STANDOUT FEATURE: The speed and quality of the K-50 at a bargain price.
Estimated Street Price: $599 (with 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 zoom)
But you get a lot for the budget price. Both cameras feature the same 16.3-megapixel, APS-C image sensor, 12-bit PRIME M processing, 11-point (9 cross-type) SAFOX IXi+ AF system, 100% pentaprism viewfinder, 3-inch LCD monitor, 77-segment metering and ISOs from 100-51,200. Shoot at 6 fps continuous (with the D-LI109 battery) at shutter speeds ranging from 30 to 1⁄6000 sec. You can shoot MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video in 1080/30p or 720/60p with mono sound. You get Pentax's Hyper control system along with the usual shooting modes, and the RAW/Fx button, which lets you switch instantly between RAW and JPEG shooting, and can be assigned several other tasks.
For effects fans, there are 11 custom image modes and 19 digital filters, allowing you to apply such effects as Bleach Bypass, Cross-Processing, Extract Color, Toy Camera, Retro, Invert Color and more. Effects can be combined, and most can be applied to movies, as well as still images.
Like all Pentax DSLRs, the K-500 can use virtually all Pentax lenses, but provides the best results and the most features with DA/DA*, DA Limited and DA FA versions; these currently range from a 10-17mm fisheye zoom and 12-24mm superwide zoom to a 560mm supertelephoto. Built-in Pentax SR sensor-shift shake reduction works with all lenses.