Feb 022012
 

The new Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Camera – Bringing Sexy Back…NOT

SO this morning was the official announcement of the camera we already knew was coming thanks to the “rumor sites” where manufacturers leak their products. But now it is official, and Pentax has entered the mirrorless camera market with one funky looking camera. Coming in with a super quality APS-C sensor the Pentax K-01 promises superb image quality and the cool part is that you will be able to use your K mount lenses on this little beast.

B&H Photo is already taking pre-orders for the Black, Tonka Toy Yellow and White.

The sensor is the same sensor being used in the lovely K-5, Nikon D7000 and Sony NEX-5n. Basically, the best APS-C sensor made to date. 16 Megapixels and superb low light performance. This is awesome.

The mount is the new KAF2 mount and will launch with a line of new “SX” lenses. BUT you will be able to mount your fave K mount lenses WITHOUT an adapter. This is nice as we will not have to go around buying adapters for the camera to use those rocking lenses like the Pentax 77 limited or even better 31 limited. The camera also sports a pop up flash.

Some people on the web are going gaggagoogoo over the design. Me, I find it a little on the ugly side. It’s fat and tonka toy like, especially the yellow one. Some are calling it vintage but I do not recall seeing a camera looking like this back in the day. The fatness of it from the top reminds me of the old Leica Digilux 1, but also more like something Fisher Price would design. Different strokes for different folks I guess. My only issue with the camera, besides its design, is the fact that there is no EVF. Pentax could have put one in quite easily but I guess they will do that in the K-02. The K-01, what we have right now, is selling for $749 for a body only and $899 with a 40mm f/2.8 kit lens. 

Ugly jokes aside, this appears to be a camera that will deliver beautiful files, especially for those who have some of those great Pentax lenses. Think of K-5 performance but without the viewfinder or weather sealing…then again…FOR $1199 you can buy a K-5, which is and will be the better camera, but it is a DSLR.

The sensor is fantastic, the lenses are fantastic, the video recording capabilities appear to be fantastic and the price is right so I am sure this will be a hit for Pentax. I also bet it will look better in person, and knowing Pentax this little bugger may hook me once I get a hold of one to try it. On one hand, the more I look at it the more I am interested in giving it a whirl. Still, wish it had an EVF! On the other hand, is Pentax giving this little guy an oddball design to make us think it’s super cool? If it had a more normal design would there be less buzz about it? Probably. Only time will tell if it will be a hit or suffer the same fate as the Q.

As soon as I get a hold of one I will do a complete review, hopefully with some limited lenses as well. Stay tuned!

The details….

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.

Flexible ISO range of 100-25600 ensures gorgeous noise-free imaging in any lighting condition.

Mirrorless body design is compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades.

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.

Shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 30 seconds and bulb with a silent shutter action.

Shooting modes include P, Av, Tv, and M, as well as powerful automatic modes, creative filters, and finishing options.

Focus peaking mode provides fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.

Captures JPG still images as well as open standard DNG RAW.

In-camera HDR mode combines bracketed user-specified exposures into a single, perfectly blended still image.

Built-in popup flash and external hotshoe compatible with modern PENTAX digital flash units.

Durable machined aluminum frame.

Contemporary styling by world renowned designer Marc Newson.

  119 Responses to “The new Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Camera – Bringing Sexy Back…NOT”

  1. I find it interesting. There are hundreds of serious looking cameras, which all look the same. This is different, and for me, it is beautiful, much more than those new retro looking cameras

  2. Actually, IQ is supposed to be BETTER than the K5 according to the camera store video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-lSQlvqFKs

  3. The top of this makes it look like a cheap toy camera. This designer that I heard so much about and how amazing he was supposed to be really flopped on this I’d say.

    • I actually think in black and in silver this camera doesn’t look that bad and it might look better in reality than in looks in press shots. Still i suspect that for alot of the more serious buyers this will be a video camera more than a stills one. The video capabilities look good and if they allow uncompressed output from that hdmi then this will be a seriously good video camera when tied to some of the better pentax lenses. Still no accessory viewfinder (for which i guess you would buy a k-5 or its replacement) a fairly large form factor and interesting aesthetics will make this a niche camera at best. Sure this will probably be bought by pentax fans and replace the k-r as the low/middle range pentax camera but i doubt it will have the market success that the nex and m4/3 cameras have enjoyed.

  4. are there really people out there that want their camera to be in a specific color like yellow? And if there are do we want them to take pictures.

  5. Intresting if you are looking for something different… it is just a matter of taste…

  6. For me the lack of viewfinder is a major let down, although I know its quite obvious the camera is not geared towards enthusiasts which I think is itself a contradiction in terms because at the same time Pentax supports and brags about “mounting any pentax lens” and bla bla which is clearly things that only enthusiasts do, well at least most of them. Not sure how many point and shooters will actually go bonkers and trying out a lot of Pentax glass.

    So you see to not come out with an EVF is total contradictory, ah enough said, I also penned a few thoughts earlier today as well. Like I said in my blog post, a more compelling price would have been $500 body only at its current price its a tough system to buy into imho.

    • I’d never buy a serious camera without a viewfinder, period! I guess I’m a Pentax fan, thus not in the race! Go rot in hell, then I’s say! I have had enough off of Braun-ish designs in my life, including flashes, temperature probes, and toasters! I love the K-5, but the K-01 can rot in hell!

  7. OMG… WTH…No EVF! Or any other view finder. It is very difficult to track a fast moving subject without a VF of some kind. I kind of dig the cam., but no VF is a deal breaker. :(

  8. I heard that there actually in a viewfinder available. Please contact the LEGO Corporation.
    (just buy the K-5….AWESOME camera).

  9. You’d think, in a creative hobby such as photography, that folks would be… you know… creative in other ways of thinking and seeing the world as well. The only thing I have learned from reading blogs and online photo forums is that photographers now-a-days are the most conservative, dull and uninspired group (of mostly old men) on the planet.

    Ask yourself this… Why does every camera you lust after have to look like a 1970s rangefinder? And it always has to be black?! This era of retro-nostalgia-fear-of-the-future is getting old. Free your mind. Let’s move forward.

    • So if you do not like this look or design you are conservative, dull, uninspired and an old man. Lol. I am neither of those and I am not a fan of this design. This design is Creative, I will give it that, but creative is not always good :)

      • creatively ugly!!! ugliest camera award!! two thumbs up marc newson for killing the pentax name

        • Couldn’t agree more! This must be one of the ugliest camera design I have ever seen! I always appreciate the liberal use of fun color by Pentax, but if a design student came up with this design, he/she will have a hard time graduating…

        • This design may not appeal to the camera ‘purist’ but there are millions out there who like ‘cute’, funky, oddball or even ‘retro’ art deco – which this design most echoes.

          It’s funny how criticism of the Nikon 1 series ‘toy-like’ design was shouted down by it’s users/prospective buyers (I saw a 1950’s Smena – I think – toy camera on eBay recently that was a clone of the Nikon V1) Perhaps Pentax doesn’t have as many fan boys as Nikon.

          I certainly see elements of the early Digilux – same square box/round off the edges ethos – if it had been released in solid black as a new Digilux perhaps it would have got a different reception ….

          Don’t forget – the early Leicas were dismissed as ‘toys’ by the professionals – too small, fiddly – you need a large format camera!

          What goes around, comes around it seems!

      • I am not an old man, I’m a very inspired 20 something female photographer and I have to admit I do lust after the old school designs. In saying that I appreciate what Pentax has created but the design in the images really doesn’t float my boat but maybe in person it’ll change my mind I don’t bet on it though.

    • I own a white Pany G3 and owned a white Pany GF1. Also own a silver Pany GX1. I am open-minded and actually kind of like the design yellow K-01 camera…I guess where it falls on its face for me is that there is no VF and I really think that every measure should have been taken to make this mirrorless design very small. Bad design in my book. (I think the Pentax K-5 though ordinary looking has got all of the features and a kickin set of lenses, too).

    • You call that creative? The designer has broken no new ground here. Even the lens is still plonk in front of the sensor, just as stodgy, unimaginative, old guys insist it must be on any “real” camera.

      Seriously though, as a stodgy, unimaginative, &c., “form follows function” kind of guy, the loss of function (i.e., viewfinder) kills it for me more than the Tonka color or the, um, interesting top cover layout. Pentax already have one, high-dollar “toy” camera (their billing, not mine) in the Q; why they felt they needed another is beyond me.

  10. Steve – the KAF2 mount is far from new and has been around since the ZX series. So the camera is essentially just a K-5 in a weird body and with no viewfinder. There isn’t a hope in hell of this selling in the UK where the price is only about $100 less than the K-5. Why didn’t they just stick in an EVF instead of paying a designer to funk it up? Pentax really need to get their camera range back in order as they now only have 1 camera that the average photographer would buy.

  11. There is just NO reason to buy this camera!
    it’s not smaller than a dslr, it’s really really ugly and there is no viewfinder at all, which is not only a problem in bright light but also ergonomicly, with the heavy lenses…
    you really better pay a little bit more and buy a K-5.

    • IQ might be a reason to buy it, it might even better the K5. Pentax pancakes on this boxy beast might actually make for a great street shooter. The price is comparable to a VF less Samsung NX200. It’s not a beauty in the classic sense, but I like this boxy, minimalistic bauhaus design, it is in certain way comparable to the Nikon V1.

      • IQ will be good, yes.
        but for this price you can get a dslr like nikon d5100 or canon 600d. they have good image quality too. so why not buy one of these? those cameras are not big either, they’re not ugly and they have an optical viewfinder.
        i still don’t get the point of this camera.

        ok, maybe someone likes the design. but definitly not me.

    • But, it is a bit smaller than the K5 (see below) and probably about the same size as the Fuji Pro (maybe a bit deeper, but shorter).

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmflores/6806734309/

  12. Marc Newson designed this camera. I like his designs a lot but have to say that this one is not my favorite. It feels compromised between what Marc can do and what Pentax allowed him to do.
    Personally I am not a retro fan either but I like modern, clean looking devices.

    Click here to see more of his stuff.

    http://www.marc-newson.com/ProjectMosaic.aspx?GroupSelected=0

    D!RK

    • .
      We have his Dish Doctor dishrack (..in fact I’ve just finished the washing up).

      Mmm, it does look a bit like the first Leica Digilux. That was squat and blocky too. That’s now what’s called a “collector’s item”. Not used, just collected. Collecting dust. But the black-&-white K-01 does look jolly!

      It looks friendly – easy to use.

    • What? Marc Newson designed this camera? He is a genius! With that said, I agree with you; this design is a failure. So what gives? Did Marc Newson sell out his name and let his “studio” design the camera? Wow, this might be the very first Marc Newson design that I would describe as pedistrian and boring.

  13. I hated this when I saw it for the first time earlier today, but the design is actually slowly growing on me!

    The silver and black versions look the best. I do hope however they don’t go down this design route for the rumoured full frame!

  14. If it had some kind of viewfinder, then maybe.
    As it is, it’s a point-n-shoot for only $300 less than a K5.
    I’m sure the image quality is fine, but it looks like a marketing flop to me.

  15. Heh, I sort of anticipated that this camera wouldn’t go over well on this site. There is already a pretty long thread on Rangefinderforums making fun of it.

    A few thoughts:

    1. I think the new 40 mm limited pancake lens (awesome lens by the way) accidentally makes the camera seem more squat and unappealing than it really is. As the camera is essentially a mini DSLR body, it looks like it balances pretty well with the wide range of Pentax lenses. (i.e. not the awkward flat slab giant lens look like with the Sony NEX series) Ironically, the 40 mm pancake would look and work great on the NEX, but I digress.

    2. I don’t think it will really appeal to the boutique mirrorless camera crowd (cameras costing $1,000+) that is developing, and I’m not sure if it was ever meant to really compete with them. I think it does compete pretty well with the Samsung NX, Olympus EP line (not the OM-D), Nikon mirrorless cameras, and the Panasonic GF series.

    3. This camera is a lot more appealing if you already own K-mount lenses or are interested in owning them.

    4. This design compromise is awkward, but it opens the door for future steps down the line. Built in EVF? Full frame mirrorless? I can’t imagine they’d take huge changes to this camera body to pull off.

    5. The great video features are the main reason I’m looking at this as my backup camera to the K-5. Plus with the K-5’s sensor I won’t lose anything if I care this around as my slightly more svelte substitute.

    6. I am a little bit bummed about the lack of an EVF (not even an optional one at this point). But I assume they’ll come out with one for a later version. Although, again, this seems to me to be more of a bridge mirrorless camera for Pentax users, so maybe they’ll keep the viewfinders for the slightly more expensive DSLRs.

    7. The autofocus speed an accuracy will make a big difference as far as whether this is a fun toy or a semi-professional capable tool.

    8. This is another step forward for Pentax when it comes to technology, plus it preserves the K-mount for the moment. It’s not perfect but it make’s me optimistic for Pentax’s future.

    9. The Q is going to have to drop far far far in price or it will seem like a ridiculous purchase.

    • I guess an EVF with a flash hot shoe attachment, and a cable to the HDMI port is possible – but why should I as a consumer need to add one?!

      But to me it is a Braun-looking appliance out of their range of similar-looking items (The classic Braun flash guns, tshavers, or what-ever, were all dark-coloured boxy things with rounded corners, with a few colourful buttons, just like the K-01). Braun of today have moved away from that style of design, and hopefully Pentax will, too!

  16. Interesting. New design needs time to be absorbed.

    • Maybe you’re right. For now, I don’t want to absorb such a ugly camera. Well, no problem, I don’t want it, because I don’t see a EVF.

  17. I personally like this design! Its fugly!!)) I will by this one no matter what!)) Its a must have design!

    PA

  18. It is box like, but the minimalist look and clean lines give it a refreshing simplicity, in fact a bit like the M9 and X1.

  19. Dayglo green

    Im seeing a pattern

  20. NEXT! Move on, nothing to see here.

  21. It seems designed by Dieter Rams :DDD

  22. The design would have been better if it was solid black. The Ricoh GXR and GRD are not necessarily “pretty” like the Fujis and the Leicas, but the solid matte black finish gives it a nice industrial look.

    Also, the hallmark of good design is the ease of use in operation. Perhaps the K-01,, like the Ricohs achieves this goal.

  23. Marc Newson interview

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3GQszFczt0

    0.22: “Also the fact that i hadn’t designed a camera”

    yes dear it shows

  24. I think it’s great to see another well known company join the CSC, ILC, Mirror-less, (or whatever you call them!) movement. It wasn’t too long ago if you wanted great digital IQ, you needed to buy something big, bulky, and expensive.

    Not a huge fan of the borderline gimmicky, toy-ish design but it’s all in the eye of the beholder i guess. Check out the “Mark Newson” signature branding on the camera at gizmodo uk. That is a HUGE turn off IMO.

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2012/02/pentax-enlists-aussie-sleb-designer-marc-newson-for-fisher-price-esque-k-01-camera/

    Either way, the market is really catering to people who want great IQ for stills and video but do not want to lug a DSLR everywhere they go. And that can only be a good thing.

    Now if we can only get Leica to make a “CL-D”!!.

  25. It has a grip like one sees on the Canon G10. It should be comfortable for my hand. I can’t wait to hold one.

  26. Now that Pentax has a mirrorless camera, could the Leica M mount lenses be fitted onto the K-01 like with Sony NEX cameras?

    • you can buy a mount for the Leica R lens that replaces the Leica mount with a Pentax K mount … I am using two Leica R lens with my Pentax K20 and love the set up…

      • The R lenses are usually cheaper than the M lenses too.

      • I was hoping I could use the Zeiss 50/1.5 c-Sonnar or the Jupiter-3 50/1.5 with this Pentax body. Now that there isn’t a mirror to get in the way, I was wondering if that’s a possibility.

  27. Well this chunky baby is housing Kmount built in (needs a large flange distance).
    Maybe also a dedicated driver & processor to drive the af of pentax af lenses.

    But & its a big butt

    Size is almost as K5 dslr yet then why leave out evf
    http://1.s.img-dpreview.com/files/news/4846894009/520/side-by-side4.jpg?v=1322
    http://3.s.img-dpreview.com/files/news/4846894009/520/side-by-sideRr.jpg?v=1322

  28. It is designed to win design awards.
    Thats is what designers tend to do.

    I look at at it and immediately see aaah it has both feet planted in the Australian International Design Awards.
    Just another notch on the bedpost.

  29. I’m glad I have moved from Pentax. Didn’t regret at all, since Leica M lenses on NEX turned to be superior over Pentax Ltds and stars, although I miss K-5 sensor a bit.

  30. It has a certain charm

    [img]http://www.magic.org/store/images/Foam_Camera.jpg[/img]

    • ^^^that is funny!! :)

      On the serious side though. If this is designed for Pentax lenses, will that not render this useless for the use of other classic glass on this? Due to the flange distance being too long?
      Seems to me, for shooting classic manual glass the Nex system is still the way to go.
      Which is a pitty, I have mates that love Pentax and have been building the release of this us to me for months now… Seems a bit of fizzle to me now that Iam seeing it.
      Did Pentax miss the point of what this new breed of mirror-less cameras is all about?

      • I think that you are the first person to mention the flange distance. While it might be nice to be able to use existing Pentax SLR lenses (if that is what you have) the long flange distance would appear to leave this camera out of the running with regard to shooting Leica M glass.

      • ‘Did Pentax miss the point of what this new breed of mirror-less cameras is all about?’

        I suspect it’s not that they missed the point, it’s more that they consciously decided not to go down that route (where people are already well served by Sony and Panasonic). You can understand why they’d not prioritise use of other lenses on their system – however they do have some nifty primes of their own!

        I think they need to work harder on making it as thin as possible (think of how thin those lovely old Pentax SLRs were) and making it *look* as thin as possible. Newson’s design manages to make it look fatter than it really needs to.

    • Is it weather sealed???

  31. How could they miss the EVF? They could have slightly reworked the K5 and had a beautiful, small, fast, sharp camera. Oh well. All this mirrorless hype pushes products to the marketplace.

  32. I LOVE their lens road map 2012-2013 standard lens, zoom lens, wide angle zoom etc!

  33. I guess they had to cut corners somewhere. If they jjust made a K-5 in a smaller body, no one would ever buy a K-5 again. Still, if this gets the picture quality and focus speed of the K-5, then it is a winner no matter what it looks like. (for better or worse these days, I need fast autofocus.)

    It is hard to judge from the pictures, but it looks like it is only about 20% smaller than the K-5. Nice, but that room is already crowded.

  34. This thing is pretty ugly and cheap looking, yet will probably have the best crop sensor around. It’s such a mistmatch it’s ridiculous. Lack of EVF is also a huge negative.

  35. I don’t understand the level of camera bashing. Personally, I like the Ricoh-look for some things (I have a GRDIV) but like most also prefer the look of the X-Pro-1. If the camera was all-black, or all silver, it would look much better. The two-tone look doesn’t work in this case, and I think it really only works in the classic, x100, M9 way. On more modern designs, it looks cheap. That being said, I think that as a work of design, its interesting, its different, and time will tell how the design really makes an impact on the market. Nikon 1 wasn’t really well received at the beginning, and now everybody raves. But it is a really different camera I suppose.

    I really hope Pentax does well because competition and choice are always a good thing.

  36. Pre-ordered!

  37. ALl of my M42 lenses ( Takumars and Soviet Helios’ ones) will work on this quite nicely, however they already work great on my KX and that has a viewfinder :P

  38. I’ve read several comments here and elsewhere bashing the K-01 for being nearly the size of Pentax’s K5. That is missing a major point: a camera is used with lenses—so let’s see the size of the new lenses mounted on the body.

    And I bet Pentax went very smart, and the lenses’ll be very small on the body: instead of protuding from a short-flange mount, it seems from the new SX 40/2.8 that they’ll be intruding into the (former) mirror box. Thus Pentax could be winner on both fronts: total compatibility of old lenses combined with the size-advantage of a mirrorless package with new lenses.

    For the design, it’s different so people talk about it. And that’s what matters now because the market is crowdy. I’ll wait and see the next bodies, likely coming within 6 months, to see the design direction of the series—in the meantime, I kinda like the idea of having just thin rings outside the body, most of the lens hidden and protected inside the box.

  39. kind of looks like a holga camera ,funky for sure !! probably wont sell well due to funky style but then again pentax really took a unique approach to this design …big risk especially since most prefer classic vintage style..time will tell if its a flopp or not!
    boris

  40. At least they are venturing out and trying different designs rather than copying the current trend of Leica’esque cameras aka Fuji. The sensor is great, and if it comes together as a package then it may sell well. The first proper reviews will show if they nailed it or not….

  41. It’s not boring! and it gets people talking!
    and I’m so happy that there are other pages on this site

  42. If you told me the K-01 was an underwater housing for the Pentax Q I probably would of believed it

  43. If they use the advantage of not having a mirror to create some affordable wide angles (21, 28 or 35 equiv.), I’m interested. If not, I’d much rather be looking through a prism.

    Re: looks, I don’t really care.

  44. Oh, what an ugly thing!

  45. Gumby’s camera!

  46. [img]http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/jj524/picrumors/K01_ST120.jpg[/img]

    Major design flaw.
    Not enough PENTAX on the neck strap.

  47. Isn’t the Pentax Q a mirrorless system camera as well? So this is just a new platform, but not the first CSC from Pentax.

  48. I know many say when they shoot street they like a discreet camera.
    But heck, that dayglo green is sure to bring a smile to peoples faces & looks so unthreatening.
    Just need dayglo lenses to match … SLR Magic ;)

  49. The new camera isn’t that much smaller than a K-x or K-r, but I can forgive that because it accepts all K-mount lenses. And while I don’t love the styling, I don’t mind it either. It’s not beautiful or sexy but it is kind of cool in an old Volkswagen Beetle kind of way.

    But the lack of a built-in EVF limits the usefulness of the camera and severely restricts which K-mount lenses one can use on it in a practical sense. Primes are fine – pancake or not – and so are smaller zooms like the DA 18-55. But can you imagine trying to frame a shot via the rear LCD with a DA 18-250 or 55-300 on it? In bright sunlight?

    I suspect Ricoh wanted to get a mirrorless offering beyond the Q out there quickly. I also appreciate their respect for the K-mount. And there’s nothing to say they won’t bring out a mirrorless camera with viewfinder in the future. But I can’t see buying this myself. I’ll read the reviews – perhaps there’ll be something to change my mind. In the meantime, I still have my K-5, K200D and nine Pentax lenses. I also have my micro four-thirds kit that I will continue to to use and enjoy.

  50. I don’t mind the colors. Bring em’ on. I don’t even mind the designer’s name on the bottom.. who cares. But There’s one major problem I have with the design its self. I can even forgive the lack of a VF to a point, though not totally, as I’ll explain in a second. The major problem I have is its size. I don’t know about the rest of you, but one of the main reasons I am looking at a mirrorless system right now, is because I don’t want to lug my DSLR around anymore. I’ll use it for studio work and that alone if I can find a nice compact mirrorless for PJ style shooting as well as vacations and all that other good stuff.

    How can you be discrete with that thing? When people see something that looks like a P&S camera (any of the Olympus M4/3, NEX, X100, Pani line etc.. ) they’re less apt to care about what you’re doing. Point anything that remotely looks threatening, and they start getting nervous, which always ruins a spontaneous moment.

    After that, how can you honestly not feel cheated about the lack of a VF? It could have two of them with the size of that thing! Plus at that price point, I’m just flat out shocked that it isn’t included.

    It’s the same sensor that is in the D7000, nex 5n and K 5 but has a different processing engine obviously. Whether or not that means better IQ is yet to be seen, but even if it does, it’s nothing that an update to the other camera’s firmware couldn’t fix (if they wanted to.. but we all know how that bit of politic goes).

    Also, as far as the glass goes, can’t you also slap an adapter on something like the NEX 5N and fit pretty much any manual focus lens on that you want, including all the pentax lenses?

    Doug

  51. Boxy is the signature of Marc’s work. You have to see Marc’s previous work like the Ford he designed, or the bicycle he designed for Biomega, or his ikepod watches.

    K-01 is quite heavy for a mirrorless…. I am expecting it to be very solid like a bigger GXR?? not plastic like a K-R.

    Design is more then just the look. The way it operates, its responsiveness, the way it feels in your hand and etc are all part of the design….. I love the form of the camera, the look at the top, back and sides. But the front does look weird.

  52. Always the same old sad apology for banality. Indicator of societies fossilised by hoary stereotypes ?

    Go for it Pentax, and well done Marc Newson!

  53. Without a hint of irony – what is that this cameras does over a APS-C DSLR? It seems to me just DSLR minus mirror and viewfinder. I do not really buy the mirror slap – APS-C mirrors are tiny.

  54. I do find it incredibly ugly, and I think the lack of a viewfinder is lamentable, but those are not my major complaints about this camera. This camera has a huge disadvantage compared to all other mirrorless systems to date: Because of the K-mount flange focal distance you can’t use any third party lenses on it (apart from Leica R mount and, of course, Pentax lenses). So no M lenses on this one, no Canon FD or Nikons…

    I don’t think this is a serious attempt by Pentax to enter the mirrorless market, as I explain on my blog.

  55. I believe a lot of depend up on the refresh rate of the sensor itself, if it can do say 120Hz refresh AF should be very fast and possibility on par with most phase detection system. We know for sure it can do at least 60Hz given it does 720p @ 60fps.

  56. Good designers let “form follow function”. Now the EVIL K-01 comes in a shape that mimics an SLR with optical pentaprism finder. What a disappointment. From a reputable designer. I wonder whether Marc Newson would design a car with fake reins for horses.

    As dedicated lens they offer a 40/2.8 and for later announce a standard 50mm. Didn’t Pentax realise that APS-C is smaller than the film 24x36mm? Apparently the company is not willing to invest in the development of APS-C prime lenses, but instead revives old optical designs from the 1980s. What a greater disappointment.

    Compared to Samsung NX or Sony NEX you at least save the $20 for a chinese PK adapter. Otherwise it is a boring “me, too” product.

  57. > Peter Z

    No, Pentax didn’t realise that APS-C has a crop factor relative to full frame. They are retarded and you are very clever. <>

    On the other hand, the general consensus is that Pentax will be releasing at least one full frame camera this year. That would require a “standard 50″. They’re just not spelling it out to you.

    I think a lot of people will be changing their tune when Pentax release a camera this size with a FF sensor in it.

    Interesting times ahead for Pentax.

  58. HAHA :-D very nice headline! ;-)))

  59. as soon as you put an evf on this it becomes virtually the same size as the K5…. why bother

  60. You can already see videos showing the AF speed.

    ;-)

  61. To enable comparability with the SLR lenses the camera has to be that deep otherwise the lenses wouldn’t work

    The looks are starting to grow on me , but I wish they had made a copy of the classic K1000 instead of the 67(I think that’s the one newson likes). Film cameras are tiny in the flesh , let’s see what Olympus comes up with

  62. A few opinions about the coior of this camera.

    The color of a camera does not affect the captured image, except it could affect the “image” of the photographer as seen by the client if they are expecting a professional photographer with professional equipment. :)

    Also a yellow camera doesn’t seem as unobtrusive in street photography as a black bodied camera. But perhaps an argument could me made that the color yellow is so odd that a person walking by you would never think that you were holding a camera, much less one that could make a high quality image.

    As for me, my eyesight is slipping into middle age and I’m having a hell of a time, discerning all the black gadgets in my camera bags especially in dim lighting situations. That is why, when I needed a light meter for cinematography, I bought a yellow Spectra Pro. When I put it down on a set, I can find it from across the studio. My black Sekonic meter however seems to occasionally disappear as if it has a “cloaking device:.

    This new Pentax is not for me (put I would buy a k-mount module for my Ricoh GXR in a heartbeat).

    Speaking of Ricoh, when I bought the GXR, I also got the leather half case, made by Ricoh as a protective measure and because the leather improves the grip for me. At first I really hated the Tan color of the Ricoh case. But as with my yellow light meter, the Tan Ricoh has grown on me, because the camera with the case is now so easy to see in any lighting condition.

    I don’t have a problem with colors in electronic devices. I think that this esthetic is becoming more and more prevalent as people put colorful cases on their iPhones, iPads, etc.

  63. a few thoughts on this camera…

    design: bizarre. interesting. growing on me?

    size: overall, I suspect it won’t come in that much bigger than some other mirrorless designs, because many of the DA limited lenses are already very small. The 70mm and 21mm are only 1″ long. The 40mm is half that. This new 40mm is half the old 40mm. We are talking tiny. And they all already exist and have great reputations. People tend to forget how small the K-5 already is (it’s size is about the same overall as the M8 – though the shape is quite different)… and the K-01 is smaller. Paired with the Pentax pancake lenses, it really won’t be a big package at all. (however, it’ll be no EPM1 with 14mm pancake either!)

    video: though many of us here might not be interested in video all that much, the potential of the K-01 is fantastic. The K-5, K-r and K-x were all often overlooked because of lacking manual controls, but the image stabilization in these bodies is amazing for video. If the K-01 has the same image stabilization, it’s going to be hard to beat as a hand-held video shooter, now that Pentax has employed much better video specs and given full manual controls.

    lack of EVF: I know a lot of photographers hate the lack of a viewfinder in some of these mirrorless designs… however, it doesn’t really bug me. I have the VF2 for my EPM1 and only use it about 20% of the time… and have grown quite used to it. Other than some of the technical arguments in favor of using a eye-level viewfinder, I think some photographers have to stop caring about what other people think… “I can’t look professional unless the camera is plastered to my face”… LOL
    No offense intended of course ;)

    sensor: no one can deny that K-5 has a class-leading sensor. I’m still blown away by the dynamic range and high ISO performance of it. If the K-01 meets or beats it, and has a full line of lenses already available, despite what some call “ugly”, it could end up being a nice little kit.

    • I totally agree… I have been looking at this thing for a couple days now and it IS growing on me. Nice sensor, awesome lens selection and not too big, and certainly an interesting design. I have been using a G10 for a long time and use the goofy OVF about 2%. I am used to looking at an LCD and I see pretty much the photo as it will be on that as I change settings. The price isn’t too bad either. And more strangely, I am digging, more and more, the white one. I must be a weirdo! :)

  64. Let´s face it: the camera is, even if it doesn´t sell, already a winner for Pentax, if you look at the buzz it creates. Was a long time ago that people talk so much, and so passionately about Pentax, and that, naturally, is a shame if you think what a great camera the K-5 is, and what great lenses the FA- and DA-limiteds. I hope only, that Pentax continues producing fine camera stuff above the K-01.
    (Love your site, by the way, Steve!)

  65. This is the first mirrorless camera with NO BENEFITS, only downsides ! Why would I want a camera as big as a DSLR, with no viewfinder but a hump, a lot slower, compromised handling (due to lack of VF) that cost as much or more than a DSLr and it’s got the ugly design of trafic lights ? This is crazy.

  66. This is one of the worst camera concepts I’ve seen in a while, regardless of what it looks like. It’s hilarious that, in a knee jerk reaction to enter the large sensor ILC market, Pentax created something that is the worst of both worlds. The lack of OVF and PDAF of DSLRS combined with the same mirror box size. You might as well just get a K-5 and use Live view mode.

  67. Interesting reading all the thoughts here
    for me personally
    1- I would just get the K-5
    2- 40mm lens? that’s a a 60mm… too long to be short too short to be long….
    why not a 24 or something like that??
    am

  68. It certainly is going to be a buyer’s year.

  69. To me it looks likeone of those German coffee machines that everyone seem to have these days. The rear button arrnagement is very much K-x, which was replaced by K-r which now is replaced by this K-Zero-One.
    Hopefully there will be a top-of-the-range mirrorless camera from Pentax with a viewfinder, soon! Ugly as the K-Zero-One is, I think this one will be a collector’s item, first and foremost, and, possibly, very popular with the videographers!

  70. Just ran across this at camera-enthusiast.com:

    Volume of Fuji X-Pro 1, including a viewfinder: 494cc
    Volume of K-01, with no viewfinder: 559cc.

    • Lens choice for the X-Pro: 3
      Lens choice for the Pentax: Many hundreds

      And the X-Pro has no IS.

      And any lens you buy for the X-Pro will be limited to a APS-C image circle and register distance. Not very future-proof.

      Everyone is so busy staring at the current best thing, that no attention is being given to the future.

      The future is FULL FRAME. Pentax have a mount and register distance that supports it.

  71. I think you’re right. Minimal R&D outlay in this camera, apart from the metal shell probably rather low construction costs (it’s basically a metal box isn’t it!) and a nutty love-it-or-hate-it sort of design…. people with no previous interest in Pentax are swerving by to check it out. People are either intrigued by the design, or find the camera fascinating in a car-crash kind of way!

    But when the sample images and reviews come out, and remember the image quality will most likely be stellar, Pentax will probably be ready to drop a couple of ‘serious’ new SLRS into the market, amidst all the attention and controversy.

    • I think thats what some people said about the iPhone as well.

      “What?!! only 1 button? What??? There is no sd slot?? What?? ad nauseaum”
      Plus whatever else Steve Ballmer was trash talking.

      But with that 1 button and a plethora of apps, people think its cool and super and what not.
      I think we should wait till we have a chance of holding the camera and trying it out rather than being dogmatic about it.

      • I forgot to add. Personally if its built like a built as it does looking like one, I definitely want one, I tend to bang my cameras around.

  72. Will be interested in your thoughts here. What perplexes me is designing the claimed world’s thinnest optic, then putting it on a brick. The design? Well not over the moon about it but the true test will be in the output. I’ve used much uglier cameras than this.

  73. The K-5 is a wonderful camera, the only wonderful camera Pentax makes. Rather than providing photographic tools for the serious photographer, Pentax has descended into kitsch and cuteness. This camera is embarrassing. It is very sad. How about a full-frame K5, or a mirror-less camera that will take on the likes of Sony or even Fuji? I love my K-5 and am in the process of investing in some of the great Pentax primes but it may be the only, and last, Pentax I own. Please, Pentax, design some cameras for the true photographic enthusiast.

  74. it actually looks good; at least they dare to think different and they do not simply make a carbon copy of a vintage camera.
    unfortunately, the lack of viewfinder makes it a completely unappealing camera to me.
    pass.

  75. I am mainly interested in de video capabilities of the K-01.
    Is it AVCHD or H.264 AVC?
    I know the difference is minimal but for me important enough.

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