Pentax K-30 review

LCD, viewfinder and video

It is common for a DSLR at this level to use a ‘cheaper' pentamirror-type viewfinder, but the Pentax K-30 instead features a pentaprism type, which is usually reserved for enthusiast and professional DSLRs. Like the K-5, the viewfinder on the K-30 has a 0.92x magnification and 100% field of view, something not possible with a pentamirror.

A 100% field of view is particularly useful for accurate framing, although in the K-30 the optical display is slightly duller than real life. The electronic display overlay indicates the active AF point by a red flash.

The LCD screen is a 3in TFT type with 921,000 dots, and is perfectly adequate for most situations. Live view has a direct access button on the top left of the camera's rear, and ‘peaking' has been introduced, which indicates in-focus areas (in yellow) and blown-out highlights (in red) on the screen. This is available for both video and still capture, and is particularly useful when focusing manually.

Face-detection AF is also available for video and is displayed in live view. With the same Prime M processor and imaging sensor as the K-01, the K-30 matches it as the company's best camera for video capture. Full HD 1080p video capture is possible at 30fps, although sound is recorded in mono only and there is no capacity to use an external microphone.