Pentax have added a new mirrorless camera to their K series which can be used with all the back catalogue of Pentax lenses, including those produced for film-format SLR cameras.* Alongside the new K-01 Pentax have also released a new interchangeable lens – the smc Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS unifocal.
The Pentax K-01 features 16.28 megapixels, high-speed burst shooting, an extra-wide sensitivity range with a top sensitivity of ISO 25600** and Full HD video recording.
The new camera and lens were both designed in partnership with world renowned designer, Marc Newson.
Speaking of his design inspiration, Marc says: "I wanted to create something that represented quality and expertise in photography. Some of my favourite photographic devices have been Pentax products. I wanted to return to the high quality roots of the brand and create something which was really unique and iconic."
You can view ePHOTOzine's hands-on preview of the new Pentax K-01 here: We go hands on with the new Pentax K-01
Pentax K-01 Features:
Exceptional image quality
The Pentax K-01 comes equipped with a newly developed CMOS image sensor measuring 23.7 mm by 15.7 mm. With 16.28 megapixels, this sensor ensures a high-speed readout of image data signals. It also offers an extra-wide sensitivity range — from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, or to ISO 25600 when expanded using a custom function — while minimising digital noise at all sensitivity levels.
High-quality video recording
The Pentax K-01 comes equipped with a Full HD video-recording function to capture high-quality movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels). The H.264 format offers great images whilst recording at a choice of frame rate (30, 25 or 24 frames per second). It also comes with two new features to facilitate video recording: a video recording button for instant pushbutton start, and a stereo microphone for more realistic sound.
Personal touches can be added to recorded clips using various Custom Functions. Alternatively, the subject can be recorded in a series of video clips using the interval movie shooting mode. The camera also comes with an HDMI terminal, which allows the user to simultaneously output both Full HD movie clips and stereo sound. It also has an external microphone input terminal. In addition, the K-01 features the new "PRIME M" imaging engine to ensure first-rate movie recording performance.
New-generation HDR mode
The HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode, which produces one extra-wide-gradation composite photo from three images taken at different exposure levels, has been upgraded to create a greater range of visual effects. This upgraded HDR mode can be instantly selected with a turn of the mode dial. The user can take advantage of newly added features to select one of three exposure increments as well as the level of effects, while an automatic position adjustment function assures precise alignment of three images even when they are taken handheld.
A selection of image processing tools for personalised effects
The Pentax K-01’s Custom Image function allows the user to select the most appropriate imaging characteristics for a particular subject or scene from 11 preset custom image functions. These functions include: Bleach Bypass to create a dramatic visual effect used in motion pictures and Cross Process to produce an image with unusual colours.
The K-01 also features 19 distinctive digital filters — including Miniature, which makes a real life scene appear as an image full of miniature models. Users can be as creative and imaginative as they like by applying multiple digital filters to a single image.
Smooth, quiet, high-speed burst shooting
High-speed burst shooting mode allows users to capture fast-moving subjects in a series of images, as it captures up to five images per second. With its mirrorless construction, the K-01 also offers exceptionally silent mechanical operation.
Large LCD screen
The K-01 features a large, easy-to-view, high-resolution 3-inch colour LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. Its wide-view design guarantees a clear view of the monitor from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it particularly useful in low and high-angle shooting.
Sharp, blur-free images
The K-01 incorporates the Pentax-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively reduces annoying camera shake by approximately four shutter steps. Usable with all compatible lenses, including those produced for film-format SLR cameras. This mechanism produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in the twilight.
Auto Picture and Scene modes
This mode selects the most appropriate shooting mode for a given subject or scene from Portrait, Landscape, Macro and other distinctive shooting modes, while optimising all camera settings, such as aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. The K-01 also offers 19 different Scene modes, which simplifies the photographing of difficult subjects or demanding scenes — such as Night Scene, Portrait, Pet and Backlight Silhouette mode — simply by choosing the corresponding icon on the camera’s LCD monitor.
- TTL image-sensor metering, with a choice of multi-segment, centre-weighted and spot modes
- Contrast-detection autofocus system, with 81 selectable focus points
- DR (Dust Removal) mechanism to shake off dust adhering to the surface of the CMOS image sensor
- CTE (Colour Temperature Enhancement) white-balance control mode to emphasize the predominant colour of a particular scene, such as a sunset
- A choice of four image ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1) to accommodate different subjects and photographic situations
- Multi-exposure mode (up to nine exposures on a single image), with an auto exposure compensation function
- Interval shooting mode, useful in time lapse recording of landscapes and flowers/plants from an exact same location and angle
- Compatibility with the new-standard SDXC and UHS Speed Class 1 memory cards
- SILKY Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX RAW-data development software (developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) included. In-camera RAW-data development also available
Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS unifocal lens features:
Easy-to-use, super-thin lens for everyday use
This unifocal standard lens offers a focal length equivalent to 61mm in the 35mm format, and measures a mere 9.2 mm in length, making it the world’s thinnest interchangeable lens. Thanks to its super-thin design, it is highly portable and easy to store and carry. Its optics were designed based on those of the acclaimed smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens. Its maximum aperture of F2.8 produces sharp, bright images in a wide range of photographic situations, including snapshots, scenic photos, portraits, and even low light indoor shooting.
SP coating to block dirt and dust
The front surface of this lens is treated with an SP (Super Protect) coating, which applies an exclusive fluorine compound to the lens surface through a vapour deposition process. This SP coating not only repels dust, water and grease, but also makes it easy to wipe off oily stains such as fingerprints and cosmetics.
The PENTAX K-01 comes in the following colour combinations: Black with black grip, black with yellow grip and silver with black grip. The Pentax K-01 will be available from end March 2012 with the following RRPs:
- K-01 body only - £629.99
- K-01 + 40mm DA XS lens - £679.99
- K-01 + DAL 18-55mm lens - £679.99
- K-01 + DAL 18-55mm lens + DAL 50-200mm lens - £799.99
for more information.
* K-, KA- KAF, KAF2, and KAF3- mount lenses can be used with the PENTAX K-01, while screw-mount lenses, 645-system lenses and 67-system lenses can be used with an adapter. Some functions may not be available on certain lenses.