Packaging advanced DSLR features into a compact, user-friendly interface, the new Pentax K-S1 looks like a marriage between camera and smartphone that could appeal to photographers of a variety of experience levels.
Boasting far fewer physical controls than experienced DSLR users may be accustomed to, the K-S1 comes with a high-resolution, 921k dot LCD on its back panel and an array of built-in LED lights that are color coded, turning red when the camera is set to record video and green for snapshots. The camera also includes a back-lit dial with four-way controller that enables users to see what they're doing in low-light situations.
Digging deeper into the K-S1 specs, we find the camera comes packaged with a number of professional-level features. These include shake reduction, a manually adjustable AA filter simulator, and the ability to shoot 5.4 images per second (shutter speed is clocked at 1/6000 of a second). Not to be overlooked is the camera's 20 MP CMOS sensor with 51,200 ISO sensitivity.
An optional add-on purchase of the 16 GB Pentax Flucard makes the K-S1 Wi-Fi compatible, which means users can control a number of camera operations with their smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Needless to say, Wi-Fi compatibility also enables wireless image transfer and sharing of images via messaging, email, and social media. The Pentax K-S1 is available now for preorder and will be shipped in September. Cost estimates run from around $750 for the barebones version, $800 with an added 18-55mm lens, and $900 for a two-lens kit that also adds a 50-200mm lens.
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