• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 20.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

Buy From

Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Pentax K-S2

  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 1.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 660 vs 410 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 28 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    13 vs 9 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)

Pentax K-S2 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • 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
  • NFC
    Yes vs No
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.63x vs 0.52x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Less shutter lag
    0.12 vs 0.27 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More pixels
    20.1 vs 16.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Newer
    2 years vs 6 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Optional anti-aliasing filter
    Optional vs Fixed
    Lets you choose sharper photos or reduced moiré
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.2 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    5.2 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility
  • Faster shutter
    1/6000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Both provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • 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
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-S2

Review Excerpt

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

  • 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 Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Pentax K-S2
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony A35

Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Pentax K-S2
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Focus peaking
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • More viewfinder magnification

Compared to Sony A57

Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-camera panoramas
Pentax K-S2
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Pentax K-S1

Nikon D5100
Pentax K-S1
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $520
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Pentax K-S2
Pentax K-S1
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • NFC
  • $520
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen

Compared to Nikon D5500

Nikon D5100
Nikon D5500
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Pentax K-S2
Nikon D5500
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Touchscreen
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