Pentax K30...to be or not to be?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Charismagic
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Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
7 months ago

Hi everyone!

I have lurked around a lot on DP Review, learning from the pros, admiring the sheer versatility, range and breathtaking photographs on display, which has been inspiring, to say the least.

I am looking for some honest advice and would like to thank you for your suggestions.

For some time now, I have lusted after the K30, as compared to those from Canon/Nikon, considering its not crippled, is WR, has focus peaking, has exposure bracketing etc etc.

I have been saving up for some time and now faced with a dilemma. I have a choice of a Pentax k30 with 18-135mm WR kit lens @ $830 where I stay (India) and newer offerings from Canon / Nikon which are much less.

Features mentioned above, along with a good IQ, are important to me. Video ability, higher MP count available, not that important, neither is the availability of more lenses, because I might end up buying maybe one or two primes for macro and portraits, but not more.

I know that the K30 is an older model and is being replaced by the K500 now. Still like the looks and whatever I have read about the K30 in comparison. I have a hand me down Nikon D3100 which I am planning to sell off.

Given the situation, what do you guys think? Is the price too high? Should I go in for the K30 compared to recent offerings from Canon and Nikon at much lesser cost? (not comparing the features apple to apple, just the vintage).

Would really appreciate some advice on this, since I simply cant afford to go wrong with this purchase. From where I stand, its still quite a decent chunk of money.

Cheers!

Charis

Nikon D3100 Pentax K-30 Pentax K-500
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ozdean
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

Charis I think anyone here will tell you to go for the k30 & 18-135 to have a wr kit and there are many more advantages with Pentax eg millions of lenses all stabilized in body, dual wheels, great low light sensor etc.

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robbo d
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to ozdean, 7 months ago

You will find that the K30 is a very capable camera and it sounds more like a simple case of .....you want to be convinced that your gut feeling or preference is right...???

My story is, that four + years ago, I did the research and wanted the Kx. In New Zealand, where I came from, i could not find a Kx in a local store for love nor money. The importer was not very good or aggressive. I was faced with the usual Canon or Nikon choices. I went for a Canon 450d, which was a good enough camera, but not until I finally bought a Kx on ebay, did I feel at home.

Now any of the Canon / Nikon's are fine cameras, you will get good results, so it comes down to your ability to take photo's, what camera feels good, if weather resistance is important and most importantly.........

Will you finally just be satisfied with a K30 in your hands because it's just what you really want??

There is nothing wrong with just wanting something and just getting it  

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JohnXLondon
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

K30 has been replaced by the K50, not the K500.

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Tatouzou
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

I bought the K30 with the 18-135mm kit zoom and I really enjoy it: great camera, good versatile lens.

My son has a K5 and the K30 has almost the same features and performance that this semipro.

By the way, the K30 has been replaced by the K50 (which is a K30 in a new body).

The K500 is a cheap  entry level camera, a K30 is better for about the same price.

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yardcoyote
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

I bought a K-30 last year as I came off of a long hiatus from photography.  It is my first DSLR (I had always shot film before) and I am extremely pleased with it.  I have had several chances to play with the "competition" (Canon Rebels and entry level Nikons) and in my opinion there is no comparison. WR and in body stabilization were on my radar when I bought it, but the usefulness of the second control wheel and the excellent high ISO output were very pleasant surprises.

I say if you want a K-30 you should get one.  I don't think you will be displeased.  I cannot comment on the lens, as I prefer primes for general shooting and have gathered together a small collection, all bought used at very reasonable prices.

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audiobomber
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to JohnXLondon, 7 months ago

JohnXLondon wrote:

K30 has been replaced by the K50, not the K500.

I agree. I would add that the K-30 and K-50 have identical performance and feature set. The "update" was just to the exterior case, and not everyone considers the new model better looking or more ergonomic. Some prefer the more aggressive looking K-30.

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Dan

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Charismagic
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to audiobomber, 7 months ago

ozdean, robbo d, JohnXLondon, Tatouzou, yardcoyote, audiobomber

Really appreciate you all taking the time out! Thanks for the responses.....makes it easier for me.

I am aware that the K-50 is the successor to the K-30, but like the looks of the K30 better, although there are a couple of significant differences between the two, the K50 is priced much higher here.

This will be my first DSLR....not counting the hand me down D3100. I played around with it,but since I am graduating from P&S (I can hear some sniggers already! )

I need something more capable than what the D3100 offers. I do a lot of outdoor photography and features like focus peaking and exposure bracketing, apart from in camera  stabilization  and WR means much to me.

One thing that P&S has taught me is to extract the best, given the imitations of its  minuscule  sensor and basic function sets.

Look forward to interacting with you and sharing my pics for advice and suggestions on how to get the best out of this camera.

Just placed the order. Thanks again guys and really appreciate the inputs.

Cheers!

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afterswish1
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

Hi Charis,

Welcome to the forum. I think this is the friendliest section of DPR so from that standpoint the decision is very easy indeed

Your question though requires a bit more information I think. For example, how much less do the other cameras cost? Obviously, anyone here, myself included is going to say: for around the same price or even a fair bit more, the Pentax is by far the better bet. The point is though, what is actually the $ difference and how much is that money really worth to you?

If you said to me, chose a single camera body for general use, well the Pentax options would clearly win because I think they are the best in their respective classes. The lenses would be a trickier question, although I know that you can get some fantastic results with the 18-135 WR.

If you said though, chose between buying a camera body and lens, or alternatively a complete basic system (details to follow) I'd have to pick the latter, pretty much regardless of the manufacturer.

In my opinion, when starting out, you should consider that you may well need the following additional items to get the best from your camera:

  • Tripod
  • Spare batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Camera bag
  • Filters (perhaps just UV for protection and a polarizer)
  • External flash
  • Additional lenses (a plastic fantastic prime perhaps?)

Further ahead, you may find you want or need to add such things as: more RAM or storage space for your PC (!), flash gels, an after-market strap, specialised software, remote release etc. Of the items I've highlighted as part of the basic kit, I wouldn't skimp on the tripod (you don't want your investment crashing to the floor in a breeze), but you don't necessarily need the latest and greatest. Still, those things add up and I think need to be weighed in to your final decision.

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Charismagic
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to afterswish1, 7 months ago

afterswish1 wrote:

Hi Charis,

Welcome to the forum. I think this is the friendliest section of DPR so from that standpoint the decision is very easy indeed

Your question though requires a bit more information I think. For example, how much less do the other cameras cost? Obviously, anyone here, myself included is going to say: for around the same price or even a fair bit more, the Pentax is by far the better bet. The point is though, what is actually the $ difference and how much is that money really worth to you?

If you said to me, chose a single camera body for general use, well the Pentax options would clearly win because I think they are the best in their respective classes. The lenses would be a trickier question, although I know that you can get some fantastic results with the 18-135 WR.

If you said though, chose between buying a camera body and lens, or alternatively a complete basic system (details to follow) I'd have to pick the latter, pretty much regardless of the manufacturer.

In my opinion, when starting out, you should consider that you may well need the following additional items to get the best from your camera:

  • Tripod
  • Spare batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Camera bag
  • Filters (perhaps just UV for protection and a polarizer)
  • External flash
  • Additional lenses (a plastic fantastic prime perhaps?)

Further ahead, you may find you want or need to add such things as: more RAM or storage space for your PC (!), flash gels, an after-market strap, specialised software, remote release etc. Of the items I've highlighted as part of the basic kit, I wouldn't skimp on the tripod (you don't want your investment crashing to the floor in a breeze), but you don't necessarily need the latest and greatest. Still, those things add up and I think need to be weighed in to your final decision.

-- hide signature --

Gravity will make you crazy until you get the hang of it.

Hi Afteriwsh1

Thanks for the welcome!

You have given me a lot to chew on and yes, I spent quite some time sitting on the horns of dilemma. So much that the points were beginning to ouch!

Canons and Nikons available here ( D3300, D5100, D5200, EOS 650D, 1100D, 1200, Pentax K500 etc) are all lower than the Pentax by lets say $350-$380. Some are close (D5200) and newer. I know capabilities wise its not an apple to apple  comparison, more from a vintage perspective.

Personally, I do not have the luxury of splurging and money spent has to be very carefully counted out, since the outlay is almost twice, and therefore the question to the forum pros.

Over the years, I have invested in a tripod, ultra high speed cards, a high end PC configuration, software and slowly building it up, but this is good advice and I will mull over it more. Thanks!

Cheers!

Charis

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JawaT
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

I have both the K-30 and the K-500. I use both with leather grips rather than the traditional camera straps.

While the K-30 looks more aggressive, I find the K-500 (and hence the K-50) easier to hold for long periods of time. So this is a personal preference thing.

Welcome to the forum!

JawaT

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audiobomber
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

Charismagic wrote:

I am aware that the K-50 is the successor to the K-30, but like the looks of the K30 better, although there are a couple of significant differences between the two, the K50 is priced much higher here.

What differences are there between a K-30 and K-50, other than shape?

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Dan

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drummercam
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The K-50 tweaked the 16MP sensor . . .
In reply to audiobomber, 7 months ago

The K-50 tweaked the 16MP sensor and the PRIME M processor, maximum ISO went up to 51,200, and wi-fi capability with an Eye-Fi SD card was added. Someone said the K-50 got a mic port, but it did not.

Wi-fi through Eye-Fi came to the K-50 at the same time that Eye-Fi capability was added to the Q7. On the Q7, I have found it useful to share pictures that my smartphone simply cannot get because of the lens limitations. I can immediately share anything from a 17mm (eq.) shot (Q 08 lens) to a 200mm shot (Q 06 lens). Because the Q7 and its entire lens set is so compact, I can (and do) keep that range with me all the time. With the K-50, I'm less likely to carry that much gear, so I have much less range of shots I might want to share. Wi-fi on Q7 is phone sharing on steroids, however, if you care to do that, which I have found I do now that I have such a wide range of possible shots.

As for looks, I like the look of the K-30 better than the more rounded, Canon-esque K-50. Here it is with the 20-40mm Ltd. I snapped this with the Q7 in my office garage, sent it to my phone, then mailed it to myself at the office. Came back upstairs, and voila!, there it is. (This workflow is useful to me because cameras and SD cards are not allowed in my office.)

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kenwklau
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

Hi Charis,

Glad that you have made up your mind on a K-30 with the 18-135wr. You won't be disappointed with both.  I have easy access to my workplace's D300s and I can tell you that my K-30 feels better in my hand than the D300s. IQ is also better than D300s.

My brother-in-law bought a Nikon D5200 with a 18-105 on the same day I bought my K-30 for about the same price last year.  Didn't know about that until the get together X'mas time when he had the chance to play with my K-30.  He really liked my K-30's 2 wheel control, better view finder, better built, wr body/lens and its deep grip.  The only drawback he found was K-30's lack of tilt LCD which I agree.

One thing about the 18-135.  It is not a hast lens for its size and range.  You will want one or two fast primes for those purposes.  I got a 50 mm F1.8 and saving for a DA 15 mm.

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Regards,
Ken

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alvin kc
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to Charismagic, 7 months ago

Charismagic wrote:

afterswish1 wrote:

Hi Charis,

Welcome to the forum. I think this is the friendliest section of DPR so from that standpoint the decision is very easy indeed

Your question though requires a bit more information I think. For example, how much less do the other cameras cost? Obviously, anyone here, myself included is going to say: for around the same price or even a fair bit more, the Pentax is by far the better bet. The point is though, what is actually the $ difference and how much is that money really worth to you?

If you said to me, chose a single camera body for general use, well the Pentax options would clearly win because I think they are the best in their respective classes. The lenses would be a trickier question, although I know that you can get some fantastic results with the 18-135 WR.

If you said though, chose between buying a camera body and lens, or alternatively a complete basic system (details to follow) I'd have to pick the latter, pretty much regardless of the manufacturer.

In my opinion, when starting out, you should consider that you may well need the following additional items to get the best from your camera:

  • Tripod
  • Spare batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Camera bag
  • Filters (perhaps just UV for protection and a polarizer)
  • External flash
  • Additional lenses (a plastic fantastic prime perhaps?)

Further ahead, you may find you want or need to add such things as: more RAM or storage space for your PC (!), flash gels, an after-market strap, specialised software, remote release etc. Of the items I've highlighted as part of the basic kit, I wouldn't skimp on the tripod (you don't want your investment crashing to the floor in a breeze), but you don't necessarily need the latest and greatest. Still, those things add up and I think need to be weighed in to your final decision.

-- hide signature --

Gravity will make you crazy until you get the hang of it.

Hi Afteriwsh1

Thanks for the welcome!

You have given me a lot to chew on and yes, I spent quite some time sitting on the horns of dilemma. So much that the points were beginning to ouch!

Canons and Nikons available here ( D3300, D5100, D5200, EOS 650D, 1100D, 1200, Pentax K500 etc) are all lower than the Pentax by lets say $350-$380. Some are close (D5200) and newer. I know capabilities wise its not an apple to apple comparison, more from a vintage perspective.

Personally, I do not have the luxury of splurging and money spent has to be very carefully counted out, since the outlay is almost twice, and therefore the question to the forum pros.

Over the years, I have invested in a tripod, ultra high speed cards, a high end PC configuration, software and slowly building it up, but this is good advice and I will mull over it more. Thanks!

Cheers!

Charis

Hi Charis,

I currently own a K30 and I think performance-wise its similar to D5200 and 650D (though I think K 30 is better).  However, if there is a $350+ difference, then I think either the Nikon or Canon would be attractive.  You could use the saving to get a good lens and a good lens makes quite a difference.  Just a thought.

cheers

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Charismagic
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to JawaT, 7 months ago

JawaT wrote:

I have both the K-30 and the K-500. I use both with leather grips rather than the traditional camera straps.

While the K-30 looks more aggressive, I find the K-500 (and hence the K-50) easier to hold for long periods of time. So this is a personal preference thing.

Welcome to the forum!

JawaT

Thanks Jawa!

I guess everyone has their preferences....Reading the responses here, I am glad I made the decision to go ahead.

Cheers!

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Charismagic
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to audiobomber, 7 months ago

audiobomber wrote:

Charismagic wrote:

I am aware that the K-50 is the successor to the K-30, but like the looks of the K30 better, although there are a couple of significant differences between the two, the K50 is priced much higher here.

What differences are there between a K-30 and K-50, other than shape?

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Dan

Hey Dan,

To add to drummercam's post this is what I got off the net during my research

- Composition Adjustment capability - Earlier in K5?

-New Sensor which allows up to ISO 51200

- Eye-Fi wireless transfer

- Real time M mode for movie mode - AF issues here??

- Upgraded M processing engine

- comes with DAL WR lens as against DA WR kit lens

- Shape

Cheers!

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Charismagic
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Re: The K-50 tweaked the 16MP sensor . . .
In reply to drummercam, 7 months ago

Thanks!

I like the look of the K30 compared to K50 which is more Canonikonish..all that matters to me though is DSLR>still photography>bang for the buck, and the K50 is significantly more here.

Cheers!

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Charismagic
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to kenwklau, 7 months ago

Thanks Ken!

Planning to pick up a couple of primes, but will play around with this combi till I am more hands on.

I am graduating from a P&S, and although not a novice (at least I would like to think that) still learning the finer nuances. Truth be told, this has wiped out my budget set aside, so even cheap second hand primes are some time away....but def yes!

Cheers!

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Charismagic
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Re: Pentax K30...to be or not to be?
In reply to alvin kc, 7 months ago

alvin kc wrote:

Hi Charis,

I currently own a K30 and I think performance-wise its similar to D5200 and 650D (though I think K 30 is better). However, if there is a $350+ difference, then I think either the Nikon or Canon would be attractive. You could use the saving to get a good lens and a good lens makes quite a difference. Just a thought.

cheers

Yeah thats a thought that had me spend some sleepless nights. The D5200 was more or less the same price, but also had an AFS 55-200 lens along with the standard 18-55 kit lens.

I also read DXO marks rating of the D5200, and the stats, and the IMATEST scores on techradar, but when I looked at the pictures posted by users online, in Flickr and other sites for example, the K30 images seemed much better.

So logical or not, went ahead and made the plunge.

Cheers!

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