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

Our verdict

Using the Pentax K-30 is particularly enjoyable. I would not hesitate to take the camera out in adverse weather and most key exposure controls are quick to access and make adjustments. I find the multi-segment metering a little unpredictable, though, and had to be more active making exposure adjustments than I would like. For a camera at this level, the AF system performs well in a number of situations, but the motor in most Pentax lenses is far too noisy.

JPEG compression applies sharpening that is on the aggressive side, but otherwise I am very happy with the images the K-30 produces, particularly in low light situations. Also, the colour rendition is accurate, so images can be used straight out of the camera.

All in all, Pentax has successfully taken much that we loved about the K-5 and put it into the K-30.

Pentax K-30 – Key features

Live view
Pentax introduces focus peaking to live view. Also available is grid display, info overlay, histogram and bright area (which indicates burnt-out highlights in the frame)

Dioptre adjustment
Dioptre correction is controlled via the lever on the top of the viewfinder, with adjustments from -2.5 to +1.5

Remote control port
K-30 accessories that attach via the remote control port include an optional CS-205 cable release, which could turn out to be a good accessory given that mirror lock-up is only available in timed-delay drive mode

Info button
This button accesses a menu containing 15 settings, none of which is available through a dedicated button on the body. Controls include metering, file format and size, HDR mode and shake reduction

Built-in flash
The built-in flash has a GN of 12m @ISO 100 output, and offers -2 to +1EV compensation on its standard flash modes, as well as redeye reduction, slow-sync, trailing curtain sync and wireless control

With the optional GPS unit attached to the camera, the time of capture can be synced to files, as well as a record of one’s position at intervals every 1-10 minutes, which is great for keeping a record of a route taken while exploring

In-camera editing
It would be easy to leave the camera on its standard settings in raw capture because numerous edits can be made to an image post-capture, including digital filters, image rotation, cropping and raw-to-JPEG conversion. The K-30 offers more options than most other cameras

Copyright information
Those who want to protect ownership of each image recorded with the K-30 can embed copyright data, which includes an option for the photographer as well as the copyright holder

  • 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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