Pentax K-01

Estimated Street Price: $750 (body only)


Pentax does mirrorless a bit differently. After introducing the smallest interchangeable-lens mirrorless model (with the smallest image sensor) in the Q, they followed up with the largest mirrorless model without a built-in eye-level EVF in the K-01. But the K-01 takes the full line of Pentax K-mount SLR lenses with no adapter needed, features a cool retro-meets-contemporary body by famed designer Marc Newson and produces great image quality courtesy of a big, 16.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor.

While most mirrorless cameras suffer from the double whammy of energy-eating, full-time live-view operation and a smallish battery, the K-01 uses the same D-LI90 lithium-ion battery as Pentax’s flagship K-5 DSLR, so it gets more shots per charge than most mirrorless cameras (over 500 with our test camera). The K-01 also features a 3-inch LCD monitor like the K-5, although the K-01 doesn’t share the K-5’s weather-resistance.

The K-01 actually has better video capabilities than the K-5 DSLR, able to shoot 1080 full HD at a variety of frame rates (the K-5 can just do 25 fps). Twin built-in microphones record stereo sound, and there’s a jack for an external mic. Video format is MP4. You can adjust shutter speed and aperture when desired, use the camera’s sensor-shift image stabilization when shooting video and do clips up to 25 minutes long.

STANDOUT FEATURE: All Pentax K-mount lenses can be used, no adapter required (plus, Pentax medium-format and screw-mount lenses, via adapters).

1. You can save images on SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards in RAW (DNG) or JPEG format (or both).

2. A built-in flash can be popped up when needed.

3. The Pentax-DA 40mm ƒ/2.8 XS pancake lens (also designed by Marc Newson) keeps overall package size down.

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