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K-S2

The K-S2 is built to be powerful, portable and rugged, but it also delivers exceptional handling thanks to a full suite of manual inputs around the body. These features let you access the camera setting you need fast so that you won’t miss a moment.

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Find out what every button, dial and light on your camera is for by clicking or tapping on any of these symbols.

Whenever you see a greyed-out product or image, click on it to make it live and access even more content.

Click on the buttons at the bottom of the page to navigate through the exciting and innovative features on your K-S2.

getting started

pentax dna

Pentax DSLRs are designed to offer impeccable image quality and rugged handling, meaning that you can shoot brilliant images in conditions where other cameras would struggle, and the K-S2 is no exception. Click on the buttons to the left to find out more about how this unique Pentax DNA opens up a world of photo opportunities...

front e-dial

Positioned naturally under the forefinger when gripping the camera, you’ll find one of two E-dials. When shooting, this dial works in combination with the rear E-dial to change camera settings, such as shutter speed. It can also be used to cycle through menus and images in Playback mode.

AF Assist light

To improve its autofocus performance in dim conditions and on low-contrast subjects, the K-S2 employs its AF Assist Light. When shooting in AF.S mode, this tiny LED emits a burst of bright green light to help lock on and achieve pin-sharp pictures. It can also be switched off if required, for example when it might disturb the subject.

Contoured handgrip

To make shooting a more comfortable experience, the K-S2 features a deep, ergonomically sculpted handgrip. The area also has a rubberised texture to prevent your hand from slipping in wet or hot weather conditions, providing a more stable grip and less chance of dropping the camera.

Self-timer lamp / remote receiver

In Self-Timer drive mode, this little light flashes red to count down the seconds until the picture is taken – very useful for group shots or when you need to make sure you’re in the picture. It also acts as the receiver for the Remote Control F unit allowing you to fire the shutter from a distance.

Lenses

Your choice of lens and focal length changes your view on the world. For example, this 18-50mm standard zoom lens is a great for a variety of subjects; landscapes at its wide end and portraits at the long end. Plus, its Weather Resistant (WR) build complements the rest of the camera and it’s retractable (RE) to save space in your bag.

shake reduction system

SR is the sign that you can enjoy clear, blur-free shots at slow shutter speeds via the K-S2’s Shake Reduction mechanism. SR shifts the sensor to compensate for camera shake, providing steadier shooting and sharper results. Sharpness when using telephoto lenses is also improved.

Lens unlock button

One of the great things about owning a DSLR is that you can swap lenses at will, allowing different views of the subject, from highly magnified to wide-angle. Go to the top menu to find out more about the range of Pentax lenses.

live view / delete button

This switches the screen into Live View mode for composition. In Playback mode, it brings up options to delete images.

vari-angle screen

The K-S2’s articulating LCD screen makes composition much easier in Live View mode. The screen pulls away from the camera body and can swivel over too, so you can turn it forwards, allowing you to shoot selfies or fold it in against the camera to prevent from scratches when not in use.

eyecup

The K-S2 comes with the Eyecup FR installed, and its soft rubber creates a comfortable shooting position with your eye to the viewfinder. You can remove and upgrade the eyecup to a different design such as the larger Eyecup MII.

Viewfinder

The K-S2 sports a high-quality pentaprism viewfinder (sculpted from one solid piece of glass) which offers a 100% view of the scene. Important shooting information, such as exposure settings, is visible beneath the scene you’re composing, so you can make changes without taking your eye off the action. The focus point is overlayed on the view.

monitor

The K-S2’s 3.2in monitor can be used to display shooting information and exposure settings, show an electronic compass (when the optional O-GPS1 GPS accessory is mounted in the hotshoe), display an electronic level, or it can be switched off entirely. It’s also where you access menus and view images in Playback mode.

Rear e-dial

When shooting, this dial is used in tandem with the front E-dial to change camera settings, such as the aperture in aperture-priority (Av) mode. It can be customised to fit other functions such as exposure compensation. The dial also cycles through menus being displayed and zooms in and out of images in Playback mode.

Autofocus/Auto exposure lock button

This is used to activate autofocus (AF), in the same way as half-pressing the shutter button. It can also be set to lock the auto exposure (AE) settings so that you can base exposure on one part of the scene, then recompose before shooting.

playback button

This button takes you into Playback mode for image review on the 3.2in LCD screen. If you’re in Playback mode, it takes you back into shooting mode.

Up/ISO button

Use this button to control the ISO sensitivity value, making the camera more or less sensitive to light. It’s also the Up button on the four-way controller, used to navigate through menus and camera settings.

right/Drive modes

The four-way controller’s right button accesses the Drive modes, allowing you to switch between Single Frame, Continuous Shooting, Self-timer, Remote Control, Exposure Bracketing, Mirror Lock-up, Multi-exposure, Interval Shooting and Interval Composite modes.

left/flash modes

The left button on the four-way controller accesses the Flash modes, controlling the strength and style of lighting effects from the pop-up flash or an accessory flashgun. Options include flash exposure compensation; wireless settings to control an off-camera flash; and slow-speed sync for slow shutter speed effects with flash.

White-balance

The four-way controller’s down button is a shortcut to the white-balance settings, allowing you to set how the colours in the scene are recorded, including Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Flash, Color Temperature Enhancement, Manual reading and Color Temperature (K) modes.

OK/AF POINT button/four-way controller

Used as a shortcut to the ISO sensitivity settings/Drive mode/Flash mode/or white-balance, the four-way controller also helps navigate menus and moves the focusing area when in that mode. OK is used to confirm selections when a menu or the control panel is displayed on screen and also to lock or unlock the AF point.

INFO BUTTON

This button brings up the Control Panel on screen with access to frequently used settings. It also changes what’s displayed on the screen, switching between the shooting information, the electronic level, the electronic compass or nothing at all.

menu BUTTON

This button toggles the Main menu on or off screen. When the menu is in use it acts as a back or cancel button, returning a setting to the previous one, or taking you back to the previous screen.

built-in flash

The K-S2’s versatile pop-up flash can be used for a variety of creative effects, and is weather sealed like the rest of the body.

speaker

This small speaker on the top-plate of the camera lets you listen to audio captured during movie recordings.

hotshoe

This is the hotshoe accessory port into which you can slot an external flashgun like the Pentax AF540 FGZ II for increased control over the lighting of your subject. Flashes fitted can also be used to control additional lights for a studio style set‑up. Other accessories like microphones or the O-GPS1 GPS unit can be mounted here too.

Mode dial

This sets exposure mode, such as Auto, program (P), sensitivity-priority (Sv), shutter-priority (Tv), aperture-priority (Av), shutter-and-aperture-priority (TAv), manual (M) or bulb (B). There are also the two user modes (U1 and U2) where custom settings can be saved, advanced HDR (A-HDR) and the scene modes (SCN) for specific subjects.

wi-fi/Self-portrait shutter button

Press this button to switch on the K-S2’s Wi-Fi functions, allowing you to transfer images or control the camera remotely. When in Live View mode with the screen pointing forwards this button becomes the Self-portrait button, lighting up in green and making shooting selfies easier.

EV Compensation button

Press this to change the exposure compensation value, using the rear E-dial. A positive (+) setting will make the exposure lighter and a negative (-) one makes it darker.

green button

This button can be used to provide an auto exposure when working in manual (M) or shutter-and-aperture priority (TAv) mode. It can also be used to switch on the Auto ISO function when holding the ISO button.

shutter release/ main switch

Press to take a picture, or half-press to focus (and in Playback mode use it to return to shooting mode). Surrounding the shutter release is the Main switch (on/off button), which also activates the Movie record mode for shooting video. In stills mode, the button lights up green, and in Movie recording mode it’s red.

flash Button

Use this button to pop up the K-S2’s built-in flash. The power of the flash is controlled automatically in its P-TTL mode, which also allows you to wirelessly control other Pentax flashguns for advanced lighting effects. You can control the flash power between -2.0 and +1.0EV.

RAW/Fx button

By default this button changes the image quality mode from JPEG to Raw with a single push, but it can also be customised to provide a shortcut to other settings such as exposure bracketing or Shake Reduction.

focus mode switch

This switches between manual focus (MF) mode where you use the focusing ring on the lens to set the point of sharp focus and autofocus (AF) mode, which is aided by the camera.

microphone terminal

Here you can plug in an external microphone for improved sound quality when recording commentary on video.

memory card door

The K-S2’s memory card door is weather-sealed like the rest of the body. And as it’s compatible with SDXC cards you can use capacities of up to 2TB, so no worries about running out of space for pictures and video.

HDMI port

Protected in a weather-sealed compartment, the HDMI connection allows you to play back images or video on an AV device, or use the camera’s Live View mode on a larger screen.

USB Terminal

Protected by a weather-sealed door, a USB port allows you to connect the K-S2 to your PC for saving images if a memory card reader is unavailable.

nfc point

When using a smartphone or tablet that has a Near Field Communication (NFC) function, you can touch it here to open a Wi-Fi connection with the camera, ready for image transfer or remote control.

battery cover

Weather sealed like the rest of the K-S2, the locking battery cover keeps the camera’s D-LI109 battery safe and dry. The battery itself is rated to shoot up to 410 images between charges.

Tripod socket

To keep the camera still during long exposure photography, attach it to a tripod or monopod (or a quick-release plate to connect to a tripod) using this thread.

getting started

choose a mode

TThe world is full of amazing things to shoot, but to get the best results you need to adapt your shooting style – and you start by picking the right mode. Use the dial on the left to explore the K-S2’s Shooting modes…

core functions

image quality

You bought a DSLR because you wanted better pictures and the K-S2 is designed to make that happen. Click on the yellow plus buttons to find out how the K-S2 creates its amazing images...

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20-megapixel sensor and no AA filter

The K-S2’s CMOS APS-C format sensor provides rich detail thanks to its 20 million pixel resolution, and clarity is improved by the removal of the traditional anti-aliasing (AA) filter. Without an AA filter’s subtle blurring effect, images are clearer than ever before, showing off fine texture and intricate detail.

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extended ISO range, low noise

The K-S2 has an ISO range of 100-51,200, allowing you to use a wider range of exposure settings whatever the lighting conditions you face. Using its PRIME M II imaging engine, noise is minimal with true colours and precise sharpness maintained even at high ISO sensitivities, so you can shoot in low-light scenes and still get great image quality.

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Precise exposure metering

Exposures are only as good as the metering they’re based on, which is why the K-S2’s through-the-lens (TTL) systems splits the scene into 77 segments, examining your subject in detail to produce the best possible reading. It’s also smart enough to determine metering based on the subject’s position and distance, so it works even in backlit situations.

core functions

lock onto the action

No matter what the subject you’re shooting, when or where, the K-S2 will bring it into focus fast and keep it there, using its advanced SAFOX X AF system. There are settings for all types of subject, and to begin you just need to pick the general AF mode. Make sure you move the Mode dial out of Auto for the full range of options. Next, choose the AF area, which varies from live view to viewfinder shooting. And if you want complete freedom, switch the Focus mode to MF (manual) and use the lens’s focusing ring.

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live view

face detection Here, the camera detects and tracks the faces of people in the frame.

TRACKING Once the focus is locked, a moving subject can be tracked across the frame.

multiple af points The focus area is chosen automatically by the camera, based on 45 segments.

select You can position the focusing point precisely from any of the 45 segments.

spot The focusing area is locked to the very centre of the frame.

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viewfinder

AUTO Out of the 11 focusing points available, the camera selects the optimal position.

ZONE SELECT Using a group of 5 AF points in the centre of the frame focus is automatically selected.

SELECT Allows you to choose any one of the K-S2’s 11 AF points and focus with just that.

EXPANDED AREA AF Uses 8 additional points around the selected area in case the subject moves.

spot The AF point is locked in the centre of the frame for precise focusing technique.

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AUTOFOCUS MODES

SINGLE The camera focuses using the selected AF point and when focus is achieved, it is held.

CONTINUOUS The camera will continue to focus until the AF or shutter button is released.

AUTO-SELECT The camera switches between the AF.S and AF.C according to the subject.

core functions

capture every moment

Drive modes let you adapt to the subject, so you can capture every moment to perfection. On the K-S2 they’re easily accessible from the rear of the camera, by pressing right on the four-way controller. The default mode is Single, which takes one picture at a time, but in Continuous mode you can hit a top speed of 5.4 frames-per-second! On other occasions, like shooting long exposures, Self-timer or Remote are better suited. Other drive modes include: Exposure Bracketing to capture lighter and darker exposures of the same scene; Multi-exposure, which overlays separate shots; Interval Shooting for creating time-lapse effects; and Interval Composite, which combines several exposures over a long period.

what else Helps?

  • white-balance
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  • Custom image
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advanced features

share your memories

Sharing pictures is important and it’s something we do more and more of often on social networking sites like Facebook. But compared with your smartphone, getting shots online from a DSLR can seem complicated. Well, not anymore. The Pentax K-S2 has a built-in Wi-Fi feature to connect to your smartphone or tablet, and share pictures instantly. Just switch on the Wi-Fi on the camera, link to it using your smartphone or tablet, just as you would to any other Wi-Fi source, and view the images using Pentax’s Image Sync app (free from the Apple App Store or Google Play). If your device has Near Field Communication just touch it to the NFC mark on K-S2’s body to set the link up. Pictures can then be selected and downloaded to your device, or uploaded straight from the app. The same Wi-Fi connection and app can also be used to wirelessly control your K-S2.

advanced features

get in the picture

The Pentax K-S2’s vari-angle screen makes selfie shooting easy. The display flips through 180º to face you, so you can compose with yourself in the shot, and because you’re shooting with a DSLR, you’ll get image quality far beyond a compact or camera phone, as well as pro-style shallow depth-of-field effects. To make shooting even easier, the K-S2 includes a self-portrait shutter button, in addition to the regular shutter release; when the screen is flipped around and Live View mode is enabled, the Wi-Fi button lights up in green and becomes the shutter button. And when in Live View mode, there’s also the Face Detection AF mode on hand to get the focus spot on.

advanced features

master the light

When you’re shooting a scene with lots of contrast, the camera will do its best to expose everything correctly, but sometimes it’s just not possible. In cases like these you’ll often find that one part comes out too light and/or another too dark, losing detail in the highlights and shadows which isn’t what you want. To combat this, the Pentax K-S2 has an Advanced HDR (A-HDR) mode, accessible from the mode dial, which shoots separate exposures of the scene, then combines them for the best possible results. If you want more control check out the HDR Capture settings in the Shooting menu, where, you’ll be able to control the strength and the style of the effect.

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  • Advanced HDR mode
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    advanced hdr modes

    HDR Off In this mode, the HDR process is disabled, so you’ll just get a regular exposure.

    hdr 1 Three exposures are combined with an emphasis on more natural results.

    hdr 2 Three exposures are combined with more shadow and highlight detail retained.

    hdr 3 The maximum level of highlight and shadow detail is reproduced for a grittier look.

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Wi-fi connectivity

This special SD card not only stores images, it also enables wireless connectivity with Pentax DSLRs including the K-3 and K-3 II (the K-S2 has wireless built in). By connecting to the camera in this way, you can not only download pictures to your smartphone or tablet and share them more easily, but also control the camera remotely using the free Pentax Image Sync app.

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LENS line-up

Changing lenses according to your subject or the style of image you want to take is what using a DSLR is all about; it gives you complete creative freedom in your photography. And there’s a huge range of options in the Pentax range, from wide-angle to extreme telephoto and everything in between, and many are weather sealed. You can also increase the range of lenses using the HD Pentax-DA AF Rear Converter 1.4x AW, which increases focal length by 1.4x.

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Pentax flash system

When you need extra illumination to improve exposure or add creative effects, you can turn to Pentax’s range of powerful, easy-to-use flashes. There are models to suit all needs, from the entry-level AF200 FG to the pro-spec AF360 FGZ II and AF540 FGZ, both of which are weather sealed and able to be controlled wirelessly in groups. There are specialist flashes too, like the AF160 FC ringflash for macro work.

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remote shooting

Firing the camera from a distance allows you to shoot group shots without using a timer, as well as get sharper exposures by avoiding the vibration of the camera and lens. The O-RC1 (pictured) is waterproof and also allows zoom control and use of your DSLR’s Function button. There’s also the Remote Control F with a range of up to five metres and the CS‑205 Cable switch that connects directly to the camera.

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camera bags

To transport your Pentax DSLR in safety, invest in a dedicated camera bag. There’s one to suit all needs: the Professional backpack (above) uses multiple compartments to store your DSLR, two lenses, a flash, a laptop and accessories; while for less gear there’s the Pentax Camera case, fitting a camera body, two lenses and accessories. Finally, for stowing just the camera and standard lens, try the Neoprene case that wraps around your gear and protects it from day-to-day use.

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connecting your camera

With the right cables in your kit you can connect your Pentax DSLR to your PC or to a TV, both for image transfer and to review shots on the big screen. For the former, you’ll just need a USB cable (USB 3.0 for the K-3 and K-3 II and USB 2.0 for the K-S2). And for viewing shots on TV or a compatible PC, a mini-HDMI lead is required.

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battery grip

Using a battery grip increases the power available by making use of a second cell or AA batteries (using an adaptor). It also allows more comfortable shooting in portrait (vertical) orientation as the controls mimic the regular layout of the camera back, so finding what you need is easy. The D-BG5 fits Pentax K-3 and K-3 II DSLRs and is weather sealed just like the bodies themselves.

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O-GPS1 unit

While the Pentax K-3 II features a built-in GPS reciever, you can still make use of exciting GPS-enabled features on other Pentax DSLRs. Just plug the O-GPS1 unit into the hot-shoe of the DSLR and after calibration it will provides all the poisitioning data required for functions like Astrotracer and Electronic Compass as well as allowing you to tag pictures with precise location information.

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extra BATTERies

Your Pentax DSLR comes with a high-performance battery offering plenty of shooting power, but get a spare and you’ll never be worried about running out on a shoot. If you have a Pentax K-3 or K-3 II you’ll need the D-Li90, while K-S2 users require the D-Li109.

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focusing screens

Pentax DSLRs allow you to easily change the focusing screen, so that you can frame up and focus with different compositional aids through the viewfinder. The screens will fit any model and include options like the AF Scale Matte screen (Li-80) that allows you to verify subject placement when it’s critical.

what else?

expand your creativity

Owning a DSLR is all about creative shooting options, and here you’ll find a range of Pentax kit that will open up new styles of photography, while also improving the handling of your camera