A tried-and-tested 16.28-million-pixel sensor, an impressive 81 weather seals and a 100% viewfinder could make the Pentax K-50 one of the best enthusiast cameras we have tested. Read the Pentax K-50 review...
Pentax K-50 review – Build and handling
I am extremely impressed with the build and handling of the K-50. The polycarbonate body feels tough, and the matt finish of the body is nice to hold. I don’t mind the white finish of the body on the sample I tested. It may not be very inconspicuous, but it is a nice design and the matt finish looks far better than the glossy coloured finish seen on some other cameras.
The button layout is fairly conventional, with directional control buttons on the rear of the camera and an assortment of direct buttons surrounding these. Enthusiast photographers will be pleased that they have the use of two control dials at the front and rear of the camera, which makes it easy to change settings. The exposure-compensation button is located conveniently next to the shutter button, so there is no need to remove your eye from the viewfinder to adjust the exposure.
One feature that I am a big fan of is the way that Pentax has positioned the on/off switch around the shutter button. Nikon also does this, as does Sony on some of its models, and I find it useful to be able to hold the camera in one hand and quickly turn it on and take a shot without having to use a second hand or change the way the camera is being carried. It may be a small thing, but it means the camera can be on and ready to take a picture in the time it takes to raise it from a carrying position to your eye.
Other interesting buttons include the Raw/FX button on the side of the front of the camera. This button is easily pressed with the thumb of the left hand while shooting. By default, this button switches between shooting raw and JPEG images, but as it is actually a function button it can also activate a few other functions, such as exposure bracketing, or perhaps more usefully, depth of field preview – or Optical Preview as it is labelled on the in-camera menu.
Overall, the K-50 is a pleasure to use. The camera’s body and layout are clearly designed with enthusiast photographers in mind, with a good selection of buttons and dials and direct access to important features. However, it is perhaps the handgrip that steals the show. It is fairly deep and well contoured, and very comfortable to hold.