Pentax K-S1 DSLR camera with fancy LED lights officially announced

The previously rumored 20MP/5.3 fps Pentax K-S1 DSLR camera with LED lights is now officially announced. For pricing, availability and color choices check B&H and Adorama. Sample images can be found here.

Additional K-S1 information:

Illuminated Interface for intuitive camera operation
The PENTAX K-S1’s power switch, mode dial, OK button and grip all feature LED illumination; each of which indicates the current status of camera operation. The LEDs for the power switch, for instance, stay green during still-image shooting, but change color to red during movie recording. When the Face Detection function is activated, the number of LEDs illuminated on the grip corresponds with the number of faces that have been detected. The grip LEDs also act as a countdown timer during self timer operation. This LED body illumination gives a decorative illumination to the choice of distinctive body colors; furthering the look of the camera as a sophisticated digital device.

Compact, lightweight body with distinctive design
The K-S1 camera body’s main chassis, including the grip, is designed to be compact in size and sophisticated in appearance, while the pentaprism employs a solid, time-proven design that easily matches high-grade SLR cameras. By harmonizing these dissimilar elements, the K-S1 delivers a body design that is totally original and remarkably fashionable.

High-resolution images produced by the 20.12 megapixel CMOS sensor with a super-high sensitivity of ISO 51200
The K-S1 is equipped with a newly developed CMOS image sensor with approximately 20.12 effective megapixels to deliver super-high-resolution images. It is also designed without an optical AA (anti-aliasing) filter to optimize the imaging power of the sensor. By coupling this image sensor with the high-performance PRIME MII imaging engine, the K-S1 delivers true-to-life, detailed images by effectively minimizing noise at all sensitivity levels, even during super-high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 51200.

In-body shake reduction (SR) mechanism, and AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator for effective moiré reduction
(1) In-body SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism
The K-S1 features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism to effectively minimize camera shake and assure sharp, blur-free images, even in camera-shake-prone conditions such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting low-light scenes with incident light only, or photographing sunset scenes.
(2) Innovative AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator*
By applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the sub-pixel level during image exposure, the K-S1’s AA filter simulator provides the same level of moiré-reduction effect as an optical AA filter. Unlike an optical AA filter, which always creates the same result, this innovative simulator lets the user not only switch the AA filter effect on and off, but also adjust the level of the effect
(3) ASTRO TRACER support
The K-S1’s SR unit has a flexible design that shifts the image senor horizontally (left/right), vertically (up/down), and rotationally. Taking advantage of this flexibility, the K-S1 provides a host of handy shooting functions, including ASTRO TRACER, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography in combination with the optional GPS unit, O-GPS1.

* This function is most effective with a shutter speed of 1/1000 second or slower. This function is not available during HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting.

Optical viewfinder with 100-percent field of view
The K-S1 is equipped with a glass pentaprism finder featuring the same optics and coatings as those used in higher-level models. It assures the highest level of viewfinder brightness in its class, with a magnification of approximately 0.95 times to provide a broad image field for easy focusing and framing.

High-speed shutter to capture fast-moving subjects in crisp focus
The K-S1 provides a top shutter speed of 1/6000 second to capture the decisive moment. Coupled with its high-speed continuous shooting function (with a top speed of 5.4 images per second), it lets the photographer freeze once-in-a-lifetime shutter opportunities.

High-precision AF with SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module
The K-S1 features the SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation with 11 sensors, including nine cross-type sensors. It also provides a spot beam to assist AF operation in poorly lit locations. Its select-area expansion function ensures that the sensor module keeps tracking a moving subject, even when the subject moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing the distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors. The AF hold function maintains the in-focus position, even when the AF system loses track of the subject after once capturing it in focus. These functions combine to improve the camera's accuracy in the detection of moving subjects when its focus mode is set to AUTO, and upgrade its auto-tracking performance of these subjects when using a telephoto lens.

A selection of image-processing tools for creative, personalized expressions
By setting the Mode dial to the EFFECT position, the user can apply the desired visual effect to an image while previewing the outcome on the LCD monitor. It provides a choice of 10 distinctive effects, including three new options: “Fresh” with a crystal-clean finishing touch; “Fade Color” for an elegant finish with subdued colors; and “Infrared” for a black-and-white finish like that of an infrared photo. The K-S1 also provides 21 digital filters (nine of them applicable during shooting), including a new “Color Replacement” filter.

Dependable lens aberration compensation system
In addition to the effective compensation for distortion, chromatic aberration and peripheral brightness, the K-S1 also provides compensation function for diffraction, which deteriorates image resolution when a small aperture is used.

Connected device functions**
The optional FLUCARD FOR PENTAX 16GB memory card can release the K-S1’s shutter, provide a live-view image, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone or other wireless and web browser enabled device.
** These functions support smartphones operating iOS6 or later and Android 4.2 or later.

3.0-inch, high-resolution LCD monitor, and newly designed, easy-to-use interface
The K-S1 features a high-resolution, wide-view LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. It also provides a status screen employing the newly-designed GUI (Graphical User Interface), which allows the user to confirm functions and settings assigned to the four-way controller and the OK button at a glance. The RICOH RT font has been used for on-screen menus to improve readability.

Full HD movie recording with stereo audio
The K-S1 captures beautiful Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 30/25/24 frame rate) in the H.264 recording format, which assures flawless, high-quality movies even with fast-moving subjects. It is also equipped with a built-in stereo microphone for recording natural sound during Full HD movie recording.

Color Options
The K-S1 comes in 12 different colors: The standard colors: black, blue, and white. The Fabric Collection: Cotton Beige, Linen Brown, Denim Blue, and Tweed Gray. The Night Sky Collection: Sunset Orange, Dusk Gold, Moon Silver, Midnight Black, Dawn Purple.

Other features
・ Compatible with Eye-Fi wireless LAN memory cards
・ 77-segment, multi-pattern metering system for high-precision light measurement
・ DR (Dust Removal) mechanism for effective elimination of dust on the image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
・ Digital Camera Utility 5 software (latest version) included


Press release:

Ricoh Imaging Debuts an Innovative User Interface Attracting Mid-Level DSLR Camera Buyers to PENTAX Brand

Denver, Colorado August 27, 2014 – Focused on expanding the number of PENTAX DSLR owners, RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION is excited to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-S1 DSLR camera. By combining proven imaging technology, distinct design cues and a flat field user interface (UI) the K-S1 appeals to the next generation PENTAX owner without surrendering the performance expected in a mid-class camera.

Building on the many technologies benchmarked in the company’s popular K-3 advanced DSLR; the K-S1 incorporates a newly designed 20 megapixel image sensor, super-high sensitivity ISO 51200. In addition this model contains in-body shake reduction, an AA filter simulator, 100% field of view glass pentaprism viewfinder, and 5.4 frames per second shooting at a fast 1/6000 shutter speed. Adding to the user experience is the camera’s unique flat field user interface, which integrates a back-lit LED selection dial, four-way navigation, and a bright 3” 921,000 dot LCD that breaks tradition of the knobs and buttons found on traditional DSLR cameras.

The PENTAX K-S1 is designed to attract a mid-level customer who is accustomed to a mobile interface and is looking for a similar interaction in a DSLR. The simple UI eliminates many of the complexities of a DSLR and provides immediate feedback including shooting parameters, filter selection and effect modes, even in total darkness. The camera’s power switch, mode dial, OK button and grip all feature LED illumination; each of which indicates the current status of camera operation. This intuitive UI and design combined with category leading technology delivers a powerful imaging engine that is simple to use.

“With the K-S1 we are building on our solid reputation as a camera company and inviting new customers to experience the PENTAX advantage” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “Our core PENTAX products provide an important foundation that the K-S1 builds upon.”

The optional Flucard for PENTAX offers additional features such as Wi-Fi transfer, wireless live view, and Remote Capture control; letting users take control of their camera settings with a smartphone, tablet, or computer and save images directly to a mobile device.

The K-S1 comes in 3 standard colors: black, blue, and white. In addition, two separate color collections are available; The Fabric Collection, containing 4 unique colors such as cotton beige and tweed gray – and the Night Sky Collection, with 5 more elegant colors like Sunset Orange, Dawn Purple, and Midnight Black.

This entry was posted in Pentax and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Ric

    “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”
    “I don’t get it”
    good movie quotes

  • Steve

    Regardless of what anyone may think of the design and colours, at least Ricoh/Pentax are trying something new. This camera will appeal to many non-traditionalists. Combine that with the fact that this is probably the most advanced entry-level DSLR camera in the world, RP have a killer combination. Now, if only they are smart enough to market it correctly. Time will tell.

    • MonkeySpanner

      I think it is kinda cool. Pretty standard equipment, and price seem a little high, but the design is not unappealing.

    • Neopulse

      If I had any glass invested in Pentax I honestly would get this. Their cameras and different color schemes have always (to me) been head turners.

  • Funduro

    Upper left on rear screen: AutoPic, 🙂 (happy face) Okay.

  • Blake

    Just in case WiFi & GPS don’t drain the battery fast enough for you…

  • James Donahue

    Can you play classical music with it.

  • Cynical Skeptic

    To paraphrase–
    “A camera only a [Pentax fanboy] could love….”

    • Steve

      A pentax fanboy would already have a Pentax camera or two and would hardly bother buying a new entry-level unit. People looking to jump from compacts to DSLRs will love this thing. It’s bright, it’s unique, it’s different. If there’s one thing people in today’s society love more than ever, it’s standing out.

  • Fark

    Does your battery last too long? Pentax has the answer!

  • Michal Rosa

    Engineering – we’ve got some great ideas!
    Marketing – and we’ll design a cool and hip case for all those ideas.

  • mortal wombat

    butt ugly

  • No Pentax. The 90s are over.

  • medvedev

    Pentax development team:
    – Hey we need something new; a camera with some new groundbreaking technology!
    – What about LED lights on the hand grip?
    – Approved!

  • Pavan Kumar

    Oops.. Pentax shot itself in the foot again

    • Neopulse

      What are you talking about? They have been making APS-C cameras for a long while now.

  • 24×36

    For Pentax’s (Ricoh’s) sake, this better not be their big DSLR announcement for Photokina.

    It’s time, Ricoh. Produce a FF DSLR or your big talk when you acquired Pentax about “expanding the camera business” was just you being blowhards. What’s it gonna be – would you like Pentax to be competitive again and get taken seriously or continue to have Pentax “bottom feed” its way to oblivion? You better at LEAST have a FF DSLR “under glass” at this year’s Photokina, unless you’re content with Pentax being a terminally shriveling also-ran.

    Products like the KS-1 are a sure-fire way to become the butt of everyone’s jokes. Not exactly a great strategy.

    • Neopulse

      To be honest, not for them having an FF. The market is saturated with FF cameras already at different price points. Their small steps into the MF market are welcomed by many. They make very good APS-C cameras that for their price/performance surpasses that of Nikon and Canon’s offerings.

      • Ken Elliott

        Agree. If I was running Pentax, I’m develop a 35mm sized mirrorless medium format design and go after Nikon and Canons FF business. A US$5000 MF camera would be a huge game changer.

        • Neopulse

          Hmmm…. ya never know. But making a new line of mirroless MF lenses might be a pain since they already have their SLR MF lenses out on the market for decades. I think they would have to be making enough money in order to choose such a risk.

          • Ken Elliott

            They already make a MF camera, and we know mirrorless cameras have a far lower part count and thus lower cost. Take all the parts you develop for a mirrorless APS-C camera, but stick it in a larger body with a Sony 60MP MF sensor.

            Now performance may be slow due to a CPU getting a 2-3x the data it was designed for. But that might be acceptable if they hit the D4S price point.

            I’m certainly glossing over a lot of work. I guess my point is I think this is a much lower risk for Pentax. They will need to do it before someone else takes away the MF market – so it makes sense to defend the existing market and perhaps grow it. They have the possible advantage of using the APS-C bodies to lower the production cost of common components (something Hassy and Phase One cannot do), while having an existing line of lenses and accessories that other mirrorless camera makers don’t have.

          • Neopulse

            In my opinion, the point of the Pentax 645D/Z lines were for those who still had Pentax glass and wanted to put it to use in the modern digital age. That’s why they really haven’t invested too much into producing new lenses for their MF line. Why a Sony 60MP? Don’t think that doesn’t even exist yet. I know DALSA makes modern ones now and Hasselblad has one on their H5D line, but their both CCD.

            I’m pretty sure Pentax wants to cater to the rugged outdoor crowd a bit which they are doing a good job in doing because the other MF companies aren’t doing that at all. Also the APS-C bodies are too damn small to house such a sensor along with the components it requires. Those sensors run rather hot, so being housed in such a small body without the tech to back it up might not work…. yet. I dig their rugged bodies that they make even in the not-so-distant film era. One they it will happen what you say, it is inevitable.

          • Ken Elliott

            I screwed up. I wrote “60 MP sensor” and it should be “50 MP”. They already have an existing camera (645 D II) that uses that Sony sensor.

          • Neopulse

            No worries, thanks for clarifying it in the end. Thought you saw something that I never heard/seen yet. Of course, I will always give the benefit of the doubt since no one is all-knowing no matter how much some pretend to be.

      • 24×36

        The market is far more saturated with APS-C DSLRs, and yet I imagine you think they should continue to make those. Not making a FF DSLR is why Pentax is quickly becoming a non-factor in “the market,” because it continues the “bottom feeding” behavior that took hold when autofocus became the mainstream.

        • Neopulse

          There you are right. I completely agree there is a ton of APS-C sensored cameras. Even fixed lens APS-C cameras. But believe it or not, there’s a lot of attention being put into them for a reason. Being cheaper to make instead of larger APS-H, FF and MF sensors.
          And also making better ISO performance on them also. Even their ISO 12800 performance is quite acceptable and possible to clean up in the latest APS-C sensors. They make rugged APS-C cameras at a better price, with better build quality and better weather sealing than the competition. And if I wanna get it hunter green with black for camouflaged shooting at long distances. And you can switch mounts now with Pentax cameras.

          I noticed that they are doing stuff their way different from the competition. And apparently they are staying afloat by doing so. They haven’t gone down yet. And also, they did better than the competition, they went Medium Format even when the others didn’t do so. They took a huge risk, and now in their second generation of MF sensors with updates done to it to cater to the photographers who had problems with the model before and rocking a sensor that’s found on $30,000+ digital backs in a body less than $8,500. Medium Format is their pro sensor line, while their APS-C line helps pay for it’s research and sales profits. Just like Nikon & Canon do with theirs although they are sticking to FF as their top sensor format.

          If you look at it a bit differently Nikon and Canon are the “non-factor” to Pentax and the other medium format community.

          • 24×36

            LOL yes they’re “staying afloat by ceding what was left of their withering customer base to Nikon and Canon. Continuing the same mistakes isn’t a great strategy. You like what they’re doing, I get that – but you’re not part of a very big group, and that’s the problem. What you don’t get is that back in manual focus film days, Pentax sold more SLRs than Nikon and Canon – COMBINED. Now, after decades of “bottom feeding” in the market, they are a non-factor. Continuing that “strategy” will get them nowhere. Their cropped digital medium format is a tiny niche that is NOT a substitute for a FF DSLR.

          • Neopulse

            It’s a substitute for many apparently. One can say that APS-C is doing well in the market especially with Fuji introducing bodies and lenses for work and personal use. But hate to point out the obvious, but crop sensors in general are used a LOT in long distance shooting like wildlife, reportage and other things. And that IS NOT a small “niche” market that they cater to, but also, you can’t speak for the rest of the world also :-S Sometimes camera companies do better in one continent than the other. It does occur when advertising is more apparent in one place than the other. If they are still in business, it must be for a good reason why they are keeping at it.

  • frank

    “…furthering the look of the camera as a sophisticated digital device.”
    Saying it doesn’t make it so.

  • Tommy

    Why does does this remind me of a car stereo?? lol

  • Daft

    Anyone here also thinks that a K1000D (or K1000D-ish) would be better and/or more appealing?
    Yes, something like a Df, but with a complete K50/K3 inside?
    Maybe with a external flash rather than pop-up… Maybe with the K to screw mount lenses adapter or somthing alike in the box or as an optional accessory…
    With all the new-age connectivity and interface AND a vintagy look, (but not the pure photography nonsense, and a insane price tag)
    I’ll prefer it (or a Df, if it’s the case) over this anyday…
    And, if the price were, let’s say, like a K50/K3, would you buy it?
    It just seems better to me, just saying…..

  • “When the Face Detection function is activated, the number of LEDs
    illuminated on the grip corresponds with the number of faces that have
    been detected”

    How does this work!? Aside from LEDs on front of camera, and photographer is behind and above, hands will cover handgrip holding camera!? Why not place LED’s like this inside card door, under battery compartment where they will likely not be seen either!

    • Ken Elliott

      Because they intend this for situations where the camera is on a tripod, and the photographer is in the photo with others. Move around until the right amount of lights turn on – you know you can fire.
      Like you, I thought it was stupid, until I thought about it. I don’t have a need for it, but you have to admit this will be very popular with young people.

  • FlorianDuotones

    By the way: what about the selfie mode?

  • Erica

    I kind of like this design.

  • Mikey

    The poopy brown one looks kinda nice…toss it in the pool and watch the people run!

  • Buhran

    No Ricoh logo/label on it.

  • SteveDK

    The LEDs and anodized metallic finished are very tacky looking. This camera looks like it was designed for 12 year olds.

  • Back to top