• APS-C 372.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 20.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

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Differences

Nikon D300S advantages over Pentax K-S2

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.50 vs 4.29 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 1.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 950 vs 410 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More cross-type AF points
    15 vs 9
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    51 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    7.1 fps vs 5.2 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    7.1 fps vs 5.2 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    17 vs 9 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)

Pentax K-S2 advantages over Nikon D300S

  • Less expensive
    $499 vs $1639*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Yes vs No
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Newer
    3 years vs 8 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.12 vs 0.23 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More pixels
    20.1 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Optional anti-aliasing filter
    Optional vs Fixed
    Lets you choose sharper photos or reduced moiré
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-S2

Review Excerpt

  • Rugged construction; 51-point AF system capable of sophisticated AF tracking; Large, bright optical viewfinder; 7 fps JPEG or 12-bit RAW burst mode; HD Video capture.

  • 14-bit RAW mode slows continuous shooting from 7 fps to 2.7 fps; Somewhat slow AF for a camera at this level, especially in 51-point auto-area mode; Video capture tops out at 720p24.

  • Very compact for a weather-sealed DSLR; Good ergonomics and great viewfinder; Excellent image quality; Decent performance for its class; Articulated screen is great for difficult compositions; Offers features not found in other Pentax DSLRs

  • 18-50mm kit lens is fiddly and prone to jamming when retracted; Wi-Fi is slow and unintuitive; Slow startup; Limited movie mode; Poor battery life for a DSLR; Priced too close to its enthusiast-grade sibling

The Competition

Compared to Canon 50D

Nikon D300S
Canon 50D
  • $1668
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Less shutter lag
  • More pixels
Pentax K-S2
Canon 50D
  • $513
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Nikon D300S
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1668
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
Pentax K-S2
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $513
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sigma SD1

Nikon D300S
Sigma SD1
  • $1668
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • More pixels
  • Doesn't require an AA filter
Pentax K-S2
Sigma SD1
  • $513
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Pentax K-S1

Nikon D300S
Pentax K-S1
  • $1668
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Pentax K-S2
Pentax K-S1
  • $513
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen

Compared to Nikon D5500

Nikon D300S
Nikon D5500
  • $1668
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $648
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-S2
Nikon D5500
  • $513
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
  • $648
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Fast startup
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