Body & Design continued

Viewfinder size and crop

One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in usability - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.

Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'.

The viewfinder of the Pentax K-30 is the same size as its bigger brother, the K-5's. It offers 100% coverage and a magnification of 0.92X. These numbers might not mean much, but as you can see in the diagram above, the K-30's viewfinder is roughly on the same level as Nikon's enthusiast D7000.

It's also noticeably larger than the viewfinders in entry-level DSLR's such as the Pentax K-r, but not surprisingly cannot compete with the much larger variants in full-frame pro-level DSLRs such as Canon's EOS-1D X. That said, the K-30 offers a large and bright viewfinder image that is on par with its peers in the enthusiast DSLR bracket of the market.

Body construction

The K-30's body is made of polycarbonate, with a stainless steel chassis at its center. The body is extensively weather-sealed, with all joins and ports featuring protective lips and bungs.

Body elements

On of the most prominent features of the K-30 is the overhanging flash. Pop it up and you discover it's a design flourish. The flash isn't placed at the far extreme of the flip-up arm, so the odd overhanging design doesn't gain additional separation from the lens.
The K-30's other obvious distinguishing feature is its AA-shaped battery compartment. You need to buy an adapter to use AA batteries, rather than the supplied rectangular Li-ion battery that slots down the middle of the bay.

The design means there's a fair amount of empty space around the D-LI109 battery, and we wonder how many users would be better served by a larger battery.
The SD-card compartment can be found underneath a plastic door on the right side of the camera. The K-30 takes SD, SDHC and SDXC cards. Below there is a connector for an external AC-adapter, hidden underneath a rubber flap.
On the camera left, hidden underneath a rubber flap is the camera's combined USB/AV connector.

Hands-on Preview video