The K1000 is the simplest member of Asahi Optical's Pentax K-series SLRs, whose other members are the Pentax K2, KM, and KX, all introduced in 1975, and the K2 DMD (1976). All have the same basic body design, but with differing feature levels, internal electronics, and external controls and cosmetics.
It uses a horizontal travel, rubberized silk cloth focal plane shutter with a speed range of 1/1000 second to 1 second, along with Bulb and a flash X-sync of 1/60 second. It is 91.4 millimetres tall, 143 mm wide, and 48 mm deep, and weighs 620 grams. The body was finished in black leather with chrome trim.
The introductory US list price for the K1000 body with SMC Pentax 55 mm f/2 lens was $299.50.