Skip to main content

New Pentax K-S1 DSLR gets all sci-fi, thanks to its LED grip, unique user interface

new pentax k s1 mid level dslr almost looks like cylon thanks led grip 0029105949
Image used with permission by copyright holder
With the Pentax K-S1, Ricoh Imaging has introduced a new mid-level DSLR that looks straight out of a science-fiction movie. With its LED-equipped grip and the unique button layout on its rear, the K-S1 certainly stands out from the crowd of midrange DSLRs.

While the design of the K-S1 makes it appear more like a funky space toy rather than a proper camera, the shiny LEDs it is adorned with actually serve a purpose. Depending on which settings the user has chosen, the LEDs on the grip, as well as on the various buttons on the camera’s top and back, change the state of their illumination to convey the current shooting mode at a single glance.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

For example, the LED on the power button is green when the camera is in single-shot mode, but changes to red during movie recording. The five LEDs on the grip light up according to the number of faces detected in the corresponding shooting mode, and also serve as a countdown when the self-timer is activated.

The huge button conglomerate on the back, which combines the mode dial that classically sits on the top of cameras, as well as a four-way controller to maneuver the K-S1’s settings and menus, is also LED-illuminated. While the current shooting mode lights up green, the huge OK button in the center is illuminated in a blue shade.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

On the inside, the K-S1 packs the latest technology we’ve already seen in previous Pentax models, including the anti-aliasing filter simulation that works by slightly shifting the sensor during image capture. This, of course, implies that the 20.1-megapixel APS-C imager doesn’t sport a physical AA filter, which in turn promises overall sharper images. (You can read more about this feature in our Pentax K-3 review.)

In combination with the PRIME MII image processor, the sensor in the Pentax K-S1 supports ISO sensitivities up to 51,200, 5.4 frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting, and 1080p Full HD video recording at 30, 25 or 24 fps. Files are written onto SD, SDHC, and SDXC media, with the K-S1 supporting Eye-Fi cards as well as the optional Flucard that connects the camera to a smartphone, so that it can be used as a remote control.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

On the rear of the camera, there’s a large 3-inch screen with a 921,000-dot resolution that can be used for both chimping (i.e., reviewing your images) as well as image composition. But since this is a proper DSLR, the K-S1 invites you to peek through its large pentaprism viewfinder with 100-percent coverage and a magnification of 0.95x. For those who love to pimp their cameras, the matte screen inside the viewfinder can actually be exchanged, which is a rare feature among most consumer DSLRs.

The K-S1 will be available in September 2014 at an MSRP of $750 for the body alone, and $800 for the kit option including the SMC DA L 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens. In typical Pentax fashion, the camera will come in a variety of colors ranging from (but not limited to) plain white to orange to brown to black.

More information on the Pentax K-S1 is available on Ricoh Imaging USA’s website.

Felix Esser
Felix is a freelance tech journalist with a strong focus on photography. Based out of central Germany, he contributes to…
Best Camera Deals: Save on Canon, Panasonic, Nikon, and GoPro
fujifilm x t4 review set 2 dm 1

Whether you're looking for the best digital cameras or the best travel cameras, there are a ton of options out there, sometimes too many options, especially for those who aren't familiar with the photography world. Luckily, we've done a lot of legwork for you and collected a range of great camera deals across the spectrum, so even if you want something more sports-oriented, like a GoPro, there are a couple of deals for those too. So, let's jump right into it.
Today's Best Camera Deals
One of our favorite deals is the Canon EOS Rebel T7 going for $400, as it's one of the better DSLR cameras on the market, and it has a reasonably budget-friendly price on it, making it a great starter camera. Of course, if you've been in the game for a while and are looking for a powerful upgrade, the Sony Alpha 7R IV is one of the best full-frame cameras on the market, and while it still costs a hefty $3,200, that's still $300 off the usual $3,500 price tag. That said, if you're looking for something more portable and action-oriented, you can't go wrong with the GoPro HERO11 Black Mini, although if you're a professional content creator, the GoPro HERO9 Black 5K is probably the one to go for instead.

Do I Need a DSLR or a Mirrorless Camera?
Like most things, this really depends on what you're trying to do. Mirrorless cameras have fewer internal moving parts, which generally means they can capture images quicker, so if you're taking pictures of action-packed stuff like sports or animals in the wilderness, a mirrorless camera is a great option. On the other hand, DSLR cameras are great for low-light conditions and are great for anything from portraits to landscapes. DSLRs are also cheaper and have much better battery life, as well as having a decade or two worth of lenses to choose from.

Read more
How to blur a background in photos
A person photographed with iPhone 11's portrait mode.

Introducing a background blur to your photos can draw attention to a specific subject, such as an individual in a portrait or an item in a still life, while also adding a professional flair to your image. This beautiful background blur, also known as bokeh, can be achieved even after shooting your photo, thanks to advances in editing software. This guide will walk you through the process on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

Read more
How to download Instagram photos (5 easy ways)
Instagram app running on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Instagram is amazing, and many of us use it as a record of our lives — uploading the best bits of our trips, adventures, and notable moments. But sometimes you can lose the original files of those moments, leaving the Instagram copy as the only available one . While you may be happy to leave it up there, it's a lot more convenient to have another version of it downloaded onto your phone or computer. While downloading directly from Instagram can be tricky, there are ways around it. Here are a few easy ways to download Instagram photos.

Read more