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08-28-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
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new K30 owner... still undecided

I bought it out of need more so than want. I dropped my K5 and it cracked the LCD, I have/had a few paid shoots, including one this past Sunday, that I needed a camera for, so I went and got a K30 as it was readily available and thought it would be a great camera as a second for me when my K5 gets back from repair.

I haven't sent the K5 out yet. I can still use it, but I can't reivew pictures or settings. Seeing as how I shoot 100% manual 99% of the time, its not a big deal for me if I can't see the screens. But stuff like bracketing, delayed shooting, remote shooting, modes, or setting up manual white balance is now something I cannot do without some trial and error. Now, I shoot raw so manual white balance isn't a big deal.

I contacted Pentax Canada and surprisingly they gave me a quote for repair.... $300. Which is the Canadian price difference between a K30 and a K5.

So now I'm really torn, do I take back the K30 and just buy a NIB K5 for essentially the same money? I still have 2 bodies, alas one is not as functional, but as long as I have one thats 100% funcitonal I'm aok. I can still send it in for repair after my shoots this month and then I have 2 K5's.

But why am I even considering this?!

Well, I don't LOVE the K30. I like it, but I don't love it like I do my K5.

The K30 takes great pictures sure. No problems there.

I find I don't like the control layout and I'm getting confused between the two cameras. I don't need to think when using the K5 and I need to adjust a setting, it just happens. I find I got to think a lot more now with the K30....
I don't like not having my optical and my digital previews.
I got 5 batteires for my K5, I got no spares for the K30, and the battery life is awful in comparison, couldn't even get through a day of shooting.
I missing the locking mode dial, I always find I'm bumping it
I do love the manual movie modes...but I don't really shoot any movies
The more acurate auto focus and focus peeking is awesome
Flash sync is slower, 125 max on my elinchrom's.
Low iso of 80 is now gone... This is something that helped with Pentax's low flash sync speeds.
3 exposure bracketing is disapointing vs 5
The tiny buffer for RAW shooting (compared to K5) when shooting live bands (hi-burst mode) is pathetic! This is my biggest gripe.

The other side of this coin is... I would love to have more MP so I can do closer crops and still keep the image canvas large. Cropping down to 800pixels from 2000 makes me sad inside. So I'm looking to fund the K5 replacement as soon as it comes out. So really because of my current shooting/hire needs I'm in need to buy a camera that I wasn't planning on...A K30 is still a great camera for my wife to learn on and then i'm not stuck with 2 K5's when the new camera comes out. Because I will loose way too much money selling/trading one of the bodies in on it.

Does having 2 K5's and a K3 make sense? Does it make more or less sense than a K30/K5/K3 combo?

I'm getting my other K5 fixed no matter what I do. I'm just trying to decied to keep the K30. It's actually been keeping me up at night.

08-28-2012, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Sounds like you should go with the two K5s. It will keep your head straight and simply your life. No great advantage to the K-30 for you.
08-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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I understand the confusion of having two different model bodies (K-5 & K-x here) and can see that if you are on a paid shoot the speed of changing settings, the interchangeability of power supplies, etc. would make a big difference. Two K-5s seems to make more sense for you.
08-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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After reading your run down on the K-30, I'd definitely want to go with dual K-5s if I were in the same position. The battery matter is big enough, and even more so if you use a grip. The slower flash sync and no ISO 80 would really bug me as I love shooting portraits with strobes, both indoor and outdoor.

Thanks for listing off what you don't like about the K-30. I'm pretty sure I would share all of your complaints, which makes me feel comfortable not considering the K-30.

08-28-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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Yup. Sounds to me like you've made your decision. The K-30 doesn't run on the same autopilot as the K-5, it's not powerful enough either. So I'd get a K-5, send the broken one for repair and wait for the K-3. Then if you really want, sell one of the K-5s or use it for playtime - replace the focusing screen, set up tethering etc...
08-28-2012, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #6
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You should be aware that you do have the option to order a K5 replacement LCD and replace it yourself. If your not comfortable doing it I am sure you can find local resources to help which includes a friend or relative that is "right for the job".

1. SmartPhoneBay.net -- K5 replacement screen -$43--Tools to Install--$5-- Hong Kong. China/Hong Kong are were their all made anyways. They say OEM but send e-mail to verify.
2. EBAY -- there are at least another couple Hong Kong sellers with K5 replacement LCD's. Best I know K5/K7/KR all uses the same LCD. The prices are all around $45.

This is your cheapest way out. As long as you haven't noticed any degraded functions/AF etc. from the fall. $50 is not such a big risk. Just an alternative to consider.

My opinion --- I would send back the K30--Buy another K5 at the now bargain price--Fix the K5 you have for $50 if all else is well with it. Then be happy and successful with two identical cameras with same controls that take the same accessories. Good Luck.
08-28-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcp5 Quote
You should be aware that you do have the option to order a K5 replacement LCD and replace it yourself. If your not comfortable doing it I am sure you can find local resources to help which includes a friend or relative that is "right for the job".

1. SmartPhoneBay.net -- K5 replacement screen -$43--Tools to Install--$5-- Hong Kong. China/Hong Kong are were their all made anyways. They say OEM but send e-mail to verify.
2. EBAY -- there are at least another couple Hong Kong sellers with K5 replacement LCD's. Best I know K5/K7/KR all uses the same LCD. The prices are all around $45.

This is your cheapest way out. As long as you haven't noticed any degraded functions/AF etc. from the fall. $50 is not such a big risk. Just an alternative to consider.

My opinion --- I would send back the K30--Buy another K5 at the now bargain price--Fix the K5 you have for $50 if all else is well with it. Then be happy and successful with two identical cameras with same controls that take the same accessories. Good Luck.
Thought of this route already.

I actually drove around town all day Saturday and spent a good day on the phone Monday trying to find anyone who could repair the camera locally, even if I sourced them the new LCD (I found a Canadian supplied for LCD for K5 for simliar money you mentioned). But no one here will touch it. I even tried computer and cell phone repair stores. Not even the camera stores (independant or otherwise) could refer me to someone in my province let alone in my city.

I have repaired numerous laptops on my own replacing power plugs and other simple parts, but never done any LCD replacements. The K5 I did attempt to pull apart, but I have found very limited resources online on how to disassemble my camera. I might be googling the wrong thing though.

I've gotten the bottom plate off, taken out all screws that I can visibly see on the body, and the one side (by the SD slot) starts to pull apart, but I can't get the grip side to open up, and I don't want to force it. So I reassembled before I broke something. Yes, I even got the screw in the battery tray.

I've gone as far as I am willing to go on the self replacement route. And I would not trust a friend to do it. Not because I don't think I have friends capable (I have one who might be skilled enough), its just that I don't want to deal with the drama/heartache/issues that would arrise if the camera gets damaged further.
08-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
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I guess I would bite the bullet and get your current K5 fixed. Tough money, but worth it for an otherwise in good shape camera. As to the K30 question, I think you need to go with what feels best to you. Photography is not just about specs, it is about feeling. A camera can be a little underspecified and still be a joy to use, while another one checks all the right boxes, but the whole time you use it, you feel like something is off. Better to get a second K5. Particularly with where they are priced now, I think it is worth it.

08-28-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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For argument's sake I'm going to say keep the K-30. You mentioned the wife may like to learn photography. The K-30 would be perfect for that. When the K-3 comes out get that and hand the K-30 over to her. Here's the thing, you're having problems with the K-30 layout. There's no guarantee that the K-5 replacement is going to have the same layout as the K-5 and, to me it is more likely to me that it will be more similar to the K-30. Using the K-30 now will give you a chance to get used to something different. I'm playing the devil's advocate to give you a different way of looking at things. Seems you can't really go wrong here with the pics these cameras take.
08-29-2012, 02:35 AM   #10
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K-30 is smaller, lighter, can use my beloved AA batteries,
image processing and recording to SD card much faster,
Pentax lens correction in camera body much faster,
AF and MF confirmation, faster and more precise,
the deeper grip, feels more secured while running around,
the green button ( frequently used in M with K and M lenses for stop down metering) perfect location, not where my nose is ( on K-5/7),

K-30 is my workhorse ( well I am just an amateur ) now, usually with DA 18-250 , DA 55-300 or Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 Macro + manual K lenses ( green button convenient location ).
K-5 will be used with battery grip and 6x AA's with larger lenses, old PKA lenses, M42 lenses, when silent shutter , rear IR sensor and/or top LCD are desirable , as a second/backup body and whenever else K-30 will not cope.
but..... K-5 after all is much better build camera and with the Q ,as both being Pentax classics, probably will keep forever.
K-30 feels a bit plasticky and will get upgraded after year or so....
08-31-2012, 08:05 AM   #11
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The K30 is causing more drama...

I spent all night up thinking about this, and todays decision day (last day for exchange)

I miss:
top screen
locking mode dial
80 iso
quicker flash sync
5 exposure bracketing
rear IR (was shooting yesterday and was disapointed i didnt have it)
DLI90 batteries (I got a bunch as mentioned earlier)
optical preview on the power switch. dontl ike using the raw button
grips too small
loud shutter

what I love:
faster/more accurate AF in regular lighting (kinda sucks in low light/contrasty situations. worse than my k5)
the screen is beautiful (but dosn't matter because the image output in Lightroom is the same, tested this)
the faster buffer (didn't try this till yesterday, but pretty much continious shooting with a 35mb/s write card at 1fps once the buffers full. takes about 16 shots to get to that 1fps)

I'm really in bad way about this. Because the buffer is a major thing for me, but chances are the K5 replacement will have an even faster buffer and write speed (or same) as the K30, which will be fine. The differnece in price between the K30 and the AA battery holder vs the K5 is now $50 at my store. Thats huge... thats a lot of AA's vs using my exsisting set. Then I won't be in a rush to get my LCD fixed. :P
08-31-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
The K30 is causing more drama...

I spent all night up thinking about this, and todays decision day (last day for exchange)

I miss:
top screen
locking mode dial
80 iso
quicker flash sync
5 exposure bracketing
rear IR (was shooting yesterday and was disapointed i didnt have it)
DLI90 batteries (I got a bunch as mentioned earlier)
optical preview on the power switch. dontl ike using the raw button
grips too small
loud shutter

what I love:
faster/more accurate AF in regular lighting (kinda sucks in low light/contrasty situations. worse than my k5)
the screen is beautiful (but dosn't matter because the image output in Lightroom is the same, tested this)
the faster buffer (didn't try this till yesterday, but pretty much continious shooting with a 35mb/s write card at 1fps once the buffers full. takes about 16 shots to get to that 1fps)

I'm really in bad way about this. Because the buffer is a major thing for me, but chances are the K5 replacement will have an even faster buffer and write speed (or same) as the K30, which will be fine. The differnece in price between the K30 and the AA battery holder vs the K5 is now $50 at my store. Thats huge... thats a lot of AA's vs using my exsisting set. Then I won't be in a rush to get my LCD fixed. :P
I think that what comes out at Photokina will solve your dilemma.
08-31-2012, 08:10 PM   #13
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I would keep K-30 and fix K-5, they complement each other very well, and after year or so ( when price of the new flagship body will come down) upgrade one of them.
That's what I am going to do.......
08-31-2012, 10:22 PM   #14
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I ended up getting really mad at the K30 on the way home from work. Perfect shot, went to go snap it but the mode dial moved and I got pissy...because with the mode lock on my K5 that never would have happened. Or less likely too. but it seems whenever I goto shoot on a spur of the moment shot, the K30 is never ready. so I went and grabbed a new k5 and a DA*50-135 2.8 on the way home. Found a similar situation as before, needed to shoot quick to get the shot. K5 was ready for me. done easy. happy camper over here.

I'm not going to wait for the price to come down on the new flagship tho. That babys mine the day it shows up in stores.
09-01-2012, 02:40 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I have a K5 and K7 and now a new K30. I bought the K30 due to its Video capabilities. It that area it smashes the K5. If i didn't need video, I would have bought another K5 as the is helpful to have 2 of the same cameras at events and weddings etc. However, the controls sometimes annoy me on the K30 as they are not the same and i do not like using the main screen to she my settings as it wastes batteries.
What i do like is, when at events, i put my 70-200 f2.8 on the k30 and the 16-50 f2.8 on my K5 with grip. I will use the K5 most of the time, but the K30 with the 70-200 is similar in weight to the k5, battery grip and 16-50. they are almost even. i use a holster setup that goes over my shoulders like a backpack and i have one camera at each side. It works for me. but if it annoys you, go with 2 K5's. I am happy that i am getting two cameras with almoth the exact same image quality with different features and strengths in different fields.
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