Features & Controls (cont.)

The 3-inch TFT color LCD offers a high resolution of 921,000 dots. This provides a lot of sharp detail when previewing photos and zooming in to inspect the accuracy of the focus.

It is also convenient for shooting in Live View, instead of having to always use the viewfinder. However, Live View mode requires that you make something of a bargain - you agree to put up with slower auto focus in exchange for the convenience of framing your shots on the LCD. This is in the nature of the technology of Live View, and is not unique to Pentax. When you use the viewfinder, the camera employs phase detection auto focus. When you use the LCD, it uses contrast auto focus, which is reputed to be slower to lock on to moving subjects.

All in all, if you don't strain the abilities of the slower auto focus in Live View by shooting sports or other fast-moving subjects, you'll probably be content with the results of portraits, landscapes, and shots of other slow-moving or stationary subjects. Besides, it's more difficult to keep a moving subject in the frame while looking at an LCD versus looking through the viewfinder. One other exception I found, however, is low-light situations where the contrast AF had a tendency to swim and take longer to lock focus than when using the viewfinder (and phase-detection auto focus).

If you choose to use manual focus while using the LCD, you can turn on focus peaking, which highlights edges.

Live View Contrast AF menu:
  • Face detection
  • Tracking
  • Select (use 4, 16, or 36 of 100 areas)
  • Spot (limited area at center)

The pentaprism viewfinder offers a 100% field of view. Along the bottom it lists basic settings or status such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO, anti-shake and exposure compensation. In addition, it includes a simple horizontal digital level like the one on the LCD.

Pentaprism viewfinder specs:
  • Coverage (field of view): 100%
  • Magnification: 0.92X (w 50mm F1.4 at infinity)
  • Standard focusing screen: Natural-Bright-Matte III (interchangeable)
  • Diopter adjustment: -2.5m to +1.5m
  • Depth of field preview: Optical (diaphragm stop-down), digital

The K-50 keeps the ports simple - just a USB/AV combo port. There is no HDMI port nor a microphone input.

The K-50 supports the usual suspects in SD Card family: SD, SDHC and SDXC. The camera is also Eye-Fi Card compatible.

Below the SD Card slot, behind the closed rubberized flap, is the connection for a remote shutter release.

The rechargeable Li-Ion battery is charged outside the camera in the included battery charger. In addition, the camera can shoot with four AA batteries, using the optional AA battery holder.

The Li-ion battery is rated to last roughly 480 shots, or 410 with 50% flash. With AA lithium batteries installed, however, the camera is rated to last 1250 shots, or 710 with 50% flash use. Also, an AC adapter is available.

Recordable images:
  • Li-Ion approx. 480 (410 with 50% flash, CIPA)
  • AA lithium approx. 1250 (710 with 50% flash, CIPA)

Playback time:
  • Li-Ion approx. 270 minutes
  • AA lithium approx. 560 minutes

Movie recording time:
  • 25 minutes max. time per clip

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.