While in Tokyo I stopped by the Pentax Forum in Shinjuku to have a chat about a possible solo exhibition there in autumn. I also had the chance to check out the new Pentax K-01 camera. It’s a mirrorless camera which allows the designers to make it more compact, but they have kept the same APS size sensor used in the K5, and the standard pentax lens mount. The result is a relatively compact camera that produces high quality images and has access to a wide range of Pentax lenses. A new pancake lens, as show in the photographs, makes this a system you could keep in your pocket.
Another great feature of the camera is its aesthetics. Pentax hired designer Marc Newson and allowed him to break free of the standard utilitarian mold that is used for most digital SLRs.
Overall a very cool product.
The camera is now available for preorder at Amazon Japan, Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K. and B&H.
Seldom I disagree with you, Chris, but I can’t even imagine owning a K-01, although I am a Pentax fan (I have four Pentax (D)SLRs). Even the simplest MFT cameras of today have a connector so you can attach an external electronic viewfinder, and even my Olympus XZ-1 has it, but not this brick-like thing! MY NEX-5N is miles ahead (using the same sensor), and
Nikon V1 have better looks (it also is a little like a brick, but not a plastic appliance out of Braun design department from the 70’s (everything Braun looked like the K-01, so you needed a manual to figure out what just your version was supposed to do – was it a radio, shaver, flashgun or???).
It is a fairly badly kept secret that this camera will be the lowest model in a range of bricks designed by Newson, and as such I could accept the fact that a lot of things are missing, or in the wrong place, but it is marketed as being more advanced than my K-5.
I worry for Pentax. Olympus, which is in economic dire straights, all the same manage to come out with the nicest-looking, best equipped, amazingly fast, and very advanced MFT, the OM-D EM-5 (stupid name, but
K-01 isn’t better).
I personally love it! From the design to the simplicity, people were expecting much more from Pentax at this time but I know they have more up their sleeves. I need something precisely like this to use for my business and I will be showing it off to every single person I can.
I like this one. I like the design. Reviews seem to put image quality close to the K-5. The price is good already, and likely to fall by the end of summer. I do wish it had a viewfinder of some sort, and ideally a flash sync contact too, but I can live without either.
I am sort of considering it, though I’d want to see what else Pentax/Ricoh comes up with this year before I decide.