Last night, Pentax UK unveiled their latest additions to their award-winning range of Digital SLRs and Digital Mirrorless cameras with the new K-50, K-500 and Q7. We were lucky enough to see these cameras for ourselves and here our first thoughts.
Weather-resistant, dustproof K-50
The K-50 is a compact and lightweight Digital SLR, featuring a dustproof, water-resistant design in the same vein as their current K-30 and K-5 II models. This is a mid-level model offering all the standard SLR features that you’d expert, and retains the ease of use so that you can go out and take photos indoors or out with no problem. However, if you delve into the K-50 a little closer, you’ll find that this model features many more advanced features that you’d expect to find in their higher range of cameras.
The K-50 incorporates a similar CMOS image sensor to the K-30 with a large image-capturing area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm, but now super sensitive with the ISO improved to 51,200 – that’s the same level as their £700 K-5 II! This means that with the K-50, shooting in low-light situations should still result in providing very high quality results, just as the K-5 II does.
As the K-30 had 81 weatherproof seals, so does the new K-50 ensuring it is weather-resistant, dustproof and cold-resistant, down to temperatures as low as -10°C. We’ve seen this becoming a more ‘standard’ feature in Pentax’s mid-higher end Digital SLRs, meaning that these can truly be used for outdoor activities such as camping, mountaineering and sports, without worrying about weather conditions.
The design of the K-50 is updated from the K-30, and having physically been able to handle the camera (albeit a pre-production model), it feels solid when in your hands, yet is still light and compact with access to all the buttons and dials in an accessible position. The 18-55mm DAL WR lens is lighter than the version supplied with the K-30, but still features the same high quality glass optics and weather sealing although features a plastic mount compared to metal.
Another interesting observation on the K-50 is the adjustments made to the optical viewfinder which now shows approximately 100% field of view, despite the compact size of the body. This is the same as the K-30, but looking through the viewfinder, when you depress the shutter button half-way, you’ll see a red-point appear. This is a quick confirmation for you that your shot is in focus.
In the world of sharing your images through the mediums of social media, it is also interesting to note that the K-50 supports the Eye-Fi SD cards where the K-30 did not. Using these cards in conjunction with the K-50 allows you to wirelessly transfer photos and videos from your camera to a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
The K-50 will be available in 120 different colour combinations, similar to how they have recently done for the Q10, and we should have the K-50 available in stock for our Imaging Festival on Saturday 22nd June where technical experts from Pentax UK will be on-hand to show you through this new camera from Pentax. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google + for all the latest updates.
The K-50 with the 18-55mm DA L WR lens will be £599.00.
Easy to use K-500
Pentax have also announced the K-500 – a little brother to the K-50. I say little, the cameras are the same physical size, and have many of the same features, except for the weather sealing of which the K-500 does not feature.
It does however still feature the high ISO sensitivity (51,200), high-speed continuous shooting (6fps) and the ability to use the standard D-Li109 Pentax battery which is supplied, or four AA batteries (although you’ll need the D-BH109 holder at £29.99 for this to work).
Of course the K-500 is at a lower price (£449.00 with an 18-55mm DA L lens), so if it’s an easy to use DSLR you’re after, this is certainly one to consider. We’re also hopeful that the K-500 will be in stock at the Imaging Festival on 22nd June.
Mirrorless Q7 that fits in the palm of your hand
Having seen a pre-production model of this camera, this really does fit in the palm of your hand, although is marginally larger the existing Q10. Those who have seen the Q10 will know how small the Pentax Q series cameras are, particularly in comparison to Compact System Cameras or Digital SLRs. However, the Q
7 comes with an image sensor that is larger than the previous model to upgrade the image quality the camera can deliver.
The Q7 will be Pentax’s top model in the Q line-up, with a range of features that have been upgraded including a wider ISO sensitivity range (up to 12,800 compared to 6,400 for the Q10), an improved shake reduction system, reduced lag time, and improvements to the operation to make it more user-friendly.
The Q7 is designed to be a fun camera to use, where you can really experiment and get creative with the range of effects and filters, including a pinhole camera effect. Like the K-50 and K-500, the Q7 will also be compatible with the Eye-Fi cards, so sharing your shots wirelessly on the go is simply and easy wherever you are.
Similar to the K-50 and the Q10 before it, the Q7 will customisable in 120 different colour combinations so that you can really ensure that your camera is unique and matches your personality and style.
Sadly the Q7 won’t be able at Park Cameras until September, with pricing to be confirmed through the Summer. CLICK HERE for full details and to place a pre-order.
Park Cameras Ltd.