Pentax K-S2 review

Pentax continues to nip at the heels of Canon and Nikon in the DSLR market, and the K-S2 has quite a bite

Pentax K-S2

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

There's a lot to like about the K-S2. Pentax is offering a good range of functions here for the money, and if you're not in the Nikon or Canon (or maybe even Sony) camp, then this makes a good alternative. It's especially good if you're keen on something small and light, particularly when you consider the lenses for the camera are also on the small side too.

The weatherproofing is fantastic to have, while a 100% viewfinder is unusual in a camera at this level.

It's taken Pentax a while to include a fully articulating screen, and while it's not particularly novel any more, it remains useful nevertheless for composing shots from awkward angles, or when you're shooting movies.

Although it may not be something many people give consideration to, the app which accompanies the K-S2 is also genuinely useful and a delight to use. So many of the wireless remote apps which I use offer little to no control, other than to trip the shutter release, so it's nice to have one here which gives you full exposure control when you're controlling remotely.

In use the camera also feels natural, and it doesn't take too long to get to know its idiosyncrasies, with a good range of external dials and buttons to make settings changes quickly and easily.

Obviously the most important aspect of any camera is its picture quality, and the K-S2 also performs very well here too. Images are nice and bright, and there's good scope for getting shots exactly how you want them with different Custom Image and Digital Filters etc which give you lots of room for creativity. Being able to shoot in the universal DNG format is also useful for post-production too. Detail is also resolved well thanks to the lack of an anti-aliasing filter.

Pentax K-S2

One advantage of the K-S2's articulating screen is that you can fold it back 'open' (left) so that the settings are visible, or fold it 'closed' (right) to protect the screen.

It's a shame that image quality is brought down a touch by evidence of purple fringing when using the kit lens in some situations, but it's not something that should plague most everyday shots – it's just something to keep an eye out for. It's great that the kit lens itself retracts down to a small size when you're storing or transporting the camera, but it does mean that the ring for zooming is a little more fiddly – it's something you get used to with time, though.

Pentax K-S2

As usual with Pentax DSLRs, you have a choice of colours.

We liked

The overall handling of this camera is great, and it feels very natural to hold. The free Image Sync Wi-Fi app has to be one of the best currently on the market as it gives you pretty much free rein over the camera's settings, making it genuinely useful for enthusiasts who need to be able to shoot remotely for whatever reason, rather than just being a gimmick for group shots and selfies.

We disliked

In fact, there's not too much to dislike about this camera, but the evidence of purple fringing when using the kit lens is somewhat disappointing.


For those who can't find a Canon or Nikon camera to suit them, or perhaps those who have vintage Pentax lenses, the K-S2 makes for a fantastic first time DSLR.

With a great feature set, good quality images and a natural way of using it, it's easy to recommend the K-S2 to a wide range of people.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.