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06-27-2013, 11:02 PM   #1
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K-x to K-30 first impressions

Finally upgraded from my K-x to a K-30 yesterday and have only played around with it for a few hours inside... so here are some first impressions.

Handling:
  • Not that much bigger than K-x. I didn't really think about it until I put them next to each other.
  • Grip is different. Maybe better, but not that much of a difference. Need to walk around with it for a few hours to see if it's better or worse.
  • Can change the ISO by pressing ISO button + front wheel. Great!
  • Physical AF mode switch is nice.
  • Two wheels seems good so far. I'm always been content with one, but maybe I didn't know what I was missing. Time will tell.
  • TAV!!! This is something I've always missed!
  • Viewfinder is significantly bigger and brighter.
  • Lots of customization in the menus, two user modes... this is a step up from the K-x and can be really useful.
  • Shutter sound: a bit quieter than the K-x. I expected the same but the K-x is really loud and K-30 is more average.

AF:
  • AF is definitely quicker. The biggest factor seems to be that the motor is faster. It might be a bit more decisive and less hunting, but that could be my imagination.
  • My 43mm limited focuses much quicker! I always felt it was too slow on the K-x, but now it shines! My Sigma 18-50 is also faster, but not that much of a difference.
  • Focus peaking... quick test didn't live up to my expectations. The area in focus seems to big and it was hard to get perfect focus. I think it worked better on NEX, which I've briefly tested once.
  • Live view AF is 100 times quicker! Ok, this isn't something great about the K-30, it's just that the K-x really sucks.
IQ:
  • I didn't expect a big difference in high ISO, but I was positively surprised. Have only looked at the LCD though, so maybe it's just that the screen is better


I got a good deal as I got the AA adapter for free and there is 10% cashback on it. The salesman also forgot to remove the SD card, so I got a 4Gb Sandisk II for free

06-27-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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I was going to upgrade to the K-30 from my K-x but haven't done it yet. Good stuff, thanks.

Last edited by OrangeKx; 06-28-2013 at 11:54 PM. Reason: added signature
06-28-2013, 12:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrangeKx Quote
I was going to upgrade to the K-30 from my K-x but haven't done it yet. Good stuff, thanks.
You're welcome. It's a great upgrade, so just do it!

Forgot to mention the AF assist lamp, which really helps out. Now it's possible to focus inside at night without the irritating flash strobe thingy.
06-28-2013, 03:26 AM   #4
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Our K-30 should arrive today; daughter has become tired of the K-x focusing. I'll post a report here as well...

06-28-2013, 03:58 AM   #5
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You also get AF point overlay in the viewfinder. And high ISO shots should look much better, usable up to ISO 2000 instead of 800. Feel free to look up some threads on focus peaking (mostly in the K-01 forum) which explain its weaknesses and how to use it best
And there should be better video modes. Enjoy your new camera
And awesome that you got an SD card, too
06-28-2013, 04:19 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Our K-30 should arrive today; daughter has become tired of the K-x focusing. I'll post a report here as well...
Yup, I was the one asking for your report on the differences in AF. But I decided I'd just buy a K-30 and test myself
06-28-2013, 04:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
You also get AF point overlay in the viewfinder. And high ISO shots should look much better, usable up to ISO 2000 instead of 800. Feel free to look up some threads on focus peaking (mostly in the K-01 forum) which explain its weaknesses and how to use it best
And there should be better video modes. Enjoy your new camera
And awesome that you got an SD card, too
Thanks for the tip about focus peaking, I'll read up on it!
06-28-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrangeKx Quote
I was going to upgrade to the K-30 from my K-x but haven't done it yet. Good stuff, thanks.
I too am on the fence, still enjoying my trusty K-x and haven't yet made the upgrade. I was planning to wait for another year and get either the successor to the K-50, a discounted K-5 II, or a close-out K-50. I have the K-01 to tide me over in the focus peaking/high ISO department...

Still, your thoughts about the move from K-x to K-30 have made me seriously rethink my strategy and shows me what I've been missing!

06-28-2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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I just moved from a K-x to the K-30 as well. Some initial impressions after 2 weeks and 600+ shots:
  • The K-30 does feel a bit larger and looks larger, but still quite manageable and small compared to others.
  • The grip is different. Maybe it's a balance of the camera in the hand issue. It's fine.
  • I love the improved viewfinder and LCD!
  • Focus does seem to be noticeably faster.
  • The picture quality is definitely a step up. The K-x was always very good, but the K-30 is better. 16MP is indeed better than the 12MP of the K-x.
  • I can indeed let the ISO sneak up higher. I was fine going up to 800 w/ the K-x, but I can at least go to 1600 w/ the K-30 and little to no noise.
  • The shutter noise is a bit quieter (more a thud sound) on the K-30.
  • TAV is very nice! The two wheels are especially handy here.
  • The two wheels are also great for setting the max and min of the ISO. (This is very helpful. On the K-x, if you wanted auto ISO, you can only set a max. This means it would try to choose lowest ISO possible which somethimes meant slower shutter speeds than I wanted.)
  • Using LiveView and focus peaking works well for me, especially for doing close-up, macro work.
  • The AF assist light is a definite aid. (But I'll have to remember to turn it off in some dark settings where I don't want it shining...)
  • Yay for the electronic level!
  • I'm glad they moved the LiveView button. I was always accidentally hitting it.
  • I'm glad they moved the flash popup button. If I was wearing sunglasses, they would sometimes bump it on the K-x.
  • Yay for WR!!!! And my 18-135 WR lens!
  • A big complaint about the K-x was the lack of focus confirmation in the viewfinder, but I had just set mine to center spot, and it worked fine 95% of the time. I've ended up using center spot on the K-30 as well, but it is nice to have the visual confirmation in the viewfinder.
  • I had used the debug mode workaround on the K-x to do the focus micro-adjust. My K-x seemed to back focus in varying degrees depending on the lense, but on the K-x, you can only make a universal adjustment. On the K-30, I set up the adjustments for a few of my lenses, and it remembers each of them. Great!
  • I'm happy w/ the battery life of the K-30. I've not run it down, but I was getting 300+ before the indicator turned orange. (I did buy a spare and the AA holder.)
Some negatives:
  • That front wheel is great, BUT I'm constantly turning it when I'm trying to turn the camera OFF/ON. Something to get used to...
  • Why in the world did they switch the location of the ISO, WB, flash, and Shutter settings buttons on the back? I'm always hitting the wrong button now...
  • One feature I used all the time on the K-x is the image comparison. Why was that removed from the K-30? This is probably my biggest complaint.
  • LiveView with focus peaking is great, BUT on the K-x, I could zoom the view to 10x. On the K-30, it only does 6x. Further, on the K-x, when using autofocus, I could zoom the LV (hitting the INFO button), and it would stay at that zoom level. On the K-30 when using autofocus, you have to depress the shutter halfway, wait for it to zoom, hold the shutter and use the rear wheel to change zoom, but as soon as you release the shutter, it goes back to 1x zoom.
All in all, I'm very pleased with the step up from the K-x to the K-30, especially getting it at the discounted price from B&H. I don't see a significant advantage to wait for the K-50 to come down in price.
06-28-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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I went from a K-x to a K-30 not through choice but through trusting a friend who flogged my camera. I love my K-30 and it takes better photographs than my current talent deserves (for some reason I used to be a better photographer) but I have not quite connected with it yet like I did my K-x. I would have probably upgraded anyway but I do think the forced nature of the upgrade has hampered this to a degree.
06-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #11
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Question to those of you who upgraded from K-x to K-30: did you sell your old K-x, give it away to a friend/family, or are you keeping it as a backup second body? One thing that's kind of kept me from upgrading is that I'm not sure what to do with my old K-x. It doesn't seem to have all that much value on the used market these days. At least, for only a couple hundred dollar return, it might be worth me just hanging onto it as a backup. Doubt I'd use it at all, though, if I had a K-30. My point is, I know people who have K-5's can keep the K-x model around when they want to use something lighter/smaller (especially if the K-5 has the battery grip), but the K-x and K-30 are closer in size/capabilities that I'm not sure it makes sense to own both at the same time. Thoughts on this?
06-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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Suggestion- Slap an adequate general purpose lens on your K-x, drop the jpeg file size, put everything on auto, and use it like a glorified P&S.

I can broadly put my photography into two groups - image creation and record retention. Record retention is when IQ isn't as important as being able to simply show somebody something or recall the circumstances. For example, "Where and how badly did the idiot with the shopping cart dent your door?" Or, "I took this thing apart, how does it go back together?"

Use the K-x as your 'just grab and shoot' record retention camera.
06-28-2013, 09:41 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Use the K-x as your 'just grab and shoot' record retention camera.
Good idea, thanks! Maybe I'll just have my DA 40 limited "live" on the K-x as a compact point-and-shoot.
06-28-2013, 09:42 AM   #14
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If she likes the K-30, then the 30 inherits the white kit lens from the K-x; I inherit daughter's K-x.
If she doesn't like the K-30, then we're likely to sell the K-x; at least a couple of hundred is better than what I'd get for my K100D.


I'm hoping the first is true; then the $600 in gift certificates sitting in my Amazon account will wait to see what Pentax brings us in the fall, and we'll have both K-30 and K-x to play with.
06-28-2013, 09:47 AM   #15
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I went to K30 from my... K100D Super! Day and night! It's like trying DSLR after using mobile phone (: And ISO is very usable up to 6400 with some Photoshop magic.
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