If you're intimidated by most DSLRs with all their knobs and buttons, you might want to take a look at Ricoh Imaging's Pentax K-S1, a new mid-range camera that's just one of many shooters the company's releasing this year. It packs in plenty of performance -- a 20-megapixel sensor and sky-high sensitivity of ISO 51200 -- along with an interface that's more reminiscent of a smartphone than a camera. According to Ricoh, the K-S1 "eliminates many of the complexities of a DSLR" with a friendlier "flat field" user interface that should be easy to navigate due to the luminous 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD, back-lit selection dial and four-way buttons. There are also various built-in LEDs that light up when certain features are in use. For example, the mode dial will glow green when it's toggled to take still shots and it'll glow red if it's in video mode, as you can see in the video after the break.
If you've got Face Detection turned on, the number of lit-up LEDs on the grip gives a quick visual cue as to how many faces it's detected and you could also use the grip LEDs as a countdown timer.
Aside from the simpler interface, the K-S1 also boasts a variety of features that would be of interest to camera enthusiasts: in-body shake reduction, an AA filter simulator, a 100-percent field of view glass pentaprism viewfinder and 5.4 frames per second shooting with a shutter speed of 1/6000. Optionally, the KS-1 also supports Pentax's FLUcard, which lets you tack on extras like Wi-Fi transfer, wireless live and the ability to use your camera remotely with your smartphone, tablet or computer.
To make it even more obvious that the K-S1 is meant as a "fun" mid-range camera, it'll come in a whole host of different colors. The standards are black, blue and white, but you can also choose one from either the Fabric Collection or the Night Sky Collection -- the former calls on its fashion inspiration with cotton beige, tweed gray, linen brown and denim blue, while the latter flaunts hues such as Sunset Orange, Dusk Gold, Moon Silver, Midnight Black and Dawn Purple.
If all of that sounds intriguing to you, the K-S1 along with a 18-55mm kit lens will retail for $799.95, while the body-only version is just a touch cheaper at $749.95. Both will be available in September.