentax K-01 mirrorless camera Hybrid heritage: the …

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I'll stick with my aging Hasselblad & CF-39 back ...

Works for me ... and my nieces & nephews are learning B&W film (including darkroom chemistry) with the same bit of kit.

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Okay

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Anonymous Coward

Rise of the Neo-Luddites

My Camera is shitter/older/needs more chemicals than your camera

you also loose a point for repetition

http://forums.reghardware.com/post/1449110

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Re: Rise of the Neo-Luddites

My camera doesn't "need" chemicals other than electricity (look up "CF-39").

I suspect it's probably older than yours. But then I'm older than you.

Shittier? No. It is not. I have good glass, and a white flash.

I lose a point for repetition? Aren't you the AC who constantly babbles on about "Rise of the Neo-Luddites"?

Seriously, kid, you can learn from your elders. Or not. Your choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rise of the Neo-Luddites

You lose a point for not being able to spell "lose". Bellend.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rise of the Neo-Luddites

"B&W film (including darkroom chemistry) "

"My camera doesn't "need" chemicals "

Fail

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Re: Rise of the Neo-Luddites

The CF-39 is a digital back for the camera's body ... but I can change the back & use old-style film when I'm teaching the kids. Please, do try to keep up with the modern world, there's a good AC.

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Re: Rise of the Neo-Luddites

He has a point though, I checked the referenced post and your original in this thread was pretty much a copy and paste. It's great that you are happy with your kit but why are you reading reviews of new stuff just to sneer at it?

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Re: Rise of the Neo-Luddites

The point is on top of his head, IanPotter. Not everybody has an encyclopedic knowledge of my posts, just my fanbois, who hang on my every word.

I read reviews in order to (hopefully) learn something. Then I comment, based on the here & now, not last season. Do you have a problem with that? If so, I respectfully suggest that ElReg's forums aren't for you.

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Anonymous Coward

Here & Now????

When you aren't getting into arguments with other posters you stick to 3 topics

Cooking

Your "ranch"

How great IT was in the 1970/80's

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Re: Here & Now????

Hanging on my every word, aren't you. Glad to help you through life :-)

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Re: I'll stick with my aging Hasselblad & CF-39 back ...

I'm sure it takes fantastically detailed images of your cat.

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Re: I'll stick with my aging Hasselblad & CF-39 back ...

Do you prefer Kodak Plus X or Agfa APX 100? What about D76 vs. Atomal?

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Anonymous Coward

Got to page 2 and found the comment that there's no viewfinder, just an LCD screen. No need to read any more then. It was quite a step, as far as I was concerned, to move to a camera with and EVF when I got Canon SX10 a few years ago (but was pleasantly surprised on how good it was compared to my previous experience of an EVF when someone asked me to take a photo of them with their camera ~15 years ago!) but going to an LCD screen only is several steps too far for me ... can just about tolerate it if I'm taking a quick photo with my phone but not for a "proper" camera!

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No viewfinder

No sale, alas - it's meant to have better low light performance than the already excellent k5 (my current box)

The K30 is in the same price range, and has the same innards, more or less, maybe folk who want viewfinders can wait for that.

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View Finders are important!

Whether they be mirrored or just simple LCD based ones, a view finder is essential. I've tried using these bloody stupid cameras without any kind of viewfinder and find them to be utterly useless in many situations just as described in the review.

I currently own a FujiFilm FinePix HS20EXR, which is a relatively cheap bridge camera at around £200. If I'm going to pay more than 3 times this for a DSLR I damn well expect to find at least the same level of features and functionality, not less and certainly not be missing a staple classic of camera design for decades!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: View Finders are important!

I agree, although many people actually prefer shooting using an LCD screen (I've even seen some pros), so this is probably aimed at them. Personally, I would get the new K-30 over the K-01.

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Re: View Finders are important!

I use the LCD a lot to, but not in bright sunlight when i cant see it. I also find it easier to steady the camera when holding it to my eye.

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Re: View Finders are important!

That's the point of the whole mirrorless range though isn't it? You sell the punters a camera capable of pretty good images (not DSLR quality but close) for a reasonably high cost, not too close to an entry DSLR so as to put them off, and sell the merits of IQ and size. Then the poor bastards find out that really you do need the EVF to take pictures in a range of conditions and to prevent camera shake - IS is all well and good but holding the camera up to the eye rather than at arms' length makes for a more stable shooting platform - whereby you hit them up for 1/3-1/2 the price of the camera again.

Panasonic GX1

Body only £383.95 (£50 cashback)

With 14-42 (not powered) £419 (£50 cashback)

LVF2E (viewfinder) £219

That's one expensive add-on that any sensible photographer would consider pretty essential. Nearly half the normal price of the camera. I'll leave the car analogies to others.

As for this camera, I really cannot see the point of a jumbo sized mirrorless camera. Nice big heavy glass that you're holding outstretched to take the photo with. Why?

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Re: View Finders are important!

> Panasonic GX1 Body only £383.95 (£50 cashback) LVF2E (viewfinder) £219

That's where the G3 fits in.

(or the G5)

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Anonymous Coward

Chapeau!

A surprisingly well-written review of a surprisingly bonkers camera. I keep forgetting that Pentax exist, but do have a bit of a soft spot for them.. This is a really interesting take on the large sensor/smaller camera segment that is really hotting up right now.

Thanks for the writeup :)

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Re: Chapeau!

I think it depends what you mean by "interesting". It's nothing but a DSLR with the mirror and eye-level viewfinder removed; they've retained the back focus distance of their SLR systems. As a result, unlike every other manufacturer's mirrorless system, they can't design any good small and cheap wide angle lenses. I don't even see the point.

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Boffin

Worth pointing out that holding a camera far enough away to see the LCD screen (assuming it's not sunny, in which case you probably won't be able to see it at all), leads to a naturally more wobbly stance. Not good for your obscene telephoto lenses. However, you don't eventually end up looking like Patrick Moore.

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Tripod?

Having looked at one in Jessops I think that it'll be at its best on a tripod, then you can use the focus peaking to good effect. An articulated screen may have helped too. Personally I still prefer to hold a camera to my eye though.

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Re: Tripod?

If you're prepared to carry the weight and bulk of a decent tripod then you may as well carry a DSLR instead of this, the weight/bulk of the optical viewfinder is going to be irrelevant.

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Re: Tripod?

I agree with you to be honest, it's what I do already. Just think that for macro work on the tripod with live view was where I saw this being of most use, but you are right the dslr doesn't loose that and is more flexible.

As someone else said though, some people only want to use the arms length technique. I remember my cousin holding my K10D like that to take a pic of me and family for example and that didn't even have live view...

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Re: Tripod?

Sure, everyone takes tripods hiking... And it's so easy to get wildlife to stop running while you setup said tripod....

If you do anything but staged photos, having a body that can handle a large-ish zoom is critical.

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For scale!

I really would have liked a picture of the camera with something for scale, eg, in the hand.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: For scale!

Probably better to ask for some things of a more fixed size.. a camera can look dainty in my hand, for example (my hands are depressingly huge and shovel-like), yet hulking in my partner's (far cuter, tiny little) hands. Coins, an iPhone, whatever annoyingly ubiquitous objects you choose, they should not be something subject to a 50% or more size variance.

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The old physical mirror

Does seem a bit much for these days, but I'd quite like an electronic view finder.Having both VF and rear body lcd is a chunk of money though. I wonder what the market would be like for an LCD viewfinder and no bigger lcd on the back? Being a *very* amateur/beginner user I hardly seem to use the screen on my DSLR except for checking light levels on the results with an old almost completely manual lens.

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Re: The old physical mirror

You should check out the new Olympus OM-D. It's got an EVF and uses micro 4/3rds lenses. Plus it's environmentally sealed and there are adapters for almost any lens mount.

There are also specialized shrouds for LCD screens that look like viewfinders. They are typically used for video but no reason you couldn't use them for photos...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/749569-REG/Cavision_MHE3Q_P_LCD_Viewfinder_Set_for.html

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Facepalm

Worst of all worlds

Size of a small DSLR, no viewfinder, and sucky focus speed (plus ugly as sin to boot). Just buy one of Pentax's excellent small DSLRs and be happy.

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HDR? NOOOOOO!

OH no, it's got an HDR setting, please NOOOOO! I can't take any more.

Don't get me wrong, HDR has its place, but I prefer HDR to be pretty much unnoticeable. That's what it is for.

It isn't there so you can turn all the tone map and saturation settings up to 11 and burn all the phosphor (or whatever TFT/IPS panels have instead of that these days) off my screen!

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FAIL

CF39

Why does Jake compare the Pentax to his 'Blad? The screen on the back of the CF is so small that it's almost useless other than to read the settings on it. Unless you tether the thing and shoot into Phocus or Flexcolor you can't see what you're doing or check your focus AF or manual. Yes you can stick your film back on and show your sprogs how effing marvellous Pan F looks but are talking about quite a few $£ to set up a darkroom even if you buy used and in the UK your water will probably cost you as much as your chems by the time you've washed. The words git and smug spring to mind.

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Not seeing the point of this one.....

It's the size of a DSLR but has no eye level finder and auto focuses slower (and Pentax's DSLRs actually deliver a lot of camera for the money).

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mdc

Ignore the Sample Photos

As a daily K5 user (same sensor as the K-01), I can confirm that RAW photos with appropriate focus adjustment dialled in via the AF Adjustment menu are MUCH sharper than the ones shown in this article, including with the bogstandard 18-55 DA-L lens.

Personally I use a Tokina 19-35 most of the time as I find it has a little less barrel distortion and falloff than the 18-55, being a full-frame lens, but the kit DOES still give you decent sharpness and resolution. I also use the 18-55 WR (weather sealed) version quite a bit when doing club work, as there's always the risk that some idiot will spill a drink all over your gear (as happened last night as a matter of fact). Shooting in RAW is a must though; to be honest, I'm surprised the major players haven't ditched JPEG output entirely from their offerings by now.

There is ONE somewhat inadvertent benefit to the K-01 over the K-5, and that's the fact that by omitting phase-detect AF, it doesn't suffer from the rather annoying sub-3000K focussing issue... one of the venues I cover is outdoors and has sodium-based heatlamps, and phase-detect is a nightmare in there, so I find myself using - and looking/feeling ridiculous while doing so - the live view (with contrast detect AF) mode to focus.

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And

I think that in twenty years most serious cameras may well be what we now call 'hybrid.' Whether it happens depends on the manufacturers considerations of money making strategy.

Machinery clanking away at 20 milliseconds per movement is Victorian and is a component of shutter lag. Allowing a lens all the back space allows the lens to be designed with an extreme zoom range and a big hole at maximum aperture. All the clever optics of plastic and aspherical surfaces are still available. Just don't think cheap.

For many photographers interchangeable lenses become unnecessary, the lens is built in. That removes the risk of sensor or anti alias filter impairment. And the shutter is perhaps mechanical within the lens, or quite possibly electronic. There is nothing wrong with that if it meets a good spec.

For the viewfinder a quick and tiny HD tv set with a good quality magnifier is essential. Focus can be auto as now plus a button option for moving a focus point around the screen, press the button again and a 100 pixels disc from the sensor is overlaid at 1:1 in the viewfinder. Then manual focus and zoom with a single barrel control.

All the problems are electronic, so it is likely that they will be solved.

So I am thrilled that a 16 Mpx hybrid is here, although it is clearly crap, as explained in posts above.

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Re: And

Entirely agree that the mechanical bits need to go. But as all-electronic hybrids take over, pricing needs to get more realistic - ie cheaper - and they won't like that. Manufacturers also need to grasp that EVF is *essential* not optional.

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Viewfinder

I have a GX1 with the optional VF, I rarely use the VF... no real requirement for it so far although I imagine this will change slightly now the sun has come out. I moved from a DSLR to the GX1 to save weight and bulk, its made a hell of a difference, I can now take my camera, 4 lenses and filters etc out with me in a v small bag whereas before for the same kit I was carrying a largeish rucksack, and have better IQ (imho) than I did with the Canon.

To be fair if I had seen this cam before I bought the GX1 I think I would have given it serious consideration.

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WTF?

Maybe it's just me but the main reason behind getting a mirrorless is...

...gone here: Pentax' (awful looking) chassis does not look like something I could carry around in my coat pocket or next to my laptop in a bag, and the lens are downright big, thanks to using APS-C instead of MFT sensors, adding more to the overall size (and weight too.)

Maybe it's just me... when I had enough of my old Canon(s) (=realized I never use DSLR anymore because they are heavy and big and I cannot lug around another bag day in day out) I started looking for a smaller system with at least comparable IQ...

...which took me YEARS of waiting for 'The One' but finally recently Olympus released the OM-D, their high-end, weatherproof MFT camera: it's built on Sony's latest-greatest (custom?) sensor tech, sporting ~13 stops DR, one of the fastest AF on the world, excellent high-ISO (think of D800/5DIII territory, shots at 6400 & above!) and the world's first Steadycam-quality 5-way in-body (works with any lens) stabilization... even its electronic viewfinder is top-notch.

Now I realize that's a $999/$1299 body/kit camera vs this cheaper Pentax but at least the OM-D is a DSLR replacement while APS-C mirrorless cams are usually (NEX-7 is being an exception) a compromise desperately trying to avoid hurting the mothership's DSLR sales (stupid idea), simply attempting to lure up previous P&S compact users (another stupid idea, smartphones are eating up that market segment alive, period.)

Again, I don't see why anyone other than their current DSLR users would opt for it over other choices... MFT is a mature system with plenty of sharp lenses, if the OM-D is too expensive then there are plenty of Panasonic choices for less money while still giving you better ergonomics.

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Re: Maybe it's just me but the main reason behind getting a mirrorless is...

"excellent high-ISO (think of D800/5DIII territory"

The arrogance of utterly ignorant people never ceases to amaze me.

Dream on. Just because you have decided to drop your cash on this particular camera automatically elevates its performance to the level of equipment costing several time the price.

Now I understand the vitriol behind my comment that the new Canon mirrorless may have an advantage over the Olympus because of its larger sensor.

You're a fanboi !!! And therefore totally oblivious to the laws of physics.

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