Pentax today announced the K-01 interchangeable lens camera. Right off the bat it’s worth noting that unlike other manufacturers’ forays into the compact ICL system market (and there are now several, many of whom are years ahead of Pentax in this genre), the Pentax K-01 is compatible with Pentax K-mount lenses, which means that your arsenal of K-mount lenses won’t be rendered useless if you get into the new system. This feels like a classic Pentax move to me; they’ve always seemed most interested in offering loyal shooters the best ways in which to capture the world, frame by frame. That being said, the camera does come in a kit option with the new Pentax DA 40mm F/2.8 XS “unofficial” interchangeable standard lens, which Pentax claims is now the world’s thinnest interchangeable lens.
The K-01 also looks quite different than other cameras in its genre. Having been designed by acclaimed London-based designer, Marc Newson, it features an eye-catching pop of yellow on its bubbly little body. (If the bold yellow is too much for you, the camera also comes in black or white.) Pentax is calling the camera more than a photographer’s tool; it’s also a design object. And while this particular aesthetic might not be my favorite, the design junkie in me can definitely appreciate the collaboration.
But what matters most is the guts of the camera, because it needs to take inspiring photos, not just look interesting hanging from your neck. The K-01 features a 16-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor, a 3-inch 920K dot LCD display, an ISO range of 100-25600, and shoots full 1080p HD video.
The K-01 will be available in March for $749.95 (body only) or $899.95 (with DA 40mm XS).