Pentax K-50 Review

Review Date : Tue, 13 Aug 2013

Author :

Pentax K-50 product shot 6
Pentax K-50 product shot 6 Pentax K-50 product shot 2 Pentax K-50 product shot 3 Pentax K-50 product shot 4 Pentax K-50 product shot 1 Pentax K-50 product shot 10 Pentax K-50 product shot 5 Pentax K-50 product shot 9 Pentax K-50 product shot 7 Pentax K-50 product shot 8 Pentax K-50 product shot 11 colour range

The Pentax K-50 is virtually identical to the K-500, albeit boasting a few extra features. Is it worth the extra cash?

Pros: Weather sealing; Excellent features; Image quality
Cons: AF can be noisy with kit lens; Would be nice to see a vari-angle screen at this price

The Pentax K-50 sits alongside the Pentax K-500 in the manufacturer's DSLR line-up and, if you were to put them side-by-side, you'd think they were the very same camera with the exception of the name on the front.

Sporting an identical specification with the exception of a couple of points that we'll come onto in a moment, you can expect the images output from the K-50 to be a match for those of the K-500. So where does that extra money go?

 

Pentax K-50 / K-500 side by side

Pentax K-50 Review

The most obvious difference found on the Pentax K-50 is the camera's weather-sealing, with the K-50 improving on the solid feel of the K-500 to offer 81 seals round the body, making it weather-resistant, dustproof and cold-resistant, allowing it to operate down to temperatures as low as -10 degrees.

This level of finish is only often seen on high-end DSLRs, so to see it on a relatively entry-level model will be a big bonus for those wanting to shoot in inhospitable environments where you'd normally think twice about taking a DSLR. As well as this, the K-50 is also bundled with a weather resistant version of the 18-55mm kit lens, which also appears to offer slightly quieter AF acquirement.

One of our big bugbears with the K-500 was the fact that the AF points in the viewfinder weren't superimposed, making it difficult to know exactly what point of the frame you were focusing on unless to lowered the camera from your eye to glance at the rear info screen. Hardly ideal.

With the K-50 though, the good news is that the active AF point is superimposed in the viewfinder, transforming the shooting experience and doing justice to the well-specified AF system feature in the camera.

The final difference as far as specification is concerned is the inclusion of an electronic level display – a handy feature to ensure you get your horizons level, but not a deal-breaker.

 

 

Colour options

And you don't just have to have your K-50 in black either. Thanks to Pentax's colour-to-order service, it's possible to select from 120 camera colour combinations, with 20 body colours and six grip colours on offer. We can't help feeling this would have been more suited to the black-only K-500, but if you fancy having a fairly individual looking camera then the K-50 might be for you.

Pentax K-50 Review - Verdict

While the weather-sealing is a nice addition that adds to the already quality feel of the K-500, it's perhaps the fact that the AF points are superimposed in the viewfinder that transforms the performance of the camera, making it a lot more satisfying and pleasurable to use compared to the K-500, making the K-50 one of the best entry-level DSLRs going.

The Pentax K-50 shares the majority of it's specification with the K-500, and for our full verdict on latter camera head on over to our Pentax K-500 review.

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Martin Evening

Martin Evening

Photographer, Photoshop Alpha Tester, official Adobe roadshow speaker and lecturer. But perhaps best known as the author of the worldwide, definitive, best-selling series of Photoshop guides, Photoshop for Photographers.. Visit his website.

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Price as reviewed

£599.00

Scores

WDC-goldaward
Scores
Design 19/20
Image Quality 18/20
Performance 18/20
Value 17/20
Features 18/20
Overall Score 90%