K30 First impressions

Started Jul 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Dale108
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K30 First impressions
Jul 21, 2012

I recently picked up a K30 as a second camera to the K5. In the past I have used the *istD, K10, K20, K7, Kx, Kr K200 and K5. People have been comparing the K30 to the K5 but it should be compared to the Kr. While it is not as full featured or well built as the K5 the following is my summary so far:

-AF is improved over the K5 and Kr. I am not sure if it is faster but focus lock seems more secure. This includes challenging lenses such as the FA 77 Ltd, which now locks AF much better than any previous Pentax. I haven't tried the Tungsten lighting scenario yet.

-Live view AF is incredible, not comparable to either K5 of Kr.

-Flash performance seems to be more consistent than the K5, including bounce flash. This is a nice surprise as I always avoided flash with K5 as I was never really satisfied with it.

-Build quality: good for price point but no comparison to K5.

-IQ: since it likely has the same sensor as the K01, which is a newer version of the Sony 16 MP sensor. JPEG quality may be better.

-Focus Peaking: I am new to this feature but is seems to work well. However, it may not work as well as K01 would do hand held due to mirror flop which performs similar to Kr but not as smoothly as K5. Focus peaking seems to work the best for tripod work.

-Video: so far it seems to work well and AF in video seems to work well. Sure it is not a full featured video machine but I can always use a separate recorder if I want the best sound.

So far I have been pleasantly surprised with the K30. It is slightly smaller and lighter than K5 so seems to scream for shooting with primes. I don't see this replacing a K5 as the RAW continuous shooting buffer is too low. The only major disappointment as I have is the big mirror flop during live shooting, which makes hand held shooting challenging. The K5 works so smoothly. Also, I yearn for the quiet shutter sound of the K5. Hopefully this camera gets Pentax back on the map after the Q/K01 slow sales introductions. I can't wait for the K5 replacement; will it have more AF points and be a full featured video machine?

Dale

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