• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 20.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

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Differences

Sony DSLR-A550 advantages over Pentax K-S1

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.16 vs 4.29 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 950 vs 480 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.7 fps vs 5.4 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Pentax K-S1 advantages over Sony DSLR-A550

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Less expensive
    $800 vs $1050 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,061 vs 807 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.0 vs 11.8 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • 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
  • Newer
    6 years vs 11 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.63x vs 0.53x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    20.1 vs 14.2 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
  • Faster shutter
    1/6000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 12800 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
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • 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 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
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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-S1

Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Canon 50D

Sony DSLR-A550
Canon 50D
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
Pentax K-S1
Canon 50D
  • $502
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Nikon D300S

Sony DSLR-A550
Nikon D300S
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $1663
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
Pentax K-S1
Nikon D300S
  • $502
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $1663
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Sony DSLR-A500

Sony DSLR-A550
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • More dots on screen
  • More pixels
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
Pentax K-S1
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $502
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Tiltable Screen

Compared to Nikon D5500

Sony DSLR-A550
Nikon D5500
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-S1
Nikon D5500
  • $502
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Pentax K-S2

Sony DSLR-A550
Pentax K-S2
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection
Pentax K-S1
Pentax K-S2
  • $502
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
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