Pentax ZX-50 / MZ-50 35mm SLRs

ZX-50 / MZ-50

The ultra-compact ZX-50 autofocus SLR combines simple operation and sophisticated features at a very affordable price. The ZX-50's "Green Operation Mode" offers point-and-shoot convenience, ideal for those who are new to SLR photography or for capturing those once-in-a-lifetime moments quickly and effortlessly. Creative control can be yours by switching to one of the four program modes or by choosing Aperture-Priority AE, Shutter-Priority AE, Metered Manual or Bulb modes.

User Reviews (56)

Showing 1-10 of 56  
knightrider2011   Casual [Mar 26, 2010]
Strength:

Easy to use even for the beginner, good quality pictures, nice built-in flash that you can pop up and fill the entire room evenly with light. CR2 lithium batteries seem to last forever (1 year at least, for me anyway) and are cheap ($5). Low battery warning lets you know in advance so your batteries don't die on you before you can replace them. Lightweight for an SLR, thus, easy to carry around. Appears to have good build quality as it was new in 1996 and I bought it used in 2008 and put 20 rolls of film through it, yet it still works perfectly.

Weakness:

Sometimes the autofocus does not focus properly (a bit soft at times), but this may be due to the aftermarket lens (Sigma) being used instead of the official Pentax brand.
Adjusting the aperture/shutter would be easier if there was a wheel. The lens sometimes hunts too much, especially in low light, even though the light in the room seems to be enough. However, manual focus will fix that. :-) Lightweight body can mean more camera shake.

I bought this used from a photographer in 2008 and it is the first time I've used an SLR. I was stunned at the quality of the prints because I had never used a better camera than this. It really is straightforward and easy to use.

I started out using the fully automatic mode, then progressed to manual focus, but prefer using autofocus and aperture priority mode. The CR2 lithium batteries seem to last forever and only cost $5 for a pair. (1 year with lots of flash use and my second set has lasted over a year thus far, but I'm not using the flash as often either).

It came with a Sigma 28—80mm f/3.5—5.6 zoom lens, which does the job just perfectly for me, although admittedly the images aren't always sharp, despite what you see in the viewfinder. That said, 95% of the time they are sharp and crisp, showing lots of detail. A 50mm prime lens would probably yield even better results, but I am satisfied with my purchase.

I am glad to be in the world of film again after using digital cameras for the past 9 years. Film has taught me patience and to use precision in my photography. I shoot about a roll a month.

I highly recommend this to those new to the world of film photography or who have never used an SLR. It is entry-level but has good features and appears to have good build quality.

This camera does not disappoint, especially for the price I paid for it.

Customer Service

Haven't needed it.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Vadim   Intermediate [Jun 16, 2003]
Strength:

Easy to operate Precise meter

Weakness:

Not USM-compatable

I'm not going to takl about fast or noisy autofocus - it is not the matter of the camera, it is the matter of the lenses! The camera itself is easy to operate and pretty intuitive (for me :-) Precise exposure meter, good viewfinder info, very comfortable to hold. I use this camera already for 5 years, and I'm not going to change it meanwhile. Offcoarse it is not a "pro" camera, but it suites 95% of all non-professional needs :)

Similar Products Used: Zenit-12
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Les Burel   Intermediate [Nov 04, 2002]
Strength:

Light , shutter is quiet, easy to figure out if you don't have the manual. Accepts all previous Pentax bayonet lenses. Makes a good program, auto, manual camera if you forget about the auto-focus.

Weakness:

Lousy auto-focus. and it whirrs just like the new MZ-50, SF1, and PZ10 I had a while back. Maybe this camera isn't partial to aftermarket brand lenses.

I've had an MZ-50 before for a short time and it was light, easy to use, shutter was quiet,and the auto-focus wasn't bad. Pentax seems to have a noisier auto-focus than the Canon Elan II or the Rebel. The MZ I have now I bought used on eBay. It came with Two Tamron AF lens. Doesn't focus well with either of them. I tried a new Vivitar AF lens and got the same results. Otherwise this camera makes a superb non-AF camera. The Canon EOS's seem to be far superior.

Customer Service

Haven't tried it.

Similar Products Used: Canon Rebel and Elan II. They both are quieter in the AF mode and the AF has an assist light, (infra-red on the Elan) for focusing in low light.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
SwimPhoto15   Intermediate [Sep 06, 2002]
Strength:

Very few controls, very easy to operate. Reasonable framing speed. Good AF. Bright focusing screen. You can turn off focus confirmation beep.

Weakness:

Finder readouts protrude into the viewing area. Limited ISO's for flash use. (only up to 800 speed film). 1/100 sec flash sync isn't that great for outdoors. Knob for changing shutter speeds and aperatures in slower than a wheel. It only lacks multiple exposures, a simple and gratifying feature.

Compact and lightweight, this is an ideal camera for general purpose photography. It has a high enough framing speed for trying to capture a few shots of someone before they notice. Controls with no clutter.

Similar Products Used: Rebel 2000, Rebel SII, Canon EOS IX, Elan II, Elan 7
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
DAVID BAXTER   Intermediate [May 20, 2002]
Strength:

Cheap and Light.

Weakness:

Slow focus, bad metering, no DOF, feels cheap without the FG-10 battery grip.

DON'T BUY THIS CAMERA. BUY THE ZX-7/MZ-7. This camera is not a bad camera, but you can get more for not the much more out of the 7 or the 5n or even the new zx-l, but the camera has no DOF, not great metering, no focus in a darker room, But its not that the camera is terrible, just that you can get a much better camera for just a little bit more, and forger the 28-85 lens it comes with.

Customer Service

Very good

Similar Products Used: Canon EOS 500, MZ-S, a great camera, Pentax Z1-P, Nikon F100.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
shotguy345   Expert [May 12, 2002]
Strength:

Light weight how easy it is to use

Weakness:

flash

This is a very good camera for beginers and intermiate and even expert this is 1 of the most reliable and efficent camreas I ever used.

Customer Service

didn''t need it

Similar Products Used: Canon Rebel,canon eos
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Toby M   Beginner [Jan 30, 2002]
Strength:

*Small *Light *Easy to use *Programs seem to work well *Well designed *Looks very kewl *The people at the pentax website are very nice, they put up Australian recommended prices...unlike canon who didn''t even put up US prices on their aussie site. *Feels very comfortable.

Weakness:

According to Ted''s (who I name "Club Canon") it doesnt have *Ghasp* Multiple exposures!! hahaha i personally have no intention of taking a multiple exposure even if the camera did have it. But if you DO want this feature (as I understand some might) look no further than the MZ-30.

Words cannot describe how much I love this camera!! It is my first SLR and I can already take great pictures on full manual. It is sooo comfortable everything is really easy to find you can change all settings and never have to move your eye from the viewfinder. The programs you can choose from for full automatic operation are all pretty good, although I find manual so quick and easy to use on it I normally just use that. It doesnt take a hundred shots a second or anything (actually it takes two which is better than the other cameras I was looking at). Some people seem to complain that its maximum shutter speed is "only" 1/2000 but unless your filming a gun fight and want to freeze the bullets mid air 1/2000 is more than enough. Despite being plastic it is very well built and feels solid. I got mine for $450 Australian (about $290 US) with a bag, a Sigma 28-80 Macro lens, a UV filter and a couple of rolls of film. I almost decided on buying a Nikon F-80 but after going into the shop and holding them I found the pentax a LOT more comfortable and bought it. The Nikon is a very good camera too, but it just felt too boxy for me. The Pentax is small too. Without the lens you could just about fit it in your pocket like a compact. And it''s light too. I think my wallet weights more (not a brag about my finacial state, im actually pretty poor. Just I have a lot of keys :P) When we went to buy this camera this woman at Ted''s tried to make me buy a canon which was waaaay overpriced (over $400 more than it should have been) on the sole basis that it did multiple exposures which were "essential"... But one thing you might want to know before you buy it, this camera is NOT manual in the sense that it operates without batteries. Many websites selling this camera seem to imply that, but the manual function is what you can use to decide all the settings yourself, without any programs doing any of the work. Anyway, I love this camera and Im sure you will too :)

Customer Service

Not needed :)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rocco   Intermediate [Dec 12, 2001]
Strength:

Light, ease of use. Quality shots when using quality lenses.

Weakness:

The lense that came with this body, FA 28-80 3.5 is o.k., but if get your hands on a decent prime lense you''ll probably never use the package lense again. I recommend buying the body only and investing in better lenses unless you only plan on taking fun shots, and not enlarging artistic shots. Pop-up flash unnecessary. On rare occasions the metering system seems to get confused, but doesn''t prevent good composition. Doesn''t have the option of single frame rewind.

This is a great compact camera body, with ease of controls. I like being able to adjust my exposures while meetering without having to look at the top of the body or reaching for a knob. Shots can be composed rapidly when neccessary with the thumb and index finger. Use high quality lenses and you''ll have near professional results. I use Pentax A-series 135 f-2.8, 50 f-1.4 and 28 f-2.8 . I like the feel of them better than the AF lenses. The auto program and focus modes were great while learning, but I no longer use them. I have more fun composing my own shots manually using the comfortable features of this light weight body. I recommend it for beginners and students. Once you have mastered composing your own shots, keep it as a great manual SLR for composing beautiful shots quickly.

Customer Service

Haven''t needed it.

Similar Products Used: K-1000
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
rcoker8112   Intermediate [Nov 22, 2001]
Strength:

Full automatic as a point & shoot, ease of use. Easy to read display. Not a complicated camera to figure out.

Weakness:

In full auto mode under low light with flash, metering is weak along with auto focus, Does better as an outdoor camera.

I bought this camera used one year ago and was surprised by the easy use of the camera. You almost don’t need to read the owners manual. The controls pretty much explain themselves. I use a ProMaster 28-200mm lens with a UV filter. I do different types of photography and have used a couple of different cameras. This camera is the easiest to use. With the fully automatic mode, you can take pictures like a point & shoot or for more complicated shots such as storm lightning or fireworks, go to full manual. I was surprised at the auto focus. Indoors it has trouble choosing what to focus on under low light but then again all the cameras I have used do the same thing. Overall A nice camera but not a camera to use for professional looking shots.

Customer Service

None needed so far

Similar Products Used: Nikon N6006, Cannon Rebel G
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Annette Oldaker   Intermediate [Aug 22, 2000]
Strength:

Easy auto-focus and quick change of modes

Weakness:

I have had problems with the pictures coming back blurry.
Noisy re-wind.

Over all, I feel that it is of good quality for your money.

Customer Service

They have repaired my camera once.

Similar Products Used: Fuji Discovery
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 56  

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