Pentax K-30 review

For the opportunity Pentax K-30 review Many thanks to Oleg Ilesk.

Pentax K30 review

Pentax K30 review

The Pentax K30 is a good amateur camera. First of all, the camera is interesting simply for its enormous capabilities, such as video shooting, good dynamic range, moisture protection, and a strong waterproof case. If you are looking for an inexpensive good SLR camera, then the Pentax K30 will be an excellent option. To be honest, I was just amazed at the capabilities of the hobbyist Pentax K30. In this review, all sample photos were taken with a lens. SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WRthat comes with the camera.

Pentax K-30 sample photo

Pentax K-30 sample photo

The main things to pay attention to in the Pentax K30:

  1. The Pentax K30 camera housing is waterproof. This is a very nice plus in the Pentax gradebook. This not only allows you to shoot in fine rain, but also indicates a good design in general.
  2. Pentax-K30 16.1 MP and CMOS matrix. You can find information about 16.3 and 16.5 megapixels. 16.3 is effective pixels and 16.5 is total pixels on camera. But the camera itself produces images of 4928 by 3264 pixels, which is equal to 16.1 MP. This is a good indicator, however, megapixels are not always so important, you can see for yourself in the section Battle of Megapixels. It is very important that the Pentax K30 uses a matrix from a professional Pentax K-5.

    Pentax K-30 sample photo

    Pentax K-30 sample photo

  3. Pentax K30 has an ISO range of 100 to 12,800 and can expand its range to 25,600... Believe me, even 12,800 is just an excellent figure for a crop APS-C camera. My full frame Nikon D700 and it has an ISO range from 200 to 6400. The noise level at high ISO is very similar, in my opinion, to the noise level of the camera Nikon D5100.
  4. The Pentax K30 has a marvelous three-inch, 920,000-dot LCD display. View photos and poke around the menu is very convenient.

    Pentax K-30 sample photo

    Pentax K-30 sample photo

  5. Good viewfinder with 100% coated frame and an increase of 0.92X. This is really a very good indicator. 100% coverage means that everything that is visible in the optical viewfinder will be in the picture. This indicator is very important for me.
  6. Pentax K-30 uses 11-point focus systemmoreover, 9 focus points are cruciform. The speed and accuracy of focusing very much depends on the lens and shooting conditions. The camera can set shooting priorities for modes and AF-S, AF-C. For example, you can set burst priority or focus priority. This is very important and useful, given that the camera has fast continuous shooting.

    Pentax K-30 sample photo

    Pentax K-30 sample photo

  7. Great frame buffer: Pentax K-30 can buffer up to 8 frames in RAW format and up to 30 in jpeg format. Frame buffer – this is one of the most important things when shooting a series. RAW files have a DNG (Digital NeGative) extension and weigh from 10 to 25 MB. The camera uses memory cards SD, SDHC, SDXC. I used the camera with a 32GB SDHC class 10 card without any problems. The camera only encodes 12bit RAW file.
  8. The shooting speed is as much as 6 frames per second. This is just awesome speed for an amateur camera. Only advanced amateur and professional cameras can boast of such fast burst shooting.

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

  9. The Pentax K-30's battery is pretty weak, withstands up to about 500 shots. The number of shots that the camera can take depends very much on the shooting conditions, lens, and method of working with the camera. But Pentax K-30 can use ordinary AA batteries
  10. The Pentax K-30 camera has a very well thought out live view. The mode has the function of highlighting the contours of objects when focusing, which helps to sight through the camera display without any problems.

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

  11. Of course, the Pentax K-30 can shoot 1080p HD video up to 30 fps in MOV format. You can shoot in 720p at a speed of 60 fps. Also, basic settings for video are available. When shooting video, auto focus works.
  12. The camera menu is quite large, divided into logical sections. The menu is easy to use. In the menu you can find a huge number of useful settings.

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

  13. Pentax K-30 works great with manual optics, the camera measures exposure and confirms focus with manual lenses. You can safely use Soviet lenses and any other old high-quality manual focus optics.
  14. Pentax K-30 has built-in image stabilizer. This means that with any lens, the camera will perform the function of suppressing hand shake. This is a very useful feature, with the stabilizer you can take off at relatively slow shutter speeds.

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

  15. An interesting fact is that the Pentax K-30 supports alignment of optics. This means that if some lens has a back or front focus, then the camera can be adjusted to compensate for the lack of a lens.
  16. Pentax K-30 uses shutter speed from 30s to 1 \ 6000. Of course, 1 \ 6000 is not standard excerpt 1 \ 8000 on professional cameras, but still very good.

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

    Pentax K 30 sample photo

  17. The camera supports interval shooting. There are GPS connectors on the camera body, etc.
  18. Of course, the Pentax K-30 is equipped with a screwdriver - a built-in focus motor, which allows the camera to be used with a wide range of older non-motorized autofocus lenses.
Pentax K-30 sample photo

Pentax K-30 sample photo

Personal experience

The direct competitor of Pentax K-30 is Nikon D5100. I must admit that the Pentax K-30 is much better Nikon D5100 in management and feature set. I really liked the Pentax K-30 features such as:

  • Ability to delete only RAW or JPEG images if shooting in RAW + JPEG
  • Setting up several function keys to the desired functions
  • Virtual horizonwhich has a vertical and horizontal tilt scale
  • bar chart in live view and when shooting video
  • A simple video editor
  • Auto ISO, which takes into account lens parameters and adjusts shutter speed
  • automatic distortion correction
  • Automatic chromatic aberration correction
  • HDR function for creating unusual shots with a large dynamic range
  • Almost every function has a lot of additional settings, which allows you to very well and accurately configure the camera for any shooting conditions
  • Pentax K-30 supports remote control
  • Pentax K-30 has the classic noise reduction functions at slow shutter speeds and high ISO, you can adjust the noise reduction
  • Pentax K-30 has an unusual green backlight auto focus
  • Pentax K-30 is available in several body colors.
  • Metal-based polycarbonate housing, which makes the camera very durable
  • Pentax K-30 can mask dead pixels, which over time becomes very relevant
  • The camera has an excellent dust removal system. Matrix cleaning function it is configured to turn the camera on or off, and cleaning can also be performed forcibly. When cleaning occurs, something feels in the hands that the camera is shaking
  • In the menu, you can adjust the font size, the color of the navigation elements (adjust to the color of the case), you can configure (calibrate) the display
  • There is even a wonderful autofocus trap function
Pentax K 30 sample photo

Pentax K 30 sample photo

Pentax K-30 uses a matrix that Sony produces, the same matrix is ​​available in cameras

The only thing that remains a mystery to me is how to turn off the display when the camera is on. When you turn on the camera, with the shutter button not pressed halfway, the display with shooting information always lights up. A minor drawback of the camera is the delay at startup and the fact that the camera does not show the picture until it is written to the memory card. Also, there is no booster for the Pentax K 30.

Pentax K-30 sample photo

Pentax K-30 sample photo

Prices for modern Pentax cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

In comments Can I ask you a question on the topic and you will answer, and you can also express your opinion or describe your experience. Many little things for a photo can be found on AliExpress.


Conclusions

Pentax K-30 - great camera... Most likely, Pentax K-30 - one of the best amateur crop cameras for 2012. I recommend.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 226, on the topic: Pentax K-30 review

  • Anton

    Cool review, thanks!)
    Only now a question arose about one point
    “Live VIew mode. The mode has the function of emphasizing the outlines of objects during focusing, which helps to sight through the camera's display without any problems. "
    Is it automatic or does it need to be turned on somehow? It's just that my device has been in my hands for more than one month, but I didn't see something like that ... maybe I looked bad?
    I will be grateful for the answer))

    • Michael

      Look in the settings - maybe you don't have this feature turned on. Press the menu button, go to the Live View setting (numbered 4 in the mode with a camera icon) and check the box against “Peaking”

  • Alexey

    Good afternoon . Hello . I am the happy owners of this unit (more than six months. My question can be who will advise: When installing optics with contacts, exposure is measured without excesses, but when installing the same gel, metering in manual mode is impossible (shows the same shutter speed value attached to sensitivity.) Metering only works in automatic mode (with lenses with a threaded mount). Although everything works for a friend (he has K-7).

    • Land

      In theory, set the manual mode, the exposure is measured through the top key with the designation of a green dot

  • Alexey

    Regards, Alexey .

  • Andrei

    I would like to feel the K-50. They write which is better. Not seen on sale.

    • Michael

      Andrey writes that the limiting "working" ISO has increased, but in my opinion this is nonsense. Even if it's true - just one stop. If you want quality, then you don't have to go above 1600. And the K30 does an excellent job with this. In addition to the wild price of 50k, it has, again in my opinion, such a disadvantage as a “bald” surface of the case, which adds some frivolous “soapiness” to the rounded contours of the case. The exterior of the 30s is more sporty and interesting, and overlays that improve both appearance and "grip" are available.

  • Catherine

    Hello!
    Thanks for your camera review !!! Everything is clear, accessible and well written.
    But I have a question: you say that “… Pentax K-30 supports optical alignment…” - can you please tell me where such a function is located in the camera? I just can't find it, although the camera menu is really very convenient.
    Thank you!

    • Michael

      Ekaterina, this function is in the menu in the C tab under number 4. But before entering the correction, find in nete how the front-back focus is determined. This is not difficult

  • Jeanne

    Good day. Help with choosing a camera. I am a beginner photographer, there was a nikon d5100 camera. I really liked the color reproduction, and the pentax clarity. I photograph mainly on vacation, and they photograph me, people who generally did not even hold a SLR in their hands, i.e. I prefer the presence of auto shooting mode. The question arose: does the p-5 pentax have an auto shooting mode, and as a beginner, will it be easy for me to understand it? Or is it better to take the k-50, k-30? And in general, what is the difference between these cameras. thanks

    • anonym

      In terms of the picture, these cameras do not have much difference, but if you need a good auto mode and you don’t want to worry about processing, take Nikon, the auto mode from the Pentax is worse, like the 18-55 lens.

      • Murzik

        That you are fooling the girl's head with the phrase “…. Worse, like the 18-55 lens” Nikon's KITS SHIT in comparison with the Pentax's.
        My wife brought D5100 from work from 18-135 to me, the camera says it’s broken, the director asks to see some kind of soapy pictures, there’s no sharpness at all. I re-shot everything I could under different lighting in different modes and FR. Indeed, mazonina is unified. In manual mode, with normal sharpness, the overall quality of the photo is terrible!
        But the trainee at work took a set of Pentax K-5 + 18-135 goes with him on campaigns in the Caucasus. Photo - you get rocked!
        I explained to my wife what CIT is. Based on the fact that at work the photo is mainly indoors, this is a negotiation table, conferences, meetings, seminars, I advised Nikkor 35mm f / 1.8G crop as a compromise for such events + premises, architecture.
        So the guys after the purchase saw clearly! What a juicy cool photo! Here you have Nikon's CIT.
        And I used to take very worthy photos on my first Pentax 18-55, and now I take it sometimes only for work on construction sites, in order to fix the architecture on a wide 18 mm for design and construction.
        So, if the professionals joke that KITs are a stub for a fotik, then this is just about Nikon, not Pentax

        • Sergei

          The light in the elevator is red, and so is the TV. So the TV is an elevator. Is it logical? Compare two lenses and make a conclusion about all - how emotional it is

          • Sergei

            I agree. I have Nikon 18-135 and 18-105. 18-135 even on the open is sharper on the long end than 18-105 although it should be the other way around in theory. It all depends on the instance and its state. 18-135 from Pentax may not be bad, but there wasn’t any possibility to compare, I recently started K-7, but I don’t have optics for it yet.

        • Alexander

          Not once noticed, pentaxists are still scumbags. Pentax sculpts very interesting mirrors, D7100 and K-3 recently compared, Nikon is a cheap craft compared to K-3. Pentaks have very high-quality DSLRs, but to write about the fact that Nikon's optics are unsharp or soap-obvious nonsense.

        • Michael

          Well, well, the "kit" of Pentax is just behind the "kit" of Nikon 18-105 in sharpness, although it is made much better.

        • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

          You said very correctly. Even cheap plastic whales Pentax has been making at the highest level since the 90s. Experts spoke about this and emphasized that they tested amateur cameras in Foto & Video magazines. The quality has not dropped even after 25 years! And in Kenons and Nikons, this quality, as it was weak, remained. They get their money from the name and marketing tricks. Pentax is simply forced to do better in order to at least somehow adequately compete in the market.

        • Dima

          Nikon whales are shit even compared to canon. Canon 18-55 isII is three heads higher, Nikon 18-105 had 2 different copies, a soapy wretched shithole. At the same time, one bottom washed in local areas, as if in spots. Canon 18-135 (although the comparison is not entirely correct) on shu with an open aperture gave excellent sharpness even in the corners and this is at 18 megapixels (which made me fucking crazy).
          Well, if we compare the cameras themselves, then in the lower grades, Pentax 10 years ago had chips that Nikon / Canon still don’t have (pentaprism and 100% viewfinder coverage, moisture protection, whale 18-55 had a metal mount and also had versions with dust and moisture protection )

          • Arkady Shapoval

            Pentax is so good that he died

  • Jeanne

    But even to me, not a pro, I can see the color reproduction and the picture of Pentax is livelier. I had Nikon and I didn’t like the colors at all, and in auto mode it rarely turns out something normal

  • Ilya

    Good afternoon.
    Tell me.
    I put on the Pentax k-30 Helios 77M-4 through the ring. Everything is good.
    But the device only works in AV mode.
    That is how it should be?

    • Igor

      Yes, in theory, the M-mode should work. Usually, exposure compensation should be somewhere else at +1 EV

  • Alexander

    Thank you, Arkady, for your work! Thanks to this review, I became the proud owner of the Pentax K-50. The only disappointment is the price of the classy AF optics for the PK mount. In all other respects Pentax Forevo! The functionality is super! After a year of use, I still find interesting settings in the camera. The field for experimentation is endless. The use of manual lenses from the old days is very pleasing. Pentax's color reproduction and picture is unique. Thanks you!

  • Alexander

    The author compared the Pentax 30 with the Nikon D3100 as a competitor (at that time it was)
    In my opinion, it is more correct to compare devices that are at the same price and on sale. Now, at the end of 2015, the devices are on sale:

    Pentax K-50 Kit / Pentax K-S1
    + Kit (18-55mm DA L WR)

    - VS

    Nikon D3300 / kit Nikon D3200 /
    + Kit (18-105mm VR)
    or Nikon D5200 (18-105mm VR) - slightly more expensive

    What to choose? For everyday life and amateur in functionality - Nikon D5200 (18-105mm VR)
    Pentax - all the more long-liver, especially if you buy fifty dollars in addition, you can inherit;)

    • Maria

      If you can specify, please, what a fifty dollars (I just discovered that there are optics Tokina, Hoya and Helios with Zenith, which can be installed on Pentax)

      • Maria

        And I almost forgot the Auto Makinon 35-135mm lens, f 3.8-4.5 I heard about this for the first time, maybe someone could share the information

        • Sergei

          There is no need to search among third-tier manufacturers - there will be no miracle Fifty - any autofocus

  • Maria

    I recently thought about the Nikon D5100 and above, and now I looked at the sales announcements and found that the Pentax K30 can be compared with the Sony Alpha SLT-A37. To be honest, I am very encouraged by the fact that, unlike the Sony Alpha SLT-A37, the Pentax K30 is still available. Although the Pentax K-50 and Pentax K-500 will be newer, albeit not by much.

    • BB

      If you are NOT going to change the optics, and buy a bunch of accessories, then you can choose any system.

      If you plan to expand your fleet of optics, buy a flash, etc., then I recommend choosing a system from leading manufacturers - Nikon or Canon.

  • Smash

    The recommended price for the Pentax K-30 in the body version is 30990 rubles. Color options are white, blue and black.

  • anonym

    In conjunction with the Pentax K-30, which option would be more successful in choosing: Sigma 24-70mm F / 2.8 EX DG Macro for Pentax or Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM OS?

  • Eugene

    Good day. Strange thing. It seems that there is stabilization in the K-30, but anyway soap is visible when shooting with hands. Sharpness is not enough. And not even a macro, but just a landscape. It is necessary that the hands do not tremble at all, which is not easy. Here with a tripod is another matter.

    • Miroslav

      Shoot at faster shutter speeds like 1/250, 1/400 and even faster, and raise your ISO a bit (or play around with bracketing) should help.

  • Eugene

    Can someone tell me good advice on this?

    • Denis

      I can say my opinion, does not pretend to be true.
      with a stabilizer at slow shutter speeds, the photo may be more blurry, so it is advisable to turn it off.
      At slow shutter speeds, the stabilizer allows you to get an acceptable picture, but it does not work perfectly, which looks like soap for you. if you turn it off, it will be even worse

  • Marat

    Typo: “This is a good indicator, but HA megapixels are always so important.”

  • Andrei

    Arkady, hello! Do you have the opportunity to review the camera Pentax K-50, or even newer, K-70? It would be interesting to compare them with the K-30. Thanks.

    • anonym

      +1

  • Alex

    Arkady, tell me, or suddenly someone else knows whether it is possible to put Nikon glass here, so that it is 1) sure to install until it clicks, so that there is no fear that the lens will fall out 2) so that the jumper works 3) so that the metering works

    In the internet I dialed into two options either through some kind of adapters (though it is unclear whether the infinity will work with them, whether the jump will work and whether the exposure meter will work) or another, more cruel, option to file the lens mount with a file, but then even more questions) how just file, will there be infinity, will the jumper work, will the exposure meter work and will it be possible in the future to use this lens on nikon?

  • kVovik

    Hello everyone! Please tell me which algorithm for shooting panoramas on the K-30, given that there is no special mode in the camera. I would be grateful for any hint.
    PS: A tripod is available.

    • anonym

      As for the panoramas, he cannot stitch them. So you have to do this on a pc or laptop. For myself, I chose the following “algorithm”: in the “AV” mode with one fixed aperture value, I take two pictures (you don't have to, just remember the exposure readings from the measurements) of the upper and lower parts of the future composition (earth and sky, because this is bright and dark areas of the future panorama), we get different readings for the shutter speed. We switch to manual “M” mode - set the aperture to the previous one and the shutter speed averaged from our measurements, sculpt! If glued from an intra-camera JPEG, then it is better to set a fixed value for WB (white balance) to your taste.

  • anonym

    how to turn on the light indication when using manual lenses on the pentax 30k It should work? Used adapter ring on 42 threads

  • Kondraty

    I have now K 30 and I want myself K 70
    But I’m not going to part with 30

  • anonym

    I have a K-30, a strong good body, a lot of things ...
    but after three and a half years a strange glitch appeared, the exposure meter is fine, it works, and the frames are wildly underexposed, climbed the forums, it turned out to be a failure of the diaphragm control unit, the solenoid stops working normally and does not open the diaphragm, this disease in droves of K-30 and the K-50 (it seems like a third of the cameras of these models), read that recently the same thing began to manifest itself in the K-70
    but it seems like earlier models didn’t have this problem
    and after all, this is absolutely not connected with wear and tear, that there are 10-15 thousand frames, but for some reason is connected with the time of using the camera, how can I explain this?
    on the PENTAX Forums read this post: “One of the contributors on the German forum said that a Ricoh rep told him that the K-30/50 was designed for 4-5 years. I would venture to suggest that this is the same for other consumer cameras like the K-S1, K-S2 and possibly the K-70. ”
    now forced to shoot with manual iris lenses

  • anonym

    I finish writing about the K-30, having looked at the forums, plucked up courage and pulled out the solenoid for controlling the diaphragm unit, then slightly undermined the solenoid shoe and demagnetized it just in case (I moved it a little in the magnetizer-demagnetizer for screwdrivers, but maybe I didn't have to, but did so) put everything together and the diaphragm worked again, as if nothing had happened, the description of the repair is on the forums and I also saw it on YouTube, it turned out to be quite easy ... whoever has the same problem, try to fix it in the same way

  • Dmitriy

    Good afternoon. Tell me on the K30 Pentax SMC DA 50-200 f4-5.6 ED WR
    will it be normal?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      If this is one lens, it will be inconvenient, there will be no opportunity to shoot in a wide-angle range

  • Alex

    All the good days!
    I need some advice.
    I am the owner of two Pentax autofocus lenses - the standard fifty and the SMC Pentax FA 135mm f / 2.8.
    I'm going to go full frame of another system. But I haven't decided which one yet. Will it be possible to adapt these lenses while maintaining autofocus for Sony, Canon or Nikon? What do you advise?

    • B. R. P.

      There will be no af. And on Kenon and Nikon there are also problems with the mismatch of working sections. If these lenses are so expensive, go to Pentax.

      • Alex

        Thanks! It is a pity that such a bummer ... FF Pentax will not pull (the price tag even on K-1, it seems, will always be unshakable), you will have to change the equipment completely.

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