DPR review review

Started Mar 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
chillgreg Senior Member • Posts: 1,248
Re: The K-01 is a spade...

Alex Sarbu wrote:

chillgreg wrote:

3. I can tell you (theories aside) why the K-01 is not a commercial success. It is pig, butt ugly. It's so horrendous that I actually laughed when I first saw it. And not just the design. The finish, the colours, the materials. What the ____ were they smoking when this abomination was approved???

You are exaggerating. The design is not inspiring, but it's not horrendous, either. The finish - it's quite well made, actually; and the build quality is very good (except for the annoying rubber covers). The colours - nobody forces you to go with the yellow (which isn't that bad looking, either); too bad they haven't made a full-black one. The materials, are the cheap plastic MILCs better than the solid K-01's construction? One touch is enough to feel the answer.

It appears to me you only saw the camera in pictures, and only the yellow one.


Allow me to clarify. In the way a Landrover Defender is attractive, then so is the K-01. After I looked at it again, for some time, from different angles, I can say that at best it's flawed. From straight on, it's actually kind of cool, with the "castle" tower mode dial. But some views just grate. And yes, as I learned that it's functionally iand IQ is actually extremely good, perhaps it even started to grow on me. Ever had a homely woman cook you a good meal?

I didn't mean to infer that the build quality is inferior; in fact knowing the K series DSLR's reputation for build excellence, I would assume that the fit, finish and materials chosen are top notch. But they don't look like it. Matte finish metal and the colour combinations don't lend themselves to a quality appearance. As another example of a market with rapidly evolving designs, look at smartphones. Look at Apple. They not only feel right, they look right.

But any competent preliminary market research would have told Pentax that the target market, would not likely take the time or effort required to get over that shock of first impressions aesthetics. Take McClaren Automotive for example. The legendary F1, the new MP4-12C, and the upcoming P1, are not described as beautiful. Their stated design goal is that form must always follow function. Yet their in-house chief designer manages to both "take the pulse" of current design relevancy, and create an individual, timeless design language.

Extremely strong design statements that eschew any market relevancy, can attain classic status, but more often than not become dated. Research Chris Bangle's 1990's BMW design language for an apt illustration of this.

Not just Pentax, but most Japanese electronics companies are like headless chickens when times get tough.

The "reality gap" between Japanese executive's perception of, and what western consumers actually want and need, has never been greater. It's a great pity really. If they were to follow say some Swiss or German companies by example, who knows what true greatness they might acheive.


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