Unveiled: Pentax K-S2 DSLR, 18-50mm f/4-5.6 DC WR RE Lens, AF201FG Flash

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Ricoh Imaging has upgraded the popular Pentax K-S1 digital camera with the new K-S2, adding a slew of features aimed toward those looking to share images easily, take selfies, and edit photos in-camera. Along with the camera is a new 18-50mm f/4-5.6 DC WR RE, a compact weather-resistant lens with SP coating, HD PENTAX coating, and Quick-Shift focus, and the AF2014FG flash. The flash is designed for use with Pentax DSLRs, is P-TTL compatible, and has an all-weather construction. While the camera has the same AA filterless 20.1MP CMOS sensor and PRIME M II Image Processing Engine as the K-S1, it adds Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities, an articulating 3.0" LCD screen, a convenient selfie shutter button, and Advanced HDR and Clarity Enhancement Modes. I took the KS-2 on a three-day test drive to try out some of the new functions and see how it handled, under some pretty extreme situations. 

20mm; 1/125 sec. @ f/9; ISO 100

One of the key physical traits of the camera is that the body and lens are both sealed for all-weather shooting. To test this claim, I took the camera out onto the slopes of Windham Mountain, in the Catskills. While shooting outdoors in freezing temperatures and a heavy snowfall, it performed as well as I would expect it to perform indoors. The zoom ring maintained its smooth rotation, and the battery lasted that whole day and night, instead of quickly dying as some batteries tend to do in the cold.

50mm; 1/100 sec. @ f/22; ISO 200

Other capabilities of the Pentax K-S2 include an in-body sensor-shift Shake Reduction system, which will reduce the appearance of camera shake in your final images. Also, this enables the AA Filter Simulator to avoid moiré and aliasing that can appear in certain situations. Additionally, it has the ability to record full HD 1920 x 1080p video at up to 30 fps.

50mm; 1/5 sec. @ f/5.6; ISO 400; Very little distortion at 50mm 18mm; 1/30 sec. @ f/4; ISO 1600; Distortion visible at 18mm

The articulating screen came in handy for shooting low-angle shots, and it flips over so that you can compose a self-portrait. The Wi-Fi button doubles as a “selfie button” to make it easier and more comfortable to take a photo when holding the camera in your left hand with the lens facing you. Another nice physical feature is the addition of a standard selection wheel to choose the shooting modes. One of those shooting modes is the new Auto HDR mode that shoots three bracketed images and then combines them into one image with a high dynamic range. Also new to the K-S2 is the Clarity Enhancement mode, which is Pentax’s in-camera sharpening process.

23mm; 1/8 sec. @ f/4.5; ISO 400 23mm; 1/125 sec. @ f/4.5; ISO 6400

One of the built-in features that I found especially useful was the electronic level indicator, visible in both the viewfinder and the LCD screen. This helps tremendously when shooting landscapes, reducing the need to crop the image after shooting if things aren’t exactly straight. Built-in digital filters let you replace colors, remove colors, or add filters to let you give your photos unique looks in-camera, rather than in post.

18mm; 1/30 sec. @ f/4; ISO 800 18mm; 1/60 sec. @ f/4; ISO 1600

The Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities added to the K-S2 are arguably its biggest improvements over the K-S1. Users looking to post images to social media sites quickly will love the Image Sync App, which not only allows you to upload your images to Facebook, but also displays live view on your smart device and lets you control many of the camera’s functions remotely.

50mm; 1/100 sec. @ f/5.6; ISO 100

The new lens that accompanies the K-S2 is the HD PENTAX DA 18-50mm f/4-5.6 DC WR RE lens, which measures a compact 1.6" when closed. It has a locking button to extend the lens to the shooting position. The shutter remains locked until the lens is set in the 18-50mm range. Ten seals prevent water, moisture, and dust from entering the lens barrel. An HD PENTAX Coating and aspherical lens elements help produce sharp, high-contrast imagery with minimal flare and ghosting.

34mm; 1/500 sec. @ f/4.5; ISO 100 20mm; 1/1000 sec. @ f/4; ISO 100

The K-S2 comes in a variety of color options and kits and will be available as a body only in Black, Black/Orange, or White, as a one-lens kit with the 18-50mm lens in Black, Black/Orange, White, Black with Racing Stripe, White with Racing Stripe, Desert Beige, Forest Green, Stone Gray, Black/Pink, or White/Lime, or as a two-lens kit with the 18-50mm and 50-200mm lenses in Black, Black/Orange, or White.

30mm; 1/20 sec. @ f/4.5; ISO 3200

HD PENTAX DA 18-50mm f/4.0-5.6 DC WR RE Lens
Lens Mount Pentax K
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 27.5 to 76.5mm
Maximum Aperture f/4.0-5.6
Minimum Aperture f/22-32
Angle of View 76° to 31.5°
Minimum Focusing Distance 11.8" (29.9 cm)
Magnification 0.23x
Lens Construction 11 elements in 8 groups
Diaphragm Blades 7, rounded
Filter Ring Diameter 58mm
Dimensions 2.8 x 1.6" (71 x 41mm)
Weight 5.6 oz (158 g) without hood
K-S2 DSLR Camera
Lens Mount Pentax K
Image Sensor APS-C CMOS
Effective Pixels 20.12MP
Total Pixels 20.42MP
Maximum Resolution 5472 x 3648
Aspect Ratio 3:02
Still Image File Format JPEG, RAW
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC
Card Slot 1 x SD
Viewfinder Type Pentaprism
Frame Coverage 100%
Magnification 0.95x
Eye Relief 20.5mm
Diopter Adjustment -2.5 to +1.5 m
Shutter Type Electronically controlled, vertical-run, focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed 1/6000 to 30 sec. 
Flash Sync Speed 1/180
Drive Modes Single frame, Continuous (H, L), Self-timer, Remote Control (0s., 3s., Continuous), Bracketing, Multi-exposure (Possible to use with Continuous, Self-timer or Remote Control), Interval Shooting, Interval Composite
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 5.5 fps
Self-Timer 12s., 2s., Continuous
Exposure Metering System TTL open aperture, 77 segmented metering 
Metering Method Multi 77, Center, Spot
Metering Range EV 0 to 22 
Exposure Modes Aperture Priority, Auto, Bulb, Manual, Movie, Program, Scene Modes, Sensitivity Priority, Shutter Priority, Shutter/Aperture Priority
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 EV (1/3 and 1/2 steps)
Exposure Bracketing 3 frames, up to +/- 3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
ISO Sensitivity 100-51200 (1, 1/2, 1/3 steps), auto range selectable
Autofocus System SAFOX X 
Number of Focus Points 11 AF points (9 cross type)
Focus Modes AF (AF.S), Continuous AF (AF.C), Auto select AF (AF.A) 
Autofocus Sensitivity EV-3 to 18
Built-In Flash Yes
Flash Control P-TTL
Flash Modes Auto Flash Discharge, Auto Flash + Red-eye Reduction (Auto Picture, Scene) Flash
On, Flash On+ Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync, Manual Flash
Flash Compensation  -2 to +1 EV (1/3 steps)
External Flash Interface Hot Shoe
White Balance Modes AUTO WB, Multi Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light (D:Daylight Color, N:Daylight White, W:Cool White, L:Warm White), Tungsten Light, Flash, CTE, Manual WB, Color Temperature Configuration
Movie Recording 1920x1080p30/25/24, 1280x720p60/50
File Format MPEG-4 (MOV)
Compression AVC/H.264
Audio Recording Built-in Mic
External Microphone Input Yes
Headphone Jack No
Maximum Recording Time 25 minutes
Monitor 3.0" TFT color LCD 
Interface USB 2.0, HDMI
Wi-Fi Yes
GPS Optional attachment
Power Source D-LI109 Li-ion Battery
Battery Life 480 images
Operating Environment 32-104°F (0 to 40°C)
Dimensions 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.6" (12.2 x 9.1 x 6.6 cm)
Weight 23.9 oz (678 g) with battery

Items discussed in article

Discussion 8

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The LCD screen of this camera is not the only thing to articulate well.  The author of this article is also excellent at articulating.  It is obvious to me that he has a lot of knowledge about photography and English is his first language.

I am inspired to buy one or possibly two of these cameras now.   Where do I give my credit card information?

The Pentax K-S2 is currently available for pre-order.  This is possible on the camera’s page on our site: Click Here

I love the wiggly features of this camera.  The colors and buttons are refreshing and easy to use.  I would buy three if I could afford it, but I can't and so one will do for now.  Don't give up on your dreams....one day they'll come true.

When I first tried it on the camera felt a bit snug, but once I broke it in it fit perfectly.  The lense and the screen are both sparkly and make my eyes shine, so I can dress it up or down depending on my plans.  It also looks fantastic with heels, which is great because I'm rather short.  

I think the best part of the camera is the 18-50mm f/4-5.6 DC WR RE.

*lens

I woke up this morning thinking there was literally nothing worth living for.  

The situation in the middle east, global warming, and the ever increasing price of pistachios had me on the brink.

Then my therapist sent me this article.  

Now I want to live and I want to dance.  And als oI want to take pictures of this beautiful world.  I would like the model that is  BlackBlack/OrangeWhiteBlack with Racing Stripe,White with Racing StripeDesert BeigeForest GreenStone GrayBlack/Pink, White/Lime.  It seems very tasteful.

What is the cost of the optional GPS attachment?

Below is a link on our website to the Pentax O-GPS1 GPS module for use on this camera.  There you will find product details as well as pricing and shipping information.  See this link:  http://bhpho.to/1wE1Xn2