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Ricoh and its Pentax brand have never been afraid of a little color, and the introduction of the K-S1 DSLR reaffirms that. The K-S1 offers a 20.1MP APS-C sensor, an AA filter simulator (as seen on the Pentax K-3) and burst shooting at 5.4 fps, but none of that is quite as attention-grabbing as its headline body specification – a set of green LEDs on the camera’s grip and power switch.

Called an ‘illumination interface system,’ the lights serve more as an embellishment than a practical feature. They pulse as modes are changed, provide a visual cue as the countdown timer advances and change to red in video mode (power switch lights only). 

More than just a shiny object, the K-S1 provides a solid set of specifications including a 100% coverage optical viewfinder with 0.95x magnification, a top shutter speed of 1/6000sec, 1080/30p HD video recording and built-in shake reduction. It will be sold in 12 different colors, and will be available mid-September for £549.99 / $749.95 body-only or £599.99 / $799.95 with SMC DA L 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens. 

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Press Release:

Ricoh Imaging Debuts an Innovative User Interface Attracting Mid-Level DSLR Camera Buyers to PENTAX Brand

Denver, Colorado August 27, 2014 – Focused on expanding the number of PENTAX DSLR owners, RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION is excited to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-S1 DSLR camera. By combining proven imaging technology, distinct design cues and a flat field user interface (UI) the K-S1 appeals to the next generation PENTAX owner without surrendering the performance expected in a mid-class camera.

Building on the many technologies benchmarked in the company’s popular K-3 advanced DSLR; the K-S1 incorporates a newly designed 20 megapixel image sensor, super-high sensitivity ISO 51200. In addition this model contains in-body shake reduction, an AA filter simulator, 100% field of view glass pentaprism viewfinder, and 5.4 frames per second shooting at a fast 1/6000 shutter speed. Adding to the user experience is the camera’s unique flat field user interface, which integrates a back-lit LED selection dial, four-way navigation, and a bright 3″ 921,000 dot LCD that breaks tradition of the knobs and buttons found on traditional DSLR cameras. 

The PENTAX K-S1 is designed to attract a mid-level customer who is accustomed to a mobile interface and is looking for a similar interaction in a DSLR. The simple UI eliminates many of the complexities of a DSLR and provides immediate feedback including shooting parameters, filter selection and effect modes, even in total darkness. The camera’s power switch, mode dial, OK button and grip all feature LED illumination; each of which indicates the current status of camera operation. This intuitive UI and design combined with category leading technology delivers a powerful imaging engine that is simple to use.

“With the K-S1 we are building on our solid reputation as a camera company and inviting new customers to experience the PENTAX advantage” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “Our core PENTAX products provide an important foundation that the K-S1 builds upon.”

The optional Flucard for PENTAX offers additional features such as Wi-Fi transfer, wireless live view, and Remote Capture control; letting users take control of their camera settings with a smartphone, tablet, or computer and save images directly to a mobile device.

The K-S1 comes in 3 standard colors: black, blue, and white. In addition, two separate color collections are available; The Fabric Collection, containing 4 unique colors such as cotton beige and tweed gray – and the Night Sky Collection, with 5 more elegant colors like Sunset Orange, Dawn Purple, and Midnight Black.

Pricing and Availability 

The PENTAX K-S1 kit including an 18-55mm lens will be available at retailers nationwide and at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com in September 2014 for a suggested retail price of $799.95. The K-S1 body only will be available for $749.95.

Specifications

Price
MSRP $749 / £549 (body only), $799 / £599 (with 18-55mm lens)
Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Body material Composite
Sensor
Max resolution 5472 x 3848
Other resolutions 4224 x 2816, 3456 x 2304, 3072 x 2448, 1920 x 1080
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 20 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Prime MII
Color space sRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, 100 – 51200
White balance presets 9
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Image stabilization notes 3-axis
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Good, Better, Best
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3, DCF 2.0 compliant)
  • Raw (PEF/DNG)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 11
Lens mount Pentax KAF2
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 921,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT-LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.95×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/6000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Sensitivity Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter & Aperture Priority
  • Manual
  • Bulb
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Moving Object
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Blue Sky
  • Forest
  • Night Scene
  • Night Scene HDR
  • Night Snap
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Kids
  • Surf & Snow
  • Backlight Silhouette
  • Candlelight
  • Stage Lighting
  • Museum
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)
Flash range 10.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes (via hot shoe)
Flash modes Auto, auto + redeye, on, on + redeye reduction, slow sync, trailing curtain sync, manual
Flash X sync speed 1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (Hi, Lo)
  • Self-Timer
  • Remote
  • Exposure bracketing
Continuous drive 5 fps
Self-timer Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing No
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30,25,24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60,50 fps)
Format H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control Yes (via optional wireless remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description D-LI109 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 410
Weight (inc. batteries) 558 g (1.23 lb / 19.68 oz)
Dimensions 121 x 93 x 70 mm (4.76 x 3.66 x 2.76)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes O-GPS-1