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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

90%

Pentax K-50

Overall score:90%
Value:85%
Performance:90%
Image Quality:90%
Design:95%
Features:90%

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

Product:

Pentax K-50 Review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£599.00

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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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Full Specification

Built-in Flash:
GN 12m at ISO 100
White Balance:
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light (4 types), Tungsten, Flash, Custom, Manual, Colour

ISO:
100-51,200
Memory Card:
SD, SDHC, SDXC, Eye-Fi compatible

Exposure Comp:
+/-5EV (adjustable in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)
Compression:
Good, Better, Best

Cable Release:
Optional
Viewfinder Type:
Pentaprism

PC Socket:
No
Output Size:
4928 x 3264

LCD:
3in, 921k dots LCD
Field of View:
Approx. 100%

Colour Temp Control:
Yes; 2500 to 10,000K
Video:
Yes

White Balance Bracket:
Yes
AF Points:
11 points (9 cross-type)

Lens Mount:
Pentax KAF2
Sensor:
16.28MP APS-C CMOS sensor

Max Flash Sync:
1/180sec
Focal Length Mag:
1.5x

DoF Prview:
Yes
Dust Reduction:
Yes

Exposure Modes:
P, A, S, M, Sensitivity Priority, Shutter and Aperture Priority, Auto Picture Mode, Scene Mode
Metering System:
77-segment TTL system

Built-in Image Stabilisation:
Yes; sensor based
Movie Mode:
1920 x 1080 (30/25/24fps), 1280 x 720 (60/50/30/25/24fps)

Live Mode:
Yes
Connectivity:
USB 2.0, mini HDMI

Weight:
650g (including card and battery)
Power:
Rechargeable Li-ion battery

File Format:
Raw (DNG/PEF), JPEG
Drive Mode:
Single, Continuous (3 or 6fps), Self-timer, Remote Control, Auto Bracketing

Dimensions:
96.5 x 129 x 70 mm
Focusing Modes:
Auto, Single, Continuous, Manual

Shutter Speeds:
1/6000 – 30 sec, bulb
Colour Space:
sRGB, AdobeRGB