Pros Big LCD screen, Works with Pentax (K mount) lenses, compact
Cons Pricy, included software is not great
Summary I looked a number of DSLR's before I got the DS2. I am very happy with it. It works with all my older manual 'K' mount lenses. The camera is quick, takes good quality pictures (I have made some 8x10's that look great) and is lightweight but durable. Viewfinder is bright and relativly (compared to a 35mm SLR) easy to manual focus with. I really like this camera.
Pros SIZE, MEGA PIXEL
Cons ADD-ONS and Options
Summary I have had my Pentax for some time and bought it because of the name and its past history. Great DSLR for the price and available options
Pros One of the best high ISO DSLR's
Cons AF sometimes slow
Summary I now have just shy of 9000 frames on my DS. It is an incredible bargain. The default Bright Tone is not the greatest but switched to Natural Tone and a notch higher sharpening, the photos are great. Compared to other DSLR's the photos have a little more natural look, yet are very high in resolution.
The high ISO performance is very good. If you want better, you will need to go Full Frame. ISO 800 is quite clean. ISO 3200 is useable. Since the camera does not rely on Noise Reduction, the photos may have a hint of grain in the dark areas at ISO 800 and have film like grain at ISO 3200. However, the lack of Noise Reduction means that these photos will actually look more natural and have higher resolution than those that need Noise Reduction.
Build quality is excellent. The viewfinder is by far the best of any lower priced DSLR. It is not only bright but clear. Manual focusing is not only possible but easy. The small size is nice to have and the ackward compatability makes 30 years of PK mount lenses avvailable to use.
Since I shoot a lot of low light and available light, The DS / DS2 is a very good fit. A Canon Full Frame model would be the only way to get better high ISO performance but the cost is a few times higher. For fast action sports it may be a toss up with a higher end Nikon. AF speed is slightly slower than some other cameras but also depends on the lens. The kit lens takes the longest of any of my AF lenses. However, in really low light, manual focussing would be needed on any camera and here the DS/DS2 has a distinct advantage with its better viewfinder.
Pros Great viewfinder (field covered & magnification) compatibility with older non AF lenses, easy to use
Cons not many. Useless software.
Summary One of the few DSLR-s with a good viewfinder, which is key to composition.Built is correct and better than most DSLR's in same price range. Pentax is the only brand ( with NIkon to a lesser extent) to have kept compatibility with older lenses. Important for those of us who own some of the great pentax lenses. Also offer in DA version several fixed lenses of high quality for those who do not like zoom lenses