updated 07:40 am EST, Thu February 2, 2012
Pentax K-01 uses retro style but K-mount lenses
Pentax has quickly taken the wraps from the K-01, its higher-end mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Unlike the tiny Pentax Q, it uses a full-sized, 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor like a DSLR. It can even take Pentax's usual K-mount lenses, making it the first major mirrorless to take lenses from an existing DSLR system without an adapter.
Sony is one of the few others using APS-C in a mirrorless system with the NEX series but developed a proprietary mount that doesn't work with its Alpha cameras.
The consciously retro body was designed by Marc Newson and comes in black, white, and a rare yellow. It's still built to be semi-rugged with an aluminum body, and it carries both a pop-up flash as well as a hotshoe for more.
As a camera, it carries a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600 and shutter speeds up to 1/4,000 of a second. Burst shooting peaks at 6FPS, and special modes bring high dynamic range bracketing and focus peaking to help guide precise manual focusing. Video shooting tops out at 1080p at 30FPS, although dropping to 720p can get a smoother 60FPS. RAW shooting outputs in Adobe's DNG format.
Pentax will be shipping the K-01 in March and will have it in a body-only form for $750. The highlight, however, will be a $900 kit including a new 40mm f2.8 XS lens; the prime glass is just 0.36 inches thick and virtually invisible on the body while covering distances as close as 16 inches. The lens will be available separately for any other Pentax DSLR for $250.