The Pentax K-50 is the first DSLR to break away from the flagship Pentax K-511 and 511s bodies. Despite having almost similar specifications to the K-30 version, it has been modified to feature some breathtaking upgrade and tweaks. The weather sealing on the K-50 is just off the charts. Otherwise, the 16.3-megapixel resolution, Safox IXi sensor, autofocus points and the 4 inch LCD are shared features with the previous K-30. This camera is specially built for experienced photo enthusiasts or those seeking to venture into the world of point-and-shoot with DSLRs. Therefore, we bring you this Pentax K-50 Review in case you are looking forward to buying a new camera.
Is the new Pentax K50 just a mere copy of its predecessor, or does it have more to offer than we know? We can find that out by exploring its features in detail.
Type: Mid-range DSLR AF with weather sealing
Resolution: 16.28 megapixel, APS c-sized sensor
Shutter Speed: 30-1/6000 seconds
Continuous Shooting Rate: 6fps for thirty JPEG files or 8 raw images
Size: 129 x 96.5 x 70mm
Weight: 650g including battery and memory card (590g body only)
Media Storage: SD Card, SDHC, or SDXC
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The Pentax K-50 houses a 16.28-megapixel sensor that gives it a 12-bit capture. It also has a great sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200 that allows image files to be saved as either raw or JPEG. The raw data are stored in the DNG format making them compatible with almost all the conversion programs used in the market today. Another major feature of the k-50 is the Pentax k mount that has been in use since the 70s.
When using this camera, you will be amazed by the Astro Tracer function that allows you to shift the sensor capability for different image textures. The Astro Tracer system works in collaboration with the O-GPS1 which functionally moves the image sensor slightly in a 5-minute exposure duration. This feature can be employed when shooting at night to omit the star trails in footages of the night sky.
The k-50 has a polycarbonate body unlike the magnesium alloy build of the k-5 II. Its autofocus is also slightly lower. This camera can be used in continuous shooting providing burst speeds of up to 6frames per second before buffering. Its successor in the K series has a burst rate of 7fps which is slightly higher.
Image quality and performance
The APS-C size image sensor gives the camera an excellent performance balancing between resolution and quality. The Pentax K-50 handles noise reduction very well right from ISO 1600 through to ISO 3200. Just a little noise can be detected at the fastest ISO 12800, but that is when viewing RAW files under 100% magnification. At ISO settings of 12800 to 25600, the images produced look better on paper than in reality. Color saturation is well regulated throughout the ISO range.
The default sharpening when using the k-50 for the JPEG images is a little soft and may require additional sharpening through other software like Adobe. Otherwise, you can toggle among the internal settings of the camera to produce the desired setting. The camera supports a cutting edge image stabilization system that works superbly in poorly lit environments especially when hand holding the gadget. It is also compatible with all the lenses produced by the K-50.
Shooting at night with the camera is also amazing with the help of the inbuilt pop-up flash as well as the 30-second shutter speed. The digital filters are responsible for special effects that would otherwise make you spend longer hours in the digital darkroom. The D-range is charged with utilizing the shadow and highlight features accordingly. HDR mode, on the other hand, expands the dynamic range of JPEG images by putting three differently exposed images together.
Through the multi-exposure system, two to nine various JPEG and RAW images can be combined into a single photo.
Design and Controls
The live view mode in the Pentax K50 is quite catchy since it has the capability to record high-definition 1080p footage, as well as 1920 x 1280 pixels to 640 x 480 pixels at 30-24fps in the MOV format.
In its design, the rear e-dial is located to the right of the viewfinder that plays the role of regulating the aperture size. The Autofocus button which controls the autofocusing and locking exposure is adjacent to it. Just below the AF button is the 4-way navigation pad that provides access to the ISO regulation, drive mode, white balance mode and flashes settings.
The menu button in the Pentax K50 controls the access to the seventy-seven different functions offered by the camera. The controls can be customized according to the users shooting preferences. The menu system provides a logical interface split into tabs such as record, playback, movie, and custom.
The Pentax K-50 is also characterized by a built-in shake reduction system. You can turn it on via the main menu button. It works with all the lenses since it is a natural feature of the camera. Through the dust removal mechanism, the low-pass filter is shifted at high speed shaking off dust in any part of the CMOS sensor. It also identifies the precise location of the dust allowing you to remove it from the image sensor.
• The weather sealing on this camera is just excellent.
• It has a great image quality thanks to the 16 megapixel APS c-size sensor
• It has a large pentaprism viewfinder
• Customizable controls and a functional noise reduction system
• 6fps continuous shooting capability
• Excellent ISO performance
• Available in an array of 120 different colors.
• The Autofocus system is rather noisy with the kit lens
• It has no microphone input port
• It has a slow focus during video shooting
• When compared to its competitors, the image quality and performance are a little below par
• It lacks an articulated LCD
• Noisy shutter and lens
The camera is suitable for enthusiast photographers especially for harsh outdoor conditions due to its excellent weather sealing capability. You can also apply it indoors because of the inbuilt pop-up flash. For videographers, it wouldn’t be the best option based on the slow autofocus in video shooting mode.
It has an excellent noise reduction speed hence will give you great JPEG and RAW images. The image filters are also handy tools you can apply to your photos for better results. Despite the noisy nature of lenses, they are readily available since it works with all Pentax produced lenses.
As seen in this Pentax K-50 Review, this camera makes a great DSLR for photo enthusiasts. The specifications match its price, therefore, perfect for people just starting out their photography career and would like a mountable DSLR. If you have had a great experience while shooting with the camera, you can share it with us. Also, feel free to share your thoughts on this review.