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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:

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION INTRODUCES PENTAX K-01 DESIGNED BY MARC NEWSON

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: www.pentaximaging.com/news and a video interview with Mark Newson regarding the K-01design may be viewed here: www.youtube.com/pentaxian1  Images of other Marc Newson creations are available here.

Pentax K-01 specifications

Price
MSRPUS: $749, UK: £629, EU: €823
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialAluminium
Sensor
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
Image
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
Autofocus
  • 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
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini HDMI Type C)
Remote controlYes (Optional IR)
Physical
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)
GPSNone

Additional images

41
I own it
3
I want it
3
I had it
Discuss in the forums
121
I own it
10
I want it
16
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 875
12345
Wallace Ross
By Wallace Ross (Feb 3, 2012)

I wonder how long it's going to take people to realize they are just repeating each other. It isn't all that different design wise. I own 100's of older cameras and believe me this is not nearly as different as people think. Everyone seems to want to compare it to what it could or they think should have been. If it does what you want or need then it will be the right tool. Collectively people seem to have a narrow view of what a camera should look like and right now if it isn't retro 1960's it's "ugly" .

7 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Feb 3, 2012)

A mirrorless camera that has the same lens flange to sensor distance of an SLR. That means it isn't any smaller in this dimension than a regular SLR with mirror. I fail to see any benefit of this design. It still won't fit in a shirt pocket. The "chimney" on the camera does not seem to serve any purpose and it makes this camera look weird to say the least.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Feb 3, 2012)

Swinging mirror? Ever try to bring an SLR to a place where the sound of a swinging mirror would immediately give you away?

None of these cams fit in pockets. Stop with the argument from 2010. This is a derivation of an SLR for those that want SLR performance. Not for people like you, who want a step up from a compact that will fit in a pocket.

4 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (Feb 3, 2012)

SLR lenses without PDAF will not give "SLR performance". It would due better to either offer PDAF or offer new lenses that work better with CDAF. The reduced noise is the only real plus I see over just updating the K-r and K-x.

0 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Feb 3, 2012)

just remove the mirror and OVF from a DSLR? well even Canon can have a mirrorless ILC in no time

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 3, 2012)

Just had a thought that it would be a killer feature for this camera to be able to tether by USB to a laptop, so for macro, studio, or video work you can use the laptop screen instead of the rear LCD on the camera.

0 upvotes
Pelican65
By Pelican65 (Feb 3, 2012)

this is the worst Pentax DSLR ever! its ergonomics sucks!

5 upvotes
Daniel Roos
By Daniel Roos (Feb 3, 2012)

Perhaps because it isn't a DSLR (Digital single-lens reflex camera), but a mirrorless camera? :)

8 upvotes
Essai
By Essai (Feb 3, 2012)

it is also a wheelless camera.

2 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Feb 3, 2012)

really? I saw one...:)

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 3, 2012)

Yawn.... yet another same old same old digi-cam. Hurrah, I guess.

This one does not even have an electronic viewfinder, let alone optical.

I take my in yellow!!

0 upvotes
Joe Franek
By Joe Franek (Feb 3, 2012)

Finally somebody realised it.
These days a mirrorless must have an EVF, preferably in-built one.

It is a fashion accessory, this camera,nothing more.

0 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (Feb 3, 2012)

this camera needs no smile recognition, i can't imagine anyone capable of keeping a straight face while being photographed with the K-01, i will definitely get one, the yellow will do :)

11 upvotes
Jaxon S
By Jaxon S (Feb 3, 2012)

The price is good, the spec is excellent, there's interval movie (time lapse) feature, shoot HD movie with all the digital filters... the look, not bad; but a swiveling rear screen would have been nice, especially useful when shooting video.

1 upvote
Robbster
By Robbster (Feb 3, 2012)

Why K-01?

Let's see...

+I want APS-C sensor (lots of options)
+In smallish body (mirrorless Sony, Samsung..)
+With image stabilization on on the sensor for greater low light/DOF flexibility from ALL my lenses and
+a range of high quality lens options from established lens design/manufacturer.

Leaves me with one choice, the K-01

SO, I see some pretty basic enthusiast camera logic that would lead you to a K-01.

Of course, we'll need to see performance in the real world and some reviews and user comments to understand the rest of the trade-offs, but I'm just saying that the choice of specs is actually UNIQUE and is NOT just for P&S upgraders.

I use both DSLR (Nikon) and Mirrorless (Panasonic GH1). Nikon too big, Pany sensor too small. What I want is a blend of the two, taking the APS-C sensor from the Nikon and the convenience/superior video of the Pany without the lens/IS tradeoffs of Sony and Samsung.

K-01 at least specs the right way to meet these needs. Food for thought...

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
16 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Feb 3, 2012)

I also like K01 very much. If I ever buy lenses, I have the option of using them on a DSLR body too.

The in-body anti-shake , large set of available lenses and the APSC size is great.

The sacrifice of size for the available lenses is ok for me.

6 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (Feb 3, 2012)

So why not the K-5 instead as the same can be said about it. The K-5 is barely bigger than the K-01 but you get more stuff (OVF, top LCD, weather sealing, etc.). Well, the K-5 is about $300 more but it's worth it.

1 upvote
Brett St Pierre
By Brett St Pierre (Feb 3, 2012)

I couldn't agree more. The specs look pretty much as I'd like but wouldn't mind a bit smaller in body. But I'm happy to have that trade off to access the K mount lenses (I think I am going to enjoy my Pentax Limiteds 15mm, 21m, 31mm, 43mm and 77mm) best on this as an alternative to my DSLRs.

I'd also like to see an EVF that attaches to the flash hotshoe

1 upvote
vegwolff
By vegwolff (Feb 3, 2012)

Why not the K5 instead? Well, here in New Zealand a K5 retails for around $2499 for the body alone. A K7 is in excess of $3500. The K01 price of $749US equates to about $900NZ at current exchange rates. That's a massive price difference. Size wise the K5 is a small camera in its own right, and without the Pentaprism the K01 appears a tad smaller still, in height anway. It is, however, quite chunky in regards to it's depth, which is somewhat dissapointing. Not really my cuppa tea, but then I can't can't afford to spend five weeks wages on the camera I really want, being the K5.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Feb 3, 2012)

Whoa. It's not been a day yet and here I am with the 636th comment. O_O I thought Pentax was a dead brand? Why all this talk? :))

My K-x says hello to all lol! Hope to see one of these K-01s in the store soon.

4 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Feb 3, 2012)

I'm sure that K-01 will be the hit of sales in Japan.

1 upvote
easyeddy
By easyeddy (Feb 3, 2012)

hahahha

0 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Feb 3, 2012)

what a fanboy

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 3, 2012)

The K-01 too big? Is it really?

VS K-5
http://camerasize.com/compare/#187,285

VS e-420
http://camerasize.com/compare/#206,285

VS Canon G1X
http://camerasize.com/compare/#257,285

7 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 3, 2012)

thanks.

1 upvote
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Feb 3, 2012)

Have you tried to compare it from top?

0 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Feb 3, 2012)

Thanks. Very good comparison that proves the point. G1X is not smaller.

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 3, 2012)

Luke- yes. You can do it there from the link. The point still stands. And remember how thin the pancake lens is, imagine adding almost any lens to the e-420.

0 upvotes
AllC
By AllC (Feb 3, 2012)

I agree it's not *actually* that big, but the brick design is unflattering. I have a Pentax program plus (around 20 years old) has a K-mount (same size of mirror box) and even though dated, looks slimmer than the K-01 and better too.

btw, I'm not into retro design, I actually love the look of my NEX-5, and love the NEX-7 looks too.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Feb 3, 2012)

NEX-7 design is good, but it's techno. NEX-5 is so-so. To say honest.

1 upvote
walberty
By walberty (Feb 3, 2012)

To be fair the GX1 does have zoom built in (and a viewfinder) so the depth will be close to having the pancake on the K01 and much deeper with the equiv zoom. Still , I don't remember reading many complaints about the G1X's size. And look at it compared to the small SLT 35 - http://camerasize.com/compare/#120,285

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
walberty
By walberty (Feb 3, 2012)

Since I put in GX1 in my previous reply rather than G1X so I might as well say that compared to the GX1 the K01 looks a bit corpulent :)

http://camerasize.com/compare/#183,285

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 3, 2012)

@Warlberty - yes the G1X has zoom and a view finder, but the Pentax with the Pancake prime is not a bad option. This goes to zoom vs primes- and it really depends what the photographer is looking for. However, the K-01 can be small and have a fast high quality prime lens *and* use a lot of zooms that the G1X can't use.

Also the IQ of the K01 is going to be better.

As for the GX1 (panny) - sure, and it has its charms. But it doesn't have the same IQ. All I am saying is the K01 is not as big as some people make it out to be.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 3, 2012)

http://camerasize.com/compare/#189,285

Almost exactly the size of a D40, less viewfinder hump. In other words ... just about perfect.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Feb 3, 2012)

What about:

vs. NEX5:
http://camerasize.com/compare/#34,285
http://camerasize.com/compare/#34,285

Not saying the K-01 is too large, just saying it is not small and definitely in the territory of compact SLRs rather than compact mirror-less. Now what size suits YOU is entirely personal choice.

0 upvotes
dudu_307
By dudu_307 (Feb 3, 2012)

This is non sense, mirror-less camera with an empty box inside.... Compared to Panasonic GX1 looks like an elephant.

http://j.mp/zClTFD

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Anfernee Cheang
By Anfernee Cheang (Feb 3, 2012)

Appearance is something that cannot be measured or analysed. The only way to weigh it is vote...

I vote K-01 is pretty pretty ugly...

1 upvote
tralalax
By tralalax (Feb 3, 2012)

pretty pretty ugly.
ugly ugly pretty.
i like the yellow one

5 upvotes
snapshtr
By snapshtr (Feb 3, 2012)

You would think that a camera with a machined aluminum body would look classy. Somehow they managed to make it look like a cheap plastic toy (especially in yellow)...

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Feb 3, 2012)

Somehow I think the introduction of K-01 will push up sales of K5...good marketing!

5 upvotes
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Feb 3, 2012)

the K-01 has just released and im already looking forward to the k-02. My wishlist for the K-02:
1) BETTER DESIGN!!!!!!!
2) Better autofocus

Then this becomes a perfect camera :D

1 upvote
pcarfan
By pcarfan (Feb 3, 2012)

Has anyone tested AF yet...how do you know you want better?

0 upvotes
AngelicBeaver
By AngelicBeaver (Feb 3, 2012)

Which would you choose: Autofocus, or BETTER autofocus?

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
pcarfan
By pcarfan (Feb 3, 2012)

BETTER autofocus is better, but BETTER everything is even better :)

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Feb 3, 2012)

buy K-5

0 upvotes
Gordon L
By Gordon L (Feb 3, 2012)

This looks like a flop. No viewfinder?, huge and clunky? Ugly?

C'mon Pentax, I was a Pentax shooter for most of my career before digital and owned 645, 67, and multiple 35s and a sack full of lenses. I had the first Ist briefly, but was so dissapointed in it I went to Canon and eventually sold all of my Pentax stuff except for a few 35s and lenses.

What I really want is a digital full frame the size of my ME super

0 upvotes
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Feb 3, 2012)

Heres what i see this camera as: An ugly K-5 w/o the view finder and made of plastic for $700. Good deal? maybe

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Feb 3, 2012)

NOT for SLR users. But for P&S shooters who want to climb up, this is probably the best cake served.

1 upvote
pcarfan
By pcarfan (Feb 3, 2012)

•Durable machined aluminum frame under a stylish black, white, or yellow exterior

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
pcarfan
By pcarfan (Feb 3, 2012)

Durable machined aluminum frame under a stylish black, white, or yellow exterior

3 upvotes
buzzinhornet
By buzzinhornet (Feb 3, 2012)

Its actually all aluminum with a rubber grip. Even the popup flash cap is aluminum.

1 upvote
solarider
By solarider (Feb 3, 2012)

K-01 has machined aluminum body. Someone isn't paying attention.

5 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Feb 3, 2012)

I finally got it why the K-01 was made like that: it wasn't intended for SLR users. It's not a replacement for the K-r and nowhere near the K-5. It's for P&S people who want to step up to something bigger and better.

Hell, this is going to be one helluva party! Ricoh-Pentax nailed it!

7 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Feb 3, 2012)

with a 60mm equiv. lens? or the current 18-55 bulk? don't think so.

0 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Feb 3, 2012)

It is a mirror-less (i.e full time focus and viewfinder, no shutter worries and noise and faster shuts).

0 upvotes
NineFace
By NineFace (Feb 3, 2012)

http://youtu.be/mrXKDrg-xy8

0 upvotes
pcarfan
By pcarfan (Feb 3, 2012)

It's definitely not the perfect choice for everyone, but why would anyone buy this...
- First, it has the same sensor as the K-5, just go to DxOMark and check it's DR (its at the top, above all FF cameras even many MF cameras). Overall sensor score, its at number seven (with five MF and the two FF nikons above it).
- Cost $750, surely to go down even further.
- Now, Pentax makes many small prime lenses, and mated to this small body it would be a compelling package.(Check the sizes of these AF lenses 15/4, 21/3.2,40/2.8, 43/1.9,77/1.8...and 28/2.8, 50/1.7 in used market).
- All lenses will have SR

So, those who value IQ, price, small package with small lenses (more to come) and SR for all lenses will find it appealing.

Those who want a VF, the smallest mirrorless, AF tracking or even speedy AF will not find this useful to them.

Just because it doesn't fit your bill, its not all gloom and doom, it's not perfect, but open your eyes to what's actually out there.
-Why not the K-5, cost

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (Feb 3, 2012)

go to Pentaximaging.com to look at the K-01 specs. AF tracking is specified.

0 upvotes
pcarfan
By pcarfan (Feb 3, 2012)

Let me re-phrase, usable AF tracking :)...what CDAF is really going to track anything...may be I'm wrong.

Anyhow, I missed the 35/2.4 there among the small lenses, even the 50/1.4 usn't all that large.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
tzotzos
By tzotzos (Feb 3, 2012)

With the 15/4 lens it would be a unique and lovely combination

0 upvotes
Bill3R
By Bill3R (Feb 3, 2012)

No EVF??? Ugh! What a shame.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Feb 3, 2012)

hopefully they make an evf accessory

0 upvotes
pomoville
By pomoville (Feb 3, 2012)

I'm not sure it's possible unless the hotshoe is special, as there's no port for one. perhaps there'll be a higher level model down the road. unfortunate, as this'd be kind of appealing otherwise.

0 upvotes
billybones1918
By billybones1918 (Feb 3, 2012)

This reminds me of that definition of a camel: a horse designed by a committee

5 upvotes
Ehrik
By Ehrik (Feb 3, 2012)

The only EVIL APS-C with sensor antishake. And the "design". The only two USPs I can see.

0 upvotes
timo
By timo (Feb 3, 2012)

I quite like the look.

I also like the look of the X100 and X10 - but a camera doesn't have to look like an slr or rangefinder of 40 years ago. People on this forum do tend to be rather resistant to change when it comes to matters of 'style'.

Compatibility with the very good range of Pentax lenses old and new is a big plus.

Absence of any viewfinder, and no prospect of an EVF accessory, add up to a decisive minus for me.

5 upvotes
AllC
By AllC (Feb 3, 2012)

I'm not into retro looks. I prefer modern design like the NEX cameras, but when looking at my old film Pentax Program Plus, I see that it looks nicer than the K-01.

They messed up by going with a brick design. The "mirror box" size is unavoidable, but the sides of the camera could've been made slimmer for a more streamlined look.

0 upvotes
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (Feb 3, 2012)

What an ugly eyesore!

6 upvotes
Chris_in_Osaka
By Chris_in_Osaka (Feb 3, 2012)

Not smaller than a DSLR (the K-5 side by side says it all),
not faster than a DSLR (1/4000...hmmm, 6fps...middle of the road),
not lighter than a DSLR (actually, heavier than some with similar specs).

Exactly why would I want to buy this??

7 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Feb 3, 2012)

If you're an SLR user, no, you would definitely NOT want to buy this. I can recommend it to P&S and phonecam users though.

0 upvotes
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Feb 3, 2012)

How bout the worlds best image quality by far for any camera under $1100 for $650 (street price in a month probably). Plus its kinda small: KINDA.

6 upvotes
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Feb 3, 2012)

And w/ limited lenses its gonna be just as small as an nex camera

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 3, 2012)

Chris, it is actually smaller than the K-5. I know in pictures it doesn't seem like that much smaller but it's one of those things when picking it up, I am sure it will feel smaller. It weight less too.

6FPS is fine for the price. Who really uses a lot of FPS in general anyway- that's a bit of a vertical need and 6 fps isn't bad.

I think the ergonomics and design are FAR better than many other cameras out there from the looks of it and knowing Pentax usually nails that right. That alone is worth something.

OH and it has the super duper Sony sensor.

Think about it- they also give you what will be a good lens. You can buy a Nex with a kit lens- are those lenses any good?

2 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Feb 3, 2012)

No bigger than Canon G1X. See the comparison one of the users has posted.

1 upvote
Bernard Sine
By Bernard Sine (Feb 3, 2012)

OMG! Stink, stank, stunk.

2 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (Feb 3, 2012)

You missed Sunk!! LOL

1 upvote
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Feb 3, 2012)

First is the Q and now this?
what's the point?
And why not Philippe Starck

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Feb 3, 2012)

I prefer Ironman Suit by Tony Stark, hahaha...

2 upvotes
dscottsatx
By dscottsatx (Feb 3, 2012)

For a Pentax, that's just fugly. I hope it works better than it looks.

1 upvote
Charrick
By Charrick (Feb 3, 2012)

I was wondering why my gag reflex was triggered so suddenly. It's like if I wanted to give a 5-year old the worst birthday present ever. He'd be like "Why is this uglier than my other toys?" Then, reading down, I learned that someone exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art designed this, and it all made sense.

This looks like a toy. It's as ugly as hell. It's as large as a DSLR, but without some of the main benefits (phase detection autofocus, viewfinder).

The Pentax Q seemed to be the lowest they could go, trying to trick an ignorant populace into buying a tiny "DSLR" which in fact was just a compact camera, with a small sensor, and an assortment of lenses that you don't need, because the quality will never be good enough to actually require them. They are just a blatant money-making tool.

Now this.

Ladies and gentlemen, Pentax is out of ideas. Ricoh made a big mistake, buying a near bankrupt brand. (Pentax got off lucky.)

PENTAX RICOH WILL GO BANKRUPT THIS DECADE.

6 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Feb 3, 2012)

That's been the talk ever since Pentax was sold to Hoya. Somehow, it's still alive and kicking harder than it did before.

3 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (Feb 3, 2012)

Pentax Ricoh will go bankrupt in the next decade ?

I think than Sony or Panasonic camera divisions are a lot more in danger actually :
Sony results for 2011 : - 2 billions dollars they make no profits since 4 years ! http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-03/sony-s-hirai-vows-to-deliver-stringer-vision-with-cost-cuts.html
The CEO of Sony have announced yesterday than Sony will stop some activities...

Panasonic : - 10.2 billion dollars ! http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/03/panasonic-idUSL4E8D327120120203

Pentax is small, but makes profits since 2010.
http://k-rumors.com/hoya-makes-more-money-thanks-to-pentax-lenses/

So please, stop with that non-sens speech.

0 upvotes
Ernest M Aquilio
By Ernest M Aquilio (Feb 3, 2012)

This may be bold enough to work, and I hope it does. I have always had a soft spot for Pentax. Best of luck to them!

9 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Feb 3, 2012)

586 posts in one day!!! Clearly Pentax shakes the web, at last in my case for good.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
goblin
By goblin (Feb 2, 2012)

Great, great news of ALL OF YOU OLYMPUS C-8080 FANS :D :D :D

(A viewfinder ? What viewfinder ?? Viewfinders are so overrated anyway :D :D :D )

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Feb 2, 2012)

583 comments,

is this a record for about 10 hours????

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 3, 2012)

Looks like Pentax is doing something right then, imho :-)

7 upvotes
smafdy
By smafdy (Feb 2, 2012)

Compare this to Fuji’s new offering, now on the DPReview HP.

Fuji has a good sensor. But not as good as the k5 (and if I understand correctly, this new beast), but it will set you back $1699 for the body and $600+- for lenses.

3 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Feb 2, 2012)

I never thought I'd say this after my initial reaction to the K-01, but I've been looking at the pics of it on my screen all morning trying to decide if I like it, and I just did as you suggested and looked at the Fuji X-Pro and I was shocked.

It looks utterly boring and uninspiring. Soooo old. An old man's camera.

What happened? Six hours ago I thought it looked great.

9 upvotes
thejohnnerparty
By thejohnnerparty (Feb 2, 2012)

Looking at the thickness of the body, I'm guessing they made it that way so they woundn't have to make different lenses for this camera.

0 upvotes
buzzinhornet
By buzzinhornet (Feb 3, 2012)

I might be so you dont have to go buy new lenses. It compatible with all older pentax k and m42 lenses.

0 upvotes
LarryLatchkey
By LarryLatchkey (Feb 2, 2012)

...and then i saw the product image.
The "respected product designer marc newson" serves a mainstream clientele that likes cheap, chunky toy cams. Has he been working for playmobil?
If it was at least a bit more quirky. Maybe it feels really good when you hold it?
At least if you take photos you don't have to look at the front of your camera.

2 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 2, 2012)

"Has he been working for playmobil?"
ROFL

1 upvote
andy amos
By andy amos (Feb 2, 2012)

After several hours of scratching my head I now find myself with my face in my hands.
Theres no two ways about it, its a lemon! It even has the same colour option!!

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Feb 2, 2012)

The designer worked with the lens back-compatibility requirement really well, disguising the air gap with a triangular tear drop and saving the pentaprism look with a pop up flash. Not bad, really.

Some comments bash NEX, and rightfully so, for in that case the designer started with the envious clean sheet and came up with a body the look of a chunk of extruded metal from a machine shop stock, and then used a plumber approach to screw on the pipe fittings called lenses and adapters.

I like machine shop guys because once I needed to drill a stainless steel pipe -- but, well, I'm off topic now.

2 upvotes
andy amos
By andy amos (Feb 2, 2012)

.....Which begs the question, did Marc Newson work on a tefal project before turning his hand to Petax? I almost feel like it should be able to accept coffee capsules?!?

2 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Feb 2, 2012)

Man, all the specs look excellent. I even like the quirkyness of the design. For me, the biggest disappointment is the size. Sure, it's great to have access to Pentax's great range of lenses and pancakes. And sure, the amazing thinness of some of their pancakes somewhat makes up for the thicker body. But there's no point in it being mirrorless if it's going to be this big.

The great video, great lenses, presumably great sensor and solid AF performance based on the K-5 would all be so appealing to me, plus it's a bonus that Pentax/Ricoh is less a mainstream brand (for me anyway, I always like the "underdog brands" :P). But the size....oh THE FREAKING SIZE. it's like they said, "oh look, all these companies are taking the cholesterol out of their butter. Let's take the cholesterol out of OUR better, BUT THEN INJECT IT WITH 50 GRAMS OF SATURATED FAT"

0 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Feb 2, 2012)

I guess other mirrorless cameras have been successful without being the smallest either, e.g. GH2, G2, NEX7, but those cameras have things, mainly articulated screens and built in EVFs. I guess we'll see if the internals can make up for the externals

2 upvotes
pomoville
By pomoville (Feb 3, 2012)

elsewhere on the net, someone noted that they can build future lenses that have the rear element inside the body, making them shorter up front. i think I prefer that over Nex's "tiny body" solution. neither really bothers me too much, though. other than lack of evf, this looks fairly good for me.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 3, 2012)

The K-01 too big? Is it really?

VS K-5
http://camerasize.com/compare/#187,285

VS e-420
http://camerasize.com/compare/#206,285

VS Canon G1X
http://camerasize.com/compare/#257,285

1 upvote
illdefined
By illdefined (Feb 2, 2012)

Pentax/Ricoh need to hurry and release a GXR-K Module to appease all the 'hardcore' on this forum. ideally also with an updated EVF.

An ergonomic wonder "photographer's" camera with small interchangeable legacy lenses AND sensor. Truly innovative with the all-important nod to photo traditionalists.

0 upvotes
umbalito
By umbalito (Feb 2, 2012)

Assuming one does get past the quirky aesthetic - the biggest question to me is actually AF speed.

Size is a minor issue - yes, it isn't as small as other MILC's - but one must also keep in mind that Pentax makes very small lenses - especially when compared to Canon/Nikon.

In fact, even compared to Sony NEX and pretty much most mirrorless, Pentax prime lenses (even those designed for Full Frame) are relatively smaller. Take the Limited line for example, if they can re-design them as XS lenses (take out the distance scale for example) - they you can literally carry 3-4 lenses in your pockets.

**Personally, I like having the distance scales on the lenses - but then, something has to give here.

Perhaps, with the K-02 Pentax can go with a less controversial aesthetic, add an EVF, and as long as AF is up to par with other mirrorless - then it's going to be quite something.

7 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Feb 2, 2012)

This is an easy entry for Pentax into the APS-C mirrorless world, with a huge collection of lenses immediately available and sensor-shift shake reduction and focus peaking to support them. Good thing to try and probably a very cheap camera to produce -- probably 1/2 the cost of a K-5 with 2/3 the functionality. Pentax needed something in that range....

15 upvotes
Magnus W
By Magnus W (Feb 2, 2012)

I believe this camera is the answer to the question "how small can we make a camera based on a current design if we remove the mirror and finder". They were caught out by the mirrorless wave and this is simply the best they could do in a small timeframe.

Then, the designer was tasked with improving the result.

By the way: almost all "designed" cameras (i.e. with "design" as a selling point), from every manufacturer, have historically been outrageously ugly.

0 upvotes
Oery
By Oery (Feb 2, 2012)

it's bold

5 upvotes
chrisnga
By chrisnga (Feb 2, 2012)

What sensor does it have? The guys at thecamerastore did a preview video with a preproduction model and they say that it is a brand new sensor (not just like the K5). Would Sony give a new sensor to this camera (and to the Ricoh, as it has the same size sensor - both 0.1/0.2mm bigger than the Sony 16mp)? Is it from Aptina?

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Mugundhan
By Mugundhan (Feb 2, 2012)

look @ nex/ olympus/ nx cameras, they are small but lens size?huge, In this case I dont see the size to be a big deal
Given the market position of Pentax, it does not make sense for them to create a new aps-c mount in addition to k mount
Viewfinder like what canon had in the G1X would have been useful, how the hell are we supposed to use a lens like 18-250mm using the LCD to frame?
I hope they make EVF available, then this camera will be a good competitor to GH2 and likes.
swivel LCD will be awesome but viewfinder is more helpful
For people stepping up from P&S, if compared with Sony/ Canon/Nikon/ Panasonic/ Olympic/ Samsung, K-01 is very competitive with good video mode fully LCD based operation etc
hope Pentax nailed the AF speed for legacy lenses too..
i currently own K10D, if K-01 is speedy in operation in still and video mode, then I will definitely buy one

5 upvotes
smafdy
By smafdy (Feb 2, 2012)

Disclosure: I’m a long-time professional photographer and miser.

Seems to me, the gear heads have forgotten about photography.

I haven’t owned a Pentax since the ME Super. I recently discovered that the K5 has a world-class, best-in-class sensor (as well as weather sealing, and a metal body).

For around $1,000.

So, lately, I’ve been thinking about switching to Pentax. Of course, I questioned if my peers, associates, and clients would take Pentax seriously.

But they don’t really care about the box. They care about the photos.

Now, we have this new box. Same sensor, with some positive and some negative attributes. And, it’s butt ugly.

For $750.

Really.

$750.

And it uses legacy glass. Glass is more than half the IQ battle, and there’s lots of good Pentax glass out there.

And people complain.

I’ll be buying one of these (and maybe the k5, too), and heading down to the local pawn shop to look for lenses.

If you want to look cool, buy a Leica.

29 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (Feb 2, 2012)

Ahhh, someone with some sense...........finally.

So many brands, so many models, so many boxes to choose from.......people have forgotten about taking photographs and arguing over where they come from.

4 upvotes
ksgant
By ksgant (Feb 2, 2012)

The thing is, the "pro" Pentax autofocus lenses are less than reliable. There are many complaints that the motors in them stop working after only a little while on some of the popular models. At first I was assuming this was due to their early production runs, but it looks like the problems still exist.

I too am impressed by the K-5, but the problems with their pro lens are a little troubling. I would check out the Pentax forums here before jumping in. Maybe 3rd party lenses paired with the K-5 would be a great combo.

1 upvote
dancephotos
By dancephotos (Feb 2, 2012)

I too am not quite sure what everyone is complaining about. A fabulous camera for using all my great old manual lenses. The K5 is not much good for manual lenses as the focus indicator is not accurate enough on wide apertures. Let's see how the K-01 focus indicator works on manual lenses. That's the decider for me. Oh and how quiet the shutter is.

Personally I like taking pictures without the camera held up to my face. Articulated viewscreen would have been nice though. Hope this one allows wide viewing angles.

I'm a designer and I think the camera looks fabulous. I miss my K1000 and this is like coming home.

First time Pentax has really surprised the camera world in a substantial way in decades with tech which could outhit everything else in the park.

1 upvote
michaelfromoz
By michaelfromoz (Feb 3, 2012)

I'm with you and your quest.
I'm at the reviewing the K-5 or Nikon D7000 situation (same fantastic sensor). As one who only ever shoots in RAW and is not interested in video I am looking for good lens glass, great focussing and wonderful sensor. The rest of it incluing the looks are second priority.
I think those that have forgotten about photography should go back to facebook where they belong.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 3, 2012)

Nail, hammer, bang! You nailed it. Just goes to show who does photogpraphy.

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Feb 3, 2012)

I personally would like to see Pentax competing with brands like Canon and Nikon head to head level. But in recent years the company has been struggling to keep up with the digital era in photography. With all due respect this new camera would make sense for existing Pentax DSLR owners but, shouldn't they be entertaining a larger audience? Because the aim of a mirror-less design is to come up with smaller and portable cameras which are also supposed to be cheaper than DSLR cousins. This design doesn't seem so in either respect. To insult to injury, Pentax officials making statements like "fashion statement" about a camera supposed to appeal to wider public. Well if you live in Paris Hilton's circle yes.
As you rightly say it is about photography not the gear. But Pentax seem to forget that especially a camera of this level is not a fashion accessory but a tool.

0 upvotes
GoranS
By GoranS (Feb 2, 2012)

Brave move, great design, respect to the Pentax.

9 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Feb 2, 2012)

I hope this isn't an indication for a used to be innovative company (that's Pentax) going out of business and desperately seeking salvage from execs who know a lot about money juggling but nothing about photography and photographers. For those who don't know much about Pentax please take a few minutes and read on the net. As long as there is a competition like this Canon and Nikon will charge premium prices for their equipment. We the consumer lose. And a few words about the size of mirror-less being smaller than DSLR's yes they are smaller but still not pocketable with add-on lenses. There is a room for them in the market but at the end of the day if you want to get serious about photography you've got to hold something to your eye and find buttons where your fingers fall before you worry about the size of the camera. Compact camera is not a new concept, existed in 35mm film days and used by people who's priorities were practicality and portability as well as low price.

1 upvote
illdefined
By illdefined (Feb 2, 2012)

that said, Pentax should keep the yellow to Japan and release an all black version available to other regions.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 2, 2012)

No, send the black ones to AARP members. Yellow or even day-glo orange ones will do nicely among people born since 1980.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 2, 2012)

@Cy Cheze
Are you trying to say that young people don't have good taste?

0 upvotes
illdefined
By illdefined (Feb 2, 2012)

GXR-K and all will be well in Pentax land.

the K-01 is just part of the plan.

Smart of Pentax/Ricoh to recognize how only the unique nature of the K-mount and it's Limited Lenses could be considered at all for a mirrorless camera.

Pentax/Ricoh need to hurry and release the K-Mount GXR module for this camera to make sense. The GXR-K will be the true 'serious' mirrorless K, and then with the inevitable price drop, the simplified and welcoming design of the K-01 could flood schools and christmas trees to be the K1000 for the next generation.

1 upvote
Total comments: 875
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