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Pentax K-01 and Optio WG-2 Win Camera Awards

Pentax's new cameras show some success! · 04-16-2012 · By PF Staff in Pentax News

Today, Pentax proudly announced that two of their cameras launched this year, the mirrorless K-01 and the compact Optio WG-2, have each won a prestigious industry award!

The Pentax K-01, pictured above and reviewed last month, was the recipient of the Red Dot Design Award in the "Entertainment Technology and Cameras" category for its innovative design by Marc Newson.  While we aren't surprised that its design is attracting attention, the news that the camera won this award comes as a great positive surprise, given our members' mixed options of the camera's appearance.

Pentax Optio WG-2
The Pentax Optio WG-2, not surprisingly, received the 2012 TIPA award for "Best Rugged Camera".  As we found in our WG-2 review, while competing cameras share similar specifications with respect to weatherproofing and shock resistance, the Optio WG-2 has more features and better imaging facilities. Namely, its shutter can fire at speeds of up to 1/4000s, which current competing cameras can only go up to 1/1500s.

The TIPA is the Technical Image Press Association, which gives out some of the most-coveted imaging awards on a yearly basis.  Last year, the Pentax 645D was the winner of their "Best Professional DSLR" category, a title which the Canon 1Dx took this year.

Another 2012 winner of interest to the Pentax community was the Sigma 180mm F2.8 macro lens, which won the "Best Expert DSLR Lens" award.

Sigma 180mm Lens

It remains unknown whether or not this lens will be produced in the Pentax mount, but we're keeping our finders crossed!  We contacted Sigma USA only to learn that Sigma in Japan has not yet revealed this detail.  Sigma won another award this year with their 18-200mm II lens, though this lens isn't available for Pentax (its predecessor is, however).

The Red Dot Design Awards are sponsored by the Nordrhein Westfalen Design Center in Germany, and are awarded each year to products released over the last two years.  Nine different design criteria are judged, and the Pentax K-01 was found to be the best out of a batch of more than four thousand products in its category.  This is the first time that any Pentax product has won a Red Dot award.

PF Staff's avatar
About the author: Various writers regularly contribute articles to the Pentax Forums homepage blog. More recent articles are published under each author's forum username. We hope you enjoy our guides and news coverage!

Tags: TIPA awards, k-01, optio wg-2, pentax camera, pentax, red dot

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Edgar_in_Indy [Delete] Apr 18th, 2012 6:01AM

Yes, I think lack of an EVF hurts the K-01, and is one of the reasons I like the Olympus OM-D. Using an LCD screen in the bright sun is no fun.

sapporodan [Delete] Apr 18th, 2012 2:35AM

For me my dislike for the K1 was never the looks, it was the lack of practicality. No Electronic viewfinder or space to add one, no articulated screen and two customisable buttons with hardly any choice of what to use them for!

If they shrunk the thing down and put on the Q mount I think it would be a fantastic little camera, but its bulk just puts me off it.

Also off topic, when is Ricoh going to give us a K mount for the GXR!

wfparrish3 [Delete] Apr 17th, 2012 2:34PM

Congratulations! Over time, I have been thinking more and more into the K-01 over the K5. I would love to have the K5 if my eyes can handle the little viewfinder. I think with my age and where tech is going, I'm gonna choose the K-01. But I'm afraid to buy it for fear that the next day Pentax will announce the K-02! Please don't be ubiquitous like the Canikons!

johanbe [Delete] Apr 17th, 2012 12:00PM

I cannot find any Pentax products on their side ... lots of other cameras though
en dot red-dot dot org

Edgar_in_Indy [Delete] Apr 17th, 2012 10:16AM

Congratulation on the award I guess. It seems that the eggheads are very impressed by the K-01. Meanwhile, as a happy K-x owner with some money to spend on an upgraded (or second) camera, the Olympus OM-D is looking better every day...

carlwood [Delete] Apr 17th, 2012 4:58AM

The lens sections of this article highlights the need for Pentax/Ricoh to make a commitment to advanced enthusiasts and professional photographers by creating a full-frame DLSR (OK, I note the higher capabilities of the medium-format 64D but it is way out of reach for most of us). There are so many great Sigma (and other)lenses which are not available with a Pentax mount - and one can't blame Sigma (or the others) - who's going to go to the expense of making really great lenses for cameras made by a company who refuse to make a commitment to manufacture to their own great and proven capabilities. Come on Pentax/Ricoh, we know what you can do - just do it!

epu [Delete] Apr 17th, 2012 2:41AM

BTW if Pentax launches in September the long awaited FF DSLR (as announced to me by Rice High) I sincerely hope it does NOT feature an electronic view finder, but the classic mirror, once invented by Pentax itself....

epu [Delete] Apr 17th, 2012 2:36AM

K01 remains a failure (like the Q). The leading French photo magazine "Chasseur d'Images" this month granted it 3 out of 5. New cameras of Canon, Nikon and Olympus gathered 5 out of 5.
Surely with these two products Pentax is on the wrong way!

iamin [Delete] Apr 17th, 2012 12:29AM

Well, though it doesn't mean anything to us as pentaxians, it may help attract new customers in marketing point.

hcarvalhoalves [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 9:11PM

The WG-2 award actually means something, though.

Spare Tire [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 9:07PM

Haha, oh wow.

Alizarine [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 8:31PM

It seems the K-01 "designer camera" does pick up a lot of hoots and whistles from the Design community.

To the rest of the world though, they'll still say it's ugly.
To me though, the K-01 just gained from me 1 more point of good respect!

Tord [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 4:06PM

Red Dot gives hundreds of prices each year for communication, and product design. Among the cameras Red Dot Awards was given to in 2011 many of them have been given abysmal reviews, like the Coolpix S1100pj!

The P7000, another winner, was given 3.5 (out of 5) by CNET, due to its rather abysmal RAW.

The BenQ P1420, supposedly fantastic, as it got another Red Dot Award, has not gotten a single review, good, or bad (at least Google can't find any in English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish), and that's a camera that supposedly should have been on the market since May!

Fuji F550EXR was give a 3 (out of 5) by Techradar, and that too has a Red Dot Award!

Red Dot goes for styling, first and foremost, and don't care that much about price, functionality, or quality. So most Apple things gets a Red Dot, while a sensible camera like the Leica M9, or a K-5, does not. So you need a famous designer, and something looking different - if it is usable does not matter one bit, it seems.

asw66 [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 2:56PM

"Nine different design criteria are judged, and the Pentax K-01 was found to be the best out of a batch of more than four thousand products in its category. "

I trust that one of the design criteria is "upsetting the old fogeys in the Pentax Forums"!

david94903 [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 2:16PM

I've been bugging the Sigma guys for the last few months about having the 180mm Macro available in a Pentax mount. So far no luck. Maybe a full court press from Pentax Forums will inspire them to look beyond the Canikons.

mccarvindh [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 2:11PM

Kudos to Pentax for bringing out these excellent cameras!

Neanderthal75 [Delete] Apr 16th, 2012 1:44PM

I will NEVER buy another Sigma lens again UNTIL they STOP with their anti-Pentax bigotry!