Marc Newson makes the compact camera cool again

The London-based Australian designer creates a camera you'll never forget to take with you
The Pentax K-01 designed by Marc Newson
The Pentax K-01 designed by Marc Newson


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Australian-born London-based designer Marc Newson CBE has partnered with Pentax to produce a new camera for the design conscious photographer. The K-01 comes in three colours - black, silver and our favourite, bright yellow - and boasts "the world's thinnest interchangeable lens". "We were really amazed we were able to push the design as far as we did," Newson says. "It's going to look quite different in the market place, which is already a good thing. I don't see that many cameras on the market that have been designed by professional designers - most of them are designed by engineers."

Despite Newson's comments the feature list is impressive and includes an F2.8 XS lens, an ISO range of 100 - 25600 (so it's perfect for most light situations) and HD video capture at 30 and 60 frames per second.

Marc Newson, Pentax K-01Marc Newson, Pentax K-01

"I love taking pictures," Newson says. "As part of my job I'm obliged to take many pictures, I work in a visual world. The whole concept of recording images, taking images, visualising images, it's what I do. It's my job. I'd been thinking of working on a project like this for many years and it was a great opportunity when it came along. I wanted to create something that represented quality and expertise in photography, to return to the roots of the (Pentax) brand and create something which was really unique and iconic."

Marc Newson holding the Pentax K-01
Marc Newson holding the Pentax K-01

Newson has worked across a wide range of projects - everything from furniture and household objects to bicycles, cars, yachts and jetplanes - however, this is the first time he has designed a camera. "I like the ability to design all kinds of things because that's the job of the designer," Newson says. "Not to design one thing, it's to be able to use your skill as a designer to solve problems in many different areas."

Marc Newson, Solaris WatchMarc Newson, Solaris Watch

Newson graduated from the Sydney College of the Arts in 1984 in jewellery and sculpture and spent much of his early life travelling Europe and Asia. He started experimenting with furniture design as a student and his first exhibition was staged using a grant awarded by the Australian Arts Council and featured Lockheed Lounge. Three were made and all three have subsequently set consecutive world records for furniture at auction including one sale for £1,100,000 in 2009. Newson's work makes up almost 25% of the contemporary design market.

Marc Newson, Lockheed LoungeMarc Newson, Lockheed Lounge

He has also designed concept cars for Ford, dish racks for Magis, a champagne coffret for Dom Pérignon and numerous timepieces for Swiss manufacturer Ikepod. He's is currently Creative Director of Qantas Airways and was responsible for the interior design of the Airbus A380.

Follow the link to Pentax to see the full technical spec of the K-10

Marc Newson, MN Bicycle for BiomegaMarc Newson, MN Bicycle for Biomega

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