• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 21.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 20.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

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Differences

Canon 5D Mark II advantages over Pentax K-S2

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.41 vs 4.29 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 1.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 850 vs 410 shots
    Capture more photos
  • More telephoto lens reach
    105 mm vs 75 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.71x vs 0.63x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More AF points
    15 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    75 vs 28 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Pentax K-S2 advantages over Canon 5D Mark II

  • Less expensive
    $499 vs $2699
    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
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Newer
    4 years vs 10 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Lighter weight
    859g vs 1588g
    Lighter weight
  • Less shutter lag
    0.12 vs 0.21 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • 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
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.2 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    5.2 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 25600 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
  • 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 HDMI output 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
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • 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 Canon 5D Mark II

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-S2

Review Excerpt

  • 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 Sony A900

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A900
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Pentax K-S2
Sony A900
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3X

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D3X
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More dynamic range
Pentax K-S2
Nikon D3X
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony A850

Canon 5D Mark II
Sony A850
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More pixels
Pentax K-S2
Sony A850
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Pentax K-S1

Canon 5D Mark II
Pentax K-S1
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Pentax K-S2
Pentax K-S1
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen

Compared to Nikon D5500

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D5500
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-S2
Nikon D5500
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Fast startup
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