Rumor: Pentax K-01 APS-C mirrorless camera to be announced next month

Rumors for a second mirrorless camera from Pentax are intensifying again. Here are the first detailed specs from digicame-info:

  • to be announced at CP+ show in Japan in early February
  • the model name is K-01
  • K-mount
  • will come with a new lens: DA 40mm f/2.8XS
  • there will be three new lenses
  • three different colors: Black & white body color, white and black, black and yellow
  • optical viewfinder
  • there will be also an EVF, not clear if it will be built-in or optional
  • same sensor as in the K-5 (16.3MP)
  • same LCD screen as in the K-5 (3.0 in, 921k pixels)
  • full HD video
  • shutter speed: from 30 to  1/4000 seconds
  • contrast AF, AF 81, Split
  • built-in pop-up flash
  • 121mm width, 79mm height, 59mm depth
  • weight: 560g with battery
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  • WoutK89

    Dimensions of the Nikon D3000 DSLR:
    126 x 97 x 65 mm

    Dimensions of the Pentax K-01 Mirrorless camera:
    121 x 79 x 59 mm

    Dimensions of the Nikon 1 V1 Mirrorless camera:
    113 x 76 x 43.5 mm

    If this Pentax is a true mirrorless, it is way too thick compared to the competition. The only advantage is the use of K-mount lenses without adapter, but that would be all. In this case I would prefer an OVF and mirrorbox.

    • CRB

      The specs say optical viewfinder

      • Troll of Bifröst

        Babelfish appears to translate the phrase in this vein: No optical viewfinder, but for EVF, it remains unknown whether it is a built-in version or an external one.

      • woutk89

        how can mirrorless have a true ovf?

        • mooboy

          Does ‘true ovf’ mean TTL? Otherwise, the new Fuji X-Pro and Leica M9 have OVFs.

          But I agree, OVFs don’t make much sense for mirrorless, would much rather have a good EVF.

          • WoutK89

            True OVF = see in the OVF exactly what the lens lets through

          • camerman

            An optical viewfinder based on the slr mirror and prism is different than a optical viewfinder for a rangefinder. there is no such thing as a TRUE OVf. They are both ovf. the slr mirror ovf does get dark in dim lighting but the rangefinder or external ovf does not. the external or separate ovf does of course has parallax problems while the slr one does not.

        • camerman

          A mirrorless camera can have an optical viewfinder, just not based on the sensor. the Canon g12 is a mirroless camera, albeit without interchangeable lenses, and it has an optical viewfinder.

    • Anonymous

      It will still be smaller without the mirror and it won’t have to look like conventional slrs with the ugly bump. EVF is better than OVF anyway.

      • Troll of Bifröst

        Most of the evfs I use still lag in low light….so…..No, OVF has no refresh rate.

        • Carpandean

          Well, most OVFs are dark in low light (I’m not talking a full-frame DSLR, but those found on APS-C DSLRs.) The problem is that EVFs make the image look bright whether it’s dark or not. To do this, each refresh basically takes a longer image to capture more light. It’s a tradeoff, which allows you to frame a shot better. If manufacturers let you put the EVF in an OVF like (available light) mode, there wouldn’t be a lag, but the image would be dark. For example, you use the pinpoint focus found on some m4/3 camera (G3, GX1) in very low light, you get to see how dark the real scene is when it focuses on the spot. A scene that looks quite bright in the EVF suddenly become too dark to see much of anything.

    • FU

      Stop being so narrow minded and stupid please.

      Fuji mirrorless is nearly as thick btw – and it’s as hyped as anything. If K-01 was the thinnest evil, would it be the best camera? Stupid people are stupid.

      The point is it’ll be compatible with K-mount, if you know what that is, it’ll require the flange distance. Pentax don’t want to compete with the smallest APS-C camera (for what reason should they?) – obviously, they alredy got Q – the smallest DSLR. This will probably be replacement for the k-r. This thing with size has gone too far. I would love a DSLR sized mirrorless. Thank you. Go buy a NEX and leave the comment field for ever plz.

      This rage has been built up for a long time reading idiot comments on this site.

      • Fuji mirrorless is as thick as what?

        Fuji X-Pro 1 depth is 42.6mm, its as slim as nikon 1

        • camermam

          There’s nothing Pentax can do about the thickness of the camera because the k mount lenses have to have a certain distance of back focus in order for it to focus to infinity properly. Youonly have two choices, a thicker camera than let’s say the Fuji x1 pro or a thinner camera but you have to fork out good money on new lenses made for shorter back focus. What do you want Pentax to do? They are bound by the constraints of science. The Fuji x pro follows what?their lenses are newly designed, based around a thinner body. the Pentax has to have compatibility with their existing k lenses, so they are bound by that…there’s no way around it. But finding AF k lenses for the Pentax k01 is gonna be a hell of a lot easier and cheaper than the Fuji x 1 , that’s for sure.

    • Vlad

      You’ve got it all wrong.
      Compared to the D3000 the new Pentax should be almost 2cm less in height. That is a lot in volume.
      And the Nikon N1 is not the competition. It has a smaller sensor, so it’s smaller.

      • woutk89

        so micro 4/3 is not the competition of Nex?

    • Lotus

      The thickness is mostly due to a hand grip. This is similar to the Sony NEX — a particularly thin body but with a hand grip that sticks out from it.

  • ennan

    K-mount? Mirrorless? Kind of defeats the purpose unless there’s some sort of built in adapter right?

    • Troll of Bifröst

      Perhaps they are able to make a collapsible mount onto the camera or the camera itself comes with a mount module that can be changed like Ricoh GXR but has a fixed sensor. We will see soon enough, it is almost February.

  • CRB

    Im in…depends on price, of course…lol….but, do you mean 40mm EQ or would it be 60mm? (1.5 crop)

    • We can only hope that it would be a 40 FOV equivalent which would be GREAT news and not a 60mm which would be very unwise choice especially as a new system

      question is would that lens also work on the reflex K of the brand ?


      • woutK89

        if it is k-mount being used, it should work on older cameras with k-mount.

  • sloma_p

    Please, pretty please, make a Limited 20/1.8 and I will buy it in a heartbeat.

    • Denis

      They have already closed this possibility by keeping K-mount alive.

  • What’s a Pentax?

    What’s the point of offering mirrorless while retaining the K-Mount? Pentax should have gone all the way and made the camera with a short registration distance and a fully functioning K-mount adapter. Why would anyone buy this when all they can use on it are K-mount and M42 lenses. The Sony NEX offers the same thing but with the proper adapter I can shoot practically any lens ever made.

    The Sony NEX doesn’t have half the quality issues that Pentax has had.

    Ricoh has its work cut out for itself with Pentax.

    • Troll of Bifröst

      Heh, it is you again. Keep talking.

    • camerman

      The point is that you don’t have to go spend a few grand on new lenses or you don’t have to go and fork out a few grand on lenses for a system that may not exist anymore in a few years, like the Oly 43 lenses…that’s the point. also, with adapters, they are expensive and not very good…case in point the sony lea ea1. That adapter is so slow it;s practically useless. the lea ea 2 adapter is around 400 bucks, that’s almost the cost of a new body for some csc’s.
      The sony NEx has a problem with size being too small, the c3 and 5n’s, cause only a chimp would be able to hold one of those things. the nex lenses are not very good as well, compared to even the Samsung nx lens line, which is better.
      why would a person if they could chose, buy a sony nex 5, then spend 400 on the adapter, then another 400 on the viewfinder when the nex7 with an adapter is essentially the same thing for the same price? Wouldn’t it be easier if sony just released a a mount slt rangefinder styled body to begin with instead of making the nex line? There’s going to be more abandoned csc lines in ten years than all the camera lines in camera history, mark my words. It’ s cause camera makers don’t think clearly before they make new systems. They make a camera, ten add a adapter for it, then one more camera with evf, then another camera but with a new mount etc, when they could have just made one camera to cover the bases to begin with. Plus, not everyone wants to have a camera the size of a pack of matches, which is sadly where the csc industry is going.

  • Bob

    If the specs are accurate, it’s just another example of a company that’s missing the boat on mirrorless. With the K-mount, flange to sensor distance will be too big, as will the lenses themselves.

    Canon understood 20 years ago that sometimes you simply need to break from the past, and divested themselves of the old FD lens mount, to the great joy of their sales team and shareholders. Nikon’s decision to stick with the F mount cost them several generations of technology false starts before they finally adopted an all electronic mount, too.

    Panasonic and Oly, and Nikon, got it right by basing their mirrorless systems on a lens mount and sensor size optimized for the advantages mirrorless can provide. Companies which try too hard to hold on to compatibility with their legacy equipment suffer from the compromises inherent in trying to be all things to all people.

    (Then there’s Sony, who managed to get the worst of both worlds by introducing a new lens mount that offers no size advantage over their legacy gear, giving up both compatibility and the advantage of the new technology.)

    • What’s a Pentax?

      Sony didn’t give up compatibility. All of the Alpha lenses work on the NEX with an adapter and you keep AF and metering. People complain about size of the NEX lenses, but they are easy to grasp.

      The new Pentax mirrorless doesn’t go far enough. Pentax should have chopped the registration distance and offered a fully functioning K-mount adapter.

      The 40mm kit lens will be 60mm on APS-C. That’s really too long for a kit lens.

    • Ke

      “flange to sensor distance will be too big, as will the lenses themselves”

      Pentax make some really tiny lenses.

    • Petter J.

      You’re post reveal your incompetence. Sony is the only manufacturer with full support for phase-detect autofocus with legacy a-mount lenses. And as a system it is smaller or equal in size to its small-sensor rivals.

  • ras

    ah, but will the mount have the same flange back distance? that’s the key.

  • Matt

    I don’t understand what the point of another APS sized sensor mirrorless system is. Even 4/3 rds sensors end up with fairly bulky zoom lenses (for brighter lenses anyway). I’d argue that something just slightly smaller than 4/3rd would be the sweet spot for a compact, mirror-less, well-balanced (ie lenses don’t dwarf the camera itself) camera with interchangeable lenses.

    • Ke

      I don’t see what’s wrong with APS-C for mirrorless. Sony has completely missed the boat, but Samsung makes pancake lenses (at 20mm & 30mm) & Pentax has made pancake lenses for years.

  • Siegfried

    something similar comes to my mind: 4/3 -> m4/3. The former is a true DSLR (e.g. E-5) and the latter is EVIL (or whatever you call it).

    Pentax has been known for ideas that go with its products and I wonder – and am eager to know – what stands behind that K-01. It must be something significant rather then just dropping mirror off.


    Glad to hear about DA 40mm f/2.8XS, but curious on it’s differences from DA40.

    • Mistral75

      Focus motor optimized for contrast detection autofocus and may be video (noiseless)?

  • D0n

    well Pentax can claim the title of smallest compact camera system…Q
    Pentax could easily maintain the kmount… think outside the box for a moment…
    if the flange distance and the image circle are both accounted for Pentax COULD simply design the lens so the lens mount is in the midlle of the lens barrel and part of the lens slides INTO the body, for the newer lenses, and the old k-mounts would mount normally.. by recessing the lens into the camera body, BOTH types of lenses can be used…. so perhaps the new 40 mm is recessed into the body, no adaptor needed.

    • Discontinued

      Smart thinking.
      Anyways, whatever they ‘ll bring up is appreciated by me. Not that I am eager to buy it, but competition is always good for the consumer. It is nice to see Pentax alive.

      • Woutk89

        +1, don hit the nail in the head I guess. I think he works for pentax :p

    • That’s terrible

      How in the hell are you supposed to have a pancake lens and still have a focus ring on it without inflating lens size?

  • Vlad


  • Camaman

    Maybe this will be cheap…

  • It could end up being something like a K-r but live-view only — no pentamirror bulge (accounting for the shorter height vs. Nikon D3000) and clever packaging to make it as shallow as possible while retaining sufficient depth for K-mount compatibility.

    I wonder if it’s possible to do all this while keeping sensor-based SR (stabilization).

    One does wonder what they could do to make an XS (extra-small?) DA40/2.8. As-is, the existing Limited lens is barely bigger than a body cap. Another possibility is that the XS lenses are intended to be less expensive than their ‘Limited’ cousins. To get people to adopt the system, making some less expensive plastic DA21/40/70 might not be the worst idea.

  • One other thing — I sure hope “K-01” isn’t the actual name.

    I think I’d rather it was called “*ist mini”.


  • Zaph

    I agree with the naysayers about K-mount size. Can we REALLY keep putting up with lenses this big:

  • nico polo

    Are K mount lens driven by in camera body screw type motor ? If so, it may explain why the body is thick, it takes place to put a motor in body

    • That’s not the reason — the issue is that like all lensmounts, K-mount lenses are designed for a specific distance between the mount flange and the sensor (or film). SLR mounts have generous ‘registration distances’ to allow space for the reflex mirror to flip up.

      Bodies for dedicated mirrorless and rangefinder mounts (e.g. m4/3, Sony e-mount, Leica M, Samsung NX, Nikon 1, etc.) can be shallower because the lenses are designed for shorter registration distance, since they don’t need to leave room for the reflex mirror.

      Shorter registration distance can make it a bit easier to design smaller short focal length (wide angle) lenses, while retrofocus wide angle lenses for SLR mounts are generally larger and more complex. However, with digital sensors there are some drawbacks to the shorter registration distance because the light ends up striking the sensor at steeper angles (less perpendicular).

      • Don

        or the could use smaller glass elements, recessed into the camera body, and add a Samsung type Edial type ring to the front of the lens resulting in a tiny lens that slides into the camera body and sticks out no more than a standard body cap…
        just’s doable.
        new lenses won’t be usable on d-slrs because recessed lens will hit mirror, but old lenses usable on k01 but with slower or no af.
        reasonable compromise if you ask me.

        • SMURF

          Great ideas there Don, Pentax really ought to have you working for them! The new line of lenses could be electronic-only modules, and the focus and aperture ring could be shifted to the outside of the mounting ring into which they are ‘countersunk’ – they would then control the lenses electronically via the AF motor. That could be done to provide a better damped MF feel than most new lenses.

  • loco

    So in 2012 they release the same camera they released in 2010 hoping it would do better in a smaller form..

    Well, at least now they get a second attempt to make a camera focus properly in tungsten, right ?

    What about the price, will it be the same as K5 ? Cause that will put it in the firing range of the nex 5 and 7, and it would better perform if that is the case.

    Anywho, good news for pentax users, hope that pentax does not give up on the DSLR models, like Olympus did, the mirrorless market is only big enough for a few competitors.

  • Frank Yuwono

    They will already have a APS-C mirrorless solution with the Ricoh GXR
    Why would they need another one?

  • MrJava

    If the OVF is any good I’ll have one with the 43mm F1.9.

  • 🙂

  • Dave

    slap the 40mm pancake on and now its thinner then most mirrorless i am guessing? or some other awesome pancakes that pentax already has.

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