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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Noise

ISO 100

Fringing

JPEG, ISO 400

JPEG, ISO 800

Noise, ISO 800

ISO 1600 raw vs. JPEG

ISO 1600, no noise reduction

JPEG, ISO 3200

Color

Color settings

Dynamic range

Dynamic range

Sharpness, 40mm lens

Bokeh, 40mm kit lens

My normal sample crop didn't work because of some odd depth-of-field issues, but this shows how well the K-01's noise and JPEG processing preserves image detail as high as ISO 1600.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
This is just a sample shot to show the naturalism of the K-01's photos, as long as you change from the default Bright custom image setting to Natural.

(1/160 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, spot metering, AWB, 16-50mm DA* mm lens at 34mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Unfortunately, the 40mm kit lens has a serious propensity for fringing.

(1/160 sec, f4, ISO 100, multisegment metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This is very good for distant detail at ISO 400.

(1/60 sec, f2.8, ISO 400, spot metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The camera produces exceptionally clean ISO 800 shots in all illumination.

(1/60 sec, f4, ISO 800, spot metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This night sky looks great at ISO 800: No hot pixels, no color noise, and yet no blurring of the foreground image.

(1/100 sec, f2.8, ISO 800, spot metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Image quality at ISO 1600 was excellent. Color differences aside, there's hardly any difference between the JPEG and what I could do with the raw version.

(1/60 sec, f5, ISO 1600, spot metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
One reason the K-01 nails the quality at ISO 1600 is because the image comes off the sensor with amazingly little noise, and what there is looks very fine-grained.

(1/60 sec, f10, ISO 1600, spot metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This is quite good for a camera in its price class at such a high ISO sensitivity, especially for a JPEG.

(1/60 sec, f7.1, ISO 3200, spot metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
On its Natural color setting, the K-01 renders reasonably accurate yet still quite saturated colors.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Pentax has always had poor default color settings; as you can see, it pushes the saturation on blues and purples so much they shift and lose midtone detail, and the pinks look unnatural. The Natural option, though, renders much better, more accurate color.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
For its class, the K-01's tonal range isn't bad -- a large chunk of highlights are recoverable, but there isn't a lot of data in the really flat, blown-out areas.

(1/160 sec, f4, ISO 100, spot metering, AWB, 16-50mm DA* mm lens at 21mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The K-01 handles bright, saturated hues well, without completely blowing out detail.

(1/320 sec, f7.1, ISO 100, multisegment metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The camera and kit lens produce nicely sharp images that don't look overprocessed.

(1/160 sec, f14, ISO 100, multisegment metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The new pancake 40mm prime isn't a great lens. It's sharp, but as we've seen here prone to fringing and its out-of-focus highlights have the look of a cheap consumer lens.

(1/160 sec, f8, ISO 100, multisegment metering, AWB, 40mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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