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Love it or hate it

The K-01's design isn't for everyone; its aesthetic strikes me as simultaneously Mondrian and Mattel. The extra pancakey 40mm prime kit lens seems weirdly flat on such a big body.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Small rubber lens cap

The lens cap for the 40mm lens is a tiny black rubber disk; we lost it mere hours after unboxing the camera.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Popup flash

Though the flash looks like it could tilt for bouncing the light, it won't operate unless it's in its fully popped position.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Floppy door

Both the lens cap and the door to the SD and connector compartment are made of a floppy rubber that's annoyingly difficult to get back into the correct position. In fact, the floppy door is so silly that Pentax had to add a second cover for the SD slot.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Control panel

The camera's control layout and interface uses typical conventions, although it's a bit jarring to see the word "play" spelled out rather than indicated by an iconic arrow. The interactive control panel is straightforward and easy to use.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Top controls

The mode dial has the usual PASM, Bulb, scene program and auto modes, plus a dedicated movie mode and three-shot HDR mode. The green button defaults to program shift and the red to movie record, but they're both customizable. I do find the green button a bit out of the way; it's not easily operated with your thumb or forefinger.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Design creds

You can find designer Marc Newson's signature on the bottom by the battery compartment. I'm a little confused as to why it's not on the front of the camera, given how Pentax is hyping the camera's designinista roots.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Deep flange back

In order to be able to support K-mount lenses natively, the K-01 of necessity has a huge flange-back distance -- the distance between the lens mount and the sensor. That's why the camera is so big, and I suspect why the 40mm lens has fringing issues. (What you see in there is the shutter, not the sensor.)

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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