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Pentax Not Giving Up Mirrorless – The Pentax K-01 Flexes Its Muscle

The Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera with APS-C SensorA bit of a quiet launch by Pentax, but an interesting launch nonetheless. The Pentax K-01 mirrorless, APS-C sensor camera was just announced today and the mirrorless market just got a lot more crowded.

It seems like the 3-way tug-of-war between Panasonic, Sony, and Olympus is over as Fuji, Nikon, and now Pentax, joins the large-sensor mirrorless market.

Yes, there was a Pentax Q launch last year, but seriously, it’s pretty much a failed release outside Japan as that was too expensive and too much of a novelty item to find a good market base to make money from.

Check it out on iPhotoCourse Store now!

Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Camera with KAF Mount

The Pentax K-01 did something many Nikon users wish that the J1 and V1 cameras had – a proper APS-C sensor and direct mounting of their DSLR lenses.

The Pentax K-01 supports the same lens mount and lens contact as the standard Pentax K-series DSLRs. That should make tons of proud and loyal Pentaxians rejoice as there’s no need to invest in a new lens system to continue their support for the brand!

Naturally, the usual Tamron and Sigma lenses that support the KAF-mount will still be usable on the Pentax K-01.

It will be interesting to see how well the auto-focus works with a contrast-detect AF system of the K-01 when coupled with the standard K-mount lenses designed to work with more accurate DSLR AF technology.

Designed by Marc Newsom

Marc Newsom helped design the shape and form of the new Pentax K-01. In case you don’t know him, he’s a famous Australian industrial designer who dabbles into aircraft, furniture, clothing, and if you’re a watch fan, Ikepod watches as well. So his transition to a camera may not be a big surprise to some and you know the design will be FUNKY.

The Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera with APS-C Sensor

(Side Note, he looks like an older Keanu Reeves)

The camera showcased right now is in bright, funky yellow, but don’t worry, black and white variants are available as well.

Key Specifications

The Pentax K-01’s main features include:

  • Pentax K-Mount
  • 16 megapixel APS-C Sensor
  • 3″, 921,000 dots LCD
  • ISO range of 100 to 12,800, expandable to 25,600
  • Pentax Shake Reduction
  • 6 fps burst shooting
  • Full HD video, 30/25/24fps with stereo input
  • External microphone socket
  • SD/SDHC card slot

Pentax K-01 Release Date and Price

According to sources, the Pentax K-01 will be available around March of 2012 with an MSRP of $749 for the body only and $899 for the 40mm pancake prime lens kit.

That’s not very far off from the Nikon 1 series if you factor in the price of the FT-1 adapter to make use of standard F-mount lenses.

However, I’m not quite sure about the appeal for both Pentax users and new buyers as the Pentax K-01’s dimensions (L=129mm W=79mm H=59mm) isn’t that far off from the great value Pentax K-R (L=125mm x W=97 x H=68mm). Only the weight difference is more obvious, but still not by much (561g vs. 598g) when the batteries are installed.

The Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera with APS-C Sensor

The Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera with APS-C Sensor

The K-01 is also more expensive than the K-R as current online prices for the Pentax K-R kit hovers around $650 only.

What do you think? Will the Pentax K-01 take off and steal market share from Olympus, Pentax, and Sony? It is special enough to compete with the much more expensive Fujifilm X-Pro1?

If you’re a Pentax user, will you buy one as your second, small camera? How about non-Pentax users, will you give it a try?

Check out the deals for the Pentax K-01 in our iPhotoCourse Store!


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