Fresh off of the success of last year's K-S1, Pentax returns with a new camera based on its mid-range DSLR, this time featuring a redesigned all-weather body, compact kit lens, and a slew of color options.
The $800 K-S2 takes the 20.2-megapixel sensor from the K-S1 and adds a retractable 1.5-inch 18-55mm, f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens onto a new compact weather-resistant body, which Pentax says is the world's smallest DSLR kit. Pentax has also subtracted the low-pass anti-aliasing filter for increased sharpness at the cost of potentially more jagged edges.
Aside from the decreased size, the K-S2's body has received significant changes. The colored LEDs from the K-S1 have been removed, leaving just the LED light ring surrounding the shutter. Pentax has also improved the 3-inch LCD display by adding a vari-angle arm that twists and folds out to the side for selfies. More advanced users will really appreciate the new dial on the back, giving users dedicated controls for both shutter and aperture, unlike the single dial on the K-S1.
With the K-S2's ability to compose selfies on its non-touch LCD screen, Pentax decided to add a selfie shutter button on the front of the camera too. Now you don't have to struggle awkwardly to frame a selfie while simultaneously trying not to drop the camera and press the shutter.
Sharing sees an improvement as well, with Pentax adding built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for easy pairing with a nearby phone or tablet via the Image Sync app (free on iOS and Android).
The K-S2 will be available in March with black, white and graphite/orange color options. In April, Pentax will follow up with the Sports Collection and Nature Collection, which will feature colors such as forest green, black/pink and white with a black racing stripe.
It's nice that Pentax cares about retaining its title as the most colorful camera maker, but even better to see a new camera that offers advanced features in a compact body without breaking the bank.
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