Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

The Pentax K-S1 DSLR lights up like a Christmas tree

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August 28, 2014

The Pentax K-S1 features an illumination interface with LEDs built into the camera body

The Pentax K-S1 features an illumination interface with LEDs built into the camera body

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The Pentax K-S1 does not look like your typical DSLR. Not just because the 20 megapixel camera is available in the sort of variety of colors we've come to expect from Pentax. But because it also features an intriguing illumination interface with LEDs built into the camera body to indicate its current status of operation, count down for a self-timer or show the number of faces identified in a shot.

Though the futuristic look of the Pentax K-S1 is certainly an attention grabber, the camera also boasts some solid photographic credentials. There's a 20 megapixel APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) CMOS sensor which is paired with a Prime M II image processor. While the sensor has a low-pass filterless design for sharper images, the K-S1 uses the same anti-aliasing simulator as the K-3 to reduce moiré. In-body shake reduction is also on hand to help combat wobble-induced blurry shots.

An ISO range of 100 to 51,200 means that the K-S1 can be used in low light situations, and it also has a continuous shooting top speed of 5.4 fps. Autofocus is handled by a SAFOX IX i+ AF system with 11 focus points, 9 of which are cross type. Full HD 1080p video recording is possible at 30/25/24 fps, and in HD 720p this is upped to 60/50 fps.

Though the K-S1 is available in a total of 12 colors, it's the use of in-body LEDs which sets it apart from other cameras in terms of design. Five LEDs along the camera grip can be used as a countdown for a self-timer, show the number of faces recognized in a shot, or indicate remote control. Meanwhile, a ring around the shutter button glows green to indicate it's ready to shoot still images, or red for movies.

The Pentax K-S1 features a 20 megapixel APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm) CMOS sensor paired with a Pr...

The use of LEDs doesn't stop there, on the rear is a mode dial which lights up green to show the camera's mode settings, and a big OK button that glows blue when shutter release is available. Also on the back of the camera is an optical viewfinder and a 3-inch LCD monitor with 921K dots, which has a new simple and straightforward graphical user interface.

The K-S1 uses the Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount and measures 120 x 93 x 70 mm (4.7 x 3.7 x 2.8 in) and weighs 558 g (19.7 oz). Though the camera lacks built-in Wi-Fi, it is compatible with Pentax Flucard memory cards for wireless transfer, along with remote live view and capture from smartphones, tablets or computers.

The Pentax K-S1 will be available in September for US$750 body-only, or bundled with a 18-55-mm kit lens for $800.

You can check out the K-S1 in the Pentax promo video below.

Product page: Pentax K-S1

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee.   All articles by Simon Crisp
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3 Comments

People are going to pretty annoyed when they start noticing green casts to all their shots, or light bleed, or flares, or obnoxious reflections in various surfaces.

Deadpan
28th August, 2014 @ 06:56 am PDT

Multiple colors? LEDs?

Can you say "gimmicky"?

f8lee
29th August, 2014 @ 09:43 am PDT

As technology evolves and becomes more complex, there is also a human tendency to make it look and feel like a simpler object.

I envision in the future the most advanced objects will end up looking like toddler's toys, with big buttons shaped in certain ways with sound and color feedback when you press them.

Of course by that time it will match the end user's intellect who will have completely forgotten about the underlying complexity and will be content to enjoy the haptic and visual feedback of this hundred year old device.

Re: Deadpan

The lights would not be so bright as to leech. If they were nobody would pay $10 for this camera. Visual guides for things are a good complement.

Nairda
30th August, 2014 @ 12:17 am PDT
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