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Pentax announces K-50 and K-500 mid- and entry-level DSLRs

Jun 12, 2013 at 22:00 GMT

Pentax has refreshed its entry level DSLR lineup with the announcement of the K-50 and K-500. The K50 is an update of the K-30, featuring less controversial styling and slightly tweaked processing, helping it offer a maximum ISO of 51,200. The K-500, meanwhile, gets most of the K-50's features - the main loss being weather sealing - in a less expensive package. While not radically different from the K-30, both cameras bring twin dial controls and 100% glass prism viewfinders to price points ($799 and $599 respectively), where both those features are rare. Alongside the cameras, Pentax is launching revised, DA-L versions of its 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 WR and 55-200mm F4-5.6 WR lenses.

We had a chance to shoot a real-world samples gallery with the K-50 at the cameras' New York launch:

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Press Release:

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING Breaks Tradition with Serious Specifications and Serious Color

PENTAX enhances product offering with two new cameras and two new lenses

Denver, CO (June 12, 2013) — PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today introduced the PENTAX K-50 DSLR featuring advanced functionality beyond its mid-level classification. Ideal for photographers looking to transcend traditional DSLR offerings, the PENTAX K-50 combines a uniquely advanced feature set with a consumer-friendly price tag and 120 color combinations to meet an important additional demand of the creative consumer: personal style.

Rivaling many cameras higher in class, the K-50 boasts a long list of advanced specifications not found in other  mid-level DSLRs. Beginning with its 81weather seals, the K-50 incorporates PENTAX’s long-standing heritage of weather-resistant products making cameras that extend shooting environments to wet, rainy or snowy conditions.  Building on this leading advantage, the K-50 features high-speed continuous shooting at approximately six frames per second, super-high-sensitivity shooting at ISO settings up to 51200 and high-precision SAFOX IXi+ autofocus with accurate subject tracking, guaranteeing crisp images even when in low-light or with a fast moving subject. Additionally, the K-50’s 100% field of view viewfinder, innovative shake reduction system, four optional interchangeable focusing screens and a fast shutter with the ability to shoot at speeds up to 1/6000 of a second enable photographers to push the boundaries of high-speed shooting while providing total confidence that their vision is framed accurately and captured in complete focus. And, with new Eye-fi SD card compatibility built in photo and video sharing a breeze!  Users can enable automatic transmission of images and video to a smartphone for rapid sharing and even select their favorite images and resize them before transmission.

The K-50 is available in 120 brilliant and eye-catching color combinations and sets a new standard in the customization of electronics. PENTAX’s Color to Order™ system takes advantage of a newly architected supply chain management system that is built to empower consumers to design the product they want.

“The K-50 introduces features that raise the bar in the mid-level DSLR class,” said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICA. “Not only do the hardware and software specs outclass competitors, the Color to Order system is an industry first making it a truly unique offering among a sea of similarity.”

PENTAX has also strengthened its weather-sealed lens lineup with the debut of two new lenses; the smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6AL WR, and smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200 F4-5.6ED WR.  The addition of these two lenses expands PENTAX’s extensive line of weather-sealed lenses which offer a wide variety of focal lengths and shooting perspectives ensuring there is a lens appropriate for many different shooting and weather scenarios.

Also introduced today is the PENTAX K-500, an entry-level DSLR that augments PENTAX’s DSLR lineup by including advanced features uncommon to the entry-level class. Ideal for families and casual photographers with rigorous demands, the K-500 features a 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor, fast continuous shooting, high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 51200, 100% field of view, in-body shake reduction, and an advanced auto focus module. Operating on four AA batteries, the K-500 guarantees ultimate flexibility and accessibility to a power source when travelling or in remote locations. In addition, the K-500’s wide selection of simple user-modes and creative tools enable limitless personalized expressions while its intuitive ergonomics and menu layout make the K-500 approachable and comfortable to use.

Both the K-50 and K-500 are built around PENTAX’s acclaimed K-mount system. Thanks to the lasting commitment PENTAX has made to the K-mount photographers are able to use any of the 25 million K-mount lenses that have been manufactured over the life of the mount. Access to this wide a selection is unparalleled and opens up many new perspectives for photographers encouraging boundless creativity.

Pricing and Availability

The K-50 DSLR is available to order today in a choice of 120 color combinations at pentaximaging.com and retail outlets nationwide in July 2013 with a suggested retail price of $699.95 for body only, $799.95 for the kit including DA-L 18-55mm WR lens and $879.95 for the dual lens kit including the DA-L 18-55mm WR and DA-L 50-200mm WR lenses. The K-500 DSLR will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in July 2013 with a suggested retail price of $599.95 for the kit including the DA-L 18-55mm lens and $699.95 for the dual lens kit including the DA-L 18-55mm and DA-L 50-200mm lenses.

Pentax K50 and K500 specifications

 Pentax K-50Pentax K-500
Price
MSRPBody only: $599/£529; body with 18-55mm WR lens: $779/£599; body with 18-55mm and 50-200m WR lenses: $879Body with 18-55mm kit lens: $599.95/£449.99
Body type
Body typeCompact SLR
Body materialReinforced polycarbonate over stainless steel chassis
Sensor
Max resolution4928 x 3264
Other resolutions4224 x 2816, 3456 x 2304, 2688 x 1792
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorPRIME M
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100 to 51600, in 1, 1/2, 1/3 EV steps
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (3)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsGood, Better, Best
File format
  • RAW (DNG)
  • JPEG (EXIF 2.3)
  • DCF 2.0 compliant
  • DPOF
  • PIM III
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points11
Lens mountPentax KAF2
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD monitor with brightness/color adjustment and AR coating
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.92×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/6000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Hyper Program (P)
  • Sensitivity Priority (Sv)
  • Shutter Priority (Tv)
  • Aperture Priority (Av)
  • Shutter & Aperture Priority (TAv)
  • Hyper Manual (M)
  • Bulb (B)
  • User (U1, U2)
  • Scene (SCN)
  • Auto Picture (AUTO)
  • Movie
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Moving Object
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Blue Sky
  • Forest
  • Night Scene
  • Night Scene HDR (JPG)
  • Night Snap
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Kids
  • Surf & Snow
  • Backlight Silhouette
  • Candlelight
  • Stage Lighting
  • Museum
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Sync, Slow Sync+Redeye, Trailing Curtain Sync, Wireless
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (Hi, Lo)
  • Self-Timer (12s, 2s)
  • Remote (0s, 3s, continuous)
  • Auto Bracketing (3 frames, standard, timer, remote)
Continuous drive6 fps
Self-timerYes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30,25,24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60,50,30,25,24 fps), 640 x 424 (30,25,24 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (optional, wired or wireless)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (Weather and dust resistant)No
BatteryBattery PackAA
Battery descriptionD-LI109 lithium-ion rechargeable (4 x AA with optional adapter)4 x AA batteries (optional D-LI109 lithium ion battery) battery
Battery Life (CIPA)410710
Weight (inc. batteries)650 g (1.43 lb / 22.93 oz)646 g (1.42 lb / 22.79 oz)
Dimensions130 x 97 x 71 mm (5.12 x 3.82 x 2.8)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (999 shots, 3 sec to 24 hr interval, time delay)
GPSOptional
GPS notesO-GPS1

Additional K-50 images

Additional K-500 images