• 35mm 860.4mm2
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 20.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

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Differences

Nikon D3S advantages over Pentax K-S1

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 8.46 vs 4.29 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    3,253 vs 1,061 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 4200 vs 480 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.70x vs 0.63x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    9.0 fps vs 5.4 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    90 vs 20 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    102400 vs 51200 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Pentax K-S1 advantages over Nikon D3S

  • Less expensive
    $800 vs $5200 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • 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
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Newer
    4 years vs 9 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    20.1 vs 12.1 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

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • 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

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • 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
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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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Buy the Pentax K-S1

Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D700

Nikon D3S
Nikon D700
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
Pentax K-S1
Nikon D700
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Canon 1DX

Nikon D3S
Canon 1DX
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $4959
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • Newer
Pentax K-S1
Canon 1DX
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $4959
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D4

Nikon D3S
Nikon D4
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $6497
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • Shoots 1080p video
Pentax K-S1
Nikon D4
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $6497
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3300

Nikon D3S
Nikon D3300
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $418
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Internal flash
Pentax K-S1
Nikon D3300
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $418
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Higher effective ISO

Compared to Pentax K-S2

Nikon D3S
Pentax K-S2
  • $5200
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-S1
Pentax K-S2
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
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