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Pentax K-01 mirrorless camera doesn't feel as cheap as it looks, we go hands-on (video)

Zach Honig
February 8, 2012
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After Pentax boasted about the performance of its incredibly small Q mirrorless cam, we're certainly justified in approaching the company's latest ILC with a bit of skepticism -- especially given its blatant toy-like appearance. But after spending a few minutes with the K-01 at Pentax's CP+ booth, we can confirm that the compact camera doesn't feel nearly as cheap as its looks may imply. The camera includes a brand new 16.28-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor -- a far cry from the 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch imager included with the petite Pentax Q. There's also a bright 920k-dot 3-inch LCD, a sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600 (!) and 1080/30p video capture. It's also, believe it or not, compatible with Pentax's range of K-mount DSLR lenses.

The K-01 is a bit hefty for a mirrorless camera -- it dwarfs the near-pocketable Pentax Q -- and has a weight to match its rather large footprint. The cam actually feels quite durable, though we're definitely not sold on its "fun" Michael-Graves-meets-Fisher-Price design (think smooth corners and bright colors). There's a built-in pop-up flash, along with a hot shoe positioned just over the lens. There's also -- much to our surprise -- a microphone input. We can't imagine pairing this thing with a pricey external mic rig, but if you're not too embarrassed using this for professional applications, the included audio input may come in handy. Jump past the break for a quick video walkthrough from Japan, and keep an eye out for the camera closer to home -- the $750 (body only) K-01 is expected to hit stores next month.

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