Pentax K-500

Pentax K-500 front
  • 16MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 51600
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/6000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 646g - 130 x 97 x 71mm
  • Released November 2013
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison

Pentax K-500 overview

Pentax K-500 is Pentax's Entry-Level DSLR digital camera first announced on November of 2013. It houses a 16 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a peak resolution of 4928 x 3264.

The K-500 is scored #35 out of 79 in Entry-Level DSLR cameras & all around #266 out of 1436 for cameras in our collection. You can look at our Smart camera finder to see camera listings based on your personal factors.

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The following is a diagram of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax K-500 history

The Pentax K-500 is part of a family of products. You can see the detailed list below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Pentax-K-70 front thumbnailPentax K-70
K-500 vs K-70
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2016
Pentax-K-S2 front thumbnailPentax K-S2
K-500 vs K-S2
20MPAPS-C5.4 fps2015
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Pentax-K-500 front thumbnailPentax K-50016MPAPS-C6.0 fps2013
Pentax-K-50 front thumbnailPentax K-50
K-500 vs K-50
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2013
Pentax-K-r front thumbnailPentax K-r
K-500 vs K-r
12MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
Pentax-K-x front thumbnailPentax K-x
K-500 vs K-x
12MPAPS-C5.0 fps2009
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Pentax-K200D front thumbnailPentax K200D
K-500 vs K200D
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2008
Pentax-K100D-Super front thumbnailPentax K100D S
K-500 vs K100D S
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2007
Pentax-K100D front thumbnailPentax K100D
K-500 vs K100D
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006
Pentax-K110D front thumbnailPentax K110D
K-500 vs K110D
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006

Pentax K-500 Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of positives and negatives of the Pentax K-500 based on aspects that are usually seen as necessary in a digital camera.

better than average battery power (710 per charge)
comes with phase detect AF
decent sensor resolution (16 megapixels)
decent sized screen (3 inches)
exports RAW formats
flash built-in
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
has manual focus
high video quality (1920 x 1080 pxls)
maximum shutter speed is high (1/6,000 seconds)
nice clear screen (921 thousand dot)
provides face detection focusing
provides tracking autofocus
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
swap lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
very good ISO range (51,600)
very good min ISO (100)
fixed screen
lack of external microphone port
lack of HDMI port
lack of headphone port
max fps very slow (6.0 frames per second)
more heavy than competition in class (646g)
screen is not selfie friendly
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Pentax K-500 Sensor information

The Pentax K-500 houses the PRIME M processor. The size of the sensor in the Pentax K-500 is 23.7mm x 15.7mm (APS-C). The 372 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4928 x 3264 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2. The camera has Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Sensor stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization as the latter might lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 16 megapixels and delivers a standard ISO range of 100 - 51600. RAW photos are supported so you have more margin for error.

The graphic below shows the K-500's sensor size in comparison to other popular sizes. The K-500 sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is outlined in green.

Pentax K-500 sensor size 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax K-500 dimensions

Pentax K-500 weighs in at 1.42 pounds (646g / 22.79 ounces) & has external size of 130mm x 97mm x 71mm (5.1" x 3.8" x 2.8"). The weight of general Entry-Level DSLR camera is 538g so the Pentax K-500 is more heavy as compared with various rivals.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

The following is a pic of the Pentax K-500 besides a softdrink to help you get a feel for its size.

Pentax K-500 dimensions scale

The top view below will provide the button arrangement on the K-500.

Pentax K-500 topview buttons dials

Pentax K-500 Lens information

The K-500 works with the Pentax KAF2 mount and has 17 lenses on the market today. Here is a small number of the lenses we have in our database that will work with the K-500.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Venus-Laowa-105mm-F2-Smooth-Trans-Focus-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 105mm F2 Smooth Trans Focus105mmf/2745g
Samsung-D-Xenon-18-250mm-F3.5-6.3 lensSamsung D-Xenon 18-250mm F3.5-6.318-250mmf/3.5-6.3 455g
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Samsung-D-Xenon-100mm-F2.8-macro lensSamsung D-Xenon 100mm F2.8 macro100mmf/2.8 345g
Venus-Laowa-25mm-F2.8-2.5-5X-Ultra-Macro-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro25mmf/2.8400g
Samsung-D-Xenon-35mm-F2-AL lensSamsung D-Xenon 35mm F2 AL35mmf/2.0 195g
Samsung-D-Xenon-12-24mm-F4-ED-Pentax-KAF lensSamsung D-Xenon 12-24mm F4 ED12-24mmf/4.0 430g
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
Samsung-D-Xenon-16-45mm-F4 lensSamsung D-Xenon 16-45mm F416-45mmf/4.0 365g
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Pentax K-500 Connectivity

The K-500 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that include NFC and Bluetooth connectivity can easily be used wirelessly by smartphones. You can send files and at times alter camera settings with no need to connect straight with the camera.

A few apps also stream a Liveview and press the shutter in case you aren't close to the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it could be hooked up to an external monitor. Many cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB port.

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Pentax K-500 Video information

The highest video resolution in the Pentax K-500 is 1920 x 1080 and you can record in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 1080p resolution gives a great balance for video quality versus file size but FULL HD won't leave you with any room to downsample. The body doesn't include a microphone and headphone socket so you get absolutely no control over the sound. It is probably a better idea to look into a different camera in case you need better sound for your videos.

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Pentax K-500 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing for the Pentax K-500 so you have to be cautious in rainy or dusty situations.

Pentax K-500 Screen and Viewfinder

The Pentax K-500 is equipped with a 3 inch fixed display screen having a resolution of 921 thousand dots.

Sadly the display screen isn't a touch screen.

Pentax K-500 screen and viewfinder Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

The View Finder specifications for Pentax K-500 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100%
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.61x

For bright outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and difficult to see, viewfinders will be very useful.

Pentax K-500 Shutter information

Pentax K-500 continuous shooting speed is 6.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/6000 seconds.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Pentax K-500 Flash and Hot shoe information

Pentax K-500 has both built in flash together with external flash ability. The highest flash sync speed is 1/180 seconds.

Pentax K-500 Autofocusing information

Pentax K-500 has both Phase Detect Autofocus plus Contrast Based Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more quicker & precise as compared with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera supports Face detection which can be valuable for taking portraits of people.

The Sensor supports 11 focus points to pick from. It also comes with Tracking Autofocus for moving things. Pentax K-500 has the ability to use manual focusing when needed for low light situations or you require more precise control on focusing.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Pentax K-500 Battery life

The battery power (4 x AA) for the Pentax K-500 is fashioned to last for 710 photographs based on the CIPA standards making it above the usual for its category. The typical Entry-Level DSLR camera battery life is 592. Pentax K-x has got the highest (1900) battery life for this class of cameras.

Here is a list of Entry-Level DSLR cameras that come with the strongest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Canon-EOS-Rebel-SL3 front thumbnailCanon SL3
K-500 vs SL3
1070 yesnoyes

Pentax K-500 for varying types of photography

The following graph shows a analysis of the Pentax K-500 for varying types of photography. To view more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Pentax K-500 Portrait photography info

The Pentax K-500 receives a points total of 75 which is above average, and means the camera is a fine fit to use for portraits. Photographing portraits leans greatly towards sensor dimension, support for RAW photos plus the potential to use off-camera lighting.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
has manual focus
good MP (16MP)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
includes face detect focus
supports RAW files

Pentax K-500 as a Street photography camera

Getting a nice score of 63, the Pentax K-500 is a fine pick to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera gives a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
exports RAW files
great high ISO (51,600)
no moving screen
more heavy than average (646 grams)

Pentax K-500 Sports photography highlights

A very good sports photography rating of 73 suggests the Pentax K-500 is a fine pick for taking photos of sports. A camera really should have fantastic tracking and shutter speeds for sports photography.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
max shutter speed is good (1/6,000 seconds)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent megapixels (16MP)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
features tracking focus
good battery pack (710 shots)
sensor has phase detect auto focus
low frames per second (6.0 frames per second)

Pentax K-500 Travel photography details

Size is extremely critical when picking a travel camera. In general, the Pentax K-500 gets a very good 61 as a travelling camera which is a respectable pick to take with you on your trips.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
better than average battery life (710 per charge)
sensor resolution is decent (16MP)
built-in flash
more heavy than competition (646g)
screen is not selfie friendly

Pentax K-500 Landscape photography details

For anyone who is looking to buy a digital camera for landscape photography, the most vital factor will be image quality. The Pentax K-500 with it's exceptional score of 80 as a landscape camera is a terrific pick among its competitors.

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manual focus
change lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
screen size is decent (3")
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent megapixels (16MP)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
above average ISO range (51,600)
delivers RAW files
great battery life (710 CIPA)

Vlogging with Pentax K-500

A camera for vlogging should offer a moving display, mic input and preferably image stabilization. Taking everything in to account, the Pentax K-500 is simply not suitable as a vlog camera as it gets a horrible rating of 28.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes face detect focus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
lack of mic socket
heavier than competition (646g)

Pentax K-500 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the K-500, below is a selection of the highest ranked cameras that fall in to the family of Entry-Level DSLR.

The graph here offers you an overview of the K-500 versus it's highest ranking rivals listed above.

These are various other cameras you may check out as alternatives. To look at a complete comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Pentax K-500
Entry-Level DSLR
Body design
Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.7 x 15.7mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Full resolution
4928 x 3264
RAW format
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focusing
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Total focus points
Cross type focus points
Lens support
Pentax KAF2
Number of lenses
Crop factor
Range of screen
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
3 inches
Resolution of screen
921 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Screen tech
TFT LCD monitor with brightness/color adjustment and AR coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/6000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
6.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
12.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Sync, Slow Sync+Redeye, Trailing Curtain Sync, Wireless
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash sync
1/180 seconds
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30,25,24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60,50,30,25,24 fps), 640 x 424 (30,25,24 fps)
Max video resolution
Video data format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
646g (1.42 lbs)
130 x 97 x 71mm (5.1" x 3.8" x 2.8")
Battery life
710 shots
Form of battery
Battery ID
4 x AA
Self timer
Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Time lapse feature
Storage media
Storage slots
Price at launch