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:


Pentax K-S1 Review – Design

Pentax K-S1 Review

Despite all of the serious imaging features, no doubt the most talked about aspect of the K-S1 will be its design.

The shape of the body itself is quite different to most Pentax DSLRs on the market currently, with a much more futuristic and angular appearance beyond the conventionally designed central elements including the mirror box, viewfinder prism and lens mount.

The angular aspect is perhaps best demonstrated in the camera hand grip, which is quite unlike the curved versions seen elsewhere. Instead it’s much sharper in design and although it doesn’t fit quite as snugly as a curved version in the hand it’s deep enough so as to allow solid purchase on the camera.

The handgrip also houses a range of the distinctive illuminated points which characterise the model. The grip houses five individual lights which, although one would suspect they are cosmetic, actually prove genuinely useful. They can serve as either a countdown timer, remote release indicator or to show if face detection is in use. And, if they’re not to your liking, they can be turned off altogether.

Pentax K-S1 product shot 5

Flashing lights

The illumination is also seen on the main control buttons of the camera. The controls themselves are a touch fiddly to use owing to their slightly awkward design, while the main direction control which operates the bulk of the camera’s functionality is also a touch disappointing.

While it’s understandable that this control pad might need to be stiff so as not to be accidentally knocked, that on the rear of the K-S1 take this idea too far and is overly difficult to quickly adjust.

The remaining buttons around the camera, however, are much easier to adjust and are, on the whole, much more successful.

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