Pentax has a history of making cameras that are just a little bit offbeat. Just take a look at last year’s Pentax Q: rather than making a more traditional mirrorless camera like many of its competitors, the company released the smallest interchangeable lens camera on the market — but one that had a smaller sensor and a custom lens mount. Now, the company’s moving in the opposite direction with the K-01, which is one of the largest cameras of its type on the market today.

There's a reason for this extra bulk: the large distance between the K-01's lens mount and the sensor allows it to use the full lineup of Pentax K-mount lenses, while mirrorless cameras from Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, and others use a much smaller set of lenses. However, Pentax’s offering is at a distinct size disadvantage compared to the aforementioned cameras — and pretty much every single other mirrorless camera that’s on the market. And Pentax's lens advantage will inevitably shrink as its competitors grow their lens ecosystems.

The last component is pricing — at $749.95 for the body only, or $899.95 with a delightfully slim 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens (which I tested), the K-01 costs a good deal more than some comparable options. The question for buyers: does the camera offer improved image quality and performance to go along with its extra size and weight, or are you better off looking at a smaller, less expensive option? Read on to find out.