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Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-S2 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 product image

Pentax K-S2

Pentax K-S2
Nikon D3500
Pentax K-S2
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
August 30, 2018
March 02, 2015
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Pentax K-S2 earns a higher score of 66/100, while the Nikon D3500 stands at 61/100. Both cameras are DSLR models, released in 2015 and 2018, respectively. They share similar dimensions, with the Pentax K-S2 measuring 91 x 123 x 73mm and the Nikon D3500 at 124 x 97 x 70mm.

The Pentax K-S2 outperforms the Nikon D3500 with its higher score, but it also comes with a higher launch price of $800 compared to the D3500’s $499.95. On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 has an advantage with its lighter weight of 615g, while the Pentax K-S2 weighs 678g.

Taking these factors into account, the Pentax K-S2 proves to be a superior camera in terms of performance, but the Nikon D3500 offers a more budget-friendly and lightweight option for those prioritizing ease of use.

Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-S2 Overview and Optics

The Pentax K-S2 takes the lead in optics with a score of 70/100, while the Nikon D3500 trails behind with a score of 65/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a CMOS sensor, APS-C sensor size, and a shooting speed of around 5 frames per second. Additionally, both cameras have proprietary lens mounts, with the Nikon D3500 using the Nikon F mount and the Pentax K-S2 utilizing the Pentax KAF2 mount.

The Pentax K-S2 outshines the Nikon D3500 in a few key areas. First, its DXOMARK sensor score is slightly higher at 88, compared to the Nikon’s score of 87. This means the Pentax K-S2 has a marginally better sensor performance. Moreover, the Pentax K-S2 offers image stabilization, a feature the Nikon D3500 lacks. This makes the Pentax K-S2 more suitable for shooting in challenging conditions, as it can help reduce camera shake and produce sharper images.

However, the Nikon D3500 does have some advantages over the Pentax K-S2. With a higher megapixel count of 24, the Nikon D3500 can capture more detail in images than the Pentax K-S2, which has 20 megapixels. The Nikon D3500 also has a more advanced processor, the Expeed 4, which can improve image processing and overall camera performance.

Taking these factors into account, the Pentax K-S2 emerges as the better choice for those prioritizing image stabilization and marginally superior sensor performance. On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 might be more appealing to those who value higher megapixel count and a more advanced processor. Ultimately, the decision will depend on individual preferences and the specific needs of the photographer.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24 MP
20 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6000 x 4000 px
5472 x 3648 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.6 x 23.5 mm
23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
5 fps
5.4 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F
Pentax KAF2
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 4
Prime MII
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
1/ 6000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentamirror)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-S2 Video Performance

The Pentax K-S2 outperforms the Nikon D3500 in video capabilities with a score of 70/100 compared to the D3500’s 56/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as Full HD video resolution (1920×1080) and a maximum video frame rate of 60fps. These shared specs allow both cameras to capture clear and smooth footage.

The Pentax K-S2 surpasses the Nikon D3500 in video features mainly due to its built-in time-lapse functionality. This feature enables users to create stunning time-lapse videos without the need for additional software or accessories, making it more convenient and efficient for videographers. The K-S2’s higher score reflects its superior video capabilities, offering users a more versatile and creative tool for capturing video.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3500, despite its lower video score, still offers satisfactory video quality for casual users. Its Full HD resolution and 60fps frame rate ensure that the footage captured is clear and smooth. However, the lack of built-in time-lapse functionality means that users who require this feature will need to look for alternative solutions or invest in additional equipment.

Taking these factors into account, the Pentax K-S2 proves to be the superior choice for those who prioritize video capabilities in their camera. Its built-in time-lapse functionality and overall higher video score make it a more versatile and convenient option for videographers. Meanwhile, the Nikon D3500 remains a suitable option for casual users who do not require advanced video features but still desire good video quality.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920×1080 px
1920 x 1080 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
60 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-S2 Features and Benefits

The Pentax K-S2 outperforms the Nikon D3500 in terms of features, scoring 68 out of 100, while the Nikon D3500 scores 54. Both cameras share some specifications, such as having a 3-inch screen size and no touchscreen capability. They also both have Bluetooth connectivity.

The Pentax K-S2 excels in certain areas compared to the Nikon D3500. It has a flip screen, which allows for more versatile shooting angles and better self-portraits. Additionally, the K-S2 is equipped with GPS, enabling users to geotag their photos, a useful feature for travel photographers. The K-S2 also has Wi-Fi connectivity, making it easier to transfer images to other devices and share them online without needing a computer or cable.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 does not offer these features. It lacks a flip screen, GPS, and Wi-Fi connectivity. However, it is worth noting that the D3500 has a slightly higher screen resolution of 921,600 dots compared to the K-S2’s 921,000 dots. This difference is minimal and may not be noticeable to most users, but it can provide a slightly clearer image preview on the camera’s screen.

Taking these factors into account, it is clear that the Pentax K-S2 is the superior camera in terms of features. Its flip screen, GPS, and Wi-Fi connectivity provide added convenience and versatility, making it a better choice for those who prioritize these features. The Nikon D3500, while having a marginally higher screen resolution, falls short in comparison due to its lack of additional features.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
921,600 dots
921,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-S2 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D3500 outperforms the Pentax K-S2 in storage and battery, scoring 48/100 compared to the Pentax’s 24/100. Both cameras share similarities in storage, with each having a single memory card slot and accepting SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. However, the Nikon D3500 boasts a longer battery life, providing 1550 shots per charge, while the Pentax K-S2 only offers 410 shots. This significant difference in battery life makes the Nikon D3500 a more reliable option for extended shooting sessions.

The Pentax K-S2 does have an advantage in memory card compatibility, as it supports UHS-I cards, which allow for faster data transfer rates. Unfortunately, this advantage is not enough to compensate for the camera’s weaker battery life. Neither camera offers USB charging.

The Nikon D3500’s superior battery life makes it the better choice for photographers who require longer shooting times. The Pentax K-S2 may provide slightly faster data transfer rates, but its shorter battery life limits its overall performance in storage and battery.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
1,550 shots
410 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK

Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-S2 – Our Verdict

Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-S2 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D3500 or the Pentax K-S2:

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