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How do you define unique?
From the moment you see the Pentax K-01 you know you're looking at something unique. We truly had trouble trying to figure out this camera's classification when it first hit our screens. It's mirrorless and it has interchangeable lenses, so it's a hybrid, right? It's got heft and substance, shoots great video and fast continuous stills so it must be a DSLR, don't you think? The answer is yes to both, really.
Heir to a rich family
The K-01 has a foot in both the hybrid and DSLR camps, drawing on the legacies of both form factors. It's not out to wow you with numbers, although it has impressive ones. The results you get will do the talking. It's got a 16-megapixel APS-C size sensor that captures brilliant, high-detail images. And it has the unique ability among mirrorless cameras to work with a huge family of Pentax K-mount lenses, a family whose distinguished members stretch back multiple decades. And the sensor-shift Shake and Dust Reduction system means that all those lenses will still give you razor-sharp stills and video, even at long focal lengths.
Pentax has incorporated their PRIME M processor in the K-01, which has been redesigned for the particular challenges of high-definition video. It shoots a variety of video sizes and frame rates up to 1080/30p.
It's got culture too
All of this versatility comes in a package that just might be worthy of art museum display in the future. The K-01's funky, slightly futuristic look is the product of industrial design phenom Marc Newson. The machined aluminum frame is overlaid with rubberized accents that give it a secure grip. Rounded corners, bold lines, and a simple, clear control interface create a shooting experience that requires little effort and maximizes creative options.
- 16.28-megapixel effective recording
- APS-C size HD CMOS image sensor (23.7 X 15.7 mm) for rich tonal gradation and true-to-life color
- crafted by world-renowned industrial designer Marc Newson
- 3" 921K-dot LCD with brightness and color adjustment
- high-def, high-quality movie mode (up to 1080p @ 30 frames per second) with H.264 compression
- PRIME M image processor is optimized for video performance
- compatible with decades worth of K-mount lenses
- Sensor-shift Shake and Dust Reduction system stabilizes shots and keeps sensor clean
- 6 frames-per-second burst mode shooting
- contrast-detection autofocus system for rapid, precise autofocusing
- 7 types of creative digital filters, including "Toy Camera"
- retractable on-board flash
- face detection adjusts focus, exposure, and white balance for great-looking portraits
- In-camera HDR mode gives you outstanding detail in shadows and highlights by blending user-specified exposures
- hotshoe for external flash units
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- compatible with the large family of Pentax K-Mount lenses
Exposure Modes and Controls:
- continuous shooting mode:6 frames per second
- shutter speed range: 30-1/4,000 seconds, bulb
- sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-25,600 expandable
- program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual, and fully automatic exposure modes
- flash bracketing: up to 3 frames
- 20 preset scene modes for accurately exposed images in many different shooting environments
- flash sync at 1/180 second
File Formats and Storage:
- image storage modes: RAW (DNG), JPG (EXIF 2.3), DCF 2.0 compliant, DPOF, PIM III
- still image aspect ratio options: 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
- H.264 movie files up to 1920 x 1080 at 30 frames per second
- accepts optional SD, high capacity SDHC, MultiMediaCard, and SDXC memory cards
Connections and Dimensions:
- high-speed USB 2.0 interface
- mini HDMI output (cable not included)
- 4-13/16"W x 3-1/8"H x 2-5/16"D (without lens)
- weight (without battery or media): 16.9 oz.
- rechargeable D-Li90 lithium ion battery
- battery charger/AC adapter
- shoulder strap
- USB cable
- software CD-ROM
Want a camera you can grow into? Try a mirrorless camera.
These digital cameras combine the creative options of a DSLR with portability that's more like that of a point-and-shoot. Their automatic modes will help you take striking pictures from day one without having to be an expert. However, like DSLRs, mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lenses, and advanced control and processing. You can explore these features for even better results as you take time to learn more about the hobby. Cameras in this class have large image sensors for beautifully detailed pictures, but their mirrorless design means the camera bodies and matching lenses can be smaller, lighter, and more portable great for snapping memorable pics when you're on the move.
Pentax K-01 (no lens included) Reviews
Average Customer Review:
Outstanding Camera - Huge Bang for the Buck
I bought my first Pentax SLR in the early 1970's. The incredible thing is that I can use this camera with my full line of Pentax SLR and DSR lenses (even my ancient M42 lenses). The sensor is basically the same as the one on the Flagship Pentax K-5 and the image quality is superb. Focusing is fast and accurate (install the firimware upgrade after you get the camera). The camera is a hybrid - different than a compact - different than an SLR. The size and form provide good balance with larger lenses and it's pretty trim with one of the Pentax "pancakes" (I use the 40mm SA Limited as my main lens for this camera). it will not fit in your pocket (unless you are a kangaroo) All that having been said, it is a really cool-looking, nice handling camera at an ridiculously low price (Pentax dropped the prices by about $400!) - nothing in this price range will come close.
Pros: Compatibility with the full line of Pentax Lenses. High image quality and build. Comfortable size and realistic scale for using with larger as well as compact lenses. Simple and effective control layout. Efficient menus. Cool design.
Cons: none that I have encountered
Pentax K-01: Best bang for your buck!
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
For the price, this camera body is amazing! The images are clear, the sensor is truly outstanding and is very comparable to Nikon and Canon bodies that are much for $$. I am very satisfied with this product.
Pros: Sensor capabilities, HD video qualities, colors (especially the reds)
Cons: The back flap that covers the image card is very flimsy. I don't care about the quality and it feels as though I may accidentally rip it off one day.
What's in the box?
- Camera body (black) with attached body cap
- D-LI90 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V/1860mAh/14Wh)
- D-BC90 Battery charger (8.4V/400mA)
- Adjustable neck strap
- 5' I-USB7 USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and a proprietary connector on other end)
- 6' AC power cable (non-polarized C7 connector)
- Silkypix Developer Studio 3.0 for Pentax CD-ROM
- Operating Manual
- Quick Guide
- Notification of Change of Company Name sheet
- Pentax Worldwide Service Network sheet
- Camera Serial Number Card
- UL Note (for battery charger)
Features and Specs
|LCD Screen Size||3"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||N/A|
|Effective Megapixel Count||16.28|
|Image Stabilization||Sensor Shift|
|Highest Resolution||4928 x 3264|
|HD Video Recording||1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720,|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||19.75|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Pentax K-01 is a stylish digital hybrid interchangeable lens camera with many high-end photographic features. It will accept Pentax K-mount lenses to give you a variety of shooting options.
Marc Newson Design: The K-01 was designed by Marc Newson, one of the most acclaimed and influential designers in the contemporary design industry. The body features a simple design with clean lines and elegant graphics, while maintaining all the functionality of a professional camera. It's constructed of durable machined aluminum and tactile rubber to give the camera a solid feel.
3.0" LCD Monitor: The camera features a large, bright 3.0" LCD monitor for framing your shots and playing back recorded still images and movies. The monitor's 921,000-dot resolution gives you crystal clear images, and features approximately 100% field of view. The camera does not have a separate viewfinder.
Compatible Lenses: The K-01 has a KAF2 bayonet mount with an AF coupler and lens information contacts (a K-mount with power contacts). Lenses with KAF3, KAF2 (power zoom not compatible), KAF, and KA mounts can be used. These lenses include DA, DA L, D FA, and FA J lenses.
Image Sensor: The K-01 is equipped with a large, 16-megapixel APS-C sized (23.7 mm x 15.7 mm) CMOS image sensor, which delivers high resolution image quality with accurate colors and low noise. It has 16.49 million total pixels and 16.28 million effective pixels. The sensor features a Dust Removal function that shakes the sensor every time the camera is turned on and off.
Recording Media: The camera can record still images and movies onto SD Memory Cards, SDHC Memory Cards, and SDXC Memory Cards.
Still Image Formats: The K-01 can shoot JPEG still images in 4 sizes in each of four aspect ratios: 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, and 1:1. You can set the image quality level (compression ratio) for each size and aspect ratio, to Best, Better, or Good. In addition, uncompressed RAW images can be recorded using the full output of the CMOS sensor. The RAW files are recorded in the DNG (Digital Negative) format. These RAW images must be "developed" and converted into JPEG files using the RAW Development function in the camera or using the provided software. When the camera is set to RAW+, images in both JPEG and RAW formats are captured. Image sizes include:
|Aspect Ratio||Recorded Pixels|
|3:2 JPEG||4928 x 3264||4224 x 2816||3456 x 2304||2688 x 1792|
|4:3 JPEG||4352 x 3264||3840 x 2880||3072 x 2304||2304 x 1728|
|16:9 JPEG||4928 x 2776||4224 x 2376||3456 x 1944||2688 x 1512|
|1:1 JPEG||3264 x 3264||2880 x 2880||2304 x 2304||1728 x 1728|
|3:2 RAW||4928 x 3264|
Movie Recording: High Definition movies can be recorded in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. You can choose from Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 30, 25, or 24 frames per second, or 1280 x 720 at 60, 50, 30, 25, or 24 fps. Standard def movies can also be recorded at 640 x 480 pixels (4:3) at 30, 25, or 24 fps.
Focus Modes: You can set the focus mode switch to either AF (auto focus) or MF (manual focus). In Auto Focus mode, the camera automatically focuses on the subject when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. In Manual Focus mode, you can adjust the focus by turning the focus ring on the lens.
AF Assist Light: In Auto Focus mode, when the subject is in a dark location, the AF Assist Light automatically turns on when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. You can turn off the AF Assist light, if desired.
AF-Area Modes: You can set the range of the Auto Focus Area (AF Area). The position of the AF area can be moved around the frame using the 4-way controller. The size of the AF area can be changed using the E-dial on the top of the camera. Pressing the Green Button on the top of the camera returns the AF area to the center.
Drive Modes: The K-01 offers several options for shooting single and multiple images at once. You can choose from the following Drive Modes:
- Single Frame: Photos are taken one at a time with each press of the shutter release button.
- Continuous: Multiple photos are taken while the shutter release button is pressed fully at approximately 6 frames per second (high speed) or 3 fps (low speed).
- Self-Timer: A single photo is taken after approximately 12 seconds to allow the photographer to get into the picture. A 2-second self timer can be used to avoid camera shake when the shutter release button is pressed.
- Remote Control: Using the optional remote control, the shutter is released immediately after the shutter release button on the remote is pressed. A 3-second delay Remote Control setting is also available. Pentax offers the optional F Remote Control or O-RC1 Waterproof Remote Control.
- Auto Bracketing: You can take three consecutive images at three different exposure levels when the shutter release button is pressed. Three images are saved with each released, one at standard exposure, one underexposed, and one overexposed. You can set the order of the exposures as desired. The bracket value can be set at +/- 3EV at 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV intervals.
Metering: You can select the portion of the image sensor to use for measuring brightness and determining exposure:
- Multi-segment: The sensor meters the brightness in multiple zones.
- Center-weighted: Metering is weighted at the center of the sensor.
- Spot: The brightness is measured only within a limited area at the center of the sensor.
Shooting Modes: The top-mounted Mode Dial lets you set the desired Shooting Mode. You can select from the following:
- Auto Picture: The Auto Picture mode automatically selects the optimal mode for capturing the subject: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, and Forest.
- Scene Mode: The Scene Mode lets you choose from specific scenes: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Forest, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR, Night Snap, Food, Pet, Kids, Surf & Snow, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, and Museum.
- HDR Mode: HDR Mode enables capturing images with high dynamic range: Auto, HDR1, HDR2, or HDR3.
- Flash Off Mode: Deactivates the flash.
- Exposure Mode: You can choose from the following modes to change the shutter speed and aperture value: Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual Exposure, Bulb Exposure.
- Movie Mode: Records movies with sound. Exposure can be set to Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, or Manual. You can also begin recording a movie by simply pressing the Red button on the top of the camera, regardless of the mode dial setting.
EV Compensation: You can deliberately overexpose or underexpose a picture using EV Compensation. The compensation value can be set between -3 and +3 EV (-2 and +2 EV in Movie Mode). The step interval can be set at 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV intervals.
White Balance: White Balance is a function for adjusting the color of an image so that white objects appear white. You can choose Automatic White Balance (AWB), or a preset White Balance depending upon the lighting source: Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light, Tungsten, Flash, CTE (Color Temperature Enhancement), or Manual.
ISO Sensitivity: You can set the sensitivity to suit the brightness of the surroundings. The sensitivity can be set to ISO AUTO or manually to ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, or 12800.
Flash: The K-01 has a built-in pop-up flash for use in low-light situations. There are several Flash Modes to choose from:
- Auto Flash: the flash automatically fires based on brightness of the scene
- Auto + Red-eye Reduction: the flash fires automatically with a pre-flash for red-eye reduction
- Manual Flash: the flash fires when manually popped up; does not charge when retracted
- Manual + Red-eye Reduction: the flash fires when popped up with a pre-flash for red-eye reduction
- Slow-speed Sync: the flash fires during a slow shutter speed; lights foreground subject while maintaining a distant lit background
- Slow-speed Sync + Red-eye Reduction: the flash fires during a slow shutter speed, with a pre-flash for red-eye reduction
- Trailing Curtain Sync: the flash fires immediately before closing the shutter to capture moving objects as they leave a trail behind.
- Flash Off: the flash does not fire regardless of subject brightness
Hot Shoe: The camera has a top-mounted hot shoe for attaching an optional external flash unit, such as the AF540FGZ, AF360FGZ, AF200FG, or AF160FC.
Magnifying Images: Single images can be magnified up to 16 times in playback mode. Using the E-dial, the image is enlarged 1.2x to 16x in 16 steps. While the image is magnified, you can use the 4-way controller to move around in the magnified area.
Slide Show: The Pentax K-01 allows you to play back still images one at a time in slide show fashion. You can adjust the interval (3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, or 30 sec) and the screen effects (fade, wipe, stripe, no effect).
Thumbnail: You can display multiple thumbnail images on the LCD monitor. You can choose the number of images to be displayed in the monitor: 4, 9, 16, 36, or 81. Images can also be displayed by folder or in a calendar filmstrip.
Image Editing: The Playback Mode Palette lets you perform playback and editing functions on recorded images and movies. Some of the functions include: Image rotation, Digital Filter, Resize, Cropping, Index, Protect, Slideshow, Save Cross Processing, RAW development, Movie editing, and DPOF.
HDMI: The K-01 has a mini-HDMI (Type C) output for connecting the camera to an HDTV. A Mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is required (sold separately). You can set the HDMI output resolution to 1080i, 720p, 480p (NTSC), 576p (PAL), or Auto, corresponding to the maximum resolution of the AV device.
PC/AV: The proprietary PC/AV terminal can be used to connect the camera to your computer via the supplied I-USB7 cable. The terminal is USB 2.0 High-Speed compatible. You can also connect the camera to a TV using an optional I-AVC7 AV cable. The cable has composite video and mono RCA audio plugs. The AV output can be set to NTSC or PAL.
Microphone: The camera has a built-in stereo microphone. There is also a 3.5mm minijack input for an external stereo microphone.
Lithium-Ion Battery: The Pentax K-01 is powered by the D-LI90 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V / 1860mAh / 14Wh). The battery charges in approximately 320 minutes using the supplied D-BC90 battery charger. An optional AC adapter kit (K-AC1202) is available from the manufacturer for connecting the camera to household current, if desired. The image storage capacity with a fully charged battery is as follows:
|Battery||Temperature||Normal Shooting||Flash Photography||Playback Time|
|50% Use||100% Use|
|D-LI90||73°F (23°C)||540 images||500 images||440 images||320 minutes|
|32°F (0°C)||480 images||450 images||410 images||300 minutes|
SILKYPIX Developer Studio: The K-01 comes with SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 software on CD-ROM. With the software, you can develop RAW files, adjust the color of the images and other settings, and save the new images in JPEG or TIFF format.
Compatible Operating Systems: The SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 software is compatible with the following operating systems:
- Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
- Windows Vista (32-bit, 64-bit)
- Windows XP (SP3 or later, 32-bit Home/Pro)
- Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6, 10.7
Our Product Research Team
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