Pentax K-S2 20MP Review for 2020

Photography is a common man’s hobby ever since smart phones came up with high pixel camera with color adjustment software.

Essentially, one can play around with backgrounds, light, shades and, can even remove blemishes using advanced picture editing softwares available on Google Play.

However, that is only limited to amateurish dabbling in photography.

  • But, if you are an aspiring photographer and, believe that photography is an art, you belong to the other side of the hobby where, learning and understanding technicalities of photography with the use of SLRs and DSLRs come into your focus.
  • So, while purchasing cameras and camcorders for pursuing photography as a passion or profession, you need to be aware of what you expect from your device. One of the commonly picked DSLR for beginners in the world of photography is Pentax K-S2 20 MP DSLR Kit with 18-50 mm WR.


Features of Pentax K-S2

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  1. Pentax K-S2 is 2.5 x 4.8 x 3.6 inches and weighs approximately 1.5 pounds. It requires Lithium ion batteries (D-Li109 Li-ion Battery) to operate, that sustain for about 7.8 watt hours.
  1. Pentax K-S2 is a delight in the hands of a person who is well versed with the art and technicality of photography. It is a product of Ricoh Imaging and, is one of the first DSLRs with inbuilt Wi-Fi Connectivity.
  1. Accommodative of an NFC module (Near Field Communication module), the camera enables the user to control the camera operation, transfer of images, viewing and editing the images, with ease. This feature is a blessing for professional photographers who are constantly on the move and, at the same time need to manage the transfer and updating of pictures on social media. Android and iOS devices are equipped with Image Sync app to enable seamless use of wireless tethering.
  1. With a 20 megapixel, Pentax K-S2 gives sharp images with an amazing clarity. The DSLR is equipped with AA Filter-less CMOS sensor with Prime MII. An AA filter, also known as anti aliasing filter was earlier used to restrict bandwidth of certain frequencies that were undesirable.
  1. Usage of an AA filter resulted in bringing down the sharpness in images, given the time lapse in adjustment. Hence, in Pentax K-S2, the CMOS sensor has been made AA Filter less thereby, resulting in increased sharpness and higher texture impression in the image produced and, with some moiré patterns in a few. This quality ensures an outstanding clarity on a screen fit view on a tablet PC too.
  1. The other interesting feature in Pentax K-S2 is the retractable standard zoom which comprises of an ultra thin, weather resistant lens compatible with the K-S2 body, making the portability of the camera easy. Its entire body is covered with 100 weather seals, ensuring absolute protection from fluctuating weather conditions like extreme sun, dust storms or heavy rains.
  2. Pentax K-S2 is equipped with a vari-angle LCD that allows flexibility in shooting position. The LCD has a 3.0 inch variable shooting angle and 921K dots and with an air gapless feature, provides with a full precision in visibility of captured images even in the outdoors. For people addicted to taking selfies, it offers a selfie button, enabling the photographer to be a part of the frames he is capturing.

How Pentax K-S2 gains an upper hand over its competitors?

Looks and Durability

  • If one were to compare it with forerunners like Canon and Nikon, it would be unfair considering that Pentax K-S2 is an entry level DSLR with a wide scope for improvisation. With a weather proofing technology and, equipped with an in body optical image stabilisation, Pentax K-S2 plays a good alternative to its previous versions like Pentax K-S1.
  • Also, in terms of handling and aesthetics, Pentax K-S2 has arrived duly better with a familiar design of a small handgrip that gives a feel good factor to the photographer handling it.
  • However, it is the weatherproofing quality in Pentax K-S2 that gives it the upper hand over the other entry level DSLRs. Its ability to withstand fluctuating temperatures, dust and rough use, makes it a photographer’s first choice where shooting is required in perilous places.
  • On contrary, Nikon and Canon offer weatherproofing in their very high end cameras. This is where Pentax K-S2 trumps the big shots like Canon and Nikon by becoming the smallest weatherproof entry level DSLR.

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Flexibility in usage of lens and clarity in viewfinder

  • Pentax K-S2 DSLR allows flexibility in usage of lens. For instance, lens made from 35 mm film SLRs can also be used in Pentax K-S2. So it allows usage of lens in manual aperture mode too. All you have to do is set the aperture ring of the lens to A and, the mode dial to M. Seek the subject in the viewfinder.
  • The speed of the shutter and the aperture dimension are auto adjusted as per the exposure and, click on the green button to capture a sharp clear image.
  • Pentax K-S2 exudes a classy look with the metal sheet laid across its top plate. Although the rest of the body of the camera is made of plastic, it does not look flimsy at all!
  • As compared to another entry level competitor Nikon D5200 that earns its brownie points in terms of maximum sensor resolution, battery life and number of focus points, Pentax K-S2 has some major advantages in other aspects.
  • With an impeccable wireless connection and, a built in image stabilisation, the accuracy of its pentaprism viewfinder coverage is 100 percent. Apparently, pentaprism viewfinders offer a better brightness quotient than the pentamirrors used in Canon and Nikon.

  • The auto exposure bracketing range in Pentax K-S2 is better than that of other entry level DSLRs. Essentially, an auto exposure bracketing range enables taking of two to four shots of a subject under various exposures. This feature is helpful at its best when high contrast scenes for HDR are being captured. In Pentax K-S2, the AEB range is ±5 EV. Besides, its shutter speed of about 1/6000 s enables great precision in capturing of the image.
  • The other highlight in Pentax K-S2 is its ability to change the aperture dimension while shooting live. However, it is the size of this camera that trumps its rivals hands down. Pentax K-S2 is almost micro four thirds size of its high end rivals like Nikon and Canon.
  • Besides, its twin dial settings for adjustment of shutter speed and, a comparatively faster f-stop even in manual adjustment mode makes this camera a photographer’s delight. Of the many attractive features, it is the image quality of Pentax K-S2 that gives a tough competition to other brands.
  • With the absence of anti-aliasing filter, the detailing of the captured picture is not just accurate but far better than Pentax older version K-5. With a high ISO performance up to 6400, the Sigma Art lenses in CMOS 20.2 Megapixel sensor are as good as 85 mm with f1.8 or, 50 mm with f1.4. Other adjustable features include histogram and audio level management.

Twin mode operational with a high ISO value

  • Operative in twin modes, one can adjust the shooting as per choice of manual exposure mode or aperture priority mode. In manual aperture mode, the front placed dial adjusts the speed of the shutter with the dial in the rear controlling the dimensions of the aperture during the shoot.
  •  So, if you are operating the camera in aperture priority mode, the rear dial will be the sole controller of aperture and shutter speed. Besides, the four way navigational pad contains buttons for adjustment of flashes, timer/mode, white light and sensitivity. The CMOS sensor aids in adjustment of the sensitivity and, is also known as the image sensor.
  • Among the members from the Pentax family, Pentax K-S2 has been a success in the print department too. With a precision in resolution limit of the sensor, the photo prints as large as 24 x 36 at base ISO and ISO 200 are indeed sharp and bright. ISO refers to your camera’s level of sensitivity to the externally available light.
  • If the ISO is low, it indicates that the camera is less sensitive to the fluctuations in the external light. Similarly, higher the ISO number, higher is the camera’s sensitivity to the external light. For instance, if ISO number is 500, then the camera takes exactly 1/5th of a second to capture the image at ISO 500. A precision of that kind brings in a world of difference in photography, when it involves focusing on miniscule subjects and their movements.

  • For instance, for a photographer who is trying to capture a lion hunting its prey, the moment of lunge may require a great level of meticulousness in calculating the freeze time for the shot. Hence, if the ISO number is high, the camera can capture images with a higher rate of accuracy even in environments that do not have much light or, flash.
  • However, the only hiccup in higher ISO is the appendage of noise and grain into the picture. Hence, with increased ISO number of 1600, Pentax K-S2 provides with a 13 x 19 inch print with an impeccable finish. But, beyond this value, if the sensitivity were increased to as high as ISO 25600, Pentax K-S2 would have struggle culling the grainy disturbance into a print measuring 4 x 6 inch.

The top 5 DSLR cameras for 2017/2018

[PDF]Download the KS2-Manual-English – Pentax

What are the negatives in Pentax K-S2?

  • If video shooting is your priority, Pentax K-S2 is not an ideal choice. With no 4K support and no great video quality or management, it is good only as a camera. Microphones are mediocre in Pentax K-S2. This is where Canon and Nikon series get ahead of Pentax in the world of DSLRs. Another issue with this DSLR is the 18-50mm Kit lens that are susceptible to jamming on retraction. For an entry level DSLR, the wifi is slower than expected and, a considerable time is spent on the start up.
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  • For people who use cameras when travelling, a light weight camera is a preference that goes without saying. However, if you compare Pentax K-S2 with its own kind Pentax K-50, then the latter is apparently 28 gms lighter than the K-S2 version.
  • When compared with Nikon, there are some aspects in which Pentax K-S2 fails to level up with its competitor. For instance, Nikon has about more 39 focus points, which is almost 28 more than that of Pentax K-S2. Also, Pentax K-S2 is 20 MP whereas Nikon offers 24 MP which is almost 19% more than the former. However, the major difference is in the battery life as Nikon gives at least 90 frames more than that of Pentax K-S2 in a single charge.

Who should buy Pentax K-S2 and, Why?

  • Apart from the minor glitches here and there, Pentax K-S2 is a hit in the tribe of entry level DSLRs. One of the main reasons also attributes to its flawless synchronization with the android and storage devices. The camera also works well with supported phones. And, the important aspect that brings out Pentax K-S2 as a winner in the entry level DSLRs is its affordability. It costs less than its competitors Nikon and Canon and, provides with high quality resolution images both in digital and print.

  • A photography loving person who is well acquainted with the technological aspects of a camera would surely know which camera is best for which kind of photography. The subjects of photography may vary as they cover a wide range of places from sports arenas, photo shoots, nature, portraits, streets and buildings and, much more.
  • Pentax K-S2 is best suited for capturing images that are found in versatile environments with variations in light sensitivity. For instance, random happenings coupled with abstract encounters can make a piece of art in a street photography.
  • The subjects may be anything from people to roads, shops, street lamps and every other aspect that is found in the vicinity of the street. With an high ISO number, Pentax K-S2 is apt for street photography. Besides, Pentax K-S2 also works best for portrait photography in which sharpness of the image carries the essence, given its AA-Filter-less CMOS sensor that cuts out the grainy disturbances. Other than that, Pentax K-S2 is best suited for nature and landscape photography too.

So, if you are covering the above mentioned subjects, Pentax K-S2 is what you should go for.