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What will Pentax surprise us with?

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Posted 01-02-12 at 05:36 PM by Ian

It's often cloak and dagger with press invites to camera launches these days. Secrecy is often paramount. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and embargoe dates and times are now usually the norm. I now regularly get invitations that ban me from even mentioning that I have received them.

Happily, there is no such restriction on my invitation to a Pentax press launch tomorrow, which is just as well as details of the invite are all over the Web. Pentax is going to announce something big tomorrow (Wednesday) lunch time. They have also revealed that Australian industrial design guru, Marc Newson, has had a hand in the new camera's development.

All the rumours suggest that the camera is to be called the K-01 and will be a mirrorless K-mount camera using a 16MP APS-C sensor, just like the K-5. By retaining a DSLR mount and metrics, Pentax is taking a "cheap and dirty" route into the mirrorless category. Whether we can call this a 'compact' system camera like those from Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, Sony NX, or Nikon 1, remains to be seen.

By retaining the K-mount, originally designed for full frame 35mm film, the K-01 camera body will necessarily be much deeper than a typical CSC and even a larger mirrorless system camera like the new Fujifilm X-Pro1. And there will be no new line up of lenses optimised for the constraints of mirrorless cameras, most importantly the issue of autofocus. Mirrorless cameras can't focus lenses designed for SLR AF systems as well as SLRs. Pentax is rumoured to be launching an ultra-slim pancake lens to match the new camera, but another fact is that with the long distance between sensor and mount, it will be impossible for Pentax to make very compact wide angle zooms, for example.

Anyway, all this remains speculation until the official unveiling tomorrow. I'll be aiming to get a report on DPNow as soon as possible, posting live from event if communications support allows!
Total Comments 2


  1. Old Comment
    Pol's Avatar
    Yay - good for Pentax. We watch and wait with bated breath. Perhaps the lighter weight of the mirror-less camera could make it more suitable for Astrophotography? Maybe that's something you could ask about at the launch ... eg David's wonderingwould it be light enough and suitable for mounting to an Astro- telescope (such as a Meade ETX90).

    Presumably it would also accept our current collection of Pentax pancake and small prime lenses.

    Posted 02-02-12 at 11:52 AM by Pol Pol is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Ian's Avatar
    Alas, the K-01 is neither small nor lightweight. It's quite big and boxy to be honest. I'm still scratching my head trying to understand this camera.

    Posted 02-02-12 at 04:08 PM by Ian Ian is offline

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