The Pentax K-500 Digital SLR Camera features a 16.3 megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and PRIME M image processing engine to produce high quality imagery while delivering fast performance throughout the entire camera system. The combination of these two technologies affords a high sensitivity level of ISO 51200, full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 6 fps, and renders both still images and videos with notable image quality and clarity. Full HD 1080p video recording is supported in multiple frame rates up to 30 fps as well as HD 720p recording up to 60 fps. Video files are recorded in the high quality H.264 AVC/MPEG-4 codec and saved as .MOV files for easier sharing and editing. When recording video or making still imagery with live view, a 3.0" 921k-dot LCD monitor is available and provides a wide viewing angle for improved viewing in a variety of shooting positions.
Benefitting the image quality is the SAFOX IXi+ autofocus system, which works to ensure sharp, accurate focus quickly and smoothly. Additionally, when working with manual focus, focus peaking is available to provide a more objective and comparable method of acquiring critical focus. Also contributing to image sharpness is in-camera sensor shift image stabilization, which reduces the appearance of camera shake by about three shutter speed steps when working in low-light conditions or with longer focal length lenses.
For extensive control over image-making, in-camera RAW (DNG) image processing is available as well as HDR shooting capabilities. For expediting control over the most oft-used functions of the K-500, both the front and rear e-dials are customizable and can be programmed to control an array of exposure settings and camera functions. For creatively modifying imagery in-camera, a variety of filters, scene modes, and auto modes are available to enhance the look and feel of imagery prior to post-processing. In addition to the range of automatic camera settings, traditional manual shooting modes are also available, such as program, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, sensitivity-priority, and manual.
All of the K-500's technologies are housed within a polycarbonate-covered camera body that is supported by a stainless steel chassis. The design of the camera also allows the use of four AA batteries as its power source when used in conjunction with the included D-BH109 AA Battery Holder or, additionally, the optional D-LI109 lithium-ion battery pack can be used as a compact, rechargeable source of power.
Included with the K-500 camera body are the smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and the smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED lenses, which together provide a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 27-300mm, covering wide-angle to telephoto perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of situations. Both lens constructions integrate aspherical elements to help minimize chromatic aberration as well as improve image sharpness throughout the zoom range. Additionally, both lenses feature an SP (Super Protect) coating to help repel dust, water, and grease from lens surfaces.
16.3MP APS-C Sensor and PRIME M Image Processor
The combination of the 16.3 megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and PRIME M image processor is able to produce high resolution imagery with notable quality and low-light sensitivity to ISO 51200. The speed afforded by the image processor enables continuous full-resolution shooting up to 6 fps, a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000th of a second, and also supports full HD 1080p video capture.
SAFOX IXi+ Autofocus System
The SAFOX IXi+ AF system utilizes 11 focus points, including nine cross-type sensors, to quickly and accurately acquire focus using a phase-detection method. With the inclusion of an AF-assist lamp and a diffraction lens, precise focusing is possible in a wide variety of lighting conditions using single-shot or continuous focusing modes. If working in manual focus, focus peaking is also available to highlight lines of contrast within the scene to offer a more objective means for determining critical focus.
In-Camera Image Stabilization
Pentax' sensor-shift type shake reduction image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake when working with longer lenses in dim lighting conditions by up to the equivalent of three to four shutter speed steps. This helps to produce sharper overall imagery regardless of the lens in use. Also helping to balance imagery in-camera, a dual-axis electronic level is available to ensure consistent and straight horizons and plumb vertical lines.
Full HD 1080p Video
In addition to high quality still imagery, the K-500 also supports full HD video recording up to 1080p at 30 fps. Other frame rates available include 1080p at 24 fps; HD 720p at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24 fps; and SD 480p at 30, 25, and 24 fps. Video is recorded in the high quality H.264 AVC/MPEG-4 format and can be saved in the Internet-friendly .MOV file format. Sound can be recorded along with the video using the built-in monaural microphone.
smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens
The included standard zoom lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 27.0-82.5mm to suit working in a wide variety of shooting scenarios. It features an SP coating to help repel dust, water, and grease on lens elements and a lightweight design to promote greater portability and use during travel. Its construction incorporates aspherical lens elements to help minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range and also contribute to producing overall sharper, clearer imagery.
smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens
The included telephoto zoom lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 75-300mm to suit working with distant subject matter as well as offering a narrower angle of view that is well-tailored to portraiture. One extra-low dispersion glass element and two aspherical elements are integrated into the lens' construction to provide high image sharpness and clarity while also working to reduce chromatic aberrations.
Other Camera Features
A 3.0" 921k-dot LCD monitor is available for live view monitoring, image playback, and menu navigation.
The D-BH109 AA Battery Holder and four AA lithium batteries are included as this camera's power source. Additionally, the optional D-LI109 rechargeable lithium-ion battery can also be used.
A 77-segment exposure metering system works to produce well-exposed and consistent results even in the most challenging lighting conditions.
In-camera HDR shooting works to effectively expand the dynamic range of an image and achieve greater shadow and highlight detail.
RAW (DNG) image processing is available in camera in order to quickly and easily convert images an Internet-friendly JPEG file format.
Built-in pop-up flash with a guide no. of 39.4' at ISO 100 provides additional illumination for low-light settings and covers focal lengths as wide as 28mm.
Programmable front and rear e-dials allow you to customize the controls available to quickly access without having to navigate through the camera's menu system.
Enhanced creative modes, scene modes, filters, and auto picture modes allow you to easily modify and adjust the overall aesthetic appearance of imagery in-camera.
Pentax K lens mount enables the use of a wide variety of both past and present K-mount lenses as well as compatibility with a variety of lens mount adapters.
Eye-Fi memory card compatibility for wirelessly transferring imagery directly from the camera.
Language support: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, and Russian.
Center-weighted average metering, Multi-zone metering, Spot metering
Modes: Aperture Priority, Auto, Bulb, Manual, Movie, Program, Scene Modes, Sensitivity Priority, Shutter Priority, Shutter/Aperture Priority Metering Range: EV 0.0 - EV 22.0 Compensation: -5 EV to +5 EV (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)