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07-28-2014, 07:34 PM   #16
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Depending on whether or not you like the idea of full warranty refurbished from a reputable dealer, and the two-kit deal - this looks like a great way to get started (WR isn't a big deal, but no focus confirmation on the K-500 ought to be a dealbreaker if you're serious about taking control of your photography):
REFURBISH PENTAX K50 2-LENS BK - Pentax - Featured Brands - New Cameras - National Camera Exchange

paulh is correct - the focus confirmation almost surely is there, but the red directional indicators are lacking. So, much like using the center focus point only on the manual lenses. However, you can't be sure that the camera is using the center point unless that is dedicated - which negates a rather nice 11-point focus system that works on the AF lenses.


Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 07-28-2014 at 09:40 PM. Reason: clarification
07-28-2014, 07:43 PM   #17
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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought the K500 was only lacking the red focus point indicators. This was also a "feature" of the K-x back in the day. The green focus confirmation light in the VF is still there, correct? If that's the case, this would be a non-issue for me since I use center point focus almost exclusively. btw, that's a pretty nice deal on the refurb K50 kit.

Last edited by paulh; 07-28-2014 at 07:51 PM. Reason: added text
07-28-2014, 07:57 PM   #18
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As far as I know it does still have the green confirmation light, though I once deactivated the points on my K30 to see if I could get by without the red indicator boxes and it is very difficult to see where the center point should be in very dark conditions.
07-28-2014, 09:09 PM   #19
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K-500 also lacks level indicator. A small thing, but I use it a lot on my K-30 (probably shows bad technique!)

07-28-2014, 09:37 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
K-500 also lacks level indicator. A small thing, but I use it a lot on my K-30 (probably shows bad technique!)
Not at all bad technique. I never thought level indicator would be all that helpful, but it really does make a difference. Much easier in use on a monopod or tripod, as well. Excellent feature.
08-03-2014, 09:13 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
For anyone considering these cameras in the future, I would like to add that the k500 does not come with a charger or lithium ion battery, just the AA adapter and 4 non-rechargeable AA lithium batteries.

IMHO, THIS is one of the features I like best about my K500. I absolutely LOVE the ease of use of the AA batteries. No stupid charger and cord to carry around and lose when you need them most. The AA batteries are readily available EVERYWHERE and I make sure I always have a set of 4 non-rechargeable AA lithiums in the case as backup, just in case.
As far as the weather resistance and focus points???? How on earth did all those photographers of 20 years ago manage to take all those fantastic pics with FILM cameras that had NONE of these features?
I feel sorry for people who feel they MUST have these features to take world class pics.
Anyone ever hear of Ansel Adams??
08-03-2014, 10:44 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by BerndM Quote
IMHO, THIS is one of the features I like best about my K500. I absolutely LOVE the ease of use of the AA batteries. No stupid charger and cord to carry around and lose when you need them most. The AA batteries are readily available EVERYWHERE and I make sure I always have a set of 4 non-rechargeable AA lithiums in the case as backup, just in case.
As far as the weather resistance and focus points???? How on earth did all those photographers of 20 years ago manage to take all those fantastic pics with FILM cameras that had NONE of these features?
I feel sorry for people who feel they MUST have these features to take world class pics.
Anyone ever hear of Ansel Adams??
So your favorite feature is the lack of a feature? You must spend a lot of money buying these non-rechargeable AA batteries, or perhaps you just take very few pictures. Anyways, this "stupid charger" you speak of is usually left at home as most people charge all their batteries before a shoot, and carry spares. As for bringing Ansel into this, don't assume everyone shoots wide angle manual focus landscapes on a tripod. Many people actually photograph subjects that aren't perfectly still in low light conditions and use shallow depth of field. In this case you would need to know exactly where the camera is going to auto focus, otherwise the camera might focus on something else and now your photo is out of focus. You really can't compare manual focus systems to auto focus systems. If I could transplant the manual focus split prism viewfinder from my Canon AE-1 program into my K30, I would in a heartbeat. I get by fine without electronic level and weather sealing, but for most people using modern auto focus systems, the focus indicators are worth it and make getting that "world class pic" much more likely.
08-03-2014, 01:02 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BerndM Quote
IMHO, THIS is one of the features I like best about my K500. I absolutely LOVE the ease of use of the AA batteries. No stupid charger and cord to carry around and lose when you need them most. The AA batteries are readily available EVERYWHERE and I make sure I always have a set of 4 non-rechargeable AA lithiums in the case as backup, just in case.
As far as the weather resistance and focus points???? How on earth did all those photographers of 20 years ago manage to take all those fantastic pics with FILM cameras that had NONE of these features?
I feel sorry for people who feel they MUST have these features to take world class pics.
Anyone ever hear of Ansel Adams??
WR is a really, really nice feature to have. The WR sealing on my K-30 gave me a lot more confidence to follow my kids around the water parks and pools during my last vacation. I took my K-30 and my DA 18-135mm WR lens into this without any hesitation :


IMGP7275
by Never Off, on Flickr

This may not be a world class picture but anything with my kids is world class to me by default.


IMGP7263
by Never Off, on Flickr

The next day the kids wanted to play in the fountains.


IMGP7428
by Never Off, on Flickr

My older boy is a bit more of a swimming pool kind of kid instead.


IMGP7294
by Never Off, on Flickr

Ansel Adams was a master at what he did with what we had. I'm sure we would not be where we are today without his work and his positive influences. However, he was a different kind of photographer at a different time. His goals were somewhat different than ours today. I don't think the comparison is valid.

Correct ... photographers took cameras and lenses into harsh conditions. Think of war photographers and adventure photographers for National Geographic. The camera bodies were of a different design back then though. They were much more mechanical and a lot less electrical. Film, with it's wide latitude, could tolerate inaccurate shutter speeds and it was possible to compensate for this during development. It was the post processing of the day. Lenses were more susceptible to fungus infestation too. Personally, I welcome all the WR seals I can get without impeding IQ.

08-03-2014, 01:17 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
For anyone considering these cameras in the future, I would like to add that the k500 does not come with a charger or lithium ion battery, just the AA adapter and 4 non-rechargeable AA lithium batteries.
must be different here in UK, my K500 came with the lithium battery and charger- I had to buy an AA adapter (or two...)
08-03-2014, 01:29 PM   #25
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While I certainly realize that everyone has their specific wants and needs, and mine probably differ from the mainstream, and that's OK. The thing I have against the OEM rechargeable battery packs is that they are proprietary and thus usually not available at a moments notice when the last one you had just ran down. This is NOT an issue with AA's which can be had at virtually ANY store. I use the Costco Kirkland AA type and find they are excellent and long lasting and inexpensive. I can buy 48 of them (12 reloads) for the cost of 1 OEM lithium pack. Yes they are heavier IF I decide to take them all along, which would never happen (for me).
As to the Weather resistance, I live in Southern California where it is almost always dry.
While I love the new fangled features of my K500, I have about 100 old film cameras and M42 lenses which will work with the K500 so old school is cool for me. Manual focus and zoom are great.
I really loved, and miss, the old split prism or rangefinder focusing screens.
08-03-2014, 01:37 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by BerndM Quote
... focus and zoom are great.
I really loved, and miss, the old split prism or rangefinder focusing screens.
+1 on that. I bought a used *ist D that had a split prism focusing screen. Ahhh, how nice indeed! Aftermarket units are nice but they mess up the exposure metering system. At least that was my experience when I tried to add one into my K-30.
08-03-2014, 02:09 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BerndM Quote
How on earth did all those photographers of 20 years ago manage to take all those fantastic pics with FILM cameras that had NONE of these features?
All? Some of those photographers 20 years ago were happily using a Pentax LX with weather seals.
08-03-2014, 03:17 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by spinno Quote
must be different here in UK, my K500 came with the lithium battery and charger- I had to buy an AA adapter (or two...)
Interesting. How much does the K500 cost in the UK? The "in the box" tab off bhphoto's site shows the American version has no rechargeable battery or charger: Pentax K-500 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens


QuoteOriginally posted by BerndM Quote
I use the Costco Kirkland AA type and find they are excellent and long lasting and inexpensive.
I'd be careful with these batteries, they are known for having problems with leaking, and there's a ton of Amazon reviews confirming this. I even had a brand new one sitting on my desk, unused, and it leaked all over my desk and kinda ruined it!
08-03-2014, 03:45 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by BerndM Quote
I absolutely LOVE the ease of use of the AA batteries. No stupid charger and cord to carry around and lose when you need them most. The AA batteries are readily available EVERYWHERE and I make sure I always have a set of 4 non-rechargeable AA lithiums in the case as backup, just in case.
People who prefer to use AA batteries on a K-30 or K-50 can buy the adapter cheaply on eBay. I keep a set of rechargeable AA batteries as a backup. But I prefer the Li-ion battery packs (I have several) because they are much lighter. One in the camera and a spare in the pocket together weigh less than a set of AAs in the adapter.

If the only selling point of the K-500 over the K-30 and K-50 is price, in those markets where is isn't supplied with a Li-ion battery and charger most people would want to factor in the cost of buying those items separately.

When I bought my K-30, the price was about the same as the K-500. It was no contest. Although it is a very good camera (and stacks up well against the entry level DSLRs from other brands), it is hard to make a case for the K-500 against a K-30 or K-50 unless it is significantly cheaper. Which is why the K-500 hasn't sold well.

I would prefer if Pentax were to give up the idea of a stripped down entry level model, even one as good as the K-500.

Last edited by Des; 08-03-2014 at 03:53 PM.
08-03-2014, 04:34 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by BerndM Quote
The thing I have against the OEM rechargeable battery packs is that they are proprietary and thus usually not available at a moments notice when the last one you had just ran down. ...
I really loved, and miss, the old split prism or rangefinder focusing screens.
Not sure what all the drama is about, BerndM.

Do what you like with what you've bought.

The K-30 is designed to take four AAs as well ... I keep an adapter in the slingbag just in case.

And I use a Katzeye split-prism focusing screen. The stock one is held in place by a clip.
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