The recently announced Pentax K-50 showed up in our office and was quickly the topic of much conversation. Announcing itself as boldly as the ladies in Sex and the City, our Pentax K-50 came adorned in the lipstick red color with black accents. As you can imagine, it was either a love it or hate it reaction. But the beautiful thing about the K-50 is you have complete control over what color you want your camera. With 120 color combinations you are sure to find one that fits your personality! What color combinations do I like best? I am partial to the Stormtrooper white or classic black. But the red is starting to grow on me–especially since I would never be able to set my camera down and lose it!
As a general rule I am very pleased with Pentax DSLR cameras. From their weather sealing to their built-in shake reduction system, Pentax does a great job of giving their customers a good deal for their money. So I was excited to open up the K-50 and see what their newest DSLR has to offer. The K-50 came with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and our initial testing started with this lens. Below are some samples for this lens.
Sadly, the results were not fantastic especially when the lens was used at the 55mm focal length. The images were soft. I knew for our past experience with the Pentax K-5 II and the K-30 that this camera had more to offer. So I attached the 40mm f/2.8 pancake (much more my style) and the results were significantly better. Below are the results of the Pentax K-50 with the 40mm f/2.8 lens.
The clarity with the 40mm f/2.8 was much improved over the kit lens. I decided to take it one step further and attach the 50-200mm f/4-5.6 lens. The results were better than the kit lens at the widest aperture. Below are a few more sample images.
After testing all of these lenses, it dawned on me that I didn’t give the kit lens a fair shake. I like to shoot on aperture priority–wide open (meaning I like to set the camera at the maximum aperture the lens will allow). In this case, the camera was set to f/5.6 when zoomed to the 55mm focal length. I decided to run one more test for the kit lens. Below are the results. All images were taken at a 55mm focal length.
As you can see, the sharpness increases dramatically even when switched from f/5.6 to f/6.3. I will continue working with the kit lens to figure out how to get the best results. Personally, I would invest in a few high quality lenses if I was purchasing the K-50 because the issues with image quality seem to come from the glass used, not the camera itself. The full review of the K-50 will be available soon.