Nikon B600 vs Pentax K-S1
The Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Pentax K-S1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2019 and August 2014. The B600 is a fixed lens compact, while the K-S1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B600) and an APS-C (K-S1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Pentax K-S1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon B600 and the Pentax K-S1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The B600 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the K-S1 is available in four color-versions (black, grey, orange, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-S1 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Nikon B600. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B600 nor the K-S1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B600 has a lens built in, whereas the K-S1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349||amazon.com|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon P950||140 mm||110 mm||150 mm||1005 g||290||n||Jan 2020||799||amazon.com|
|7.||Nikon A1000||114 mm||72 mm||41 mm||330 g||250||n||Jan 2019||429||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon P1000||146 mm||119 mm||181 mm||1415 g||250||n||Jul 2018||999||amazon.com|
|9.||Nikon B500||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999||amazon.com|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||123 mm||91 mm||73 mm||678 g||410||Y||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Pentax K-500||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||646 g||710||n||Jun 2013||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The B600 was launched at a lower price than the K-S1, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon B600 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Pentax K-S1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the K-S1 is 1211 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the B600 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the K-S1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 20MP, the K-S1 offers a higher resolution than the B600 (15.9MP), but the K-S1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.28μm versus 1.33μm for the B600) due to its larger sensor. However, the B600 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 4 months) than the K-S1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax K-S1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the K-S1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon B600 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon Coolpix B600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-S1 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|12.||Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||22.8||12.7||979||72|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the K-S1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B600 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon B600 and Pentax K-S1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||5.4/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 4000D||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX520||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Nikon P950||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Nikon A1000||1166||n||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Nikon P1000||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Nikon B500||none||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Nikon L840||none||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||n||Y|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/6000s||5.4/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Pentax K-500||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony WX800||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the B600 and the K-S1 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix B600 and Pentax K-S1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 4000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon SX520||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Nikon P950||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Nikon A1000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Nikon P1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Nikon B500||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Nikon L840||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Pentax K-500||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Pentax K-3||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony WX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A68||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the B600 offers wifi support, while the K-S1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The B600 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the K-S1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the K-S1 was succeeded by the Pentax K-S2. Further information on the features and operation of the B600 and K-S1 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon B600 Manual (free pdf) or the online Pentax K-S1 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon B600 better than the Pentax K-S1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix B600:
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 5.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the K-S1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x82mm vs 121x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the K-S1).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the K-S1 launch.
Advantages of the Pentax K-S1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2014).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the K-S1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B600 and the Pentax K-S1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the B600 and the K-S1 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349||amazon.com|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 4000D||..||o||3/5||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon P950||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2020||799||amazon.com|
|7.||Nikon A1000||..||+ +||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||429||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon P1000||..||+||3.5/5||73/100||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2018||999||amazon.com|
|9.||Nikon B500||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||4.2/5||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999||amazon.com|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||4.5/5||..||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Pentax K-500||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A68||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Nov 2015||699||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon XC10 vs Nikon B600
- Fujifilm X-S10 vs Pentax K-S1
- Fujifilm X-T30 vs Pentax K-S1
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Pentax K-S1
- Nikon B600 vs Olympus E-600
- Nikon B600 vs Panasonic FZ80
- Nikon B600 vs Sony A7C
- Nikon B600 vs Sony A900
- Nikon B600 vs Sony RX100 II
- Olympus E-M1 III vs Pentax K-S1
- Pentax K-3 vs Pentax K-S1
- Pentax K-S1 vs Sigma fp
Specifications: Nikon B600 vs Pentax K-S1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon B600||Pentax K-S1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2019||August 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 349||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax K-S1|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||4.28 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||5.45 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1061|
|Screen Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax K-S1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax K-S1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||7.4 shutter flaps/s||5.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax K-S1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax K-S1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||280 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
122 x 82 x 99 mm
(4.8 x 3.2 x 3.9 in)
121 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||500 g (17.6 oz)||558 g (19.7 oz)|
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