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07-16-2012, 02:51 PM - 8 Likes   #1
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My experience with the Pentax k-30 @ B&H (BIG PICTURES)

So I dropped by B&H today after getting back to NYC so I could look at the Pentax k-30. I thought I'd write a review. Many thanks to the B&H person who allowed me to stand there taking video and using my memory card in the k-30:

Words:
The k-30 feels like a great camera overall. It's ergonomics feel better than the k-5. The grip is about the same, but it feels like my pinkie has more to grip than on the k-5. The front dial is easy to access, as well as almost all the buttons. The rear dial is less accessible than on my k-x or the k-5. The mode dial is very accessible, but is also tighter (my k-x has a very loose mode dial).

Autofocus is very very quick. Much faster than my k-x. It's as good as the k-5. I didn't bother checking focus accuracy - it seemed good. The viewfinder is very nice, and the rear LCD is awesome. The rear LCD is very bright and sharp. Menu functions were generally the same, but I was unable to turn on tracking AF (it's different than my k-x). Some of the options were shifted around in the menu, and there are a bunch of new (or maybe not new, on the k-5) options that I've never seen before.

The camera has a sharper/higher pitched sound compared to my k-x, but it is louder than the k-5 (see video later). The framerate is quick, but the buffer isn't that deep (see video later). I was using a Sandisk Extreme 16GB Class 10 card with up to 45mb read - I'm not sure if there's a faster card to use.]

The body felt very comfortable to hold due to the rubber materials. It felt a little lacking with the 18-55 in front. It definitely deserves more professional lenses mounted on it. The white one looks practically the same as my k-x (well, a little shinier). The blue one looks like blue mica paint on some cars. I didn't see a black one in the store.

Pictures:
Full set at: Pentax k-30 Review - a set on Flickr (including a rundown from ISO 25,600 to ISO 1,600)
I can link full sized images if requested. I am using the imagewide tag so click on the pictures to view in 1024 format. Everything was shot in DNG.

Shot with my k-x and Sigma 50 F1.4~



Shot with the k-30:



ISO 6,400 shot and crop


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7270/7585841102_20716304ea_o.jpg <-full size link

ISO 25,600 shot and crop and LR edited crop



http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7253/7585839082_3be9ecd04c_o.jpg <-full size link

ISO 25,600 shot that is well exposed.


My subjective thought is: A well exposed ISO 25,600 shot on the k-30 is absolutely usable for online images. It's just awesome.

Videos:
I don't know how to embed the videos to load in this post (unless it does automatically), but the titles are there. Including the much asked for, shutter (mirror) sound comparison between the k-30, k-x, and k-5.





07-16-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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Great having the back-to-back-to-back shutter sounds for the 3 cameras. Important for many people, I think.
07-16-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Great having the back-to-back-to-back shutter sounds for the 3 cameras. Important for many people, I think.
Yep - I saw many people asking for this. I shot the video on my iphone next to each of the lenses.
07-16-2012, 03:27 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I didn't realise the K-5 was so much quieter. I have a K-r, and I think the K-30 uses the same mirror box from the K-r? But wow the K-5 is quiet.

07-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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Excellent, thanks. Oh, and I do not believe that the camera can take advantage of anything faster than the SanDisk Class 10 you were using (but am open to learning otherwise because that would be a step up for the K-30 over previous models).
07-16-2012, 03:58 PM   #6
mee
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That K-5 shutter sounds like such a boss.. its a shame that body doesn't have continuous AF video and the Focus Peaking of the K-30

K-30 RAW buffer is quite small.. ~3 seconds in that video! An upgrade from the K-x.. but not by much.. Does have a larger buffer over the K-x though among other niceties..

decisions... hmm
07-16-2012, 04:51 PM   #7
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So compared to the k-x the K-30 shutter has a higher pitch sound but is it any quieter overall than k-x?
I do find my k-x a bit on the loud side sometimes.

Impressed by the ISO performance - looks to be at least a stop better than my k-x.
07-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the impressions, JinDesu! Great report and photos!! I really enjoy reading what folks think about the K-30.

I, too, saw the K-30 for the first time today at Crutchfield in Charlottesville, VA. I didn't get to play with it as long as you did and my thoughts are not as extensive, but I thought I'd share them here.

I would agree that the ergonomics are generally very good. The K-30 felt very good in my hands. I have small hands and was concerned the slightly larger size would cause a problem. Not so. The grip feels great! All the buttons seem to fall in place well, the only exception being the rear e-dial. I think I simply would need to get used to its placement. It also seemed to have a less tactile feel and clicking action than what I am used to with the K-r. Again, I think I would just need to get used to it, but initial observation was that it felt a little weird.

The mode dial was definitely a bit harder to turn than my K-r's and that's a good thing.

Some have commented about the memory card access being difficult. I did not find that at all. Seemed to be just like my K-r in that regard.

I also found the LCD to be very bright and colorful. I thought it would be the same one as my K-r but it seems brighter.
The viewfinder is a wonder, compared to what I'm used to!! So nice and big and bright and the display info in the viewfinder seems much easier to read.

Autofocus seemed very fast and accurate, both through the viewfinder and LiveView. I only brought home three photos, but all were focused properly in fairly dim lighting. I did not change settings to RAW so can't really comment on high ISO performance as the camera settings were all default. Crutchfield did not have a demo, and I didn't want to go around screwing with the settings too much on what would end up being someone else's camera.

I completely forgot to try out focus peaking! Good grief!

Unfortunately, they don't carry, and apparently will not carry, the 18-135 kit so I will not be buying the camera from them, but I appreciate their letting me play with it, knowing I wasn't going to buy it there. They have great customer service.

My impression of the blue color - it's a beautiful shade of blue, but my personal taste is towards a matte finish. So, at least I am now less sad about not being able to get that blue 18-135 kit!

Now, I'm just waiting on a few more reviews (and a few more dollars) to finally make my decision!

07-16-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
So compared to the k-x the K-30 shutter has a higher pitch sound but is it any quieter overall than k-x?
I do find my k-x a bit on the loud side sometimes.

Impressed by the ISO performance - looks to be at least a stop better than my k-x.
For what it's worth, the k-30 is quieter than the k-x. However, if your looking for "quiet enough to not startle deer", the k-30 will not do.
07-16-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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BH is one heluva company. Done dozens and dozens of mail orders with them...outstanding service!

Nice vid...music to my ears!
07-17-2012, 11:56 AM   #11
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It seemed the K-5 framerate was almost twice as fast as the K-30. I would think the results would be closer based on the specs. 7vs 6 FPS.
12-12-2012, 02:45 PM   #12
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So loco, did you end up getting the K30?
12-13-2012, 07:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by curlednoodles Quote
So loco, did you end up getting the K30?
Oh yes! Got it at the beginning of August. Love it!
12-13-2012, 10:46 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Oh yes! Got it at the beginning of August. Love it!
Great! Yea i bought one about a week ago and im enjoying it too. Its a nice improvement over my Kx and im having fun using focus peaking with my older manual primes. So useful! The only thing i dont like is the loud shutter. Not noticeable outdoors but indoors its distracting. Still quieter than the Kx though ha.
12-14-2012, 09:11 AM   #15
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Not fair to compare them against the k5 shutter sound. Try comparing the k30 against d7000 and 7d and you will be happy.
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