Pentax K-30 Review

August 22, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 JS

Yes, excellent IQ and ISO performace, the only problem is, I don’t need a new camera right now. Great job Pentax, maybe next time…

7:41 pm - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

#2 Jeff

The review states:

“The 16.3 megapixel JPEG images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting”

If the in-camera setting is changed, does the image then earn a “5” for quality? Is the in-camera revision as good as adjusting the image in “an application”?

What are the shortcomings, if any, once the in-camera adjustment is made?

Thank you for your follow up!

8:41 pm - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

#3 zebarnabe


That sentence is copied in all reviews they made, on most cameras it makes sense, in some it doesn’t.

Imaging software on the computer usually has several sharpening tools available and offers more control over it than in-camera settings. You can often balance between noise and sharpening in the computer to make the best out of a photo.

Usually you want the image as close as possible to what was taken, sharpening it usually creates artifacts (like halos and such) if you have only an over-sharpened image it is very hard to go back to the original.

Image quality is quite good, I suspect it has a Sony sensor like the one in Nikon D3100, could be wrong though.

At higher ISOs (12800 and 25600) the RAW seems a bit cooked, not that it matters though, those are just for emergencies/extreme cases given the quality (and sensitivity) delivered.

10:39 pm - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

#4 Fred

> Zebarnabe

The Nikon D3100 uses a home-made Nikon sensor, not a Sony sensor.

The sensor in the K-30 is the same as that in the NEX-5, D7000, K-01 and K-5.

The K-5 achieved the best DXO marks for an APS-C sensor from any maker, showing that Pentax have skills at extracting the best out of sensors.

9:49 am - Thursday, August 23, 2012

#5 Fred

The review omits a very important point: The viewfinder on the K-30 is pentaPRISM, not pentaMIRROR as employed in the D5100, 600D etc.

Night and day difference in viewfinder brightness. Pentamirror is far cheaper, hence why Nikon and Canon use them.

The better Canons and Nikons such as 5DMkIII and D700/D800 use pentamirrors for good reason.

Also, pick up a K-30 and compare the build quality with a D5100 or a 600D. The latter two feel like cheap toys. Also compare the ergonomics; the controls on the Pentax all fall so easily to hand.

9:57 am - Thursday, August 23, 2012

#6 Fred

Sorry, typo:

The better Canons and Nikons such as 5DMkIII and D700/D800 use pentaPRISMS for good reason.

1:06 pm - Thursday, August 23, 2012

#7 Fred

Apologies, typo… high end Canikons use pentaPRISM OVFs.

1:09 pm - Thursday, August 23, 2012

#8 zebarnabe

Thanks for clearing it out Fred

5:29 pm - Thursday, August 23, 2012

#9 Jonathan

I have a K-x now (which I love) and this looks like a significant step up.

One thing I’m noticing is that the reviews out so far seem to be criticising (to various extents) the K-30 video mode with comments to the effect that its not really useful. To me it looks like the video is quite a step up from the 720p K-x video and I find that K-x video very useful. Sure 95% of the time I don’t use the video on an outing but for that 5% its great to have and the result are very usuable.
So has the K-30 video quality gone backwards (apart from having 1080p and manual control) from the likes of the k-x / k-r or are the reviews being a bit critical in this area?

Also I don’t get this single click video thing as being so important. On the K-x all you have to do is turn the dial and click the shutter button (to focus and start recording). Doesn’t seem hard to me?

12:38 am - Friday, August 24, 2012

#10 Alvin

Thank god for this. I was worried that after Ricoh took over, no more Pentax for me. After they came out with the K-01 rubbish I was really worried. I nearly jumped with joy when the news of this came out. I will just wait a little now to see if the price falls a little, maybe with Chrismas sales.

10:52 am - Friday, August 24, 2012

#11 jeff

anyone like me think the images in “sample images” are not good at all

is it because of the lens?

Soft with lack of detail and the review said IQ is good?

don’t understand

11:51 am - Saturday, August 25, 2012

#12 AlexMonro

Shame they didn’t mention the focus peaking for manual focussing in live view.  I had a quick play with a K30 in a shop and it seems to work very well - I believe a first for a Pentax DSLR.

Shame about the lack of a live histogram in live view, and it would’ve been nice if the LCD monitor was articulated.

12:17 pm - Monday, August 27, 2012

#13 Bee Jay

I’m like Jonathan, I have a K-X and am very pleased with it. The K-30 seems like the next move up. I’m not looking for a new camera at the moment, but if I am in a year or two, this will still be a great camera, plus a couple of hundred quid off, which for a weather proofed DSLR would be a very, very good.

I also agree with Alvin, I thought things were on the slide again for Pentax with a couple of their recent cameras, but this one puts them right near the top.

It’s about time they got more credit for their products; if Canon/Nikon had brought out a £600 16MP, weather-proofed camera with the same level of performance as this, we’d all be swinging from the lampshades.

10:25 am - Thursday, August 30, 2012

#14 shudras

Just got a K30 in white, my first DSLR proper and my first SLR since the old wet film Pentax SFXn.

Love it, love it, love it :) ... especially the price @ £369 body only from Amazon.

Having enormous fun hooking up all my old K, KA and KAF lenses and remembering why I spent all that money on them back in the day.

Nikon & Olympus P&S digital compacts now resting quietly.

2:03 pm - Thursday, November 15, 2012

#15 Lynx

I’m not sure but I think the 14Mpx sensor on the Nikon D3100 and on the K7 and on the Sony Alpha 330 and other sony cameras is the same sensor.

Though the D3100 will obviosly have the most evolved version.

The K30 looks lke an awesome camera. The wierd thing to me is that my camera comes with a 7.4v 800mah Li ion battery and can go from 700 to 840 shots.
The K30 has a more powerfull battery why does it waist it so quickly?????
I’ve got a Canon EOS 1100D. It can’t be because of more Mpx alone.

1:08 pm - Thursday, December 13, 2012

#16 Mistlefoot

Notes on a couple of comments above - The lack of an articulating screen is likely for weather proofing purposed.
Battery life is due to battery size.  The battery only half fills the compartment.  I bought mine with a spare and have yet to need my back-up battery on any outing I’ve been on.  The 400 shots assume half are taken with flash on.  Not sure why they didn’t make a larger battery.

9:49 am - Sunday, January 20, 2013

#17 DAVE

My first Pentax was a K-R which was lovely.  Upgraded to a K5, which is also an excellent camera especially as it is weather-proof.

I bought a Canon 550 as back-up and cannot understand why everyone goes so mad about them. so have now pxd it for a K30.

10:19 pm - Wednesday, January 30, 2013

#18 Russ

Still using a K10D and love it. Had it since 2009. Moth balled it a couple times thinking i should try a Canon. Bought a 500D and then 50D, as above really have no idea why people get so excited about a Canon? The 500D in particular was not a nice camera to hold and use. And using movie or live view was a daft as any other DSLR. So pulled the K10D out of retirement, bought a Panasonic G3 to go with it and pretty happy. But now think i will finally replace the K10D with a K-30. Have that and the G3.

9:02 pm - Thursday, April 18, 2013

#19 Susan

I read about this camera at and was glad to see so many sample images here.  However, I found that the images posted seemed a bit dim compared to those posted for the Nikon D5200. Are these images really representative of what this camera puts out as far as brightness and saturation are concerned?  Also, since I would like to know if the camera would be useful for casual video, would someone who uses the camera tell me whether or not the lack of auto focus makes this completely undesirable for that purpose?  Thank you!

6:19 pm - Friday, August 30, 2013


I got K30.. really nice skills..Expecially Low Light

Check my

12:13 pm - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

#21 ebaker

I actually liked the camera…. until it didn’t perform as promised. I bought this camera because I work at an aquarium and need to take photos for our marketing. A month after purchase, the telephoto lens drew humidity into the body and condensation formed, thus killing the LCD screen.
While it claims to be weather resistant, it couldn’t even handle humidity.
What is worse is that after sending the camera in on July 6 for repair under the warranty, I have yet to get any kind of a realistic timeline of when I would receive my camera back. After the fifth week of hearing, “Call back next week” I requested a replacement. This caused the customer service member (Dale) to become extremely rude and tell me that they were in the midst of a corporate merger with Ricoh so he couldn’t help me because they were moving warehouses. When I requested to speak with a manager, he told me there were none available and refused to give me the name or number of his supervisor. He insisted he needed to call the corporate office and said he would call me back by the end of the week. Of course, that never happened.
I called the corporate office myself and spoke with Joe Virgil, who was apologetic, but insisted he couldn’t do anything because the part was being shipped from the Phillipines and there were 65 other service orders suffering from the same problem. I explained that his supply problem was now a customer service problem as we had reached the 7th week of this ordeal. After ordering a part, if it has not arrived in 5 weeks, they are supposed to provide a replacement and this has yet to happen.
When you purchase a camera, you also purchase warranty and customer service with it. This has now past over two months since I initially sent off my camera for repair and the company is refusing to honor its warranty. I have bought a DSLR from one of their competitors and am completely disgusted with Pentax — DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR BUSINESS. I’ve yet to receive my camera back (10 weeks and counting!) or any kind of a firm timeline of when that might happen.

2:03 pm - Friday, September 20, 2013

#22 Tony

The camera is supposed to be weather prior bit water prior, thats the difference.It will handle a splash once un a while, but it will not handle being submerged un water ir changing a lens in a humid or wet envirement.

You need a water proof casing for underwater photography.

1:56 pm - Thursday, September 26, 2013

#23 Cam

Question the k30 is my first DSLR when pointed at the sky or clouds or stars or when nothing in the viewfinder, or when to close to an object even in macro mode it will not shoot is this normal?

1:00 pm - Friday, October 4, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, 16 megapixel, full hd, DSLR, prosumer, pentax, dustproof, freezeproof, digital SLR, 6fps, k30, k-30, k30 review, Pentax K-30 Review

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