Pentax K-01 review

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

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With current prices for the Pentax K-01 hovering around £680 in the UK and $900 in the US, this camera is about as inexpensive as it is compact. When compared to similarly specified competition, the price is a little dearer.

Much of the competition, such as the Panasonic Lumix GX1, Olympus PEN E-P3 or the Sony NEX-5N, also benefit from a more compact body and faster autofocus performance. This makes it really difficult to see the value in the Pentax K-01, unless you already have a stash of Pentax K-mount lenses to use with the camera.

This is a shame because, frustrations with the slow autofocus performance and slightly odd handling aside, Pentax has created a very capable camera in the K-01.

We liked

The Pentax K-01 produces sharp, vibrant images with low noise at high sensitivities. The ability to use any K-mount lens with the camera is also an asset, especially for those who have already invested in Pentax optics.

We disliked

Auto focus speeds are lacklustre when compared to the opposition, which may be frustrating if attempting to shoot erratically moving subjects. Some elements of the handling could be improved on, such as the rubber flap that protects the SD card slot and the positioning of some buttons.

Final verdict

Image quality on the Pentax K-01 is excellent, with the camera yielding sharp, colourful images, with low noise at high sensitivities. Plus, it has the features to please both beginners and experienced photographers alike.

The Pentax K-01 is certainly capable of producing excellent quality images, but unless you already own Pentax optics, it may not be the best value mirrorless camera available with current prices.

Having said that, it may be worth keeping an eye on the street price of the Pentax K-01. If it were to fall, it could become a champion of good value, especially for existing Pentax lens owners, or those willing to sniff out a good lens bargain second-hand. It appears the ability to use any K-mount lens is this camera's main asset.

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