Pentax K-01

Released February, 2012
  • 16.1 MP
  • APS-C 23.7 x 15.7 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
The difference between the K-01's JPEG and Raw output is clear here, and as we'd expect, shooting in Raw mode and applying sharpening post-capture gives better resolution than you'll achieve by relying on the camera's default JPEG processing.
by DPReview (May, 2012)
8.4 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Pentax K-01

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Pentax K-01
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Pentax K-01
Focus lag and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Pentax K-01
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Pentax K-01
Reviews from,,, and 5 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Pentax K-01

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Pentax K-01

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Pentax K-01
1,135 ISO
Nikon DF
3,279 ISO
Pentax Q
189 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Pentax K-01
3,000 LPH
Lumix DMC-GF5
2,000 LPH
Pentax Q
2,000 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K-01
803 ms
Pentax K-30
162 ms
Lumix DMC-GF5
180 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Pentax K-01
120 ms
54 ms
Nikon DF
54 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Pentax K-01
2,400 ms
300 ms
500 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K-01
6 fps
Nikon 1 J4
60 fps
4 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Pentax K-01

By spending 30 seconds in Photoshop, your ISO 12800 photos can now be printed even larger, and ISO 25600 suddenly becomes a lot more useful.

We didn't like the price quite so much - £679.99 / $899.95 with a lens is quite a lot to pay for a compact system camera, and comparable to the excellent Pentax K-5 with the same kit zoom lens.

ISO performance is another area where the K-01’s CMOS sensor performs very well.

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.

If you've got a stable of Pentax lenses - especially good ones that can properly resolve to the sensor - and feel like doing some creative shooting, especially with manual focus, then the K-01 is a great choice.


7.1 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


The other two lenses are standard Pentax kit lenses, neither of which will win any awards.
by DPReview (May, 2012)
Speeds vary depending on the lens you're using, with the 40 mm kit lens being one of the better ones.
by DPReview (May, 2012)
I switched to a friend's F2.8, 50 - 135 mm DA* lens, and it performed extremely well, as it should for its $1600 price tag.
by DPReview (May, 2012)


The K-01 is definitely not the performance champ when it comes to autofocus speeds.
by DPReview (May, 2012)
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that the K-01’s autofocus performance is just not that good.
by Nathan-Ingraham (Jul, 2012)
It’s a decent, if unspectacular rate — and if you’re using autofocus, expect your results to drop quite a bit from there.
by Nathan-Ingraham (Jul, 2012)


It has a 16 Megapixel CMOS sensor, K-mount lens support with built-in (sensor-based) image stabilization, lots of manual controls, a boatload of scene modes and special effects, an HDR function, and 1080p video recording.
by DPReview (May, 2012)
The K-01 includes Pentax's TAv (Shutter Speed and Aperture Priority) mode, in which the aperture and shutter speed are user set, but ISO is automatically adjusted to match the metered value.
by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
The K-01 is able to record JPEG (three quality levels), Raw or simultaneous JPEG and Raw images.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2012)

Image quality

A combination of careful noise reduction and sharpening in post processing can still yield good results though.
by TechRadar (May, 2012)
If the K-01 can successfully combine best-in-class image quality with a dedicated live view camera and many of the K-5's photographic features, then it'll really be the worth some attention.
by DPReview (Mar, 2012)
Dynamic range is good, with plenty of detail being retained in shadow and highlight areas.
by TechRadar (May, 2012)


Overall, while it’s nice to have video included (and I appreciate the many resolution and frame rate combos available to users), the quality is ultimately not at the level where you’d want to do anything more than shoot a quick clip here and there for your personal enjoyment.
by Nathan-Ingraham (Jul, 2012)
The K-01 also offers the best video mode of any Pentax mirrorless or DSLR camera to date, with the inclusion of Full 1080p HD recording at a variety of frame rates, handy one-touch recording button, auto and manual focusing, the ability to change the aperture or shutter speed during recording, a socket for an external mic and an HDMI port for easy connection to your HDTV.
by Photography Blog (Apr, 2012)
At the end of the day, video is just not very good on the K-01 — I recommend looking elsewhere if you're a dedicated video shooter.
by Nathan-Ingraham (Jul, 2012)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 16.1 MP
Resolution 4928 x 3264
Size APS-C
Area 23.7 x 15.7 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 23.1 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 100 ISO to 25,600 ISO
  1. DNG
  2. RAW
  3. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 3,000 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 3,000 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 81
Supports continuous No


Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 121.9 x 78.7 x 58.4 mm
Thickness 58.4 mm
Weight 561 g
Is weather sealed No


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR Yes
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift


Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection
Autofocus supports continuous No


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 921 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes


Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None


Max continuous shooting 6 fps
Battery life 540 photos
Continuous shooting
  1. 6 fps @ 4928 x 3264, JPEG
  2. 3 fps @ 4928 x 3264, JPEG
Focus lag 803 ms
Shutter lag 120 ms
Startup delay 2,400 ms
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