Denver, CO—Pentax Ricoh Imaging introduced the Marc Newson-designed K-01 interchangeable-lens camera built on a machine aluminum frame. Known for designing a wide range of objects from furniture and household products to bicycles, cars, aircraft and yachts, Newson has had his work displayed in The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and many other major museums.
The contemporary K-01 houses a full array of advanced functions and user-friendly features in a body with a decidedly new form. The elimination of an optical viewfinder and quick-return mirror gave Newson more freedom in designing the body. Available in black, white and Newson’s signature yellow, the K-01 features the designer’s autograph logo stamp on the bottom of each camera.
Newson’s retro-meets-contemporary design is evident in all elements of the K-01, including the product logo, the included camera strap and the start-up screen that appears when the camera is powered on. Buttons, shutter release and control levers are accented with colors for instant recognition, such as a vibrant red button for video recording and a brilliant green for the Pentax green button. The mode dial and power switch are made of aluminum alloy, while the card slot and grip connectors are covered with protective rubber.
The designer’s touch also is evident in the new smc Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS interchangeable lens, which Pentax says is the “world’s thinnest interchangeable lens (as of February 1,2012). While the new lens was designed to complement the K-01, the camera is compatible with 25+ million Pentax K-mount lenses.
Key features of the K-01 include a 16 megapixel APS-C-size CMOS image sensor engineered for low noise image capture and multiple aspect ratios, a 920,000-dot 3.0-inch LCD, Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 fps with H.264 compression (60 FPS at 720p), a sensor-shift shake- and dust-reduction system compatible with every mounted Pentax lens, a 6-fps burst mode, an ISO range of 100-25,600, in-camera HDR, auto picture and scene modes, and a focus-peaking mode developed to provide fast, accurate manual focusing for critical focus applications. The camera also offers a built-in popup flash and external hot shoe compatible with modern Pentax flash units.
For added creativity, there are multi-exposure, interval shooting and custom image modes, which allow users to select an appropriate finishing touch for a particular subject or scene to express the photographer’s creative taste. Two of the 11 custom images functions are bleach bypass, which creates a dramatic visual effect used in motion pictures, and cross process, to produce an image with unusual colors. The K-01 also provides 19 digital filters, and users can apply multiple digital filters to a single image.
The Pentax K-01 will be available in yellow, black and white in March 2012 for $749.95 body only and $899.95 in a lens kit with the new DA 40mm XS in Marc Newson-designed packaging and with a Marc Newson designed strap. The smc Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS unifocal interchangeable standard lens will ship at the same time for $249.95. pentaximaging.com