Pentax K-30 Brief Review


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  • 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 1080p HD video with mono sound (no mic input)
  • 3-inch 920,000 dot LCD screen
  • 6 fps continuous burst
  • Weather sealing
  • RAW capture
  • Manual modes
  • Lithium-ion battery or AA's with optional accessory
  • Release Date: 2012-07-12
  • Final Grade: 90 4.5 Star Rating: Recommended

Pentax K-30
16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor; 1080p HD video with mono sound (no mic input); 3-inch 920,000 dot LCD screen; 6 fps continuous burst; Weather sealing; RAW capture; Manual modes; Lithium-ion battery or AA's with optional accessory
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

Pentax's latest crop-sensor camera seems more of a sidestep to the K-5 than an outright upgrade, but the significant price drop to $899 with the kit lens is a real steal. The camera body has undergone a serious redesign, with its stippled surface and angular design resembling an Italian sports car more than a DSLR. The body is weather-sealed and, interestingly, takes either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or AA's through an additional adapter. It's a neat trick, but Pentax has sacrificed battery capacity here for convenience, with the K-30 only rated to 410 shots with the lithium-ion. Other prosumer features include a 100% viewfinder and dual control wheels, both a rarity in this price range. The autofocus has also been upgraded, as has the 16 megapixel sensor (which is the same as the K-01's), although reviews still note focus issues with the standard kit lens. Image quality remains among the best, however, and puts this photographer's camera near the top of the heap.

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Pentax/Ricoh Reviews

Pentax, who just recently merged with Ricoh, has long been a sort of underdog—but not necessarily in performance or quality. Pentax/Ricoh offers some quirky cameras, but for the most part, we've found that to be a good thing.

The Pentax/Ricoh DSLR’s are mostly weather-sealed, giving them a unique advantage over competing manufacturers that don't offer anything similar. When we tried out models like the K-50, we were quite impressed with the image quality. The autofocus was a bit noisier than a Nikon, but the weather-sealing and often better price is hard to resist when the image quality is so good. Pentax continued to add in innovations by adding an anti-aliasing filter that can be turned on and off to the 2013 K-3.

Pentax hasn't jumped into the mirrorless battle too much, but they do offer the tiny and colorful Q7. With a smaller sensor and a smaller price point, the Q7 and similar models are more of a consumer mirrorless than one for the enthusiasts, but it's an extremely small camera with a whole lot of color options.

Pentax has a few solid compact models out too. The Pentax MX-1 earned our Best Budget Advanced Compact for 2013 for its advanced features yet small price tag. They offer a waterproof line that includes macro ring lights built in, something unique to the WG cameras.

Pentax/Ricoh may be a bit quirky, but many of their cameras are well worth a look and offer excellent image quality for the price.

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