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Pentax announces K-01 K-mount APS-C mirrorless camera

By dpreview staff on Feb 2, 2012 at 12:00 GMT

Pentax has formally announced the K-01 K-mount mirrorless interchangable lens camera and a revised 40mm F2.8 pancake lens to match. Built around a 16MP APS-C sensor, the camera can mount most of the lenses the company has ever made. It features sensor-shift image stabilization, a 920k dot rear LCD and can shoot at up to 6 frames per second. The rather interesting design is the work of respected product designer Marc Newson and features a logo of his signature on the base of the camera. The K-01 (which the company says should be pronounced 'kay-zero-one'), will cost around $749 body-only and $899 with the 'XS' version of the 40mm lens.

Our biggest concern, based on its dependance on contrast detection autofocus, is the camera's focus speed. Most lenses designed for DSLR-style phase-detection autofocus don't lend themselves to the rapid contrast detection autofocus required by mirrorless cameras. The contrast detection AF on the K-5 works pretty quickly with some lenses but it's not up to the speed of the camera's phase detection focusing, and certainly not a match for the best mirrorless cameras on the market.

And on handling a pre-production version we noticed that, because it features a full depth K-mount, it is a pretty big camera. Below we demonstrate how its size compares to the company's flagship K-5 DSLR.

Jump to:

Press Release:


DENVER, CO February 2, 2012…When is a camera more than a photographer’s tool?  The answer is when it’s an object designed by Marc Newson, one of the most acclaimed and influential contemporary designers.
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION introduces the Marc Newson designed PENTAX K-01* interchangeable lens camera (ILC). The new PENTAX K-01 is another bold effort from the manufacturer that is known for pushing camera size, color, durability, and now, design, to the limit. Widely known for designing a wide range of objects from furniture and household products to bicycles, cars, aircraft and yachts, Marc Newson has had collected works displayed in The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and many other major museums.   
*pronounced ‘kay- zero-one’

The contemporary, timeless K-01 houses a full array of advanced functions and user-friendly features in a camera body with remarkable form and function. The elimination of an optical viewfinder and quick-return mirror gave Newson more freedom in designing the camera body, and the K-01 showcases Newson originality in every detail.  Available in black, white and Newson’s signature yellow colors, the K-01 features the designer’s autograph logo stamp on the bottom of each camera.

The famed designer’s touch also is evident in a new smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS interchangeable lens.  As the world’s thinnest interchangeable lens,* the new 40mm combines with the PENTAX K-01 camera body to deliver a unique ILC system that is perfect for photographers who are as keen on design as they are on performance. Together, the K-01 and 40mm lens system mark the intersection where high technology and high design meet.

Key features of the PENTAX K-01 include:

  • Durable machined aluminum frame under a stylish black, white, or yellow exterior.
  • PENTAX mirrorless body design is compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades.
  • Large 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with low noise image capture and multiple aspect ratios.
  • Bright, high resolution 3 inch LCD with 920,000 dots.
  • Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 FPS with h.264 compression (60 FPS at 720p) features outstanding video capture flexibility.
  • Sensor-shift PENTAX Shake and Dust Reduction system is compatible with every mounted PENTAX lens.
  • Fast 6 FPS burst mode is ideal for fast-action photography.
  • Flexible ISO range of 100-25600 ensures gorgeous noise-free imaging in any lighting condition.
  • Focus peaking mode provides fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.

* The world’s thinnest interchangeable lens for lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, as of February 1, 2012 (based on PENTAX’s research).

The K-01 will be available in yellow, black and white in March 2012 for $749.95USD (body only) and $899.95USD (lens kit including new DA 40mm XS) in Marc Newson designed packaging and with the Marc Newson designed strap.  The smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS unifocal interchangeable standard lens will ship at the same time for $249.95 USD.

Additional information is available here: and a video interview with Mark Newson regarding the K-01design may be viewed here:  Images of other Marc Newson creations are available here.

Pentax K-01 specifications

MSRPUS: $749, UK: £629, EU: €823
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialAluminium
Max resolution4928 x 3264
Other resolutions4352 x 3264, 4224 x 2816, 4928 x 2776, 4224 x 2376, 3840 x 2880, 3456 x 2304, 3456x1944, 3264 x 3264, 3072 x 2304, 2880 x 2880, 2688 x 1792, 2688 x 1512, 2304 x 2304, 2304 x 1728, 1728 x 1728
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors16 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100 to 12800 in 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps (100 to 25600 extended)
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsGood, Better, Best
File format
  • JPEG v2.3
  • RAW
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points81
Lens mountPentax KAF2
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD monitor
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Moving Object
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Blue Sky
  • Forest
  • Night Scene
  • Night Scene HDR (JPG only)
  • Night Snap
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Kids
  • Surf & Snow
  • Backlight Silhouette
  • Candlelight
  • Stage Lighting
  • Museum
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, P-TTL, high speed sync w Pentax dedicated flash)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync
Continuous drive6 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3 frames at 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps),1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 25, 24 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNo
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini HDMI Type C)
Remote controlYes (Optional IR)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion D-LI90 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)540
Weight (inc. batteries)561 g (1.24 lb / 19.79 oz)
Dimensions122 x 79 x 58 mm (4.8 x 3.11 x 2.28)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (1s to 24h, up to 999 shots, delayed start available)

Additional images

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 875
By rusticus (Feb 28, 2012)

Great - now I like it great - awesome design
The IQ will be on K-5 level
Video is Awersome (1080/30p, 25p, 60p and 24p720/50p)
I'll buy it

By ogl (Feb 23, 2012)

It's surprise that there are a lot of country bumpkins at dpreview...
Understand nothin' in design, but egotistic...

Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Feb 10, 2012)

Interesting earlier comment about the "super-thin" pancake. As opposed to a fat pancake.

With so much flange back distance to play with future "made for Koi" lenses might be able to bury part of longer focal length lenses inside the body thereby not increasing the form factor by very much (to a point) no matter which purpose made lens is used on the camera.

What seems crazy and tubby might not be so silly after all. Also in one fell swoop they have given the Koi a seemingly limitless range of existing lens possibilities as no greater size impost than using a current slr or dslr.

Canon and Nikon are sure to copy. But not yellow of course as I want my Koi to be quite distinctive.

Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Feb 10, 2012)

Is it right that the Koi is a large golden-yellow carp fish that resembles a huge goldfish? Very nice ornamental fish but not good for the eating.

Might be the kay-oh-one for Pentax but I am sure that the wags will have it the KOI soon enough.

My first thought was Mr Tubby but then I realised this as being Ricoh's GXR K mount module for much the same price as a dedicated module. Adapters will mount lots of lenses besides K mount and all image stabilised!

And Ricoh's Mode 2 focus peaking is the best in the business! I hope it makes the migration.

Mr Tubby, you are not so bad and make mine yellow and I can call it my "Koi" - fishbones and all.

By poehk (Feb 8, 2012)

Doesn't look too bad. Will buy the black and white one as soon as available.

By ronniemac (Feb 7, 2012)

Did I just see a new Canon, and what color was it? ......YELLOW!
It seems that where pentax lead, others will follow. ;)

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
By proxy (Feb 8, 2012)

You're right. Except Canon did not forget to waterproof their underwater camera. Are you going to take K-01 snorkling?
Yellow IS a common diver's color, Canon matched it. For Pentax... ocean may be not be an optimal environment to use a camera in.

By ronniemac (Feb 8, 2012)

Get with it!:
Pentax have been underwater for years, with WG-2, WG-1, W-90, W-80 etc...... and if it matters to you, any colour you want

By HubertChen (Feb 7, 2012)

It is interesting that most posts are complaining how Pentax made this camera wrong. However, there is something they made right: This camera is extremely interesting! Check in the news section of dpreview. This camera evoked more posts (by a huge margin) than any other camera announcement :-)

By proxy (Feb 7, 2012)

I wonder, could it be because people simply can't believe their eyes looking at this design "breakthrough"? It looks like someone hammered the lens into the DSLR body... actually very entertaining, haha.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
By ogl (Feb 7, 2012)

New features in K-01

1. Prime M processor
2. Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 FPS with h.264 compression (60 FPS at 720p) features shutter speed and aperture exposure control, video autofocus control
3. 81 AF points
4. No PEF
5. Focus Peaking (the best in the class)
6. New SR
7. Three (green and red + AF/AE-L) programmable buttons
8. AF tracking
9. New sensor
10. In-camera stereo microphone
11. 1024 metering
12. New HDR mode

By Chemgio (Feb 7, 2012)

I think K-01 will be the coolest DSLR because its body made from aluminum and it's designed with more heat exchange surface area than normal one.

By Valentinian (Feb 7, 2012)

Canon, Nikon, and yes also Pentax (see the eccellent K-5) were doing very well until the the mirrorless revolution deserving success began to look like an avalange.
Put yourself in the Nikon, Canon and Pentax shoes: they have so many DSRL lenses around the world that they are stuck to their system. and now DSLR is starting to look like a dynosaur compared to a mirrorless. So Pentax solution was to build a mirrorless camera able to use all their existing DSLR lenses: in other words, the adapter is already incorporated in the camera.
Well, the REAL mirrorless cameras manufacturers are laughing....
you have to feel sorry for Canon, Nikon, Pentax....

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By jameshamm (Feb 6, 2012)

So I took my time commenting here. I'll start by saying that I don't mind the look, or the size. What I really don't like is the colors and their combinations. I think all black would have been fine.

I also noticed that the sides, being completely flat, are useful. you might be able to set it on a level surface (like a table top) fairly easily. Or put a rock or fork under it

My only wish is they had left a port for a future external viewer. But again, I don't think this will be a show stopper for me, I'll just use an optical one on the hotshoe, I have a few for different focal lengths. For street photography you may not even need one.

What I like: the design, accepts my old lenses, shake reduction, no mirror (less stuff to break, less vibrations, which is huge), good grip, good sensor (remains to be seen of course).

What I don't like: the color combinations, no possibility of EVF.

In conclusion, to all you haters, keep hating, maybe you'll make the price to drop some for me.

1 upvote
By jaysdesk (Feb 6, 2012)

Judging by the features included in the first generation of compact system cameras, just like Sony, Samsung, and Nikon, before them, Ricoh_Pentax are pitching the K 01 series, straight at the /Point and Shoot/ crowd
Maddeningly, while the P-S segment is abandoning the format in droves, in favour of their smart phones, the assumption is that they are the very group that will embrace the more complicated, and higher quality system cameras, as if the picture quality is motivation for the mass exodus.
The coveted but mythical, point and shooters, have a nonchalant attitude about LCD only display because they don't know any better! They are also less concerned about auto focus issues, as their experience is with small sensor cameras with enormous depth of field.Comically, Sony felt the group needed to be reintroduced to concept of out-of focus objects as background defocus!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
By jaysdesk (Feb 6, 2012)

The cacophony of protests here, is coming from, the entirely wrong, section of the choir! While the choirmaster is furiously shaking the baton at the PS section, it's the other sections that are making a raucous.
If the backward compatibility of the new system with the K-mount lenses, has piqued the interest of former or current SLR users, then the attempt to wean this group from viewfinders will only result in temper tantrums, as evidenced here.

1 upvote
By amicus70 (Feb 6, 2012)

Great statement... Do you have something to say to the quality of this camera... Or let me guess... you can't say anything helpful, cause you didn't own it... instead say something unuseful.

By fatdeeman (Feb 6, 2012)

"The contrast detection AF on the K- 5 works pretty quickly with some lenses
but it' s not up to the speed of the camera' s phase detection focusing, and certainly
not a match for the best mirrorless cameras on the market."

That's with a camera where the motor is optimised for phase detect and the sensor is not optimised for contrast detect.

let's not forget that both of these issues are camera based and not lens based which is the beauty of it, there is no reason to think the new camera shouldn't give acceptable AF speed, the speed of the K-5 tells you nothing, name one DSLR that does contrast detect as fast as a mirrorless camera using a native lens. The difference is with Pentax the limiting factors are not inside the lens.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Feb 6, 2012)

looks like a toy camera ..... plastic look.... pi$$ yellow.. great.

shows that designers are overrated. colani anyone?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By rksl (Feb 6, 2012)

Came late and don't have a view finder. A bad start, If not I will switch as Pentax is my first SLR with me for more than 10 years and I love the size and lightweight.

By nanoc (Feb 6, 2012)

Well, you got to give this Newson guy some credit: he has come up with what seems to be the world's ugliest camera ever! Also Pentax deserves some credit: they have come up with a mirrorless camera that isn't any smaller than a standar DSLR!! I wonder... what are the benefits of this new design? Why would I chose it over the k5? (well, price, maybe). The Q system was a mistake, with Pentax failing to address one of the key advantages of EVIL cameras (big sensor = better IQ and more control over DOF), and now, they fail to address the other one (smaller, carry- everywhere cameras).

By proxy (Feb 7, 2012)

well put!

By RicohGRDIV (Feb 6, 2012)

its a ricoh grx ? hheh

By proxy (Feb 6, 2012)

Just wonder why so many Co. go full circle and revert to very simplistic, Ikea-like designs, are they really running out of ideas or just hire bad designers. There is a growing number of Leica alike designs either the front or the back or both are copied or stolen... I'm getting sick of it. The IQ may be great but the design... UUUGLYYY. Add yellow to it and you end up with a gadget straight from ToysRUs shelf. Is this really what we were all missing so badly? Really? "Bold effort" maybe... and nothing more then that. Yellow will scare the hell out of any potential customer. Maybe that will teach them a lesson.

1 upvote
By rocklobster (Feb 6, 2012)

A bit brick-like - where is the size advantage by removal of the the mirror box? - but at least Pentax are offering a serious alternative to the novelty Q system even if it doesn't have an EVF.

One question - is that pancake real? Its so thin.

By ronniemac (Feb 5, 2012)

Is it not usually the case that design which is both good and radical is seldom instantly loved, but instead, grows in acceptance with the passing of time? It won’t be long before the Pentax K-01 becomes an object of desire because its delightful aesthetic is backed up by excellent image quality (judging from the K-5 and Pentax lenses). It is so refreshing to see a long established camera company break the mould and produce something that is neither retro nor merged into the amorphous aesthetic from which most manufacturers are too afraid to venture. Hat’s off to Pentax

M Jesper
By M Jesper (Feb 5, 2012)

So everyone has an opinion. What a surprise.

By jomppeboy (Feb 7, 2012)

I reckon, everyone has an opinion just like everyone has an a$$hole

By Kurt_K (Feb 5, 2012)

Seems to me that the designer created something that appealed to him rather than something that he thought would appeal to consumers.

1 upvote
By sorinx (Feb 5, 2012)

It is sad that Japanese companies practically, completely took over the photo industry.

With no real competition we have: ugly, overpriced cameras. And each camera/ camera system is designed in such a way that it will cover only partially the customer needs. So they can sell you as many cameras as possible with "new" features that were available 5-10 years ago. Then removing that feature, putting another feature in place do on

I decided to vote with my valet and will stop buying new camera unless the current one will broke or if new cameras will really provide some important improvements.

1 upvote
By BBnose (Feb 5, 2012)

why pentax didn't ask marc newson to design some new lenses dedicated to this new k-01?
it seems that previous lenses or old decades lenses don't match the new look of k-01.

By ogl (Feb 6, 2012)

Wrong. Very good with any lenses. Even better with FA LIMITED
Have a look

By obeythebeagle (Feb 5, 2012)

Virtually free K-Mount lenses on Craigslist, like Sony and Maxxum!

By RichardBalonglong (Feb 5, 2012)

Pentax thinks out of the box. The design is beautiful,but I wish the screen is articulated for better shooting. Many people dislikes the design in many ways, but if you think of those people, they are afraid of change. Pentax have the guts to go out of the ordinary. Imagine, if Pentax made a design that still looks like other cameras from other manufacturer, then there will be no some sort of individuality and in which it will end up looking like a Canon or a Nikon cameras...

By sorinx (Feb 5, 2012)

Looks like Pentax realized that nobody like the new camera (see 1st ~100 messages ) and put their employee to post on forums.

By ronniemac (Feb 5, 2012)

I agree Richard, someone had to break the mould and who better than Pentax. It is a gorgeous camera, especially in yellow. K-5 owners like myself know the image quality will be first rate. Now there is choice in the market and I am absolutely confident that when the camera reaches the shops, people across the world will buy is very respectable numbers. Well done Pentax. Now follow up with an EVF version for us oldies, please.

By RichardBalonglong (Feb 6, 2012)

@ sorinx: Nah, never been an employee of Pentax or wanted to be an employee of them. I just use Pentax cameras, and fortunately found a Pentax vest on a garage sale. Hehe.

By itsastickup (Feb 6, 2012)

Thanks for the presumption there: but it's not change that bothers me but something that is not to my taste. I think it is plain ugly.

You think the design is beautiful. Or rather it's ugly but you love change.

I'm also not against novel aesthetics but it is a difficult game to play and this design is too 'strong'.

By RichardBalonglong (Feb 7, 2012)

@ itsastickup: Yup, I respect your opinion and your taste. But hey, maybe the next Pentax camera will look somewhat better.
For me, at its first appearance of this camera, I was like "what the f*** is that thing?!", but after sometime, yeah, it's nice and simple like some kind of a minimalist camera design. Now, I like the simple design, but I still question the missing OVF/EVF and a front dial would be nice. And, for me, if there will be no view finder, at least they should have made the display articulated to maximize the use of this design. =)

By Revenant (Feb 5, 2012)

According to the Swedish Pentax site, "the Pentax K-01 comes equipped with a newly developed CMOS image sensor measuring 23.7 millimeters by 15.7 millimeters."
Does this mean that it's not the same sensor as in K-5/D7000/A580, or should "newly developed" be interpreted as "the same, but slightly tweaked"? Why develop a new sensor with the exact same size and pixel count, when there already is an acclaimed sensor available?

By herebefore (Feb 5, 2012)

This camera has no VF nor does it have a "plug hole" to add one....

I, for one, DO NOT like using the LCD to frame a photo outdoors, in the sunlight..

I am willing to sacrifice a little image quality in order to actually be able to "USE" the camera outdoors, where I take 90% of my photos..

Probably a good camera for young people (<50 years old) with no "Hyperopia & Myopia" but no good for us old farts (66+) who are both Hyperopic & Myopic.

I really wanted a new camera with that sensor.

For now, I will stick with my m4/3 camera and my DSLRs, and keep wiating.

By OneGuy (Feb 5, 2012)

From one old fart to another:

At times I want to fiddle with the controls -- going from center focus to tracking on an active kid, say, and for that I use the Q.Menu as it shows up on the LCD. I am then in position to go right on taking the pics from essentially the same position and have no need or desire to use the VF. I like to use my peripheral vision too (eh, you are never too old to look). Yes, I have a fast lens and stability or smearing is not the first thing on my mind.

As to handling, my guess would be that KO1 with legacy glass could handle very similar to a DSLR as the dynamics of handling ("the leverage") would be similar. (I don't own a DSLR and it is not on my list.)

By Nicholasjong (Feb 5, 2012)

Correct me if I am wrong, but if this K01 uses the same CMOS as the K5, it's got to have good IQ, since K5 has one of the best IQ's in all DSLR's according to DXOmark, plus it's already almost bigger than most competitors. And please don't worry too much about not being able to hold it steady with a K-mount lens. If you are using a telephoto K lens, you probably should use a tripod anyways, and if you are using a normal lens, please note that recent K lenses are really small and light.

I think I am now looking at a camera that is stylish, probably offering good IQ and not too heavy, with a bigger lens-base than probably any other mirrorless on the market now, and with a lot of good functions and really nice video capabilities. And I think that if put at a reasonable price, this has a lot potential. Another big plus for me is that this can share lenses with my DSLR even without a adapter. Fight Pentax!

max metz
By max metz (Feb 5, 2012)

Many of us cut our photographic teeth on a Pentax single reflex, so there is much affection for the brand, I still have my Pentax Spotmatic F kit from my teens.

Let's hope the new owners return to affordable premium quality images as the focus, the k5 is pretty expensive, the Q system a shot in the dark and the medium format camera niche. That's a lot of r&d expense away from the traditional market.

Doubtless this latest effort was to help with the companies saleability, though it would seem a step in the right direction.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By Alizarine (Feb 5, 2012)

I'll postpone judgment until I get to test one in the nearest Pentax dealer near my place. As of now it's all but an object of wonder.

Looking at it the idea of a castrated K-5 isn't so bad... coming from a year-old K-x.

By burnieb (Feb 5, 2012)

very cool and modern design... will get the yellow to go with K5, KX and GX20 ;)

By jj74e (Feb 5, 2012)

I want to hug this camera and hurl on it all at the same time. From the front, I rather like it. It's quirky, the boxiness makes it look sturdy and straightforward. But from the top, it looks clunky, like a fancy brick with traffic lights on it. Yes, the different colors help distinguish the buttons which I appreciate, but they could have easily chosen more refined colors or shades.

Also, I just noticed how unusually placed the mode dial is. I suppose it's not that big a deal, and it makes room for whatever dial is more accessible in the back, but a bit odd.

I like how it has access to all of Pentax's lenses, meaning it's automatically the most complete mirrorless system. However, without the small size to make "mirrorless" worth something, I just don't see the point. No, not every mirrorless cam is small, but the ones that are are pocketable with a pancake, while the ones that aren't have an EVF to make up for it. This camera is neither pocketable nor EVF-centric.

BUT we will see

1 upvote
By jj74e (Feb 5, 2012)

The specs ARE very tempting. An improved K-5 sensor means the IQ will be very good, on par or better than the likes of NEX7, D7000, 7D, etc. There seem to be quite a few video controls, including full manual and audio controls and a mic input. If AF is at least as fast as the K-5 is should be a speedy camera too. If anything, for competition's sake, I hope Pentax can make this a real winner.

If they fail though, I would really like to see them join Samsung's NX line and make a M4/3-like union to churn out lenses and bodies. Samsung's NX line is already 2nd place in lens lineup, and its bodies are slowly getting everything right that competitors are not.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By 88SAL (Feb 6, 2012)

I wonder what the design brief has in it. I would really like to read the designers words!

By RonHendriks (Feb 4, 2012)

I descided to take the Yellow K-01!

By Biggreydog (Feb 4, 2012)

Is that a K5 in the comparison picture? If so, the K01 is smaller by just the size of the pentaprism and the handgrip, both of which I'd rather have.

I don't see the advantage, and I'm not interested.

Plus, while I don't generally buy cameras based on their appearance, this one is so toy-like I'd be embarrassed to be seen with it. (Matter of taste, of course.)

Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Feb 4, 2012)

Or you could buy the $2300 Fuji X-Pro1 with a system of three lenses compared the the K-01 that uses any of the 25 million K-mount lenses out there and has SR with all of them.

Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 5, 2012)

The X-Pro1 has a viewfinder....

By Zebooka (Feb 5, 2012)


Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
By itsastickup (Feb 4, 2012)

Oh dear. I've been waitiing for a pentax mirrorless aps-c. But this 'design' is bad enough to put me off buying it.

That's the problem with aesthetics: it's very much a matter of taste. And when one's taste is offended then there is a serious problem.

It also doesn't look professional. I would hate to be pointing this at my customers.

For me they got it right with the K-5/7. But with this it just looks like some highly abstracted self-indulgence. And Fugly toboot.

I'm very disappointed.

By OneGuy (Feb 4, 2012)

Are you saying that when you say 'smile,' they will?

By Pelican65 (Feb 4, 2012)

Let's wait and see the tests. In my opinion its price and body are simply ugly!

By Vince876 (Feb 4, 2012)

I think this is a nice interesting camera; about the ugly yellow, I find strange no one has noticed in the press release that (the camera is) "Available in black, white and Newson’s signature yellow colors", so it's a kind of Marc Newson's trademark.
Let me look in the glass sphere what will be the next models:

K-02 - similar in design, whit a dial more on the top, slimmer to use the newly developed "micro-K" (just a guess ..) lenses, engineered for the smaller flange focal distance. K lens optional adapter. Optional tilting EVF to be mounted in place of the flash.

K-03 - same as above but FF (24x36mm sensor). Standard EVF.

Just wait. :-)

By OneGuy (Feb 4, 2012)

Nice and logical roadmap. Here is mine:

KO1 pulls in all of the legacy lenses and makes a clean break with Pentax DSLRs. KO2 will be thinner with new lenses (and I agree w/ the adapter to legacy glass) and packed with features DSLRs cannot readily follow: video calling via WiFi, for example.

After that it's anybody's guess.

What is missing, though, is the element of 'Wow!' the likes of 20mm 1.7 Pana pancake lens and this points to putting all money on "larger sensor." Not good enough to upset m4/3. Then again, making fast sub 2 lens for APS-C sensor could be significantly more expensive.

Is m4/3 in a sweet spot?

By Karroly (Feb 4, 2012)

K-mount and sensor-shift are big pros for "universal lens use".
But lack of electronic viewfinder or socket for an additionnal one is a big con.
Please, Pentax, design something else more ergonomic.
Shooting arm stretched with such a camera and one of the big zooms shown in the picture above is just nonsense to me. But I am aware that some people need heavy, unstable gear to muscle their arms...
My first mirrorless camera is a Samsung NX11 because it is yet the only one, as far as I know, with APS-C sensor and built-in viewfinder. And the more I use it the more I love it.
And more: compared by myself to 2 Canon, 3 Pentax standard 18-55mm lenses on various Canon and Pentax bodies, the Samsung lens produces the sharpest shots @ 18mm F:3.5 with no chromatic aberration and near zero purple fringing in backlit situation ( and lens distortion correction setting to OFF in the camera menu...)

1 upvote
By huffy49 (Feb 4, 2012)

I agree, Karroly - this camera seems, to me, to be seriously flawed. A mishmash of conflicting features: mirrorless, yet without many of the advantages that feature makes possible. Large, heavy, unable to use the smaller lenses the short back focus makes possible, and worse of all, the P&S viewfinder. Over the years, Pentax has produced many, many outstanding camera designs, but this is not one of them!

By jamesm007 (Feb 4, 2012)

Read the history of why Evil was considered a replacement for SLRs. Read my posts of a couple years ago.

Mirrorless was excepted among the Pentax community to offer the benefits of no mirrorbox. Those benefits are dramatically improved reliability for the camera and shot to shot.

Only the mirror-less makers decided to make them small and not many dSLR owners wanted them. As I said they do have a place. But Pentax also needs a mid-level mirror less as I wrote 2 years ago to allow the use of all Pentax glass.

You fail to see the light. Pentax knows the lack of a view finder hurts sales to dSLR guys. But they have dSLRs coming. So... start to see the light? This allows all Pentax owners to go mirror less without have to buy new lens and flashes if they wish.

Other mirror less systems lock you in with no upgrade path! True upgrade, lens, flash,.. all gear for your Pentax. I bet within three years Pentax releases a mirrorless with an view finder? I will pull this post in two years.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By huffy49 (Feb 5, 2012)

You mean to say that Pentax won't get it right for another three years??

I reckon I must be blind to that light you're talking about ;-)

By Zebooka (Feb 5, 2012)


Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
By vegwolff (Feb 4, 2012)

I don't know why people get so nasty and up in arms when a manufacturer brings out a new camera whose design they do not like. I thought it quite simple really. If you don't like it don't buy it, stop the snide remarks and go away. This camera may be chunky, but some people don't have minature hands and need some decent real-estate to grip on to. Compared to the K5 it is somewhat smaller, but then again the K5 is a small camera in its own right. The green and red buttons will make life easier with those of us with declining vision. This has all the bells and whistles as well as access to the absolutely massive range of lens' and accessories throughout the life time of Asahi-Pentax. That is extraordinary in this day and age. I have to say though, that the ribbed outer skin reminds me of the old Zenith E camera.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By vegwolff (Feb 4, 2012)

I should mention though, that I still prefer SLR's. Why? they give much better, three point stabilisation when being held. Viewfinderless cameras require you to hold the unit away from your body in order to view the screen, and that means loss of stability, especially with larger lens' attached. Even with image stabilisation built in, it's pushing it. After checking out the UK Pentax website and reading the specs, the list of functions available on the K01 are extensive and out weigh most other viewfinderless/mirrorless cameras. Anyway, we should just hold our horses on petty comments until dpreview have a chance to do a full test once production begins.

By IchiroCameraGuy (Feb 4, 2012)

you can stabilize a Sony NEX or similar camera with the screen against your abdomen and facing upwards...actually even more stable than viewfinder to your eye

By vegwolff (Feb 4, 2012)

Mmmm, don't really see how it could be as, or more stable, unless you were to hold your breath prior to and during exposure.

By itsastickup (Feb 4, 2012)

Fine words but when it's so ugly you, and many others, don't want to buy it then there is a serious problem.

I've not had this as an issue before, even with the clunky FF Sonys. Aesthetics was simply not a factor.

I think it's a mistake for a commercial entity to go from a design that is so strong unless it will offer other designs also. This is a question of taste and a strong design makes it become a negative factor in the buying process for those whose taste is offended.

I personally don't like the Iphone (pre 4) but it's not such a strong design. I could definitely live with it for the features.

By itsastickup (Feb 4, 2012)

"*for* a design that is so strong"

By qwertyasdf (Feb 5, 2012)

If you don't like our comments, go away!
It's important that we sound our opinions, I will proudly shout "the K-01 is fugly" in front of Pentax executives

By fmian (Feb 4, 2012)

Not too keen on the yellow, but it looks rather grippy and comfortable.
The button layout and flat back seem a bit dubious though.
Hope it's not a case of style taking precedence over handling.

Pentax seem to be the only company that values their existing customer base and lens mount. It remains to be seen what Canon will do.
But... where is the full frame model to take correct advantage of all those legacy lenses?

By NotSteve (Feb 4, 2012)

I'm surprised that it seems no one's said anything about what looks to be a much upgraded autofocus system, 81 focus pts. Guess we'll see what it amounts to in real life.

Aesthetically, I think this might be an acquired taste, something that grows on you after a while. It reminds of those boxy little mini-trucks from Scion/Toyota and others, which make you do a double-take at first.

Operation and ergonomics-wise, I would think that it will be very solid. As an example, people found a lot of reason to dislike the Pentax Q especially because of the small sensor, but most of what I have read says it handles very well, similar set up to Pentax DSLRs.

I wonder about the lack of the TAv and Sv modes. Personally, I find TAv something I really like about the K-5, the main mode I use.

Something I'd like to see is a built in panorama function in a camera like the K-01. Seems appropriate for such a camera and something I would definitely use.

I do appreciate the commitment to the K-mount.

By pingshakl (Feb 4, 2012)

Hey buddy, do you know my 6 year old SONY R1 has hundreds of focus points? lol. Even my WP7 phone has hundreds of points.

OK, its a contrast detect fucus system, you cannot compare it to a phase decect system.

By herebefore (Feb 5, 2012)

I have, and have had many cameras that wont win any "beauty Contests".

I give very little value to aesthetics because I spend much more time looking through the camera than at the camera.

I'm a "brand whore" so I have lenses to fit just about any brand except Nikon.. (Nothing against Nikon, but I haven't owned one in 25 years, so all the lenses are gone)..

USEABILITY is the feature I shop for, and without a VF of any kind, the useability of the camera is, for me, very low.

By tedtedted (Feb 4, 2012)

I don't want my camera to be striking. I want it to be invisible.

1 upvote
By ljmac (Feb 4, 2012)

Hey everybody - I managed to get my hands on the transcripts of Pentax's product meetings, and I think I can explain this camera now!

Submanger: We make the smallest DSLRs, but these new mirrorless cameras are even smaller, and they're eating our lunch!

Manager: In that case, let's make a mirrorless cam using the smallest sensor we can find, then we'll be smaller than everyone!

Submanager: You're a genius!

A few months later...

Submanger: I don't know why, but we haven't been able to sell any Qs.

Manager: Hmmm, so I guess people don't want small after all - they just want mirrorless. So let's just rip the mirror out of one of our DSLRs, and we'll make the biggest mirrorless camera instead!

Submanager: But why would people want to buy the a camera that's just as big as a DSLR but with less functionality?

Manager: Let's hire some expensive designer so that it doesn't look like a DSLR - in fact, let's make it not look like a proper camera at all!

Submanger: You're a genius!

By ogl (Feb 4, 2012)

Pentax Q has good sales in Japan, by the way.

By ogl (Feb 4, 2012)

Video mode of K-01 is much stronger than all Pentax DSLR. The camera uses new processor PRIME M. Less functionality is the thing to discuss.

1 upvote
By Pete_Mac (Feb 4, 2012)

Well said ljmac!

By ogl (Feb 4, 2012)

he said meaningful nonsense

By waxwaine (Feb 4, 2012)

Sad oldie people. Go to you´re retire comunity and watch TV and let the world run. You can understand K-01 because you can´t take the Holywheel away from you´re conservative heads.
- Full HD Video(60fps!!!)
- K mount
- Mirrorless(no shake better image)

1 upvote
By ljmac (Feb 5, 2012)

- No advantage over a DSLR, so it misses the whole point of being mirrorless!

Pentax could just have easily added Full HD Video to their DSLRs, like everybody else has done. Indeed, now you have to buy two cameras to get full functionality instead of one. Genius!

By Maxfield_photo (Feb 4, 2012)

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity.

1 upvote
By jstormes (Feb 3, 2012)

I like it, will be ordering one as soon as my budget allows.

1 upvote
By Hansadlp (Feb 3, 2012)

Once more on the design since the camera can't be judged on it's performance yet. Marc Newsons designs are striking, look at his website

I commented before on what I think is a striking new design for a camera. Think of Nizo 8mm movie camera's. Functional aestetics that became design classics, but not appreciated as much at the time they were introduced. Also, look at the 80's AGFA Optima 355 sensor camera: beautiful clean design.The Leica Minilux is in my eyes another example of well thought out and timeless design.

Sometimes it goes all wrong. One example springs to mind, but there must be many more. Minolta tried to to jump on the retro fahion trend of the '90's and introduced the Prod 20's. A cheap me-too retro-look 35 mm camera of mediocre quality, both in design and materials. Neither very good nor beautiful.

Judging by the available images and videoclips, the Pentax K-01 is in my eyes an example of good design. I'm looking foreward to the reviews.

John Cal
By John Cal (Feb 3, 2012)

I was really considering a Sony NEX 7 until I held one in my hand. I have small hands and found the grip on the Sonyway too shallow even for me.

The Pentax body being thicker than other MILC cameras is a blessing in disguise. Pentax has given us a better options than the competition in this class. With full K mount compatibility without any adapters, and built in SR this camera beats the competition hands down. The next version should include the bells and whistles that I need, an EVF and a fully articulated screen. No doubt it will be announced the day after I purchase the K0-1....bugger.

Hey Pentax, can I be a tester for you?

By rogerstpierre (Feb 3, 2012)

I like the K-01 design. Whether it's a camera for me or not will depend on how the AF/MF is implemented (especially MF). With my current P&S (EX-1), I find it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to focus and recompose while maintaining the focus range constant (especially at close range). MF is impossible to see accurately, even zoomed it unless on a tripod. If in MF mode the camera is able to show me (red hot dot would do) what elements of the images are in focus as I move the focus ring, without having to zoom in (when you waste time and loose distance coming in and out of that mode) then it will be a contender. Failing that, I simply cannot work with it (or any other mirrorless on the market for that matter).

Total comments: 875