The MZ-50 (sold as the ZX-50 in the USA) is an autofocus 35mm SLR introduced by Pentax in 1997.
The camera has several exposure modes. Settings are displayed in an LCD display next to the shutter release button, and selected using a mode dial on the left hand side of the top plate, and a lever-switch (in the collar of the the release button) to navigate the menu in the display. The major modes are:
- 'Picture' mode: Fully programmed exposure, with sub-modes for general use ('Green'), biased for portraits (moderate depth of field), landscape, close-up (maximum depth of field) and action (fast shutter)
- TV: Shutter-priority AE
- AV: Aperture-priority AE
- M: Manual exposure
Pentax KAF2 and KAF lenses are recommended for the camera. KA-mount lenses will allow autofocus with an AF coupler. K-mount lenses will fit, but the camera will not stop down the diaphragm; the maximum aperture will always be used.
The shutter is a vertical-travel focal plane shutter, which gives speeds from 1/2000 second to 30 seconds (steplessly variable when in the aperture AE or programmed modes), plus 'B' in manual exposure.
There is a built-in folding flash (Guide Number 11 in metres at ISO 100, but controlled automatically with several synchronisation modes). There is also a hot shoe, which couples with some dedicated Pentax flashes.
There is a built-in film winder, which gives approximately two frames per second in consecutive mode, and automatic film rewind. The film can be rewound mid-roll.
The camera requires two CR2 3V lithium batteries.