Hot! Pentax K-01 mirrorless camera coming soon?


Our friends over at Digiaminfo got the first (exciting!) specs about the possible new Pentax mirrorless camera:

  • Pentax new mirrorless camera will be announced by CP + in February.
  • The name is K-01
  • K-mount!
  • Black & white body color (black keynote), white and black (white tone), black and yellow (based on black and white, yellow leather) three different colors.
  • The sensor is the same spec K-5 (). And same rear LCD.
  • Full HD video
  • Shutter speed to 1 / 4000 p to 30 seconds
  • Contrast AF, AF 81 Split
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • 121mm width, 79mm height, 59mm depth
  • 560g in weight with battery
  • designed by the designer who designed talby from au (i.e. Japanese mobile phone sold in 2004)
  • it looks more like Optio than K series; not like GXR
  • comes with a new lens: DA 40mm F2.8XS
  • three lens kits with DA40XS and lenses already on market
  • mirrorless but whether there is an EVF or it is built in is not revealed

I hope my japanese readers can provide send me a better translation than Google soon :)

That camera could be a real dealbreaker!
  • hexx

    this year seems to be the year of new cameras – i like it a lot :)

    is this the same sensor like the one in NEX-5n and Nikon D7000?

    • Adam

      Supposedly the K-5, Nex-5n, D7000 all share the same sensor…which is a good thing!

    • z

      Which is the same as K-5, though K-5’s implementation is the best of those sensors. 51,200 ISO is not bad at all.

    • hexx

      @Adam, @Z – thank you

      • Random Poster

        “Hot” sensor.. hehehe

  • shigzeo

    I’m not into through the lens framing, but as far as SLR type cameras are concerned, it is time to move on from the traditional, large, silly SLR. Looking forward to high quality mirrorless SLR-type cameras.

    Welcome Pentax.

  • Frosti7

    K-mount Mirrorless? The point of that is?
    It’s like nex would come with slt adapter built in, makes no sense to me

    • Dan

      Honestly, I would tend to agree with you. But if they really are releasing this there must be a point to it. If this is true it is very different from what everyone else is doing. The only thing to do is really wait for the release before judging it. For once I don’t think the rumors will help very much….

      • Jorge

        Browsing the specs (mount, weight) it looks like they took the K-5 and just got rid of the mirror, though not really optimizing the design. But I agree with Dan, maybe once we see it (and seems to be soon), everything will make sense.

        • Documensony

          My impression excactly. With a weight of 560g it’s not even lighter than many DSLRs. First we had 645D, then Q and now this. Another perplexed move from Pentax(Ricoh), it seems.

    • inteliboy

      To get rid of the mirror and create a more compact camera.

      • Steve

        They cannot make it more compact due to the flange distance required for F-Mount lenses. CDAF on existing lenses will be slow as well. Sounds like a half-baked solution to me.

        • spam

          Sound like we don’t know all the facts yet to me.

    • Grzegorz Maj

      True, but, what if this adapter has possibility to collapse? I mean movable k-mount. If camera is switched off mount is collapsed, and with Pentax current pancakes it has the same size as m43 with pancake, during power on, mount is being extended to achieve k-mount registration distance. You can still use leica lenses – in this case mount with adapter do not extends.

      I sent Pentax idea of collapsible lens adapter, but it looks like they did whole mount collapsible.

      Question is: how fast AF will be? since DSLR lenses are not prepared for contrast AF – need for fast direction of movement change. But again, they could implement phase detector that hides during camera off, and during exposure.

      • Grzegorz Maj

        59mm depth. – It won’t have collapsed mount. :(

      • Mistral75

        Said to be sold in kit with current kit zooms or with a dedicated DA 40mm f/2.8 XS -presumably optimized for contrast detection autofocus (I am the one presuming).

        Which, by the way, would mean there would still be an AF motor in the body if current kit zooms were sold together with this so-called K-01.

      • Atlasman

        Grzegorz Maj

        A retractable mount, what a concept!

    • Forbes

      Because Pentax has some bloody tiny lenses already. Such as the 40mm limited they were salivating over at Sonyalpharumors. It saves Pentax the investment of having to develop a new mount and a complete series of new lenses. This is a cheap way to get a mirrorless system, and I fully understand why Pentax would choose this.

      The body is somewhere in between the G3 and GH2 in size, which is pretty compact. Combined with the small limited edition primes it makes for a compact system, while there is still the option of taking full advantage of high end zooms such as those they keep sticking on the NEX bodies via an adapter.

      It’s not all that strange.

    • Miroslav

      Agree. It’s hard to keep the mount, lens compatibility and AF speed and get rid of the mirror. That sensor does not have PDAF, so old lenses will have slow AF if any at all. The only way they could make mirrorless body with the above specs is if the 59mm depth is with some kind of (SLT-like ?) adapter that enables PDAF for existing lenses.

      I think Pentax would be better off making a few “backs” for GXR system with different shapes and couple of modules that can take K mount lenses.

    • pete

      Perhaps it has an extremely short back-focus? Without the mirror, the back elements can intrude far into the body. Think Mamiya 7.

      Doesn’t the rumor say 40mm 2.8XS?

      • ginsbu

        I would think that’s what they’re doing. But that doesn’t explain how they’re dealing with AF performance for existing K-mount optics — what’s the point of being able to use existing K-mount glass if CDAF performance is lacking? Using the K-5 sensor means no on-sensor PDAF like Nikon 1. An SLT design with movable mirror (to accomodate new CDAF-optimized, short back-focus lenses) looses much of the cost advantage of mirrorless. I do wonder what Pentax is up to…

    • MarkR

      This is the first mainstream mirrorless camera that will accept an existing lens lineup without buying an adapter. This is a big deal. It means you can transition between mirrorless and DSLR without buying a new system of lenses. (assumming you are already invested in Pentax lenses, of course.)

  • Miika

    I see the point of it. It is really nice to get rid of the PDAF and move to CDAF, which solves the front / back focus problems and such. I am sure mirror is a thing of past.

    Naturally this will be a very big camera for a mirrorless, but I am glad someone had balls to do it. Pentax has done weird cameras lately, such as the Q.

  • Dez

    Any word about a viewfinder? That could answer my question: “Do i need this camera?”

    • Mistral75

      Said to be EVF only.

  • Bob

    The article mentions a DA40XS. What is this? Are they going to re-work their Ltd line for contrast AF? What happens with the original Ltd lenses, manual focus only? I’m all for a mirrorless entry, but I hope they don’t abandon the regular dslr line. Just give us a reliable pdaf module and improve your parts suppliers so we don’t get malfunctioning edials and randomly flipping mirrors, my K20d never had any of these recent problems.

  • Harold GLIT

    Black and white ? or black and yellow ? that does not bode well for a serious camera

    hopefully this is false info

  • JesperMP

    I’ll take a few stabs at what it could really be:
    Swappable mounts (a la GXR), but with fixed sensor.
    Or, a new mount to suit more compact lenses, and there is a K-mount adapter bundled with the camera.

  • Bob B.

    This could be ANOTHER great camera. Colors sound fun!

    • Vivek

      Custom colors would be more fun too! 😉

      I don’t get the dimensions nor the the mount choice. It does not have to be anemic like most of the Sony NEXs but why a chunky cam???

      • Atlasman


        Good question.

        Size and weight reduction is a huge part of the mirrorless system.

        • Bob B.

          OK…I am not too plugged into Pentax…but the K5 (a camera I respect…but do not own), is 131Wx97Hx73Dmm…weighs 750gm w/battery. With a mirrorless offering at:
          121Wx79Hx59Dmm and 560gm w/battery isn’t that significantly smaller for an already small camera?
          With the Limited Lenses it could be a nice tool…provided there is a viewfinder in that mirrorless equation.

  • MarkR

    Pentax’s strengths have traditionally been in areas that don’t necessarily fit well on a bullet list: strong ergonomics, and small, high quality primes, ruggedness and weather sealing.

  • max

    so many new cameras and options..thats a great news! k5 sensor is one of the best…

  • shenqi

    Additional translation from original post!

    – designed by the designer who designed talby from au (i.e. Japanese mobile phone sold in 2004) and I think that would be Marc Newson (though the original post did not indicate the name)
    – it looks more like Optio than K series; not like GXR
    – comes with a new lens: DA 40mm F2.8XS
    – three lens kits with DA40XS and lenses already on market
    – mirrorless i.e. no optical finder but whether there is an EVF or it is built in is not revealed

    excuse me for my bad english

    • admin


      • Bob B.

        This sounds pretty interesting.

    • Mistral75

      Yes it’s Mark Newson who designed the Talby

      By the way, they say there is no OVF but an EVF; whether it is built-in or external is not known.

      • shenqi

        No, they did NOT indicate there is an EVF though they clearly said (if there will be one) they do not know whether it will be internal or external.
        (it says “EVFの有無” = ‘whether there will be EVF’ and “内蔵か外付けかについて” = ‘whether it is internal or external’ are unknown)
        What the article said was only there wont be any optical finder.

        • Mistral75

          Got it now, thanks!

  • Denis

    I’m disappointed. Won’t buy this.

  • SL

    if there will be a viewfinder (whether optical or electrical) this would be a great camera ! sounds like a better nex-7, so great so far …

  • camerman

    Looks like an optio, by the guy who designed Talby. So in other was designed by an accountant.

  • Pei

    K-01, knock-out 1?

    How would a K-mount EVIL/mirrorless work? It would just be a DSLR without the mirrorbox and prism but can the lenses handle being used on a CDAF camera? That’s a lot of back and fourh to achieve focus.

  • Steve

    Looks like another half-baked solution like the Canon G1X.

    • Uh…

      Well, if you think about having backward-compatibility of all K-mount lenses which has been their core strength, it is bound to end up this way.

      • Dzoneczka

        For mirrorless k-mount camera they can design new smaller and wide angle lenses that are not backward compatible. Optics can be closer to the sensor.

        • Uh…

          I understand your point. But I guess we will see how things develop soon enough. It is almost February already.

  • tyuiop

    This fantastic rugged camera will kill nex

  • W…

    I am really impressed! The same – almost – basic specifications as K-5 in a lighter, compact packing… wow! Let see the face of it.

  • Mistral75

    If this rumour is true, it’s a stripped, Hoya-era developped K-5 with as little R&D as possible:

    – take a K-7 / K-5 body
    – remove the main mirror, secondary mirror, phase-detection AF system, pentaprism and optical viewfinder
    – replace the focus screen with an electronic viewfinder

    and you obtain the perfect cheap-to-produce entry-level camera to replace the K-r.

  • SF

    Don’t get the point of this. It will be a K-r sized camera with EVF and C-AF, so what for? Short flange distance is better for mirrorless cameras. It gives you the possibility to go very small and use your K-lenses with an adapter. This solution is nothing but an internal adapter with a lot of wasted space.

  • Camaman

    So how fast do you think AF is gonna be on those old lenses…?

  • sam Waldron

    560 grams without lens… ummmm.

  • Alcides
    • Chris

      I really hope we are going to see what the specs promise.
      I really don’t hope it looks like the picture you showed us. Looks kind of like an optio but really ugly for my taste and possibly not with very good ergonimics.

  • Matt

    Sound to me like a replacement for the K-r rather than a ‘new system’. K-x/K-r were already some of the smaller SLRs, looks like they are just taking the concept a little further. There is no reason with the standard registration distance that they can’t have PDAF while losing the crappy pentamirror OVF and at the same time making the body smaller.

  • Hal

    Great idea.

    No mirror box means no vibrations to rob sharpness, especially at slower shutter speeds or with longer lenses.

    No mirror box should mean a reduced cost to buyers as the Mirror Box is an expensive component.

    No mirror box means that the view will be 100% of what the sensor sees.

    No mirror box should allow for increased frame rates – great for sports.

    Deeper body to conform to K mount means that the body will be more stable when longer lenses are mounted on it.

    No mirror box means using an EVF which means that manual focus can be improved electronically – like Sony did on the Nex 7.

    Having a deeper body could help keep internal electronics cooler.

    No mirror box should mean longer battery life. Charging the mirror at every shot take a lot of juice.

    It sounds like a win win. Great sports camera for sports shooters and Soccer Moms. Same sensor as K5 but possibly with improvements means great low light camera – for say Concerts and stage performances.

    Great to see Ricoh thinking outside the box by using the K-mount and a slightly thicker body. More choice for buyers….

  • Random Poster

    K-r without prism. Not a bad idea at all. OVF is so yester-millenia. EVF and LV are the future.

  • Ryan

    The specification is okay, not very outstanding. However, let’s keep in mind that Pentax is a part of Ricoh now. The images from Ricoh GXR and its various modules are very appealing in terms of color rendering. Ricoh’s Black & white tone is so great. I do hope that Pentax’s processor will get something from Ricoh. This would be very exciting.

  • Raist3d

    On a first pass that sounds good – depending on price. I am actually glad they kept at 16 MP instead of going for the 24 MP sensor – unless you shoot landscape, it’s a workflow clog. I rather have them remove the AA filter and keep the 16 MP sensor.

    The question I have on this camera though is – ergonomics. And also speed of AF.

    – Raist

    • Don

      ok? have you seen the dx0 scores on the competition? Pentax put the k5 sensor in this thing!
      go to dxo labs and test the k-5’s score against ALL the current evil and m4/3 class cams!
      the new pentax will be the best performing Evil class cam to date!

  • gabriel

    How to make a evil camera with a Pentax ? Take a K5, rip off the mirror eat the OVF, and put all the electronics in a box made by a well know designer. Not a bad idea at all 😉

  • Silvio

    Wow, K5 sensor and mirrorless. Hot, hot, hot! This will be a very fun camera, can’t wait.

  • Daemonius

    Like we need another APS-C mirrorless camera..

    Can someone grow a pair and make full-frame finaly?

  • Rhboks

    We need no aps-c mirrorless we need full frame or bigger sensors, what make sense is a full frame 6×7 sensor with a digital mamiya body 67.

    Such a sensor must have the follow dimensions 56mm x 70mm with 60 mp and an iso range from 50 till 6400. The camera body the same as the mamiya 67 with the same lenses.

  • Jabba

    Um can somebody please do this with an articulated LCD on the back, I can’t go back to the LCD glued to the back of the body.

  • alvin bartolome

    yeah a swiveling lcd would be handy.

    a k-r in a MILC system is great, but i am still lovin’ my k-r!

  • Andrew Munster

    its more like a mirrorless version of the k30 it is not wr and it has mic in.

  • Vlad

    I am one of the salivating :)
    Developing a new mount would hardly cost them anything, they can provide their own adapter and thus the option for people to use other lenses. The only reason to keep the K-mount is to promote their own lineup.

  • Don

    so they keep compatibility with the old lenses, but new k-01 only lenses come out with part of the lenses recessed into the camera body to keep the system as small or smaller than the competition..

    the kmount, was designed for ff so it would be easy enough to use smaller lens elements that would slide the rear of the lens right inside the k-01.

  • Dumb!

    What’s the point of keeping K-mount if you have to build new lenses optimized for CDAF anyway?!

  • Forbes

    That, and there is no need to develop completely new lenses. Pentax is not a huge company like Sony and they have to find ways to be efficient. I think this will save them a considerable amount. Seeing as they have the very nice limited edition lenses (I like them too), Why not get more use out of them? Sounds like perfectly sensible business. (Of course I know nothing about such business, so I could be horribly wrong.)

  • Zachery

    Well, the new Fuji hasn’t been tested yet. If their claims are lived up to, it will beat the K-5. I still have my doubts. Also keep in mind the K-5 is only marginally above the D7000.

  • Vlad

    Agreed. The more I think about it the more it makes sense.