• APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 20.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Pentax K-S2 advantages over Nikon D3500

  • 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
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Less shutter lag
    0.12 vs 0.21 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.63x vs 0.57x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Optional anti-aliasing filter
    Optional vs None
    Lets you choose sharper photos or reduced moiré
  • Faster shutter
    1/6000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Nikon D3500 advantages over Pentax K-S2

  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 1.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1550 vs 410 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Newer
    10 months vs 4 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Lighter weight
    615g vs 859g
    Lighter weight
  • Higher-res screen
    307k vs 230k pixels
    More detail on the screen lets you judge focus and composition
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 20.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution 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)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • 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 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
  • 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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Buy the Pentax K-S2

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D3500

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

  • Great image quality for its class; Excellent high ISO performance for APS-C; Fast single-shot AF speeds; Compact, easy to use design; Incredible value at under $500 with lens.

  • 11-point AF system feels out-dated; Underwhelming C-AF performance; Below average viewfinder coverage accuracy; No touchscreen; Limited wireless features.

The Competition

Compared to Pentax K-500

Pentax K-S2
Pentax K-500
  • $511
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Longer stills battery life
  • Higher-res screen
Nikon D3500
Pentax K-500
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Pentax K-S1

Pentax K-S2
Pentax K-S1
  • $511
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $500
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen
Nikon D3500
Pentax K-S1
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $500
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D5500

Pentax K-S2
Nikon D5500
  • $511
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Fast startup
Nikon D3500
Nikon D5500
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Canon SL2

Pentax K-S2
Canon SL2
  • $511
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Fast startup
Nikon D3500
Canon SL2
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Canon SL3

Pentax K-S2
Canon SL3
  • $511
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D3500
Canon SL3
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoot 4K video
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