Pentax K-50 DSLR Review

Review posted 10/09/2013

Quick Take
  • High image quality
  • Customizable buttons
  • Two well-placed dials
  • Good high ISO performance
  • Burst modes perform well
  • Sensor-shift shake and dust reduction
  • Big pentaprism viewfinder
  • Live view on high-resolution LCD
  • Rugged, weather-sealed body
  • Can run on AA batteries
  • Comes in 120 different colors
  • Eye-Fi wireless compatible
  • Auto focus is slow when using Live View
  • No continuous auto focus in video mode
  • Li-ion battery life could be better
  • LCD does not tilt or swivel
  • No HDMI port
  • No external microphone jack
Bottom Line
The rugged, weather-sealed K-50 offers high image quality, speedy burst modes, and low noise at high ISO settings. Two dials for quick navigation, many customizable functions, and a good selection of digital effects round out the offering. You also get good-looking HD video (as long as you don't need continuous AF). Read more in our Full Conclusion.
In mid June of this year (2013), Pentax announced the K-50 DSLR, their latest mid-level DSLR compatible with K-mount lenses. A large 16.28-megapixel CMOS image sensor -- great for low light scenarios thanks to its ISO range of up to 51200 as well as the PRIME M imagining engine -- tops the feature list. Full 1080p HD Video recording is a must for modern DSLRs, but here you get your choices of 30, 25, or 24 fps frame rates. There's also their SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism built into the body, a "state of the art" SAFOX IXi+ AF (Auto Focus) sensor module, 19 Scene Modes, 11 Custom Image Modes, 19 Digital Image Filters, and a 6 frames-per-second High Speed Shooting capabilities.

Photography fans may have also noticed similarly appointed K-500 in Pentax's press release because both the K-50 and K-500 share many features and performance specifications.

So why does the K-50 cost $100 more than the K-500?

Simple, the K-50 may share parts and performance features with its cheaper sibling, but the biggest differences are all external. Thanks to Pentax's Color to Order™, you can order a K-50 DSLR in any one of 120 color combinations. If that doesn't really excite you, I can understand, but series photographers will appreciate the K-50's 81 weather resistant body seals that make the camera dustproof and able to operate in temperatures as low as -10°C.

Pentax K-50 DSLR Features
  • Available in 120 color combinations K50
    • Via Pentax Color to Order™
  • 81 weather-resistant seals on the body
    • dustproof
    • cold-resistant down to -10°C
  • 16.28-megapixel CMOS image sensor (APS-C: 23.7mm x 15.7mm)
  • PRIME M imaging engine
  • 3.0-inch LCD monitor
  • Full HD (1920 x 1080) Video Recording
    • H.264 format
    • 30, 25, or 24 frames per second
  • ISO 100-51200
  • 6 frames-per-second High-speed Continuous Shooting
  • Shake Reduction (SR) Mechanism)
    • Automatic Horizon Correction
    • Composition Adjustment function
    • ASTRO TRACER mode (requires optional O-GPS1 GPS unit)
  • SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module
  • Auto Picture
  • 19 Scene Modes, including:
    • Night Scene Portrait
    • Pet
    • Backlight Silhouette
    • Portrait
    • Landscape
    • Macro
  • 11 Custom Image Modes (Image Processing), including
    • Bleach Bypass
    • Cross Process
  • 19 Digital Filters
  • 77-segment multi-pattern metering system
  • DR (Dust Removal) Mechanism for the CMOS image sensor
  • RAW Data Retrieve Function
  • RAW/Fx Button
  • Compatible with Eye-Fi LAN SD memory cards
  • Compatible with all K-mount lenses
Pentax's K-50 DSLR is available today in a choice of 120 color combinations at Or look for them in retail outlets for $699.95 (MRSP) for the body-only version, $779.95 (MSRP) for a kit that includes the DA-L 18-55mm WR lens, or $879.95 for the dual lens kit that includes the DA-L 18-55mm WR lens as well as the DA-L 50-200mm Lens.

What's in the box?:
  • K-50 camera body
  • Lens or lenses if purchased as a kit
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • Strap O-ST132
  • four AA batteries
  • AA Battery Holder D-BH109
  • Sof tware (CD-ROM) S-SW138 <Mounted on the camera>
  • Hot shoe cover FK
  • Body Mount Cover
  • Note: Our K-50 unit came with a Li-ion battery pack and charger, not AA batteries

Additional Product Images

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