Pentax K-01 almost announced

I have been reporting rumors about a second Pentax APS-C sensor mirrorless camera for almost a year now and today the K-01 is finally official. I am pretty sure that this camera was initially scheduled for a 2011 announcement, but Ricoh's acquisition of Pentax delayed the release.

Here is the B&H press release for the K-01, they already have listed the Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 XS lens on their website:

NYC, NY (PRWEB) February 02, 2012

B&H Photo Video is excited to announce the launch of the new and much anticipated Pentax K01 Camera.

The new Pentax K01 camera is a marvel of cutting edge technology with robust features and specifications, packaged in a gorgeous and durable aluminum frame styled by renowned designer Marc Newson.

One of the immediate highlights and benefits of this cameras mirrorless body design is its compatibility with all PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades. You won’t have to worry and wonder whether an investment in a camera of this magnitude will force you to abandon some of your favored lenses. The fact is this camera was built to be compatible with your existing equipment.

The technical achievements of this camera are quite numerous and impressive.
In short; nothing was left to the imagination in the creation of the new PENTAX K01 camera. With its exceptional technical details and aesthetic appeal, this camera is sure to appeal to enthusiasts and professionals alike.


  •     Contemporary styling by world renowned designer Marc Newson
  •     Durable aluminum frame with stylish exterior in a selection of colors
  •     Mirorrless body design is compatible with PENTAX K-mount lenses.
  •     Exceptional 16 Megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with low noise image capture and multiple aspect ratios.
  •     Bright high resolution 3 inch LCD with 920,000 dots
  •     Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 FPS with h.264 compression (60 FPS at 720p) features outstanding video capture flexibility.
  •     Sensor-shift PENTAX Shake and Dust Reduction system is compatible with every mounted PENTAX lens.
  •     Fast 6 FPS burst mode is ideal for fast-action photography.
  •     Shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 30 seconds and bulb with a silent shutter action.
  •     Flexible ISO range of 100-25,600 ensures gorgeous noise-free imaging in any lighting environment.
  •     Shooting modes include P, Av,Tv, and M, as well as powerful automatic modes, creative filters and finishing options.
  •     Focus peaking mode provides fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.
  •     In-Camera HDR mode combines bracketed user-specified exposures into a single, perfectly blended still image.
  •     Built-in popup flash and external hotshoe compatible with modern PENTAX digital flash units.
  •     Captures JPG still images as well as open standard DNG RAW.

In addition and as a perfect complement to the PENTAX K01, is the new smc PENTAX DA 40mm Lens, dubbed the “World’s thinnest interchangeable lens” at the time of its production!

This superb lens was styled by world famous designer Marc Newson and features an ultra low profile of only 0.36 inches in overall thickness and is only 1.8 oz in weight!

The maximum F2.8 aperture on this lens makes it ideal for creative depth of field applications and existing light photography. Furthermore, its nine rounded aperture blades produce extraordinarily smooth, natural bokeh.


  •     Fixed focal length 40mm prime lens is equivalent to 61mm in the 35mm format.
  •     Short 16 inch minimum focus distance
  •     PENTAX SP (Super Protect) coating on lens surface helps repel elements and aids in cleaning.
  •     PENTAX K mount is compatible with current and past K-mount compatible cameras.
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  • markogts

    If you keep the same flange offset, what is the advantage of taking the mirror away? Proof: the pancake has 40 mm f.l., because any shorter would need a projection group in the lens, thus negating the pancake design. Useless IMHO.

  • same mount = same flange distance.

    same mount = same sensor size as the “big” brothers = same DOF shallowness options = similar picture quality.

    same mount = all current K-mount lenses usable.

    all of the above = much broader market for the K01 — existing pentax users would have a much easier time deciding if they want to buy this camera, and new users could find a plethora of used lenses. in essence, right at the start this camera fits into a quite large ecosystem.

    but if you insist on changing the flange distance to keep sizes to a minimum: look what happened to nikon with their 1-system…

  • also, from the manufacturing and r&d standpoint:
    – no need to design a new mount, existing stocks can be integrated;
    – no need to go through the painful motions of designing, testing and manufacturing new lenses for the new system;
    – no need to integrate an expensive mirror-flap mechanism;
    – no need to develop a brand new sensor, can use existing ones (in this regard, however, nikon’s 1-system is better as the sensor has phase-detection AF spots);
    – all of the above = financial win, much less time and cost to develop the new system.

    contrast that to the new nikon 1 system. completely new lenses, no manual focus option as of yet, only an expensive converter lets you use older nikkor lenses, and their focal length is multiplied a lot, shitty IQ due to small sensor size, buggy video (but that seems to be the cross nikon is bearing these days).

    sure, it sells because it’s new and petite, but it’s not selling quite as many units as a completely new and hypermodern nikon system would warrant, and even semi-pro photographers avoid it like the plague. also, it’s very expensive… it has to be, as nikon put a lot of money and time into developing this system, and now they’re trying to win back at least some of their investment. hopefully pentax will be able to sell the K01 at a much lower price than the nikon j1/v1.

    and this is coming from me, a nikonite. pentax simply did it better this time.

    • Steve

      I’m a Nikon user too and I’m damn jealous. That pancake is too gorgeous.

      This camera will be lighter and cheaper because it only has one af system instead of two, and no mirror slap ( or Nikon dslr’s laughable triple slap when taking a pic in live view ) or mirror vibration.

      Nikon 1 sure looks like a rich kid’s toy next to this.

  • Nameless

    First of all, existing Pentax users will be happy to buy this camera. 2nd, with no mirror, they can design lenses with half of it protruding inside the body, maintaining compactness.

  • Vlad

    Everything is perfect, except no swivel/tilt LCD. What were they thinking?

    • mervis

      Swivel/tilt LCDs suck. They require you to shoot off-axis.

      Flip-up a la NEX is best. Then you have on-axis waist-level finder.

      Repeat after me: no camera is perfect. This one looks pretty good, though. A cost-effective way for Pentax to jump into the mirrorless game with a mature system alredy in place

      • Vlad

        By swivel/tilt I meant one or the other. The NEX has a tilt LCD precisely.
        No camera is perfect is a very lame excuse for omitting such an obvious and basic feature, especially when the camera doesn’t have an EVF. I have been using a Canon G10 for some time now and no way I am buying a camera with a fixed LCD, no matter how good it is.

  • JB

    Could they mention Marc Newson a few more times? Wish they had spent more time on adding weather proofing and developing f/1.4 lenses and less time on that ugly ass design. Still, for the price it’s a reasonable deal- a sensor many times the size of the Pentax Q and it doesn’t cost anything more. This could be a good backup for the dwindling number of Pentax SLR users. If owned a few Pentax primes, I would consider this camera.

  • D0n

    I am pleased.
    this is a great camera!
    Pentax just put the k-5’s image quality into the compact mirror less segment of the market..
    Nothing currently will match it for image quality.
    and improved video shooting abilities combined with focus peaking and Pentax’s manual focus lenses will be a serious video shooter’s dream!

  • Anon

    The digital camera store (a review channel on Youtube) now has a hands-n with the k-01!

  • chris

    very “interesting” design indeed……..doomed!!!!!

  • Aaron

    So it’s basically an ugly K-5 with less features and the ability to shoot HDR and with no mic input and no weather sealing. Pentax… why you no listen to what we want?

  • Merv

    What’s with all these weird retro designs and super bright colors these days on new camera models from all these different companies?

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