• APS-C 372.1mm2
  • 16.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200
  • 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 36.4 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 204,800

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Differences

Pentax K-500 advantages over Pentax K-1

  • Less expensive
    $597 vs $1897*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.0 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Pentax K-1 advantages over Pentax K-500

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • High resolution composite
    Yes vs No
    Combine multiple shots to form a super hi-res version
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Higher effective ISO
    3,280 vs 1,087 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.6 vs 13.1 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • More cross-type AF points
    25 vs 9
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Newer
    3 years vs 5 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.70x vs 0.61x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    36.4 vs 16.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    33 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Optional anti-aliasing filter
    Optional vs Fixed
    Lets you choose sharper photos or reduced moiré
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    74 vs 30 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    204800 vs 51200 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Focus peaking
    Both provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-500

Review Excerpt

  • Unlocks the full potential of full-frame Pentax lenses; Excellent image quality; Great ergonomics and build; Very compact for full-frame; Decent performance; Fast autofocus with great low-light capabilities; Very wide sensitivity range; Bright, accurate viewfinder; Articulated LCD; Stabilization, Wi-Fi and GPS in-camera

  • No built-in flash strobe; Quite heavy compared to APS-C flagships; Somewhat soft images and blown highlights by default in JPEG mode; Warm Auto white balance indoors; Slow startup and buffer clearing; Small top-deck status display; Weak viewfinder illumination; Below-average battery life for DSLR

The Competition

Compared to Sony A57

Pentax K-500
Sony A57
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Tiltable Screen
Pentax K-1
Sony A57
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Internal flash

Compared to Pentax K-5 IIs

Pentax K-500
Pentax K-5 IIs
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Shoots 24p video
  • $673
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
Pentax K-1
Pentax K-5 IIs
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $673
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Canon T5i

Pentax K-500
Canon T5i
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $547
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
Pentax K-1
Canon T5i
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $547
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Canon 5D Mark IV

Pentax K-500
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $2799
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Shoot 4K video
Pentax K-1
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $2799
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Pentax K-1 II

Pentax K-500
Pentax K-1 II
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Tiltable Screen
Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1 II
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Newer
  • Higher extended ISO
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