Summary: It's a great option if you have a shelf full of K-mount lenses and don't mind missing some action shots, but the Pentax K-01 isn't such a great option for a typical amateur photographer.
Pros: The Pentax K-01's strengths lie in its use of existing standards; it's designed to use older K-mount lenses without an adapter, and uses Adobe DNG as its raw format. That, plus it has terrific photo quality.
Cons: It's relatively large, and even if you love the design aesthetic it has some irritating operational quirks. The autofocus isn't up to par.
Conclusion: Larger than its peers, but interestingly designed, the Pentax K-01 can capture sharp photos in all types of light and delivers full compatibility with every Pentax K-mount lens ever produced.
Pros: Extremely sharp lens. Excellent high ISO performance. Full compatibility with Pentax K-mount lenses. In-body image stabilization. Selectable video frame rates.
Cons: Larger than other cameras in its class. Slow autofocus. No EVF option. Fixed rear LCD.
Excerpt: The K-01 is one of the best-looking specimens in the compact system camera category. Thank industrial designer Marc Newson, who simplified the exterior and controls while preserving Pentax’s K lens mount and finding room for advanced guts that exceed the company’s top DSLR in some areas. The 16-MP APS-C sensor—the largest (by a hair) in our test—turned in razor-sharp images, saturated colors, and superb low-light performance.
Excerpt: Possessing a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor, the K-01 is a new mirrorless system camera from Pentax that is compatible with all of its existing K-mount lenses. It features a unique body designed by renowned designer, Marc Newson, but is the K-01 a competent camera or is it just all looks and no substance?
Pros: Works with K-mount lenses, Good image quality, Simple, clean design
Cons: Unique design may not appeal to everyone, Bulkier than other mirrorless system cameras, Heavy, Pricey
Summary: The Pentax K-01 is a bit of an odd duck. It's a mirrorless camera that's as big as digital SLRs, which sort of defeats the purpose of being mirrorless in the first place. Photo quality is among the best out there, but other cameras offer better AF performance and more compact/usable designs.
Pros: Excellent photos quality; low noise through ISO 1600 in low light and 6400 in good light, Eye-catching design (love it or hate it) with solid build quality, Huge lens selection due to use of K-mount; all lenses will have shake reduction built-in, courtesy of sensor-shift IS system, Lots of manual controls, two customizable buttons, and sixteen custom settings, Beginners will appreciate auto scene selection, tons of scene modes and special effects, HDR and highlight co...
Cons: Autofocus system lags behind the competition, especially in low light, Chunky body defeats the purpose of mirrorless design; ergonomics leave something to be desired, Display on LCD screen can be hard to see in bright light, Redeye a problem, no in-camera removal tool, Unusually severe rolling shutter effect in movie mode, exacerbated by SR vibration reduction, No continuous autofocus in movie mode, Frustrating rubber flap over memory card slot and I/O ports; some but...
Summary: The Pentax K-01 isn't like anything else on the market. Its unusual exterior may appeal to design aficionados associated with the world of Marc Newson and other designers, but for most average camera users it's too bulky and, on account of its small grip alone, won't appeal to hardened photographers. The use of the K-mount may appeal, particularly to existing Pentax users, yet it's hard to see what the K-01 offers that the far superior K-5 doesn't.
Summary: As photographers, we should be interested in how our photographs, not our cameras, look and to judge the K-01's appearance in this test would be purely subjective. What is important about a camera, though, is that it feels comfortable for a photographer to use, and while all the K-01's controls are in the correct places, it feels very much like a box with buttons.
Excerpt: The Pentax K-01 is a chunky camera with a size and weight that belie the mirrorless technology within, but it’s big in a good way. It feels stable and well built in the hand. Most importantly, it’s a camera that also performs well. It’s swift, easy to use and can capture attractive images.
Pros: Interesting and useful design; produces vibrant and clear images
Cons: Dynamic range not great; fixed screen position