All Weather Wonder
I am already a Pentax DSLR user, see Pentax ist* DL2 review on this site (using my old ID of RobGee). My DL2 is so full of dust that dust mites are breeding! So with the cost of a full clean at say £80 it seemed sensible to up grade to a fully dust proof camera and retire the DL2. I had already short listed the K-30 and that was at the £679 price including 18-55 “WR” lens. Just could not believe my luck when the package price fell to £449 in store and £50 cash back from Pentax UK. First impressions of this £399 camera!
The camera is easy to use straight from the box. Unfortunately my camera arrived with dust on the viewing screen and the AF lens fine adjustment set to on. I have now returned this setting back to factory default but this does show that some one has been “mucking around” with this camera. Some images did seem soft but now using the default setting image quality is excellent.
This camera is very well specified. It will require much more learning to use than the “simple” DL2 I know so well. In fact D. o. F. preview is available via the Fn/RAW button and exposure lock can be programmed with the AF/AE-L button. The view finder brightness and clarity is just a marginal improvement over the DL2 for normal use, but once stepping down using the D. o. F. preview; the pentaprism viewfinder was easy to use to F16.
I have already used exposure lock with the “HDR” function for difficult “sun setting” exposures and the result is very impressive. The HDR function has no intelligence, so best results need to be worked for. That is to use manual exposure or the AE-L button and recompose. In fact exposure latitude and ISO sensitivity are much better than the DL2. I have programmed “user function one” to give manual exposure with optical D. o. F. preview which allows me to go from auto everything to full manual control by setting the lens switch to “MF” and the control dial to “U1”. This makes the K-30 a true landscape photographer’s camera.
I will not be using either liveview or video, this camera is for still photography in all weathers
One problem is that the electronics on the K-30 is not compatible with older third party flashguns. Two, battery life is too short. I have noticed that at high ISO values (1600) reds tend to be recorded with a slight purple tint.
Overall, the Pentax K-30 will set the trend for affordable all weather DSLR photography for years to come.
Pentax just cannot help tweeking their flash setting, so yet again (see DL2 comments) I have a "Pentax dedicated flash gun" which works on the DL2 but not the K30!
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