Pentax K-S1 Review - The K-S1 is a DSLR which stands out from the crowd thanks to some eye-catching design features, but it also boasts a serious spec.

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Pentax K-S1

Image Quality:90%


  • AF performance particularly fast with central AF points; Anti alias filter simulator is welcome; Excellent viewfinder


  • Central control dial too stiff; Design not to everyone’s taste


Pentax K-S1 Review


Price as reviewed:

While we may be accustomed to plain DSLRs in the UK – with most models available in colour so long as it’s black – that’s not the case in other countries around the world and certainly not the case in Japan.

For many years now Pentax has been looking to capitalise on this diverse market by launching some of its DSLRs in a variety of colours, with even the option to customise the colour configuration yourself should you desire.

While a few of these models have made it over to the UK previously as special – and often limited – editions, it’s never been a widely-adopted strategy on these shores.

However, all of that has changed K-S1 – a DSLR which is available in 12 ‘fashion colour combinations’ and incorporates an ‘illuminated interface’ according to Pentax.

Outside of colour combinations and flashing lights the K-S1 packs in some serious shooting power, and the good news is that if the flashy colours aren’t for you the camera also comes in black.

Pentax K-S1 Review

Pentax K-S1 Review – Features

When you get past the eye-catching design and flashing lights of the K-S1 you’ll notice that the camera is actually packing some serious imaging tools.

Foremost of these is the model’s APS-C 20.12MP CMOS sensor. The sensor is lacking in any form of anti-alias filter and should thus be able to capture the largest amount of detail possible, although there is the chance of moiré patterning becoming an issue.

Pentax has addressed this issue with the introduction of the fantastic AA filter simulator setting first seen in the K-3.

This filter simulator mode works by utilising the sensor shift stabilisation technology to slightly move the sensor whilst shooting in a situation where moiré patterning could prove problematic.

This might seem like a relatively straightforward feature but it’s certainly effective, and it’s a great option for the photographer to have in camera rather than have to decide they want the feature at point of purchase.

The sensor also delivers full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080p resolution and at either 30, 25 or 24fps, with audio recorded via a pair of stereo microphones either side of the camera’s prism. Although this is reasonable enough, it’s not quite to the standard of some other models in its class.

The sensor covers an ISO range of 100-51,200, suitable for shooting in even particularly low light conditions, while the continuous shooting speed of up to 5.4fps is suitable for action shooting, although again it’s not quite to the standard of equivalent competing models.

Pentax K-S1 Review

LCD screen

On the rear of the camera sits a 3in, 921k-dot LCD screen which is unfortunately is fixed and therefore can’t be tilted away from the body.

The viewfinder, meanwhile, is a touch more impressive. It’s of the pentaprism variety rather than pentamirror, and as such offers a 100% field of view as well as excellent contrast and brightness.

Although the K-S1 is lacking in any kind of Wi-fi connectivity as standard, it does support both Flucard for Pentax and Eye-Fi cards, so if you’re looking for connectivity you can add it to the camera at a later point.

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