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Pentax K-500 DSLR Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the new entry level Pentax K-500 Digital SLR.

|  Pentax K-500 in Digital SLRs
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Pentax K500 Hands On (1)

The Pentax K-500 is a new entry level Digital SLR from Pentax, and will be available with the Pentax smc DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL kit lens for £449.99, available at the end of June 2013. Pentax say the interchangeable lens camera market, including Digital SLRs under €1000, continues to grow, and as such, Pentax has developed the new Pentax K-50 and Pentax K-500.

Pentax K-500 Features

Pentax K500 DSLR (3)

Like other Pentax DSLRs the K-500 features a built in shake-reduction sensor that will work with any lens attached. Rather impressively for an entry level Digital SLR, the K-500 features a 100% viewfinder, with 92% magnification as well as interchangeable focus screen, with 3 others available as optional extras (AF area matt, AF scale matt, and whole area matt).
Pentax K500 DSLR (5)

The K-500 is also said to offer improved image quality, with ISO up to ISO51200, compared to ISO25600 on the K-30, which will continue to be available. An improved PRIME M imaging engine has been implemented with improved straight line recording with improved edges.
Pentax K500 DSLR (4)
The Pentax K-500 differs from the Pentax K-50, as the K-50 features a weather-resistant, dustproof construction, a digital level and a superimposed in-focus indicator during AF operation. The K-50 offers 117 option colours in addition to three standard colours, while the K-500 offers only one standard black colour.

Key Features

  • 16.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (Sony)
  • Pentax K Mount
  • 11-point AF, with 9 cross-type sensors in the middle
  • 1/6000s shutter speed
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • SAFOX IX i+ AF
  • Full HD video, mono sound
  • Shake reduction (3-stop)
  • Dust removal
  • ISO100 - ISO51200
  • 11 custom image types
  • 19 digital filters
  • HDR shooting
  • 2 electronic dial operation
  • 2 user modes
  • AA battery support (optional adapter required)
  • Eye-Fi compatible

Pentax K-500 Handling

Pentax K500 DSLR (9)

The Pentax K-500 features the same layout of buttons and controls as the Pentax K-30, so should be familiar to anyone who has used other Pentax DSLRs. The top mode dial features two user customisable user modes.

The camera features a stainless steel metal chassis with engineering plastic surrounding the camera, and it has a much more rounded design when compared to the K-30. The camera has the same focus system as the K-30, however the K-500 doesn't feature super-imposed focus confirmation in the viewfinder, insted this feature is found in the Pentax K-50.

The camera has a rubber grip around the handgrip as well as rubber on the left side of the camera, although there is no rubber grip for your thumb, instead a protruding corner of the camera acts as the grip for your thumb.

Pentax K500 DSLR (10)

Menus - The camera has a number of useful buttons giving you quick access to common settings, without the need to delve into the menus, with further buttons on the left of the camera letting you set the focus mode, RAW/fx as well as pop up the flash. This is a mechanical button so the flash can be opened with the camera still switched off. Pressing the INFO button brings up the rear control panel where photo settings can be altered quickly. The RAW/fx button can be customised.

The Pentax menus will be familiar to anyone who has used a Pentax Digital SLR over the last few years, with clear separated areas (Photo, Video, Playback, Setup and Custom). The first item in the photo menus is the custom image setting where you can choose from 11 presets, as well as customise each one. When you customise these you can set saturation, hue, high/low key, contrast and sharpness, as well as preview each preset.

Pentax K500 DSLR (11)

Battery - Battery life is rated at 480 shots with the provided lithium-ion battery, and can be increased by using the AA battery adapter, which is available seperately.

Pentax K500 DSLR (12)

Pentax K-500 Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Pentax K-500 Specifications

Effective Magnification1.5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4928
Pixels (H)3264
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921,000
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/6000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 51200
White balance
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
  • Auto
Exposure Comp+/-5
MagnificationNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting6fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30/25/24
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeD-LI 109
Battery Life (CIPA rating)480shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery DLI-109, Battery charger D-BC109, AC plug cord D-CO2E, USB cable I-USB7, Strap O-ST53 , Eyecup , Hot shoe cover FK (already mounted) , Body mount cover

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Photographs taken using the Pentax K-500

Orchid One

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