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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

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Total comments: 9

Very puzzled by your review. For instance no mention of the very poor on/off switch the near impossible to get a grip on the SD card door. Images do not come even close to my Panasonic fz200 and I have found like many others, it will not update with firmware. My old K200d SUPER blows it away even with only 6 megapixels


I have arthritis in both of my hands and have never had any trouble opening the SD card door.


When I compare the dynamic range of K30 against D7000 and T5i, it looks like K30 under performs. However, that might be because the K30 default contrast in all modes is pretty high compared to the other two. Maybe dpreview should mention that when it presents dynamic range results.


In the RAW Standard studio scene comparison, the k-30 appears to be back-focusing a bit. look at the small writing on the Kodak grey scale


And the "Q" on the queen card is sharper than anything


I called the corporate office myself and spoke with Joe Virgil, who was apologetic, but insisted he couldn’t do anything because the part was being shipped from the Phillipines and there were 65 other service orders suffering from the same problem. I explained that his supply problem was now a customer service problem as we had reached the 7th week of this ordeal. After ordering a part, if it has not arrived in 5 weeks, they are supposed to provide a replacement and this has yet to happen.
When you purchase a camera, you also purchase warranty and customer service with it. This has now past over two months since I initially sent off my camera for repair and the company is refusing to honor its warranty. I have bought a DSLR from one of their competitors and am completely disgusted with Pentax — DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR BUSINESS. I’ve yet to receive my camera back (10 weeks and counting!) or any kind of a firm timeline of when that might happen.

1 upvote

Hi ebaker,

Did you get the repaired camera from them?


I actually liked the camera…. until it didn’t perform as promised. I bought this camera because I work at an aquarium and need to take photos for our marketing. A month after purchase, the telephoto lens drew humidity into the body and condensation formed, thus killing the LCD screen.
While it claims to be weather resistant, it couldn’t even handle humidity.
What is worse is that after sending the camera in on July 6 for repair under the warranty, I have yet to get any kind of a realistic timeline of when I would receive my camera back. After the fifth week of hearing, “Call back next week” I requested a replacement. This caused the customer service rep to become extremely rude and tell me that they were in the midst of a corporate merger so he couldn’t help me. I requested to speak with a manager, he refused to give me their name or number. He insisted he needed to call the corporate office and said he would call me back by the end of the week. Of course, that never happened.

1 upvote

“…the only major barrier to fast and efficient operation is the relegation of movie shooting to the exposure mode dial.” Seriously is the time difference between turning the mode dial and pressing a button to enter the movie function all that relevant – you are talking about an extra second at the most !

Total comments: 9