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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Hi folks,

From this press release:
    Image Image

    February 02, 2012
    PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION INTRODUCES PENTAX K-01 DESIGNED BY MARC NEWSON

    DENVER, CO February 2, 2012…When is a camera more than a photographer’s tool? The answer is when it’s an object designed by Marc Newson, one of the most acclaimed and influential contemporary designers.

    PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION introduces the Marc Newson designed PENTAX K-01* interchangeable lens camera (ILC). The new PENTAX K-01 is another bold effort from the manufacturer that is known for pushing camera size, color, durability, and now, design, to the limit. Widely known for designing a wide range of objects from furniture and household products to bicycles, cars, aircraft and yachts, Marc Newson has had collected works displayed in The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and many other major museums.
    *prounouced kay zero one.

    The contemporary, timeless K-01 houses a full array of advanced functions and user-friendly features in a camera body with remarkable form and function. The elimination of an optical viewfinder and quick-return mirror gave Newson more freedom in designing the camera body, and the K-01 showcases Newson originality in every detail. Available in black, white and Newson’s signature yellow colors, the K-01 features the designer’s autograph logo stamp on the bottom of each camera.

    The famed designer’s touch also is evident in a new smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS interchangeable lens. As the world’s thinnest interchangeable lens,* the new 40mm combines with the PENTAX K-01 camera body to deliver a unique ILC system that is perfect for photographers who are as keen on design as they are on performance. Together, the K-01 and 40mm lens system mark the intersection where high technology and high design meet.

    Key features of the PENTAX K-01 include:

    • Durable machined aluminum frame under a stylish black, white, or yellow exterior.
    • PENTAX mirrorless body design is compatible with 25+ million PENTAX K-mount lenses spanning decades.
    • Large 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.
    • Flexible ISO range of 100-25600 ensures gorgeous noise-free imaging in any lighting condition.
    • Focus peaking mode provides fast and accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications.
    • The world’s thinnest interchangeable lens for lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, as of February 1, 2012 (based on PENTAX’s research).
    The K-01 will be available in yellow, black and white in March 2012 for $749.95USD (body only) and $899.95USD (lens kit including new DA 40mm XS) in Marc Newson designed packaging and with the Marc Newson designed strap. The smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS unifocal interchangeable standard lens will ship at the same time for $249.95 USD.

    Additional information is available here: www.pentaximaging.com/news and a video interview with Mark Newson regarding the K-01design may be viewed here: www.youtube.com/pentaxian1 Images of other Marc Newson creations are available here.

    PENTAX is a leader in the production of a variety of adventure ready digital cameras including weather-resistant digital SLRs and stylish, compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For more than 90 years, PENTAX has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of adventurous consumers and businesses. With new headquarters in Denver, Colorado, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION is a subsidiary of PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. effective October 1, 2011. Additional details may be found here: www.pentaximaging.com/news
    # # #
The USA product page is here for more details and product shots.

Not sure what to make of this one. No EVF but it does take K-mount lenses and your only chance of losing it would be if you dropped it in a bowl of custard. :lol:

What do you think? Are Ricoh onto a winner here?

Bob.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:46 pm 
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The specs are great, not so sure about the design. I think the designer is better suited at doing wooden block toys rather than precision instruments.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:05 pm 
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If you're going to use an SLR mount, is it much smaller than a DSLR? An interesting take on the mirrorless idea, but I'm not sure how it'll stick. Would anyone outside of an existing Pentax user with lenses look at it seriously? Actually, would even an existing Pentax user look at it?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:11 pm 
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Agree with comments by WestCoast, as for the design, it is like it or hate it. I prefer the more subdued colours seen in this youtube video here.

Popo raises some good points about who might (or might not) be drawn to this camera. For me, I like a lot about it, but I might just have to wear very dark sunglasses when using it 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:00 am 
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There is a photo at dpreview.com of this new camera next to a Pentax DSLR, which shows there is very little difference in overall size, though certain dimensions are smaller. I doubt many DSLR shooters will opt for the K-01 based on size alone, but I may be wrong. The styling aspect of the design looks OK to me.

We are a Nikon and Canon DSLR household, with her old Olympus film cameras still around, so it is not likely we will want to add Pentax to the mix. It is interesting, however, to see a mirror-less ILC with an APS-C sensor, that uses existing SLR lenses without need for adapters.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:46 pm 
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I think the new 40mm pancake lens is even more interesting than this camera. Pentax DSLR users don't need more than this lens in order to get their camera small ;)

Still the K-5's image quality was superb and they claim that the K-01's is even improved. So looking at all the mirrorless systems this camera probably has the absolutely best image quality.
Then the other features like built in IS, the nice screen, 6FPS, 30fps/1080p+microphone jack, and the great amount of available lenses - nice start - I like the concept.
Let's talk about the negative parts... the design. Well... OK, let's stop talking about that.

That's about as small as you can get without changing your system / lens mount, which can be important for those who have compatible lenses.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:36 pm 
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I can't wrap my head around it as a concept...I just can't think of a viable reason to get this camera over a traditional Pentax DSLR. Other mirrorless designs have serious compromises and a few specific advantages, and those advantages are what one could cling to as a reason to purchase one in lieu of a DSLR - much smaller and lighter primarily, as well as video functionality.

I suppose if this autofocuses during video, that would be the lone selling point to me over a Pentax DSLR. AF is contrast-detect only, and worse, being done through existing K-mount lenses not optimized for CDAF...there's no viewfinder at all, optical or otherwise...no tilting or moving LCD screen when nearly everyone's gone to one...ergonomically it looks questionable, with the grip width being about the same as a DSLR but without the deeper finger recess which would seem to make it much like holding onto a brick. The selling points being in-body stabilization and compatibility with existing K mount lenses, which of course are attributes already shared by Pentax's fine DSLRs. Those DSLRs which of course focus much faster with PDAF systems, have large optical viewfinders and faster frame rates with better tracking focus, and better battery life.

I suppose if you were on the side of loving the design, having no past allegiance or familiarity with shooting through a viewfinder, have existing K-mount lenses piled up, and have no need for fast focus or focus tracking, then this would be a viable choice. Seems a mighty small market though. Were I shopping for a Pentax with k-mount compatibility, I can't think of any situation that would have me picking this camera over one of their DSLRs. And when comparing to existing mirrorless systems, all of which are significantly smaller and lighter, with lenses optimized for CDAF, and many of which have optional or standard EVFs, I can't see the Pentax as the best choice for a lightweight 2nd body or P&S upgrade.

We shall see what the market bears. Seems a bit of an odd duck to me (and I fall on the side of seeing this as a bit of an ugly duckling at that).

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:53 pm 
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I like the idea of this - a mirrorless system with the same lenses - excellent. :D

I suppose that the bottom line is, that if size is everything to you then this may not appeal but if having something you can use your old lesnes with then maybe you will buy it. :D

My missus wants a camera of the small variety - I may get her the Q so she doesn't nick my lenses :lol:

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