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Pentax K-50

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
Reviews Views Date of last review
28 104,561 Mon December 13, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
82% of reviewers $434.84 8.25
Pentax K-50

Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50


The Pentax K-50 introduced in June 2013 replaces the K-30 and is like the K-30 a 16-megapixel mid-level DSLR from Pentax. It shares most specifications with the K-30 but has a more conservative body design. The K-50 is built around a metal chassis and the body is made from polycarbonate. The camera features weather-sealing and is cold proof, and it has a good array of external buttons to make it faster to use in the field for the demanding photographer.

The K-50 kits (camera plus one or two zoom lenses) are available in black, red, and white body color, whereas the body itself is available in a large number of color combinations.

Three K-50 kits were introduced:

Some of the key features of the K-50 are:

- Cold proof to -10 degrees C/14 degrees F
- Weather-sealed
- A focusing screen optimized for manual focusing is available
- Two User Modes for saving/recalling user settings
- RAW/Fx customizable button
- Wireless control of external flash
- Composition adjustment
- Astrotracer mode (with optional O-GPS1 GPS unit)
- Electronic level and horizon correction
- Wired and wireless remote control
- 19 digital filters, multilayered
- Embed copyright information in EXIF
- Image plane indicator
- In-camera RAW development
- Save last JPG as RAW
- Optional hand strap O-ST128
- Optional AC adapter K-AC128
- Comes with a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery
- Can use AA batteries with an optional battery holder

Compared to the K-30 the differences are:

- ISO tops at 51,200 (up from 25,600)
- Green shooting mode has been replaced with Auto picture mode

Read our in-depth review of the K-50 here.

Major features subsequently added through firmware updates:

  • Version 1.10: Support for lenses with KAF4 mount, i.e. lenses that have foregone the mechanical stop-down lever
  • Version 1.02: Added compatibility with HD Pentax-DA Rear Converter 1.4X AW
  • Version 1.01: AF assist light function made compatible with the new flashes, AF360FGZ II and AF540FGZ II

Camera Manual:

Pentax K-50
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
No (Discontinued 2016)
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor Format
Sensor Type
3264 x 4928 pixels
AA Filter
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
100 - 51,200
Exposure Modes
Auto (green), Scene, HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, M, B
Program Modes
Maximum FPS
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 6 fps up to 30 frames (JPG), 8 frames (RAW) Lo: 3 fps until card is full (JPG), 10 frames (RAW)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/6000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/6000s. Up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
Exposure (3 frames), one-push EV bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
Meter range
0 to 22 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Interval shooting
Up to 999 frames, up to 24 hours between frames
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Yes, average and additive, 2 to 9 shots
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
19: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Forest, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR (JPG only), Night Snap, Food, Pet, Kids, Surf & Snow, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, Museum
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes (sensor-shift SR)
Power zoom
Not supported
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX IXi+, 11 focus points (9 cross type), diffraction lens, wavelength sensor)
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustments for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
0.92x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
3 in. 921,000 pix
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Sensor Shake DR
Dust alert
Memory card type
Size (W x H x D)
129 x 96.5 x 70 mm (5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 in.)
650 g (23 oz)
File format
Battery life
480 images with Li-Ion battery (no flash use) 1250 images with AA lithium (no flash use)
D-LI109 lithium-ion rechargeable or 4 x AA with optional battery holder D-BH109
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 12 (ISO 100/m)
Sync speed
P-TTL flash
Flash functions
Auto discharge, On (leading curtain sync), Redeye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Trailing curtain sync, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless*, Contrast control* * Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 30, 25, and 24 fps,
1280x720 (16:9) at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24 fps,
640x480 (4:3) at 30, 25, and 24 fps,
MPEG4 AVC/H.264,
Interval movie
Exposure Modes
P, Av and M exposure control
Movie mode restrictions
In Av and M mode: Aperture must be set prior to shooting (unless using a lens with manual aperture setting)
AF During Recording
Sound in Movie mode
Mono. Adjustable sound level
Via Accessory
USB 2.0, AV out, cable release
Latest Firmware
Link to Download Page
User reviews
In-depth review
Astrotracer compatible, Electronic Level, Embed copyright information in EXIF, High ISO NR can be customized for each major ISO value, In-camera RAW development, Multilayer digital filters, Image plane indicator, Save last JPG as RAW, The RAW button is customizable and can perform a variety of functions, hereunder exposure bracketing
Megapixels: 16.3
ISO Range: 100-51,200
Weight: 650 g (23 oz)
FPS: 6 fps
LCD: 3 inch, 921,000 dots
In Production: Buy the Pentax K-50
Type: Weather-sealed DSLR
Weather Sealed: Yes
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-50 in-depth review!

Add Review of Pentax K-50 Buy the Pentax K-50
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New Member

Registered: November, 2020
Posts: 4
Review Date: December 13, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Weather sealed, great ergonomics
Cons: Aperature Block Failure
Years Owned: 5    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 1    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Would have loved to give this camera a better rating but Aperature block failure occured after about 4 years of light use.
New Member

Registered: May, 2021
Posts: 1
Review Date: November 27, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Image quality, Cost
Cons: Aperture block failure
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

Here's the thing about the K-50. It is capable of very good image quality if you just pretend you are shooting a digital Spotmatic. Use older glass and run it in manual mode. The green button will help you get proper exposure and the focus confirmation works pretty well. Can it see in the dark and deliver low noise and 12800 ISO? No. BU if you keep it within it's proper parameters it works REALLY well. Don't be afraid to buy a cheap one that has had the aperture issue and then go out and spend the $70-100 on a nice 50mm 1.4 (or $50 on a 50 1.7) and go out and shoot.
New Member

Registered: March, 2021
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 27, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: WR, shake reduction, good IQ, dual dials, K mount
Cons: Aperture prone to failure, video mode, autofocus
Years Owned: 6    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 7    New or Used: New   

I've got this camera since 2015 and I've been around the world with it.

It's been through many adversities without any problems. From really cold (like -30 degrees C) to very hot (40 C) climates, from some light rain to extreme rainstorms. The weather sealing is just excellent.
Build quality is excellent, for this price is very hard to find a camera so solidly built.
It's packed full of features and the images it takes are really good quality (for this price range at least).

Unfortunately, after a few years and a little more than 15000 shots, it developed the infamous aperture failure problem. Obviously it was out of warranty when it happened.
Unfortunately this problem is common and, in my opinion, it greatly affects the value of this camera. I would have given a good 9, but it's a design flaw and it's quite frustrating, so there's why it's only a 7.
Autofocus is quite loud and sometimes slow. Not too bad, but not great either.
Forget using this camera for shooting videos, it's clearly not made for that.

One of the greatest things that I love about this camera (actually, all Pentax cameras) is the K mount. I have a great collection of older lenses and I can use them all on my K50! I just love it! Bravo to Pentax!
It means that, since I had the aperture problem, I can still use and enjoy great vintage SMC Pentax glass without any problems and with shake reduction too!

So would I recommend this camera? If you're searching for a cheap full-feature camera that's weather sealed and takes good pictures with any K mount lens ever made.. well yes! (with the risk of the aperture failure problem...)
You're searching for a semi-professional camera or a camera that's good for video? It's definetly not the one for you.
New Member

Registered: October, 2020
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 9, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: No | Price: $294.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Full featured
Cons: Failures and unusable video mode
Years Owned: 5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 5    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 5    Features: 10    Value: 6    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

As most reviews pointed out this is a very capable still image camera with lots of control and features. It is not capable in video mode. The video images are terrible and there is no continuous focus so you really have to use manual focus as the refocus button is too disruptive while shooting. My Panasonic FZ-150 shoots much better video and has an external mic jack which the K-50 lacks. After five years my K-50 developed the aperture block problem. This comes up by surprise on several Pentax models and therefore can't be relied on especially if shooting professionally.

The K-50 is usually great to use and I appreciate the weather sealing and the compatibility with a host of previous Pentax K-mount lenses. I use several older KA lenses in addition to the newer digital auto focus lenses. I have had no technical issues with it except for the aperture block.

I can't kick too much because I only paid $294 brand new from B&H in 2015. Adding the cost of the aperture block repair it still came in less than original retail. I don't shoot professionally any longer and just use cameras for family and fun. So I'll be keeping it as long as it still functions. For now I use the Panny for video and the K-50 for still photography.
New Member

Registered: August, 2018
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 13, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Weather sealed
Cons: None
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

This is my landscape camera because it is weather sealed. It has high ISO capability. It is not great for video but it works, best used for still pictures. You can use rechargeable battery that comes with it or there is an option to use 4 AA batteries with a insert. Overall great camera.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 129

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 7, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, tough, IBIS, fantastic feature set for the price.
Cons: High-ISO performance is weak by modern standards
Years Owned: 6    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 7    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 7    New or Used: New   

This is an excellent camera. It’s lightweight, sturdy and weather sealed (although the screen scratches easily). Autofocus is fine, menus are easy to navigate, but the best thing is that you get a fully featured camera. Lots of drive modes, exposure bracketing, user-defined modes, image stabilisation, remote controllable, green button metering, it’s all there and as a first DSLR it meant I could have a go at anything, which was great. It gets noticeably noisy from ISO 400 but otherwise I like the images, 16MP is plenty for a hobbyist most of the time. Occasionally I could use more fps and/or a better buffer but this isn’t meant to be a sports/wildlife camera and nowadays I use it for a street/walk around camera where the small size is great. It does have a louder shutter than I would like some times, and the shake-dust-off-sensor function, although wonderful on a camera at this price, can be a bit noisy too.
New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 20
Review Date: August 11, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: No | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: durability/hermetic body
Cons: Planned obsolescence/cheap parts inside
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 1    User Interface: 7    Autofocus: 6    Features: 7    Value: 5    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 6    New or Used: New   

I can't recommend it with with a clear conscience. The camera behaved good at the beginning but later (after ayear or so) some issues started occuring, most memorable and common are:
- built in - lamp sometimes didn't fire with no reason (when powered up fully)
- from time to time pressing the shutter releas trigger didn't release the shutter at all. I had to on/off camera to start taking pictures...

After the guarantee ended after 2 years (EU) a black appreture issue appeared too and joined other issues. After a while also AF stopped working properly (especially with the KIT lens, where it didn't catch the focus at all). So, I'm FORCED to use manual lenses or pay 1/3 of camera value to fix the issues with the solenoid inside the camera (just to fix black appreture issues, I doubt they can fix the rest). Does it look to you like a planned obsolescence? To me it does. Really.

Provided battery also is poor - lasts for short time and charges quite long.

The only pluses I see, is that of Pentax system - you can buy almost any from old lenses for Pentax and those will be compatible with the camera. The camera is also hermetic but, fortunately, I never had to check that feature.

Comparig to the poor camera I had before for 10 years (Sony A 200) before I started earning money as an adult... It has more features, it does better quality pics, yes... but its failure frequency crosses Pentax system off for me. Never again.

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 2,860
Review Date: October 10, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: No | Price: $526.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Lots of features not found on equivalent cameras like IBIS, dual control dials, 100% pentaprism viewfinder, weather sealing, great menu system, & related.
Cons: Autofocus sucks at times, especially in low light. Noisy screw drive motor. Video feature is very lacking. A 50% chance of a possible aperture motor failure.
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 4    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 2    Features: 10    Value: 7    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 5    New or Used: New   

I've been using this camera for almost 3 years now. When I got it, it offered a tremendous bang for the buck value. This replaced a Sony A200 DSLR that I had. I was able to get a lot of features that I would have had to pay at least $1,000 US for a Canon or Nikon. I have enjoyed using it for the most part. The image quality is great up to ISO 12800 if you're shooting RAW. It's great up to ISO 1600 if shooting jpegs. I can print a low ISO image up to a 30x45 size & have gotten some 24x36 prints out of ISO 6400 shots. All from RAW. So yeah. No gripes here with the image quality.

My only gripes are the AF performance & aperture motor failure. Unless you are outdoors in the bright sun, the AF sucks when trying to shoot in low light. Sometimes it can't lock focus or it tends to hunt & when it finally confirms lock, the picture still comes out blurry. I have to manually focus the lens myself quite often in low light. Want to catch a fast moving toddler? Forget about it. Better have great manual focusing skills here. I can get some really good shots out of it, but there are times that it requires a tremendous amount of effort & a ton of wasted shots just to get that one great shot.

The other issue is the aperture motor failure. This happened to my black K-50 at about 25,000 shots. I had to fix it myself. The total cost of purchasing a white OEM replacement solenoid & tools was about $60 in the end. Plus about 3 hours of my time & a slight burn to one of my fingers. The red one is still going fine, but who knows for how long. From reading several posts on this site & other sites, it's seems like it's not so much of if it's going to happen, but more like when is it going to happen. The K-30 also has this issue. Some K-S1 & K-S2 cameras have also experienced aperture motor failures. On the other hand, there are several K-50 users that haven't experienced this issue at all. I guess it's luck of the draw.

Outside of the AF & aperture motor issues, the camera has been nice. For those that like to take it slow & do a lot of static shooting, it's great. If you're looking to catch some action shots or do low light shooting, it's not so great. Forget about video. It's pretty lame. If I had known about the possible aperture issue prior to buying this camera, I would have probably skipped it & got the Pentax K-5IIs or the Sony A77 Mark II instead, since I already had Sony lenses, but hey! Live & learn. Although I do enjoy shooting it for the most part, I really wouldn't recommend anyone getting a K-50 at this point. A K-70 would be a much better choice at this point. The K-3II would be a more solid choice.

As for now, I'm waiting for that K-3II replacement. Hopefully Ricoh will pack in a lot of excellence & win into it.
New Member

Registered: April, 2017
Posts: 12
Review Date: April 11, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: image quality, handling, controls
Cons: (somewhat) focus, video
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

The Pentax K50 is a solid, satisfying camera, its sensor is capable of excellent results but it is still lacking a bit in terms of focus speed.
Even though I really like this camera, I'd never recommend it where shooting video is a must, while for photo-oriented tasks I'd say it's still very good in spite of it being 4 years old.
Focus speed is not great but with some lenses it is much better; more-than-occasional low-light hunting may happen, something that is becoming an annoying thing of the past with more modern models but I personally don't care very much. The idea is that with the right lens also this issue can be almost forgotten.
Controls are OK for anybody familiar with other Pentax digital bodies and mostly well laid-out; I am still a nostalgic of the film era so sometimes I'd like some more past-oriented options but from this point of view Pentax is even more conservative than other brands, so it is quite from thids point of view, too.
The live view, once you get used to it, can be very useful especially with old lenses. It's not a novelty but on SLR cameras, in 2013, a good live view experience was not for granted.
I give an 8 just for the focus thing, otherwise I'd happily give it a 9!
Forum Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Port Elizabeth
Posts: 64
Review Date: February 12, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: No | Price: $360.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: High ISO capabilities
Cons: Numerous intermittent problems

My first DSLR was a Pentax K-r, which I am still using. I have thoroughly enjoyed this camera. It has given good service and has over 60 000 shutter clicks and is still going strong.

As I am keen on wildlife photography became frustrated with continuously changing lenses to suit the circumstances, so I decided to get a second Pentax. I read all the reviews and settled on the K-50, because it looked like a good option and because of its compatibility with the K-r - batteries, remote and other accessories. My K-r is now armed with the 170-500 mm lens and the K-50 with the 18-250 mm. This makes a great combination when shooting wildlife, because of the flexibility.

However, I am not entirely happy with the K-50, because I do not always get the results or the performance expected. It is generally a good camera and has a lot of great features that I like using. The high ISO capabilities are excellent, as there is little or no noise.

Things I do not like are a the intermittent problems, which bring its reliability in to question and take the fun out of using it:
  1. Sometimes instant replay does not happen after a picture is taken. I find this feature useful as a quick check, to ensure that the picture is ok. Also means I don't have to chimp.
  2. Playback button does not work after a picture is taken. To be able to view pictures taken I have to turn camera off and then on again. Only then does the playback button work.
  3. When taking a series of photos the autofocus stops working after a few clicks. I have to turn the camera off and on again for it to work again.
  4. The inability to shoot a series of shots, unless the camera is set to "continuous mode". Unlike the K-r that keeps firing away as the stutter button is pressed.
  5. Pictures, especially landscapes are often very dark, even when using the AF lock function. On a recent trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park I had to work on my settings to ensure decent shots (TAV or manual). This is not ideal when you only have a fleeting opportunity to take the shot. I've been tempted to buy a manual light meter, so that I can go back to the traditional way of doing things. With the K-r, I set it to Av and away I go - no problems.

The fact is that I prefer using my K-r and if I knew then what I know now I would never have bought a K-50.

As Pentax does not honour its guarantees worldwide I cannot get it sorted out in South Africa. Sending it back to the USA is not a viable option.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Tucson
Posts: 284

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 26, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $291.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Durable, great image quality, light
Cons: None I've found yet.
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

This is a little tribute to Pentax. I retired from my day job in February, 2015. I began setting up at least one camera in the yard, daily, to take hummingbird photos using Catch-In-Focus. Up until then, I had been doing this only on weekends and holidays. A year ago (July 23, 2015), I received a K-50 to use as the main hummingbird camera, since experience has taught me that I'd be shooting a LOT of hummingbird photos in retirement, and I didn't want to burn out my K-3 and K-5. I got it from Amazon for $290. A good deal for a 16MP camera that will shoot at 6 frames-per-second. On July 23, 2016 I checked the EXIF data for the last image taken on the 22nd. In the one year that I've had it, my K-50 has taken 64,668 shots. It's still out there today, taking more. It's been pretty toasty here in California lately. At 12:41 PM on the 22nd, it recorded an internal temperature (also in EXIF) of 51.7ºC, or 125ºF, in the image below. It has a tendency to shut down when the ambient temperature seems to get over 95ºF. I just go out at around 2PM and reset the shutter release to wake it up again. I don't know if Pentax gave the K-50 a bit of self preservation code to do that, but it seems pretty smart to me. Not only do Pentax cameras taken nice photos, they're durable as well. I'll try to remember to post an update in a year to report the shutter count at that time.
UPDATE: Today is July 23, 2017. Two years since my K-50 arrived. The 'Shutter Count' recording on the last image it recorded today was 237,243. I was hoping to get to 250,000, but that's not the K-50's fault. I blame that on the current dominant hummingbird in my yard who wants only her image taken, and chases all the other birds off. Perhaps in a couple weeks... At one point, back in May, this K-50 shot over 2,700 hummingbirds in one day. I'd say this is a robust camera.
Here is image #237,243:
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2014
Location: Springhill Nova Scotia
Posts: 353
Review Date: May 4, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $495.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: viewfinder, build,
Cons: no top LCD, view finder info.
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 8    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 7    Value: 7    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 7    New or Used: New   

Image quality is very nice there is no fault here. On sunny days I find it hard to read info shown on the view finder, this where a top LCD is useful and I dont like reading from the LCD screen. Shutter is very noisy but not a big deal.
I would advise any one to try before buy as I went by positive ratings and not touch. very good camera I think for the right person just not me.

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 1,930

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 18, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IBIS, Pentaprism viewfinder, dual control wheels, weather sealing and a great feature set
Cons: Solid but not state of the art AF, a bit loud
Years Owned: 1.5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

After being away from serious photography for over a decade, I decided to get a DSLR. After some research, I found that the K-50 offered the best bang for the buck and I really like the IBIS.

The camera handles great, it has excellent image quality and between physical and operational features, it is really pretty loaded feature-wise. And the IBIS make buying lenses more affordable. Plus, I intend to get into astrophotography and the GPS option is a killer.

I eagerly and honestly recommend this camera to anyone looking for a camera that meets a budget. Obviously, if you can afford a K-3 or K-1, go for it, but for people with more limited resources all the features and performance the K-50 offers are hard to beat.

About the only people I wouldn't recommend this to would be serious sports photographers or people that want sexy video features. Or maybe people that really, honestly need a quiet camera. Just about anyone else should consider this fine camera.

And just to be clear, my price for the camera was with the two kit lenses but before a $100 rebate.
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 790

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 3, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: weather sealing, ability to use old lenses
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 7    New or Used: New   

I love this camera .

For the cost I don't think there's a better DSLR out there. The similarly priced Nikon D3200 is way worse (the Nikon has no weather sealing, feels like plastic, and has only one dial--dual dials are a must). For a photographer with a limited budget, the K-50 is a quality option that allows to to experiment with legacy lenses without breaking the bank.

Almost immediately after buying I paired it with a Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 and the pictures are simply amazing. The camera is very comfortable in my hand and feels solid. The only ergonomic complain I have, which is quite minor, is that the SD card is a little difficult to extract from the camera. You just have to be a bit patient and gentle with it.

I got mine with an 18-55mm kit lens, which is a pretty boring lens and I haven't used it since upgrading to the 50mm. However within its limitations the kit lens is pretty sharp and it's portraits at the longer end are very nice as long as there's enough light. To compare, the portraits from the 50mm f/1.7 are an order of magnitude better, so I recommend just going with the body and getting a cooler lens from the start.

For the most part the noise is negligible. Pictures up to ISO 3200 are usable, though definitely not as crisp as ISO800 for instance. The rendering of backgrounds isn't as creamy as I would like but that's only at 100% pixel peeping.

So far I've shot about 3500 pictures and no problems yet.
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Registered: November, 2015
Location: Golden, Colorado
Posts: 189

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Review Date: February 13, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-50: Yes | Price: $129.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Value and versatility
Cons: No articulated screen
Years Owned: <1    Ergonomics: 8    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

While I am reviewing only the K-50 here, I’m certain that a lot of what I say will apply to the entire Pentax line of DSLRs, and probably more precisely to the K-30 and the K-500. I have owned a few Pentax film SLRs, but this is my first Pentax DSLR.

I bought my brand-new K-50 body for $129, so this review might be a little skewed in its favor. Before Christmas, Samy's Camera was selling a kit that included the K-50, and 18-55 WR lens, and flash for $349, with a $100 Promaster rebate. I received the rebate, sold the lens and flash. Even a middling camera is going to seem better when purchased for such a reasonable price. Did I say reasonable price? I guess I mean ridiculously low.

However, the K-50 is certainly not a middling camera—in fact, it is a steal even at the current asking price of $295 for body only. This camera would be a steal at $400.

There's only one thing I miss on the K-50: it doesn't have an articulated screen—those things are indispensable for getting down-to-earth or over-the-crowd shots. Once you’ve used one, you’ll never want to go back.

I can’t say very much about the K-50’s auto-focus capabilities, because I seldom use AF lenses. The only auto-focus lens I own, in fact, is the 18-135 WR. It's a good lens, but not nearly as fast (aperture- and focus-wise) as the 25-400mm (equivalent) on my FZ-1000; however, it covers a good range... and it's weatherproof. When I use it, focus seems to be quick and precise. I also use a Rokinon 8mm—I guess you'd call it semi-automatic on the K-50, as it has an "A" setting. But for 90 percent of my shooting, I’m the one doing the focusing, because my other six lenses, four primes and two zooms, are vintage glass, M-42 and K-mount.

I don't know of any other camera line that can shoot with such a variety of legacy and third-party glass. Also, I don't know why the K-50 is advertised or reviewed in so many places as an "entry level" camera. What more could one possibly ask for in this price range (or even if you spent another $400 to $600?). The K-50 beats the hell out of Nikon's 5000 series. It has a dial front and back for aperture/shutter speed, conveniently placed for forefinger and thumb, making manual shooting a dream. Also, these dials and most of the buttons are customizable.

To put this review in perspective, I also shoot with a Panasonic FZ1000, so I am spoiled with outstanding optics (amazing viewfinder and the sharpest 25-400mm lens around, and a very capable one-inch sensor—with top-notch focus peaking and an articulated screen) so my K-50 has some stiff competition for ease of use and IQ. Also, the FZ1000 rivals the K-50 for its ability to print professional-grade photos up to 20x24 and larger, although the FZ1000 begins to lose ground above ISO 1600.

Things I love about the K-50: outstanding sensor and low-light capability, industry-leading viewfinder, focus peaking (although not as good as the FZ1000), excellent JPEGs, great balance and a really chunky grip, ability to use a variety of vintage glass, weather resistance and cold proofing (a big advantage here in Colorado), tough, good looking, easy-to-use menu and customizability...

Did I mention that I can use almost any lens ever made? And like Panasonic and Olympus, Pentax puts the image stabilization in the body, so that every lens I put on the camera is a stabilized lens. What a huge advantage that is over other camera lines!

An interesting thing: with screw-mount vintage lenses (M-42 mount), the K-50 acts almost like they're auto lenses... just set the aperture and shoot in M or AV mode (you can shoot in TAV mode, too, if you limit the range of ISO)... no pressing of the green button, no delays, no missed shots.

NOISE: I always wonder when I see people rating noise if they're talking about 1, the actual sonic element (shutter, mirror, auto-focus too loud), or 2, image quality. In regard to 1, the Pentax is loud enough that it might interrupt a wedding during the vows. It ranks up there with a lot of film cameras: noisy but not overbearing. 2, the sensor is virtually noise-free up to ISO 3200, where it shows, especially on tightly cropped images, but the "noise" lends an artistic quality akin to film grain—pleasing, not ugly. The noise in my Panasonic looks like someone threw straw on a floor.

I grew up with a film camera in hand, graduated to SLRs when I was in the service, developed and printed my own film; had a Nikon Photomic Ftn, a Yashica-D medium format; then, later, three Canon AE-1 Programs. I currently own a Honeywell Pentax SP 1000 (up for sale here on the forums); just sold a cherry ME and a sweet MX.

More things I like about the K-50:
  • excellent images: JPEGs are very good, so I only shoot RAW when I'm shooting for $$$
  • the menu is laid out in simple format—one of the best (I'm comparing to Olympus and Panasonic)
  • ISO 3200 is not only doable, but the "noise" looks like fine camera grain, not like straw thrown on a floor, so high-ISO shots are pleasing to the eye
  • focus peaking
  • weather and cold resistant

Here's a quick roundup of a few things I don't like about the K-50:
  • SD card removal is difficult—you almost need tweezers
  • what good is the ability to use AA batteries if you have to buy an adapter?
  • no articulated screen—making it difficult to see the screen from various angles, and leaving this otherwise tank-like body vulnerable to damage
  • focus peaking is only adequate
  • auto focus with the 18-135 is okay but not industry leading
  • no direct video button
  • green button, which I use a lot, is poorly placed

In summary: You could spend between $600 and $1100 on a camera kit (I’m thinking of the Nikon D3300 and the D5500 2-lens kits on sale at Costco) and get less for your money than you get with the Pentax K-50. I would buy it again even if I had to pay $300 for it, because that is half what it’s worth.

The K-50 is an amazing photographic tool. I love mine.
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