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First impressions and real-world samples from the Pentax K-50

By dpreview staff on Jun 12, 2013 at 22:01 GMT

Fresh from the Pentax Ricoh launch event in New York, we've put together a real-world samples gallery from the Pentax K-50. The 16MP mid-range DSLR builds on the very likeable K-30 and promises improved image processing. We take a closer look at the K-50 and its similar sibling, the K-500, to see just what they bring to the table, as well as presenting a selection of full-resolution sample images.

Comments

Total comments: 61
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (10 months ago)

I really enjoy seeing the phrase 'Real World Samples' here at DPReview,
thanks to my previous critical comment and suggestion on another article.

I still have not recieved any acknowledgement nor 'Thank You'.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (10 months ago)

Forget it. "Fake World Samples" are where it's at these days, see?

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (10 months ago)

Thank you.

0 upvotes
sonnief
By sonnief (10 months ago)

How about a transparent model, so the 'machine' inside can be visible ?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (10 months ago)

Why do you wish to see the guts of a camera -- while you are composing the image and taking a picture or shooting a video clip with it?

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Interesting.!

Excellent camouflage. If you were to carry this camera with a pancake lens among some lego blocks in a childs bag, no thief would bother to snatch it from you.

Great for street photography. No one will ever bother if you hold it in front of them.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (10 months ago)

Whatever you say, for sure.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (10 months ago)

If they got the palette of colors on the outside, do they have it on the inside?

Now, how about mirrorless FF? In navy metallic?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (10 months ago)

That was deep, Dude. Thanks for contributing.

0 upvotes
steveh0607
By steveh0607 (10 months ago)

Orange and yellow?? Yikes!

The garish color aside I wonder why Pentax hasn't crashed the mirrorless party in a big way? The company used to be forward thinking, but now it seems they only offer pretty much more of the same (except for the bizarre colors).

0 upvotes
emtx
By emtx (10 months ago)

2 new DSLR and Q7 cameras from Pentax at once.That have not been here for while. Older sensor - tweaked engine. I am looking forward for successor of K5II - s and possibly FF as that would make a sense in terms of follow up.
Its definitely sign that brand is alive and keep re-inveting.
Samples looks good to me, some of them really good.

PS: I am not fun of colorful DLSRs but why not in terms of marketing. I do not need to buy orange.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
xentar
By xentar (10 months ago)

Before I switched from Pentax to Olympus, I considered getting a k-30. Problem was, I couldn't find one in black at local stores...

0 upvotes
BunnyKicker26
By BunnyKicker26 (10 months ago)

IQ aside, that yellow...thing...is a monstrosity. Cameras that ugly should not be allowed to survive.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
BunnyKicker26
By BunnyKicker26 (10 months ago)

And before anyone gets on my case for focusing on the shallow...

I actually think customization is a great idea. I wish I could get more grip and colour options for my X100S. The picture is what matters, of course. But I also like to make my cameras feel unique to me and my tastes. It builds a connection.

The problem here is that Pentax can't design anything other than a run-of-the mill, ugly-as-hell DSLR -- and are trying to paper over their lack of design prowess by painting it. Garishly. If you're trying to catch sales on a design gimmick, your product better be, uh, well-designed. This is not.

0 upvotes
emtx
By emtx (10 months ago)

If you want beautiful camera buy Leica, Mamyia, Fuji or Hasselblad. Rest seems to me quite the same.
Did you buy DSLR cause how it looks or what it does?
However I rather shoot with K 5 than 7D or D7000. Simply because of IQ and ergonomics/menus.

1 upvote
BunnyKicker26
By BunnyKicker26 (10 months ago)

Sorry, how are the IQ, ergonomics or menus improved by slapping a coat of yellow paint on a camera?

0 upvotes
Amateurbob
By Amateurbob (10 months ago)

My comments on the Pentax K50,500 samples has evoked quite an emotional response. The reply that the Pentax has the same sensor as the Sony cameras may be true. But even in DPreview tests nowhere does a newer Petax DSLR such as the K-30 or K-5 match any Sony DSLR or Nex in dynamic range. What is Pentax doing with those Sony sensors? Reading the comments what seems to be more important is the camera coming in bubblegum machine colors. What audience is Pentax aiming at? Pentax SLRs were my camera of choice in the days of film. I have several Pentax lenses from film days I would like to use on a Pentax DSLR. I am frustrated that Pentax does not make a DSLR that can match my non-DSLR Sony Nex C3. Especially when I am told Pentax uses Sony sensors. DPreview should put a DSLR Pentax up against other DSLRs in real world samples, particularly where blown out highlights are of concern. Nothing against the Space Needle but a day hike in the Olympics would be a good place to take the samples.

0 upvotes
jaad75
By jaad75 (10 months ago)

Every Pentax camera with IMX-071 sensor have better dynamic range than Sony cameras with the same sensor. In case of K-5/II/IIs it is much better because of14-bit RAW, but even 12-bit K-30 or K-01 beat Sony's implementations (no matter NEX or SLT) . Check out DxO tests.

7 upvotes
FullSpectra
By FullSpectra (10 months ago)

Try out a Pentax DLSR with your lenses. Eat a Snickers.

2 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (10 months ago)

Agree with jaad. Based on my reading on the internet, of all three Sony sensor user(Sony-Nikon-Pentax), Pentax get the best out of Sony sensor.

0 upvotes
bavarius6
By bavarius6 (10 months ago)

To qualify as an "emotional" response would indicate that we actually care about your illogical statements Bob. There are only 2 ways to neutralize your type of posts: 1) To ignore them and starve you of the attention you seek; although this leaves less well informed forum users at the mercy of such people. 2) To answer your posts with facts and figures i.e. the truth. Unfortunately the latter feeds you and has encouraged this second post but at least everyone can see what your motives are now. Happy hiking Bob!

0 upvotes
mastrolittorio
By mastrolittorio (10 months ago)

wow! 2 new pentax!

within 2 years we will see the review!

2 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (10 months ago)

The k-50 is almost identical to the k-30. What would you like reviewed, the colors or how the shape now looks as blah as a Canon Rebel for the sheeple target market?

2 upvotes
mastrolittorio
By mastrolittorio (10 months ago)

actually if you do not call or nikon cano not worth reviewing. the review of k5 (the best slr aps on the market) came a day before its release to production. (ironic)

then there is the risk that someone notices that there are other manufacturers besides nikon and canon and maybe even make the best SLR ...

review of canon 700d was included in the package?

1 upvote
jtan163
By jtan163 (10 months ago)

The colour fidelity seems to be all out in the above shot.
The camera body is orange!!

1 upvote
iudex
By iudex (10 months ago)

And what else do you see? I see orange body. Better check your monitor ;-)

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (10 months ago)

Fun at parties, eh? (someone said that to me long time ago, in similar occasion :D)

0 upvotes
Amateurbob
By Amateurbob (10 months ago)

Looking at the sample pictures dynamic range is a show stopper for this camera and a reason to reject it. The Nikon P7700 point and shot has better dynamic range and takes better pictures. I have Pentax lenses from the old days I would like play with on a Pentax digital body. Instead, I will play with them on my Sony Nex camera with an adapter. The feel and handling of a modern camera is nice, but the picture is still the camera’s purpose.

0 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (10 months ago)

???
Seriously ?
You think than the Nikon P7700 have a better dynamic ?
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/825|0/%28brand%29/Nikon/%28appareil2%29/811|0/%28brand2%29/Pentax
I choose the K30, whicdh have the same sensor as the K50.

Are you blind ?

18 upvotes
Greg Lovern
By Greg Lovern (10 months ago)

That is absurd. This is the same sensor as in the K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs, and K-01. Dynamic range will be excellent; certainly better than the P7700. Wait for the review.

11 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (10 months ago)

That is the most absurd thing maybe ever posted on DPR. The dr is excellent here. If I were you, I'd make an eye appointment pronto!

11 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (10 months ago)

@Amateurbob: you need to have your eyes checked urgently. ;-) Or take that p&s and pretend your pictures are better than from APSC. ;-)

6 upvotes
bavarius6
By bavarius6 (10 months ago)

A really, incredibly silly statement, especially when Pentax currently utilize Sony sensors. Proffering that kind of opinion can only have one aim.... and we all know what that is Bob!

7 upvotes
Amateurbob
By Amateurbob (10 months ago)

I did not use my eyes although just looking at the samples shows dynamic range problems. One can use there photo software, I use Picture Publisher, to find those areas of a picture that hit the 255 ceiling and what channels they hit them in. In some samples there are not only too many ceiling hits, there are floor hits at 0 also. The Pentax camera would not do as well with the snow and the shadow in the mountains where the samples with the Nikon P7700 were taken. Charts and figures are nice, but DPreview would do well to take a group of cameras and take the same scene at the same time.

0 upvotes
fisherman_lol
By fisherman_lol (10 months ago)

@ Amateurbob your name says it all. :)

4 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (10 months ago)

You do realize that highlight clipping in JPEGs say nothing about the DR of the sensor, right? It depends on the tone curve that is applied during conversion to JPEG, and if you shoot raw, you may apply whatever tone curve you wish. DPRs samples always use default settings, which may not be optimal in all situations.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (10 months ago)

I'll take all of my leads on digital cameras, sensors, and stuff from A-Bob from here on out, yessirie.

0 upvotes
thejohnnerparty
By thejohnnerparty (10 months ago)

Hum. Why isn't anyone commenting on the sample gallery?

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (10 months ago)

You actually want people commenting on camera's imaging output and not its looks?
Good lord ...

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (10 months ago)

There are comments about the image quality. Just press the link to the page.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (10 months ago)

I'm guessing because a 16mp Pentax entry level camera that costs as much as it's TOTL camera isn't that exciting. This sensor, while good, is old hat. Everyone knows what to expect from it.
The body colors are cute.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (10 months ago)

Kodak Tri-X film is now over 70 years (!) old, and not a single film photographer is ever bored with it, and never comments how predictable the output looks — that is exactly why that film is so loved.
Geez, I really don't understand the digital age, such statements as that above by Samhain, people's tastes, and expectations.

6 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (10 months ago)

The 16-mp Sony Exmor is one of the best performing sensors ever and there are tons of recently released cameras that use this chip from the NEX cameras, Coolpix A, all Pentax APS-C, Sony DSLRs, et al.

Old hat, new hat, red hat, blue hat, the sensor is great.

The gallery it looks terrific, they did a nice job, even rolled out some new models, which is always nice.

8 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (10 months ago)

@zvonimir & mariki6 so your going to be buying the new camera, right? See that's what I mean- I know the sensor is awsome, but is it the sensor (and colorful bodies) enough to make you buy one? Because it doesn't offer anything else over a k-5II that's $100 more.

0 upvotes
David247
By David247 (10 months ago)

Interesting. While some of the color combinations are downright obnoxious (but someone will probably pick them just to stand out,) there are some very nice combination. The color combo tool is at http://www.pentaximaging.com/K50studio#/cocoa_brown/brown

For formal affairs, the gold with black grip is quite nice but I really lean towards either Black or Brown grip with either Sand Beige, Cocoa Brown or Olive Green for a more subdued Matte finish to blend in and not stand out in the field. To each their own though. Colors aside though, the K-50 seems to be a mild update to the K-30 which from what I saw was a very nice camera delivering very good image quality with the right lenses. The color options will likely be popular in many of the international markets. Dessert or forest camo? Maybe one of each? I would have to have better then base kit lenses to be happy. In the end it is always about the image first for me. Choice is nice though.

0 upvotes
Pete peterson
By Pete peterson (10 months ago)

You are right, just checked that webpage and there are some nice combinations.

However, some dimwit at Dpreview purposely chose the worst possible combination to sabotage Pentax.

0 upvotes
dave gaines
By dave gaines (10 months ago)

At last, Pentax has built a camera that can capture those difficult yellows.

4 upvotes
svuori
By svuori (10 months ago)

I would've liked to see an articulated screen at last but maybe I'm not in their target group then.

3 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (10 months ago)

Really good suggestion. Didn't realize it was missing.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (10 months ago)

In trying to be "different" from the rest of the homogeneous running field, Pentax has strayed into Pikachu territory, thereby risking it's chances of even being in healthy competition with the rest of the pack...

.

6 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (10 months ago)

If you'd buy a K-500 in black then the other colours are irrelevant and you've still got a two-dial, pentaprism DSLR for $600.

That sounds pretty competitive to me.

51 upvotes
timedrun
By timedrun (10 months ago)

I think they look good in the colours.

7 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (10 months ago)

I agree Richard. Pentax have found an opening with Entry Level cameras. Pentaprism, twin dials and sealing (or for less, no sealing). Partner the body with excellent legacy primes and even M42 talumars with the adapter, and you have a very fine camera indeed.

10 upvotes
LFLee
By LFLee (10 months ago)

still one of those who thinks camera should be black and only black? come on~ if you are PENTAXIAN, you already don't care what people think of what camera you are using (else you will be buying CaNikon already), then why is PENTAX offering colors DSLR bothering you?

9 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (10 months ago)

Hey, they dumbed down the shape of the thing to be as bland as a rebel now for the canikon sheeple. You want them all to just be black too so the entire industry can produce the exact same lame camera?

So funny how photography is suppose to be a creative art, yet photographers refuse to allow any creativity in their camera bodies. Make sure you stifle anything unique!

10 upvotes
klavrack
By klavrack (10 months ago)

You can skip the colors and just enjoy the fact that you have an entry-price camera with WR, focus peaking, pentaprism, dual wheels (LOVE TaV), great ISO performance and IBIS. Or you can skip the WR and get all those features for even less. From a marketing standpoint, the biggest drawback I see is that they undercut the K-5ii models. Hopefully Pentax has plans to address that.

2 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (10 months ago)

It's not like they aren't offering it in black... Geeezzz... An orange one for me, please...

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
DarylK
By DarylK (10 months ago)

In addition to what's been mentioned as competitive differentiators, these cameras also have image stabilization for any lens you mount and focus peaking making macro photography and use of old manual lenses more powerful/covenient. People need to look at the content/features of the of the camera, and not get worked up about its color (black is available for those who want it).

4 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

@sdribetahi

I totally disagree with you on the styling. It reminds me much more of a K20D than a Canon, and a Canon DSLR never entered my mind until you brought it up. And still, I don't see it. I thought the K30's was over the top and a bit obnoxious to be honest, certainly different and aggressive looking, but just pushed the slider a bit too far for me in the wrong direction. The K50 has it right, good looking camera.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (10 months ago)

If you look at the K-50 alongside a K-30 it becomes very obvious that it's the 'same' body with the K-30's sharp edges softened up to make it more acceptable to conservative types.

3 upvotes
xentar
By xentar (10 months ago)

Good luck finding one in black, though. I think it's destined to become a rarity. Might even get a higher price...

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 61