Pentax has revealed their latest entry into the flourishing CSC market in the shape of the K-01. The new model is somewhat unique in that it has been developed with the assistance of internationally acclaimed Australian designer, Marc Newson, who's perhaps best known for designing luxury departure lounges for business-class Qantas passengers, as well as a specialist time-trial bike for former Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong.
Following on from the Pentax Q that was launched last year to a somewhat mixed reaction, the K-01 is Pentax’s second compact system camera. This time, however, Pentax has opted to go down the APS-C route, and to give the K-01 the same K-mount lens mount used on Pentax DSLRs. This seems an eminently sensible decision given that it immediately grants K-01 users access to a large and long-established range of Pentax DSLR lenses, while also negating the need for a costly, new proprietary lens range to be developed alongside the new model.
But, of course, handing over the design brief to a designer – even one as well known as Marc Newson – is not without risks. Thankfully, this is relatively familiar territory for Pentax as the company has a long-standing reputation for innovation. The Spotmatic 35mm film range released during the 1960’s, for example, was the first mass-produced consumer camera range to use TTL metering – something we now take for granted. Does the K-01 continue this trend in any way? Or is it a destined to be remembered as all style and no substance? Let’s take a closer look and find out.