Pentax has unveiled a surprising design for its second mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, which features Pentax's K-mount and a 16-megapixel APS-C sized sensor.
The camera offers high-speed burst shooting, an extra-wide sensitivity range with a top sensitivity of ISO 25600 and Full HD video recording. However, it weighs 560g and measures 121x79x59mm.
BJP's news and online editor Olivier Laurent speaks with Pentax UK's general manager Jonathan Martin.
BJP: Can you tell us what is the target audience for this camera?
Jonathan Martin: The K-01 is aimed at, first and foremost, the fashion and design market, which we see as a new market for us. But it's also aimed at current Pentax users, who will have the ability of using their current range of Pentax lenses on a brand new product.
BJP: Why were you interested in the fashion and design audience?
Jonathan Martin: That's important because it's traditionally a younger audience - an audience that Pentax, traditionally, hasn't approached and hasn't managed to get hold of. So with our collaboration with Mark Newson [an Australian designer], we hope to use this exposure to actively target that audience for, probably, the first time.
BJP: But what about the amateur and semi-professional market, as well as non-Pentax users? Do you think the K-01 will attract them?
Jonathan Martin: I think it will attract them. I think it will certainly stand out in the retail environment because of the design of the product. It will make people look - people that are generally curious.
BJP: The design is very different from what you would expect from a compact mirrorlesss camera. What was the thinking behind it?
Jonathan Martin: The collaboration between Mark and Pentax mainly took place in Japan. From what I can see, we gave him an open book and we embraced all of his ideas.
BJP: Was it a conscious choice to select Pentax's K-mount?
Jonathan Martin: I think so. It gives us [access to] a lot of existing users...
BJP: ...but that also means, in terms of using an APS-C sized sensor, it makes a more chunky camera body.
Jonathan Martin: It has to be bigger, yes.
BJP: But for a compact interchangeable lens camera, don't you think it's too big?
Jonathan Martin: No I don't think so. I think the size of the product is outweighted by the range of lensesthat you can use on the product.
BJP: But how are you going to convince people that have a DSLR camera to go with something that is almost similar in size to a DSLR?
Jonathan Martin: Well, it's whether they want to go with mirrorless features rather than a traditional DSLR.
BJP: What are these mirrorless features that you don't find in a DSLR?
Jonathan Martin: ... design, really. Design.
BJP: So you're basicaly banking on design?
Jonathan Martin: We're banking on design, and on the fact that they are - we know because we've done market research - a lot of Pentax users that have been waiting for a K-mount mirrorless product.
BJP: But don't they want something more compact in size?
Jonathan Martin: I don't know. Because of the need to have the 44mm mount, the product has to be of a certain size. I guess that, pretty much like when we launched the Q camera, which was much smaller than everyone else's - this product, [the K-01], has gone the other way. It's a design-led product.
Pentax's K-01 will be available from early March, retailing at £630 body only.
For more details, visit www.pentax.co.uk.
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