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04-21-2013, 11:23 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Was the K-01 the 'beta test' for the K-30?

(Allow me to don a tinfoil hat and make the following baseless assumptions... )

Wondering, because as far as I can tell the guts of the two cameras as far as hardware and all seem to be the same with the obvious exception of the K-30 having a mirror.

It would make sense that Pentax might use a niche camera like the K-01 to try out its new tech. If the K-01 bombed (or even if it didn't), it was hardly a flagship camera. It was a gimmicky beast that took K-mount lenses, so if it went down in flames it wouldn't take the company with it, whereas if they released the K-30 and it went over poorly due to engineering flaws, people would assume that the eventual K-3/K-5 replacement was going to be flawed as well.

So they ship out the K-01's at an inflated price (because it was never designed for profit, it was designed for gaining information and reading the public's reactions to the new features it had...), start getting feedback on the focus peaking and other features that the K-01 has, and when they realized that the camera actually worked as designed, then greenlit the K-30.

The K-30 then hits the shelves, and the K-01 is almost immediately fire saled off and discontinued.

It would explain why the bundled software and such is lumped together with the K-01 and not the K-5/K-5II(s). (If you need to grab Silkypix off Pentax's site, it has K-5/K-5II versions and K-01/K-30 versions.) As software is software, there obviously is something fundamentally different in the K-30's output thats closer to the K-01 than the K-5 for the software to have to have that requirement.

So, yea. Thats my personal theory on why Pentax would release something like the K-30. It was a test run for the new direction the company was going in, and was probably never intended to actually make a profit or huge sales to start with.

I'll take this moment and thank all the early K-01 users for knocking the bugs out of my K-30 before it was put out on the market. :-)

04-22-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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You're welcome. I have had 13 months excellent service from my brick, and it will remain my go-to video camera for a while yet.
04-22-2013, 05:17 AM   #3
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K-01 is a niche brick, it was made because the market situation was screaming out loud MIRRORLESS!!! They left the mirror out and left the K-mount in, which was a good choice IMO, because it pushed R&D to do some groovy new solutions. K-01 did not talk to the traditional Pentax user but mostly to new users and to videographers in particular. It is yet to be seen if the idea of mirrorless Pentax K-mount body is discontinued. I think it would be interesting to see another native LV camera designed by Pentax (not by Mr. Newson) with a good EVF. Unfortunately the K-01 lacks the Pentax-touch in all aspects except the tech-specs.

Last edited by dragra; 04-22-2013 at 05:37 AM.
04-22-2013, 07:00 AM   #4
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I think a much simpler explanation is that they wanted to try a mirrorless K-mount camera, were also working on a next-gen entry/mid-level dSLR, and shared tech between them.

The K-30 came out in May, and the K-01 firesales weren't until late October/November - not exactly 'immediately' after. One exec has said they only planned a short run of the K-01 (which makes sense, given its experimental nature - even without the Newson exterior).

Also, for the May launch, I'm pretty sure they would had to have been producing K-30 components in February when the K-01 launched - no time to process feedback, which was all about the styling and size anyhow.

Last edited by THoog; 04-22-2013 at 07:14 AM.

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