After the critical success of the diminutive Q, with its smaller sensor and new tiny interchangeable lens system, Pentax today joined the mirrorless APS sensor interchangeable-lens camera fray with the K-01, which features a electronic viewfinder and Pentax's backwards-compatible K mount.
NOTE: Adorama is now accepting pre-orders for the Pentax K-01. Orders will be shipped on a first come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until the order ships.
Pentax's press release focuses on the K-01's design and diminutive measurements, but the real news is the system and what's inside: It's the first MILC to accept Pentax's legacy lenses, and features an APS sensor with a proven record of delivering noise-free images at amazingly high ISOs. In fact, of all the MILCs on the market, the $749.95 K-01 is the first to accept lenses from the film era without an adapter. And, despite its diminutive dimensions (4.8 x 3.1 x 2.3”), The $ is a full-featured camera with all the stuff you'd find in a DSLR.
- Durable machined aluminum frame
- PENTAX mirrorless body design is compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades.
- 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with low noise image capture and multiple aspect ratios.
- 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.
- 6 FPS burst mode
- 100-25600 ISO range
- Focus peaking mode said to provide fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.
In addition to the K-01, Pentax also introduced a DA 40mm XS f/2.8 lens, which, at 9.2 millimeters, they say is the world's thinnest interchangeable lens. Its aperture blades are rounded, leading to better Bokeh. It will be available for $249.95, and will be one of the K-01's standard kit lens options.
Pentax claims the newly-developed 16MP CMOS sensor will deliver outstanding image quality in low-light, with a top ISO of 12800, boostable to 25600. As one of the pioneers of built-in HDR, Pentax says the K-01 will have a new generation version that gives user greater control over the three exposure increments and offers automatic alignment of the three images when shooting handheld. The company claims near-silent operation thanks to the lack of mirror movement, while Shake Reduction is claimed to reduce camera shake by up to four stops.
Video features include 1080p resolution, H.264 compression and a choice of 30, 25 or 24 frames per second. A convenient new video record button lets you capture videos as conveniently as shooting stills, and a stereo microphone is built in although, thankfully, there is also an external microphone jack as well as an HDMI port.
While the Q, which was introduced last summer, is an interesting camera, it has a more limited audience because of its smaller sensor. The K-01, on the other hand, has the potential for much more massive appeal, especially among Pentax enthusiasts who already have invested in K-mount lenses and want the kind of quality a good APS sensor can deliver. This becomes another, lighter and smaller camera that they can add to their arsenal. The K-01 will be available in March.
For details, read the Ricoh press release
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 ReduPENTAXction 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 FACT SHEET
Marc Newson commissioned design
PENTAX commissioned designer Marc Newson to develop the contemporary, timeless design of the PENTAX K-01’s body. Newson’s retro-meets-contemporary design is evident in all elements of the
K-01 including the product logo, camera strap (included) and start-up screen that appears when the K-01 is powered on. Buttons, shutter release and control levers are purposefully placed and accented with colors for instant recognition including a vibrant red button for Video Recording and a brilliant green for the PENTAX Green button. The mode dial and power switch are made of high-quality aluminum alloy, while the memory card slot and grip connectors are covered with protective rubber. The design optimizes both form and function on a camera that is as suitable on a photo shoot as it is in a museum display that honors design as art.
Exceptional image quality
The PENTAX K-01 is equipped with a newly developed CMOS image sensor measuring 23.7 millimeters by 15.7 millimeters. With approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, this sensor assures high-speed readout of image data signals. The K-01 also features a new “PRIME M” imaging engine to assure first-rate movie recording performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera. The K-01 offers an extra-wide sensitivity range — from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, or to ISO 25600 when expanded using a custom function — while minimizing digital noise at all sensitivity levels.
Compatibility with every PENTAX K-mount lens ever made
The PENTAX K-01 accepts a wide array of PENTAX interchangeable K-mount lenses* so users may choose the most suitable lens for a particular subject or scene.
*K-, KA- KAF, KAF2, and KAF3- mount lenses can be used with the PENTAX K-01, while screw-mount lenses, 645-system lenses and 67-system lenses can be used with an adapter. Some functions may not be available on certain lenses.
High-quality video recording
The PENTAX K-01 features Full HD video-recording function to capture high-quality movie clips in 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). H.264 compression format offers a choice of frame rate (30, 25 or 24 frames per second) to accommodate user-specific applications. Two new features facilitate video recording:
a video recording button for instant pushbutton start
and a stereo microphone with audio gain control and wind noise suppression for more realistic sound
Video record options are flexible, offering the photographer to select aperture or shutter exposure control, and PENTAX Shake Reduction helps stabilize captured video. Users may add personal touches to recorded clips using various Custom Image modes or record subjects in a series of video clips with the Interval Movie Shooting mode. The PENTAX K-01 also comes with an HDMI terminal (which allows the user to simultaneously output both Full HD movie clips and stereo sound) as well as an external microphone input terminal.
New-generation High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode
The High Dynamic Range mode (which produces one extra-wide-gamut blended photo from three images taken at different exposure levels) is accessible with a turn of the mode dial and allows users to select one of three exposure increments as well as the level of effect, while an automatic position adjustment function assures precise alignment of three images even when they are taken with a handheld K-01.
Custom Image Modes and Digital Filters for personalized expression
The PENTAX K-01’s Custom Image modes allow users to select the most appropriate finishing touch for a particular subject or scene to express the photographer’s creative intention or taste. Two of the 11 Custom Images functions are Bleach Bypass to create a dramatic visual effect used in motion pictures and Cross Process to produce a fanciful image with unusual colors. The K-01 also features 19 distinctive digital filters including Miniature to convert an actual scene into an image full of miniature models for an unusual visual effect. Users may be more creative by applying multiple digital filters to a single image.
Smooth, quiet, high-speed burst shooting
The PENTAX K-01’s high-speed burst shooting mode comes in handy when preserving the action of fast-moving subjects in a series of images, since it captures up to six frames per second. With its mirrorless construction, the K-01 offers exceptionally silent mechanical operation that allows users to concentrate on photography even when shooting such subjects as stage performances.
Large, wide-angle 3.0 inch LCD monitor with approx. 921,000 dots
The PENTAX K-01 features a large, easy-to-view, high-resolution 3.0 inch color LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. The wide-view design assures a clear view of the monitor from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, which is useful in low- and high-angle shooting.
PENTAX-original Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism for sharp, blur-free images
The PENTAX K-01 incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR mechanism, which effectively reduces annoying camera shake by approximately four shutter steps. Usable with all compatible lenses, including those produced for film-format SLR cameras, this mechanism produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in the twilight. Equipped with the PENTAX O-GPS1 device (an optional GPS unit launched in June 2011), the K-01’s SR system helps astrophotographers track and shoot celestial bodies.
Effortless, user-friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes
The PENTAX K-01 features the PENTAX-original, user-friendly Auto Picture mode, which selects the most appropriate shooting mode for a given subject or scene from Portrait, Landscape, Macro and other distinctive shooting modes, while optimizing all camera settings, such as aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. This allows a new photographer to concentrate on image composition and shutter opportunity. The K-01 also offers 19 different Scene modes to help simplify the photography of challenging subjects or scenes such as Night Scene Portrait mode, Pet mode, and Backlight Silhouette mode. Users simply choose a corresponding icon on the camera’s LCD monitor.
-TTL image-sensor metering, with a choice of multi-segment, center-weighted and spot modes
-Contrast-detection autofocus system with 81 selectable focus points
-DR (Dust Removal) mechanism to shake off dust adhering to the surface of the CMOS image sensor
-CTE white-balance control mode to emphasize the predominant color of a particular scene, such as the sunset
-A choice of four image size ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1) to accommodate different subjects and applications
-Multi-exposure mode (up to nine exposures on a single image), with an auto exposure compensation function
-Interval shooting mode, useful in time lapse recording of landscapes and flowers/plants from an exact same location and angle
-Compatibility with the new-standard SDXC and UHS Speed Class 1 memory cards
-SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX RAW image data development (developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) included; in-camera RAW image development also available
smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS Lens FACT SHEET
Marc Newson commissioned design
The exterior of this ultra-slim new lens was designed by Marc Newson to complement the clean, contemporary design of the K-01 body.
Easy-to-use, super-thin lens
This unifocal standard lens offers a focal length equivalent to 61mm in the 35mm format and measures a mere 9.2 millimeters thin (only 0.36 inches) making it the world’s thinnest interchangeable lens. The ultra-thin design is highly portable and easy to store and carry. Designed with the acclaimed smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens in mind, the maximum aperture of the new lens is F2.8 to produce sharp, bright images in a wide range of applications, including snapshots, scenic photos, portraits, and even incident-light indoor shooting.
PENTAX conducted numerous image-quality tests of hundreds of images taken with this lens. Upon assessment, the lens offers outstanding optical clarity and subject reproduction characteristics. Rounded diaphragm blades produce a smooth, natural bokeh (out-of-focus) background effect.
SP coating to block dirt and dust
The front surface of this lens is treated with SP (Super Protect) coating, an exclusive fluorine compound applied to the surface through a vapor deposition process. This SP coating not only repels dust, water and grease, but also makes it easy to wipe off stubborn stains such as fingerprints and cosmetics.
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Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice.
Marc Newson is the most acclaimed and influential designer of his generation. He has worked across a wide range of disciplines, creating everything from furniture and household objects, to bicycles and cars, private and commercial aircraft, yachts, various architectural commissions, and signature sculptural pieces for clients across the globe.
Born in Sydney, Newson spent much of his childhood travelling in Europe and Asia. He started experimenting with furniture design as a student and, after graduation, was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council with which he staged his first exhibition - featuring the Lockheed Lounge - a piece that has now, twenty years later, set three consecutive world records at auction.
Newson has lived and worked in Tokyo, Paris, and London where he is now based, and he continues to travel widely. His clients include a broad range of the best known and most prestigious brands in the world - from manufacturing and technology to transportation, fashion and the luxury goods sector. Many of his designs have been a runaway success for his clients and have achieved the status of modern design icons. In addition to his core business, he has also founded and run a number of successful companies, including a fine watch brand and an aerospace design consultancy, and has also held senior management positions at client companies; including currently being the Creative Director of Qantas Airways.
Marc Newson was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, has received numerous awards and distinctions; he was appointed The Royal Designer for Industry in the UK, awarded an honorary doctorate from Sydney University, and holds Adjunct Professorships at Sydney College of the Arts and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
His work is present in many major museum collections, including the MoMA in New York, London’s Design Museum and V&A, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Vitra Design Museum. Having set numerous records at auction, Newson’s work now accounts for almost 25% of the total contemporary design market.
Newson has been the focus of on-going and intense interest in the media, generating significant editorial value for his clients, and has been the subject of a number of books and documentary films.
He is married with two children.