Pentax K-30 announced at May 21, 2012, this is the latest addition to Pentax DSLR camera’s lineup. Another weather-sealed camera that keeps a good balance between features and price. The K-30 is sealed against water splashes, dust and resistant to cold down to -10 Celsius degrees. This is a great camera for the enthusiast outdoor photographer and for people who usually shoot in harsh weather conditions.
This is not a waterproof camera that you can take underwater like Pentax WG point-and-shoot cameras. This is a camera that you might take to you next Ski trip, shoot surfers at the beach, take to a trip to the rain forest, etc.
Pentax already have several high-quality weather-sealed DSLRs, including the K-5 and the K-7. It’s not built with the same Magnesium-alloy body as the K-7 and the K-5, but rather reinforced Polycarbonate over stainless steel chassis, however, it’s still a very strong and durable camera.
Pentax K-30 (blue), doesn't afraid of water splashes
The Pentax K-30 is a great camera for novices who want to immediately jump to manipulating a DSLR level camera. In addition to the sensor and Prime M engine, the Pentax K-30 also comes with a state-of-the-art SAFOX Ixi+ autofocus system that enables the sensor to find the sharpest focus under any condition. This is most helpful when covering extreme conditions (and together with the weather seal features of the camera) like during bad weather and extreme hale where there is a blur of activities. Like-wise, it is great for just about anything since pictures generally (note: note always) look better with the subject in good focus.
Aside from a great AF system, the Pentax K-30 also comes with auto pictures modes, which enable the user to find the best possible settings under different circumstances. The creative scene modes number a total of 19 different presets, while there are also an equivalent number of digital filters for one to play around with. Both the Creative Scene Modes and Creative Filters can be combined to create stunning pictures and even create a themed photo slides. In addition, the Pentax K-30 have an SR Mechanism (SR: Shake Reduction) that ensures that the videos taken will have minimal shakiness specially when the cam is handheld, or that pictures taken under low light conditions will have less blur. In tandem with the SR Mechanism, the user can also take advantage of the built-in Automatic Horizon Correction that ensures each shot taken will be leveled out with respect to the ground.
Performance-wise, one can never complain about how snappy the Pentax K-30 is. It starts and shoots at an average of 1.3 seconds in between, and each shutter lag has a very minute almost nonexistent time of 0.1 seconds. Although the camera is tagged at a frame rate of 6 per second, actual measures can go as fast as 5.2 frames per second. Also, it is able to keep the performance running to as much as 63 JPEG shots. As for raw shooting, the camera can take 8 images before slowing down and requires another 5 seconds to write them into the memory card. The autofocus speed is also quick in under good lighting, but slows down to around 0.8 seconds when using Live View. Under dim light, focusing time can take to up to 2 seconds and 4 seconds using the OVF and the Live View respectively. As for the image quality, the sharpness of the pictures is really quite impressive, and detailing is quite good even at the default non-user customized configurations. Video capture is also refined although the K-30 still lags behind other bigger names in terms of focus speeds.
Pentax is spot on with the metering. During my excursion with the rest of the NYC Press, I did formal Sunny 16 tests and the camera’s meter worked perfectly with the logic.
The Pentax K-30 can record Full HD videos at 1080p at 30/25/24 frames per second. Just in comparison, the Pentax K-7 can shoot only 720p30 and the K-5 can shoot 1080p, but only in 25 fps.
That certainly add extra value to this camera, because when you take this camera in the rain, to the beach or to shoot a Ski event, you can use it for both stills and videos too! – just note that the Pentax K-30 doesn’t come with an external microphone jack, so you need to accept the lower sound quality of the camera’s internal microphone.
Other interesting specs:
6 fps continuous shooting
Shake Reduction (SR) image stabilization mechanism which is useful to 3-stops
LCD comes with anti reflective coating to reduce sun and strong light reflections (needed for outdoor video shooting, but very useful in general)
410 shots battery life (CIPA), not as good as the 980 shots of the K-5 and K-7
ISO 100-25600 (extended)
16.3MP CMOS sensor
PRIME M image processor
Dimensions: 130 x 97 x 71 mm (5.12 x 3.82 x 2.8″)
Pentaprism viewfinder: 100% coverage and 0.92x magnification
12m (ISO 100) built-in flash
compatible with SD/SDHX and SDXC memory cards
Shutter speed 1/6000 to 30 seconds
Large variety of scene modes: ortrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Forest, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR (JPG), Night Snap, Food, Pet, Kids, Surf & Snow, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, Museum
6 fps continuous shooting
77 Segment Metering system
Rechargeable Li-Ion or AA battery compatible
All in all, the Pentax K-30 looks like an excellent alternative to Canon and Nikon mid-range DSLRs.