Pentax K-S1

Pentax K-S1 front
  • 20MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 51200
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/6000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 558g - 121 x 93 x 70mm
  • Released August 2014
  • New Model is Pentax K-S2
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax K-S1 summary

Pentax K-S1 is Pentax's Advanced DSLR camera initially introduced on August of 2014. It uses a 20 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a full resolution of 5472 x 3648.

Pentax released the updated Pentax K-S2 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to replace this camera.

The K-S1 comes in at #38 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras & overall #213 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. Please look at our Smart camera search to see camera rankings based on your personal criteria.

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Here is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Pentax K-S1 family

The Pentax K-S1 has a history of related digital cameras. Underneath, you can find all earlier and most recent models along with important specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Pentax-K-3-Mark-III front thumbnailPentax K-3 III
K-S1 vs K-3 III
26MPAPS-C12.0 fps2021
Pentax-KP front thumbnailPentax KP
K-S1 vs KP
24MPAPS-C7.0 fps2017
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Pentax-K-3-II front thumbnailPentax K-3 II
K-S1 vs K-3 II
24MPAPS-C8.3 fps2015
Pentax-K-S2 front thumbnailPentax K-S2
K-S1 vs K-S2
20MPAPS-C5.4 fps2015
Pentax-K-S1 front thumbnailPentax K-S120MPAPS-C5.4 fps2014
Pentax-K-3 front thumbnailPentax K-3
K-S1 vs K-3
24MPAPS-C8.0 fps2014
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Pentax-K-5-IIs front thumbnailPentax K-5 IIs
K-S1 vs K-5 IIs
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2013

Pentax K-S1 Pros and Cons

Here is a shortlist of advantages and drawbacks of the Pentax K-S1 based on features which are often regarded as useful in a camera.

delivers RAW files
does not have anti-alias filter
features face detection focusing
features tracking autofocus
good resolution screen (921 k dot)
good sensor size (APS-C)
good sized screen (3 inch)
has built in flash
has HDMI port
has phase detect AF
image stabilization (Sensor based)
interchangeable lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
lighter than competitors (558 grams)
maximum shutter speed is high (1/6,000s)
MP count good (20MP)
very good ISO range (51,200)
very good minimum ISO (100)
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
you can focus manually
display isn't selfie friendly
does not have external microphone port
does not have headphone port
does not have Timelapse mode
low battery life (410 CIPA)
low fps (5.4 frames per second)
no moving screen
Photography Glossary

Pentax K-S1 Sensor features

The Pentax K-S1 is powered by the Prime MII processor. The sensor dimension in the Pentax K-S1 is 23.5mm x 15.6mm (APS-C). The 367 mm² sensor is able to capture 5472 x 3648 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2. The camera features Image Stabilization (Sensor based). In body stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization as the latter can produce cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 20MP and supports a native ISO range of 100 - 51200. RAW files are supported so you have more margin for error.

Pentax made the decision to omit the anti-alias filter on the Pentax K-S1. This can result in more clear photos but may create moire in some conditions.

The image underneath shows the K-S1's sensor size in comparison to other common sizes. The K-S1 sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is highlighted in green.

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To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax K-S1 dimensions

Pentax K-S1 weighs about 1.23 pounds (558 grams or 19.68 oz) & has exterior measurements of 121mm x 93mm x 70mm (4.8" x 3.7" x 2.8"). The weight of average Advanced DSLR camera is 776 grams so the Pentax K-S1 is less heavy as compared to various competitors.

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Here is a image of the Pentax K-S1 alongside a soda so you can get a feel for its size.

Pentax K-S1 dimensions scale

The top view just below will highlight the button design on the K-S1.

Pentax K-S1 topview buttons dials

Pentax K-S1 Lens features

The K-S1 uses the Pentax KAF2 mount and has 17 lenses available for sale. Here is a small number of the lenses we have in our database that will work with the K-S1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Samsung-D-Xenon-35mm-F2-AL lensSamsung D-Xenon 35mm F2 AL35mmf/2.0 195g
Venus-Laowa-105mm-F2-Smooth-Trans-Focus-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 105mm F2 Smooth Trans Focus105mmf/2745g
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Irix-45mm-F1.4-Pentax-KAF-Mount lensIrix 45mm F1.445mmf/1.4925g
Venus-Laowa-25mm-F2.8-2.5-5X-Ultra-Macro-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro25mmf/2.8400g
Samsung-D-Xenon-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6 lensSamsung D-Xenon 18-55mm F3.5-5.618-55mmf/3.5-5.6 225g
Pentax-smc-DA-300mm-F4.0-ED-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 300mm F4.0 ED IF SDM300mmf/4.0 1070g
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Samsung-D-Xenon-50-200-F4-5.6-ED-Pentax-KAF lensSamsung D-Xenon 50-200 F4-5.6 ED50-200mmf/4.0-5.6 255g
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Pentax K-S1 Connectivity

The K-S1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras that include NFC and Bluetooth connectivity are able to be used wirelessly with smartphones. You can easily copy pictures and oftentimes change settings with no need to connect straight with the camera.

Some apps also stream a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI port, it can easily be attached to an external screen. Virtually all cameras enable you to charge the battery pack using the USB socket.

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Pentax K-S1 Video features

The highest possible video resolution in the Pentax K-S1 is 1920 x 1080 and you can record in H.264 format. 1080p resolution provides a good balance between quality versus file size but 1080p will not give you any room to downsample. The body does not offer a microphone and headphone jack so you have got absolutely no control over the audio. It is probably best to find an alternative model in case you require good audio for your video clips.

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Pentax K-S1 Weather Sealing

Pentax K-S1 does not have environment proofing so rainy conditions may affect the camera.

Pentax K-S1 Display and Viewfinder

The Pentax K-S1 houses a 3" fixed screen having a resolution of 921k dots.

Please be aware that the screen has no touch support.

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The View Finder specs for Pentax K-S1 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • Coverage 100 percent
  • Magnification 0.64x

For sunny outdoor situations that make the camera displays washed out and difficult to see, viewfinders will be quite valuable.

Pentax K-S1 Shutter features

Pentax K-S1 is able to shoot continuously at 5.4 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/6000 sec.

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Pentax K-S1 Flash and Hot shoe features

Pentax K-S1 features both in-built flash together with external flash support.

Pentax K-S1 Autofocusing features

Pentax K-S1 features both Phase Detect AF as well as Contrast Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more quicker and precise as compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera boasts Face detect which makes it helpful for taking photos of people.

The Sensor boasts 11 focus points to pick from. It also boasts Tracking AF for subjects on the move. Pentax K-S1 comes with manual focus when required during low light conditions or you need more precise focus control.

Photography Glossary

Pentax K-S1 Battery life

The battery life (D-LI109) in the Pentax K-S1 is designed to last for 410 photographs based on the CIPA specifications making it less in comparison with it's competition. The average Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 comes with the best (2260) battery life within this class of cameras.

Here is a list of Advanced DSLR cameras with the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
K-S1 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
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Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
K-S1 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
K-S1 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
K-S1 vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Pentax K-S1 for varying forms of photography

The following bar chart presents a rundown of the Pentax K-S1 for varying forms of photography. To understand more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Pentax K-S1 Portrait photography highlights

The Pentax K-S1 has a points total of 78 which is very high, meaning that it is a wonderful choice to use for portraits. Taking portrait images favors heavily to sensor specs, support for RAW files & flexibility to utilize off-camera flash.

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manual focus
decent sensor resolution (20MP)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
offers face detection focusing
saves RAW files

Pentax K-S1 Street photography factors

Getting a very good rating of 73, the Pentax K-S1 is a respectable option to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera gives a good balance of picture quality plus portability.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
exports RAW formats
lighter than average in class (558g)
great high ISO (51,200)
fixed screen

Pentax K-S1 Sports photography info

A above average sports photography rating of 69 suggests the Pentax K-S1 is a respectable fit for taking photos of sports. A camera must have fantastic tracking and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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high shutter speed (1/6,000 seconds)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
resolution is good (20MP)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
offers tracking autofocus
supports phase detect AF
max frames per second low (5.4 fps)
not so great battery life (410 per charge)

Pentax K-S1 Travel photography highlights

Portability is super crucial in selecting a camera for travel. All round, the Pentax K-S1 gets a moderate 60 for a travel camera which makes it somewhat suited for your vacations.

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lighter than competitors (558 grams)
decent megapixels (20 megapixels)
has built in flash
does not have Time Lapse mode
low battery life (410 shots)
does not posses selfie friendly screen

Pentax K-S1 as a Landscape photography camera

For anybody who is planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most important factor will be image quality. The Pentax K-S1 with it's nice score of 73 for a landscape camera is a good pick within the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
change lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
screen size is good (3")
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count decent (20 megapixels)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
does not have anti aliasing filter
good high ISO (51,200)
saves RAW files
low battery (410 shots)
lack of Time Lapse function

Pentax K-S1 Vlogging factors

A vlogging camera should have a moving screen, microphone port and preferably image stabilization. Taking all things into account, the Pentax K-S1 is just not appropriate for vlogging as it receives a low rating of 33.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
offers face detection focus
video res high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
lighter than competition in class (558 grams)
does not have selfie friendly screen
does not have external microphone port

Pentax K-S1 Alternatives

If you need alternatives to the K-S1, here is a number of the top rated cameras which fall into the family of Advanced DSLR.

The diagram followed below shows you a summary of the K-S1 compared to it's top ranked rivals suggested above.

There are more cameras you might look into as alternative options. To go through a full comparison, go to the "compare" link.

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General Information
Pentax K-S1
Advanced DSLR
Body design
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
Prime MII
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.5 x 15.6mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Highest Possible resolution
5472 x 3648
RAW photos
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focus
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Pentax KAF2
Number of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Range of display
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
3 inch
Resolution of display
921k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
100 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Minimum shutter speed
Fastest shutter speed
Continuous shutter speed
5.4 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
10.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash settings
Auto, auto + redeye, on, on + redeye reduction, slow sync, trailing curtain sync, manual
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30,25,24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60,50 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
558 gr (1.23 lb)
Physical dimensions
121 x 93 x 70mm (4.8" x 3.7" x 2.8")
Battery life
410 photographs
Battery form
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Storage slots
Retail price