Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!
In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Entry-Level DSLR. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Nikon and Pentax. Although Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 are both equipped with the same CMOS sensor, they boast of different resolution. Thus, Nikon D3100 has a sensor with a resolution of 14.0 MP, while Pentax K-S2 has a different resolution of 20.0 MP.
To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.
Nikon D3100 Key Features:
Pentax K-S2 Key Features:
|Battery Life||550 shots vs 410 shots||140 more frames with a single charge|
|Weight||505 g vs 678 g||173 g lighter|
|NFC||Yes vs No||Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices|
|Timelapse Recording||Yes vs No||Creative shooting|
|Sensor Resolution||20.0 MP vs 14.0 MP||30% more pixels|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2 vs 355.74 mm2||3% larger pixel area|
|Image Stabilization||Yes vs No||All lenses are stabilized|
|Continuous Shooting||5.4 fps vs 3 fps||2.4 fps faster|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/6000 vs 1/4000||Faster shutter speed|
|Screen Type||Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type||Flexible shooting positions|
|Screen Resolution||921k dots vs 230k dots||75% higher resolution screen|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes vs No||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Microphone Port||Yes vs No||High quality audio recording option|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism) vs Optical (pentamirror)||Better framing and control|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.64 vs 0.53||0.11 better magnification|
|Screen Size||3″ | 3″||Large display|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentamirror) | Optical (pentaprism)||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Built-In Flash||Yes | Yes||External flash available|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Touch Screen||No | No||No touch screen|
|Screen Resolution||230k dots | 921k dots||Small screen resolution|
|Sensor Resolution||14.0 MP | 20.0 MP||Small sensor resolution|
|Headphone Port||No | No||No headphone port|
|Continuous Shooting||3.0 fps | 5.4 fps||Low continuous shooting|
Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 from the front view.
Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.
After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.
Speaking of weight, Nikon D3100 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 173g less than the Pentax K-S2. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.
Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.
Are Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 any different in terms of sensor type?
In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D3100 features a 14.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor . Pentax K-S2, in its turn, comes with a 20.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and PRIME MII processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 by the size of their sensors.
Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.
If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.
This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.
|Photography Type||Nikon D3100||Pentax K-S2|
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D3100 or Pentax K-S2, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.
What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D3100 and Pentax K-S2 here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D3100 deserves a higher Total Score than the Pentax K-S2. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.
For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:
|Nikon D3100||Pentax K-S2|
|Announced||Dec 21, 2010||Feb 10, 2015|
|Body Type||Compact SLR||Compact SLR|
|Sensor Dimensions||23.1 x 15.4 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||355.74 mm2||366.60 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||14.0 MP||20.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||4608 x 3072||5472 x 3648|
|Max Native ISO||3,200||51,200|
|Max Boosted ISO||12,800||n/a|
|Min Native ISO||100||100|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F||Pentax KAF2|
|Number of Lenses||287||144|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1.5x||1.5x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||11||11|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||1||n/a|
|Screen Type||Fixed Type||Fully Articulated|
|Screen Resolution||230k dots||921k dots|
|ViewFinder||Optical (pentamirror)||Optical (pentaprism)|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||0k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||30 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000 s||1/6000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.0 fps||5.4 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow, Rear curtain||Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, flash on, flash on + redeye reduction, slow sync, trailing curtain sync, manual flash|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)||1920 x 1080 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4||MPEG-4, H.264|
|USB||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|Weight||505 g||678 g|
|Physical Dimensions||124 x 96 x 75 mm||91 x 123 x 73 mm|
|Battery Life||550 shots||410 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||Battery Pack|