Pentax has today announced a mirrorless, K-mount, interchangeable-lens system camera in the shape of the K-01.

The Pentax K-01 features a 16.28-million-pixel (23.7×15.7mm) CMOS imaging sensor, Full HD video (1920×1080 pixels) and a top equivalent ISO sensitivity of 25,600.

Due out at the end of March, the K-01 will cost £629.99, body only. It will also go on sale as a kit with a new Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS lens, billed as the world?s thinnest interchangeable optic, boasting a thickness of ?9.2mm?. This will cost £679.99.

It will deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 61mm lens, says Pentax.

AP?s first impressions of the new camera suggest it differs vastly in design from Pentax?s current Q system, a range which a Pentax spokesman told us would continue.

Features include HDR, a burst rate of up to five frames per second, plus custom functions and 19 digital filters.

The 3in LCD screen carries a resolution of 921,000 dots.

The K-01 was designed by Australian Marc Newson.

Speaking to an audience of photography journalists in central London this lunchtime Newson admitted that the camera differs from others on the market.

He said it is targeted at people who have an interest in design.

In an accompanying video he added: ?I think consumers will be happy that they have been given a choice.?

Pentax added in a statement: ?The optical viewfinder and quick-return mirror were eliminated during the design process to allow more freedom in design of the camera body.

?The result is a camera that shows Marc Newson?s originality in every detail.?

Newson added: ?I wanted to return to the high quality roots of the brand and create something which was really unique and iconic.?

It seems clear that Pentax is not targeting the mass market with this ‘design-led’ camera.

However, in an interview with Amateur Photographer, a UK spokesman said Pentax expects to attract ‘younger users’, hailing from both the compact camera and DSLR arenas.

Pentax has not yet indicated whether the K-01 will be the first in a series, or whether it will announce an external viewfinder accessory for the camera at a future date.

The K-01 weighs around 560g, including battery and memory card, according to Pentax.

It uses the same battery as the K-5 DSLR.

Pentax claims that, in volume terms, the K-01 is 30% smaller than its K-r DSLR.

The newcomer measures 121x79x59mm.

Pentax hints at new DSLR

? At a UK press launch Pentax also showed a lens ‘road map’ which suggests it will announce a new 50mm standard lens in 2012, plus an 18-200mm, and a 500mm or 600mm lens.

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