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02-02-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
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K-30 - First Impressions

I put my shiney new K-30 w/18-135 through it's paces today, and must say I am quite impressed. Shot Best Quality JPEG in Av for now, will shift to RAW next time. Was also bracketing, I have always done that, but with digital I did it with EVERY shot.

I haven't downloaded the photos off the camera yet, but will post some as soon as I do. I really liked the bokeh with the aperture wide open, especially for close-up shots. And day-amn, but the AF is quick, got confused once or twice when there was grass in the shot (was trying to shoot through it), but that isn't really the camera's fault.

Will update as soon as I have had more chance to shoot!

B


Last edited by SirBismuth; 02-02-2013 at 03:46 PM.
02-07-2013, 06:43 AM   #2
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Have added some photos to my gallery...

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02-09-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SirBismuth Quote
I put my shiney new K-30 w/18-135 through it's paces today, and must say I am quite impressed. Shot Best Quality JPEG in Av for now, will shift to RAW next time. Was also bracketing, I have always done that, but with digital I did it with EVERY shot.

I haven't downloaded the photos off the camera yet, but will post some as soon as I do. I really liked the bokeh with the aperture wide open, especially for close-up shots. And day-amn, but the AF is quick, got confused once or twice when there was grass in the shot (was trying to shoot through it), but that isn't really the camera's fault.

Will update as soon as I have had more chance to shoot!

B
I think that lens has quick shift too which will let you turn the focus ring after the camera has autofocused so you can override the system without flipping any switches first - really ingenious and intuitive. Congrats on the new cam... I have that same set up also and it's a keeper!
02-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #4
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The cam has been out for a while, so I question how valid "first impressions" are, even if it was new. The rest test is to get good shots up there, run it through the paces until you find limitations and then tell us what they or or look to the community for a solution that can help us all.

02-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
The cam has been out for a while, so I question how valid "first impressions" are, even if it was new. The rest test is to get good shots up there, run it through the paces until you find limitations and then tell us what they or or look to the community for a solution that can help us all.
It does not really matter how long the camera has been out or how experienced he is, it is his "first experience", so let him give his impressions, and if you are not satisfied, just move on, or are you a moderator now?
02-09-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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I'm always interested in anyone's first impressions, especially non-Pentax or new to Pentax people. For the same reason I put a lot of store in quickie reviews in UK computer magazines, they're done by amateur photographers who know what they like (or not) and are not afraid to say what's wrong as they don't have any advertising allegiances. They also loved the K-30 by the way.
02-09-2013, 09:47 PM   #7
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Lol @ snake.... I thought it was quite clear that it was my first impressions, as an advanced amateur photographer.

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02-14-2013, 07:32 AM   #8
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10 years ago I decided to move from film SLR to digital and invested in the *ist-D. That has been by far the best home electronics purchase I've ever made. The reasons to choose *ist-D were
- M42 mount compatibilty
- compact size
- CCD images were more pleasing to the eye than CMOS. Back then, CMOS images had this plasticky look on them and coming from film, I found it just plain ugly.
- vast selection on excellent price/performance objectives

*ist-D still works perfectly well but I wanted to upgrade it, to get improved low-light performance and image stabilization, maybe a bit more of useable resolution, too. So, after a month of research, I chose K-30, having considered K-5, K-5 II and K-5 IIs. I'm not exactly budget constrained but decided that K-30 is good enough for me until full frame comes. I paid CHF749 (about $800) for the 18-55WR kit with a blue K-30 body here in Switzerland.

So, how does K-30 compare to *ist-D? - How much has the camera improved in 10 years?

Improvements which do matter
- Smarter autofocus
- More aperture, shutter, ISO etc priority modes. Quite useful.
- Focus peaking (the thing which suddenly makes my MF lenses perfectly good again)
- Somewhat improved dynamic range
- Excellent Auto White Balance
- Better low light performance
- Supports large memory cards
- Image stabilization
- Battery
- Astrotrace option (I'll try and see what happens when I connect this thing to my 200/1000mm newtonian)
- Blue! :-)

Improvements which don't matter that much
- More pixels (16M vs 6M). The improvement is less than I expected.
- Bigger display. Really, I don't see the point at all.
- Video. Why? - I mean, if video then why not razor, mobile phone or bottle opener?
- In-camera processing options. Too much, little use.

Things that have gotten worse
- K-30 is bulkier than *ist-D. I really hope the reason is not those useless features.
- *ist-D fits better in my hand. Also, *ist-D is better balanced.
- I miss the LCD display but I'll get over it
- Silkypix (on Mac). Come on, I mean, Photolab maybe wasn't the coolest kid in the town but Silkypix... that is something else.

Things that I'm glad they haven't changed
- All basic functions have remained similar. All buttons are easy to find and the user interface works pretty much the same manner.
- The pentaprism is as good as it has always been. The viewfinder has the same symbols.
- Overall, it was easy to just to power up the camera and start taking photos.

Things where the jury is still out
- 16M CMOS vs 6M CCD. I actually like the CCD images from *ist-D. CMOS isn't bad either but it is different, and post-processing is very different too. This will take a bit of learning.
- 18-55 kit lens. It is WR but it seems to require good weather to get decent images. See the problem yet? Anyway, I think I will take the WR lens for hiking trips anyway.
- Continuous Autofocus. I'm not sure: Does thing thing do AF-C at all? - I mean, the AF switch has a C mode but that seems to mean 'Center' rather than 'Continuous'. I guess I need to resort to manual here.

To summarize, I'm happy with K-30 and it will replace my *ist-D. I've pretty much got the improvements I was looking for, and the tradeoffs are quite bearable. I hope Pentax would focus on making the camera body smaller and drop the feature-spec race, to favor photography. I am somewhat surprised to see how little they've been able to deliver improvements in 10 years. Why didn't they just take the *ist-D and put a better censor and CPU on it?

02-15-2013, 03:07 AM   #9
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Apparently the K-30 does do Continious AF, but haven't had a chance to try it out yet!

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02-15-2013, 03:15 AM   #10
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Am also impressed with the low-light performance of the K-30, the noise @ 3200 is hardly noticeable, and can easily be removed in PP if desired with minimal, if any, negative effect on the overall image.

Still lovin' my K-30!

B
02-15-2013, 03:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SirBismuth Quote
Apparently the K-30 does do Continious AF, but haven't had a chance to try it out yet!

B
Yes, I just figured that AF-C is working just fine in all modes except in Auto. Silly me. I guess in Auto the camera selects a scene mode. AF-C is disabled unless the camera decides to go into sports scene.
02-15-2013, 06:08 AM   #12
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Good to hear your experiences, I really love what the k-30 is for it's price
02-15-2013, 06:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by itv Quote
Yes, I just figured that AF-C is working just fine in all modes except in Auto. Silly me. I guess in Auto the camera selects a scene mode. AF-C is disabled unless the camera decides to go into sports scene.
Ok, have only ever used it in Av, Tav and M modes. My SO, ofc, has used it as a really fancy P&S, doesn't perform too badly there either. No idea why it does this, though, figured AF-C would work regardless of the mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Good to hear your experiences, I really love what the k-30 is for it's price
Absoutely, it is indeed good value for money.

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02-28-2013, 12:30 AM   #14
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I've found that when the battery is in the yellow, shutter won't actuate, however, switching the camera on and off again gets things going again. Only does this once, when battery is in the red, things work fine. Generally at this point, I replace the batteries and recharge the flat ones (haven't let the battery run so low, that camera shuts off completely). Have only used the Lithium-Ion D-LI109 and 2nd Gen Eneloops so far.

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