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Just Posted: Pentax K-30 full review

By dpreview staff on Oct 29, 2012 at 19:28 GMT

Just Posted: Our review of the Pentax K-30 16MP DSLR. The K-30 continues a Pentax tradition of building cameras around a strong photographer-friendly feature set. It may be less expensive than the much-loved K-5 but it gives up very little in terms of specification - it has a 100% viewfinder and a level of weather sealing unique at this point in the market. Nor does it skimp on software features, including intervalometer, distortion correction and image processing filters. So do these features add up to the perfect mid-level DSLR?

128
I own it
33
I want it
7
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 272
12
WilliamB84
By WilliamB84 (Mar 14, 2013)

As a photojournalist who had never shot anything other than Nikon, I picked up a K30 based on the reviews. I got the 18-55 kit for about $600 new, which immediately made this camera an extreme value compared to the $1,100 I paid just a few months back for a d7000 kit.

Image-wise, I've been pretty impressed just with what I've shot with the kit lens. I don't agree that the High ISO performance is quite on par with the d600, as another commenter stated, but it's comparable to the d7000.

The biggest issue for me is the lack of a top LCD screen and dedicated ISO and WB buttons. It only takes a half second longer to access these via the menu buttons, but in my profession that half second can be costly.

The K30 is also missing ISO2500 and 5000 settings, both of which are on the Nikons. You can get about the same using the exposure control, but I miss having direct access to them.

For the price, and with the weather resistance, this is a great second body to my d600.

0 upvotes
mckracken88
By mckracken88 (Nov 5, 2012)

This camera has noise levels ALMOST on par with the D600 and in body shake reduction, great image quality and it only gets a SILVER award mostly because of video focus?

I agree with what has been said, there needs to be a seperate VIDEO category.
Personally I dont care about making movies, and i bet most here do not.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
jackie semple
By jackie semple (Nov 6, 2012)

Agree - buy a video camera if you want one.

3 upvotes
Jonathan Wilson
By Jonathan Wilson (Nov 13, 2012)

I agree - I can't understand why this doesn't have the highest value for money rating too? Weather sealed, two control wheels, excellent IQ, excellent high ISO performance, really good ergonomics, excellent performance, good metering, good auto white balance, relatively compact, excellent viewfinder (Pentaprism!), reliable autofocus and compatible with all the 35mm lenses Pentax has ever made!

I have no idea what Pentax would have to do to get a high rating here? Is it really just the video (which I have seen some good reviews for)?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
NJHr
By NJHr (Nov 2, 2012)

This camera is currently the bargain of the century here in the UK. The price has dropped down to £319 with the £50 cash back promotion running. I am buying as soon as I have some cash, hello Pentax you got yourself a new customer. I am sure you will make back the money on the limited pancakes I will undoubtedly buy.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
frazbrown
By frazbrown (Nov 2, 2012)

This looks fantastic for £319 - Nikon also have a cash back offer on now, the D5100 can be had for about £290 body only after cash back but the K-30 definitely looks the better option for only £25-£30 more.

Just trying to find a Pentax equivalent of the Nikon 35mm 1.8G (£115 after cash back) but can only see the 35mm 2.4 which doesn't sound as good, the 40mm 2.8 Limited looks nice but a little bit too slow compared to 1.8.

0 upvotes
charliechappy
By charliechappy (Nov 3, 2012)

Take the 35mm 1:2.4. You lose the aperture but you win the stabilization. The 40mm is a complete different class of lens. And i'm not only talking about the price. I don't know about the optical performance of the Nikon lens, but the Pentax is pretty good even wide open.

1 upvote
NJHr
By NJHr (Nov 3, 2012)

Thats what I am going for, its a pretty good lens going by its test results for very little money:
http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/prod.php?n=Pentax35mmf2.4SMCDAAL&p=1801

Review and test results on a K5 so should give identical performance on K30:
http://www.photozone.de/pentax/598-pentax_35_24

0 upvotes
frazbrown
By frazbrown (Nov 3, 2012)

That's a good point about the stabilization offsetting the slower 2.4 v 1.8 so definitely worth considering and it does get some good reviews.

Seems a shame not to get a WR lens to make the most of the camera havng WR, not sure how good the 18-135 WR lens is though as it gets conflicting reviews, it would add £300 when bought as a kit.

Sigma have released a new 18-250 macro lens (only 470g and about £400) that gets good reviews and one to consider as my general zoom lens, but no WR of course.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
charliechappy
By charliechappy (Nov 3, 2012)

I personally dont own a 18-135mm but since i'm planning to "trade up" to one of the newer models i've been thinking about that lens for some time already.
First though is that with 18-135mm it covers most you'll need on a normal trip with low weight and compact size. Secondly, it's supposed to be better than the normal 18-55/50-200 WR-Kits. But overall it's not that good (in terms of value) if bought alone. If you want that one "jack of all trades lens" the 18-135 wr is probably right for you. But buy it in the bundle. I've come to the decision that i'll wait for the next DA* Zoom (hopefully at the end of 2013) and until then i'll be good with only a 18-55mm WR and a 55 DA* for messy weather. (And probably a 100mm DFA WR Macro) But then again I already have a pretty well rounded lens setup.
I would not go with a super-zoom without WR on my WR camera. That just ruins the gain of having a camera you could use in any situation without having to take extra care due to say heavy rain.

0 upvotes
Jonathan Wilson
By Jonathan Wilson (Nov 4, 2012)

This is exactly the problem I'm grapling with. I am decided on getting a K-30 but unfortunately you cant get the 18-55 WR bundled with it here. So do I get the, somewhat over priced 18-135? Some like, some don't. I suspect patchy QA involved and sample variation.

0 upvotes
NJHr
By NJHr (Nov 4, 2012)

Not for me, just not interested in kit zooms. The ltd pancakes are a big attraction for me in Pentax. Having tried m4/3 for a while I got very used to fixed focal length and high quality small light weight lenses. The 15 f4 and 70 f2.4 will be on the shopping list. If I really want to shoot wildlife and sports in all weathers I will save up and get the 300 f4. A friend of mine has used one relentlessly to shoot motorsports for several years.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jackie semple
By jackie semple (Nov 6, 2012)

I have seriously thought about buying the 18-135 lens and have read some really good stuff about its build quality and optical performance and it has WR. While WR is an asset it is not something I am overly concerned about. I think a better matching zoom is the new Sigma 18-250 that looks impressive and would have my vote.

0 upvotes
Class A
By Class A (Nov 2, 2012)

It is nice to see that user feedback here has led to many error corrections (thanks Lars).

However, if small typos like "viewo" are fixed, could someone please add "two control dials" to the "Pros" list and mention "focus peaking" somewhere?

Come on, guys, you are reviewers, aren't you?

12 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Nov 1, 2012)

Copy/paste: "Unlike many of its competitors, the K-5 does not allow you to take any still images during video recording."

1 upvote
solarider
By solarider (Nov 1, 2012)

A good complement to this review is the review at Imaging Resource
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/pentax-k30/pentax-k30A.HTM

0 upvotes
Draniki
By Draniki (Nov 1, 2012)

I'm happy with the camera Pentax K-30. I would be doubly happy if Pentax removed the video from it, because I do not use.

Pentax! I'm ready surcharges for this work is $100.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (Nov 1, 2012)

I've never seen a DSLR with Two control dials at this price point, if that's a first in the industry at this price, I'm wondering why that's not even pointed out in the pro's column of the conclusion.

Just the same Pentax pulled an ace on this feature. Quite a fine move.

Fine review, thanks.

7 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Nov 1, 2012)

I paid today's equivalent of 500 euros for my new D80, in 2009, which had 2 control dials.

1 upvote
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Nov 1, 2012)

What do you mean, "today's equivalent"? You converted the RON (Romanian currency) amount of money you paid 3 years ago in Euro, at today's exchange rates? Ignoring what happened with the world's economy, and also that the D80 was 3 years old when you bought it, already replaced by the D90, thus heavily discounted?
Wow, that's entirely fair <rolling eyes>

L.E. From what I could find out, the D80 was launched for $1000, body-only - thus $150 more than the K-30, without any adjustment for inflation.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
smileblog
By smileblog (Nov 1, 2012)

This is one of best cameras this year.
We SHOULD buy one.

Me? I don't have bucks, sorry.

2 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Oct 31, 2012)

It seems Pentax is applying the age old method of subsidizing the body (hamburger) to make some money off the lenses (french fries).

Being new to the various lens mounts, I'd appreciate a primer (or a reference to one) explaining the various acronyms the dpr readers here are sooo capable of tossing about.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Oct 31, 2012)

Found it on this site: For this review Pentax DA lenses are relevant

0 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Nov 1, 2012)

DA are the APS-C lenses that support full metering and AF. You can mount any of the older K-mount (Pentax bayonet) lenses directly, with more or less limited functionality (K, M, A, KAF, DFA, FA, FAJ). You can also attach M42 lenses (with an adapter).
Edit: Forgot the Limited and DA* and possibly others ;)

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Oct 31, 2012)

"The 'Hyper' in Hyper Program and Hyper Manual refers to the function of the green dial"

What green dial?

0 upvotes
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (Oct 31, 2012)

I think they mean the green button. Pressing the green button on a Pentax camera sets the exposure settings, Aperture/Shutter/ISO, to the program line recommended settings for a given amount of light. You can specify whether you want to prioritize speed, depth of field, or sharpness, or default which is a combination of all three (it changes to keep you away from extremes like a 1/8th exposure with a 200mm lens). It will also automatically do a stop-down reading from a manual lens.

So in Manual mode, if you have depth of field priority set, and you press the green button the camera will change the shutter speed (and ISO if you allow it to do so) to what it thinks will yield a proper exposure, and then apply any EV comp you have set.

I never shoot in any other mode, so I couldn't tell you how it works in Av, Tv, Sv or TAv, but i think it will always take a stop-down reading if the camera can't detect to which aperture you have the lens set.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Oct 31, 2012)

There is an important element which is hard to find in the test reviews, and I think it might be important to know: the shutter lag. For people taking action shots this will be a valuable information, since some cameras, otherwise impressive in specs, take simply too long to execute.

1 upvote
LightRoom
By LightRoom (Nov 1, 2012)

I don't think SLR cameras have any lag worth speaking of.

0 upvotes
xvip
By xvip (Nov 1, 2012)

http://sortable.com/cameras/Fastest-shutter-lag-cameras-84783

K-5 - 104ms
K-30 - 162ms

The question is how accurate the numbers are (e.g. D4 208ms???)

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Nov 1, 2012)

@lightroom... ALL cameras have a shutter lag, ESPECIALLY those with large mechanical parts which have to move out of the way for a picture to be taken.
But besides the camera construction, it also has to do with cameras' program.
@xvip... Thanks. I just thought it wouldn't be too much to add this information to camera specs. To some, this might be of importance.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Camp Freddy
By Camp Freddy (Oct 31, 2012)

Hmm, ticks a number of boxes for me on price, relative IQ to price and not least weather proofing. But how many lenses are weather proofed ?

0 upvotes
charliechappy
By charliechappy (Oct 31, 2012)

Any WR, DA* and AW lens.
18-55mm WR, 50-200 WR, 18-135mm WR, DFA 100mm Makro WR
DA* 16-50, DA* 60-250, DA* 50-135, DA* 55mm, DA* 200mm, DA* 300mm, 560mm AW and probably some more which i forgot...

2 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

I shoot my non weather proofed Pentax and lenses in light rain. Basically until it starts raining so much that I become uncomfortable. I do this since 8 years in the sub tropics. Never had a hitch. However, after every shoot I put my camera and lenses in unmounted ( open ) state into a dry cabinet.

0 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (Oct 31, 2012)

You have just about listed them all Charlie.
Special mention must be the DA17-70mm F4. Whilst not a WR, it does have the rubber seal around the mount. So it is a partially sealed lens. I don't know if it has seals inside though.
To be honest, the weather sealed Pentax bodies and lenses are a boon. Especially in the English summer that we have had. I have been out in monsoon rain and not worried one bit with my K-5 and DA*50-135 or 18-55 WR. I get the shot, the camera gear gets soaked, but not one issue. The same will be with the K-30 and a sealed lens. I just wish that Pentax produced nice primes wider than 50mm that were weather sealed too. But maybe they are coming in due course....In the meantime i shall be getting the DA*16-50 for that very purpose, oh and to have a fast zoom for those focal lengths...

1 upvote
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (Oct 31, 2012)

After reading that review, i suppose that DPreview will give a terrible note to Leica cameras which don't support videos !

Downrating a photographic tool because of video performances, that's just silly.

16 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Oct 31, 2012)

Video is not important for you, but maybe it is for someone else.
Dont focus so much on the idiotic percentage score.
Just draw your own conclusion based on your own priorities.

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

Pentax K30 = brave and well chosen feature set
For a product to be great for a specific customer class the designers must make tough choices. I you avoid them you either end up with something too big and expensive or useful for a too little customer base. I always felt that Pentax Gestalt is about the best value for money with the best usability packed into the smallest package. The K30 holds very true to this unique Pentax Gestalt. This might explain the polarized postings below. If you shot with a Pentax for some time, you know why you love it. If you are used to the Canikon Gestalt, you might make a comparison on paper which does not give the right picture. Pentax cameras and ( some of their ) lenses are designed to bring joy to the photographer without breaking his back and bank. It is a pitty dpreview only got it half. If they do not get it, who will? Photographers shopping for a DSLR system have a right to know what a Pentax system can ( and can not ) do for them.

9 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Oct 31, 2012)

Top of APS-C DSLR class in noise characteristic but short of Fujifilm X series for overall APS-C noise characteristic.

Kinda a weird series of cameras. More flair than Canon, Nikon & SONY and offers some unique selling points but overall not as refined as the big players and some questionable MSRP.

2 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

I bought into Pentax system because of most refined design and best value for money. Never regretted it.

3 upvotes
audiobomber
By audiobomber (Nov 6, 2012)

@ Peiasdf - FujiFilm are not DSLR's and have their own compromises. If you want to compare IQ of Pentax vs. Fuji mirrorless, check out the K-5 IIs, not the far less pricey K-30.

Not as refined as the big players??? How is a Nikon 5100 or Canon T4i more refined than a K-30 for photography?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

About missing Audio Jack is irrelevant:
Noise of AF will be picked up with any camera build in microphone. This is why using external microphone for production is essential. Once you make this effort, adding an external recorder is actually reducing trouble: Say you record an interview. Build a single clip that holds microphone and recorder ( still very small ) and clip it to the speaker. Now you have no cables between model and camera ( you may trip over it and they would be in the movie, so really great to get rid of them). In fact battery life is so great, you can keep it running all the time. No need to turn it on and off. To make finding your recording clips a snap as well as synch audio and video, all you need to do is clap your hands at beginning and end of recording your clip.

I wrote this as a reply before, but thought this is worth repeating.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

To dpreview:
You may consider using this method for your great short videos introducing cameras. The noise level of the audio will be improved a lot:

a) reduce distance from microphone to mouth. This will reduce background noise ( people moving / noise from street ) significantly, as you improve signal to noise ratio.

b) Choose an external recorder with high gain and extremely low self noise. This lowers the white noise floor dramatically. ( You choose a high gain Mic Pre-amplifier, because they have significantly less self noise than low gain at the same gain setting. Say 70 dB gain versus 40 dB gain).

c) Choose a dynamic directional microphone. The directional attributes further cancels background noise. The dynamic attribute will pick up less noise created by the persons movement.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Oct 31, 2012)

For some the internal mic is not enough, whereas a recorder would be overkill and too much hassle. For some the ability to attach a simple external mic would be just right.

Pentax decided that video recording is the one spot where the cuts had to be done to achieve the feature set at the given price.
You cant blame DPR for listing the cons regarding video with K30.

0 upvotes
charliechappy
By charliechappy (Oct 31, 2012)

As soon as you start working on projects with multiple cameras (which I already did often enough) you'd better not use a internal mic AT ALL. Make a sync-spot to sync up your recordings and you work from there. So if you are working semi-pro on location with more than just one handheld camera the missing mic jack is no handicap at all.
What bothers me more is the battery-life and the lack of external power-supply for longer shots. But then again, you can just swap real quick and jump right back in. (with the hassle of syncing up again, but this time without a planned sync-spot)

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

To JesperMP,
There was no blame going on here. And we all agree it is good to list missing features of the standard feature list dpreview expects and compares all cameras towards to. The discussion was about if these missing features have enough weight to reduce this camera from gold to silver award, or to rate video as bad as they did. E.g. they did not awarded that K30 has more resolution and frame rates than most cameras. In short the weighting of video features is in question.

0 upvotes
EPons
By EPons (Oct 31, 2012)

THe list is the range of dslr that doesn't cost more than 700$ ....

I pick in amazon bodies only:

Pentax K30 659$
Nikon D3200 597$
Sony SLT-A57 699$
Canon T4i 739$

The K-30 have in this list:

The best image quality in raw.! ( apart Nikon D3200 for a little )
The best low ligth quality!
The best vewfinder / screen rating!
The best Ergonomics & handling ! ( apart canon T4i for a little )
The best performance ! ( apart sony 's for a little)
Same focus acuracy for all this cams

The only one that have weather/dust/cold proofing!

What a good photographer will ask to a cam? yet , it's going to figth with the 1000$ bodies!!!!!!

And , because this cam doesn't have good video, it receive only 78% ????
Hey, come on, DPreview, go back to earth and give me professionals reviews please!
Is the name DP review synonim of Digital Photography??????

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

Dear EPons,
Thanks for your great research and sharing with us! One could add best lens backwards compatibility.
I still think the technical aspects of the dpreview of the K30 is on a very professional level. However I believe in terms of weighting importance of presence and absence of certain features dpreview has executed poor judgement.
I disagree with your view that video capabilities should not be considered in the rating, as more and more people will shoot video with DSLR. However, I come to the same conclusion as you that the K30 deserves the gold award. Per my experience and understanding, it appears to me that the K30 has all Video features Professionals need and that Pentax actually made smart choices to leave out the external Mic jack and the dedicated movie button. Thus it has what it takes and leaves out what makes it more expensive and cluttered. A commendable ( if misunderstood ) choice.

1 upvote
EPons
By EPons (Oct 31, 2012)

Dear HubertChen,

I didn't say that nowadays a still cam don't have to shoot video.
But in this case, yes the k-30 does. and does well for the type of cam it is.

Is it professional to quit a gold aware on a cam that primary is a still cam, but that lack a direct video button an HDMI port and mic input???? where pentax offers with this little cam what the others offers at the double of the price , ... ???

There is my two cent thougth...

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Oct 31, 2012)

The percentage score and the silver and gold awards should be ignored. The rest of the review is fine. Draw your own conclusion.
Thats what I do.

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

@ Epons: Fully agree.
@ JesperMP: Awards influence sales. Big time. To people who have an interest already and who read the entire review there might not be a big difference if this is gold or silver award. You indeed draw your own conclusion. But to people who maybe just go shopping in some online shop, and simply pick the camera with the best award, it wold make a big difference. Such shoppers are not too few and withholding the gold award is reducing Pentax sales. I think Pentax has earned the Gold award ( and the associated extra revenue). I think casual buyers have the right to be alerted that this camera is special. This is not only an academic discussion, but dpreview has the burden of responsibility that their rating is having a big influence about the fate in sales for every model they review.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Oct 31, 2012)

"people" are stupid then.
I cannot imagine buying into a system that in the end will cost into thousand of dollars/euros without gathering and digest enough information, including trying out before buying.

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Nov 1, 2012)

How people get into photography: ( JesterMP )
Many people I know got into photography because a mother / father bought a camera for them. Please also consider that before you have any photography / system experience, it is hard to consider all variables relevant for you. Only after you used a system you get the experience to pick the right system for you. Back to the topic: It happens that people buy a system camera without having a clue and considering the situation of gift surprise purchases, this is not necessary stupid.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Oct 30, 2012)

Looks like a nice camera.
On the other hand Pentax are again applying NR to raw files. And it seems even more aggressively than before.
There is a lack of fine detail in the high ISO raw shots/comparison page. How did DPR miss this or not mention this limitation?

3 upvotes
EPons
By EPons (Oct 31, 2012)

with my 27" calibrated monitor, at iso >6400 the k30 is in the game of T4i and D3200, if not better in some details....

So, I disagree with you...

Did you refer page comparaison with D300 or 5D? Hope no, ....
Are you lost for the fact that K30 only have 16MP ????

To conclude, i did not see what you see...

2 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 31, 2012)

DPR mentioned it but dismissed it easily as subtle.
I posted similar topic below but I just want to add that there's definitely not only NR applied but addition of false detail.
Look at the portrait of a man behind the toy dog, switch between ISO 100 and ISO 3200. One should expect loss of detail in 3200 but in the K-30, it gains this grid type fine detail.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

Dear Barry,
It seems you are no photographer. Photographers show pictures they shot. They show it either on a Display or a print. On both the largest Display or A3 super size ( 13" x 19" ) the noise problem you talk about will simply be invisible. If you regularly print larger than 13" x 19" you have a printer > 4000 USD, then it comes the question why you would shoot with a 700 USD camera. ( And with showing pictures I mean to show the whole picture to take it in. I did not meant zooming in. That is not showing pictures, that is pixel peeping ).

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Oct 31, 2012)

So Hubert, to your opinion one is not a photographer if one prioritises resolution over noisereduction.

K30 seems great in many ways, but by cooking the RAWs, Pentax has taken the decision of how much noise reduction to apply vs. resolution away from the photographer. Isnt the idea with RAWs that it is up to the photographer to have full control ?

2 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Oct 31, 2012)

Exactly Hubert is wrong I am a photographer but raw is supposed to be raw not some non avoidable NR processing a maker slaps on there. It got only a very brief mention..mostly dismissed as an Adobe issue (which is false) and suggested that is was "mild" It does not appear in the "cons" section either.

Yet a lack of dedicated video button is listed..I'm not sure what DPR are smoking, but hmmmmm.

I've used Pentax's NR raw before and it can lead to smeared colour splotches at high ISO, hot pixels of various colours that are hard for ACR to map out. In short is makes high ISO shooting harder.

Raw is raw and Pentax should not be applying NR to it.

2 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

Hi JesperMP,
thanks for your reply. My point was that when using the K30 as photographic tool to produce pictures for viewers the differences you pointed out are not relevant.
@ JesperMP and Barry,
I agree that RAW should be RAW and no noise reduction shall be applied. If I shoot RAW, I want to decide myself, not leave it to the camera. That is what JPEG is for! Or at least it should be an option in the Firmware setting. Are you guys sure you can't turn it off ? That would surprise me.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Oct 31, 2012)

Hubert.
Your replies are schizophrenic. In the same post you write that it does not matter that the RAWs are cooked, and then that RAWs should be RAWs and no NR shall be applied.

Btw. I totally disagree that cooked RAWs are irrelevant for a "photographic tool to produce pictures for viewers".

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 31, 2012)

Speaking of jpeg, the jpegs closely represent what the K30 could do. The RAWs are just misleading.

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Nov 1, 2012)

Leave it alone Barry.

Imagine how bad Canon RAW's would look if not for on chip NR.

As you well know, all RAW's have NR applied on chip so why bother differentiating off chip NR?

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Nov 1, 2012)

Dear JesperMP,
Thanks for your reply. I can not control if you think I am schizophrenic, but I can reply politely. I hope you can do to next time. I believe you meant that to you my answers appear inconsistent.

a) These RAW manipulation are not relevant for use
If in use ( as I described like printing no bigger than A3+ / 13" x 19" ) these RAW manipulations can not be seen, so they are not relevant. ( In Germany we say: What I do not know does not make me angry ). Sure you must agree to that.

b) RAW should not be cooked
This should be a principle. All people in this thread agree to it so I do not need to explain my why I agree too.

Conclusion:
That Pentax appears to be cooking RAW is violating the principle b), thus I am against it. That this cannot be seen in a) daily work makes me not care about this regarding buy / not buy this camera. When I would talk to a Pentax engineer, I would care to try to convince him stop doing this. Let me know if this makes sense to you now?

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Nov 1, 2012)

@ sit_bazz
Thanks for your reply. I am no CCD / Firmware engineer but a decent EE. I can imagine that it is possible the Firmware of the Camera as additional information used in noise reduction which a PC program does not have. Thus applying RAW in camera considering this extra ( later to be discarded ) information would result in better Noise Reduction than in a PC RAW post processor. In this case to apply RAW in camera is preferable. Still to adjust the strength of this setting in Firmware would make sense. Photographers have different tastes. Some might prefer Noise over the feeling of too much detail removed or blotches. ( An obvious example of noise reduction on camera using ephemeral information only available in camera is removal of hot pixels on long exposures, where the camera takes a second shot of same exposure time with shutter closed, identifies hot pixels and removes them)

0 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Nov 1, 2012)

sir_bazz
I believe it is a valid point about raw NR.
I do think DPR should have made this a con and talked about it more (clearly showing some softness in the raw files)
Anyway I'm sure it's a nice camera, assuming they have fixed the awful AF problems of the K-r

0 upvotes
Jonathan Wilson
By Jonathan Wilson (Oct 30, 2012)

Not sure if I understand the scoring regarding video.
When you compare the video scoring with:
1. K-x
The k-x actually scored better even though the K-30 looks miles better???
2. k-5
The k-5 scored almost double that of the k-30. Again, apart from external mic and HDMI the K-30 looks significantly better than k-5.

I have read that manual video controls are better than many of the latest competition. What am I missing?

1 upvote
Paradigm Changer
By Paradigm Changer (Oct 30, 2012)

Answer on question 2 is that K-5 uses motion JPEG format, which preserves more detail than H.264, used in the K-30.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 31, 2012)

I agree. Most cameras (other than the AVCHD of the Sony and Panasonic) use H.264 .MOV format, the exact same one as the K-30. The K-5 uses Motion JPEG. It's an extremely inefficient video format which is why H.264, with it's superior compression is used on the majority of HDSLR cameras today. I agree that the K-30 video quality is superior to the K-5, but unfortunately Pentax gave the K-30 extremely low bitrates (~ 17 mbs). It's makes file sizes small, but hurts video quality.

Short video sample I made with the K30:

https://vimeo.com/46036601

0 upvotes
Mannypr
By Mannypr (Oct 30, 2012)

To say that Pentax does not have lens comparable to Nikons or Canons is not saying the truth . Pentax has very good lens in it's stable . Apart from this I would like to say that right now DSLR cameras , even the low cost ones are very far ahead in image quality then what we use to get three or four years ago .

That being as it is to say that this brand or that brand has better image quality is nonsense . What we should be looking at when we by a DSLR camera , even a low cost one is Manufacturers customer service and it's line of lens and flashes and the availability of them in the area where you live .

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Oct 30, 2012)

I am not so concerned with "Exceptionally low shadow noise in RAW files at low ISOs". Instead I would be more concerned if there are any cameras in this category that don't have "Exceptionally low shadow noise in RAW files at low ISOs".

1 upvote
jonikon
By jonikon (Oct 30, 2012)

The K-30 may be a very good camera (leaving the reliability issue of Pentax DSLRs aside), but it only makes up one half of the image quality equation, with the other half being the lens in front of the sensor. Unfortunately the Pentax DSLRs suffer from a lot of cheap lenses with poor optical qualities, or very expensive lenses with acceptable, but not exceptional optical qualities.
For example, the Pentax SMC 16-50mm f/2.8 lens is over $1400 at reputable dealers like B&H photo, but this lens only gets 3 stars out of 5 (or 60%), for optical quality from the Photozone lens review. For value and the ultimate in optical lens quality, Nikon is a much better choice for lenses than Pentax, which makes a Nikon DSLR the better choice for a camera.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Oct 30, 2012)

I disagree - there are quite a few excellent, yet not overly expensive Pentax lenses.
I wasn't impressed by the 16-50 though, so I never bought one. I'd rather have Limiteds ;)

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
AlbertSiegel
By AlbertSiegel (Oct 30, 2012)

I actually switched away from Nikon to Pentax for the lenses. I have the 16-50/2.8 and see no issues with my copy. Anyway, Pentax has other lenses that cannot be had by Nikon or any other brand just as the same can be said for them. As a whole system, I'm very happy with my decision. Pentax met my needs best for my work. Are there better choices? Depends on what you need. All companies have winners and losers in their lineup. There is no need to bash Pentax because they do not meet your needs.

6 upvotes
6bender
By 6bender (Oct 30, 2012)

There is no reliability issue with Pentax DSLRS that is any different with any other brand. I used a K20D for 3 years with ZERO issues. Granted the SDM issues with some lenses have been a sore point but optically Pentax lenses are as good or better than any other. You're splitting hairs - the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 gets 3.5 stars. No big difference. How about looking at photos instead of charts. Sony lenses test horribly but I've seen a number of great photos taken with them.

5 upvotes
senn_b
By senn_b (Oct 30, 2012)

"Unfortunately the Pentax DSLRs suffer from a lot of cheap lenses with poor optical qualities, or very expensive lenses with acceptable, but not exceptional optical qualities. .. " (dixit jonikon)

pure absurdity .. probably you failed here the opportunity to mute .. :)) you're probably not a faithful dp reader ..

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
andrewparkoo
By andrewparkoo (Oct 30, 2012)

Yes the pentax limited lenses are well known for being rubbish aren't they?! - For their size, they are superb and build quality, like pentax cameras very high. Sure a few lenses in the range could do with improving just like Nikon. Plus the cheap DA 35 2 and DA 50 a.8 are very good peformers.

3 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Oct 30, 2012)

"Nikon is a much better choice for lenses than Pentax, which makes a Nikon DSLR the better choice for a camera."

very objective conclusion you have there. What tests were done? =))

btw, I already guessed your comment would be so Nikon-y, even before reading the post. Unless your real name is "jonikon" lol.

1 upvote
oselimg
By oselimg (Oct 30, 2012)

@jonikon...Well...your user name says it all doen't it. Yes Nikon have good lenses but so do others. Each brand has certain strengths and weaknesses. You buy the one suits your applications. But again it would be too much to expect a rational/realistic comment from a user name that endorses a brand.

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

I very much agree with all what has been said and adding only the things not said already:
Pentax DSLR reliability:I am shooting since 2004 with the same Pentax *ist DSLR body. I dropped it a few times, use it frequently in 90 % humidity, use it in rain ( this one is not weather sealed). It still works like a charm.
Pentax Lens backwards compatibility: Pentax has changed the lens mount several times: ( M42 | K | KA ). All older lenses are still usable on newer bodies. This is e.g. nothing Canon can say for their F / EF lenses. This is very useful, as you can find excellent older lenses for a bargain. Or if you are older, you did not needed to trash your lens collection.
Pentax lens quality gamut: Pentax has a very wide gamut from extreme low cost to extreme quality as well as super zooms. So you can not pick one low quality or super zoom lens and compare to a Zeiss fixed focal length. Pick a limited lens and compare to a Zeiss: There you get more bang for buck!

1 upvote
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (Oct 31, 2012)

That's the reason I opted for the Sony A57 - that and effective live view and swivel screen.

0 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (Oct 31, 2012)

I just wonder why some people make such sweeping statements that are inaccurate and sometimes downright rude? I have 4 Pentax DSLR bodies(*istDS, K10D, K20D and K-5) all have now done over 30000 shots on each and all are still working wonderfully. Issues? None! The only reason why I have 4 is the advancing of the technology and requirements that I have. Not exactly a reliability issue.
Now for lenses. Sure Pentax have had and indeed still have some average quality lenses, but you can say the same for the other brands. On the other hand, Pentax have lenses that are compared to the finest optics ever. Read this blog, it is an interesting read:- http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-02-05-02.shtml
That is not to say that CaNikon lenses are bad, nor Olympus, Sony or Panasonic. But it just says that you can't rubbish Pentax on a whim. At the end of the day, a camera is a tool, and each brand has a USP, but all produce fantastic results.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
mandm
By mandm (Nov 1, 2012)

jonikon, have you or do you now own any glass that does not say Nikkor on it? I see all brands of bodies at all price points with Sigma, Tamron or other lenses on them, so if there is a Pentax lens you don't like, there are other good options. So, is there a Sigma or Tamron in your bag?
I started with Nikon in 69 with the 'F' and still have one along with Nikon Digital, but I also used Pentax for 20 years with great results.

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Oct 30, 2012)

I think this is harsh on Pentax. They've worked hard on a well priced budget DSLR that even by DPR's own admission is pretty hard to fault for stills shooters.

It deserves Gold on this basis alone.

19 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Oct 30, 2012)

I agree. This camera is a steal for what it offers. Nothing else really comes close imo.

6 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (Oct 30, 2012)

Pentax will just have to settle for my money ;P

2 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (Oct 30, 2012)

Yes, from reading the review and the very short list of rather minor cons (no dedicated video button? please), it's hard to understand the Silver award

3 upvotes
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (Oct 31, 2012)

No dedicated video button means no dedicated video button to accidentally press :)

3 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

Hey Maxfield! Ha ha! I really agree. I shoot Pentax DSLR and Sony NEX 5 side by side. I have cursed the Video button on the next. More than one shoot I could not use the Sony, because by the time I wanted to use battery was empty and memory card full. I cursed it and am very close to glue the damn thing fixed.

1 upvote
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Oct 30, 2012)

pentax makes great cameras, they need to make good lenses. At the moment they have only a few. Second, I would still make optical IS on some lenses, as it is way better than in-body IS.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
1 upvote
SETI
By SETI (Oct 30, 2012)

Pentax has great primes and amazing in-body IS. Never had problems with it.

3 upvotes
senn_b
By senn_b (Oct 30, 2012)

".. they need to make good lenses."

.. pure absurdity ..

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
role_of_72
By role_of_72 (Oct 30, 2012)

Maybe they need to add optical IS on some of their tele lenses but not to the wide angle ones.
My experience is that with wide angle lenses in-body IS worked way better than optical IS. On the other hand the latter can help af in low light, that's true.
For wide angle pick a Sigma or Tamron on Pentax and you're done. ;)

2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Oct 30, 2012)

a little more time and a little more market share, and they will. any local burger joint will have a hard time catching up to McDonald's or Burger King, so I guess Ricoh will have to play catch up for a while.

1 upvote
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (Oct 30, 2012)

I think lens-based stabilization may have an advantage with long glass, but the advantage is marginal to non-existent with shorter glass and longer exposures. And of course the advantage of body based stabilization is you can have it on any lens. There have been some tests done with Sigma OS lenses vs. the in-body SR system that showed little to no advantage. That being said, I wouldn't mind the option of choosing.

Pentax did just announce their first stabilized lens though, the 645 90mm 2.8 Macro. Of course the 645D doesn't have in-body stabilization, but it will be interesting to see if the technology trickles down into their K mount lenses.

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

Pentax has excellent lenses in every focal length. You just need to pick the right one. In your case it seems more the opposite: Pentax wide range of choice seems to have you confused and you could not find the high quality ones on the sea of lenses.

What is outstanding is that if your are on a budget there are some primes for little money with almost best of of bread Image Qualities. If you have more money, go with the limited series and you have Zeiss quality at 1/3 of lens size and money, but with AF!

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Oct 30, 2012)

Its a solid camera. Ergonomics are nice with the extremely deep grip, live view is very useable too; AF speeds are on par with the K-01.

If anything this camera is a K-01, with DSLR bits on top.

2 upvotes
JoostL
By JoostL (Oct 30, 2012)

Wow, a review! I was beginning to fear this site was being run by D-preview instead of DP-review!

24 upvotes
cordellwillis
By cordellwillis (Oct 30, 2012)

+1 on that for real!

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Oct 30, 2012)

i see what you did there

5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 30, 2012)

@JoostL - 2008 called, it wants its joke back.

1 upvote
valtheWU
By valtheWU (Oct 30, 2012)

just when were all the menus designed?

1997, drunk, while playing on a NES?

i feel sorry for all the people useing this camera.

and yet i still admire niche players. i just wished pentax would use more of the polished ricoh UI.

0 upvotes
JustDavid
By JustDavid (Oct 30, 2012)

I have no problems with menus on my Pentax cameras... but looking into other camera maker's menus gives me headache... does it mean all menu developers are drunks?

11 upvotes
GabrielFF
By GabrielFF (Oct 30, 2012)

The menu system is completely clear and fine.
I tried to use a friend's D3100, and the menu sucks!

2 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Oct 30, 2012)

Indeed, the menu system is not fancy but it's very functional. I like it better than some of the more polished alternatives.

1 upvote
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Oct 30, 2012)

The menu is great. Just scroll with the wheels. Canons menu is a clusterf*** of submenus and what not. Everything in the pentax menu is accesible quickly, which comes in handy when setting custom functions.

3 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Oct 30, 2012)

Windows98 may look unelegant today, but it's still an intuitive OS. Just because a design looks old doesn't mean it's ugly..

...coz if it is, why all this retro-craze Sony, Fuji and Oly have been throwing themselves into?

0 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Oct 30, 2012)

I feel sorry for those who can't read and use arrows to navigate ... also people who spell 'using' "useing".

1 upvote
gillamoto
By gillamoto (Oct 31, 2012)

one of the main reason I switched from Nikon to Pentax is for the simplicity of the menu.

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 31, 2012)

I am using Pentax DSLR and Sony NEX 5 side by Side. Before the Firmware upgrade the NEX was plainly unusable. After the Firmware upgrade I spend 3 hours to figure out how to configure my NEX for my shooting style. Then it is fine, but I can not load it to a friend, as he has a completely different shooting style. The Sony system looks super fancy on the surface, but when using really slows you down. The Pentax is the opposite. Looks plain but is a joy to use. For me, I shoot pictures and use the better working tool over the better looking one. Pentax. No-brainer!

1 upvote
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (Oct 30, 2012)

Great camera, very very much so for the money. If I started with a system now it would be this.
Hands down best value out there. When it comes to video, I thought this was a photography site, right ?

4 upvotes
andy le anh
By andy le anh (Oct 30, 2012)

The first thing I read on reviews is the Conclusion... such as Pros - Cons... and Good for or Not so good for...

Well, the only one damn thing "Not so good for" to put on the K-30 is: Video shooters.

In other words, the K-30 is good for every occasions, except shooting (serious) videos. Do we buy DSLR cameras for shooting videos?

6 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Oct 30, 2012)

Some do. At least the k30 finally offers good hd video with manual controls. The k-5 was aperture priority only (which isn't so awful imo)....

0 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (Oct 30, 2012)

You said it, "some" do. Most don't, though.

0 upvotes
EPons
By EPons (Oct 30, 2012)

How can the scoring in build quality from

Pentax k-30,Nikon D5100,
Olympus OM-D E-M5,Canon EOS rebel T2i 550D,
Canon EOS 600D T3i,Canon eos 650D T4i,
Sony SLT-A77,Sony Alpha DSLR-A550,Samsung NX210

Be the same??????

How can it be that the best low end DSLR ( one of the best image quality, and the only one with weather /dust/cold proofing) at that price ( time when the review comes out) of 650$ be so badly reviewed?

Dpreview from 5-7 years ago was I thing professional....

5 upvotes
xvip
By xvip (Oct 30, 2012)

It is not the same. The applet at the Conclusion section doesn't work properly. At least on my computer in Chrome browser. Switch on the comparison applet and try to add some other cameras and move the cursor over their names. You will see the Build quality bar changes, but is not stable as the other bars...
OM-D E-M5 got the best score from your list, I can't say whether K-30 deserves more points or not...

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 30, 2012)

I own the Nikon D5100 which uses the same sensor and goes for almost nothing nowadays, and yet this tempts me. Larger viewfinder, YouTube mode controls don't get in the way, it can run on AA batteries if the lithium fails (granted, I've never had that problem). Still, I'm happy with my D5100 overall & changing systems is something one should never do lightly (even if I only have the 50mm 1.8 G & 18-105mm VR) & the D5100-D7000 are due for updating.

But if the D5100-D7000 replacements get that relatively crappy D3200 sensor, that would be disappointing. Posters have suggested the updated bodies won't have the same sensor as the D3200--I hope not. The reviews for this sensor are far more glowing, & I have that now in my D5100 anyway.

And yes--WHO CARES that it doesn't have a dedicated YOUTUBE button? I don't do video in DSLRs anyway, & I don't believe in it. I'm GLAD it doesn't have such a button, that alone almost makes me want to buy it just to throw my support behind that decision.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
andrewparkoo
By andrewparkoo (Oct 30, 2012)

2 years ago I picked up a Nikon D7000 and a Pentax K5 and there was no comparison for ergonomic and build quality. Both great cameras for sure, but I've never regretted my decision.

1 upvote
sandy b
By sandy b (Oct 30, 2012)

Crappy sensor, say what? I havent seen a review that didnt like it.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Nikon-D3200-Review/Sensor-performance

1 upvote
Sweets
By Sweets (Oct 30, 2012)

haven't read the review yet, but ... waw, that's nice of you guys there at dpreview and ... thx :-)

3 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Oct 30, 2012)

Trying the studio test applet shows the K-30 besting the K-5 with ease at most ISOs and most settings (not surprised).

The studio comparison applet has its faults, as further changing the cameras included in the test, to include the D3200, makes it evident that the D3200 is wrongly focused - things in the foreground is far sharper with the D3200 than those in the background, but it is also the only camera focused like that (at least the only out of about 10 we swapped between).

So it needs very little to get the wrong impression of a camera included in the studio test.

-----------------

Ashwins is right saying the percentage rating is a bit childish, as every user has his own priorities.

I dumped my Pentax gear after having had issues both with manufacturing quality, and the response from those in the know at Pentax, that certainly didn't go all the way to correct the faults they knew of - for instance the focusing motor issue in certain lenses, like the lovely DA50-135.

1 upvote
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (Oct 30, 2012)

I laugh at the prices Pentax users are paying for some of these Tokina lenses...

I paid $450 for my Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 ($900 in Pentax mount), I paid $900 for my Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 (which is vastly superior), and I paid $500 for my Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 ($1300 in Pentax mount).

1 upvote
AmateurSnaps
By AmateurSnaps (Oct 30, 2012)

An interesting point about made poorly

Is this the norm?

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Oct 30, 2012)

Mike, I think you forgot that the Pentax versions of those Tokina lenses were weather-sealed and had in-lens motors...

1 upvote
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Oct 30, 2012)

I quite liked the DR section of the review, disspelling the myth DR is about highlight tonal curves of the JPEG output. DR of the sensor is fully determined by the SNR. All the rest is about curve tweaking done either by the in-camera development subsystem (also errorneously called "the JPEG engine"), or a computer development software.

The fact that tonal response curves vary so much even between technologically similar image sensors is mostly due to the firmware differencies.

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Oct 30, 2012)

All right, is this Digital *Photography* Review website, or Digital *Video* Review website? Isn't it about time DPR finally makes some clear decision towards evaluating those two separately?

And leave right to some companies still more interested in photography than in video to make great *photography* cameras, in which case lack of extra video features should not be taken as 'cons'.

As Apple CEO Tim Cooks said, making a great product means making some hard decisions. Every good designer knows that. I see part of reason DPR exists is to educate too, and not to dumb down either great products, great sacrifices needed to achieve such great products, nor dumb down their potential users.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
20 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (Oct 30, 2012)

Good video can be implemented on these cameras with little or no negative effect on the still image performance (one can get into the details of choosing different internal components, processors, etc., but that isn't what the review or comments are talking about). If they can do it right, why not do it?

I respect Cooks' point, but I still see an iPhone- a phone- that is also a still camera, video camera, mp3 player, voice recorder, etc. etc. I really think his recent statements on the issue were just to jab at Microsoft's new "surface" approach to tablets.

2 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (Oct 30, 2012)

If I may respectfully disagree. One example is the K5 which has 80 ISO with DXO actual rating measured at 70 ISO, incredible really. Compare to D7000 for DR measurements by DXO mark.

The more ability in video the more it takes away from sensor for still images. In fact the sensor Pentax uses is optimized for still images, other cameras with more function in video are some different and not the exact same.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ashwins
By ashwins (Oct 30, 2012)

To me the whole rating system is kind of childish... especially the percentage value..

The rating system how, for example, PhotographyBLOG rates the cameras makes much more sense (1 to 5 stars in half stops), because the real "rating" really depends upon the features that are important for a particular user—and that varies.

5 upvotes
GabrielFF
By GabrielFF (Oct 30, 2012)

"This and the fact that the K-30 is the first DSLR we have seen in quite a long time that does come with a dedicated movie button make it clear that ambitious movie makers are not really the K-30's target audience."
You meant "that doesn't come with a dedicated movie button" :)

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 30, 2012)

corrected, thanks

0 upvotes
the_chris
By the_chris (Oct 30, 2012)

There should be two final ratings - one for the stills, one for the movie capabilities. The K-30 would have gotten a gold award if it would have been regarded as what it is, an excellent stills DSLR.

This is why manufacturers have to implement video features at all despite the camera could probably be a better stills camera for the money if the video stuff whould have been left out. You need to have the features because of the final rating which is what most readers remember in the end.

We have finally reached the point I feared this hole video stuff would lead to: "Coffeemachine of brand A makes better coffee than the machine of brand B, but brand B machine makes milk foam also so it is the better machine".

25 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 30, 2012)

If brand A coffee maker doesn't steam my milk, it better make darned good coffee!

1 upvote
John 3
By John 3 (Oct 30, 2012)

Personally, I take my coffee black.

1 upvote
camerashopminion
By camerashopminion (Oct 30, 2012)

I want a coffee machine that makes 10 coffees per second

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 30, 2012)

We have to consider video for the final rating but if you're not interested in video you just ignore the video score and that's it. At the end of the day you should not worry too much about Gold or Silver as long as you know the camera is right for YOU.

1 upvote
andrewparkoo
By andrewparkoo (Oct 30, 2012)

I think video AF on DSLRS is massively overrated. A lens with a smooth focus ring and some practice on manual focus is often far more reliable and less noisy!

0 upvotes
AmateurSnaps
By AmateurSnaps (Oct 30, 2012)

And thats what I do these days. No interest in video what-so-ever.

The Pentax takes a brave approach given the other manufacturers to actually make a well price Camera! Want video ? Buy a video recorder! And let some of us have out cameras back please.

0 upvotes
timo
By timo (Nov 1, 2012)

Lars wrote: "We have to consider video for the final rating but if you're not interested in video you just ignore the video score and that's it. At the end of the day you should not worry too much about Gold or Silver as long as you know the camera is right for YOU."

I think that's a bit disingenuous - a lot of people browsing the online reviews before buying a camera will be influenced by a simplistic rating such as 'gold' or 'silver' awards; and no doubt these are useful as marketing ammunition. DPR has a slight history of under-rating Pentax products on the basis of questionable criteria. To 'downgrade' a straightforward DSLR on its performance as a video camera seems strange to me - is this somehow connected to Amazon feedback on buyer motivation?

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Justinas Kersis
By Justinas Kersis (Oct 30, 2012)

Pentaxforums has already done K-5IIs review. Here it takes 1/2 year to review any pentax product. Why?

4 upvotes
rtogog
By rtogog (Oct 30, 2012)

Ha,ha.....Pentax forums only did Pentax cameras.

3 upvotes
febphoto
By febphoto (Oct 30, 2012)

Yes, and Nikon had its D600 reviewed before it was even released. So, maybe if Pentax could do the same and bribe them with a prerelease review camera, maybe that would help....

3 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Oct 30, 2012)

Nikon D600 hasn't been reviewed yet.

Stop posting stupid messages, fanboys ...

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 30, 2012)

I have to agree, D600 has not been reviewed yet.

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Oct 30, 2012)

Well, the Sony reviews take very long too..

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 30, 2012)

I'm not an expert on Pentax DSLRs but I still recall previously that their RAW files immediately include noise reduction and praising the K-30 with good noise performance would mislead some people.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Oct 30, 2012)

Maybe - if you are right. Are you right? And ... if you are right ... is that in that case unique for Pentax?

I think you really should investigate those questions before sending out your warning. Or at least give those questions as a caveat to the warning. In particular since you dont want to mislead people.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Oct 30, 2012)

How it will mislead other people if even after applying noise reduction these files have better resolution then others (who are not supposedly applying noise reduction on paper)??? If noise reduction resulted in lesser resolution it might be misleading but in this case like others you can further apply noise reduction if you want.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Oct 30, 2012)

@zxaar. It could be misleading even if it is good. If you want to sell your car and give it a nice polish, its misleading, even if the car just benefits from the polish. So - the OP has a point. But - personally I think its a very weak point and based on assumptions and rumour.

BTW - this question with RAW noise reduction is difficult. If the reduction is general and can just as nicely be applied in post processing - then it has no value - and is misleading. But - if Pentax can do some magic at RAW level that is impossible to do later, then of course they should. Even if it is misleading.

1 upvote
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 30, 2012)

RAW files are softer or smoother at all ISOs which I highly doubt caused by the lens or AA filter. And yes, I know that it doesn't matter much especially in practical use but some people might take the information as proof/fact that the sensor is the best out there.

0 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Oct 30, 2012)

car and cameras are different thing. If you start off with better resolution file with low noise then it is much better than starting off with same resolution file with more noise. It is matter of common sense. It is not misleading. Further there is no camera, i repeat no camera that gives you raw data from sensor. The data from sensor goes through several steps that remove noise from it such that it is usable in the end. The raw file you are talking about are not raw at all because raw data from sensor would be very difficult to use for user.

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (Oct 30, 2012)

If you're no expert wouldn't you be glad the noise reduction is so good it can trump all the competing cameras while delivering equal details?

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 30, 2012)

It's so good that it is better than full frame sensors.

0 upvotes
rtogog
By rtogog (Oct 30, 2012)

As far as the final result is better will not be problem. This is the creative approach to tweak RAW files.

0 upvotes
hanhait
By hanhait (Oct 30, 2012)

Some raw converters take the camera setting as default, so if the camera applies some noise correction the software appears to do the same, but you can always change this to 'no correction'. The raw-files are what they are and should be the basis for further evaluation of resolution, noise, color preservation, dynamic range and whatever. What the hard-ware and software does in order to produce these raw files we do not know precisely anyhow.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Oct 30, 2012)

I know that things are made when converting from analogue to digital RAW. And if you can do something at RAW level that just improves the image, without any side effects - so - why not.

But - as the car polish - it is misleading. Even if its good.

Personally, I dont find it in particular important though.

Its only important if the manufacturer do some irreversible damage to the data, while e.g. removing noise, its questionable.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
markusm
By markusm (Oct 30, 2012)

You're right, but it's stated in the review: "Some noise reduction is applied to Raw files at ISO 3200 and higher, regardless of how you have high ISO noise reduction set in the menu system, but the effect is subtle, and does not appear to have a significant impact on detail reproduction."

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 30, 2012)

@markusm
Right, in fairness, he stated that detail but then downplayed it. To me, it has substantial NR applied both in chroma and luminance then with sharpening. High frequency detail is lost like in the fibers or very fine lines on the stamp.
If you looked at the portrait of a man behind the toy dog, there is detail that is being added if you switched between ISO 100 and ISO 3200.
It could appear as added value to the consumer but somehow diminish the essence of a RAW file.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 30, 2012)

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentax-k-30/12

Bottom of this page we point out that NR is applied to raw files

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Oct 30, 2012)

Very good review.
Maybe embedding videos that show certain features like AF speed would be nice.

Regarding the cam :
The weather sealing could be more emphasized since it's one of the best if not the best. That might be a strong selling point for certain kinds of applications.

3 upvotes
Coguar
By Coguar (Oct 30, 2012)

Great Review, now please take review of Fuji X-E1 on the board :)

4 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Oct 30, 2012)

Very good high ISO image quality and good detail up to high sensitivities. Nice camera.

3 upvotes
whawha
By whawha (Oct 30, 2012)

Given that the K5 was widely received as one of the best looking, as well as best performing cameras in its class, why did Pentax have to shoot themselves in the foot by following it up with this aesthetic abomination? The fact that it performs so well is even more irritating - would it have been so hard to just style it like a smaller K5?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 30, 2012)

personally I quite like the looks of it :-)

16 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Oct 30, 2012)

Me too. And I like the crazy colors on offer in Japan...

1 upvote
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Oct 30, 2012)

I like this style, and I hope Pentax will also makes a digital version (look) of MX.

3 upvotes
rtogog
By rtogog (Oct 30, 2012)

I like its styling.......but unfortunately only match with some lenses only. It looks this design run to fast........leaving their existing styling of their lenses and other associated accessories.

1 upvote
neo_nights
By neo_nights (Oct 30, 2012)

I own the K5 (the cutest advanced-amateur camera I've ever seen) and also love the K30's looks. If I was on the market for a new cam, the K30 could very well be the one.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Oct 30, 2012)

I must say the K-30 looks about as pleasing as my D600 - not pretty, but professional-looking! The OM-D is a very pretty camera, with very small buttons - do you prefer that?!

0 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (Oct 30, 2012)

I wonder if it might make sense to have completely separate silver/gold awards for video and for still photography? They're really very different use cases, and I know there's a trend towards converged devices, but it's a shame that a camera which really focuses on being a great camera gets dinged in the awards because it's not a camcorder.

14 upvotes
neo_nights
By neo_nights (Oct 30, 2012)

I agree. Besides the low battery life, ALL other cons are video-related ONLY. Which means the K30 is a "perfect" camera in still category (which, I guess, is still the most important thing for most of us). I wonder how much it would've scored if it wasn't for video...

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Oct 30, 2012)

I own a spare battery for every digital camera I have ever owned and have rarely had to use the spare. I just like knowing I have it.

And it doesn't matter if the camera gets 200 shots per charge or 600, because for me a typical day means 150 shots or less.

How many amateur photographers shoot more than 400 shots a day? And how much trouble is it to own a spare for those times you do?

4 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Oct 30, 2012)

Matthew I'd like that very much! Awards for both video and stills!

0 upvotes
camerashopminion
By camerashopminion (Oct 30, 2012)

I have to admit, this isn't actually a bad idea

0 upvotes
zakaria
By zakaria (Nov 2, 2012)

the absence of video feature/hope that/ .. may encourage manufacturers to use the great ccd sensors again !

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Oct 30, 2012)

No we can spect a propper Review for the Pentax Q or the new Q10.

0 upvotes
rtogog
By rtogog (Oct 30, 2012)

Did you still interest with this products ?.....I thought will take for some years to get improved their tiny sensor performance.

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Oct 30, 2012)

It´s the most fun/serious camera you can get for your money; SR, DR, focuse peaking, pocketable, amazing IQ, MILC, Edit in body, internal-external flash, metalalloy body, any lens adaptable...

2 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (Oct 30, 2012)

Good for you DPr, at last you get it out, congratulation.
Now, general value of the K-30(78%) must be at least 2 points over the Canon T41(78%). The Pentax it´s a jump foward on DSLRs range offer, but the Canon just a little step foward, if not it means nothing too different from the T2i.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
BrightEyesOnFire
By BrightEyesOnFire (Oct 30, 2012)

E-PL5 had better get a gold star due to having THE BEST IQ in all of m4/3 (since it has no low-pass AA filter).

0 upvotes
BBViet
By BBViet (Oct 30, 2012)

At ISO3200:

Nikon: 1/800s f8.0
Sony: 1/800s f8.0
Pentax: 1/640s f8.0

1/3 stop difference.

Inflated ISO rating --> "good" hi-ISO performance

And before you say it's only a third of a stop, remember that cameras these days are very close to each other in IQ. A difference of 1/3 stop translates to around 200 points in DxOMark sensitivity score around the 1000 score range (where most APS sensors are at)

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Oct 30, 2012)

this is why we point this out in the ISo consistency test at the top of our Noise and Noise Reduction page.

3 upvotes
GabrielFF
By GabrielFF (Oct 30, 2012)

Well, if you look at DXO testing, the Pentax K-30's ISO rating is one of the most accurate of all.
Check it :

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/811%7C0/(brand)/Pentax/(appareil2)/801%7C0/(brand2)/Nikon/(appareil3)/734%7C0/(brand3)/Sony

Go to Measurements -> ISO Sensitivity.
Then you can see that K-30 ISO 3200 was measured to be a real ISO of 2889, while the Sony A77's, for example, was measured to be a real ISO of 2612, and Nikon D3200's was at 2168 ISO.
So, in the end, i don't think Pentax is lying about the ISO performance.

4 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Oct 30, 2012)

Wrong. Dxomark ISO rating are not standard. They have nothing to do reality. See this post

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/2654915#forum-post-32965502

"DxO's method is based on something different - highlight clipping. This is useful for comparing raw sensor performance but doesn't reflect how cameras will render the image. Expose cameras from various manufacturers based on DxO's measured ISO and they'll all clip whites at the same point, but give images of different brightness."

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Oct 30, 2012)

"So, in the end, i don't think Pentax is lying about the ISO performance."

It doesn't matter what you think. Pentax cameras are getting more light than others in DPR studio shots. That's a simple fact. that you can check in exif info, as the OP posted.

0 upvotes
GabrielFF
By GabrielFF (Oct 30, 2012)

It does matter. You know, not every lens has the same brightness at the same f-stop.
A DA 35mm 2.4, for example, gets a faster shutter speed than measured 2.4 would

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Oct 30, 2012)

When reading all these reviews, remember:
"... that cameras these days are very close to each other in IQ..."
No scoring differences in reviews can change that.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Oct 30, 2012)

@Gabriel

I prefer this comparison, as I opted for the D600, instead of the K-01, the K-5 IIs, or the K-30, when I last bought a camera:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/834|0/%28brand%29/Nikon/%28appareil2%29/811|0/%28brand2%29/Pentax/%28appareil3%29/801|0/%28brand3%29/Nikon

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Oct 30, 2012)

Again. Wrong. Check the T-stop on DA 35mm 2.4 on Dxomark lens review.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 272
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