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


The Pentax K-30 makes use of an updated Safox IXi+ AF sensor module. This features 11 AF points, nine of which are the more sensitive cross-type, with 11-point, 5-point, centre-point or individually selectable point modes, and options for face detection and tracking AF (both of which work in video and stills capture).

The lenses in front of the module have also been improved, with Pentax stating that the new lens minimises chromatic aberrations – a factor that inhibits the consistency and effective operation of an AF system. A ‘select-area expansion’ function is also new – for continued subject tracking even when the subject moves out of the pre-assigned auto-tracking area.

In a variety of lighting conditions and using different standards of lenses, the contrast-detection AF system is speedy and, on the whole, accurate. Even in low-contrast light, with the help of the AF assist beam, the camera is able to focus on close-range static subjects with ease and minimal ‘hunting’. It is important, however, to select the ‘correct’ option for the scene to achieve speedy and accurate AF, otherwise the camera can struggle. It is in such situations, when using the 18-55mm kit lens, where noisy AF becomes obvious. This is a major gripe I have with most Pentax AF lenses – it is hard to remain unobtrusive when using AF. In this respect, the camera feels clunky, even though it is, on the whole, snappy.

I have not directly compared the new Safox IXi+ AF sensor module when tracking moving subjects in the K-30 against the older version in the K-5, but in its own right the new module is suitable for its target audience. Slow-moving subjects are tracked with accuracy, but for fast subjects and low-light action shots, a more sophisticated system is required.

  • 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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