A leaked photo of the new mirror-less K-mount DSLR-alternative Pentax K-01
Update from the London launch event
13:00: Ok here are some snaps (no processing!) of the new K-01. Initial impressions -it's big, boxy, there is no eye-level viewfinder; quite a surprise that, and there are no technical advances to speak of. More to come!
10:00 This story went live at about 10AM (UK time), just as I was heading off to the train station and on to the official Pentax launch of the widely leaked/rumoured new mirror-less system camera, the K-01. If data comms permit, I will be updating this story from the press launch event in London between noon and 1PM.
We believe that the camera retains the familiar old K-mount that is currently used in Pentax's current conventionally mirrored DSLRs like the K-5, K-7 and K-r. This is good news for those who have invested in Pentax lenses, but it does pose fundamental questions about the logic behind the design of the camera. Without a mirror to feed phase-detect range-finding sensors, the camera will have to rely on contrast-detect focusing and this almost always translates into a poor autofocus experience with DSLR lenses. Retaining the K-mount also means that the camera will deeper than pedigree mirror-less cameras, like the Fujifilm X-Pro1, for example.
Pentax has developed an ultra-slim 40mm f/2.8 pancake standard lens for the K-01
Of course Pentax will develop lenses for the K-01 and the first of these will be an ultra-slim 40mm f/2.8 (60mm equivalent) pancake lens. But such compact design could mean optical compromises. High quality wide angle zooms, for example, must remain relatively large and bulky because of the APS-C sensor size and the distance of the lens mount flange from the sensor plane, which must be retained for compatibility with K-mount lenses all the way back to the 1970s.
So there are undoubtedly compromises and to compensate for these Pentax has hired a celebrated industrial designer, Australian Marc Newson, to give the K-01 some character.
What will the initial impression be of the K-01. Find out hear just a little later today!
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