Pentax introduces today the K-01, a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a bold new retro design by Marc Newson. The K-01 accepts Pentax's K-mount lenses and offers a 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor coupled to a new PRIME M processor.
Pentax K-01: Thoroughly Modern
This is Pentax's second effort in the mirrorless realm. The Q is a point-and-shoot sized interchangeable lens camera with a point-and-shoot sized sensor. The K-01 brings a DSLR-sized CMOS sensor to the fight, a 16.28 imager measuring 23.7 x 15.7mm. This system is capable of 1080 HD video with H.264 compression at framerates of 30, 25 or 24 fps. Native ISO range stretches from 100 up to 12800, and then is expandable up to ISO 25600. Burst shooting is available at 6 fps.
The K-01 will carry a high resolution 3.0-inch 921k-dot LCD. It will provide a dust reduction system and sensor-shift image stabilization. In fact, the K-01 is more DSLR-esque than many compact ILCs, being both somewhat bulky and deep and offering a large sensor. It offers both a pop-up flash and hot shoe for extra illumination, and shutter speeds range from 1/4000 to 30 seconds. SD, SDHC and SDXC cards are all compatible with the K-01.
Along with the K-01, Pentax introduces a new smc Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS prime, calling it the world's smallest lens. Having seen a prototype model at this year's CES, I can say it's no contest. The 40mm is easily the smallest lens anywhere, ever. Officially it measures 9.2mm thick, and it feels every bit as slim as that number suggests.
Pentax outsourced design of the K-01 to Marc Newson, a well-established industrial designer. He's given the K-01 a nod to the past as well as a thoroughly modern finish with large control dials and color-coded buttons on the top panel. Everything on the back panel looks familiar, aside from a button labeled "Play." Controls and overall design are minimalistic, and the camera is offered in black, white or an optic yellow for which Mr. Newson is known.
Pricing and Availability
The Pentax K-01 will be sold body-only for $749.95, ready and waiting to be used with your stash of K-mount lenses. It will also be available as a kit with the ultra-thin 40mm pancake for $899.95. The smc Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS will be available for purchase separately for $249.95. The entire system is scheduled to arrive in March.