- Resolution: 16.3 MP
- Screen size: 3 inch
- Sensor type: CMOS
- Type: DSLR
- Red Eye Reduction: Yes
- Battery Type: Li-ion
- LCD Info Display: TFT LCD
- Lens Kit: 18 - 55 mm + 50 - 200 mm
Two of the most popular names commandeering the DSLR market are Canon and Nikon. Although other major manufacturers continue to compete in releasing impressive models, one such model is the new Pentax K-500. It features a strong specification at a price point that is sure to have entry-level purchasers taking a keener look.
Let’s look at this supposedly duopoly breaking camera.
Within the K-500 lies a 16.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that has been borrowed from the old K-30 camera. The pixel count sounds a bit paltry by today’s standards. The other manufacturers have better sensors than this camera. The sensor comes equipped with Pentax's Shake Reduction system that enables it to shift enough to allow shutter speeds up to three stops slower while retaining sharp shots. This is an added bonus, especially when it is mated to the body enabling it to attach to almost any K-mount compatible lens. When Shake Reduction isn’t enough, there is another alternative to crank up the sensor sensitivity.
Within the camera’s body is the K-500's PRIME M processing engine that does an excellent job. Another element that has been borrowed from the older camera is the ISO sensitivity. Although the K-500 boasts a new and tweaked ISO performance, the image quality and low-light performance are commendable. This camera flaunts a maximum ISO sensitivity of ISO 51200. This competes with the major camera manufacturers and does have a competitive edge.
Its boosted processing with a new engine allows the K-500 to reach a burst rate of 6 fps. The full resolution burst rate has superior performance when capturing sports/wildlife. You would also like this camera for its Full HD resolution video recording at a choice of 30, 25 or 24 frames per second.
Pentax has also appointed the SAFOX IXi+ autofocus module on this camera. The AF module reduces the slow and sluggish auto-focus problems. This camera also features 11 selectable AF points out of which, 9 are sensitive cross types.
The camera also has a View Finder that unfathomably does not display the AF points. The camera’s glass Pentaprism has 100% field of view and shows elements on frame fringes that most of the rival cameras usually hide. Thankfully, won't have to waste time cropping out unwanted extras on the K-500.
Interestingly, the K-500 has also included 19 effects filters on this camera. There is a transition from an advanced compact or bridge camera a little easier. This camera has a useful HDR function too. The HDR mode, when used captures three images at varying customizable exposures and automatically tone maps them into a single image with increased highlight and shadow detail.
The sensor on this camera offers welcoming capability to shoot both the PEF format Raw files alongside the Adobe DNG format. This is good news as the camera supports both Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw software.
Another feature is the continuous JPEG capture on the K-500. The camera beats the Nikon D3200 (4fps) and the Canon EOS 600D (3.7fps) and hence this is a good option for speed photography.
Overall this camera has quite many features and seems to compete with various leading camera brands.
Design, Display and Handling:
To start off with the camera’s display, the K-500 has a reasonable 3-inch LCD screen on the rear of the body. The 921k-dot resolution seems like an interesting display to look at. Rather than adding a vari-angle display, Pentax has added just a fixed one. This might be a little disappointing to a few customers.
The Pentax K-500 offers field of view of near-enough 100%, as opposed to the 95% View finder coverage as found on various competitors such as Canon EOS 600 D and Nikon D3200.
The viewfinder features 0.92x magnification which is preferable to the 0.85x and 0.8x found on the 600D and D3200 respectively. The fit and the finish of the Pentax cameras always exceed anybody’s expectations. The K-500 carries a tradition of plastic casing that feels quite sturdy and solid. This camera can withstand harsh usage.
It features a rubberized section on both sides of the camera that adds to its ergonomics. The chunky grip is large and has a comfortable grasp. Considering its range, it has quite a good and chunky rubberized rear thumb grip. The camera feels quite secure even when held with a single hand.
The K-500 is the only camera in Pentax’s class that features a pair of control wheels. This feature is more associated with most mid-range models. The ability to adjust speed and aperture independently is a prominent addition. There are dedicated buttons for ISO settings, White balance and this reduces the need to shuffle through menus. There s a standard mode dial found on top of the camera. There is the Program Auto, Full Auto, Shutter and Aperture mode as well as the sensitivity priority setting. This is quite a versatile camera that adapts quickly to different shooting conditions.
You even get a specific bulb mode on the main dial for long exposure shots, in addition to a pair of user-customisable presets to store your own custom settings. It all helps make the K-500 a versatile camera that's able to adapt quickly to different shooting conditions.
The K-500 homes a battery slot that supports 4 AA sized batteries. The battery lasts for 410 shots, which might not seem quite good, its better carrying extra batteries. You could also fit in the D-LI109 Li-ion chargeable battery on this camera.
18-55 mm lens and 50-200 mm lens Kit:
The camera comes with either an 18-55 mm basic lens with f/3.5-5.6 AL WR Zoom lens or the 50-200 mm f/4-5.6 ED lens. The lenses are weather resistant and have full auto diaphragm control with filter window. The camera lenses are quite good and suit most photography needs. The lenses feel quite good to hold and shoot. Once you get a hint of photography, you can choose between wide varieties of lenses available for the camera.
The camera has interesting shooting features and has a decent viewfinder. On the downside, this camera has most lacking features than most competing cameras. It’s noisy shutter and lens and makes a lot of noise. This is a reasonable option for an entry level DSLR and it is quite a competitive camera.
Pentax K 500 Rivals:
Canon EOS 600D
Pentax K 30
At the time of writing this article, the best available price for Pentax K 500 with 18-55 mm and 50-200 mm Lens in India is Rs.35995/-. The price will be updated regularly in this page.