Pentax K-500 DSLR Preview

Pentax just announced two new feature-laden DSLRs compatible with their K-mount lenses. The entry-level Pentax K-500 DSLR, which we are previewing here, shares most of the same features as the $100 more expensive K-50, with the exception of 120 custom color choices and 81 weather-resistant body seals, which make the K-50 slightly more durable in dusty, damp, or color shooting conditions.

Otherwise, the entry-level K-500 is packed with mid-to-advanced level DSLR performance and features. That's a large 16.28 megapixel CMOS image sensor which is great in low light shooting conditions thanks to the ISO range of up to 51200 as well as Pentax's PRIME M imagining engine. Full 1080p HD Video recording is a must for modern DSLRs, but here you get your choices of 30, 25, or 24 frames per second.

Pentax includes its in-house developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism to "deliver sharp, blur-free images, even under shake-prone conditions such as when using a telephoto lens." That, we expect. But Automatic Horizon Correction and Composition Adjustment functionality are new. Then we can talk about the SAFOX IXi+ AF (Auto Focus) sensor module, which boats 11 sensors to enhance AF speed as well auto-tracking moving people and objects.

Creative and artistic types will enjoy the 19 Scene Modes, 11 Custom Image Modes, and 19 Digital Image Filters -- there are hundreds of ways to customize and add style to any photo or HD video recording.

The K-500 also manages to match the K-50's speedy 6 frames-per-second High-Speed shooting capabilities. This performance-match only happens when the K-500 is running on the Li109 rechargeable battery which, if we read the press release correctly, is NOT included. However, the K-500 does include a D-BPH109 AA Battery Holder, which allows the K-500 to run on 4 standard AA batteries. Flexibility is always a good thing.

Pentax K-500 DSLR Features
  • 16.28 megapixel CMOS image sensor (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 (Li109 rechargeable battery)
    • 5 frames-per-second High-speed Continuous Shooting (AA batteries)
  • Shake Reduction (SR) Mechanism)
    • Automatic Horizon Correction
    • Composition Adjustment function
    • ASTRO TRACER mode (requires optional O-GPS1 GPS unit)
  • SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor moduel
  • 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
  • D-BPH109 AA Battery Holder included (good for up to 1,250 images)
The Pentax K-500 DSLR will be available this July 2013 in two kit forms: a $599.95 (MSRP) kit that includes the DA-L 18-55mm WR lens, or a $699.95 dual lens kit that includes the DA-L 18-55mm WR lens as well as the DA-L 50-200mm Lens.

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