Pentax K-S1: a review

The 27th August saw the launch of Pentax’s latest DSLR offering the K-S1.  If you find everyday DSLR’s confusing and intimidating due to their multiple buttons and dials then I recommend taking a look at this new model, with its innovative design.

First of all let’s look at the key figures of the K-S1.  The main headlines are a new 20 megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor together with the Prime MII image processor, allowing the K-S1 to reach an ISO sensitivity of up to 51200, shooting speeds of up to 5.4 frames per second and a top end shutter speed of 1/6000.  The camera also captures Full HD movie clips at 1920 x 1080 Pixels (30/25/24 frame rate).  If you combine factors along with the K-S1’s in-body shake reduction feature, a 100% field of view glass pentaprism viewfinder and an AA filter simulator, the K-S1 stacks up well against its competition.

The most noticeable differences between the K-S1 and its competition are in the product design. Whilst the body is not one of the smallest DSLRs on the market, when coupled with a standard zoom lens it becomes extremely compact and practical due to its unique flat grip.  The main talking point when it comes to its design is the K-S1’s LED illumination.  The camera’s power switch, mode dial, OK button and grip all feature LED lights which indicate the present status of the camera.   The LED lights on the cameras grip glow green in still mode, and then change to red in video mode.  These lights are also used as a countdown reference in timer mode and most impressively as a face detection counter when shooting groups of up to five people.

The K-S1 also offers the established ‘effects mode’ that can be found is many of its previous models.  By simply turning the Mode dial to the EFFECT position, you can apply the required effect to an image while previewing the result on the LCD monitor. It provides a choice of 10 individual effects, including three new options: “Fresh” with a crystal-clean finishing touch; “Fade Colour” for an elegant finish with subdued colours; and “Infrared” for a black-and-white finish like that of an infrared photo. The K-S1 also provides 21 digital filters (nine of them applicable during shooting), including a new “Colour Replacement” filter.

The K-S1 also supports Pentax’s Flu Card wireless system.  Therefore once the card is installed the shutter can be released, images can be downloaded as well as viewed in live-view from your computer, Smartphone or tablet.  (To access these features your Smartphone must be operating IOS6 or later, and Android 4.2 or later).

As has become tradition for the more recent Pentax releases, the K-S1 will be available in 12 different colour combinations, the three standards of which are black, blue and white.   The K-S1 is now available in-store or from www.parkcameras.com and is available as a single body, body + 18-55mm kit or as a double kit which includes a 55-200mm lens starting from £549.

Park Verdict 
The K-S1 is a Digital SLR that is easy to use with a range of features to satisfy first-time SLR users or experienced photo enthusiasts.

We Love
♥ Compact, lightweight body with distinctive design
♥ Body Illumination interface
♥ PENTAX-developed AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator

If you've got a question about the Pentax K-S1, why not post a comment in the box below and we’ll do our best to answer them for you.

Park Cameras

1 comment:

Adrian said...

I'll be in to look more closely. I have a Pentax D10 limited edition model, (c2007) which was state-of-the-art at the time. It is wonderful to handle, and at twelve-hundred pounds+ when new, a source of pride to own, but maximum 10mpxl images make it seem behind the times. I wouldn't want to part with it, but would like a lighter model with higher mega-pixels. With this new model, I can carry on using my custom-made Exakta/Pentax adaptor and store of lenses I've owned for 50-odd years and whose characteristics and limitations (e.g. some uncoated; others coating of internal elements only; manual pre-set aperture control, etc.,) I've learnt to live with, as I reach my photographic dotage! Adrian

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