- Editor's Rating
- Impressive continuous shooting speed
- Great image quality
- Weather proofing
- Poor sharpness at maximum aperture
- Lack of AF in video capture
Quick TakeThe Pentax K-50 is a slight upgrade from the K-30 and is a good option for a first time DLSR owner with its great image quality, weather proofing, and impressive continuous shooting speed.
The Pentax K-50 is the latest DSLR in the Pentax line of digital cameras and is the follow-up model to the K-30. While the K-50 has most of the same specifications as the K-30, it does represent a slight upgrade. The camera with the 18-55mm kit lens is priced at $780 at the time of the review. The K-50 is 5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 inches and weighs 20.8 ounces. It’s built with a stainless steel chassis with polycarbonate panels and 81 weather- and dust-proofing seals. DigitalCameraReview commented that the K-50 is “well constructed.”
DCR noted the K-50 is on the smaller end of DSLRs, which means users with larger hands may have to make some slight adjustments. The camera has a handgrip and DCR said it provides easy access to the mode dial and shutter button. DCR noted the K-50 also provides users with a comprehensive set of menus. The main menu has four pages, some of which have additional pages within them. The camera has all the standard exposure modes including auto, scene, program auto, sensitivity priority automatic exposure, shutter priority, aperture priority, shutter and aperture priority automatic exposure, manual, bulb, U1/U2 and movie.
Users can frame images using either the pentaprism viewfinder, which DCR said is a “pleasure to use,” or the 3-inch color LCD screen with 921K-dot resolution and 15 levels of brightness. DCR noted the LCD is “fairly useable” in bright outdoor lighting situations.
The K-50 has a quick start up time and is able to convert images from JPEG to RAW and has over a 6fps continuous shooting rate. DCR noted the auto focus is on par with other camera in its class and the battery is good for 410 images with 50 percent flash use.
The camera comes with an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 WR kit lens, which is a compact and standard zoom lens. DCR noted the camera produces disappointing image quality at 55mm focal, with soft images that become even softer at telephoto range. However, image quality is much improved at f/8.
DCR called overall image quality “very good,” with pleasant color reproduction. There is a bit of barrel distortion and pincushion distortion and some longitudinal chromatic aberration. DCR also noted auto white balance worked well and ISO works well up to 800. The K-50 offers 11 picture style options.
Video can be shot in full 1080p HD at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second. The microphone is wind sensitive, but DCR note the video feature offers “credible performance.”
Overall, DCR noted the K-50 is very similar to its older brother, the K-30 but offers a slight performance upgrade. DCR gave the camera a “ringing endorsement,” and was impressed with its still-image quality, continuous shooting speed, in-body stabilization and weather proofing, but was disappointed with the sharpness of the kit lens at maximum aperture and lack of AF in video capture. DCR said the Pentax K-50 is a good option for users looking for a new or first-time DSLR.