PetaPixel

Pentax Unveils the K-50, K-500, and Q7: Two DSLRs and a Baby Mirrorless

pentaxcameras

Pentax had a big announcement day today, unleashing three new cameras on the world of photography. The K-50 and K-500 are new mid- and entry-level DSLRs (respectively), and the Q7 is a new mirrorless camera that carries on the pint-sized tradition started by the Pentax Q back in 2011.

Pentax K-50: A Colorful Mid-Level DSLR

k50front

The K-50 is a new mid-level DSLR that packs respectable specs and serious color — it’s a camera that’s available in 120 different color combinations.

k50_colors

81 weather seals found throughout the camera’s surface will give you peace of mind when you take it to environments that aren’t friendly to most cameras. The K-50 is weather-resistant and can put up with rain, snow, and sand.

k_50angle

Tucked inside the camera is a 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that can shoot 6 frames per second at ISOs of up to 51200.

On the back of the camera is a large 3-inch LCD screen with 921K dots of resolution.

k50back

Other features include a 100% coverage viewfinder, in-body sensor-shift shake reduction, HD video recording, and 4 optional focusing screens.

k50_backangle

The K-50 will start shipping in July 2013 with a price of $700 for the body only or $780-$880 when bundled with a lens or two. You can build one with custom colors over on Pentax’s website.

Pentax K-500: A Not-as-Colorful DSLR for Newbies

K500_diagonal

The new K-500 is the only one of the three new cameras to not feature a bazillion different color combinations. It’s a rather straightforward entry-level DSLR that focuses on putting advanced features in the hands of people who are just starting out with DSLR photography.

k500_side

Like the K-50, it features a 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with a maximum ISO of 51200. The continuous shooting speed is also the same at 6fps. Oh, and you’ll also find the same 100% FOV viewfinder, in-body shake reduction, and snappy autofocus.

k500_side2

Basically, if you step down from the K-50 to the K-500, two of the main features you’ll lose are the colors and the weather-sealing. The K-50 also comes with a rechargeable battery, while the K-500 comes with four AA batteries and an option to use the K-50′s battery.

k500-top

The K-500 will also be hitting store shelves in July 2013 with a price of $600 when bundled with an 18-55mm kit lens, or $700 when bundled with an additional 50-200mm.

Pentax Q7: A Tiny Q Camera with a Slightly Bigger Sensor

q7-front

Pentax remains committed to its Q line of pint-sized mirrorless cameras. In 2011, the Pentax Q became the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera. It was cute to look at, but photographers grumbled about the fact that it only contained a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Pentax Q10 of 2012 was largely the same camera, and didn’t do much to ease the grumbling.

q7flash

Pentax is attempting to address the sensor size issue with the new Q7. It actually features a slightly larger sensor: you’ll find a 1/1.7-inch sensor inside instead of a 1/2.3-inch one. The sensor is a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor with 12.4 megapixels of resolution and a max ISO of 12800. It’s capable of capturing 12-bit RAW files in DNG format.

q7back

Despite the size change, the camera is still compatible with the same Q-mount system of lenses.

q7top

Other features include 19 smart effects, creative modes and filters (e.g. Brilliant Color, Vintage Color, Warm Fade, Bold Monochrome, and Water Color), a convenient customizable Quick Dial on the front of the camera, in-body sensor-shift shake reduction, and a built-in pop-up flash.

q7_selection

The Q7 will start shipping in August 2013 for $500. Like the K-50, it’s available in 120 different color combinations.


 
 
  • hunn3r

    My first thought after seen the Q7 with the open flash:
    -Wall-E is that you?

  • Nick Duijnstee

    FUGLY!

  • Caca Milis

    I’ll be keeping my K-5 so!

  • gochugogi

    I want the gecko green one with yellow grip! Goodbye goth black 5D2!

  • Espen Johansen

    I love it. With the colour-combinations they’ve found their way in a market dominated by the cannons and nikkons. Without loosing useability on the way as far as I can see. This might be what DSLR’s needs as a response to the growing smartphone-photograpy-trend.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/hunn3r/ hunn3r

    Imagine the future where Nikon/Canon cameras are pink by design, not just by Kai from digitalrev. omfg

  • Brendan

    I like the colours. Pentax is now weather AND theft resistant.

  • nice colors

    great, now i’ll have to wait months for my new lens cause the color i need to match my body will no doubt be in stock anywhere, lol

  • Furunomoe

    K-50 : $700 body with K-5 II sensor, 6fps, dual-dial, 100% pentaprism, focus peaking & weather resistant?

    Time to upgrade my K-r! And this time I’ll make sure to get the Pink/Yellow version for extra epicness!

  • SamJS

    It’s been a long time, since the days of film, that I’ve looked at or held a Pentax in my hands. Now with these bright colors I can’t even look at them let alone hold one. Good idea but missed the mark. Better idea a smaller selection of colors primarily drab and camouflage for candid and nature photographers. I don’t want to be noticed 3 miles before I get to my destination by the critters I intend to photograph, nor do I want to draw attention to myself when capturing those special moments in public. I am the photographer, it is my job to capture the subject, not to draw the subject’s attention to myself.

    Colors like these are ok for snapshot cameras, but that’s about it.

  • Norshan Nusi

    If the sensor in Q7 is bigger than its predecessor, then will it have a wider angle of view when the Q lenses are attached?

  • Geez

    Love all the color options but the variation is a nightmare for retailers. Pentax have to sell this direct to customers.

  • Mike

    They allow you to pick the color YOU WANT, and you complain.
    Consumers…

  • Mike

    It should.

  • Phodor

    You can make a black & black camera if you want. I bet most people will. This is a choice, so your entire rant is pointless. In fact, if you set the colours to olive green for the body and brown for the grip, you get a camouflaged look.

    I’ve participated in many photography communities on the internet, but Petapixel takes the cake for having the whiniest one…

  • Norshan Nusi

    That’s going to be nice… Hopefully they wont be dark frames though.

  • Rob S

    Most retailers carry Red, Black, Blue and Green. The rest are special order.

  • Rob S

    Really because I can see a market for cameras to match marketing. Think Target Red or White for Apple. College football fans are rabid about colors as are NASCAR fans. And a bright colored camera would be perfect for a kids photographer.

    As for wildlife, outside of primates and some fish there are very few trichromatic animals. You are far more likely to be smelled, heard or have movement sensed than for an animal to notice a bright pink camera.

  • BDWT

    I think Pentax gave up trying to market to pro photographer’s and their needs ages ago. This isn’t really a hobbyist camera either… It seems to me like their new direction is to snag teenage girls with rich parents, who want a colourful DSLR to take photos at the mall alongside cardboard cut outs of Justin Bieber…

    It could work, after the initial sales, maybe a small (very small) percentage of those consumers will out grow their colourful Pentax and upgrade to a pro level Pentax one day… Maybe.

  • Uncle Wig

    The pop-up flash works very well to distance the flash from the lens, reducing red-eye.

  • Uncle Wig

    Listen to you: crying about colors on a camera you don’t own in colors you don’t have to choose. How is the availability of these colors causing YOU a problem? You can have black of course. And if you are so concerned about that squirrel seeing you a mile off, you can have a brown & green one.

    If you haven’t held a Pentax since film days, you should try out a K-5. Just a friendly tip.

  • Uncle Wig

    Yes, it will. With the 01 Prime: 39mm equivalent instead of 47mm.

  • Uncle Wig

    Shouldn’t be any vignetting: the lenses were designed to be compatible with 1/1.7.

  • Choen Lee

    I guess these would be brilliant to use for photographingchildren and babies.

  • benny

    People are too serious about their gear. I’ve a white K-30 and love it to bits. Though maybe you’d prefer an orange K-50, to go with hunting gear?

  • Uncle Wig

    Michael Zhang: Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the 1/1.7 sensor nearly twice the area as the 1/2.3 sensor? I think that’s more than “slightly” larger. Presumably, it’s the same sensor used in the MX-1, which is very, very good.

  • SamJS

    My preference of animals to photograph are birds, and their sensitivity to color is even more acute than humans. As you mentioned primates are trichromatic and birds are classified as tetrachromatic with most having peak sensitivity to at least 4 or 5 wavelengths of light rather than 3.

  • SamJS

    When I looked at the picture all I saw was reds and yellows and blues etc. The Green/Brown combo you pointed out would work, but it certainly wasn’t apparent in that sea of color.

  • SamJS

    Although I use to hunt, I only use a camera now so the orange wouldn’t do any good either. My preference is birds and they are very sensitive to colors, which is why I prefer colors that would melt into the surrounding vegetation rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/hunn3r/ hunn3r

    Nobody said it’s not working perfectly, it’s just looks like kinda foolish

  • Uncle Wig

    Please explain why it looks foolish. While you’re at it, let’s have your proposal for moving the flash as far from the lens as you can.

  • hawk1500

    I would probably get a k30 for $450 instead.

  • Uncle Wig

    Again: how does the availability of brightly colored cameras impede your ability to blend in when photographing birds?

  • Uncle Wig

    If you look past the colors at the specs of the K-50 and K-500, you’ll see that they are clearly hobbyists cameras.

    The 645D is very much a professional camera. It remains to be seen if Pentax will market a professional SLR, although the K-5 series comes pretty close.

  • Rob S

    very cool! I had no idea there were animals with better than trichromatic.

    BTW – try a K-5. You will love it.

  • Norshan Nusi

    Okay thats nice :D

  • mr.gncd

    Before anyone get’s upset. Lets say that it looks funny and little like wall-e. :)

  • CelticBrewer

    I’ve had many professional photographers interested in my pentax camera. Most started with one, themselves, in the film days. And when they’re all sheltered because of bad weather- I’m out there snapping photos left and right thanks to pentax’s weather seals and rugged build.