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.