Pentax K-30 Review
Pentax has a long tradition of making very photographer-focused DSLRs, often eschewing the latest fashions to concentrate on providing cameras with well-sorted ergonomics and a focus on core photographic features such as good viewfinders. This trend appeared to reach its peak with the K-5 - arguably one of the best APS-C DSLR currently on the market. With the mid-range K-30, it looks like the company, now owned by Ricoh, is aiming to bring this capability to a wider audience.
The first thing you're likely to notice is its rather aggressive, angular styling but what's really interesting is what's going on inside. The K-30 is built around the updated 16MP CMOS sensor and processor used in the K-01 - one of the only APS-C cameras we've seen to exceed the K-5's low light performance. And that's promising, even before you venture further into the specifications.
Despite playing second-fiddle to the K-5 and the updated K-5 II, the K-30 borrows a great many of these cameras' flourishes. It's weather sealed. It features the same 0.92x magnification viewfinder with 100% coverage - meaning you can compose your image knowing that you'll get exactly the framing you thought you would. It also sports twin control dials and a not-dissimilar degree of external controls. It doesn't come with the K-5 II's Safox X AF-system which allows you to focus in very dark scenes down to -3EV, but with a starting price of $899 with the 18-55mm kit zoom, the K-30 is significantly more affordable.
Nevertheless the camera's SAFOX IXi+ AF system is an advance over the original K-5 and features 11 AF points, 9 of which are cross-type (sensitive to vertical, as well as horizontal edges). The major difference to the K-5 is that the lenses in front of the AF sensor have been improved - promising more consistent autofocus performance (what Pentax is calling a diffusion lens is designed to prevent chromatic aberrations confusing the AF system). A wide-area AF mode promises to improve focus tracking if the subject strays from a user-selected AF area to a neighboring point. To make use of this AF capability, the K-30 can shoot at up to 6 frames per second (just shy of the the K-5 II's 7fps).
There are a few odd quirks in the K-30's feature set. The first is the AA-cell-shaped battery compartment. This is clever in the sense that, once you've bought the optional adapter, you can use AA batteries if you want (a constituency Pentax has long courted), or when the supplied Li-ion battery pack runs out. The downside is that the design only leaves enough room for a 7.8Wh battery, which can only motivate itself to produce 410 shots, using standard CIPA methodology. This puts the K-30 in Canon Rebel territory (The T3i is rated at 440 shots per charge), rather than EOS 60D territory (1100 shots per charge).
The other oddity is that, while the K-30 offers the very fashionable 'focus peaking' manual focus aid that highlights high-contrast edges, it can't do so while shooting video. And, while part of its current popularity comes from its use for focusing manual focus lenses on mirrorless cameras, its original purpose (at which it excels), is focusing in video. Losing a key focus aid just when you need it is a perverse limitation, to say the least.
And this omission, along with the lack of external microphone socket leaves the K-30 looking somewhat lacking when it comes to video capture. But, as a stills camera, its feature set looks very promising. Read on to see how it performed in our studio and real-life testing.
Pentax K-30 specification highlights
- 16.1MP CMOS sensor
- In-body image stabilization
- Weather-sealed polycarbonate body
- ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25,600, with user-defined Auto ISO range)
- 1080p HD movie recording at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second
- 920,000 dot LCD
- Per-lens AF fine adjustment
|Lost in cyber space by Jill Hancock|
from Your City - Look Down
|Bringing Home the Bacon by Domenick Creaco|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|I Think I Can? I Think I Can? by kjfrigo|
|ON THE TAXIWAY by DIM POL|
from Leaving on a Jet Plane
The new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ supposedly offer "the fastest printing capabilities available on the market today," all while using fewer ink tanks, and featuring useful add-ons like a built-in vertical trimmer.
In an effort to streamline production and minimize confusion, RED has announced that it is simplifying its product lineup to three main cameras. As an added bonus, this change dramatically drops the prices for all three options.
Fujifilm's new X-T100 is an SLR-style mirrorless camera that takes the internals of the X-A5, including phase-detect AF, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high-res OLED viewfinder. The X-T100 is priced at a very reasonable $599/€599 body-only and $699/€699/£619 with a 15-45mm lens.
Panasonic's latest firmware update for its GH5S, GH5 and G9 series of cameras was leaked in Japan earlier today and is now being officially announced a week early. But don't get too excited – you still won't be able to download it until May 30th.
We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading, but Lee Morris over at Fstoppers has put together a useful video that explains why this is the case, and demonstrates it with two easy-to-understand examples.
Last week, some 'leaked' photos were published online that purported to show a DJI Phantom 5 drone with interchangeable lens camera and several prime lenses. The rumor was widely reported, but DPReview has learned that those images do not, in fact, show a Phantom 5 at all.
The bezel-free Vivo Apex concept phone with its pop-up camera might be more than a concept. A new teaser video and ad seem to hint at a similar smartphone to be released June 12st.
Skylum has teamed up with its sister company Photolemur to create Skylum AI Lab, where the duo will work on AI-powered image solutions including image segmentation, tagging and upscaling.
Award-winning fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko recently tested out the Godox EC-200 flash extension head. Actually, he tested out four of them, creating a quad-flash ring light alternative that works great for both beauty and close-up work.
According to a recent investor presentation, Sony intends to occupy the top slot in the overall camera market by the end of 2020, beating back Canon and Nikon by boosting its interchangeable lens systems.
HTC brings back the dual-camera on the newly-announced U12+, which features a secondary tele-camera with 2x zoom factor, as well as 4K video recording at 60 frames per second.
Google has finally added the ability to mark your favorite images in Google Photos, so they can be filtered into a dedicated album. The service is also planning to a social network-like "heart" button that lets you like other people's photos.
We've been messing around with Apollo, an iOS app that allows you to add 3D lighting effects to images using depth information, and have to say we're impressed with what it's capable of – but that doesn't mean we don't have a few requests for the next version.
The new lightweight laptop packs a whole lot of photo- and video-editing punch. The laptop can be specced out with a Core i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, NVIDIA graphics with 4GB of GDDR5, and a 4K display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage.
It looks like Canon is getting into sensor sales. The three specialized CMOS sensors the company recently demoed—including a 120MP APS-H model and an ultra-low light sensor—have been listed for sale through a distributor in the US.
Instagram has finally launched a "Mute" button, and is testing an "All Caught Up" feature that will let you know when you've seen all new post from the people you follow from the past 48 hours.
45-year-old photography magazine Shutterbug announced today that it is shutting down its print publication, focusing instead on reaching its readers online as a web-only publication.
Kodak Alaris has launched a new single-use disposable camera in Europe. Called the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera, this 800 ISO film camera is supposedly ideal for parties, weddings, and similar events.
Computer vision company Lucid and cinema camera maker RED have partnered to create an 8K 3D camera that can capture 4-view (4V) holographic images and video in real-time. The camera is designed to work with RED's upcoming holographic Hydrogen One smartphone.
If Canon and Nikon do get into high-end mirrorless, it's almost certain that they'll do everything they can to maintain compatibility with their existing mounts. But, asks Richard Butler, wouldn't it be more interesting if they built a small, niche system to live alongside their existing DSLRs?
It seems RED's Hydrogen One super-phone will make it into the hands of customers in the near future. The phone is now officially slated for a Verizon and AT&T release in the US sometime this summer.
You know that feeling when you're already all suited up and out on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, and only then do you realize you forgot to put the SD card in your GoPro? No? Us either... but one astronaut on the ISS sure does.
From 2015 to 2017, filmmaker Macgregor and his crew spend many months traveling back and forth on the famed Mauritanian Railway—the so-called 'Backbone of the Sahara—to document the grueling journey endured by merchants who regularly travel atop this train. This beautifully-executed short doc is the result.
You can now insert another user's Instagram post into your own Stories as a customized sticker, the first official "regram" feature we've seen from the Facebook-owned photo sharing app.
Synology has added a new 6-bay NAS to its DiskStation+ series, and it's aimed squarely at photographers and medium sized businesses. The DS1618+ can handle up to six 12TB drives, giving it a max capacity of 72TB, or up to 60TB in RAID 5.
Our original gallery for Tamron's new 70-210mm F4 had portraits, slow-moving wildlife and city scenes, but was sorely missing fast action. We remedied that by photographing some motorcycles flying through the air.
This week on DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan prepare for the summer holiday season by putting several popular waterproof cameras to the test. If you're considering a rugged camera for the beach or pool this summer, or if you just want to see what a Chris and Jordan fishing show might look like, tune in.
Soulumination is a non-profit organization that provides life-affirming legacy photography to families facing serious medical conditions, completely free of charge. This video shares the work they are doing.
Fujifilm EU seems to have accidentally leaked an unreleased camera to the masses. The leaked page details a new "X-T100" camera that will share most of its specs with the X-A5, but includes an EVF, deeper buffer, and 3-way tilting touchscreen.
LA-based director and cinematographer Phil Holland of PHFX recently joined forces with Gotham Film Works to create something out-of-this-world. Using a special aerial camera array, Holland shot a flyover of New York City using not one, not two, but three 8K RED Weapon Monstro VistaVision cameras.