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Earlier Ricoh Imaging unveiled the futuristic Pentax K-S1. This lightweight DSLR offers a redesigned interface while keeping a large 100% coverage viewfinder which is usually reserved for high-end models. The new LED-illuminated body puts most camera controls, including a unique and unusual mode-dial, on the rear panel.

Pentax K-S1

The compact body of the K-S1 manages to keep a built-in flash and a slimmed-down hand-grip with LED which indicate camera-status. Smoother curves and recessed eyelets are designed to keep this DSLR comfortable in its reduced footprint. The K-S1 naturally uses Pentax K-mount lenses and has a SAFOX IVi+ Phase-Detect AF system with 11 points, 9 of those being cross-type points.

The Pentax K-S1 is built around a new 20 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with maximum sensitivity of ISO 51200. No anti-alias filter is present on the sensor yet Pentax is able to simulate the effect using its versatile Shake-Reduction mechanism. This system is demonstrated in our in-depth Pentax K-3 review. The new sensor offers a maximum 5.4 FPS continuous drive and shutter-speeds up to 1/6000s.

Pentax K-S1

Considering Pentax DSLRs have the most efficient interface on the market, it is a bold and risky move to change this so drastically. Given a preliminary look though, these changes seem much more sensible than what was done to the K-01 which made it difficult to use. Here Pentax wrapped the mode-dial around the 4-way controller and left a single control-dial on the top-plate. There are direct buttons for ISO and WB. The EC button – not shown here – is on the top-plate which makes it easy to operate modelessly. A green button next to it serves to reset various camera settings.

The Pentax K-S1 is expected next month for a suggested price of $799 USD.

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