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08-11-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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PopPhoto Review of the K-30

Very positive review overall.

Really liked the color accuracy of the camera, emphasized weather sealing and that the K30 punches above its weight class for a "entry level" camera (100% prism viewfinder, 6fps, WR, dual controls etc), good AF in good light (noted that AF not as good as more $$ cams in low light, but on par for this price point). Interesting note on noise... noted that in RAW the k-30 has much less NR applied than when shooting JPG so noise at iso 1600 in raw was deemed "unacceptable" whereas in jpeg, it took iso6400 to reach "unacceptable".

In the article's summary ("Bottom Line") it makes a pretty good case for Pentax in general and the K30 specifically:

"Pentax DSLR's have always formed their own niche in the camera market. While Canon and Nikon's lines tend to mirror one another, Pentax's "entry level" DSLR's have always tended to be more feature-laden than the most basic models from the Big Two. For instance, while last year's Canon EOS Rebel T3i costs about $150 less than the Pentax k-30 when both are paired with their 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 kit lenses, the T3i and its lens lack the k-30's weathersealing and can't keep up with its rabid bursts.

"Furthermore, the k-30's sensor-shift image stabilization, which afforded our testers an average of 3 stops of hand holding leeway, works with any lens you mount on the camera. Shoot with a Lensbaby? It's stabilized. Try a 1950's-era screw mount lens? Stabilized. With Canon or Nikon, you'll have to shell out more bucks for optically stabilized lenses.

"If you like the idea of a cost effective DSLR that is weather-sealed, has enough resolving power to satisfy nearly all photographic needs, and has a faster burst rate than most of its price range, you won't go wrong with the K-30. "

Just checked their website and this review is not up there yet...

08-12-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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iso1600 RAW noise unacceptable? That depends what settings you have in the RAW converter, surely. I'm still in the 'thinking about it' stage re. buying a K-30, but I played around with an iso3200 K-30 RAW in Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 4.1 and with a couple of noise tweaks basically there was no noise and yet fantastic detail still present and correct (better than the camera jpgs. No, supremely better with saturated reds).
08-12-2012, 03:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info ...
08-12-2012, 03:36 AM   #4
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Funny. I would assume that most RAW shooters would have some type of noise reduction software that they would use that would hopefully be better than the in-camera processing. Certainly iso 3200 is very usable on the K30 from what I have seen.

08-12-2012, 03:58 AM   #5
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ISO 4000 is still quite good when shooting RAW. I have no idea what they are talking about.
08-12-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Review plus my own tests

I read the review yesterday and agree w/OP's assessment of the review.

I bought the K-30 because my K=-20 had noise problems (in RAW) which kept me from the kind of photography (wildlife and grand childrens sports) I wanted to do. ISO 400 was about tops for the K-20 and 400 was to high about 20% of the time. I also wanted better autofocus. I have bad eyesight and cannot deal w/manual focus.

Therefore, I love the view finder. Its big and bright and what I need.

Autofucus is much faster than the K-20 in all reasonable light. I will not be doing much photography and night.

Noise in the K-30 is not a factor any more. I took a series of shots at a subject guaranteed to show noise from ISO 100 to 6200. Noise showed up at 400 (not much) and increased from there no matter what I had the in camera noise correction set for. So what. Into Lightroom 4 and a touch of the Lumenance slider and the image is good to go. I anticipate much better shots of my granddaughter's basketball games this year.
08-13-2012, 07:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Singinman Quote
I anticipate much better shots of my granddaughter's basketball games this year.
If the K30 is similar to the K-5 it should be at least one full stop better than the K20D, up to 1600 with few visible noise. 3200 and 6400 are quite usable with a bit of NR. 12800 to 25600 are not recommended but can still produce good results with lots of NR. The great thing about this sensor compared to K20D/K-7 it's the absence of any grain pattern (horizontal or vertical) and no color shifts or blocked shadows.

The K30 will also benefit from a faster AF system and faster burst than the K20D.
08-20-2012, 01:03 AM   #8
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I just saw the September issue of Popular pHotography, which is where the OP's review shows up.

A photo of the K30 shows up on the cover of the magazine. The article makes a good point of saying that the Pentax dslrs don't conveniently line up with models in Canon and Nikon. That entry level cameras from Nikon and Canon don't have all the features of the K30.

Quite a good review. I then find it odd that the top news story of these forums is that the K30 drops $50 off the list price. I think its a dang fine camera for the price. If i didn't have a k5 already, i'd buy one.


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