The MZ-S was the flagship model of a range of 35mm SLRs with autofocus, and was introduced by Pentax in 2001. It utilized KAF2 lenses and was also compatible with manual K-mount lenses.
It uses a electronic vertical traveling metal focal plane shutter with speeds from 30 to 1/6000 of a second. The self-timer is electronic with a delay of approx 12 sec.
Exposure modes include Av, HyM, M, and Tv modes. The metering system differs with the type of lens used. Older K and M lenses supports center-weighted and spot metering, while newer F, A, FA type lenses can use an additional segmented metering mode. The meter has a range of 0 to 21 EV at (ASA 100), and can be set for DX-coded film speeds from 25 to 5000 ISO and manual speeds of 6 to 6400. Exposure compensation can be adjusted ± 3 EV at ½ steps. Measurements are made using a silicon photo cell.
A stand-out feature is the ability to imprint full exposure information between sprocket holes, a feature found only on a few other cameras, such as the Pentax 645N.
The built in flash has a GN of 12. The motorized film transport is able to travel at up to 2.5 fps. It is powered by two CR2 battery.