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06-15-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
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K-30 - Entry level?

I just bought a K-30 ($499 from B&H), as a short-term replacement for my K-5, which is in the shop for repairs for the fourth time since November. I got a white one, because I thought it looked cool in the photos, and it turns out to look even better in real life. My wife says it reminds her of a Star Wars storm trooper.

The K-30 lacks some K-5 features - top lcd, side-by-side review, ability to change program line or auto ISO parameters, no rear remote control receiver, etc. - but it sure does not feel or shoot like an entry-level camera. I also don't think of a 100% pentaprism viewfinder or full weather sealing as entry-level features.

The button placement is different from the K-5's, and that's taking me some time to get used to. Actually, I think it's better with the review button under the right thumb. In sum, It's a Pentax DSLR with a photographer-centric interface.

The shutter and mirror are definitely louder, but don't sound cheap, as some loud cameras do. For most purposes, the K-30 being louder is not an issue, but I have used my K-5 to shoot theater performances, and I'd hesitate to use the K-30 for that.

So, that's my brief, positive review. I am liking the camera.

Jeff

06-15-2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
I just bought a K-30 ($499 from B&H), as a short-term replacement for my K-5, which is in the shop for repairs for the fourth time since November. I got a white one, because I thought it looked cool in the photos, and it turns out to look even better in real life. My wife says it reminds her of a Star Wars storm trooper.

The K-30 lacks some K-5 features - top lcd, side-by-side review, ability to change program line or auto ISO parameters, no rear remote control receiver, etc. - but it sure does not feel or shoot like an entry-level camera. I also don't think of a 100% pentaprism viewfinder or full weather sealing as entry-level features.

The button placement is different from the K-5's, and that's taking me some time to get used to. Actually, I think it's better with the review button under the right thumb. In sum, It's a Pentax DSLR with a photographer-centric interface.

The shutter and mirror are definitely louder, but don't sound cheap, as some loud cameras do. For most purposes, the K-30 being louder is not an issue, but I have used my K-5 to shoot theater performances, and I'd hesitate to use the K-30 for that.

So, that's my brief, positive review. I am liking the camera.

Jeff
The K-30 is more of an upper-entry level camera (see our K-30 vs T4i vs D5100 review on the homepage for a comparison), though it's the only one to feature weather sealing and the 100% VF. It's also the only one w/o 14-bit RAW

Glad you like it!

Adam
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06-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The K-30 is more of an upper-entry level camera (see our K-30 vs T4i vs D5100 review on the homepage for a comparison), though it's the only one to feature weather sealing and the 100% VF. It's also the only one w/o 14-bit RAW
14 bit RAW is only beneficial compared to 12 bit if there's real clean data in those 2 lower bits. Once you're above base ISO I suspect there's no difference in the resolution of data between the K-30 and K-5 or at least very little.
06-15-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
14 bit RAW is only beneficial compared to 12 bit if there's real clean data in those 2 lower bits. Once you're above base ISO I suspect there's no difference in the resolution of data between the K-30 and K-5 or at least very little.
The difference does become academic at high ISO's, though up to around 1600 you should be able to squeeze more out of a 14-bit file. I try to limit myself to shooting at ISO 100 whenever possible for the best possible IQ.


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06-15-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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I have K-x and K30. Hard to say K30 is entry level. it's a clipped version of K5-II.
06-15-2013, 04:37 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I started out with wedding photography using a single K-x and now use two K-30 bodies. To me, the K-30 is much more than entry level.
06-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
but it sure does not feel or shoot like an entry-level camera.

I know right?
Upper Entry lv? Debate able.....
I feel like it's more Midish..
06-16-2013, 12:42 AM   #8
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I sold my kr for the same price i paid for my Pentax demo K30, I started off disliking my k30 , I found the grip felt odd and I was annoyed the the buttons had got messed with compared to my Kr and k5 and the change in the display on review info button pushes,but I find I now use it more than the k5 and have a feeling that I get with the K30 sharper and better toned images. The k5 always seems to underexpose but not consistently enough to be able to use a universal compensation either on the body or in post which is frustrating after a wedding given the number of individual adjustments that are required.

Compaired to some of the slr cameras that get brought to the photography courses I run the K30 is no way a entry level camera.

06-16-2013, 06:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Le Pew Quote
I know right?
Upper Entry lv? Debate able.....
I feel like it's more Midish..
DPReview ranks it as mid-level.
06-16-2013, 07:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The K-30 is more of an upper-entry level camera (see our K-30 vs T4i vs D5100 review on the homepage for a comparison), though it's the only one to feature weather sealing and the 100% VF. It's also the only one w/o 14-bit RAW

Glad you like it!
I guess I thought it was considered to be entry level because of the price I paid for it.

It's interesting to see the compromises they made that differentiate the K-30 from the K-5. I'll miss some K-5 features, but I'm not concerned about the K-30 not having 14-bit raw.
06-16-2013, 10:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
I guess I thought it was considered to be entry level because of the price I paid for it.

It's interesting to see the compromises they made that differentiate the K-30 from the K-5. I'll miss some K-5 features, but I'm not concerned about the K-30 not having 14-bit raw.
Low prce does not equate to low-end
06-17-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
ability to change... auto ISO parameters
I may be misunderstanding but if not, I do that with mine
06-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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K-30 with 100% pentaprism viewfinder, full weather sealing, 2 e-dial wheels along with TAv Mode, I would not think any entry level camera has those features.
06-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by felixkh Quote
Low prce does not equate to low-end
Agreed. I should have written that that was the mistaken assumption I made.
06-17-2013, 09:01 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by redimp Quote
I may be misunderstanding but if not, I do that with mine
The K-5 Auto ISO Parameters let you set how auto ISO will increase ISO. There a three settings: slow, medium, and fast. Slow will result in slower shutter speeds and/or wider apertures. Fast will do the opposite. The K-30 does not have this feature.
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