Pentax K-S1 Review

Overall 42
Imaging 14
Features 37
Size 74
Price 0

Main Features

  • 20.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 51200
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.4 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30,25,24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60,50 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 121 x 93 x 70 mm
  • Weight: 558 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced by Pentax K-S2. Compare

Pentax K-S1 Summary

This review is devoted to K-S1 that Pentax has first introduced to the public in Aug 27, 2014. This model is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera with a resolution of 20.0 MP and a APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Pentax has replaced this product with their most recent model K-S2. To learn more about the specs and difference between these two models, check our complete comparison by following this link:
Pentax K-S1 vs. K-S2

In Semi-Pro DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #105 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 42/100 and it takes a rank of #789 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Pentax K-S1 Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Pentax K-S1 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/6000
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Built-In Flash: Yes
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes

CONs

  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 1061
  • Number Of Focus Points: 11
  • Microphone Port: No
  • Headphone Port: No
  • Wireless Connectivity: Eye-Fi Connected
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Battery Life: 410 shots
  • Timelapse Recording: No
  • Storage Slots: 1

Popular comparisons of Pentax K-S1

Complete Comparison of Pentax K-S1 With Other Cameras in Semi-Pro DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Pentax K-S1. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Semi-Pro DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Pentax K-S1

Pentax K-S1 has the following external dimensions 121 x 121 x 70 mm (47.64 x 36.61 x 27.56″) with the weight of 558 g.

The typical weight for average Semi-Pro DSLR type cameras is 783g. If we compare the average indicator of the weight of Pentax K-S1, we can conclude that this model is lighter than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Pentax K-S1 is thinner than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 70mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Pentax K-S1 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

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If you want to have a better idea of how big the Pentax K-S1 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

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Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Pentax K-S1 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Pentax K-S1 — 410 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots

Thickness

Pentax K-S1 — 70 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Pentax K-S1 — 558 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Unfortunately, Pentax K-S1 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Pentax K-S1 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Pentax K-S1 Photo and Sensor Features

Pentax K-S1 comes with Prime MII processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 20.0 MP and is equipped with a APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Pentax K-S1 has the following ISO range 100 - 51200 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Pentax K-S1 features a 20.0 MP APS-C sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Pentax K-S1, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 78 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Pentax K-S1’s sensor.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of APS-C sensor featured in Pentax K-S1 with other standard sensor sizes.

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Other Characteristics And Features of Pentax K-S1

LCD and ViewFinder

Pentax K-S1 is equipped with a Fixed Type 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 921k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentaprism) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in K-S1 has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.64x and it also provides a coverage of 100%.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Pentax K-S1 are its 5.4 fps max speed and 1/6000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

K-S1 features both an embedded flash and a flash shoe, which means that you can use both built-in and external flashes depending on your needs.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Pentax K-S1 stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 11 points.

In addition, K-S1 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Pentax K-S1, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 1920 x 1080 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Pentax K-S1 allows you to save files in H.264 formats.

Pentax K-S1 provides full HD resolution, which means that this model shows decent performance in most situations.

Pentax K-S1 is not equipped with any ports that would allow you to connect external headphones and microphones to it.

Connectivity and Storage

You can connect K-S1 to compatible devices via its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Pentax K-S1 provides a shooting life of 410, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 871 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Pentax K-S1 is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Pentax K-S1 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Pentax K-S1’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Pentax K-S1’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the K-S1 to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Pentax K-S1 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-S1 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 86. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-S1 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages


Pentax K-S1 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-S1 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 86. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-S1 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (121 x 93 x 70 mm)
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Pentax K-S1 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-S1 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 62. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-S1 can be called a 62 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

No Significant Advantages

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.4 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/6000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1061)
  • Small battery life (410 shots)

Pentax K-S1 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-S1 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 39. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-S1 can be called a Intermediate model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (558 g)
  • Big size (121 x 93 x 70 mm)

Pentax K-S1 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Pentax K-S1 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 91. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Pentax K-S1 can be called a 91 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.0)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (20 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1061)

Pentax K-S1 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Pentax
Model K-S1
Announced Aug 27, 2014
Body Type Mid-size SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Pentax KAF2
Number of Lenses 144
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 921k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.64
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/6000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.4 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Range 10
Flash Modes Auto, auto + redeye, on + redeye reduction, slow sync, trailing curtain sync, manual
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 78
DxO Color Depth 23.5
DxO Dynamic Range 13.0
DxO Low Light ISO 1061
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Area 366.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 20.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 5472 x 3648
Max Native ISO 51,200
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 100
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking Yes
AF Selective Yes
AF Center Yes
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 11
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30,25,24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60,50 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats H.264
Microphone Port No
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 558 g
Physical Dimensions 121 x 93 x 70 mm
Battery Life 410 shots
Battery Type 410 shots
Battery Model D-LI109
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording No
GPS Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1

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