Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2: A Detailed Comparison

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2: We compare two Entry-Level DSLRs. The Nikon D5500 and the Pentax K-S2. Both cameras feature an APS-C sensor. However, Nikon’s D5500 has 24 megapixels while Pentax’s K-S2 features a 20-megapixel sensor. Which camera is better for your needs? Let’s look at the main specifications before we go into more detail.

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2 Specs

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2 – Comparison

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2 – Comparison

 Specifications

Nikon D5500

Pentax K-S2

Megapixels 24.2 20.1
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Format APS-C (DX) APS-C
Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
AA Filter None On/Off
Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 5472 x 3648
Body Image Stabilization No Yes
Lens Mount Nikon FX/DX Pentax K
ISO 100 – 25,600 100 – 51,200
Expanded ISO No None
AF Points 39 11
Cross-type AF Points 9 9
Continuous Mode 5fps 5fps
LCD 3.2″ – Fully Articulated 3.0″ – Fully Articulated
LCD Resolution 1,036,800 dots 921,600 dots
Touchscreen Yes No
Focus Peaking No Yes
Top LCD Display No No
Viewfinder Type Optical Optical
Viewfinder Coverage 95% 100%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.82x 0.95x
Video Resolution 1920×1080 (60/50/30/25/24p) 1920×1080 (30/25/24p)
1280×720 (60/50p) 1280×720 (60/50p)
Microphone Jack Yes Yes
Headphone Jack No No
Memory Card Type SD SD
Dual Card Slots No No
SD UHS Support UHS-I UHS-I
Fastest Shutter Speed 1/4000 1/6000
Slowest Shutter Speed 30″ 30″
Bulb Mode Yes Yes
JPEG Buffer Size 100 28
RAW Buffer Size 7 9
Time Lapse Yes Yes
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Max Flash Sync Speed 1/200 1/180
Startup Time 0.4s 1.0s
Built-in Wi-Fi Yes Yes
Built-in GPS No No
Built-in NFC No Yes
Bluetooth No No
USB Type USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Environmentally Sealed No Yes
Battery Life (CIPA) 820 shots 410 shots
Battery Included Yes (EN-EL14a) Yes (D-LI109)
Weight 14.8 oz (420g) 24.3 oz (688g)
Size 4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8″ 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.6″
Price Amazon Amazon
Release Date 2015 2015

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2 Common Features

Wireless Connection Yes vs Yes
Articulating Screen Yes vs Yes
Built-in Flash Yes vs Yes
External Flash Shoe Yes vs Yes
Viewfinder Yes (Optical) vs Yes (Optical)
RAW Support Yes vs Yes
Face Detection Focus Yes vs Yes
Max Resolution 24 MP vs 20 MP
Continuous Shooting 5.0fps vs 5.4fps
Microphone Port Yes vs Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes vs Yes
AE Bracketing Yes vs Yes
Selfie Friendly LCD Yes vs Yes

Size Comparison

As far as size goes, the Pentax K-S2 is 1mm narrower and 6mm shorter than the Nikon D5500. However, it is also 3mm thicker. Despite the size difference, the Nikon D5500 is significantly lighter. It weighs 258g  less than the Pentax K-S2.

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2 – Comparison

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-S2 – Comparison

Sensor Comparison

The Nikon D5500 has a 24.0MP APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features an Expeed 4 processor. Meanwhile, the Pentax K-S2 has a 20.0MP APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features the PRIME MII processor.

What both sensors have in common, outside of the APS-C, is that both the Pentax K-S2 and Nikon D5500 sensors lack anti-alias (Low-Pass) filters. Moreover, they provide the same level of control over the depth of field when used with same focal length and aperture.

However, since the Pentax K-S2 has a 20% larger pixel area (18.37µm2 vs 15.28µm2) compared to the Nikon D5500, it has the potential to have less noise in low light / High ISO images.

Why You Should Choose The Nikon D5500

Touch Screen Yes vs No
Max Sensor Resolution 24 MP vs 20 MP
Number of Focus Points 39 vs 11
LCD Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″
LCD Screen Resolution 1.037k dots vs 921k dots
Battery Life 820 shots vs 410 shots
Weight 420 g vs 678 g

Advantages of the Nikon D5500 Over Pentax K-S2

  • Megapixels –  4.1 more megapixels. For printing big and cropping, the Nikon D5500 is a much better choice.
  • AF Points – 39 vs 11.
  • LCD – 3.2″ vs 3.0″.
  • LCD Resolution – Higher resolution
  • Touchscreen Support
  • JPEG Buffer Size – 100 vs 28.
  • Max Flash Sync Speed – 1/200 vs 1/180.
  • Battery Life – 820 shots vs 410 shots.
  • Weight – The Nikon D5500 weighs 268g less.

Video: Nikon D5500 Hands-on Review

Why You Should Choose The Pentax K-S2

Built-in Image Stabilization Sensor-shift vs None
Max ISO 51.200 vs 25.600
Viewfinder Coverage 100% vs 95%
Max Shutter Speed 1/6000s vs 1/4000s
Continuous Shooting 5.4fps vs 5.0fps
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No
Sensor Pixel Area 18.37µmvs 15.28µm2
Price $597 vs $700
AE Bracketing Range ±5 EV vs ±2 EV
Optical Viewfinder Type Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
NFC Connection Yes vs No
AF Micro Adjustment (Fine Tune) Yes vs No
Anti Alias Filter Simulator Yes vs No
Smartphone_remote control Yes vs No

Advantages of the Pentax K-S2 Over the Nikon D5500

  • AA Filter – You can turn it on and off.
  • Body Image Stabilization – The Pentax K-S2 has built-in body stabilization for photos and videos, which is an excellent feature for traveling and shooting in low light.
  • ISO – 51,200 vs 25,600. Higher maximum ISO sensitivity.
  • Focus Peaking – Very useful for seeing if your subject is in focus (both photo and video).
  • Viewfinder Coverage – 100% vs 95%.
  • Viewfinder Magnification – Higher magnification.
  • Faster Max Shutter Speed – 1/6000 vs 1/4000.
  • Built-in NFC
  • Environmentally Sealed – The Pentax K-S2 is much better for shooting outdoors in difficult terrain and bad weather conditions.

Video: Pentax K-S2 Hands-on Review