Pentax K-01: The Best (And Coolest) Camera I’ve Ever Used

Pentax K-01 - Designed by Marc Newson

A few weeks back I was treated with a very special gift, the K-01 by Pentax. The K-01 is the creation of world-renowned designer Marc Newson, who was able to combine the latest in camera and lens technology with beautiful design.

Kyle and I take a lot of photos throughout the week between The Fox Is Black and Los Angeles, I’m Yours. We go to a lot of events and we often buy things that we want to review on the sites. With the K-01, this all got a million times easier.

The Design

First and foremost I should speak about the design. Marc Newson has done an astounding job with shape and feeling of the K-01. You may have seen photos of the camera online with it’s bright yellow exterior. I opted for a white version, wanting to stand out from the crowd, but not necessarily glowing. The lines of the camera are extremely clean and simple. The body is made of machined aluminum which gives the whole thing an extreme feeling of sturdiness, much like the back of your iPad. It’s accented with a ridged rubber which helps you keep a firm grip on the camera. There’s nothing unnecessary on the K-01, just the bare minimum.

I’m also happy to report that there’s no viewfinder on the K-01. It’s a digital camera with a 3″ LCD screen, why on earth would it need one? The camera also does a good job of hiding all of the ports under the rubber grip on the side of the camera, giving it an extremely unified feeling.

Pentax K-01

The Technology

This isn’t really my forte, but I can tell you the parts that I think are cool. The biggest yet smallest part to the K-01 is its pancake lens, designed by Marc Newson. As of now it’s the thinnest lens in the world. The camera also allows you to interchange the lens with any other Pentax lens, making it pretty versatile. We’ve only been shooting with the pancake lens, which took some getting used to, but now it’s a cinch.

The LCD screen is amazing because you can see so much of what you’re trying to shoot, allowing you to frame things with ease. There are a ton of shooting modes as well, basically for any occasion as well as a green and red button on top of the camera which you’re able to program yourself. The one feature we haven’t delved into quite yet is the 1080p HD video it can shoot. We’ve pretty much only recorded the dogs running around, but it looks amazing. Hopefully we can do some interviews or something to truly utilize the camera’s full potential.

Image Quality

Proof is in the pudding, right? So here are some examples of the photos we shot.

Pizza from Gjelina

Playing Around With Marc Newson's Pentax K-01 At A+R

Charlie Anderson at Feal Mor

Marfa Amigos At Heath Ceramics

Skingraft's Fall 2012 Presentation

The Digest: Larchmont Grill

This is but a small sampling of the photos we’ve shot so far. You can see more examples by checking out the stories below.

Marfa Amigos At Heath Ceramics
A Peek Inside Malin + Goetz’s First Los Angeles Store
Skingraft’s Fall 2012 Presentation
Charlie Anderson At Feal Mor
Erik Marinovich of Friends of Type has the best hand-writing ever
The LIFE notebook, unchanged since 1951
Current Reading – Wilder Quarterly, How To Steal Like an Artist, SPIN, Kinfolk

The Verdict

Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without this camera. The quality is so high and the photos always come out looking great. It has a bit of a learning curve because of the lens, but it didn’t take long to learn how to shoot with it. All you need is a good eye for photography and the K-01 really does the rest. Our previous camera, the Canon G12, was around $500, while the Pentax K-01 runs for $900. If you’re thinking about buying a new camera I’d definitely urge you to save up a little more and get the K-01. It’s like the difference between buying a BMW and a Volkswagen. Both do the job, but the K-01 does it way better (and you look cooler).

April 9, 2012