Overall Rating:


Pentax K-30

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Price as Reviewed:


With a weather-resistant body and an impressive feature set, the Pentax K-30 is an entry-level DSLR that could just rival the big boys

Pentax K-30 at a glance:

  • 16.3-million-pixel, APS-C-sized
  • CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-12,800, expandable to
  • ISO 25,600
  • Optical viewfinder with 100% field of view
  • Weather-sealed plastic body
  • 11-point AF with 9 cross-type points
  • Street price around £650

Pentax’s range of interchangeable-lens cameras of the past year have all demonstrated bold design ideas. The Pentax Q is the smallest interchangeable-lens camera currently available, while the K-01 is the only compact system camera to use an existing DSLR mount (Pentax K) and is labelled ‘for those interested in design’ (and consequently less for those who simply desire intuitive handling). Although Pentax was acquired by Ricoh during the development of the K-30, it is unlikely that Ricoh had much involvement in the design of the camera.

As a DSLR, the K-30 is more conventional in its design than the Q and K-01, but nevertheless entertains some design quirks, such as its angular edges and a dotted rubber and ridged left-hand side. With the K-r no longer in production (although it is still available in some shops), the Pentax K-30 is now one of two Pentax DSLR models, and sits below the K-5 as the entry-level model.

Compared to other brands, the K-30 is an ‘upper’ entry-level camera, competing against models such as the Nikon D5100, Canon EOS 650D and Sony Alpha 57. Traditionally, Pentax DSLRs have had the sort of controls, shooting modes and handling that serious photographers appreciate, and offer more for their money. We expect the K-30 to be no different.

  • Dioptre Adjustment: -2.5 to +1.5 dioptre
  • White Balance: Auto, 10 presets, custom setting, Kelvin and WB fine adjustment
  • External mic: No
  • Video: 1920x1080 pixels (at 24, 25 and 30fps), 1280x720 pixels (at 50, 60fps), 640x480 pixels, Motion JPEG (AVI), H.264
  • Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 12m @ ISO 100
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled, focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC or SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism, 0.92x magnification
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, over 3 images
  • AF Points: 11 individually selectable AF points (9 cross-type)
  • Output Size: 4928x3264 pixels
  • LCD: 3in TFT with 921,000 dots
  • Field of View: 100%
  • Sensor: 16.3-million-effective-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Lens Mount: Pentax KAF2
  • RRP: £599.99 (body only) £679 (with 18-55mm weather-sealed kit lens)
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: Single, Continuous Hi 6fps, Continuous Lo 3fps, self-timer, remote, auto bracketing, HDR, interval, multiple exposure
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/6000sec in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps plus bulb
  • File Format: DNG raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Power: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion D-LI109 battery
  • Weight: 650g including battery and card (590g without)
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, sensitivity priority, shutter and aperture priority, bulb
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec
  • ISO: 100-12,800 (expandable to ISO 25,600)
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, AF.A (auto) AF.S (single), AF.C (continuous)
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Dimensions: 128.5 x 96.5 x 71.5mm (excluding protrusions)
  • Metering System: 77-segment metering, centreweighted and spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, AV out, cable switch
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG, 3-stage raw
  • Tested as: Entry-level DSLR

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