The new PENTAX K-01 is another bold effort in camera design, developed in line with Mr. Newson's three design themes - TIMELESS, TRUSTY and TOUCHABLE. At the same time, it provides the full array of advanced functions and user-friendly features expected from digital SLR cameras. The optical viewfinder and quick-return mirror were eliminated to allow more freedom in designing the camera body. The result is a camera that shows Mr. Newson's originality in every detail, with meticulous attention paid to all body parts to faithfully reproduce his designs. His design scheme has also been applied to the new smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS unifocal interchangeable standard lens - the world's thinnest interchangeable lens, to be launched in the market simultaneously with the PENTAX K-01 camera body - to make the lens-mounted K-01 a complete design package.
The PENTAX K-01 comes with outstanding basic specifications, including sharp, high-resolution images captured by approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, high-speed burst shooting, an extra-wide sensitivity range with a top sensitivity of ISO 25600 (when expanded), and Full HD video recording. In addition, it features the reliable, ever-popular PENTAX K lens mount, so users can make effective use of their entire lens stock - even lenses produced for film-format SLR cameras. While the K-01 makes the perfect choice for start-up digital interchangeable lens camera photographers looking for an easy-to-operate camera, as well as those who demand originality and stylishness from their imaging tool, it also can be a wonderful second camera for current PENTAX digital SLR users who find pleasure in totally new photographic styles that only the K-01 can offer.
The PENTAX K-01's body consists of neat, straight lines to optimise both functionality and visual attractiveness. Original-design push buttons and control levers are efficiently laid out across the body, while brilliant colours are used on two key buttons for instant recognition: red for the video recording button, and green for the functional green button. The mode dial and the power switch are made of high-quality aluminum alloy, while the memory card slot and connectors on the comfortable, easy-to-hold grip are covered with protective rubber. What's more, Mr. Newson's original design scheme is evident in all elements of the K-01, including the product logo, the camera strap (included) and even the start-up screen that comes on when the K-01's power is turned on.
The PENTAX K-01 comes equipped with a newly developed CMOS image sensor measuring 23.7 millimeters by 15.7 millimeters. With approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, this extra-large sensor assures high-speed readout of image data signals. The K-01 also features the new "PRIME M" imaging engine to assure first-rate movie recording performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera. It also offers an extra-wide sensitivity range - from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, or to ISO 25600 when expanded using a custom function - while minimising annoying digital noise at all sensitivity levels.
The ability to change lenses is a great benefit of the digital interchangeable lens camera system. That's why the PENTAX K-01 is designed to accept a wide array of PENTAX interchangeable lenses, including those produced for film-format SLR cameras. Thanks to this lens compatibility, the user can choose a most suitable lens for a particular subject or scene and create the desired visual effect and perspective with great ease.
The PENTAX K-01 comes equipped with a Full HD video-recording function to capture high-quality movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels). With the H.264 recording format, it offers a choice of frame rate (30, 25 or 24 frames per second) to accommodate user-specific applications. It also comes with two new features to facilitate video recording: a video recording button for instant pushbutton start, and a stereo microphone for more realistic sound. While adding personal touches to recorded clips using various Custom Images, or recording the subject in a series of video clips using the interval movie shooting mode. The PENTAX K-01 also comes with an HDMI microphone terminal, which allows the user to simultaneously output both Full HD movie clips and stereo sound, as well as an external microphone input terminal.
The HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode, which produces one extra-wide-gradation composite photo from three images taken at different exposure levels, has been upgraded to create a greater range of visual expressions. This upgraded HDR mode can be instantly selected with a turn of the mode dial. The user can take advantage of newly added features to select one of three exposure increments as well as the level of effects, while an automatic position adjustment function assures precise alignment of three images even when they are taken with a handheld K-01.
The PENTAX K-01's high-speed burst shooting mode comes in handy when preserving the action of fast-moving subjects in a series of images, since it captures up to five images per second. With its mirrorless construction, K-01 also offers exceptionally silent mechanical operation incomparable to existing PENTAX digital SLRs that allows user to concentrate on to photography even when shooting such subjects as stage performances.
The PENTAX K-01 features a large, easy-to-view, high-resolution 3.0-inch colour LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. Its wide-view design assures a clear view of the monitor from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it particularly useful in low- and high-angle shooting.
The PENTAX K-01 incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively reduces annoying camera shake by approximately four shutter steps. Usable with all compatible lenses, including those produced for film-format SLR cameras, this mechanism produces sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in the twilight. By mounting the PENTAX O-GPS1 (an optional GPS unit launched in June 2011) to the K-01, the user can simplify the tracking and photographing of celestial bodies.
The PENTAX K-01 features the PENTAX-original, user-friendly Auto Picture mode, which selects the most appropriate shooting mode for a given subject or scene from Portrait, Landscape, Macro and other distinctive shooting modes, while optimizing all camera settings, such as aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. As the result, the photographer can concentrate on image composition and shutter opportunity. The K-01 also offers 19 different Scene modes, which simplifies the photographing of difficult subjects or demanding scenes - such as Night Scene Portrait mode, Pet mode, and Backlight Silhouette mode - simply by choosing the corresponding icon on the camera's LCD monitor.
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