It’s a project of firsts: Marc Newson’s first crack at camera design, Pentax’s plunge into design world collaborations, and the first time a Pentax product will be sold at retail outlets other than camera stores. Behold, the Pentax K-01, a 16-megapixel digital SLR hybrid that uses sleek interchangeable lenses (the world’s thinnest, according to the company). Envisioned with “clean and simple lines that create an elegant graphical composition,” the new model was developed in line with Newson’s design themes to be “timeless, trusty, and touchable,” which translates to features such as original-design push buttons and control levers, a mode dial and power switch in his beloved machined aluminum, and a rubberized grip. Newson’s touch extends to the product logo, camera strap, and start-up screen.
“The inspiration behind this design, like many projects that I work on, is simply the desire to create something which as a consumer, I myself would like to own or would like to purchase,” says the designer, who describes the K-01 as “not gimmicky at all.” The camera has already sold out at Colette in Paris, where its release was feted by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Dior jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane at a bash hosted by Olympia le Tan. Take one for a test drive at A+R, which is hosting a “Shoot+See” event this Saturday, March 17, at its Venice, California store. And click below to watch Newson lovingly fondle the “compact and trim” body of the K-01 as he answers questions about its development.