Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Pentax K-500
The Fujifilm GFX 50R and the Pentax K-500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2018 and June 2013. The GFX 50R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a medium format (GFX 50R) and an APS-C (K-500) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 51.1 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 16.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm GFX 50R and the Pentax K-500? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm GFX 50R and the Pentax K-500 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-500 is notably smaller (19 percent) than the Fujifilm GFX 50R. Moreover, the K-500 is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the GFX 50R. It is worth mentioning in this context that the GFX 50R is splash and dust resistant, while the K-500 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499|
|2.||Pentax K-500||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||646 g||710||n||Jun 2013||549|
|3.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||150 mm||104 mm||87 mm||900 g||460||Y||Jan 2021||5,999|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 100||156 mm||144 mm||75 mm||1320 g||800||Y||May 2019||9,999|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||148 mm||94 mm||91 mm||740 g||400||Y||Sep 2016||6,499|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750|
|9.||Hasselblad X1D||150 mm||98 mm||71 mm||725 g||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995|
|10.||Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995|
|11.||Leica M-E Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||3,999|
|12.||Nikon D7500||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299|
|13.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749|
|14.||Pentax K-50||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||Jun 2013||599|
|15.||Pentax K-30||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||May 2012||849|
|16.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|17.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The K-500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 88 percent) than the GFX 50R, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm GFX 50R features a medium format sensor and the Pentax K-500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the K-500 is 75 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.79 and 1.5. The sensor in the GFX 50R has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the K-500 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 51.1MP, the GFX 50R offers a higher resolution than the K-500 (16.1MP), but the GFX 50R nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.33μm versus 4.77μm for the K-500) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the GFX 50R is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 3 months) than the K-500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GFX 50R has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm GFX 50R implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GFX 50R for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 31 inches or 104.9 x 78.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 24.8 inches or 83.9 x 62.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 20.6 inches or 69.9 x 52.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax K-500 are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Fujifilm GFX 50R has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-500 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Medium Format||101.8||11648||8736||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 100||Medium Format||101.8||11648||8736||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Hasselblad X1D||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|10.||Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
|11.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Pentax K-5 II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.8||14.1||1235||82|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GFX 50R has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the K-500 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the GFX 50R has a higher magnification than the one of the K-500 (0.77x vs 0.61x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm GFX 50R, the Pentax K-500, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||3690||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 100||optional||Y||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||optional||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6||2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n|
|11.||Leica M-E Typ 240||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|16.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GFX 50R has a touchscreen, while the K-500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the GFX 50R is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm GFX 50R and the Pentax K-500 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GFX 50R and the K-500 write their files to SDXC cards. The GFX 50R features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the K-500 only has one slot. The GFX 50R supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the K-500 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm GFX 50R and Pentax K-500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 100||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||-||3.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Y||mono||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the GFX 50R has a microphone port, which is missing on the K-500. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Fujifilm GFX 50R (unlike the K-500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The GFX 50R is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the K-500 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the K-500 from Pentax. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Pentax websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm GFX 50R better than the Pentax K-500 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm GFX 50R:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (51.1 vs 16.1MP) with a 75% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.77x vs 0.61x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2360k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards on both slots.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 3 months of technical progress since the K-500 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-500:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (130x97mm vs 161x97mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 129g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (710 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (88 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2013).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GFX 50R is the clear winner of the match-up (24 : 11 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm GFX 50R and the Pentax K-500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GFX 50R or the K-500. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||5/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2018||4,499|
|2.||Pentax K-500||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||549|
|3.||Canon 5DS||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||..||..||..||..||5/5||Jan 2021||5,999|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 100||4.5/5||+ +||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||May 2019||9,999|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||..||..||85/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||6,499|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2019||5,750|
|9.||Hasselblad X1D||..||o||81/100||..||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995|
|10.||Leica Q2||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995|
|11.||Leica M-E Typ 240||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2019||3,999|
|12.||Nikon D7500||4.5/5||+ +||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299|
|13.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749|
|14.||Pentax K-50||5/5||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||599|
|15.||Pentax K-30||4/5||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||849|
|16.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|17.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Pentax K-500
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Pentax K-500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm G mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2018||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 4,499||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Pentax K-500|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||44.0 x 33.0 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||1452 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||55 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||51.1 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8256 x 6192 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.33 μm||4.77 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.52 MP/cm2||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||X Processor Pro||PRIME M|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1087|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Pentax K-500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||2360k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Pentax K-500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Pentax K-500|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Pentax K-500|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||710 shots per charge|
161 x 97 x 66 mm
(6.3 x 3.8 x 2.6 in)
130 x 97 x 71 mm
(5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||775 g (27.3 oz)||646 g (22.8 oz)|
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