- Resolution: 16.3 MP
- Screen size: 3 inch
- Sensor type: CMOS
- Type: DSLR
- Built-in Flash: Retractable P-TTL Pop-up Flash
- Red Eye Reduction: Yes
- Battery Type: Li-ion
- LCD Info Display: TFT LCD
- Lens Kit: 18-135 mm
Pentax was founded in 1919 as the Asahi Joint Stock Company. Its footing started with the SLR’s in the early 1950’s and currently holds a prominent position worldwide. There have been various DSLR camera offerings from Pentax, but the K-30 is what we are going to discuss in detail. The K-30 is a mid-level DSLR offering from Pentax that is feature friendly and suitable for most consumers.
The dominance of bigger players such as Canon, Nikon, Sony have ruled the market for quite some time. The smaller players like Pentax think harder and much smarter to survive in the market. In several cases this has resulted in manufacturers turning to compact system cameras (CSC) and abandoning their SLR line-up. But pentax has been known to think different so as to survive in the market.
Residing at the very heart of the Pentax K-30 is an APS-C format sensor that measures 23.7x15.7mm. This camera has a resolution of 16.2 Megapixels. The camera’s sensor shifts accordingly to correct the usually-occurring camera shake. Pentax's Shake Reduction system functions just about whatever lens is mounted and can be set to the correct focal length if the camera cannot automatically detect the information. In addition to this, the Shake Reduction system can rotate the sensor automatically by up to 1 degree to correct the composition and avoid a sloping horizon. The camera also has a digital level display option for the VF and the LCD screen. The system built in the camera also allows the image composition to be adjusted up, down or left or right by up to 1mm over 16 steps. This system also enables the image composition to be adjusted accordingly. The 1mm movement at sensor level makes quite the significant difference. It comes in handy while you are shooting still life or macro photographs. Pentax has also coupled a PRIME M processing engine into this device that enables JPEG images to be captured at a maximum continuous shooting rate of 6fps, or 8 raw files at 3fps, and sensitivity. It also enables the shooter to shoot between the ISO ranges of 100-25,600 along with expansion options.
Adding to the features, the camera also shoots Full HD videos at 30, 25 or 24fps in clips of up to 25min in length. The clips shot by you can be cut and joined together in-camera to make better footage. The camera’s Auto focus is handled by the new SAFOX IXi+ AF module that has 11 AF points, 9 of which are cross-type. This system takes the existing lighting conditions into account when calculating the focus and there's a new select-area expansion function for tracking moving subjects. Pentax had also introduced the HDR (high dynamic range) shooting in its SLRs and the K-30. The HDR has various options that combine three images with bracketing of up to +/-3EV.
The K-30 also has Shadow and Highlight correction options that boost the dynamic range of individual images as and when they are shot. The camera boasts 7 digital filter effects that can be applied to JPEG files.
Design, Display and Handling:
The K-30 has a modern look and it has quite a sculpted handgrip on the right front of its body. The elongated housing on its body contains the viewfinder as well as an inbuilt flash. The K-30 is a small DSLR that measures 5.1 X 3.8 X 2.8 inches and weighs quite less. The camera’s ergonomics might feel annoying in large hands. The camera struggles to accommodate all the fingers on its grip. It might get a little challenging to activate the shutter button with your finger. The camera’s body has an excellent covering but it feels quite small when held in the hand. The camera’s weather cover is also quite a handy addition allowing users to utilize this in any condition.
This camera is the replacement of the Pentax K-r but has a different shape. The K-30 feels quite robust and the fact that it has 81 seals to keep moisture, dust and sand at bay is whooping. The camera also has a sensor cleaning system that is set to operate on powering up and down. The camera starts with an unusual sound and might feel like a little knock. The K-30 being an entry-level SLR camera has an unusual viewfinder that covers approximately 100% of the scene. The sad bit is that the VF seems a little bit dim, which is more noticeable in low light. The screen layout of the camera is quite simple and lacks the current appeal. The 3-incher with 921,000 dots provides fine images and nice clear view in all but very bright light.
There are the usual shortcut buttons that have been placed on-hand giving access to the sensitivity, drive mode, white balance and flash options. The screen of this camera displays a graphic of the navigation buttons on the back of the camera making clear what shortcut options are on offer. This is essential especially when you are shooting in low light. Toggling between AF and manual can also be done by simply holding down the OK button for a couple of seconds. You can also select the white balance and other settings quite simply. It is a quick yet simple arrangement. There is an Info button as well that brings up the information screen that displays 15 of the key settings. The camera’s menu is spread widely across 13 screens and although they are sensibly grouped with tabs, it isn't always easy to find exactly what you need quickly. It could have been useful to see a screen dedicated for the most commonly used features for quick access. The camera is constructed quite well and feels very enjoyable when held.
The K-30 is a slow starter and brings up all the required options on the screen in about one second. The single shots are quicker and more accurate than the ones shot continuously. The AF is also decent, not the best but is manageable. The camera also has an AF assist lamp used for dim lighting conditions but its range is fairly limited. This camera offers unique features if you like shooting JPEG files. The camera has settings for raw/Fx format files too. The 6 fps shooting on this camera has a good buffer speed for 30 Jpeg images or 8 raw files. Overall, this camera performs just about the same as any mid-level DSLR.
The K-30 comes with both 18-55mm F 3.5-5.6 AL WR or the DA 18-135 mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR zoom lenses. Both the lenses are well constructed and come with weather coating. They are good lenses and give you a good command over photography. However, the choices of lenses are plenty for the users to explore based on the style.
While you might be captivated by the Pentax K-30’s stabilized sensor along with its weather-sealed body and the rich image quality, its drawbacks are inevitable. The camera has a slow performance AF with the 18-55 lens, the camera does not offer continuous AF while shooting videos too. This camera might feel like a tiny toy in large hands. Overall, this is a good camera that goes inline with most entry and mid-level DSLR’s.
Pentax K 30 Rivals:
Canon EOS 650D
At the time of writing this article, the best available price for Pentax K 30 with 18-135 mm Lens in India is Rs.54595/-. The price will be updated regularly in this page.