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02-02-2012, 11:54 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax K-01 Camera Overview

The Pentax K-01 is a 16-megapixel, K-mount APS-C mirrorless digital camera featuring an exclusive design by Marc Newson. It goes on sale in the US around March 15th, and has an MSRP of $749 for the body only. The K-01 employs the same sensor as the praised K-5 DSLR, and has improved manual video features and performance thanks to the new PRIME M processor- up to 60 FPS in 720p and 30/25/24 FPS in full HD and 720p. It has a new, quieter 6FPS mechanical shutter which fires at up to 1/4000s, an ISO range reduced to 100-25,600 (compare to 80-51,200 on the K-5), and no viewfinder. Thanks to its K-mount, the K-01 is fully compatible with all of Pentax's DSLR lenses and legacy SLR lenses.

The K-01 is smaller than a DSLR, but not by much. This means that it will be much easier to hold than, for example, the Pentax Q, and that it will work well with full-size SLR lenses.

The K-01 represents a new chapter in the history of Pentax camera making, and it's an industry first for natively supporting an SLR lens lineup. Its announcement on PentaxForums.com set a traffic record and forum activity record, surpassing that set by the K-5 back when it was announced in September, 2010. The initial reaction to the camera has been mixed- some love it, while others hate it. It's clear, however, that this camera has its place in the mirrorless market, and that its announcement has generated an unsurpassed amount of internet buzz.

All Pentax DSLR accessories can be used with the K-01, including flashes, the O-GPS1 GPS unit, bellows, and more. See our accessory database for an overview of current and legacy accessories. Furthermore, the K-01 shares the same battery and charger as the K-01.



Launch Commentary & Hands-On Videos

Read the original K-01 news post which made it to the top of Google's search results when the K-01 was originally announced! In it, we talk about the specifications, the design and what elements are retro, and general highlights that made this camera so exciting for us.

See also our hands-on video from CP+;
Pentax at CP+ 2012 - Hands on with K-01 and close up of the new 560mm lens - YouTube

Specifications
  • You may download the full K-01 specifications sheet to view all the camera's technical specifications.
  • In order to keep this thread tidy, won't include the text of the press release, though it contains the highlights of the K-01.
  • This camera features manual video shutter speed/aperture control, a first for Pentax
  • The camera will be available in three colors: black (and silver on the top), silver (and black on the top), and yellow (with silver and black sprinkled throughout).
    All three variants are pictured below.



Size Comparison

As you can see from the image below, the K-01 is smaller than the K-5 (and also the K-r), though it's not much of a difference, (fortunately). However, loaded with the 80g battery, the K-01 is some 180g lighter than the K-5 (560g vs 740g), and 38g lighter than the K-r.



Kit lens


The K-01's kit lens is the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS, an ultra-thin lens which is less than a centimeter long! The K-01 40mm kit is available for $899. The lens focuses on objects as close as 40 centimeters away, and is based on the optical design of the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 limited - yet it's almost half its size! The filter thread is also tiny- just 27mm. It is rumored that more lenses in the DA XS series will be announced in the near future, and that they will likewise be designed by Marc Newson.


K-Mount Lenses

The K-01 is fully compatible with all Pentax K-mount lenses. Manual lenses (M, K series) can be used via stop-down metering (this includes M42 screwmount lenses or medium-format lenses, but those will need an adapter). Auto-aperture lenses (A,F,FA,DA,DFA series) have no limitations in metering, and both SDM and traditional screwdrive autofocus is supported. The Pentax K-mount system consists of over 30 current lenses and 200 legacy lenses, of which over 90 support auto focus. A listing of all Pentax K-mount lenses can be found in our lens database. You may also be interested in an overview of the different K-mount lens series as well as K-mount camera-lens compatibility.

A great number of third-party lenses is also available for Pentax: the latest count in our third-party lens database suggests that there are over 600, though that database is not complete. The most notable manufacturers that currently produce Pentax lenses include Sigma (with over 30 lenses), Tamron (approx 10 lenses), and Vivitar/Bower/Samyang (manual focus).



Above we picture the K-01 with the traditional 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens (left) and the 40mm XS kit lens (right). Both lenses work with all Pentax DSLRs as well.


The current K-mount lens lineup

Color

The three K-01 color options (black, silver, and yellow) unfortunately do not contain an all-black model. A user-modified image of such a version is supplied below.

Name:  k01_black.jpg
Views: 19515
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Pentax K-01 All-Black Concept

User Opinions


Your feedback about the K-01 is very important to us! Feel free to:

User Review Database Entries

We have already uploaded both the K-01 and the new DA 40mm XS lens to our camera and lens databases, where you can view specifications and user reviews (or post your own!).


In-Depth Review

Our in-depth review of the K-01 was posted on March 10th.

FAQ
  • Is the K-01 "silver" version really white?
    • In the US, the silver version has indeed been replaced by a white one. The reasons for this remain unknown.
  • Does the K-01 have manual video control?
    • Yes, you can control both the shutter speed and aperture
  • What lenses best suit this camera?
    • While the whole K-mount lineup can be used with the K-01, we can recommend the DA 40mm XS as well as the entire DA and FA limited lineup, which features high-performance, compact lenses
    • The DA and FA limited lenses include the following focal lengths: 15mm, 21mm, 31mm, 35mm macro, 40mm, 43mm, 70mm, 77mm, and 100mm macro (technically a DFA lens, but still compact and with the same design)
  • Add your own FAQ as a reply to this thread!
Lens Guide


We have posted a Pentax K-01 lens guide which will hopefully make it a breeze for you to pick out your starting K-01 kit!

Purchase

In the US, the K-01 is available at B&H and Adorama, two dependable authorized Pentax dealers. Pricing is as follows:
Remember, if you make your purchase at B&H or Adorama, you can get free access to our Marketplace. Click here for details!





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Last edited by Adam; 02-03-2012 at 12:44 PM. Reason: updates
02-05-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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I'm still not sure

For me I'm going to get a K-5, but this K-01 seems to be one of those cameras that has to grow on you. I've read plenty of negative comments about it and a few positive ones. The main negative for me is the lack of an optical viewfinder. Beyond that it looks like a pretty good camera. Not a retro style like the X-100, X-pro1 or the soon to be released Olympus OM-D. It's something different. We'll just have to wait and see how much appeal it has.
02-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
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Two pluses as I see it:
The K-01 does not have the mechanical complexity of a DSLR
The focus system should eliminate front or back focusing (yes I do know it may be slower focusing)

I want one because I already have two Pentax DSLRs (*istDL and K20D) so this represents a viable option with features absent from my current cameras (such as movie mode and real live view). I don't know if it will appeal as much too new buyers but it certainly appeals to me (and my many old Pentax lenses).
02-06-2012, 02:52 PM   #4
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Now I know what it it is. Not sure I am ready for no view-finder. Those little screens can be hard to see in bright light.

So who is going to take the plunge first?

02-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #5
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I am tempted to carry this as my second body for music festivals. Quite a bit smaller and lighter than my K10D, and low light capability almost matching my K5. With the tiny pancake lens, the lack of mirror noise and the video capability there is a lot to like.
02-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
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White K-01 71,820yen

K-01 pre-orders up on Amazon Japan.

Amazon.co.jp

Last edited by EbisuHapa; 04-26-2014 at 05:52 PM.
02-15-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Furthermore, the K-01 shares the same battery and charger as the K-01.
Well, I should hope so!
Seriously, did you mean K-5?
02-16-2012, 02:52 AM   #8
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Original Poster
Yup, K-5. The D-LI90.


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02-17-2012, 12:38 AM   #9
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Well I've taken the plunge. With my DA 40/2.8 limited it will make for a pretty compact second option.
The big lenses will stay on the K-5.

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 02-17-2012 at 08:16 PM.
02-17-2012, 07:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Well I've taken the plunge. With my DA 40/2.8 limited 40mm it will make for a pretty compact second option.
The big lenses will stay on the K-5.
+1. Yup, with DA40/2.8 Ltd, not the XS. 2nd camera and lots of MF lenses.
02-26-2012, 12:47 PM   #11
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Very similar reaction. My K20D serves well and will continue to, but this is an irresistible opportunity to get low light performance, HD video, peak focusing and some other goodies to supplement my trusty DSLR.
02-26-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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Thanks for dragging me back to this thread. Somehow I failed to note earlier that my DA lenses would work with this.

Waiting for the pictures.
03-29-2012, 11:05 PM   #13
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Well OK. It's taken me a long time to decide what to make of the K-01. I don't like the dismissive attitude that many have. Yet I cannot embrace the styling with any kind of enthusiasm. Technically, the camera is worthy. It is the only lens system compatible mirrorless camera with in-body image stabilization, and that's a big deal. The new focus outlining is a great feature, and the improved video functionality is welcome. But as a niche-filler, the camera is a mistake. That's because there is a crippling conflict between two facts here:

(1) The camera's features will appeal most to loyal Pentax fans and Pentax lens owners.
(2) Of all those who might want the camera, the camera's style will be least appealing to those who are loyal Pentax fans and Pentax lens owners.

So, it's an unsolvable dilemma. Sales will be poor.
Pentax can make mistakes. This is one. This is Pentax's "Edsel", the very fine Ford luxury car whose styling insulted its own target audience. What happened to Ford will unfortunately probably happen to Pentax, and the K-01 will become an interesting but short-lived aberration.

Last edited by Skymist; 03-30-2012 at 08:26 PM. Reason: spelling
03-30-2012, 05:35 AM   #14
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AS a K-01 owner I predict a long life for the mirrorless body in this style through many generations, and significant sales to new Pentax users who are not burdened with a collection of legacy Pentax lenses. The XS line of lenses will be the attraction.
03-30-2012, 05:51 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skymist Quote
. . . . But as a niche-filler, the camera is a mistake. That's because there is a crippling conflict between two facts here:

(1) The camera's features will appeal most to loyal Pentax fans and Pentax lens owners.
(2) Of all those who might want the camera, the camera's style will be least appealing to those who are loyal Pentax fans and Pentax lens owners.

. . . .
Just because you donít like the styling, donít assume that other Pentax owners share your view and, above all, donít assume that the styling of the K-01 is totally alien to the Pentax tradition.

Many Pentax aficionados will recognise the genuine Pentax DNA in the styling of the K-01. When I put my silver K-01 alongside my battered old SP500 from the 1970s, I can see where Marc Newson might have got some of his design cues from. The silver top and bottom plates, the black dials and the shape of the mount housing all recall the earlier camera. 40 years on, thereís an evident nod in the direction of the classic Spotmatic styling and you canít get any more traditionally Pentax than that.
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