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Ricoh Announces Pentax K-S1 Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

27 August 2014

Ricoh has announced its Pentax K-S1, a camera designed for night owls. Available in 12 colors, you can only get the LED trim in green. That trim illuminates the essential controls and the grip so you can use the camera in the dark.

Pentax K-S1. A mid-level dSLR built on K-3 technology.

In addition to the unique illuminated interface, Ricoh has added its Pentax K-3 technology to the mid-level K-S1 with a new 20-megapixel sensor, high ISO of 52,100, in-body optical stabilization, an anti-aliasing filter simulator, 5.4 fps continuous shooting and a flat-field user interface in a designer body.

And all for $897 with an 18-55mm kit lens.

The flat-field user interface integrates a back-lit LED selection dial, four-way navigation and 3.-0-inch 921K-dot LCD that "break the tradition of the knobs and buttons found on traditional dSLR cameras," the company said. The user interface is designed to eliminate the complexities of a dSLR in favor of an approach much more familiar to smartphone users.

The camera's power switch, mode dial, OK button and grip all feature LED illumination so you can easily use the camera in complete darkness. And you might be out at night a lot with the K-S1 because it also features Astro Tracer, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography when used with its optional GPS unit.

The optional Flucard features Wi-Fi transfer, wireless live view and Remote Capture to set the K-S1's controls with a smartphone, tablet or computer and save images directly to a mobile device.


Details provided by Ricoh of the K-S1's main features include the following:

Illuminated Interface

The Pentax K-S1's power switch, mode dial, OK button and grip all feature LED illumination; each of which indicates the current status of camera operation. The LEDs for the power switch, for instance, stay green during still-image shooting, but change color to red during movie recording. When the Face Detection function is activated, the number of LEDs illuminated on the grip corresponds with the number of faces that have been detected. The grip LEDs also act as a countdown timer during self timer operation. This LED body illumination gives a decorative illumination to the choice of distinctive body colors; furthering the look of the camera as a sophisticated digital device.

Compact, lightweight body with distinctive design

The K-S1 camera body's main chassis, including the grip, is designed to be compact in size and sophisticated in appearance, while the pentaprism employs a solid, time-proven design that matches high-grade SLR cameras. By harmonizing these dissimilar elements, the K-S1 delivers a body design that is totally original and remarkably fashionable.

This product design was developed in collaboration with and under supervision for design and color of Ziba Tokyo, Co., Ltd., the Tokyo branch of a design consultant firm Ziba, headquartered in Portland, Ore.

20.12-Mp CMOS sensor with ISO up to 51,200

The K-S1 is equipped with a newly-developed CMOS image sensor with approximately 20.12 effective megapixels to deliver super-high-resolution images. It is also designed without an optical anti-aliasing filter to optimize the imaging power of the sensor. By coupling this image sensor with the high-performance Prime MII imaging engine, the K-S1 delivers true-to-life, detailed images by effectively minimizing noise at all sensitivity levels, even during super-high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 51,200.

In-body shake reduction mechanism and anti-aliasing filter simulator for effective moir reduction

The K-S1 features the Pentax-developed Shake Reduction mechanism to effectively minimize camera shake and assure sharp, blur-free images, even in camera-shake-prone conditions such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting low-light scenes with incident light only or photographing sunset scenes.

By applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the sub-pixel level during image exposure, the K-S1's AA filter simulator provides the same level of moire-reduction effect as an optical AA filter. Unlike an optical AA filter, which always creates the same result, this innovative simulator lets the user not only switch the AA filter effect on and off, but also adjust the level of the effect.

The K-S1's SR unit has a flexible design that shifts the image senor horizontally (left/right), vertically (up/down) and rotationally. Taking advantage of this flexibility, the K-S1 provides a host of handy shooting functions, including Astro Tracer, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography in combination with the optional GPS unit, O-GPS1. This function is most effective with a shutter speed of 1/1000 second or slower and is not available during HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting.

Optical viewfinder with 100-percent field of view

The K-S1 is equipped with a glass pentaprism finder featuring the same optics and coatings as those used in higher-level models. It assures the highest level of viewfinder brightness in its class, with a magnification of approximately 0.95 times to provide a broad image field for easy focusing and framing.

High-speed shutter to capture fast-moving subjects in crisp focus

The K-S1 provides a top shutter speed of 1/6000 second to capture the decisive moment. Coupled with its high-speed continuous shooting function (with a top speed of 5.4 images per second), it lets the photographer freeze once-in-a-lifetime shutter opportunities.

High-precision AF with SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module

The K-S1 features the SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation with 11 sensors, including nine cross-type sensors. It also provides a spot beam to assist AF operation in poorly lit locations. Its select-area expansion function ensures that the sensor module keeps tracking a moving subject, even when the subject moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing the distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors. The AF hold function maintains the in-focus position, even when the AF system loses track of the subject after once capturing it in focus. These functions combine to improve the camera's accuracy in the detection of moving subjects when its focus mode is set to AUTO and upgrade its auto-tracking performance of these subjects when using a telephoto lens.

A selection of image-processing tools for creative, personalized expressions

By setting the Mode dial to the EFFECT position, the user can apply the desired visual effect to an image while previewing the outcome on the LCD monitor. It provides a choice of 10 distinctive effects, including three new options: "Fresh" with a crystal-clean finishing touch; "Fade Color" for an elegant finish with subdued colors; and "Infrared" for a black-and-white finish like that of an infrared photo. The K-S1 also provides 21 digital filters (nine of them applicable during shooting), including a new "Color Replacement" filter.

Lens aberration compensation system

In addition to the effective compensation for distortion, chromatic aberration and peripheral brightness, the K-S1 also provides compensation function for diffraction, which deteriorates image resolution when a small aperture is used.

Connected device functions

The optional Flucard FOR Pentax 16-GB memory card can release the K-S1's shutter, provide a live-view image and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone or other wireless and web browser enabled device.

These functions support smartphones operating iOS6 or later and Android 4.2 or later.

3.0-inch, high-resolution LCD monitor and newly designed interface

The K-S1 features a high-resolution, wide-view LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. It also provides a status screen employing the newly-designed GUI (Graphical User Interface), which allows the user to confirm functions and settings assigned to the four-way controller and the OK button at a glance. The RICOH RT font has been used for on-screen menus to improve readability.

Full HD movie recording with stereo audio

The K-S1 captures beautiful Full HD movie clips (1920x1080 pixels; 30/25/24 frame rate) in the H.264 recording format, which assures flawless, high-quality movies even with fast-moving subjects. It is also equipped with a built-in stereo microphone for recording natural sound during Full HD movie recording.

Color Options

The K-S1 comes in 12 different colors: The standard colors: black, blue and white. The Fabric Collection: Cotton Beige, Linen Brown, Denim Blue and Tweed Gray. The Night Sky Collection: Sunset Orange, Dusk Gold, Moon Silver, Midnight Black, Dawn Purple.


The K-S1 with an 18-55mm lens is available for pre-order at $896.95 from B&H. The camera is expected to ship in September, the company said.

For more information see the news release below.

Ricoh Imaging Debuts an Innovative User Interface Attracting Mid-Level dSLR Camera Buyers to Pentax Brand

DENVER, Colo. -- Focused on expanding the number of Pentax dSLR owners, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp. has announced the launch of the Pentax K-S1 dSLR camera. By combining proven imaging technology, distinct design cues and a flat field user interface 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 percent 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 Corp. "Our core Pentax products provide an important foundation that the K-S1 builds upon."

The optional Flucard for Pentax offers additional features such as WiFi 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 in September 2014 for a suggested retail price of $799.95. The K-S1 body only will be available for $749.95.

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