Morong Beach and Pentax K-01
I’ve had my Pentax K-01 (with twin lenses 18-55 and 55-200) for quite sometime (months). However, I’ve never used it extensively before (only test shots). I bought it more as a curiosity than a serious camera that I’d use.
When we went to Morong, Bataan for a weekend with the pawikans (sea turtles), I brought it so I can finally use it.
Judging by the image quality, the camera has a wonderful sensor (much better than my Canon DSLRs). Noise is mostly luminance noise rather than color noise (which is harder to get rid of and looks more unpleasant). The noise are specially not a problem when shooting and converting to black and white.
In regard to dynamic range, the camera also performs admirably. Shadows can be pushed without much noise showing (and any noise visible are mostly luminance noise once again).
My main concern with the camera is one of focus speed, accuracy and ergonomics. Since the camera uses contrast detection while its lenses use phase detection, speed is really slow, especially in bad light. Accuracy is ok I guess but I’ve not yet learned to use it properly. Changing focus is also not the fastest. My main gripe is on the placement of the shutter release button and off-on lever. The shutter release is very shallow and since it sits on top of the off-on lever, there are many times when my fingers would turn the lever to the off position.
As I said, the camera produces nice images but another problem that I have are LENSES. I have the 18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses but they are far from ideal. Slow and noisy to focus and made of mostly plastic. Also, I think the resolution that the lenses are capable of are quite low (compared to my decidedly better and much more expensive Canon lenses). It would have been better if Pentax lenses are cheap but they’re rather expensive. A Pentax lens would be double the price of another manufacturer’s lens with the same specification. This would have been mitigated if there are third party lenses available for K mount here (in the Philippines). Alas, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses here are only available in Nikon and Canon mounts.
This Pentax K-01 is an expensive curiosity for me (though I bought when its value dropped by more than half). A curiosity that I’ll be able to use like half a dozen times a year. Do I have regrets buying this camera? A little. But I can make good use of it. I just hope I can use it more to justify the price I paid for it.