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06-06-2015, 05:18 PM   #1
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Body Construction: K30 vs K50

Hello -- I'm about to purchase either a K30 or a K50 body and am a bit confused as to the body construction of these two models. Reviews here on the Forum state that the K30 has a polycarbonate body, whereas the K50 is said to have a metal body under a plastic cover. Yet both bodies have exactly the same net weight. Can anyone clarify this? Do both the K30 and K50 have metal sub-frames, or are both 100% polycarbonate? Thank you!

06-06-2015, 05:31 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Owltown Quote
Hello -- I'm about to purchase either a K30 or a K50 body and am a bit confused as to the body construction of these two models. Reviews here on the Forum state that the K30 has a polycarbonate body, whereas the K50 is said to have a metal body under a plastic cover. Yet both bodies have exactly the same net weight. Can anyone clarify this? Do both the K30 and K50 have metal sub-frames, or are both 100% polycarbonate? Thank you!
Both have metal frames underneath a plastic outer shell.

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06-06-2015, 06:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Both have metal frames underneath a plastic outer shell.
And that plastic outer shell is very nice plastic.


Steve
06-07-2015, 03:16 AM   #4
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K30 was an earlier, more 'edgy' design, but fundamentally both cameras are the same under the skin.

06-07-2015, 11:22 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I think generally speaking, you have two classes of DSLR's. The pro/semi-pro models that cost upwards of $1000 at introduction usually have a solid metal body/frame that is all one piece. And the lower-end cameras, the ones that are under $1000 at intro, usually have a smaller, less-substantial metal chassis on the inside, to which a plastic shell is attached.

Here's the K-3 body:



And here's the K-30 chassis:



In theory, the solid body is tougher. And it probably can take more abuse. But plastic is pretty dang tough too, and I imagine any scenario where a K-30 gets damaged, it would also be highly likely for a camera like the K-3 to also get damaged. When a camera hits the ground, it's probably going to be things like lenses, screen, buttons, doors/flaps, viewfinder, etc that get damaged. Or even the moving parts inside, in which case a plastic body might actually help to dissipate some of the shock from hitting the ground.

But if a camera is subjected to heavy-duty use/conditions, the solid body will probably take the occasional bumps and scrapes with more grace. I know which one I'd rather have in a fight!

I personally prefer a lighter camera for my uses, but I'm not someone who's going out in the field all the time or lugging my camera around every day. The only time I feel like I'd prefer a solid-body camera is when I'm using my Sigma 100-300mm f4. I can feel the K-30 flex the tiniest bit if I don't support the lens. But it's not like I would make a habit of shooting any long telephoto without supporting the lens.

BTW, I don't see durability being a big concern for any Pentax DSLR. My white K-x had something like 50,000 or 60,000 shutter actuations when I sold it, and it still looked and worked pretty much like new. My white K-30 probably has even more than that, and it also still looks and works like new.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 06-08-2015 at 10:34 AM.
06-07-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Owltown Quote
Hello -- I'm about to purchase either a K30 or a K50 body and am a bit confused as to the body construction of these two models. Reviews here on the Forum state that the K30 has a polycarbonate body, whereas the K50 is said to have a metal body under a plastic cover. Yet both bodies have exactly the same net weight. Can anyone clarify this? Do both the K30 and K50 have metal sub-frames, or are both 100% polycarbonate? Thank you!
both have a metal 'skeleton' with lots of plastic attached. The K50's plastic is bit differently molded. That is the only difference. It is basically the same camera, just with some little design differences.

I am a little bit angry with Ricoh trying to ripping off people with the K50.
06-07-2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Volker76 Quote
I am a little bit angry with Ricoh trying to ripping off people with the K50.
Given the current prices of both cameras (in the UK at least) I do not think that holds true now, if it ever did.
06-07-2015, 02:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lochness Quote
Given the current prices of both cameras (in the UK at least) I do not think that holds true now, if it ever did.
'oh, the K50 is out, a shiny new camera and just a bit more expensive than the K30. And we increased the iso range a lot. BuyBuyBuy!'

06-07-2015, 05:44 PM   #9
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Many thanks to all who replied, especially to Edgar_in_Indy for the two photos. I shoot studio work almost exclusively; I'm using a K20D with over 60K shutter actuations. It's been a workhorse but may be close to shutter failure. A new K3 would be a delight, but it exceeds the budget! Since my cameras are rarely exposed to the outdoors environment, the plastic-over-metal subframe should be 100% adequate. Roberts Photo has dozens of K30s with <1K shutter actuations available at <$300, so that's what I'll get. Thanks again!
06-08-2015, 06:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Owltown Quote
Many thanks to all who replied, especially to Edgar_in_Indy for the two photos. I shoot studio work almost exclusively; I'm using a K20D with over 60K shutter actuations. It's been a workhorse but may be close to shutter failure. A new K3 would be a delight, but it exceeds the budget! Since my cameras are rarely exposed to the outdoors environment, the plastic-over-metal subframe should be 100% adequate. Roberts Photo has dozens of K30s with <1K shutter actuations available at <$300, so that's what I'll get. Thanks again!
Good choice! I use my K-30 primarily for product photography, and this morning it's at 57,767 actuations, and still going strong and looking like new. I would definitely go with white if you can find it. Here it is with my favorite lens attached:



[COLOR="Silver"]

For product photography, I usually use the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. It's sharp across the frame, it can focus very closely, and the focal range is perfect in the studio.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 06-08-2015 at 06:37 AM.
06-08-2015, 06:55 AM   #11
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Owltown, just in case you overlooked this, you might want to consider that Adorama and B&H have a new K-50 for $308 and you can add the two year extended Pentax warranty for another $20.
06-08-2015, 05:26 PM   #12
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Hmmm.... A brand new K50 at about the price of a lightly-used K30.... plus the ability to add the extended warranty. That sounds like an even better deal. Edgar_in_Indy: I shoot mostly tabletop, small to midsized products, indoor under lights. Much of our daily work is for eBay sales, the rest for a local manufacturer. 95% of my shots are made with an SMC DA 16-45mm ED AL zoom, bought new about 6 years ago. Occasionally I have to shoot tiny items (<1/2" across), and then I use, believe it or not, a non-AI Nikkor 85 f1.8 on a Panagor zoom macro converter, with a Nikon to PK adapter. This allows fullframe shots with objects as small as about 0.33" across, with surprisingly good sharpness, and plenty of brightness wide open for manual focus.
06-08-2015, 07:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Owltown Quote
I shoot mostly tabletop, small to midsized products, indoor under lights. Much of our daily work is for eBay sales, the rest for a local manufacturer. 95% of my shots are made with an SMC DA 16-45mm ED AL zoom, bought new about 6 years ago. .
Most of my items are also for eBay, so they are also usually small to medium size items. I'm usually at the long end of my 28-75mm, but I will occasionally switch to my Sigma 85mm or even 50-150mm. I like the longer focal lengths, because the narrower field of view allows me to focus more on the item and capture less of the surrounding area. So I think I would feel awkward using the 16-45mm for product photography.
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