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Pentax K-01

Marc Newson designs the new modern classic camera

by Josh Rubin in Tech on 02 February 2012

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Designed by Marc Newson, the K-01 from Pentax is the most photogenic camera I've seen in awhile. Until now, the design-driven segment of mid to high-end cameras has been dominated by vintage-inspired units like the gorgeous Fuji X Series. Newson's signature style distinguishes the K-01 from the rest with a design that's simultaneously modern, classic and timeless.

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Newson always incorporates thoughtful proportions. In this case, he not only worked with Pentax on the camera body, but also on the 40mm F2.8 kit lens that comes with it. The pancake lens is impossibly thin, measuring in at .36 inches—just enough room for a manual focus ring, and that's about it. The K-01 uses the standard K-mount so it's compatible with every lens Pentax has made over the years. Removing the viewfinder and the mirror from the equation also gave Newson more creative flexibility.

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The K-01 is not only a beautiful object, it's also a powerhouse of a camera packed with high-performance features. The large APS-C sized CMOS sensor captures 16 megapixels for exceptional image quality and also supports full 1080p HD video capture. The heft of the camera and sound of the mechanical shutter lend a tactile quality that combined with the 3 inch high-res LCD screen make taking pictures a joy.

Fans of Newson will appreciate his signature on the bottom of the camera body and the use of his favorite shade of yellow on the rubberized grips. For those less bold, there are black and white and all black versions available.

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The Pentax K-01 will begin shipping in March for $900 with the 40mm kit lens or for $750 for the body alone.

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