Pentax surprises with futuristic new compact K-S1 DSLR


posted Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM EDT


If you thought most new cameras nowadays are all about being "retro" and taking cues from cameras of yesteryear, take heed: Ricoh is going in a bold new direction with their latest DSLR, the new Pentax K-S1. Sporting a strikingly futuristic design, the K-S1 features a new 20-megapixel APS-C image sensor with a high ISO sensitivity up to 51,200, as well as incorporating features from their flagship K-3, such as the on-demand anti-aliasing filter system with their in-camera Shake Reduction image stabilization system.

Other performance specifications include the SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor with eleven focus point (nine of which are cross-type) a glass pentaprism with 100% coverage, 5.4fps continuous burst shooting and a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000s. The K-S1 also captures Full HD video at up to 30p in the H.264 format.

The big story around the new K-S1 is the radical new body design and user interface. With a rather minimal and sleek design in a very compact body, the K-S1 is nearly devoid of all buttons and dials on the front and top deck of the camera. Instead, the K-S1 moves away from standard DSLR design cues with a large LED-backlit multi-function dial setup on the rear face of the camera that includes the standard PASM modes, as well as typical ISO, white balance, flash and drive settings.

For added futuristic and modern design touches, the power switch, mode dial, OK selection button and front handgrip all sport LED illumination that actually change depending on the particular shooting mode.

Coupled with the sleek exterior design, the camera software itself has undergone a big refresh. Aimed at step-up users and other mid-level photographers who are perhaps more familiar with simpler mobile device interfaces, the K-S1 hopes to bridge the complexity gap with the sleeker, simpler UI design.

In typical Ricoh fashion, the new Pentax K-S1 will be offered in a variety of color choices. Blue, black and white (with a white kit lens) are the three standard colors, however nine additional colors as part of two color collections -- "Fabric" and "Night Sky" -- will be available as well.

Set to be at retailers nationwide in September, the body-only version will be available for $749.95 and a kit bundled with the SMC Pentax-DAL 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL lens for $799.95. There's is also a two-lens kit that also includes the Pentax 50-200mm lens, and is available in the black, blue or white colors only and sells for $899.95. The special color collection editions are available in single-kit configurations only and are priced also at $799.95.


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