Pentax K-S1: A DSLR Camera Built for a Generation of Beginners

Aug 28, 2014

Maaz Khan

Maaz Khan started off teaching himself photography with a disposable Kodak camera he got for his 7th birthday. His main weapons of choice are now the 5D Mark II, and an LG G2 when mobility calls. You can find some of his work at his website, twitter Twitter @drcon and Instagam @maazcon

Pentax K-S1: A DSLR Camera Built for a Generation of Beginners

Aug 28, 2014

Maaz Khan

Maaz Khan started off teaching himself photography with a disposable Kodak camera he got for his 7th birthday. His main weapons of choice are now the 5D Mark II, and an LG G2 when mobility calls. You can find some of his work at his website, twitter Twitter @drcon and Instagam @maazcon

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Typically, DSLR cameras aren’t really ever about fashion over form. Almost every high-end model out there comes in a bulky black, various buttons surrounding an LCD screen, and an interface that just assumes you know exactly what you’re doing. And then there’s the Pentax K-S1, a mid-range DSLR camera that’s set to come in colors as vibrant as the entirety of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Yesterday, I posted an article about Instagram, and it talked about the new generation of photographers growing up today with smartphones. If it wasn’t for smartphones, many of those people probably wouldn’t have ever gotten into photography, and the minimal touch screen interfaces they’ve been accustomed to are all that they probably know when it comes to using a camera. For older generations, that’s the equivalent of using a disposable or a compact point-and-shoot. With Pentax’s new K-S1, Ricoh attempts to build a bridge that fills that learning gap and draws younger photographers closer to the DSLR world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zva6-s8jza8

If you visit this website often, chances are that you know how to use a DSLR camera. But to a lot of people out there trying to get into photography, DSLR cameras just look too intimidating. Even when I first started using a Canon EOS 20D, my mind had to reboot when I held my friend’s Nikon for the first time. Even up to now, if someone I know is looking to get into photography, I hesitate to refer them to a DSLR as a starting point at all. There’s a lot to learn, and it takes patience.

That’s the market Ricoh’s aiming for with Pentax’s new K-S1. The new mid-range camera comes with 20 megapixels and an ISO of 51,200; but the specs aren’t where it’s striving to make a difference. The K-S1’s touch screen LCD interface is designed with navigation in mind, attempting to make it easier for users to find their way around.

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Considering this is a camera meant for attracting a universal audience, it’ll be coming in an array of different colors, as well; with the basics being blue, black, and white, the K-S2 also comes in colors divided into two collections: the Fabric Collection (cotton beige, tweed gray, linen brown and denim blue) and the Night Sky Collection (Sunset Orange, Dusk Gold, Moon Silver, Midnight Black and Dawn Purple).

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With an interface designed for a beginner, the Pentax K-S1 is set to ship with a beginner’s pricing range as well: $750 for the body, and $800 with an 18-55mm lens kit included. You can grab the new camera this coming September.

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Maaz Khan

Maaz Khan

Maaz Khan started off teaching himself photography with a disposable Kodak camera he got for his 7th birthday. His main weapons of choice are now the 5D Mark II, and an LG G2 when mobility calls. You can find some of his work at his website, twitter Twitter @drcon and Instagam @maazcon

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7 responses to “Pentax K-S1: A DSLR Camera Built for a Generation of Beginners”

  1. Bruce K Avatar
    Bruce K

    Truly one of the ugliest camera designs to come out in a long time…

  2. John C Avatar
    John C

    I don’t know that this really simplifies things for a beginner. It makes it more comfortable for those used to smart phones etc. Unless you are just using it as a glorified point and shoot you still need to learn the manual adjustments, depth of field etc. I don’t know that it’s any more a beginner SLR than many already on the market.

  3. Mike Avatar
    Mike

    I am a novice, but loyal Pentax shooter. I get that they are trying to be innovative, but I’d much rather see them continue to be the “rugged” camera provider – weather sealing, magnesium alloy body, etc.

  4. echomrg Avatar
    echomrg

    why put leds on the handrip?

    1. alphaPDX Avatar
      alphaPDX

      Two real purposes (countdown timer info, #faces caught with face-detect), and one surprise use (to annoy condescending owners of black-blob DSLRS)! Shutter also has an LED, green for stills red for video – that might stop me from taking 1-second videos where the audio track is “da#@ it’s on video” :^)

      BTW this is the only review noting a touch screen – firmware hasn’t settled yet so the firmware abilities are still not crystal clear.

      1. echomrg Avatar
        echomrg

        if you look at the trigger when you’re shooting a SLR you’re definitely doing something wrong. and the solution for the “da#@ it’s on video” problem is not a led on the trigger but different triggers for video and still pictures.

        the countdown timer info could actually be of some use but it’s usually handled well with the focus help light blinking (which is easier to see on a bright day).

        the number of faces defaults back to “why put leds on the handgrip” question ;)

        it still think the answer simply is “because we can”.

  5. gs_790 Avatar
    gs_790

    Here’s what I know about people that don’t currently own a “nice” camera.

    When something like a Canon SL1 or Nikon D3300 or Fuji X-E1 get discounted to $599.95, they get really interested. When next year’s model is announced and it’s $800, they start to like their iPhone photos again.

    The Pentax site talks quite a bit more about size and design, than interface tweaks that may be more beginner friendly. For what it’s worth.
    http://www.us.ricoh-imaging.com/dslr/K-S1_Black