Yesterday (Thursday 2nd February 2012) Pentax announced the launch of the Pentax K-01, a mirrorless interchangeable lens digital camera that joins the ever-popular Pentax K series. As well as supporting all the Pentax K mount lenses and D-SLR accessories, the K-01 also supports the dedicated XS lenses and comes packaged with an incredibly slim (1cm thick) 40mm F2.8 XS lens to match its design. Both products have been designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, one of the most acclaimed and influential designers of his generation. Whilst still maintaining a handful of advanced functions and ergonomic features that you would expect from a digital interchangeable lens camera, the Pentax K-01 has been constructed with three design themes in mind – Timeless, Trusty and Touchable.
Marc Newson says “I wanted to create something that represented quality and expertise in photography. Some of my favourite photographic devices have been Pentax products. I wanted to return to the high quality roots of the brand and create something which was really unique and iconic.”
Inside the body of the K-01 is a large 16 megapixel CMOS sensor with shake reduction system, which reduces camera shake by four f stops and helps to produce clear, blur-free images even under twilight conditions. The large sensor of the K-01 is the same size as the Pentax K-5, and therefore has a 1.5x crop factor which is usually found on a DSLR. The new Prime M imaging engine ensures high-quality, smooth Full HD 1080p movie capability at 30fps or 720p at 60fps, with stereo sound. What’s more, it also incorporates a dedicated HDR setting on the mode dial which combines three images taken at different exposure levels; the result is an image with wide dynamic range and richer colour graduation. Other features include a silent burst of 6fps, a 3” LCD screen and 19 scene modes and filter effects.
- 16.28 megapixel CMOS sensor (23.7 x 15.7mm)
- Prime M imaging engine
- Full HD 1080p video capture
- 100-25600 ISO
- Full manual control
- Fast 6fps burst mode
- A new generation of HDR mode
- 3.0? LCD screen with 921k dot resolution
- 81 selectable focus points
- 19 scene modes
- H79 x W121 x D59mm dimensions
- Weighs approx 480g (body only)
- Takes K mount & XS lenses
- RRP £629.00*
With simplicity in mind, the Pentax K-01 is ideal for anyone looking to get their first digital interchangeable lens camera (ILC). The camera features a user-friendly design with original push buttons and control levers that are conveniently laid out across the body, while bright colours are used on two key buttons for instant recognition: red for video recording button, and green for the functional button. The Pentax K-01 body has been machine crafted with a combination of aluminium alloy and rubber finish to provide the user with a durable and comfortable, easy-to-hold piece of technology.
Also released in conjunction with the Pentax K-01 is the super-thin Pentax 40mm F2.8 lens which Pentax claim as the world’s thinnest interchangeable lens. The lens offers a focal length equivalent to 61mm in the 35mm format, and measures a tiny 9.2mm in length and weighs just 52g. The front of the lens features a Super Protect (SP) coating, which repels dust, water and grease. The lens is designed for all areas of photography, including snapshots, landscapes, portraits, and indoor low light shooting.
Following a similar trend to other manufacturers in June last year, Pentax released the quirky Pentax Q which Pentax announced as “the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens system camera in the market". This year Pentax has taken a leap in the opposite direction in terms of size, the bold design of the Pentax K-01 comes with everything you would need from an advanced camera but without the physical advantage you may expect from a mirrorless ILC. Don't let this put you off though as the K-01 has the added convenience of utilising both the dedicated compact Pentax XS lenses and standard Pentax K-mount lenses without requiring an adapter. Thus making it one of the most versatile cameras in the ILC market today.
The Pentax K-01 is available to Pre-Order in an iconic-looking Silver, Black and yellow.
* prices as of February 2012 and are subject to change.