Ricoh announces the small weather-resistant Pentax K-S2 DSLR

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The Pentax K-S2 is a small weather-resistant DSLR

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Ricoh has revealed the Pentax K-S2, a small weather-resistant DSLR which features a number of firsts for the K-series. The new 20-megapixel camera – said to be the world’s smallest dust-proof, weather-resistant DSLR – boasts built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and has a vari-angle LCD monitor. Also announced by Ricoh was the new rugged WG-5 GPS-packing camera.

Pentax K-S2

While the Pentax K-S2 shares most of its name with the K-S1, many people will be glad to see that it doesn't share that futuristic-looking model's LED-adorned grip. Instead, the more restrained K-S2 plays to Pentax's strength and appears to be a solid, well-specified, compact DSLR which is dust-proof and weather-resistant.

The Pentax K-S2 uses a 20-megapixel APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) CMOS sensor which lacks an anti-aliasing (AA) filter to produce sharper images, and boasts an AA filter simulator for those times false colors and moiré could be a problem. This is paired with the same PRIME M II imaging engine which featured in its flashy K-S1 sibling. The camera has an ISO range of 100 to 51,200 and can shoot at up to 5.4 frames per second (fps).

Autofocus is dealt with by a SAFOX X phase-detection system with 11 AF points, of which nine are the better cross type, and the camera can record Full HD 1080p video footage at 30/25/24 fps, or HD 720p video at 60/50/30/25/24 fps. An in-body sensor-shift shake-reduction mechanism is on hand to reduce wobbly-induced blur.

Around back is a first for the Pentax K-series, a vari-angle 3-inch LCD monitor with 921k dots. This will make for easier image composition in awkward positions that rule out the optical viewfinder, or for shooting selfies. Another K-series first is the addition of built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for connecting the camera to a smartphone or tablet to share content or remotely control the camera. It's nice to see this feature finally built-in rather than dependent on Pentax FLU cards to achieve the same.

Pentax has brought its experience of producing cameras like the K-3 and even the 645Z – that aren't afraid of the weather – to the K-S2, and it's both weather-resistant and dust-proof. The K-mount camera measures 123 x 91 x 73 mm (4.8 x 3.6 x 2.9 in) and weighs 678 g (24 oz), and being a modern Pentax, there are plenty of color options available in addition to the core black, white and black with orange.

The Pentax K-S2 will be available in March for US$800 bundled with a new retractable 18-50-mm F4-F5.6 kit lens.

Ricoh WG-5 GPS

The Ricoh WG-5 GPS is the firm's latest adventure-proof camera, and is even tougher (albeit only slightly) than previous rugged offerings like the WG-4. The new GPS-packing camera is waterproof to a depth of 14 meters (45 ft), has shock-resistance against a fall of 2.2 meters (7 ft), and is dust-proof and cold-resistant against temperatures as low as -10 ºC (14 ºF). It's also crushproof against weights up to 100 kg (220 lb).

In term of photographic specs, the WG-5 GPS features a 16-megapixel backside illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor along with a 25-100-mm equivalent F2-F4.9 zoom lens. It has an ISO range of 125 to 6400, and can record Full HD 1080p video at 30 fps or HD 720p footage at 60/30 fps. Built-in sensor-shift shake reduction is on hand to help balance any wobbly shooting.

Design-wise the camera looks similar to previous WG models, and is suited for active use when you might be wearing gloves, or swimming underwater. On the front of the camera there's an LCD display for showing things like barometer information, a flash, and six LEDs around the lens for close-up shooting. On the rear is a 3-inch LCD with 460k dots.

Not quite as small as the recent WG-M1, the new camera measures 125 x 65 x 32 mm (4.9 x 2.6 x 1.3 in) and weights 236 g (8.3 oz) with battery and SD card. However, it is still compatible with the wide range of WG mounts which will have you covered if you want the camera on a bike, surfboard, or your car.

The Ricoh WG-5 GPS will be available from March and is expected to sell for $380.

Product pages: Pentax K-S2, Ricoh WG-5 GPS

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