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Pentax K-30 16MP weather-sealed mid-level DSLR previewed

By dpreview staff on May 21, 2012 at 22:00 GMT

Pentax has officially announced the K-30 weather-sealed mid-level DSLR. It's built around the same updated 16MP sensor and processor as the K-01, so should offer impressive image quality and borrows many of the features from the more expensive K-5. It can shoot continuously at up to 6 frames per second, has a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000th of a second and can capture video at 1080p30. We've had a pre-production K-30 in the office for a couple of days and have prepared a preview looking at what it offers.


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Press Release:

PENTAX Introduces New K-30 Digital SLR Camera

Denver, CO (May 21, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announces the introduction of its new weather and dust resistant digital SLR camera – the PENTAX K-30. Ideal for photographers with active outdoor lifestyles, the new PENTAX K-30 combines a compact, lightweight body with many advanced features found only in higher end DSLR camera models, such as a weather, dust and cold resistant body, a glass prism optical finder with 100% field of view, state-of-the-art autofocusing, and full HD video recording capabilities.

“No detail was overlooked when designing the dynamic new K-30 to be weather resistant,” explains John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX.  “Every seam, every button, every hinge has been weather sealed for adventure-proof creative photography. Whether enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking in the Rocky Mountains or on vacation cruising along on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, photographers can stop worrying about weather conditions and start focusing on capturing the perfect shot.”

In addition to its versatile weather-proof capabilities, the new K-30 offers features including high-speed burst shooting at a maximum speed of six images per second, a high-speed shutter unit with a top speed of 1/6000 second, and convenient dual electronic dials for quick, fingertip access to exposure control and several Auto Picture and scene modes. Coupled with an ergonomic grip that provides firm, comfortable control of the camera, and a sporty, functional design, the K-30 assures dependable, flawless performance in the field. The new K-30 is available in three body colors: Crystal White and Crystal Blue, with brilliant, glossy finishes reminiscent of the finish of an exclusive sports car; and Black, for a traditional SLR look. It is also compatible with all PENTAX K-mount lenses.

Major features include:

Weather resistant design ideal for travel and outdoor photography
Featuring 81 seals set in its compact, lightweight, portable body, the K-30 is built to be weather, dust and cold resistant with proven functionality in sub-freezing temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). Its exterior has been designed to be both sporty and functional for active outdoor photographers – a large grip provides a firm, secure hold of the camera; a low-profile pentaprism housing for reduced height; and a rounded, soft-rubber casing for a solid grip of the camera during vertical shooting.

Newly developed SAFOX IXi+ Autofocus (AF) module for improved autofocus performance
The K-30 features the new state-of-the-art SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation by incorporating a diffraction lens to minimize chromatic aberration in accordance to the characteristics of each individual lens. A dedicated sensor also factors the light source into its calculations at the time of shooting. Additionally, 9 of its 11 focus points have cross-type sensors to capture subjects in sharp focus, while a spotbeam assists the AF system during low light situations. The K-30’s AF algorithm has also been upgraded in all areas for efficiency and accuracy. A new expanded area AF function allows the sensor module to continue to track a moving subject in AF select mode, even when it moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors. This greatly improves the accuracy and speed of detecting moving subjects during autofocus shooting, and autofocusing performance when using a telephoto lens.

High resolution, low noise, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-30 incorporates the latest 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with a large image-capturing area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm. It assures high speed image data readout to deliver super high resolution, rich gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels. This image sensor is coupled in the K-30 with the PENTAX “PRIME M” imaging engine for outstanding full 1080p HD movie clips (1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second), in addition to outstanding still image capture processing. The camera also minimizes luminance noise at low sensitivities, while offering a wide sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 (ISO 25600 maximum when expanded via a custom function).

Optical finder with 100% field of view
Despite its compact body, which is smaller and lighter than traditional mid level DSLR camera models, the K-30 comes equipped with a glass pentaprism finder featuring a 100% field of view and approximately 0.92X maximum magnification (with a 50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity) to cover the entire field of view for easy focusing and framing. Since its viewfinder delivers a clear view of the subject even in the brightest sunshine while also eliminating parallax, the K-30 responds efficiently and reliably to demanding applications and subjects, such as landscapes requiring delicate, high-precision framing, and sports scenes where the timing of shutter release is critical. The K-30 also accepts interchangeable PENTAX Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screens to facilitate manual focusing operation. Optional focus screens include cross-lined and scale types, to accommodate more specialized applications.

High-speed burst shooting at approximately six images per second
When photographing sporting events, concerts or wildlife, the K-30’s high-speed burst shooting function comes in handy, allowing the photographer to capture active, fast moving subjects in a series of images at a maximum speed of approximately 6 frames per second (in JPEG format).

Advanced Live View shooting
Thanks to the latest CMOS image sensor and PRIME M engine, the K-30 offers a clear, true-to-life Live View at a smooth 60 frames per second. It also features a focus peaking function during live view to improve manual focusing speed and accuracy. Live View on the K-30 also offers a choice of three grid display patterns including a Golden Section overlay, and detailed information overlay if desired by the photographer.

High quality video recording
The PENTAX K-30 features full HD video recording to capture high quality movie clips in 1080p resolution (1920x1080 pixels). The efficient h.264 compression format offers a choice of frame rates (30, 25 or 24 frames per second) at 1080p, or up to 60 FPS at 720p, to accommodate user specific applications. Video recording options are flexible, allowing the photographer to select aperture or shutter exposure control, while PENTAX Shake Reduction helps stabilize captured video. Users may add creative artistic effects to recorded clips using various Custom Image modes or record subjects in a series of video clips with the Interval Movie Shooting mode.

User friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes
The K-30 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which analyzes a scene then automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from Portrait, Landscape, Macro as well as others. This allows the photographer to concentrate on image composition and other creative elements while leaving more technical settings to the K-30, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. The K-30 also offers 19 creative Scene modes, including Night Scene Portrait, Pet, Backlight Silhouette, and more, to simplify photographing unique subjects and scenes that often require uncommon camera settings.

PENTAX Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism for sharp, blur free images
The PENTAX K-30 incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR mechanism, which effectively reduces blur due to camera shake by approximately four shutter steps. Usable with all PENTAX compatible lenses*, including those produced for film format SLR cameras, this mechanism produces sharp, blur free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in twilight. The K-30's SR system also offers several other useful features to assist the photographer during shooting, including an Automatic Horizon Correction function to assure high precision image framing and effortless adjustment of horizontal alignment, a Composition Adjustment function to allow minute adjustments of image alignment horizontally/vertically/axially, and an ASTROTRACER mode to eliminate light trails during astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit (available separately).
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

A selection of image processing tools for creative, personalized expression
The K-30 features a Custom Image function, which allows the user to easily and quickly select the desired finishing touch for a particular image. Choose from 11 custom settings including Bleach Bypass that creates a dramatic visual effect similar to that used in motion pictures, and Cross Process to produce fanciful, eye-catching images boasting dramatic colors. The K-30 also offers a choice of 19 creative digital filters including Miniature, which transforms an actual scene into what appears to be an image of miniature models. These filters add distinctive visual effects to captured images producing creative, artistic images without the need for a computer. The user can further expand the creative possibilities by applying multiple filters and processing modes to a single image.

Choice of two power sources
In addition to the included lithium ion battery capable of capturing approximately 480 images with a single charge**, the K-30 can also be powered by four AA-size batteries using the optional D-BH109 AA Battery Holder. Since AA batteries can be easily obtained almost anywhere around the world, there’s no worry about battery shortages, even when shooting for an extended period of time or in remote locations.
** Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, using the D-LI109 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery with no flash discharges.

Additional features include:

  • Large, wide angle viewable 3-inch LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots of resolution
  • 77 segment multi-pattern metering system for accurate light measurement
  • DR (Dust Removal) mechanism to shake dust off from the surface of the CMOS image sensor
  • PENTAX-designed Hyper control system to assure fast and flexible response to the photographer’s creative intentions
  • Dynamic range expansion function to compensate for blown out (overexposed) and muddy (underexposed) areas of an image
  • Retrieve and save RAW data from buffer memory for a just-recorded JPEG image
  • RAW/Fx multi-function button for on-the-fly switching of image file formats, as well as for assignment and instant recall of other specific functions
  • SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX (RAW processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) included

Pricing and Availability
The new PENTAX K-30 will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in July 2012 with a suggested retail price of $849.95 for body only, and $899.95 for the kit including the DA L 18-55mm zoom lens.

♦ K-30 is a trademark of PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD.
All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
♦ Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice.

Pentax K-30 specifications

Price
MSRPBody: US $849.95, with 18-55mm kit lens: $899.95
Body type
Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialReinforced polycarbonate over stainless steel chassis
Sensor
Max resolution4928 x 3264
Other resolutions4224 x 2816, 3456 x 2304, 2688 x 1792
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorPrime M
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100 to 12800, in 1, 1/2, 1/3 EV steps (25600 Extended)
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (3)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsGood, Better, Best
File format
  • RAW (DNG)
  • JPEG (EXIF 2.3)
  • DCF 2.0 compliant
  • DPOF
  • PIM III
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points11
Lens mountPentax KAF2
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD monitor with brightness/color adjustment and AR coating
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.92×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/6000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Hyper Program (P)
  • Sensitivity Priority (Sv)
  • Shutter Priority (Tv)
  • Aperture Priority (Av)
  • Shutter & Aperture Priority (TAv)
  • Hyper Manual (M)
  • Bulb (B)
  • User (U1, U2)
  • Scene (SCN)
  • Auto Picture (AUTO)
  • Movie
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Moving Object
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Blue Sky
  • Forest
  • Night Scene
  • Night Scene HDR (JPG)
  • Night Snap
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Kids
  • Surf & Snow
  • Backlight Silhouette
  • Candlelight
  • Stage Lighting
  • Museum
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye,Slow Sync, Slow Sync+ Redeye, Trailing Curtain Sync, Wireless
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (Hi, Lo)
  • Self-Timer (12s, 2s)
  • Remote (0s, 3s, continuous)
  • Auto Bracketing (3 frames, standard, timer, remote)
Continuous drive6 fps
Self-timerYes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30,25,24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60,50,30,25,24 fps), 640 x 424 (30,25,24 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (optional, wired or wireless)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (Weather and dust resistant)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion D-LI109 rechargeable battery & charger or 4 x AA batteries (with the optional AA battery holder D-BH109)
Battery Life (CIPA)410
Weight (inc. batteries)650 g (1.43 lb / 22.93 oz)
Dimensions130 x 97 x 71 mm (5.12 x 3.82 x 2.8)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (999 shots, 3 sec to 24 hr interval, time delay)
GPSOptional
GPS notesO-GPS1

Additional images

126
I own it
33
I want it
7
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 278
12
KennethDante
By KennethDante (May 22, 2012)

weather sealed for 850 bucks. wow this is a lot of camera for this price point. If I didn't just get the a57, I would be all over this. I really like the extra thumb jog too. ouch just stumbled on the missing external mic and hdmi out.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

I think weather sealing and a bunch of input jacks don't go hand in hand.

2 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (May 22, 2012)

Yes, it does go hand in hand. Example: Pentax K-7 and K-5. For this K30, they just didn't add it.

1 upvote
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

@RichardBalonglong They have to cut corners obviously. They can't get at this price point in a WR body by enslaving workers.

1 upvote
DStudio
By DStudio (May 22, 2012)

They had to decide on some features to leave out so some buyers will spring for the K-5 successor.

4 upvotes
KennethDante
By KennethDante (May 25, 2012)

1/6000 shutter!!! :O

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (May 22, 2012)

......if your not taking photo's, you could use it as a bottle opener!!!

Was that front lip really necessary?...other than that, its a stunner and another in the recent line of top rate DSLR's.
(Can't help thinking that regardless how good they make them, Canikon's branding image and marketing will not see it make #1 anytime soon).
It looks like they have taken the good bits from K5, Kr, managed out the known gremlins, added a dash of new technology. I hope for their sake that there is no problems lurking. No AF issues, No orbs, No sensor stains, just a better developed unit all round.

1 upvote
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (May 22, 2012)

Hmm, if I was a Pentax user I would be torn between this and spending $100 more for a Pentax K5...

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

That's some odd math, given that the K-5 with a kit zoom retails for 1250usd.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (May 22, 2012)

The Amazon price was $1064.

http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-K-5-Digital-18-55mm-Black/dp/B0043M6F1E

Thats exactly $165 extra but $100 sounds much more dramatic. :P

However body only price difference is just $59. :)

(Same link above has the body only price as well)

2 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (May 22, 2012)

Both would be good, but this probably addresses some low light focus concerns with the K-5 and K-r, so I would be inclined to go with the K-30 unless you want the metal build of the K-5, 1/8000 shutter, or a couple other features it has.

Eric

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

brendon1000:

True and then it looks like that DPReview price for the K30 with kit zoom is incorrect; that kit is listed for much more already, so it's all unclear.

But it does sure look like the K5 can be had for only a bit more money.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 22, 2012)

Pentax tend to drop their initial price fairly quickly - the K5 was much higher at launch - and once the price on this camera drops, the price gap between the two cameras will be bigger.

0 upvotes
farcanal
By farcanal (May 22, 2012)

We need a 645D at $3999 to compete with the D800, come on Pentax you can do it.. I'm already lining up for ya...

4 upvotes
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

You want medium format for $4k, but I believe Pentax is still in the business of making a profit.

4 upvotes
JacobSR
By JacobSR (May 22, 2012)

I don't know how Pentax does it, with all these features packed in a very compact body.
I like the unique design, love those curves and bumps, the placement of the controls. It makes me want to pick it up and hold it to see how it feels. The ergonomic looks great. Excelent job Pentax.

4 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

Made in Vietnam and China.

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

@HowaboutRAW

Lenses in Vietnam and bodies in the Philippines. So, you're wrong about the China part. And either way, what's wrong if it's not Made in Japan or USA?

1 upvote
K_Photo_Teach
By K_Photo_Teach (May 22, 2012)

Radiation? ;)

1 upvote
Nightwings
By Nightwings (May 22, 2012)

"I don't know how Pentax does it, with all these features packed in a very compact body."

Simple, rubber gaskets, out of date poor AF systems, out of date poor metering sytems etc are easy to manufacture. As the saying goes.. Jack of all trades, Master of none.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 22, 2012)

@Nightwings If weather sealing were so "simple" why don't more vendors offer it? Metering: Pentax has Multi Segment metering which is similar to Nikon Matrix or Canon Evaluative. There is nothing out of date about it as it uses an algorithm to evaluate readings from multiple parts of the frame.

As far as "master of none", you've obviously never used any Pentax lenses like any of the Limited Pancake primes. Nobody has mastered the art of the pancake lens better Pentax.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (May 22, 2012)

@Nightwings It might be good to reserve judgement on the AF until we actually see how it works!

Pentax actually has put a lot into this camera at this price point - it shows they want and deserve a larger part of this market.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

Alizarine:

Cheap labor was the point, and that would include the Philippines.
(Ricoh makes their cameras in China.)

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 22, 2012)

@Nightwings
Where are all those great Nikon DX primes?

Oh I know- they do have a couple of made-in-China plastic jobs.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 22, 2012)

"Reinforced polycarbonate"

Funny names they have for plastic these days... :)

6 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

Lexan sure is stronger than acrylic.

2 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (May 22, 2012)

@ LJohnK2, Nikon users have D5100 and D7000 for a-year-and-half to two years now and a bunch of good cheap lenses released during that time. What are you envious of?

1 upvote
LJohnK2
By LJohnK2 (May 22, 2012)

As a primary Nikon user I'm envious....Pentax resisted the MP wars and actually provided a useful mid range upgrade option.

Hope they sell well...sweet piece of hardware !

10 upvotes
wildkat2
By wildkat2 (May 22, 2012)

The true replacement for the K200
I want one NOW NOW NOW!!!!

1 upvote
hanuman918
By hanuman918 (May 22, 2012)

Its a Minolta 800si DIGITAL!
http://www.sds.com/mug/800si-inf.html
very similar pentaprism design

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (May 22, 2012)

Looks to me like japanese armour inspire K-30. Agressive and tough; very macho design.

4 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (May 22, 2012)

I have a Pentax Film SLR. It's disappointing to see the company sold, then sold again. Now, they are owned by a copier company. Who will own them next...?

0 upvotes
Greg Lovern
By Greg Lovern (May 22, 2012)

Ricoh is a serious camera company. Hoya never wanted Pentax's camera division, and was always looking for a buyer. Ricoh bought them because it wants them -- in fact, it put them in charge of their own cameras! I expect Pentax to be with Ricoh long-term.

8 upvotes
washcoll2004
By washcoll2004 (May 22, 2012)

Sorry, but Ricoh was making K-mount SLR cameras all the way back when it was first introduced. They are a serious camera company and the investment in Pentax proves that they want to keep it moving forward. If the point of your comment is to discount them as a company, than I think you're a little misinformed.

4 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (May 22, 2012)

Sort of like how Canon is a copier company too. Actually, I think their current ownership will be excellent for them. Hoya bought them for their medical division, not cameras so they never really did much with the camera division. Ricoh bought them specifically for their cameras.

2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

Ricoh was a camera company before it made copiers. They began with optics in 1938, and only made copiers after the war. So primarily, copiers may be Ricoh's biggest business, but it still traces its roots to optics, and has a long, long history with Pentax and its K-mount.

2 upvotes
kavolis
By kavolis (May 22, 2012)

actually Ricoh created a K-mount, not a Pentax.

0 upvotes
neo_nights
By neo_nights (May 22, 2012)

If Pentax is (and always has been) able to design this handsome camera, how come with the K-01 they asked a furniture designer to do the job?

4 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (May 22, 2012)

I agree. The K-01 could have been great! Pentax already has tons of pancakes! They could have picked rangefinder style or DSLR style....they went with neither...They could have put a EVF on it....they didnt. They could have made an optional EVF....they didnt...They could have atleast put more work in the CDAF...they didnt...what it could have been to what it is....

2 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (May 22, 2012)

A momentary lapse in judgement like that one time my buddy thought that chick at the bar was hot but turned out to be a dude when it was too late?

2 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (May 22, 2012)

The K-01 was the last Pentax designed under Hoya, so Ricoh really had to complete the project, release it, and see how it did. Now they can move on either way - if enough buyers tend to like it they can make more like it - if not, at least they had an interesting camera to release when everything else was still a ways off.

1 upvote
In hydraulis
By In hydraulis (May 22, 2012)

I'm pretty sure "your buddy" would have kept that story to himself. :D

4 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (May 22, 2012)

All can I say is , LUST

4 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

I am pretty sure many people will bash this camera. Because it's a Pentax.

...and I'm pretty sure my K-x will have a new companion haha.

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 22, 2012)

Anyone who bashes this camera is an idiot! This K-30 (for its price range) is practically perfect in every way. Maybe, just maybe, a flippy screen would have been good, but other than that this camera is the perfect balance of price and performance.

4 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (May 22, 2012)

This is the camera i always wish olympus would develop at this price point and functionality with their rather comprehensive weather sealed lens system. Pentax has hit the sweet spot

0 upvotes
audiobomber
By audiobomber (May 22, 2012)

Pentax has a pretty impressive list of weather-resistant lenses:
DA 18-55, 50-200 and 18-135 WR consumer zooms
DA*55 f1.4, D FA 100mm 2.8 macro, DA*200 2.8, DA*300 f4 primes
DA*16-50 2.8, 50-135 f2.8, 60-250 f4
The 2012-2103 roadmap shows several more on the way, including some premium zooms and a 560mm f5.6.
Reasonable prices too. Pentax is serious about weather resistance.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 22, 2012)

Wow! That is all I can really say. This makes me wish I stayed with Pentax. All the best features of the K-5, in a smaller, cheaper body and updated AF etc. Like all Pentax's the price will come down too, by far and away the best DSLR in its class. Gives high hopes of what the K-5 replacement will be. Do they do a kit with the 40mm XS from the K-01?

2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

Unless you have a heap of Canon L or Nikon glass, you can always go back to Pentax. :)

and I don't think they'll pack the K-30 with the DA 40 XS...

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 22, 2012)

I don't. But I do have a load of good Alpha mount glass that would cost 3x as much to replace on Pentax (only because Pentax glass resale is so high compared to other mounts - supply and demand I guess?). Might still get this with a couple of limited's though, plus the few MF K-Mounts I still have floating about.

0 upvotes
Damo83
By Damo83 (May 21, 2012)

Given the ridiculous amount of rainfall in London that has limited the ability of many to go out and take photos, this looks like a wonderful workaround for such an issue.

6 upvotes
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

If you think about it, there aren't many photos of London with it's usual weather (makes you wonder if it's always sunny at the Big Ben), which is a shame.

4 upvotes
spidermoon
By spidermoon (May 21, 2012)

Almost perfect, but the lack of external mic and hdmi is a major backdraw. The camera is weather seal, have ibis, the video mode can use manual control, with choice of 30p/25p/24p, so it's a great camera for outdoor footage, but you are stuck to internal mono recording.
Hopefully, they kept the unique horizon auto adujstement, so even if the camera if not perfectly aligned, the sr mechanism provide correct level. I can't see where is the button for DOF preview ? On pentax camera it's around the on/off button. And finally they remove the lock dial button :) It's the most irritaging thing on my K7, you needs two hands to turn the dial. And they move the view button to the right, a better place than the left one.

1 upvote
Greg Lovern
By Greg Lovern (May 22, 2012)

What?!? No external microphone on an entry-level DSLR?? And no HDMI either!! "Major backdraw" indeed!! How do they expect to sell this POS?!?

;-)

6 upvotes
William Koehler
By William Koehler (May 22, 2012)

At the price level this thing is selling at, there are alternatives that do have an external mic input (GH2 anyone?). And Pentax should wake up to the fact that NTSC analog is all but dead. When people hook their spiffy new camera up to their spiffy HDTV, they want to see their pictures & video in HD. HDMI out would also allow for the possibility of an external monitor while shooting.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 22, 2012)

@Greg

Well, it's _not_ an entry level model, and omitting the external mic jack is a pretty serious limitation for anything but the most casual video shots. Still I guess they have to give you _some_ reason to buy a K-3!

1 upvote
wy2lam
By wy2lam (May 22, 2012)

@William

While GH2 is probably better at taking videos, The K-30 is without a doubt a much better camera for stills. It really depends on what your priorities are.

5 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 22, 2012)

@Spidermoon- I am going to ask you- how many times *you really go out* and shoot video with an external mic? Maybe you do have this need but I have this creeping suspicion you are just looking at a missing checkbox and going "awww."

6 upvotes
spqr_ca
By spqr_ca (May 22, 2012)

Means something, I suppose, if you shoot video with an external mic. I don't shoot video, so I don't need to mic the camera, so two things that mean nothing to me. However, to be honest, I don't think a lot of other people, yourself included, actually put a mic on a camera even if they can. So... Not very relevant in the end.

0 upvotes
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

I believe it might be because it's hard to make something full of holes and keep it from flooding.

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 22, 2012)

Well the GH2 isnt really in the range either is it? I mean I know they are cheap now, but only because they are about to be superceeded.

Also, seriously, if you use the internal mic input on ANY dSLR as far as I am concerned you are an idiot. The sound in these things is woeful at best, either use in camera sound or a proper external recorder. I know video peeps will whinge, but seriously, inbuilt mic preamps and converters are awful... Please, please, please do not use them... Ever!

3 upvotes
mbpm
By mbpm (May 22, 2012)

abortabort soooo true. Use a Zoom H2 if you're a cheap gremlin like me. :)

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 22, 2012)

If you want video - buy Panasonic, Sony or Canon. They have always made video cameras and have plenty of experience in that field.

0 upvotes
William Koehler
By William Koehler (May 23, 2012)

@wy2lam

Agreed. Here's another camera to compare the K-30 to for Stills or Video: Sony NEX-5N.

0 upvotes
Daianmixx
By Daianmixx (May 23, 2012)

Why need two hands to turn the dial on K7?
Just have to put your index on lock dial and turn with thumb and midle.

0 upvotes
GuardianFlash
By GuardianFlash (May 21, 2012)

Buy this or buy T4i? I love that blue color. So refreshing from the boring black color.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 22, 2012)

This! For the body, dual control dials, weather sealing, better sensor and much better OVF.

5 upvotes
NiallM
By NiallM (May 21, 2012)

It's essentially a k-r (which i own and love) with better autofocus, weather-sealing, better video and better VF, just the right amount of MP's, and a very reasonable price too. Seems a real bargain. I guess after all the hoopla surrounding the k-01, Pentax will be relieved to release a more 'normal' camera..

4 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 22, 2012)

It´s got nothing in common with the K-r (which I have as well). Different sensor, different operation buttons, different type of viewfinder, WR, it´s just so different from the K-r and much closer to the K-5.Love it!
The price seems really great (compare to 1300 USD Oly EM-5).

2 upvotes
NiallM
By NiallM (May 22, 2012)

I should have typed "k-r in spirit" but obviously it's far superior :) Even just the WR alone is such a big deal, for some photographers anyway..

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (May 21, 2012)

I really like the K-30 design, indeed.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 22, 2012)

I guess you are male, and under 40.

1 upvote
Digitall
By Digitall (May 22, 2012)

I only have an open mind ;)

Especially the black, more consistent with my conservatism.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Griffo59
By Griffo59 (May 21, 2012)

I remember when Pentax was a manufacturer of serious photographic tools.

What happened?

1 upvote
NiallM
By NiallM (May 21, 2012)

They joined up with Ricoh, so now the company that produced the best aps-c camera is working alongside the company that makes the best compacts. Sounds good to me :)

7 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

They just got more serious right now.

8 upvotes
spidermoon
By spidermoon (May 22, 2012)

Ok, the k-01 doesn't looks serious, but this k-30 is a serious tool. WR, IBIS, 100% viewfinder, two dial for quick operation, direct raw button ( it can use AA battery, my main concern is the lack of external mic jack, hdmi output and dc in.

1 upvote
NotSteve
By NotSteve (May 22, 2012)

Don't worry. It's just you. We all get old.

5 upvotes
Greg Lovern
By Greg Lovern (May 22, 2012)

What is unserious about it? Oh, the faux Ferrari side intake vents (is this a mid-engine DSLR??), and other sports car styling cues?

Well, aside from esthetics, it does seem to be quite serious.

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 22, 2012)

Taking the Ferrari Testarossa as a style model is a smart marketing move. It's a play to the base, and it is clearly working. Pentax has played "soft" with the K-m/K-x, trying to get women to buy entry level dLSRs, but with women mostly going for micro 4/3 these days, Pentax clearly felt they were better off pushing the "macho" slider to 11.

1 upvote
Underdog 3000
By Underdog 3000 (May 22, 2012)

Are you commenting on still or video? If you want a jack of all trades than the latest Canon and Nikon entry levels will be sure to fill your needs.
If you want a tool for still photography I think this is more up your alley.
I'm just guesing but judging on Pentax's recent performance with dynamic range, resolution and overall performance (except audio/video) you will be hard pressed to find a better performing DSLR in this price range. I didn't even mention weather sealing.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (May 22, 2012)

I am a Sony user and I must say this camera is making me envious ! It doesn't have a lot of fluff features but has all the stuff any serious photographer will need - a bright big clear viewfinder, twin control dials with good amount of external buttons to reduce menu diving, good AF (this isn't tested but I am very sure this will perform just great), and lastly great IQ. Seems like a pretty serious camera to me.

1 upvote
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

They are a lot more funnier now, I suppose. Leica is always an option, though.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Guidenet
By Guidenet (May 21, 2012)

I think it's a good looking camera with some good specs. I could care less about the goofy features and syles, modes or whatever you want to call them.

What I like is that it has a real optical glass pentaprism viewfinder that neither NIkon nor Canon has in this price range along with a 100% viewfinder. Look also that like Nkon, the back LCD panel is directly below the optical viewfinder. I wish it were dead center, but this is close enough, unlike Canon which mashes it way over to the left.

It has a real metal frame under the plastic more like Nikon than Canon's all plastic models. The only thing missing is the top mounted LCD. The K5 has that though or the Nikon D7000. Great two cameras.

Weather stripping I think is a bit gimmicky but it sells cameras these days, so I suppose that is a good thing.

In closing, I think Pentax hit a home run with this camera. Kudos to Pentax again. Great job addressing the needs of more seasoned photographers in a budget priced model.

9 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 22, 2012)

1. "couldn't care less".
2. All plastic dSLRs have a metal frame underneath that the plastic body panels screw into. Not just Pentax.

5 upvotes
jotor
By jotor (May 22, 2012)

"could care less" is an idiomatic usage. Get over it.

2 upvotes
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

"Weather stripping I think is a bit gimmicky"

WR might be the most underrated feature ever. It's great for people who actually take the camera outside.

2 upvotes
Promit
By Promit (May 22, 2012)

I think you've mixed up the words "idiomatic" and "idiotic". Understandable mistake.

4 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 22, 2012)

@Guidenet Top mounted LCDs are a leftover from auto focus film cameras that had no rear LCD which can display all the same information and more

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 21, 2012)

DNG raws only, I guess Ricoh made Pentax give up on the PEF raw format.

Not sure that's a good idea, DNGs ain't really all the same anyhow.

0 upvotes
Cheezr
By Cheezr (May 21, 2012)

except that adobe is no longer adding new cameras to cs5.x so unlike Nikon or Canon, you will not have to cough up $199-$599 for CS6 or LR6 to process the raws.
OTOH, Aperture drags on DNG's...

YMMV

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

Cheezr:

All well and good, but in fact DNGs are not exactly general. So it's only a maybe that these DNGs will open in CS5.

Ricoh certainly used DNGs and that's probably the real reason.

Who knows could get lucky and get to open these DNGs in CS5.

0 upvotes
aceofspades
By aceofspades (May 22, 2012)

Of course the CS thing is true but I don't think that's the real issue here.

DNGs are conform to open specifications, which means that in 10 years you will always be able to open them with any serious imaging software, including open source. This is arguably the safest option for any photographer who cares, and in my humble opinion, it is a really valuable advantage in favor of Pentax.

DNG is my format of choice right now, as a Linux user, and the format is recognized very easily by every piece of software I use (which is not the case with PEF), including Shotwell, Darktable and dcraw, so I don't exactly see what you mean by saying DNGs are "not general". It's open specification format, much in the vein of ODF in word processors.

2 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 22, 2012)

I use DNG as well, I am aware Pentax offers also another RAW format, but what is it good for? DNG is universal, no problems with processing, so why should I cry for the loss of PEF?

0 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (May 22, 2012)

One reason this matters is Capture One only recently began supporting DNG files from Pentax. Sure, you could use them, but the colors came out wrong, for example, whereas PEF files came out really nice and processed excellently.

Perhaps it's better now - I haven't tried recently, but there was an obvious advantage in the past, where C1 could read all of the needed data from the PEF files.

All of the major commercial programs that support a wide range of RAW cameras have supported PEF, so I haven't had a problem.

Adobe has been spreading much FUD for a long time in trying to sell DNG. I think all serious photo apps will continue to support proprietary RAW formats for a LONG time. In reality, Adobe's "open formats" like PDF and DNG have already left many people with compatibility issues and/or an inability to read older files.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

aceofspades and others:

No raw openers do not automatically extract all DNGs, as of a couple of months ago, DXO still didn't open DNGs created with the Leica M9. Bibble in the pre Corel era most certainly did not open all DNGs, only some.

So yes there are camera specific tweaks to opening DNGs.

(That there many be a general setting which allows opening of any and all DNGs may also be true, but that method is likely to make some compromise.)

If you don't believe me, get the DXO trialware and DNGs from many cameras, say DNGs from the Ricoh A12 (Leica M mount) insert for the GXR system.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 22, 2012)

DStudio:

Thank you.

0 upvotes
Theoria
By Theoria (May 21, 2012)

looks cool, mz-s styled. nevertheless, I'm still waiting for the digital FF mz-s. Why doesn't Pentax/Ricoh try to come up with a diminutive FF body, positioned similarly to mz-s compared to eos-1v or f6? Gosh, mz-s still kicks a*s!

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (May 21, 2012)

Brilliant! If you think of it as a marketing move and not as another DSLR based on current (edging on old) hardware, it's really very clever. Yet again, after the K-01, Pentax surprises.

--EDIT--
typo

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Barbu
By Barbu (May 22, 2012)

Exactly my thouthgts: after K-01, Pentax surprises us again.
Thank God, *this time* it's a pleasant surprise ;)

1 upvote
Ernest M Aquilio
By Ernest M Aquilio (May 21, 2012)

Sweet! ♥ Pentax

3 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (May 21, 2012)

This is a great move by Pentax! Not only is it the body I'd want if I didn't already have a K-5 (I might want it for its AF anyway), it shows that Pentax is really committed to providing a full, solid line of Interchangeable Lens Cameras while addressing the most needed improvements across the line!

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (May 21, 2012)

That's a real Canon Rebel contestant there, makes the similar Nikon level DSLR looks wimpy in comparison.

C

1 upvote
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 22, 2012)

The Rebel lineup doesn't even compare to this. Unless they step up and put 7D level sealing on the next T4i and offer cheap weather resistant lenses.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 21, 2012)

WOW, they made another star-wars version. Neat.

2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

Vader would be pleased. :)

3 upvotes
Juraj Lacko
By Juraj Lacko (May 21, 2012)

May be packed up with features but still doesnt look right. Pentax designers going obvioustly their own way :D

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (May 21, 2012)

How much you want to bet this camera's ergonomics are better than like 50% of what's out there in its price range ;-)

7 upvotes
Juraj Lacko
By Juraj Lacko (May 21, 2012)

i didnt mean ergonomics. But look at the design of it. Its ugly and crazy colours. Even Kay from digitalrew would paint it better. It looks weird to me. But hey, thats the pentax style!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

Pentax engineers and designers know what a Pentax should look like: And that is to look very far from Canon or Nikon. So yep, they did go their own way. :)

3 upvotes
aceofspades
By aceofspades (May 22, 2012)

Let me apologize first, but I think this is your comment which is really weird. I mean that's a matter of taste, not looking like the whole canon (pun not intended). If you think it doesn't look right, well that's your opinion, but it's not a useful basis for debating.

0 upvotes
Babya
By Babya (May 21, 2012)

I like how it can accept AA batteries with a optional holder.-just like the K-r.

Now only if other Pentaxes could receive a updated UI. The design is unseal yet quite easy to handle-plus great specs. Looks like a mid-level K-r replacement to me.

5 upvotes
NoelArmourson
By NoelArmourson (May 22, 2012)

As a K-r replacement, it is very attractive to this K-r user.

0 upvotes
Ken Aisin
By Ken Aisin (May 21, 2012)

Looks like a great deal for a fully sealed camera and kit lens. Definitely great for outdoor use. Unfortunately, I'm too invested with Nikon gear, so I can only wish Nikon would build splash proof cameras and lenses in this price range in the near future. Shooting with rain cover or plastic bag is just way too clumsy.

1 upvote
joseluismx
By joseluismx (May 21, 2012)

Talk about value! Great specs with a great price tag.

8 upvotes
trekkeruss
By trekkeruss (May 21, 2012)

I want to know how much; the specs are pretty impressive.

0 upvotes
joseluismx
By joseluismx (May 21, 2012)

899 USD with a 18-55mm DA-L, or 850 USD body only.

Too bad it doesn't come with a DA-L WR as a kit.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 21, 2012)

Actually $849 body-only and $899 with 18-55mm (it's in the press release and the spec table).

0 upvotes
trekkeruss
By trekkeruss (May 21, 2012)

I see the price now. Thanks. Looks like a winner.

1 upvote
winkalman
By winkalman (May 22, 2012)

@joseluismx

A quick check on B&H shows that it is in fact the WR version of the 18-55mm kit lens. It's also available as a two lens kit with the 18-55mm WR and a 50-200mm WR lens. I love that Pentax weather proofs their mid-range products; even if you never shoot in the rain it's nice to have that peace of mind in dusty or sandy conditions.

3 upvotes
kevinschoenmakers
By kevinschoenmakers (May 21, 2012)

The Preview shows a 'Page not found' error.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 21, 2012)

That should now be fixed.

0 upvotes
kevinschoenmakers
By kevinschoenmakers (May 21, 2012)

So it is, thanks!

0 upvotes
Freestyler
By Freestyler (May 22, 2012)

Richard I also believe this quote is incorrect. "This slower frame rate also allows the K-30 to offer slightly longer bursts of shots than the K-5; capturing up to of 30 JPEGs or 8 Raw files (which slightly edges the K-5's 26 JPEG/8 Raws)."

The K-5 was updated on it's first firmware update, to allow for 20 RAW images in the buffer and not 8 as mentioned in the preview.

0 upvotes
Userage
By Userage (May 21, 2012)

Looks fantastic and great value! A real competitor in the mid range!

6 upvotes
Total comments: 278
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