Pentax K-S2 Preview: Entry-level Pentax DSLR gets an early update

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Available in three main colors, black, white and black/orange, the new Pentax K-S2 is also available to pre-order in a range of seven different color combinations.

Pentax K-S2 Specification: New weather-resistant shell and vari-angle LCD

With the announcement that a Pentax full-frame DSLR is under development and due for market launch at the end of 2015, it’s an exciting time for Pentax enthusiasts. While we wait for the full-frame to become a reality, however, Pentax has unveiled an updated entry-level APS-C DSLR in the shape of the new K-S2.

Following hot on the heels of the K-S1 launched in August 2014, the updated K-S2 includes a couple of new features and enhancements to the build quality. First, the flashing green LED lights on the K-S1’s grip have been removed and the new shell on the K-S2 features over 100 seals to make it both dustproof and weather-resistant. This is fairly unusual for an entry-level camera and a bonus for outdoor lovers who want a camera they can use in all conditions.

Other additions include a new vari-angle LCD screen with a resin layer between the LCD panel and protective plastic to help improve viewing in bright conditions. The LCD can also be rotated around 180 degrees to help composition at awkward angles, or of course for a well-framed self-portrait, and there’s a new self-portrait shutter release button that allows you to keep a good grip of the camera while shooting a “selfie.” If you prefer to frame up your shots the traditional way, however, the optical viewfinder offers nearly 100% frame coverage, which is again fairly unusual for such a small entry-level APS-C camera.

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Many manufacturers are introducing cameras either with or without an optical low-pass filter, giving photographers the choice of a sensor that outputs smoothed images or sharper, more detailed images. Pentax, however, has developed a unique solution in the form of an Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulator, which allows photographers to control how much anti-aliasing is applied to their images and offers a bit more flexibility.

The K-S2 also includes Pentax’s SAFOX X autofocus system that utilises 11 phase detection targets, including nine of the more accurate cross-type sensors near the center of the frame. Eleven targets is a little on the stingy side, but Pentax claims that its Select-Area Expansion Function will keep tracking a moving subject outside of the autofocus area using distance data from all the sensors.

And if you’re after a camera to capture fast-moving action ,there’s also 5.5fps burst shooting, together with a max shutter speed of 1/6000th to help freeze your subjects.

Pentax’s in-camera shake Reduction system on the K-S2 offers image stabilization regardless of the lens used, and its PRIME III processing engine claims to minimize noise at all sensitivity levels, including the maximum sensitivity of ISO 51,200. The K-S2 also features 11 custom shooting modes and an A-HDR feature that uses in-camera processing to create an image with much greater dynamic range. There’s also built-in wi-fi and NFC connectivity for easier sharing to smart devices, as well as an Image Sync application that makes it possible to control the K-S2’s aperture, shutter, and ISO remotely via your smart device.

Available for pre-order now, the new Pentax K-S2 is priced at £550 body only, £650 with one kit lens, £730 with 2 kit lenses, and an £880 premium kit that includes 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR lens.

We look forward to bringing you a full test and review of the Pentax K-S2 soon, but in the meantime, you can read our review of its predecessor the K-S1 HERE.