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02-01-2016, 11:33 AM   #1
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Pentax K-S2 for product photography?

Hey everyone,

Love this forum! By way of introduction Iím an amateur photographer, a disease I inherited from my parents. I grew up in the dark room my parents had specially built into our home. For years I shot on a 35mm Ricoh SLR with a Pentax K mount and to say I love that camera is an understatement. So, fast forward and 35mm film is replaced by digital and being an amateur photographer I just canít justify the cost of a $,$$$ digital SLR so I moved into inexpensive PHD (Push Here Dummy) cameras. Trying to wrest creative control away from the camera is, as you all know, a process in frustration, but for the most part they capture an image and often that is good enough.

Now my wife needs to take product pictures for her web site and all the softboxes in the world wonít make up for a crappy camera. She asked me for help and in short order Iíd given up getting the quality pictures she needs with our current point-and-shoot. The good news is I can finally justify a digital SLR!

Budget is still an issue and after hours of research the Pentax K-S2 bubbled to the top of the list. The WiFi feature sounds cool on the surface, but it also sounds poorly implemented. Downloading pictures to a smartphone is something someone might want to do, but I can see no use for it in my case. Also, using my old lenses sounds interesting to me from an artistic perspective, but the product pictures take priority so an 18-55mm autofocus lens is a requirement.

There are two question I canít seem to find an answer to:
  1. Can the camera download pictures in real-time to a PC using a USB cable? My wife and her business partner want to be able to drop the picture right into Photoshop as soon as the shutter is pressed. That way they can see instantly if the shot worked or needs to be retaken. It will also speed the work flow of putting the picture on the web.
  2. The reviews on the sealed 18-55mm kit lens aren't that great. If I were to buy the body only what would be a better lens to go with? This camera will live inside on a tripod most of the time so the sealed feature is of no real interest to me.

Thanks!

02-01-2016, 11:42 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by JSI Quote
Can the camera download pictures in real-time to a PC using a USB cable? My wife and her business partner want to be able to drop the picture right into Photoshop as soon as the shutter is pressed. That way they can see instantly if the shot worked or needs to be retaken. It will also speed the work flow of putting the picture on the web.
You can only connect to it via Wi-Fi and capture/download files that way. Here's a full walkthrough of that feature:
Pentax K-S2 Review - Wi-Fi Features | PentaxForums.com Reviews

A user on the forum was able to develop a Windows application that mirrors all of this functionality, so that might be of more interest to you. I'll look for it after I submit this post.

There's no support for USB tethering.

QuoteOriginally posted by JSI Quote
The reviews on the sealed 18-55mm kit lens aren't that great. If I were to buy the body only what would be a better lens to go with? This camera will live inside on a tripod most of the time so the sealed feature is of no real interest to me.
The K-S2 actually comes with the new collapsible 18-50mm. It's not a bad lens, but then again, it's among the cheapest in the Pentax lineup.

If you're shooting products you'll probably want a quality prime anyway. The best value for the money, IMO, would be this lens:
Pentax 35mm DA L F2.4 AL Lens 21987 B&H Photo Video

On APS-C, 35mm offers a "normal" field of view, and that will help keep geometric distortion to a minimum.

If you want a high-quality zoom, I can recommend the Sigma 17-70mm. It's fast at the wide and has good macro capabilities.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Adam
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02-01-2016, 11:44 AM   #3
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K-S2 laptop wi-fi tethering

Read through this thread for Info:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/184-pentax-k-s1-k-s2/295501-k-s2-wifi-lap...ml#post3302307

Download:
Pentax-K-S2-WiFiRemote - Browse Files at SourceForge.net

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02-01-2016, 04:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
There's no support for USB tethering.
ohh - disappointing. Is USB tethering common is other cameras at this level or is that something for the pro level cameras? Can you download the pictures using USB or do you just have to pull the memory chip?

And did I read the article about WiFi correctly that you disconnect from the "home" SSID connected to the internet and then connect to the camera's SSID? Which means you cannot be connected to the camera and internet at the same time, yes? (if you can't be connected to both at the same time, that's a feature that isn't worth much to me.)

Lastly - thanks for the lead on the lenses. I'll definately take a look.

02-01-2016, 06:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JSI Quote
Can you download the pictures using USB or do you just have to pull the memory chip?
Yes, you can certainly transfer files as with just about any camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by JSI Quote
And did I read the article about WiFi correctly that you disconnect from the "home" SSID connected to the internet and then connect to the camera's SSID? Which means you cannot be connected to the camera and internet at the same time, yes? (if you can't be connected to both at the same time, that's a feature that isn't worth much to me.)
Not unless you have two network adapters and do a little bit of networking magic.

QuoteOriginally posted by JSI Quote
ohh - disappointing. Is USB tethering common is other cameras at this level or is that something for the pro level cameras? Can you download the pictures using USB or do you just have to pull the memory chip?
Yes, it's fairly common. Virtually all Nikon DSLRs can tether, and I believe most Canon ones can too. The catch- the OEM software costs money, but there are also lots of third-party alternatives, such as Lightroom no less.

If you want something similar to the K-S2, look at the Nikon D5500:
Nikon D5500 DSLR Camera (D5500 Body, Black) B&H Photo Video

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02-02-2016, 10:16 AM   #6
JSI
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Thanks!

I pulled the trigger on the K-S2. The lack of USB tethering is a real disappointment, but not a deal breaker. For taking product shots it should be a fine camera, and with the SD card slot being in the side, pulling the chip isn't going to slow things too much. And the second runner up, with USB tethering, the Nikon D5500 was another couple hundred more. But, the thing that sold the camera more than any other feature was the 2 scroll wheels that can be used for shutter speed and the other for aperture. Being born and raised on manual SLR cameras I so missed the ability to simply change those 2 fundamental settings.

Now where is that UPS truck!!!
02-02-2016, 05:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JSI Quote
Thanks!

I pulled the trigger on the K-S2. The lack of USB tethering is a real disappointment, but not a deal breaker. For taking product shots it should be a fine camera, and with the SD card slot being in the side, pulling the chip isn't going to slow things too much. And the second runner up, with USB tethering, the Nikon D5500 was another couple hundred more. But, the thing that sold the camera more than any other feature was the 2 scroll wheels that can be used for shutter speed and the other for aperture. Being born and raised on manual SLR cameras I so missed the ability to simply change those 2 fundamental settings.

Now where is that UPS truck!!!

So Nikon make you buy into the 7000 series to get a second control wheel and the ability to AF legacy lenses?


Dear, oh dear.


Enjoy the K-S2, JSI!
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