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Pentax K-S2

Ergonomics 
 8.8
Build Quality 
 10.0
User Interface 
 9.0
Autofocus 
 9.2
Features 
 9.4
Value 
 9.2
Image Quality 
 10.0
Noise 
 8.8
Reviews Views Date of last review
7 37,884 Tue November 22, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $729.40 9.86
Pentax K-S2

Pentax K-S2
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Pentax K-S2
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Pentax K-S2
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Pentax K-S2
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Pentax K-S2
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Pentax K-S2
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Description:

The Pentax K-S2 was introduced in February 2015 as the little sister to the K-3. It is a mid-range, 20 MP APS-C format DSLR with Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity and, as a first for a Pentax DSLR, a swiveling rear monitor (and a 2nd shutter button for selfies). The camera is sealed for weather resistance and has two control wheels for easy adjustment of shutter speed and aperture. The camera naturally features in-body shake reduction as has been the norm for Pentax K-mount DSLRs for several years.

Tethering is supported via Wi-Fi and a smart phone and a dedicated app.

Another novelty introduced with the K-S2 is "Clarity Enhancement" — a RICOH-developed imaging technology designed to capture the subject’s texture and unevenness more truthfully and produce a more true-to-life depiction of the subject. There is also a new mode on the mode dial: A-HDR (Advanced HDR), which combines the Clarity Enhancement with the conventional HDR mode for capturing extra-wide-gradation images.

The K-S2 has no AA filter in front of the sensor, and it has the same AA sensor-share based filter simulator as the K-3. The filter simulator can be turned on if moiré is an issue in a given scene (textiles, feathers, and the like with repeating patterns).

The camera has a glass pentaprism with 100% coverage. The rear LCD monitor has been improved over previous models and is less reflective and thus easier to see in strong light.

At launch the K-S2 is the smallest weather resistant DSLR around.

The camera is available in various color combinations, some just with the bottom plate in a different color from the top plate.

Camera Manuals:


Pentax K-S2
Year Introduced
2015
In Production
Yes
Current US Price
$499
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor
Sensor Format
APS-C
Sensor Type
CMOS
Megapixels
20.12
Resolution
3648 x 5472 pixels
AA Filter
No (AA filter simulator)
Super Resolution
No
Bit Depth
12
Minimum ISO
100
Maximum ISO
51200
ISO Range
100 - 51,200
Imaging
Exposure Modes
Auto Picture, Scene, Advanced HDR, P, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, M, B, User(2)
Program Modes
Normal
Maximum FPS
5.4
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 5.4 fps up to 20 frames (JPG), 5 frames (RAW), Lo: 3 fps up to 100 frames (JPG), 8 frames (RAW)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/6000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/6000s, up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
3 frames, one-push bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Yes
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
77-Segment
Meter range
0 to 22 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Yes
Interval shooting
Up to 2000 frames, 2 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 2000 shots
Pixel mapping
Yes
Scene Modes
20: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Forest, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR (JPG only), Night Snap, Food, Pet, Kids, Surf & Snow, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, Museum
Restrictions
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
No
Stabilization
Yes (sensor-shift SR)
Power zoom
Not supported
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses. Support for lenses with the KAF4 mount variant requires a firmware update. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration,Vignetting,Diffraction
Focusing
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX X, 11 focus points (9 cross type))
AF Points
11
Autofocus sensitivity
-3 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustments for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
Viewfinder/LCD
Viewfinder
0.95x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Yes
Exchangeable screen
Yes
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Yes
Top LCD
No
Focus Peaking
Yes
Back LCD
3 in. 921,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio, vari-angle
Body
Weather resistant
Yes
Control wheels
2
Battery grip
No
Card slots
1
Dust removal
Yes, Sensor Shake DR
Dust alert
No
Memory card type
SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I Compatible)
Size (W x H x D)
122 x 91 x 72.5 mm 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.85 in.
Weight
618 g (678 g / 23.9 oz with battery and SD card)
File format
PEF (RAW),DNG (RAW),JPG,MOV
Battery life
480 images with Li-Ion battery (no flash use) 410 images with Li-Ion battery (50% flash use)
Battery
D-LI109 lithium-ion rechargeable
Flash
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 12 (ISO 100/m)
Sync speed
1/180s
P-TTL flash
Yes
Flash functions
Auto discharge, On (leading curtain sync), Redeye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Trailing curtain sync, High-speed sync*, Manual, Wireless*, Contrast control*
* Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
No
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Video
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 30p, 25p, 24p
1280x720 (16:9) at 60p, 50p
MPEG4 AVC/H.264
Interval Movie
Star Stream
Exposure Modes
P, Av, TAv, M
Movie mode restrictions
AF During Recording
No
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic), Stereo (built-in mic). Adjustable sound level
Interfacing
GPS
Via Accessory
Tethering
Via built-in Wi-Fi
Connectivity
USB 2.0, HDMI out, Stereo mic, Wi-Fi and NFC
Latest Firmware
Link to Download Page
Notes
Astrotracer compatible, Clarity enhancement, Electronic level, Embed copyright information in EXIF, High ISO NR can be customized for each major ISO value, In-camera RAW development, Image plane indicator, Moiré suppression via SR mechanism, Moiré suppresion bracketing, Prime MII image engine, RAW button is customizable and can perform a variety of functions, hereunder exposure bracketing, Save last JPG as RAW, Save JPG from movie, Wi-Fi button doubles as 2nd shutter button for selfies.

Megapixels: 20
ISO Range: 100-51,200
FPS: 5.4
LCD: 3.0" Articulating
In Production: Buy the Pentax K-S2
Type: Mid-Range DSLR
Weather Sealed: Yes
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-S2 in-depth review!



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Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 495

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 22, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-S2: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, weight, design, sensor
Cons: None for the price

I came to this camera from a K-7, and I had one principal concern - would the move from a professional body to a consumer body bother me? I'm talking fewer buttons, less no-nonsense design, smaller grip.

After six months and close to 10,000 actuations, I can safely say that it doesn't. On the K-7, that extra button on the top for the ISO was essential to me - with the K-S2's far superior sensor, I don't need it. Auto ISO capped at 1600 sees me just right. The grip is not too small - I have average hands, and while the K-S2's grip is not quite as tactile as the K-7/5/3, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. If you have exceptionally large digits, you may be better of with a flagship model + battery grip, but for the 95th percentile of users the K-S2's grip will not present any problems.
The main thing about the K-S2 is that I use it more often. It's lighter and easier to carry around, whether in the bag or around the neck, and requires less effort to use.
Burst shooting is one area where the K-S2 comes in second against my K-7 - the RAW buffer fills up quickly, and the rate slows down after not too long. But I bought it in full knowledge of that, knowing that I rarely shot more than 5 or 7 continuous shots in one go. With that said, the AF is noticeably better, and five in-focus shots are better than twenty where the older AF system was trying to play catch up.
This isn't a pro camera, but I have been paid to use it, and clients have been consistently satisfied with the results.

In summary, I highly doubt anybody will be disappointed by the K-S2, as long as they understand what it does. If you need the extra frame rate and buffer, or the vertical grip capability, buy the K-3, or whatever comes next. If you don't, or if you are halfway between the two, get yourself a K-S2. You'll love it as much as I do, despite your misgivings.

P.S. There have been a couple of times during my ownership of the K-S2 when I have been tempted to do drastic things, like buying a D7200. Then the weekend rolls round, I get a few hundred clicks into the Pentax and I'm reminded why I love it. No D7200 in my bag yet, and I anticipate that's how it will stay.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 18
Review Date: October 3, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-S2: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, weight, IQ, weatherproof and wifi.
Cons: Noisy
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 5    New or Used: New   

Had this for 2 years now and nearly 20,000 actutations. Can't fault the camera at this level and it exceeded all expectations. Paired with a 21mm or 40mm limited it's and excellent travel/street kit. It is a tad noisy so a quiet church wedding or small quiet room is a bit attraction seeking. I've travelled a fair bit with it and it a tough robust camera. I felt confident in wet humid conditions or dry dusty ones too. It does struggle to focus the sdm lenses when battery gets low but maybe that's just my kit? The IQ is wonderful and the resolution has never left me wanting. Highly recommended at its price.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Mississippi, USA
Posts: 546
Review Date: May 4, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-S2: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding image quality, Tilt screen
Cons: Grip
Years Owned: .1    Ergonomics: 7    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Once again I've opted for the 'Mid' grade model rather than the 'Flagship'. And once again completely satisfied
Let's get the ergonomics out of the way first. Gripping it sux. The thumb rest needs to be larger. I'm older with arthritis and would not trust myself to hold this camera without a strap.This being said, all the other features of the camera vastly out weigh the grip problem. I'll deal with it

Image quality is outstanding !! A big step up from my K50. I can shoot at ISO 1600 and 3200 and get outstanding images. Using long glass in shaded areas, this is handy. Processing RAW files is simple, do minor adjust and export to .tiff. Process the .tiff with very minor adjust and have a great image. I thought of RAW+ , did it, and the SOOC JPG is OK. I get better results doing RAW with minor processing.
It appears that the camera shoots and meters to bring out shadow detail. ETTR so to speak. I've been dialing in -.5 exposure compensation to get the exposure to my taste.
Since I'm an Av and Manual shooter all the other bells and whistle may never get used. Interval maybe.......
I got this model for the tilt screen and the LV with Focus Peaking. Gotten too old to be laying on the ground to shoot. A short tripod with the tilt screen solves that. Take a knee and tilt the screen. Works perfect. I don't know about bright sun and the screen, might need a brightness adjustment. As is it's faint.
AF appears faster than my K50 also. LV AF is slower than View finder.
I've shot with a 'K' lens on the camera and used Green Button exposure. Strange sound going on and will never try again. Exposure was Fair.
I bought the Kit with the new Kit Lens. All I'll say on that is that at least it's WR.....LOL. If you have good glass you'll be disappointed

Summary... This is an Outstanding camera that I'd recommend highly !!!

UpDate 060916......... So it appears that the strange noise while using a 'K' lens is an auto stop down feature to not burn the sensor. weird..........
Still one heck of a camera )))))

Update 09-09-16..... So I won't talk ugly about the grip any more. Found that if I treat it like my 'D' and roll the Pinky Finger under the body, All's Well.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 841

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 23, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-S2: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great handling, ergonomics, image quality, low shutter sound, viewfinder and value for money
Cons: Buttons should be even more programmable, lack of separate DOF-preview button, no cable remote release, the Pentax Digital Camera Utility is absolutely terrible on Mac OS X Yosemite
Years Owned: 0.5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 10    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I upgraded from my K10D and K-x to the K-S2. I have also owned the *ist DS, and have long experience with Pentax from the film SLR's as the MZ-10, MZ-5N, MZ-5 and the P30 (my first SLR).

I really like the body design, ergonomics, viewfinder, fast and accurate AF and the many configuration options. It's great to have two User-memories and it's easy to customise the camera. However, I do miss the DOF-preview position on the switch around the shutter button like the K10D had. Now I've programmed the RAW/FX-button to do DOF, but then I miss the easy RAW/JPEG-switch... Green button could be more programmable, on my K-x I have it set to DOF-preview. On the K-S2 the green button is only a reset to programmed exposure. I also miss the option of adjusting the program mode behavior (choosing between program lines), like the K10D and the more advanced Pentax DSLR's. The K-S2 has a user interface which is like a mix of K10D and *ist DS or K-x. The two wheel control and HyperProgram is great!

Shutter sound is lower than my K-x and *ist DS and also sounds nicer than the K10D shutter. I would love to have the shutter button in chrome, just like on the K10D and K-x - now it's black plastic. It's a joy to use the K-S2 with SDM and DC-lenses - I have the DA 17-70 f/4 AL SDM as my standard zoom, and the K-S2 really feels very nicely balanced with this one - not as front heavy as the K-x. With the K-x it felt like a lens with a camera attached. K-S2 is smaller in size and more compact than the K10D, but not as tiny as the K-x, more like the *ist DS but with a bigger handgrip.

Image quality is good with nice colours and sharpness. However, I don't feel like the 20Mp is really an improvement over the 16Mp in my K-x or the 10Mp in my K10D - not when viewed on screen or for prints at moderate sizes. Image quality is as good as the K10D on lower ISO's, but with lower noise and very useful high ISO. (My K10D useful top limit was ISO 800, going to ISO 1600 was like going to ISO 6400 on the K-S2). I mostly shoot in RAW (DNG), this works well with Apple Photos and other applications that I have tried on my Mac. Pentax Digital Camera Utility is unfortunately useless on Mac, it is terrible Windows-like software that is not working well with Mac OS X Yosemites new windows and buttons. JPEG looks good and it has plentiful of options that's fun to play with.

The K-S2 has a tendency to overexpose when compared to my previous Pentax DSLR's, it seems factory adjusted to give more texture and details in the shadows so it can overblown highlights - not a big problem, one can tune it down with exposure compensation.

The flip-out screen is more useful that I first had thought, it's a nice touch - and when I don't use it I flip it so the screen is pointed inwards the camera, this gives good protection.

Viewfinder is stunningly good, bright and clear, and finally 100 percent view! I still struggle with adjusting myself, coming from 95 percent in the K10D and used to compose with some margin.

User manual is more a reference manual for the camera settings and operations than a guide to photograph with the K-S2.

There's no socket for a remote cable release, so my old Pentax remotes won't work - this is a bad development in my view. Now I have to buy an IR-remote, or connect it to my phone. Well I guess many would see the Wifi and phone connectivity as plus, but from my viewpoint this is not a positive development.

The reason for me getting the K-S2 was that I wanted a camera that combined the K10D and K-x in one compact package, and I think that I got just that. It's a nice beginners camera with features to satisfy even an advanced photographer. I haven't used the scene modes or all the auto modes, I prefer working in HyP, Av/Tv or Sv-mode with Program shift.

Oh and it looks good! My choice was the "forest green" and it looks stunning! Materials and build quality is very nice and solid; the plastics feels better and higher grade than on my K10D and K-x.

I haven't used video mode so much so I won't comment on it, my main use is still photography.

Update 9th of July, 2015:
When the SR electromagnets are activated, they make a buzz sound. I have never heard it in my K10D and K-x. This happens also when SR is off, because when SR is off the electromagnets hold the sensor in a fixed position. It's not a loud noise, but it is noticeable in silent environments when one has the eye on the viewfinder and the ear is close to the body...
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: London
Posts: 183

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 13, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-S2: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SR fast start, Low noise, AF fast and accurate
Cons: Make sure it fits your hands
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Not going to make this long, have not tried everything but most and liked them all. I upgraded from a K20, which I know it's weaknesses but loved it's handling. The build quality of the S2 is good, dials feel solid but easy to move. The mode dial is metal and turns easily. The SR is very fast to start up, nowhere near a slow to start up as the K20. Tried a 3rd party battery and got good battery life results with it. I have found that I a different hand grip works better for me. Instead I put the base of the camera in the palm near the thumb. More of a support grip than the usual side on.

My minor gripes are that the grip is just about OK for me, I would suggest a potential purchaser checks out this one area. Another gripe is the SR logo, it sticks out just where I do not want it too, touching the end of my fingers. With this one reservation in mind, I think the S2 has the potential to be a minor 'classic' in the Pentax range. There is a minor improvement that could be done and that is to allow the E-dials to manipulate ISO when the mode knob is set to M.

UPDATE 27/07/2015 Definitely glad i bought the K-S2, I have used nearly every feature. So here are some workarounds. There is no flash cable connector, just bought a cube that fits on the flash shoe and provides the socket. There is no plugin for the Bulb position, so how do you have long exposures. Easy, the IR remote control can be used as a toggle. Press once and exposure starts, then again sometime later to stop the exposure. As my confidence with the workings grew and I use manual quite a lot, I started using the K-S2 like an old film camera, that is with the screen turned inwards to keep it out the way and stop me greasing it up. Works a treat!

UPDATE 16/11/2015 The website IR did a review and put the AF into dispute. I did my own tests in a dark room, using my sekonic to get the light down to 0EV. That's as low as the sekonic can measure. The lens was f5.6 and the IR test is done at f2.8. So the test is effectively being done at -2EV. The AF did hunt a few times but did lock. I do not have the luxury of having another make of camera to make a comparison with. But -2EV is very dim and I dismissed the IR report. Doing this test prompted me to look at the specs of canikon models. If left me satisfied I had selected a very capable camera.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Sedalia, MO
Posts: 1,411

13 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 4, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-S2: Yes | Price: $797.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size/weight, novel features, noise-handling
Cons: Nothing unexpected
Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 8    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Mostly I'm just adding this review so that I can link to my Flickr album with images from the camera. I'm a habitual participant in the Single In... challenges on Pentax forums, so I've been using the camera a LOT since receiving it on March 24, 2015.

Here's my Flickr album of all K-S2 images.

I'm going to give some first impressions here, but I'll give a more thorough review after a full-month of use. :-)

It's important to know that I'm a user with almost exclusively manual lenses. In fact, the ONLY auto-focus lens I have is the kit lens that came bundled with the K-S2, and I took it out once. SO: I really don't have any perspective on auto-focus settings. I also shoot in RAW; no JPEGs - I've tried RAW+ in the past, but I just never ended up even looking at the JPEGs, so it was just wasted space on my SD card. I also do not shoot videos.

I bought the K-S2 to "replace" my K-30. The K-30 is beat up and occasionally does little funny things that makes me worry about its longevity. I bought the K-S2, because I don't see myself being able to afford the full-frame, nor do I believe I want to "deal with" massive file sizes that the full frame will make. I was already kind of disappointed that the K-S2 was 20mp, up from 16mp of the K-30. I've been in love with the articulating screen of the MX-1 since I bought it in January '14 and I have often wished the K-30 had the feature. The wi-fi was very tantalizing icing on the cake.

The camera in-hand is a sweet little package. Well-balanced and compact. It may be TOO small if you have large hands, but I'm a woman with typical woman-sized hands, so it's OK. The button layout is almost identical to the K-30, so there was no learning curve for where my fingers natural went to adjust settings. The menu lay-out is familiar, but there are some new settings that are buried a little.

My impression after the first week and a half is that the camera makes capable RAW files that are "different" than what I am used to from the K-30. They seem "brighter" and there is a greater need to boost vibrance/saturation. The RAW images seem to hold much less information in the highlights and I find myself purposefully underexposing images MUCH moreso than I ever did with the K-30. I had always subscribed to the theory that pulling from shadows was more rewarding than pulling down highlights, so that has always been something I tried to be conscious of, but the K-S2 is making me emphasize this more.

The noise on the K-S2 is NICE. I LIKE IT. I'm not opposed to noise in small doses, but the K-S2 noise is as pretty as I've seen and WOW does it clean up nice! Much better than the K-30. This is an important and valuable feature, since I'm underexposing and pulling shadows.

For reference, on a noisy K-30 RAW file in Lightroom, I might push the Luminance noise slider to 15, MAYBE 20, but at 25, things were getting really mushy. On the K-S2, I just vamped up a noisy image to 35 on the Luminance noise reduction slider and it was a great success. The noise was all but gone, and I was hard-pressed to see where any detail was lost.

I like this feature quite a bit, because I shoot in dim light a LOT and I'm looking forward to using higher ISOs than I deemed acceptable for the K-30, not with the impression that there will be LESS noise, but that it will be more manageable.

I like the wifi feature and I'm looking forward to using it more, for sharing photos at family events (with that great Pentax in-camera RAW development and processing), and for posting Flickr and Facebook updates on the go. :-) It's pretty rad, and easy to use with the Image Sync app. (I have a Samsung Galaxy Note II - Android.)

The Image Sync app is super bare bones, but it works fine. I'm glad it's not more complicated, because I haven't seen any "instructions" or how-to guides anywhere! Ha!

The selfie-button is pretty cute, works great, and I'll use it. You need a very wide lens to utilize it best, which means you're going to see distortion, and that isn't really desirable for a flattering selfie, especially with the size of my forehead. :-D Honestly I can see myself using it more with my Rokinon 8mm fish eye, embracing the distortion and getting the most contextual, scenic selfie.

I'll add more later, after more extensive use!

UPDATE 8/2/14

After using the camera for several months, I'm only more in love with it. Obviously, when you use a camera as much as I do, you really get to know and appreciate it. Using the camera daily (for the "Single in..." challenges that I'm addicted to here on PentaxForums) has shown me what is important to me, what I utilize, and what really doesn't make a difference to me.

Things that I've REALLY grown to appreciate:
- The camera treats noise better than any of my other cameras. I shoot RAW, and there is digital noise ("grain") that becomes noticeable at around ISO 6400. However, it is what is referred to as "luminance noise" and not "color noise", so there is very little distortion of the image. The luminance noise slider in Lightroom is extremely effective at smoothing this noise out without losing much fine detail in the image. I can't emphasize enough how impressive the noise is - I shoot a lot of low-light images and I pull a lot of shadows, so this is a big deal to me. Could a bigger/better sensor do more? Yeah, probably. But I'm satisfied - in fact, I'm delighted - with what the K-S2 can do. True excellence.
- The articulated screen is incredibly useful. I am getting shots and enabling creative angles that I never would have done with the K-30. Scoff if you will and call it a gimmick, but you'll be thinking about that articulated screen when you're lying flat on your belly, or holding the camera up over your head and shooting blind. It's an excellent feature that does nothing but make more shots possible.

Things that I've learned I don't really care about:
- Honestly, and this is completely superficial, I thought I would miss the uniqueness of my WHITE K-30... but I've learned I don't really care about what the camera looks like on the outside. I liked the identity and fun-factor of the white camera, but I don't really "resent" having just another black camera. (My K-S2 is actually "stone gray", and I know the K-S2 came in white as well, but I thought the back LCD looked strange and awkward on the white body.)
- I pretty much never use the wi-fi (but I like that it's there). I think if I shot more JPEGs (and was more socially active), it would be awesome. Probably a feature that's meant for someone other than me. If I want to send a snapshot to a friend, or Facebook it, I just use my cell phone, unfortunately. I like to have more control over the "artistic" images I get from my DSLR.
- I pretty much never use the selfie-button (but when I "need" it, it's irreplaceable!).

I've kept the camera on current firmware and shot with it pretty much every day since I received it - somewhere between 3-4,000 snaps of the shutter. Only good surprises, and no faults.

I continue to highly recommend this camera. :-)
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,201

9 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 31, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-S2: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ergonomics, flip-out screen, built-in wifi, advanced shooting options from shooting mode selector, basically a K-3 with a better sensor and fewer buttons.
Cons: Feels less substantial than other Pentax DSLRs, flip screen is not touch-activated
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

TL;DR: This camera is a home-run and is as much like a K-3 as an entry-level DSLR can be. Where this is better than the K-3 is in the flip-out screen and built-in wifi. Where it is worse in in the fewer-on camera buttons.

Pentax seems to still be learning how to develop the flip-out interface a bit. The buttons, right now any way, to select different options do not work with the screen folded inward. At minimum, the ISO selection should be enabled regardless of screen orientation. So that's my complaint and it's really nit-picky. That ought to tell you something about how the rest of this review will go.

I have the K-S2 on loan for a month to take sample photos for PF, just like I did with the K-S2. The K-S2 is a lot like the K-S1 with a few added features. It almost seems like Pentax saw my YouTube videos on the K-S1 and made a lot of the corrections I cited as ones I wanted made. This camera has, literally, everything I wanted in the K-S1 and then some added bonuses.

A significant an unexpected bonus is the flip-out screen. This made using the K-S2 while danging it over a cliff to get some shots of cliff-dwelling fungi really easy. The flip-out screen also made raising the camera on a higher tripod easily doable. Likewise, using it on a lower tripod was a lot easier than normal. That's because I could orient the screen however I needed it to be able to see it easily and align the camera as needed to take the photos. Fantastic work from Pentax on that element.

The next great thing is the wifi. With the Android smart phone app, controlling the K-S2 is very easy. You have, basically, full camera control and don't have to spend $1.99 for one of those off-brand remotes from China that are plentiful on eBay. And in all probability your smart phone will last longer than the 42 photos that those $1.99 remotes typically last.

I can't speak to the wifi range yet as I've always had the camera near me. I will, while I have it on loan, see how far away from it I can stand and still get a signal.

I do believe that the K-S2 has the best autofocus of any of the Pentax DSLRs that I've used. Even in the dark shadows of a redwood forest, the K-S2 did not hunt and it did not need the assist light. I was, to risk extreme understatement, highly impressed.

In the last three days I took about 1,500 photos on the K-S2. The only reason I changed batteries was because I didn't want to risk the battery dying during overnight astrophotography using bulb. I will say that after 1,400 of those photos, the battery had dropped only by 1/3, so the K-S1's battery-guzzling issues have been well resolved. Oh, and that 1,400 photos was from my old K-r's battery and not the brand new one that came with the K-S2. So this camera clearly sips battery power and is highly efficient.

Having only one of these to test, I cannot speak to how many bodies the wifi can control. Based on the wifi app's interface, where the user chooses a camera to connect with, I suspect it it only one at a time. If that is the case, an area where Pentax could improve the wifi would be the ability to have one phone or tablet running one instance of the app connect t multiple cameras and control them all either at the exact same time or separately.

As I use this camera more, I'll update, improve, and add photos to this review. I really like the K-S2. I have a videography project coming up for which I'll need two or three identical DSLRs. Right now, I think that this is a front-runner because the price is great, the specs and capabilities are fantastic, and the wifi control is superb.

Here are some sample images:
















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