Price: £566.67 plus VAT (body only)
Pros: Interesting and useful design; produces vibrant and clear images
Cons: Dynamic range not great; fixed screen position
The Pentax K-01 is a chunky camera with a size and weight that belie the mirrorless technology within, but it’s big in a good way. It feels stable and well built in the hand. Most importantly, it’s a camera that also performs well. It’s swift, easy to use and can capture attractive images.
Within the brick-like body of the K-01 lies an APS-C sized CMOS sensor (23.7 x 15.7mm) with 16 megapixels of resolution. This sits well behind a Pentax KAF2 lens mount that can accept a large array of lenses, including KAF3, KAF2, KAF, KA and K.
The body has many aspects that we appreciate a lot such as the layout of the buttons, which is clear and logical; and the square, deep shape of the body, which can be an aid when trying to hold the camera steady.
There are, however, a couple of things we don’t like. Mainly the screen, which because it’s set into the body can be hard to view when outdoors on bright days. The shutter button could also be a little stiffer when pressed halfway down for focusing.
Some photos suffered from a lack of dynamic range, with shadowed areas appearing a little darker than they should have in some photos. That said, images were rendered with rich colours and lots of contrast by default, and the overall look was pleasing. We also noticed some chromatic aberration from the lens that was sometimes visible in high contrast areas, but it wasn’t a problem overall.
When the lighting conditions aren’t ideal, you can use a high ISO speed. We found the photo quality to be good even when we used ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 values, and there was only some loss of definition and graininess.
The Pentax K-01 is a camera with unquestionable character thanks to its unique design. While it’s a big design that can be awkward to carry, it’s still comfortable to use. Best of all, in the right conditions it can produce clear and vibrant images.