Pentax K-01 review

Is the K-01 a knock out blow to its rivals?

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Marc Newson's design touches make the Pentax K-01 look quite unlike other cameras available at the moment. Whether this look is appealing or not is subjective, but the flat, boxy design feels more brick-like, than like a sophisticated photographic tool in the hand.

A rubber coating has been applied around the front and side of the camera body, which provides a firm grip, although part of this rubber forms a flap that covers the SD card slot, and is prone to flop open if care isn't taken to avoid catching the edge of it.

Pentax K 01 review

Many of the buttons for menus and features such as exposure compensation and video recording are laid out in a geometric fashion across the top and down the back of the camera body.

Pentax K 01 review

While, for the most part, the arrangement of controls is good, it can be difficult to operate the exposure compensation button without catching the video button, which can result in accidentally recording a short video clip. Also, the green function button is placed so far from the grip that it can be difficult to reach without some finger gymnastics.

The screen is bright and clear and provides wide viewing angles, but the glossy acrylic cover can hamper visibility when viewing the screen from an angle in bright conditions.

Helpfully, the flash unit pops up a fair distance above the camera, which should help to reduce the effects of red-eye in portraits. The articulated mechanism feels very sturdy, too.

Pentax K 01 review

In some respects, it can seem like a little too much attention has been paid to aesthetics, rather than ergonomics. However, the body does feel very solidly put together, and the dials on the camera especially have a quality feel to them, producing a good solid click when operated.

Pentax K 01 review

The same 1860mAh D-Li90 battery found in the Pentax K-5 DSLR powers the Pentax K-01. This chunky battery should provide most users with more than enough power for a lengthy photography session, since after taking over 200 shots and a few short video clips during testing, the camera still showed a full charge.

Pentax K 01 review

For a mirrorless camera, the Pentax K-01 certainly isn't compact, when compared to Micro Four Thirds and even Sony NEX cameras, and is also relatively heavy, weighing 560g with the battery and memory card installed.

Pentax K 01 review

The Pentax K-01 ships with a 40mm pancake lens, which is currently the thinnest lens of its type available, and does shave a fair chuck off the overall size of the camera. Kits with an 18-55mm and 55-200mm zoom are also available.

Pentax K 01 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution16.3 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NamePentax
FeaturesLive View, Face Detection, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, External Flash Shoe, Time Lapse Function
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI), MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)479.1 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Image Sensor Size23.70 mm x 15.70 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4928 x 3264
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height78.7 mm
Width121.9 mm
Depth58.4 mm
Focal Length40 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelK-01
Product NameK-01 Mirrorless Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number15341
Manufacturer Website Address

When is a camera more than a photographer's tool? The answer is when it's an object designed by Marc Newson, one of the most acclaimed and influential contemporary designers. The PENTAX K-01 marks the intersection where high technology and high design meet.

Package Contents
  • K-01 Mirrorless Camera
  • Li-Ion Battery D-LI90
  • AC Plug Cord D-CO2E
  • USB Cable
  • Battery Charger D-BC90
  • Strap
  • Hot Shoe Cover
  • Body Mount Cover
  • Software Media
  • smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS Lens
Limited Warranty1 Year