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HOT: First pictures of the Pentax NC mirrorless system!

We were told by our sources that Pentax will announce their “Pentax NC” mirrorless system in May/June. We got our hands on the first picture of the camera and lenses. As you can see from the image it really looks like the digital version of the popular and very tiny . Pentax goal was to create the smallest mirrorless system of the world. That’s why the sensors has a 1/2,33″ size (that’s the size of the sensor in most compacts). It’s a 14 Megapixel 5.6x crop sensor. It can also record HD h.264 movies. Two lenses will be released along the NC-1. There will be a prime 8.5mm f/1.9 (almost 47mm equivalent) and a zoom 5-15mm f/2.8-4.5 (28-80mm equivalent)! As you see from the pictures above those are very small lenses.  We don’t have the exact size measures yet. The new Kenko mirrorless system also uses a 14 Megapixel 1/2,33″ (crop factor 5,6). And we were told that Kenko worked very close with Pentax to create the system.

But here comes the even bigger news. Pentax will create two different mirrorless systems! The second system will feature a much larger APS-C sensor (Sony?) and be compatible with current K-mount lenses. That system should be introduced this summer. So if you want an incredible small mirrorles ssystem you can get the NC-1, if you want a mirrorless system with high image quality you can get the large sensor camera. Easy or not?

P.S: Check out images and lenses of the Pentax Auto 110 on


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  • MJ

    If this will go for a plastic toy camera price, with the size of the old Pentax Auto 110, then count me in. Would be fun, even with sucky quality, could be like a holga digtial compact, with interchangeable lenses, and actual holga quality instead of faking it with a stupid filter, but yea no unlikely. Two toy lens and camera starters pack, now only $99 ;)

  • Gerald

    This could be an interesting system if they have really big aperture lenses (4mm f. 0.75 – 8 mm f 0.6 and 15 mm f 0.7 for example). This combined with clean high iso perforamnce would give some unequalled phtographic possibilities.

    But with 1.9 and 2.8-4.5 (???) fstops they’re missing it.

    • MJ

      Indeed, smaller surface to lit means bigger apertures with ease. So potential is there.

    • Miroslav

      Yes, why not buy Samsung EX1 or Olympus XZ-1 instead? They both have zoom lenses that start at F1.8 and larger sensors.

      But APS-C mirrorless system compatible with K-mount lenses is huge news indeed. If they put IS in body (and they surely will), it’s going to be very serious mirrorless competitor.

      • Alfons

        Indeed. I wonder how many will buy NC instead of XZ-1 for example.

        The only option I see is somebody who seeks to save the money of lenses when upgrading from camera to another. I wonder if Pentax will be that much cheaper anyway.

      • Charles

        I don’t see why a mirrorless system compatible with K-mount lenses is any big deal. If you can use them directly you are giving up the size advantage, same if you use them with an adapter. You may get AF, but it will likely be slow. Most people don’t use 4/3s lenses on m4/3s. Pentax has an advantage in that they have a good set of small primes, but I’d rather see some commitment to making dedicated lenses for it.

        I’m interested to see how Pentax NC system does. Having an even smaller system is appealing, but I think the sensor they decided to use is a little too small. A lot would depend on the cost, but I just can’t really see myself buying it over something like a GRD.

        • Miroslav

          “I don’t see why a mirrorless system compatible with K-mount lenses is any big deal. If you can use them directly you are giving up the size advantage, same if you use them with an adapter. You may get AF, but it will likely be slow.”

          Pentax holds onto backwards compatibility with many of their lenses, going decades back, so being able to put K-mount lenses means huge lens base. I suppose they will support AF as well. Those lenses are big, but there is no significant difference in size between DSLR and mirrorless APS-C lenses ( see Sony for example ). The registration distance is bigger for DSLR lenses, but long lens with AF is better than no lens at all, which is very important for a new system. They’ll shrink it as time goes by, but cannot release 20 EVIL :) lenses at once.

    • Godot

      Clean high ISO performance? Don’t hold your breath, it’s a huge challenge with a tiny sensor like that.

      The real value of bright lenses here will be in allowing you to keep the ISO lower, all else being equal.

      Overall, my sense is that this is going to wind up being a short-lived curiosity, much like its 110 predecessor. Although reasonably well-loved by people who own(ed) them, the Auto 110’s Achilles heel was 110 film. If you were a kid like me whose first camera took 110, the next logical step up was 35mm, not a better 110 camera.

      By analogy, if you have a 1/2.33″-sensor pocket cam and want to get deeper into photography, do you step up to this (more capable, but with serious image quality limitations), or to something with a bigger sensor? Some will bite, and it might find a niche as “my first system camera” for some young enthusiasts, but barring a major breakthrough in sensor tech, I don’t see this having legs.

  • Nappe1

    hmmh… APS-C Mirrorless with K-mount sound awfully big or funny looking gadget. The mount – sensor distance is so long that the camera with any lens won’t be much more compact than smallest DSLRs with pancake lens from Pentax right now.

    • MJ

      look up the Pentax ME Super, which is the worlds smallest full-frame SLR FYI, compared to what canon or nikon or olympus had back then. so it’s not that bad, but yea i get your point, the stupid thing is that leaving out the mirror doesn’t bring the sensor any closer or the lenses won’t work, so it’ll be just open wasted space. like a olympus PEN permanently stuck with the OM lens adapter. buuuh

  • Nathan

    A Pentax APS-C mirrorless with in-body image stabilization would be attractive to me, this gimmicky plastic piece of junk is not.
    This is not a photographer’s tool, not even an enthusiast level camera. This is a waste of money, a waste of resources, an awkwardly “retro” design exercise in wasting hipster cash.

    Hipsters don’t even HAVE cash, they just spent it all on an iPad 2.

  • getta2

    If you’ve used Nex with Pentax K adapter, you’ll doubt how compact will the second (pro) system be. Remember that the lens-to-sensor distance is fixed. Hope Pentax is going to use the latest sensor, at least the K-5 one. Sony is reported to use A55 and A77 sensor in the next 2 Nexs.

  • JesperMP

    Yuch. Is this camera fugly or not ?
    I like retro, but this is an example of bad retro.

    The whole idea is idiotic of course. There are quite many quality compacts now, with good lenses, usable bright lenses, good sensors, that this fugly camera will be embarrashing to own.

  • JesperMP

    Is this a fake ?
    I just noticed that the two lenses are exactly the same. But one is a fixed lens, and the other is a zoom lens. Can that be true ? I doubt it.

    • Michael Barkowski

      Indeed. If you compare the two lenses, there’s a section about 40 pixels high that is _exactly_ the same, pixel for pixel. The 20 or so pixels above that could have been stretched a little to make the prime look slightly bigger. Fake!

  • John Bowen

    Pentax is FAIL.

    Under no circumstances will I waste money on a 1/2.33 sensor camera.

  • Rob-L

    Good lord, that is ugly. Looks like Elton John’s rangefinder.

  • Dennis

    Early April Fool’s joke ?

  • Kosta

    Way to small sensor.
    A 2.5 X crop will be the best compromise in size and IQ

    • Charles

      2.5x? Why that over m4/3s 2x? Why would that additional .5x make such a difference to you? Along the same lines it wouldn’t make too much difference in lens size.

  • M

    The Market for 2.5X crop sensor cams may be shrinking somewhat but it is still huge. People still want very small cameras that delever good quality. I think this will be sucessful if Pentax markets it correctly. Very Cool.

    • ivan

      sensor is 5.6x crop, not 2.5

  • John

    Now, why would I want interchangeable lenses on a camera with such a small, noisy sensor? To get limited depth of field with these lenses they need to be used near wide open at their worst IQ point.

    I don’t get the point. Why not just go the LX-5 route with a fixed zoom lens?

  • ER

    If this silly lil’ cam is for real, what’s the point of it? If one’s after a small camera with a miniscule sensor, why not get one of the better P&S cameras like S95 or LX5?

  • BuligaS

    April’s fool comming! I don’t believe a word in this rumor.
    It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

  • Miserere

    I’m still thinking it’s an April Fool’s prank…

  • anu

    Not only is this the most stupid of all persistent rumors, the crop ratio for a sensor of this size is about 4, not 5.6 or whatever, thus the 35mm equivavilences are also wrong.

  • Jaur

    Actually, I have read a few rumors regarding Pentax upcoming system and if some of them are true I can see a marcet for this. Those rumors talk about a digital A110 wich is a very small SLR-type camera. That would mean a camera with small sensor (normal compact image quality) a decent quality optical viewfinder and small sieze.
    That is not a camera that will compete with olympus or panasonic. It is a camera for old people who would normaly want an ordinary compact but need a decent quality viewfinder due to their failing eyes. The lenses are really just a bonus for installing brand loyalty. Today canon g11 is practically the only option and it’s many controls might scare away many.
    A nich marcet for certain but is it a bad idea to find and explore nich marcets?

  • El rumor de la semana: así será la Pentax ¿NC-1? « hasta los MEGAPÍXELES

    […] Cuando Pentax presentó hace ya tiempo la curiosa Optio I-10 algunos vieron en aquella compacta inspirada en la Auto-110 la primera pista sobre cómo podría ser la futura cámara EVIL de la firma. Y parece que no iban muy desencaminados teniendo el cuenta el aspecto que tendrá la NC-1 (aunque se oye por ahí que no se llamará así) según las primeras fotos que se han filtrado y que han aparecido en MirrorlessRumors. […]

  • Michael Barkowski

    The problem is that everyone wants to print so large. If you took a beautiful, high dynamic range, low ISO 18 MP Canon DSLR sensor and cropped it to compact 1/1.7″ size, you’d still have enough for a multi-aspect 1080p sensor, with 3:2 format stills around 2.4 MP. More than enough for 4×6 prints at 300 dpi.


  • Michael Barkowski

    Here is an image showing the difference between an 8.5mm/1.9 and a 5-15mm zoom these days if you insert a one-pixel row 2/3 of the way up.

    The two lens images are the same lens, just edited to look slightly different. This rumor should have fake stamped all over it.

  • monday

    i need to buy a camera

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