Pentax Si is a Concept Camera Based Around a Single Dial Button

Designer Andrew Kim thinks that point-and-shoot cameras aren’t simple enough for many ordinary consumers. After all, if you’re only looking to take snapshots of everyday life, having buttons and dials that can toggle undesired functions is more of an annoyance than a benefit. Taking a page from Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa’s book, Kim created a concept camera that he calls the Pentax Si.

The design is stupidly simple, as both of the controls — shutter and exposure — can be handled using a single button/dial.

Kim chose the dial after finding the wheel to be a “universally understood control mechanism”, the same reason Apple used it in its iPods prior to the touchscreen taking over.

Obviously, more serious photographers would have huge issues with this camera, as you can’t choose anything besides when the picture is snapped and how bright the image is. The exposure triangle is completely determined by the camera, and the lens is both fixed and prime, to boot.

However, consumers who simply want to “point and shoot”, this super stripped down design might actually be helpful (just think of the technologically challenged people you know). What do you think of the idea of a minimalist, high-quality compact camera?

(via Mashable)

  • TylerIngram

    Why not just forego the dial for exposure completely and just leave the camera on a “Auto” setting. Then there is 1 less thing to worry about. You just point it at what you want.. push the button for a photo :) Sort of like those disposable film cameras.

  • michiexile

    Even the most tech illiterate friends I have still expect — and get frustrated when they cannot — to be able to zoom. Making the lens twiddlable for zoom would probably make this camera better for them.

  • branden rio

    interesting idea, but the knob twists the wrong way. I should be able to twist the knob with the same finger I use to press the shutter, without taking my hand off the camera.

  • timtop

    Although, as the article suggests, perhaps a little too simple, this concept still raises the issue that i have with most digital cameras – Too Many Buttons/Options. This is the reason i didn’t take an OM-D out of the shop after i played around with it, and is the reason I’ve stuck with the original Ricoh GRD and GR1 as my principle tools. The OM-D is just mental with the number of options that pander to people’s need to feel like they’re getting value for money. Film cameras, even towards the end of their heyday, stayed focused on their primary reason for existing – taking pictures.

    Lately, the Fuji X-pro appealed to me by mostly resisting the urge to over complicate the task of taking pictures, but the manual focus problems put me off. If a camera came out with great IQ and just dials for aperture/shutter speed, maybe exposure comp, and proper manual/zone focus ability, I’d buy it in a second.

  • Bua

    Just like a point & shoot.

  • Jason

    What, no phone function?

  • Gatot Caesario Tolando


  • Ralph Hightower

    Warning to Pentax. Apple’s gonna sue you. After all, they patented the one button mouse.

  • guest

    what would make this 1000x more amazing is if you could take a photo the second you turn it on.

    I use a POS whenever I don’t intend to take photos, but half the time the moment passes while I wait for the thing to load and focus.

  • Anonymous

    Oh look, the iCam.

  • 9inchnail

    “point-and-shoot cameras aren’t simple enough for many ordinary consumers”

    Maybe customers are too simple for ordinary cameras. Should we really encourage people to stay stupid by giving them dumbed down technology?

  • tonyl

    I have been looking for a camera for my 6 year old and my 3 year old;
    – needs to produces print quality images.
    – don’t need zoom or any settings at all.
    – needs to survive being dropped and having the lens touched
    – needs to be small
    This is close but what I want just doesn’t exist.

  • William Zhang

    But that camera is too frigging big! Make it half size and it will be better

  • Nuno Rissanen

    If it is cheap i would buy it!