With a weather-sealed, compact body, wi-fi and a solid set of imaging capabilities, the Pentax K-S2 certainly looks to be a competitor among the available DSLRs for beginners. Updating on the quirky K-S1 less than a year after it's release, the K-S2 is the manufacturer's first DSLR to offer wi-fi.
The K-S2 eliminates the odd and pointless lights on the grip of the K-S1, but keeps the 20 megapixel sensor. The anti-alliasing filter has been removed for enhanced detail on both models; a simulator mimics the effect of the filter and helps prevent moire, but can be switched on and off. In fact, the specs that will affect the final outcome of the images appear to be similar across both models, with a 5.5 fps burst mode and a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000. Both also use a sensor-shift image stabilization and an 11-point autofocus mode.
The differences lie mainly in convenience and usability. The K-S2 features both wi-fi and NFC. Pentax takes that one step further by adding a few features that make selfies a bit simpler, with a tilting LCD screen that includes a secondary shutter release.
The K-S2 is slightly heavier than the K-S1, though isn't quite as tall or deep and still appears to be one of the most compact options on the market. Pentax also offers a kit lens that's retractable, making it just 44 millimeters when stored.
Our previous experience with Pentax DSLRs has shown them to be slightly quirky, but certainly capable of producing images that rival the likes of Canon and Nikon. They tend to have noisier autofocus systems, but many consumers like the fact that they are weather-sealed to withstand rain and dust. The Pentax K-S2 looks to be a solid option for beginners, or even families looking for a camera that's more capable than a point-and-shoot.
The Pentax K-S2 will be available sometime in March, 2015 in black, white or gray with an orange stripe. Additional color options will be released in April. The kit is listed at $799.95 with an 18-55mm lens or $899.95 with an 18-200mm lens.