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08-19-2019, 08:13 AM   #1
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Pentax K50 reliability issues?

I've sold some stuff on ebay and finally have funds to buy a new camera. The K50 is the one I'm looking at, NIB ones are still available, BUT there have been enough reliability postings about this camera to have me concerned. Plenty of people seem to have had issues with them, even within a year of purchase, and the cost of repair to one seems in most cases to be close to new price. Does anyone have stats on how many are developing faults? The camera ticks all the boxes I need (I shoot with manual film era lenses) but the the box labelled "reliable will last for years and years" is a big, big box and it's not ticked as yet.
On a cosmetic front, wanting to get a white one just to be different, but how well, or not, do conventional black lenses look on this body and does the white body show dirt/scuffs/marks too easily?

Thanks, I never thought replacing my reliable old Canon 450d would prove so difficult.

08-19-2019, 08:21 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums

The K-50 is an excellent camera in terms of image quality and features, but it's hard to recommend because of the aperture control solenoid problem. You might get years of problem free use from the camera, or you might not. If you do buy one, you should absolutely take out an extended warranty. The aperture solenoid issue can, however, be fixed by replacing the solenoid with an earlier, better component (there's plenty of info in these forums describing how).
08-19-2019, 08:25 AM   #3
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Personally, having owned one that had the aperture issue, I would not buy another. Great camera otherwise, though.
08-19-2019, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #4
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unless you can source a great replacement warranty, I would not buy a K-50...

sounds awful to say, as my first DSLR was a K-50, but with the aperture issue and the electronic glitches mine had, I'd recommend a good used K-5 IIs (same sensor) or a K-3....

08-19-2019, 08:46 AM   #5
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Mine also developed an issue where you had to set focus mode to manual before unmounting a lens. Annoying that it sits as a brick in my gear closet while my K100d still works like the day I bought it.
08-19-2019, 09:48 AM   #6
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Pentax has generally two tiers of cameras in APS-C. Entry Level and a more professional level.

Entry Level: K-30, K-50, KS-1, KS-2, K-70

Upper Level: K-5, K-5II, K-5IIs, K-3, K-3II, KP

For the used and current production entry level it may be best to pass on all but the K-70 since it seems to have very few Aperture Block failures and may have been improved on later in production.

For the upper tier the K-5 had a few that had the lens unlock button fall off due to a "c" clip issue but seems to have been corrected in later units. The K-3 had a few that showed power on (or was it power off issues) that were later corrected.

From a QA standpoint your safest selections would probably be: K-5II, K-5IIs, K-3II, KP or maybe a later production K-70.

Hope that helps.
08-19-2019, 09:57 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by selfnoise Quote
Mine also developed an issue where you had to set focus mode to manual before unmounting a lens.
If you want to be rid of it and all accessories I will gladly take it. I have been looking for one with the aperture block failure that hasn't been abused but even this additional failure won't affect what I want to do with it.
08-19-2019, 09:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by R.Miller Quote
For the upper tier the K-5 had a few that had the lens unlock button fall off due to a "c" clip issue but seems to have been corrected in later units. The K-3 had a few that showed power on (or was it power off issues) that were later corrected.
I think it's worth emphasising that instances of these issues with the K-5 and K-3 have been sparse. IMHO, nothing more than the failures and failure rates you might encounter with any camera from any brand. Both models have proven themselves extremely reliable, generally speaking...

08-19-2019, 10:16 AM   #9
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The K-3 it has been a rock solid performer for me and I haven't exactly been all that kind to it in the year and a half since I acquired my copy used. No problems after over 40,000 of my shots and that includes lots at scout camp and events, tons in the dark with dew forming, hauling it around in the woods, up mountains, around in the cold (-25F and that only shortened the battery life).
08-19-2019, 11:02 AM   #10
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I'd buy it only if there was a warranty available or I were willing to possibly fix it correctly by replicating the "green" solenoid with a "white" one if it were to fail. Both my K-50 bodies have failed & they failed with high actuations. It seems like the solenoids fail quicker when the cameras are used less. I replaced the solenoids in both of them & have been trouble free since.

A KP or even a K-70 well be more durable.
08-19-2019, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #11
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If you have the some tools, skills and can get the correct part, the best path is to buy an already broken K-50. The repair is not that hard. Some people have done it without any previous experience, because the steps and pitfalls are well-documented. But if I wasn't that sure of my untested repair ability, it might be too bold to start out with a broken camera.

I felt like because I had all the stuff, I had the moral obligation to repair a K-30. Not exactly sure why I need a fourth camera, but I like it.
08-19-2019, 12:13 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I think it's worth emphasising that instances of these issues with the K-5 and K-3 have been sparse. IMHO, nothing more than the failures and failure rates you might encounter with any camera from any brand. Both models have proven themselves extremely reliable, generally speaking...
Yes, I would agree. Which is why I indicated just a few. In fact I just picked up a K-5 so not to worried about it really, but I asked about the button issue before buying. The other models (K-5II, K-5IIs and K-3II) seem to have no issues reported at all, so if someone wanted to be extra cautious in spending money those may be better choices. Especially if there is no warranty available.
08-19-2019, 12:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by R.Miller Quote
Yes, I would agree. Which is why I indicated just a few. In fact I just picked up a K-5 so not to worried about it really, but I asked about the button issue before buying. The other models (K-5II, K-5IIs and K-3II) seem to have no issues reported at all, so if someone wanted to be extra cautious in spending money those may be better choices. Especially if there is no warranty available.
Understood

For the record, both my K-5 (owned since new, not long after release) and K-3 (same) have given me near-flawless service, and though my K-5 doesn't get much use these days, the K-3 is still very much in regular use. The only minor issues I've experienced in my years of ownership have been two or three lock-ups that required battery removal and a couple of mirror flops on the K-3. Pretty amazing reliability, really. I'd be happy to buy well looked after, low shutter count, used examples of either camera.

If the OP can find a good K-5IIs within budget, that would be an awesome choice. Better dynamic range than the K-3 / K-3II, and the lack of an AA filter allows that wonderful 16MP sensor to do its best work
08-19-2019, 01:08 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I think it's worth emphasising that instances of these issues with the K-5 and K-3 have been sparse. IMHO, nothing more than the failures and failure rates you might encounter with any camera from any brand. Both models have proven themselves extremely reliable, generally speaking...
I have a K-5 and a K-3 and never had any problem issues or even minor glitches with either one. If the OP is looking to buy used then any of the cameras in the K-5 or K-3 series would be a good choice. If I were going to buy new I would probably go for the KP since that has no potential issues with it identified that I have heard of.
08-19-2019, 01:21 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I have a K5 and a K3 that has performed perfectly since day one. Purchased both shortly after released.

I still do some shooting with both as back up cameras to my K1-II.
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