Pentax K-S1 Review
|Full model name:||Pentax K-S1|
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||Optical / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/6000 - 30 sec|
|Max Aperture:||3.5 (kit lens)|
4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in.
(121 x 93 x 70 mm)
includes batteries, kit lens
|Full specs:||Pentax K-S1 specifications|
Pentax K-S1 Review -- First Impressions
By William Brawley
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 a 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 (up to 20 JPEGs or 5 RAW files), 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 with stereo sound.
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 (4.75 x 3.65 x 2.75 inches), 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. The LEDs for the power switch, for example, stay green during still-image shooting, but change to red during movie recording. And when Face Detection is enabled, the number of LEDs illuminated in the grip corresponds to the number of faces that have been detected. The grip LEDs also act as a countdown timer when the self-timer is active.
Coupled with the sleek exterior design, the camera's firmware has undergone a big refresh as well. 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 available at retailers nationwide in September, the body-only version will be available for US$749.95 and a kit bundled with the SMC Pentax-DAL 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL lens for US$799.95. There's is also a two-lens kit that adds the Pentax 50-200mm lens, available in the black, blue or white colors only, priced at US$899.95. The special color collection editions are available in single-kit configurations only and are also priced at US$799.95.