K-S1by Pentax

  • K-S1
  • K-S1
  • K-S1
  • K-S1
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
A solid product. Despite some flaws, it's still a good value.
78%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • The K-S1's image quality is competitive with a high dynamic range, reliable white balance, and respectable 11-point autofocus.
  • The pentaprism viewfinder offers bright, clear colors and an almost 100 percent field of view.
  • Onboard image stabilization keeps your shots steady no matter what lens you use.

CONS

  • The K-S1 is not weather resistant. If you're planning on a lot of outdoor shooting, you may want to look elsewhere.
  • The K-S1 has no built-in Wi-Fi. If you want to go wireless, you'll need to buy a separate Pentax FluCard.
  • The K-S1's grip can be slippery and its layout difficult to navigate due to small, poorly placed buttons.
Aimed at younger photographers or those looking to enter the world of high-quality DSLRs for the first time, the relatively affordable K-S1 from Pentax offers an impressive 20-megapixel APS-C sensor and includes an 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL lens out of the box. The selectable AA (anti-aliasing) filter gives you great control over resolution and noise reduction and with 5.4 fps continuous shooting, the camera is well equipped for burst photography.
NameK-S1D5500K-S2D5300EOS Rebel T6i
ManufacturerPentaxNikonPentaxNikonCanon
Techwalla Score
78%
85%
85%
82%
77%
List Price$399$900$700$800$750
90%

The Pentax K-S1 may be intended to expand the appeal of the Digital SLR to a younger market, but it also retains all the necessary photograp…

The Pentax K-S1 may be intended to expand the appeal of the Digital SLR to a younger market, but it also retains all the necessary photographic qualities to make high-quality images possible. It can appeal to a wide variety of users looking for a well specified and efficient DSLR. The customisation of the K-S1 via a multitude of colours is a bonus. It seems the two worlds have become one and a serious photographic tool can also be fun thanks to a compact and colourful camera body.

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89%

On the whole it’s a model which impresses. The AF speed is up there with the best in class, while the viewfinder is also much better than a …

On the whole it’s a model which impresses. The AF speed is up there with the best in class, while the viewfinder is also much better than a lot of equivalent models.

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80%

Ultimately the K-S1 is a very capable camera that, ironically, is let down by some of the very aspects intended to make it stand out. Howeve…

Ultimately the K-S1 is a very capable camera that, ironically, is let down by some of the very aspects intended to make it stand out. However, if you’re prepared to sacrifice ergonomics for style, but still want great performance, image quality, and a tech spec to rival a midrange DSLR; the K-S1 certainly offers impressive value for money.

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80%

Overall, the Pentax K-S1 is a very good DSLR. Its looks may not be to everyone’s taste, and the handgrip may put some off, but I would urge …

Overall, the Pentax K-S1 is a very good DSLR. Its looks may not be to everyone’s taste, and the handgrip may put some off, but I would urge potential buyers to actually get one in their hands and try it out for themselves.

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80%

Despite its appearance, this is a camera for people who want to take photos the old fashioned way. In that respect, it does a fine job.

Despite its appearance, this is a camera for people who want to take photos the old fashioned way. In that respect, it does a fine job.

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76%

Pentax K-S1 is not the highest resolution APS-C camera.

Pentax K-S1 is not the highest resolution APS-C camera.

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70%

If you are keen to step away from the Canon and Nikon fold, or perhaps you have a lot of Pentax legacy lenses, then the K-S1 seems like quit…

If you are keen to step away from the Canon and Nikon fold, or perhaps you have a lot of Pentax legacy lenses, then the K-S1 seems like quite an appealing prospect on paper. It's easy to see why the company goes for all the gimmicks of different colours and flashing lights when it has to compete against the behemoths of the others in the industry, but at the same time, this can make what is otherwise a decent camera feel a little cheap and tacky.

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70%

The Pentax K-S1 doesn't look like any other SLR on the market, but aside from a disappointing video mode, it's a solid performer.

The Pentax K-S1 doesn't look like any other SLR on the market, but aside from a disappointing video mode, it's a solid performer.

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70%

With the competition from Canon and Nikon available for less money these days, and the Pentax K-S1 actually not offering that many cutting-e…

With the competition from Canon and Nikon available for less money these days, and the Pentax K-S1 actually not offering that many cutting-edge features despite its ‘cutting edge’ design, it doesn’t set new standards.

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Aimed at step-up users and other mid-level photographers who are perhaps more familiar with simpler mobile device interfaces, the K-S1 hopes…

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.

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The biggest issue we have with the K-S1 is figuring out its target audience. Its design (including those LEDs) makes it stand out in the cro…

The biggest issue we have with the K-S1 is figuring out its target audience. Its design (including those LEDs) makes it stand out in the crowd, but the biggest selling points should be what's inside. The K-S1's closest competitors are the Canon SL1 (EOS 100D) and Nikon D3300, both of which have lower MSRPs (not to mention street prices) and are equally capable. An even bigger question is why one would buy the K-S1 when Pentax's own K-50 is weather-sealed and less expensive.

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The colors reproduction is good. Just like in photo mode, the colors are highly saturated, especially the blue colors. The white balance sys…

The colors reproduction is good. Just like in photo mode, the colors are highly saturated, especially the blue colors. The white balance system worked well in video mode and generated a neutral color reproduction in various light sources.

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