Pentax Announces Three New Interchangeable Lens Cameras

Pentax Announces Three New Interchangeable Lens Cameras

Pentax/Ricoh has just announced three new cameras to their lineup. Two are APS-C sized cameras that are pretty similar, but one is most certainly aimed at a more consumer market. The third is a new mirrorless camera, one that Pentax is boasting as the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera.

K-500

Going into detail on some of the more unique Pentax features found in the K-500 and the K-50:

Pentaprism Viewfinder for 100% Field of View & 4 optional Focusing Screens
Four interchangeable focusing screens achieve a 100% optical field of view for framing accuracy.

In-body raw development and HDR shooting
Enjoy in-body raw development and in-camera HDR shooting mode, featuring multiple blending options to bring out the detail in wide gamut still imaging.

Enhanced Creative Modes, multilayer filtering opportunities
Choose from 11 types of custom image modes and 19 digital filters, all with multi layering capabilities

77 segment metering system
Highly accurate 77 segment metering system produces beautifully exposed images and video, even in complex lighting situations.

K500_Black_1855_FrontView_TranspBckgrnd_sm

Specifically in the K-500 press release, Pentax says that the Auto Picture and Scene modes will "take the guesswork out of photography" which bothers me considerably. I don't recall guessing while using my DSLR, but ok... It sort of makes it obvious who the K-500 camera is aimed at.

Specifications:

  • 16 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • PRIME M Image Processing Engine
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting with optional standard lithium-ion battery
  • Fast Shutter speed up to 1/6000
  • ISO Speeds up to 51200
  • High Precision SAFOX IXi+ Auto Focusing
  • Pentaprism Viewfinder for 100% Field of View & 4 optional Focusing Screens
  • Innovative In-body Shake Reduction (SR) Mechanism
  • K-Mount Compatible with 25 Million PENTAX lenses
  • Eye-Fi Card Compatibility
  • Full 1080p h.264 HD video recording
  • In-body raw development & HDR shooting
  • Programmable front & rear e-dials
  • Enhanced Creative Modes, multilayer filtering opportunities
  • Large High Resolution 3 inch LCD
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • Energizer Ultimate Lithium ion AA-size batteries included
  • 77 segment metering system
  • Traditional, Auto Picture and Scene modes

 
The K-500 body retails for $600.

K-50

Alongside the K-500, Pentax also announced the K-50, a step above the K-500 that comes in 120 colors (that's kind of an absurd number). It is also 16 megapixel and shares many of the features found in the K-500, but with a few boosts. It's also weather sealed, which is a plus.

K-50_Black_with_DAL_#658CB3

K-50_White_with_DAL_#657FEA
 
Specifications:

  • Customizable in 120 colors
  • 16 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • PRIME M Image Processing Engine
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Fast Shutter speed up to 1/6000
  • ISO Speeds up to 51200
  • High Precision SAFOX IXi+ Auto Focusing
  • Pentaprism Viewfinder for 100% Field of View & 4 optional Focusing Screens
  • Fully Weather-sealed, Dustproof, Coldproof Design
  • Innovative In-body Shake Reduction (SR) Mechanism
  • K-Mount Compatible with 25 Million PENTAX lenses
  • Eye-Fi Card Compatibility
  • Full 1080p h.264 HD video recording
  • In-body raw development & HDR shooting
  • Programmable front & rear e-dials
  • Enhanced Creative Modes, multilayer filtering opportunities
  • Large High Resolution 3 inch LCD
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • Standard Lithium-ion battery or optional use of AA-size batteries
  • 77 segment metering system
  • Traditional, Auto Picture and Scene modes

 
The K-50 will also retail for $600 (body only).

Q7

Finally, we have the Q7, which as mentioned is supposedly the smallest and lightest ILC camera available. With an upgraded 1/1.7 inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor, the Q7 aims to take the mirrorless camera industry by storm. Available in 120 different color combinations (Yes, you read that right), the Pentax Q7 features in camera Image Stabilization, 1080p video, and features such as bokeh control. With high sensitivity ISO capabilities (Up to ISO 12,800), and Eye-Fi compatibility straight out of the box, Pentax seems to have gotten a grasp on what people want out of a mirrorless camera system.

Pentax-Q7-color
 
Specifications

  • Customizable in 120 colors
  • Q-Mount Compatible with system of lenses
  • Upgraded 1/1.7 inch, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • Smart Effects Modes & Creative User Modes
  • Bokeh Control
  • Customized Quick Dial
  • In-body Sensor-Shift Shake Reduction (SR) Mechanism
  • Eye-Fi Card Compatibility
  • 3-inch LCD Monitor with advanced anti-reflection coating
  • Fast shooting at 5 FPS and shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 30 seconds
  • Fast Autofocus
  • ISO Speeds up to 12800
  • Traditional DSLR Modes
  • In body raw development
  • HDR Capture
  • Full 1080p h.264 HD video recording
  • HDMI Port
  • Built-In Popup Flash
  • SD, SDHC, SDXC compatible
  • External Viewfinder Available for Purchase

 

By Jaron Schneider and Zach Sutton

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8 Comments

The k50 is really just k30 in a different more traditional looking body (even the button layout is the same), I actually like the looks of the k30 better and it will ofc be cheaper now that the new version is coming out.

From the reading I did around the web the k500 won't sell as a body only so the lowest price you mentioned will be with a kit lens, but it will also be one of the cheapest camera's around with dual control wheel which is a big bonus.

I'm waiting on a true update to the k5 before I upgrade though, the k5IIs does tempt me but it would be nice to have more than no AA filter an improved focus if I was going to be spending money on a body.

Looks like a rainbow barfed all over Pentax

Very true.. but I don't mind having the option to have a coloured camera but its odd they went from a stand out design with the k30 to bland with the k50 yet offer more colours.

Anyway.. colours aside, check out the spec of the k500 over the nikon d3100 and canon sl1. Dual control wheels, 100% pentaprizim (not mirror) and other features you would find on higher end bodys but at a cheaper price with a kit lens.

If Canon or nikon released a camera like that at this price point people would be going nuts about how great it is..

Zach Sutton's picture

The K-500 is no doubt a great camera....and priced far better than the Nikon/Canon counterparts. However, the greatest downfall of it is its lens mount. Pentax is really falling behind in terms of lenses, and doesn't have common third party developers building lenses for them.

There's nothing wrong with the K mount, pentax have a large range of lens on there own from there da,da* and ltd lens.

Sure they don't have any modern f1.2 af lens but then they have gems like there 15mm f4 ltd which is great in its own way. As for third party support sigma still make lens for pentax and im sure their 18-35mm f1.8 will be fantastic on a pentax body with its image stabilisation.

Tamron and samyang also make lens for pentax, sure there are some who have stopped but between pentax and third party lens makers there is enough options there for most type of shooting.

I am a Pentax shooter and im struggling to find suitable lenses. The FA50 f1.4, FA35 f2 have a cheap plastic feel, the DA50 1.7 is SO expensive, no new 24-70, no 70-200, DA16-50 is easily outperformed by the equivalents of other brands.Zeiss and Voigtlander have discontinued most of their lenses for PK mount. Tamron doesn't make their new 24-70 in PK. Tokina don't supply lenses for PK. Besides the Tamron 17-50, I'd say that sigma is the only third party choice for pk users, which is a pity really. And Pentax lenses are way overpriced. The performance of their limited lenses don't live up to their build quality (and their price).

Also, why do their offer weather resistant bodies when they have so little WR lenses to choose from (none of which I would use for any kind of serious shooting).

The inability to Tether to Lightroom or Capture is also really really stupid...

Good afforable hardware (in a range of colours) is all they have now.

What they need is a FF camera and more decent lenses to show their dedication to the professional DSLR market!

btw the K5 II is really great!

While I agree an option of a FF pentax would be nice as well as bringing tethering back (you can use PK Tether if its really bothering you.), I think your being a little hard on pentax's current offers.

The da* 50-135 f2.8 is a great lens, and while the DA* 16-50 isn't upto the same standards is still a pretty nice lens and the da*60-250 f4 is superb, the ltd's are also pretty great.. small, well built and while not always the sharpest lens around they have a nice character about them.

Here's a shot I did with the 16-50 f2.8 (which I payed £400 for)
http://www.pentaxforums.com/news/less-than-sober-photo-shoot.html

Pentax have been going though a rough time, Hoyah bought the Pentax brand mostly for the medical side of things and let the camera division struggling but Ricoh has the fund's to push things and they are pretty serious about it from what I can see.

The reason you don't get Tokina is because Pentax and Tokina have worked together on some lens (like the 16-50 and 50-135), Zeiss and Voigtlander lens were nice while you could still get them on PK mount but i things pick up I see no reason why they couldn't be made for PK in the future.

I definitely don't discount them for the hardware, Pentax makes an incredible camera.