Pentax introduces the bright, bold K-01 and its big sensor


Make sure to check out our full Pentax K-01 review.

This morning Pentax introduced the K-01, yet another addition to the next-gen, bridge camera segment. The mirrorless, interchangeable lens device may have all the same general interior technology as its competitors do, but its aesthetics are quite different.

Most of the cameras in this genre have offered some variation of a streamlined take on retro designs, somewhat mimicking the models of yesteryear. Not the K-01: it looks more like a tough cam than anything else, swapping out subtle chrome or magnesium alloy detailing for bright bodies with a large, rubberized grip wrapping the camera.

If you can get beyond the untraditional exterior (or if you like it), there’s a lot to be admired below the surface.

  • 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 3-inch 920 k dot LCD (no EVF)
  • shoots 1080p video at 30fps and 720p at 60fps
  • ISO sensitivity ranging from 100-25600
  • 6fps burst mode
  • Shake reduction system

The K-01’s sensor deserves a nod. It’s the same size used in most DSLRs, giving it a leg up on a good amount of the competition. But if you’re hoping this camera is as compact as the tiny Pentax Q, you’re out of luck. It’s a relatively large device for this market, and given that the Sony NEX-5N also uses this type of sensor you might be more attracted to its slim size.

There’s nothing large about the included pancake lens however, a new addition to Pentax’s line. It’s a 40mm F/2.8 XS pancake lens and there’s no added bulk here. The lens itself is getting great early feedback as fast and bright.

marc newsonBut what’s getting the most attention is the K-01’s Marc Newson Design. The famed camera designer has added his touch to the device, and it’s definitely a head-turner (interpret that as you like).

The K-01 will be available body-only for $750 and $900 with the pancake lens in March. The lens alone will sell for $250. 

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