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06-18-2012, 07:05 AM - 6 Likes   #1
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Impressions of the K-30

I had the chance to try out the K-30 in the Pentax Forum in Shinjuku. Personally, I have a K-01 and K20D, so those are my points of reference. Although, I've often picked up K-5s in shops, I've never used one properly, so I'm afraid I can't comment on how much better the PDAF is.

SIze & weight
The first thing I noticed was how light and compact the K-30 feels. It handles very well and all the buttons seem to be easy to reach. While the K-01 has a dense feel to it, the K-30 feels quite like a K-R. I'm actually not sure which is lighter, but remember the K-30 has a smaller battery as standard and has more volume, so that's probably why it feels lighter.

Build quality
The body on the standard black one is made of the same stuff as the K20D (I asked about this). The dials are OK but feel kind of flimsy compared to the metal ones on the K-01. They're probably the same as on the K-R and no cause for worry.

Autofocus
The PDAF was certainly faster than my K20D and seemed very snappy. I tried it with the DAL 18-55 and the DA 18-135. CDAF is better than the K-5 by a mile. What surprised me was that CDAF was also a bit faster than the K-01 and the guy helping me confirmed that this was the case. Given that the two cameras have the same internals, it makes me hopeful for the next K-01 firmware.

Other
  • The shutter was as loud as previous DSLRs, not like the K-7 or K-5.
  • The viewfinder was just as good as the K20D.
  • I asked speculatively about whether there was going to be anything between the K-01 and K-30. I got a rather puzzled response. It seems clear that Pentax views these two cameras as being different to each other, but on a similar level in terms of overall positioning. Actually, when you feel the quality of materials of the two side-by-side, this makes sense, even if pure specs might suggest otherwise.

Overall, it looks like the K-30 is a great camera and does most of what the K-5 can do, plus the extra live view stuff that came with the K-01. If build quality is at the top of your list of priorities, however, the K-5 is clearly better constructed.

06-18-2012, 07:15 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Overall, it looks like the K-30 is a great camera and does most of what the K-5 can do, plus the extra live view stuff that came with the K-01. If build quality is at the top of your list of priorities, however, the K-5 is clearly better constructed.
Thanks for the quick overview...
06-18-2012, 07:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I had the chance to try out the K-30 in the Pentax Forum in Shinjuku.
Thank you very much for your impressions - very useful.

Would you mind please giving a link to the Pentax Forum in Shinjuku?

Thanks,
06-18-2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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Good to hear about that AF!

06-18-2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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Here's a link to the Pentax Forum / Pentax Square. It's on my route home if I can get out of the office early enough. They expanded it last year so there's now more exhibition space.

PENTAX FORUM?????????PENTAX RICOH IMAGING

On the linked page in the top left picture, you can see a wall of multi-coloured K-Rs. Looks like that's changed to K-30s now, but I didn't notice. I was too focused on trying out the real one on the counter. By the way, I looked for the DA 50, but they only had it under glass. It just looks like the DA 35, anyway.

Actually, the best thing about it is the exhibitions. They change fairly frequently and they have some really talented photographers. All the camera makers have this kind of showroom, including Ricoh's one right on the main crossing of Ginza.

http://www.ricoh.co.jp/dc/ringcube/
06-18-2012, 08:41 AM   #6
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Thanks for posting this.

Too bad about the shutter sound, but oh well.
06-18-2012, 09:24 AM   #7
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thanks, man!
06-18-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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I suspect had you actually compared the shutter sound to other specific models, you'd have noticed a difference. All other models, for instance, are not the same. The K200D for instance is quite a bit softer than the K100D, and the K-x is a bit louder than the K100D. So the difference in sound between the K200D and Kx is quite pronounced. The sealing on the K200D is probably a big part of why it is quieter than the others, but it is indeed still a lot louder than the K-5. I'd guess the K-30 would be more like the K200D than the K-x.

06-18-2012, 10:19 AM   #9
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The weight is almost the same as k-r, just a tad heavier

K-r's shutter is extremely loud! I wonder whether k-30 would be better
06-18-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Was PDAF any better than K-5 ?
06-18-2012, 10:34 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
Was PDAF any better than K-5 ?
+1
That for me is the big question.
06-18-2012, 10:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I had the chance to try out the K-30 in the Pentax Forum in Shinjuku. Personally, I have a K-01 and K20D, so those are my points of reference.
Thanks for the info.


QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
The body on the standard black one is made of the same stuff as the K20D (I asked about this). The dials are OK but feel kind of flimsy compared to the metal ones on the K-01. They're probably the same as on the K-R and no cause for worry.
I think they might be a combination of K-5 and K-r technology, so basically something new. From the photos I've seen and no mention from you, they don't have a rubber covering like the K-5/K-7, but we have to assume they have the same internal construction as the K-5 for the sake of weather resistance.



QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
The PDAF was certainly faster than my K20D and seemed very snappy. I tried it with the DAL 18-55 and the DA 18-135. CDAF is better than the K-5 by a mile. What surprised me was that CDAF was also a bit faster than the K-01 and the guy helping me confirmed that this was the case. Given that the two cameras have the same internals, it makes me hopeful for the next K-01 firmware.
This does sound good. I'm hopeful that we will get a big firmware update for the K-01 that improves things and added some features that should have been included in the first place. There are quite a few things that irk me with the K-01, but I think could be fixed with better firmware. No peaking while recording video, SR seems quirky in video, movie button forces P mode, HDMI doesn’t have liveview/video output, lacking a high video bit-rate option for max. quality, and no audio level indication when recording. I'm just really hoping they decide to remedy those things with some more software code.


QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I asked speculatively about whether there was going to be anything between the K-01 and K-30. I got a rather puzzled response. It seems clear that Pentax views these two cameras as being different to each other, but on a similar level in terms of overall positioning. Actually, when you feel the quality of materials of the two side-by-side, this makes sense, even if pure specs might suggest otherwise.
Exactly. You make a good point. The K-01 right now on v1.0 firmware is lacking a bit, but with some improvement, it would appeal to the desires of some users more than a K-30 would. If the K-01 is improves with my suggestions above, it would really be a solid buy over the K-30 for people who want mirrorless with an emphasis on feature-filled video recording. Pentax obviously tried to do that given the mic port/hdmi/red button/mirrorless nature, but dropped the ball a bit.
06-18-2012, 10:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
The K-01 right now on v1.0 firmware is lacking a bit, but with some improvement, it would appeal to the desires of some users more than a K-30 would. If the K-01 is improves with my suggestions above, it would really be a solid buy over the K-30 for people who want mirrorless with an emphasis on feature-filled video recording. Pentax obviously tried to do that given the mic port/hdmi/red button/mirrorless nature, but dropped the ball a bit.
Don't forget MF still shooters. The K-01 is so good as it is I wish more people would just try one. The improvements you suggest would make it a better all-around MILC.
06-18-2012, 11:03 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by junototoro Quote
K-r's shutter is extremely loud! I wonder whether k-30 would be better
Shutter noise is very variable even on the same camera, depending on what lens is attached. With big, heavy m42 lenses, my K-r is much quieter than with the kit lens. My 70-300 is somewhere in between, but still quite noisy.
06-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Don't forget MF still shooters. The K-01 is so good as it is I wish more people would just try one. The improvements you suggest would make it a better all-around MILC.
I agree with you there. However, I think the K-30 will be just as good for this purpose, with the exclusion that it will be physically larger than the K-01.
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