Pentax Adds K-01 Designer ILC

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Denver - Pentax Ricoh Imaging America this week introduced a new style of mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (ILC), focused on fashion-centric photographers.

The Pentax K-01 features a body design by renowned contemporary designer Marc Newson, and starts a whole new class of compact system cameras for Pentax that are alongside its diminutive Q camera, which continues in the line.

Pentax

In this case, Pentax went with distinctive style as the driving factor in developing the new ILC.

Newson, a famous Australian designer, has been celebrated with works placed in the Museum of Modern Art and is noted for bringing his design sensibilities to furniture, watches and home accessories, among other things.

His approach to the camera offers a boxier, somewhat thicker look than typical compact system cameras, which usually go for maximum compactness, like the aforementioned Q camera. It also uses Pentax's traditional K-mount for lenses, instead of the special ultra-compact Q mount, giving the Newson camera access to a wide range of Pentax SLR lenses.

The K-01 also uses bold body colors, including black, white and Newson's signature yellow, to set it apart from the field. Each sports Newson's autograph logo stamp on the bottom.

Pronounced, "K zero one," the new camera will ship to dealers in March at $750 suggested retail for the body only, and $900 for the camera with lens kit. The camera will ship in packaging that was specially designed by Newson and will include a Newson-designed strap, as well.

The camera incorporates a host of user-friendly features, eliminates the optical viewfinder, and uses a quick-return mirror to give maximum freedom to Newson in designing the camera body.

Newson also had a hand in designing the matching SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS lens ($250), which Pentax billed as "the world's thinnest interchangeable lens."

Key features of the PENTAX K-01 include:

ʉۢ a machined aluminum frame under a stylish black, white or yellow exterior;

ʉۢ a mirrorless body design compatible Pentax K-mount lenses;

• large 16-megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor with low-noise image capture and multiple aspect ratios;

ʉۢ high-resolution 3-inch 920,000-dot LCD;

ʉۢ FullHD 1080p video capture at 30 fps with h.264 compression (60 fps at 720p);

ʉۢ sensor-shift Pentax shake- and dust-reduction system;

• 6 fps burst shooting mode;

ʉۢ a 100 to 25,600 ISO range with low noise; and

ʉۢ Focus Peaking mode for fast manual focusing.

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