2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent DSLR, beautiful pictures, nicely ergonomic., 2 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Programme (What's this?)
The Pentax K30 is effectively the cost-reduced version of the K5
. They share the same excellent 16Mpixel sensor and automatic picture taking system, but the K30 has fewer controls and with the DA-L 18-55mm kit lens is significantly lighter than the K5 with the optically identical DA-WR 18-55mm kit lens. The Amazon blurb above is correct when the camera is used with the DA-L lens options offered.
The pictures are very, very good on both, sufficiently so that having used the K5 intensively in a wide range of conditions for a year and a half, and the K30 for almost a month I still cannot really tell the difference between the end results. At first I thought the brand new K30 was better, but after cleaning some hints of dirt off the front of the K5 lens and then shooting some A-B tests on a range of subjects it was obvious that there was no significant performance difference.
. It is just a fraction small for my hands, but SWMBO found the lighter K30 nestles nicely and all the right controls just fell under her finger tips. She was delighted with how easy it was to use.
. The `Green' function is sufficient for the vast majority of point-and-shoot photography that one is likely to attempt, ideal for a novice DSLR user, and makes amazingly good pictures from a wide range of conditions.
. The default auto-finding Auto-Focus is a bit of a pain - it prefers to focus on nearest objects and not my subject, but I simply selected centre zone on the menu and that works a treat, same as with the K5.
. Pressing the Review button to look at pictures taken also allows one to have the full ability to examine the picture in minute detail, with as much as 16x digital magnification (32x on the K5), and I still could not see a pixel structure from the sensor. Press it again, and immediately go back to shooting mode. Nice.
. Flash is a pop-up feature, and it is something I tend not to use unless absolutely necessary for controlled lighting, and I've only experimented with the flash enough to prove it works. With the sensitivity of this camera, even hand-held night-shoots come up trumps, which I find quite astonishing, and delightful.
. The shake-reduction is seamless in operation, and while I've not been aware of any side-effects from it, I have certainly noticed how sharp the hand-held images are.
. Reflex viewfinder. Ohh, it is so good to be able to see a proper real picture with the correct dioptre adjustment for my eyes, one that can be used in any light level, just like on my 35mm cameras. And it has all the relevant status info you could ever wish for, but I've not much used any of that info apart from the electronic-levelling meter to help me to keep verticals properly upright.
. LCD viewfinder. I've used this to review the shots, or for monitoring the video while using the tripod, or for silent shooting with no mirror flip, or the menu system when setting up the many options on the camera.
. Battery life (without flash) is good. The manual suggests between 300 and 400 pictures. The 7.8 Watt-Hour D-Li109 K30 battery is smaller than the 14 Watt-Hour D-Li90 K5 battery (both 7.2V) and the pin-out means it requires its own different charger, so I will not be able to swap spare batteries between the cameras.
. This is a fraction smaller than the K5 (but only by a few millimetres), definitely lighter and seems to be a very good fit for more delicate hands than mine. SWMBO has decided that it is perfect for her to use...
. It has extensive sealing to improve weather resistance, much the same as the K5. Some of the rubber covers are very difficult to re-fit, such as that for the cable release terminal socket. Other covers feel a bit insubstantial, such as those for the two compartments housing battery and the SDHC chip.
. The battery compartment is strange as it is shaped to also accommodate a carrier (an optional extra) for AA cells. I would have preferred it to merely take the larger D-Li90 battery pack.
. No HDMI connector, this is the only major drop off, as I use the one on the K5 for video playback and slide-shows on a big screen.
. No microphone socket. No big deal however, as I always use a separate sound recorder and only regard the camera sound as a guide track.
. No external DC power socket, not really necessary if you don't plan to use much video, except I do use the one on the K5 sometimes when shooting video and often when playing back the video.
.The DA-L 18-55mm is very nice, and having a plastic body is lighter than the metal bodied DA-WR 18-55mm even though they share the same optics with eleven elements in eight groups. L = Light, WR = Weather Resistant. The L is NOT weather resistant, even though the K30 body claims to be.
. The zoom range of 3 to 1 seems to be not really enough, and I would have preferred more, perhaps the 7.5 to 1 DA-WR 18-135mm
. But here with 16Mpixels it just does not matter, since one can simply crop out the unwanted picture and use the small part of real interest. It will still have useful detail.
. There is no manually focussed Macro facility, but it will auto-focus in Macro mode as close as 80mm at both ends of the zoom range.
. As usual, the lens-cap is a fiddly pain, even though the finger-tip grip is deeper than with the WR lens, and I expect to drop it and lose it real soon now, and be forced to fit a sacrificial UV filter instead. But I would very much prefer to keep it as standard.
. There is no lens hood supplied with this particular K30 with 18-55mm DA-L kit. The PH-RBA 52mm is available as an extra.
. The focus ring gear is always engaged to the motor when the L lens is fitted to the camera body, so manual focusing always has the resistance of also turning the motor. The WR lens disengages the focus motor except for during the shot if the autofocus is allowed to take over.
. It has a standard thread for 52mm filters.
. The equivalent focal length for a full sized 35mm image would be 27-82.5mm
In a word; outstanding.
. The dynamic range is incredible, from moonlight to pointing at the sun. I've not been cruel (or stupid) enough to force it to look at the sun on any manual settings. It copes with ease on Auto, and gives very good pictures, usually selecting the best options to suit the scene.
. For the photo enthusiast who wants to go the extra mile, the top mode-selector switch and then the menu options for custom modes are very comprehensive, and one could spend months experimenting with them all.
. There are also menu options including fine adjustment of autofocus to compensate for different lenses, adding colour filters, auto correction of lens aberrations and geometry.
. The image sensor at 23.7 x 15.7mm is not quite a full 35mm frame (36 x 24mm), but at about 2/3 the linear size is a decent portion, so most of the standard lenses will give reasonable results (if they can be adapted to fit the body).
. Best quality Video is the full HD 1920x1080x25 (or x30) using the H.264 consumer standard. File size without breaks is limited to 4GB, for about 25minutes of full HD, but much longer for the lesser quality options.
. A 32GB SDHC class 10 chip
allows almost 3000 stills (16Mpixels, 4928x3264) of the best quality. Depending on the amount of fine detail, the JPEG file sizes are typically between 8Mbytes and 11Mbytes.
. The optional RAW files are significantly bigger than the normal JPEGs but have the advantage of preserving the original sensor image and the meta-data listing the chosen image modifier options (eg aberration corrections, filters, auto-horizon, etc).
I have added a camera pouch
and a lens hood
I use the same stock of 32GB SDHC class 10 memory chips as on all my other cameras.
A fantastic entry level DSLR. A keen novice can start taking pictures without doing anything much more than fitting the lens, inserting a charged battery, adding a memory chip, taking off the lens cap, and switching it on. If the novice reads the comprehensive manual, then there is encouragement for his development, and the camera has the capabilities of anything from full auto to full manual operation for a very wide range of applications to match his growing ambition.