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Pentax is a Japanese optics company, producing cameras, sport optics, etc. It is well known in the film based camera market but yet to get a foothold in the digital camera arena.

Pentax name was created from 'penta-prism' and 'Contax' names which are associated with SLR cameras. Pentax sells it compact cameras under the Optio brand which are known for their ruggedness and preferred as a sports camera. The best Pentax digital cameras are also water resistant models.

In the dSLR segment Pentax has a few award winning models, notably in the K-series which is known for its straightforward, easy-to-use, affordable and sturdy models. The best Pentax dSLR models are rugged and can withstand temperatures up to -10 degrees C. Pentax was recently acquired by Ricoh Corporation which makes office printers and imaging equipment.

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Pentax K-S2

Pentax K-S2


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Pentax K-S2
Pentax K-3 II
Pentax 645Z
Pentax K-S1
Pentax QS-1
Pentax K-S2
Pentax K-3 II
Pentax 645Z
Pentax K-S1
Pentax QS-1
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Release Date
Apr 2015
Jun 2015
Jul 2014
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Camera Type
Compact SLR
Mid-size SLR
Large SLR
Mid-size SLR
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Resolution
20.0 Megapixel
24.0 Megapixel
51.0 Megapixel
20.0 Megapixel
12.0 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
BSI-CMOS
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.2 in.
3.2 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
28.2 mm
28.2 mm
55.0 mm
28.2 mm
1.97 mm

  • The Pentax K-S2 D-SLR packs a lot of features into its weather-sealed body, but its burst shooting capability is very limited and its companion Wi-Fi app needs some work.


  • The Pentax KS-2 has a lot of good things on offer here. While most people are generally swayed towards Canon or Nikon when purchasing their first DSLR, unless you already have some lenses and/or accessories, it’s worth knowing about other options on the market, especially when they are capable of producing some good results.
    For the money, and the level it is aimed at, the Pentax KS-2 offers some excellent features which you wouldn’t always expect.


  • Pentax is pitching the K-S2 as a 'family' camera, but its powerful features, twin control dials and weatherproofing will appeal to enthusiasts too. The specs are like the K-S1's, but the design is much more grown-up.


  • The Pentax K-3 II D-SLR adds some features to its predecessor, including an in-camera GPS, but does so at the cost of the built-in flash.


  • The Pentax K-3 II is a fairly minor update of the excellent K-3 camera, principally adding the innovative Pixel Shift Resolution technology, an improved anti-shake system, Diffraction Correction, and built-in GPS (albeit at the expense of the pop-up flash). Perhaps of more interest to cash-strapped photographers is the much lower official RRP on launch, some £200/$200 less than the launch price of the original K-3, which should help it to compete with mid-range DSLRs and mirrorless cameras alike.


  • Pentax's Pixel Shift Technology and similar high-res shooting modes will have their day, but they're not yet sufficiently advanced to make this a must-have feature. That aside, the K-3 II is a capable and well-specced enthusiast DSLR.


  • Coming across very much like a DSLR in medium-format clothing, the Pentax 645Z combines intuitive handling with impeccable image quality in a body that's actually fairly portable compared to its peers. The Pentax 645Z is also one of the most full-featured medium-format cameras on the market, but not only that, it delivers great performance and weather-resistant build quality too, and even video shooting!
    The Pentax 645Z builds on the proven handling of the company's DSLR cameras.


  • Despite being at the 'more affordable' end of the digital medium format camera market, the Pentax 645Z is solidly built and weatherproof. It's also easy to use and produces superb images with huge amounts of detail.


  • The Pentax K-S1 doesn't look like any other SLR on the market, but aside from a disappointing video mode, it's a solid performer.


  • The K-S1 is an interesting successor to the outgoing K-500. Where that camera was a great introduction to DSLR photography with its solid all-round performance and intuitive controls, the K-S1 picks up the same baton but also adds a level of style you won’t find with competing DSLRs.
    However, whilst Pentax should be praised for trying to differentiate its cameras in a crowded market, the K-S1’s unique style is not without drawbacks. The pared-down shape isn’t as ergonomic as a conventional design, whilst the lack of rubberised grips also makes it slippery.


  • Flashing lights and a body which is available in lots of different colours distract from what is actually a decently performing camera.


  • The compact system camera market is very crowded at the moment, and the area which has a lot of competition in particular is the very small, pocket friendly cameras with lots of companies vying for attention as “world’s smallest”.
    Although Pentax has created a very small camera here in the shape of the QS-1, as a trade off, the sensor is very small - the same size as the majority of compact cameras.
    By comparison, other very small compact cameras, such as the Samsung NX Mini and the Nikon 1 range have one-inch sensors, while the Panasonic GM5, which isn’t a great deal bigger, has a Four Thirds sensor.


  • Although it's the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera, it doesn't offer a huge amount aside from that. Image quality is decent, but not amazing. Consider the fantastic Panasonic GM5 instead which is a little more expensive but gives you much more flexibility.


  • The Pentax Q-S1 boasts slightly improved speed and picture quality over its predecessor, but there's still something rustic about it. If you're looking for a small, modern, responsive, large-sensor interchangeable-lens camera, then the Q-S1's rivals have more going for them. Between the Nikon 1, the Samsung NX Mini and the Panasonic GM1 and GM5, there's a world of choice... Unless you're just a Pentax fanatic with a bunch of K lenses looking for a home, in which case, we say go for it!.


Top 5 pentax digital camera:

  1. Pentax K-S2
  2. Pentax K-3 II
  3. Pentax 645Z
  4. Pentax K-S1
  5. Pentax QS-1