Pentax Pays Homage to Star Trek with Flashy, Futuristic-Looking K-S1 DSLR


If you’re sick of retro, love cameras, and used to dream of installing ‘underglow’ on your souped up Honda Civic, then Pentax has a DSLR you will absolutely adore.

Jokes aside, the new Pentax K-S1 from Ricoh combines portability and powerful imaging capabilities with a status quo-shattering flashy design and simple UI that will undoubtedly appeal to a lot of first-time DSLR buyers.

On the inside, the Kirk-friendly camera boasts a new 20.1MP APS-C sensor, the same on-demand anti-aliasing filter system found in the much-loved K-3, in-body shake reduction, and a Prime MII processor that allows for 51,200 max ISO and 5.4fps continuous shooting.


But the reason this camera is turning heads has nothing to do with its imaging capabilities, much as that should be the most important consideration of any camera buyer. The S-1 is getting as much attention as it is because of its “distinct design.”

LEDs on the grip, power button, mode dial and OK selection button are made all the more obvious by the fact that the camera’s top plate sports almost no buttons or dials.

The mode dial, almost exclusively found on the top of every other camera, is moved to the back and place next to a 3-inch 921K-dot LCD, which displays a much simpler UI that should appeal to smartphone users looking to step up to a “real” camera.

Here’s a closer look at that design:




Pentax’s goals with the K-S1 are pretty well summarized in the first paragraph of the camera’s press release: “the K-S1 appeals to the next generation PENTAX owner without surrendering the performance expected in a mid-class camera.”

This probably won’t appeal to the older generation that pines for film and drools over retro designs, but that “next generation” of users that Olympus is going after with the selfie-tastic E-PL7 is the same one Pentax is shooting for with the (literally) flashy K-S1.

The new camera is set to ship in September in black, blue, and white — 9 additional colors are available as part of two distinct ‘color collections’ — for $750 for the body only or $800 when bundled with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL lens.

To learn more, head over to Ricoh Imaging’s press room. Or, if you’d like to go ahead and pre-order yours, you can grab the body only (black, blue or white) and kit (black, blue or white) on B&H Photo by following the appropriate link.

  • Alan Klughammer

    Be nice for low light photography. You can find the shutter button in the dark…

  • S2N

    How do they prevent the light from the LED’s glow from bleeding in on long exposures?

  • Timofej Nenarokov

    it’s turns off when you take a shot?

  • FriktoFacto

    you might losing it during a long exposure LOL

  • Mulyadi Subali

    So, is this retro or futuristic?

  • Fark

    Pentax has the right camera for those of you whose cameras suffer from excellent battery life.

  • keirinrcr

    The design looks Frankensteinish to me… since they went to such great lengths to revamp the grip and backplate, I think they could have been a lot more imaginative with the sensor/mirror/flash housing than just slapping the existing design on.

  • Brian H Lewis

    The back of the camera looks pretty interesting. The front is a steaming pile of horsecrap.

  • Hassner

    Pentax has balls making the DSLR look like a bridge/mirrorless camera. The ego plays a huge role when buying a camera. That is why 80% of non-hobby (male) photographers has a camera double the price for what they need.

  • Jerry Graybosch

    I don’t see how any DSLR can be considered a “futuristic” design. The form is obsolete.

  • Federico Montemurro

    There’s a market for this, not me.

  • Poki

    That’s what the future looked like in the imaginations of people in the 60s.

    On a more serious note, the LEDs could actually be quite convenient when shooting landscapes at night, and the control layout looks pretty simple to get into for beginners.

  • lenyon

    I might cry.

  • OtterMatt

    Do you have a photographer friend who only wears caps backwards? Is everyone he knows named either “dude” or “brah”? Does he constantly spout “yolo”?
    Have we got a gift idea for you.

  • OtterMatt

    Is that really a problem? Do people forget? I can honestly say I’ve never had that issue before.

  • OtterMatt

    To quote Jeremy Clarkson:
    “I know there is a market for this, because I know that there is such a place as Cheshire.”

  • Paul R. Giunta

    Looks like a toy

  • Adam Cross


  • Rob Elliott


  • Ridgecity

    I love it. Can’t wait for the Swarovski japan exclusive!

  • Zony

    Does it come with stickers as well? That would be great if I could put stickers on my skateboard……

  • woofa

    It needs a “basket handle” and some ground effects. That’ll seal the deal.

  • Stan B.

    The sixties had the greatest music and saw the greatest designs across the board ever.

    This would be more mid seventies… Think Pacer.

  • Alan Klughammer


  • Alan Klughammer


  • faloc

    still far from star trek like xD

  • Dawn Haley

    Last six months, after I lost my job, I started working online and I’ve been averaging 15k a month since… It was a gift from heaven that I stumbled upon this website… The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start earning online… This is where to start>

  • Oj0

    I often recommend Pentax to people wanting their first DSLR because of the great value for money their camers offer. Then they release something like this and people stop taking me seriously :/

  • Julien

    I hope there will be sound effects when you move it around fast, something like a light saber.