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75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: with 18-135mm LensVerified Purchase
...GONE!!! Pentax, in my opinion, has smashed a home run with this camera. I am a current K-x owner and that camera has served me very well for the past couple years. I wanted to upgrade to a newer/better version of a Pentax. This camera offers everything that the K-x had going for it, and expands what made that camera great into what I consider is an awesome camera.

It's high ISO pictures are extremely good. I've cranked it up to ISO 6400 and notice no noise in my Christmas light photos. I'm sure that when you approach 12800, or expand up to 25600, you will notice significant noise. But I would have no lack of confidence in shooting 6400 and below.

The viewfinder is a pentaprism. Which in it's price range is a rarity. Most similar cameras offer pentamirrors. What's the difference? With the pentaprism you get 100% view coverage, what you see in the viewfinder is what will be taken.

I have not found fault with the 18-135mm lens I bought with the kit. I haven't and normally do not pixel peep. It seems like a very solid lens. I like that it covers a very nice range from wide angle to moderate telephoto.

Weather resistance is AWESOME for this price range. I've already taken it out in the rain, and have had my 3 year old son splash it while I was photographing him in his bubble bath. I can't wait for some snow storms (as long as it doesn't drop below 14 degrees F) or next spring/summers thunderstorms when I try to get a perfect lightning shot. You honestly don't understand the piece of mind this weather resistance offers until you have had it. I used to scurry indoors with the K-x.

I mainly, almost exclusively use the camera for photos, not video. The K-30 shoots video in 1080p/30fps, so that is a selling point for some of you. Although is doesn't have stereo mics. Again, no biggie to me, I photograph things, not video record them. I could purchase a $250 video camera that would blow almost all cameras out of the water if I wanted to take videos.

The display is worlds better than the K-x, I can't do justice to the upgrade it is versus the K-x. 3" and 921K. A very solid display, sure no flipping and moving, but the camera is water resistant after all. Doesn't bother me that it's fixed. I do 99% of my photography through the viewfinder anyway.

I can't really give a fair review of the live view composing, I have tried it, and with the new bigger, crisper display it seems to make it easier. Focusing is much faster than the K-x, and it does have focus peaking when composing your shot/vid. Again, I can not fairly review this feature.

I bought this camera instead of the K-5, K-5II, and K-5IIs mainly because it's cheaper, but in all honesty I like that fact that if I am pressed for time I can choose a scene and let the camera do the computing, and if I want to set into full manual I can do that as well. Pentax also offers Av, TAv, Tv, User modes, etc; in which the camera selects one (or more) of Exposure, Aperture, ISO, and you choose the rest. Very nice feature.

Honestly I can't think of anything to bash this camera on. For the price, compared to similarly priced DSLR's; in true Pentax tradition, you get A LOT of bang for the buck. Class leading APS-C images, weather resistant body, fantastic ISO images, etc. I only wish that Pentax spent more money on marketing, and re-introducing themselves to the USA market/stores. These cameras are extremely good, and I love the fact that nobody seems to know this.

Please ask me questions and I will try to respond...if you've read this, and were hesitating on purchasing, DON'T...this camera ROCKS
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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: with 18-135mm LensVerified Purchase
DISCLAIMER: This review is from a still-shooter's perspective. I don't use video that often so look elsewhere if you want an in-depth review of the video functions on this camera.

Updated 7/24/13

The K-30 is an excellent DSLR for still shooting and offers a very robust feature set for the money. It has since been replaced by the K-50 in Pentax's lineup but the differences between the two are minute. So unless you want access to the new DAL WR lenses, you can save yourself some money by going with this model (I suggest getting the kit with the 18-135 WR).

Image quality from this camera is excellent. It has the same look as files from the K-5 (except for slightly inferior dynamic range)..bright, punchy, and sharp. The camera produces exceptionally clean files right through ISO1600 and even through ISO6400 it does a good job balancing noise, noise reduction, and detail capture. The 18-135 WR is a good starter lens due to its focal length. It's sharp at the wide angle but gets sort of soft at the telephoto end (not an uncommon problem with zoom lenses). But despite middle of the road optical aren't going to find a kit with an 18-135 weather sealed lens for under $1,000 from the other it's still a worthwhile purchase.

Speaking of RAW files... Pentax saves RAW files in the Adobe dng file format exclusively with this camera and does away with the .PEF format on their older cameras. This is a wonderful feature because this universal file format will open in most photo editing software (I use Apple's Aperture and I had no problem opening the files).

The only real downsides to this camera image quality-wise that I can think of is that the camera has a tendency to underexpose a little and the colors are somewhat inaccurate (and a tad oversaturated) in its default setting. However, these are only minor demerits and are easily adjustable in the camera settings. And on the exposure issue, I would rather the camera underexpose and retain detail than overexpose which makes it harder to recover lost detail in some instances.

In other areas of performance... the AF performance is a distinct improvement over the K-x and K-r and is about on par with the K-5. In most shooting situations, it performs quite well, but it can struggle in low-light situations sometimes. One good thing about the 18-135 WR lens is that it has a built-in focusing motor so that helps AF performance overall. Shot-to-shot times are good, and the camera's burst speed performs as advertised with a decent buffer.

The K-30, like its predecessors, offers a pretty good set of still shooting features for the enthusiast crowd. Things like Chromatic Aberration adjust as well as the highlight correction option which helps preserve detail. You can also convert JPEGS back to RAW in this camera which is something very unique. It also has a RAW button on the front of the camera like the K-5 did. The viewfinder is great, 100% coverage with a high degree of magnification.

The camera is comfortable hold and shoot with. It is not a light camera overall, but it feels very solid and well-made and of course its weather-sealed. I have yet to test its weather-sealing so I can't vouch for how good it is, but from the reviews I've seen, it works as advertised (just don't completely submerge it in water though). I especially like having dual dials which is something that isn't terribly common on a sub-$1,000 DSLR. Overall the menu system is similar to its predecessors although the main interface has been redesigned a little to make it look more modern. The LCD on back is generally nice but has issues in direct sunlight like a lot of them do. One thing the camera does have is pretty snappy AF performance in live-view, which sets it apart from most other DSLRs. It's not lightning-fast, but it is faster than any other DSLRs I have seen, and is only bested by Sony's DSLT models and most Micro 4/3rds cameras as well.

The battery port is the same as the K-r. It comes with the same Lithium Ion battery pack which delivers okay battery life. However, like the K-r, AA batteries can be used with the same adaptor that was used with the K-r. So that's one bonus if you're thinking about upgrading from the K-r.

As for the video... it's good from what I have seen and an improvement over its predecessors. But Pentax does not offer an external microphone jack... which is a puzzling omission at this price point. If you are equal parts stills and video enthusiast.... the Canon Rebel T5i/700D is a better choice in this class of camera.

Despite being a year old, the K-30 remains good value for money. And since its successor offers no real benefits over this model (only slight improvements), you can save yourself some money and buy this model instead while it's still around. For still shooting, it's one of the best APS-C cameras on the market.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: with 18-55mm LensVerified Purchase
I have 40 years worth of Pentax SLR and DSLR cameras. The K-5 and the K-30 can stand right along with their 35mm equivalent cameras. They are great cameras. I bought the K-30 a few months ago, and have used it for portraits. It has far more features then I need, since I really only need a camera with a manual setting.

It is an advanced camera for advanced users. It can use any Pentax lens made for any previous Pentax SLR or DSLR model, including the older 35mm film cameras. All Pentax digital models have been water resistant. They simply tightened the seals for this camera.

Many people here will list all of the benefits of this camera, and it has many really nice features.
But it also has two down sides.

1. Unlike the K-5, this camera does not have a PC plug for external flash units. I use a wireless transmitter which sits in the hotshoe. You can also use an adapter with a PC Plug. (The camera has a wireless system for using a wireless flash, but I have yet to get the camera's wireless system to operate correctly with studio flash units.)

2. Like all auto-focus cameras, it does not always auto-focus correctly on very black skin.

In the end, all that matters are the photographs. This camera makes great photographs. If you don't want to spend enormous sums of money on Nikon or Canon DSLR cameras and lenses, but you want the same great photographs, then this is the camera for you. Plus it will go where Canon or Nikon wishes they could go.
(I like Nikon and Canon cameras. Mainly, I like Nikon. But I don't like the amount of money that you wrap up in them. That is why I have always ended up with Pentax. Same quality. Nearly the same features. Less price.)

OK, I read a review here where a person purchased this camera, but didn't like it because they couldn't figure it out. I understood the feeling. I am now 62, but when I was 14, my Aunt, who had been a magazine photographer, gave me a Leica 35mm camera. I took it home and tried to figure it out, but couldn't. I had been used to using drop-in cartridges in cameras with simple lenses. No one at home knew how to operate it either. I gave it back to her a couple of months later. In later years, I wished that I still had it.

DSLR cameras are great for advanced amateur photographers and professional photographers. People who get into doing things with cameras that automatic features and setting just won't handle. Or they need to sometimes use a +1,000 mm telephoto lens, or a 15mm wide field lens, or some other uncommon situation. Or these cameras are for people who want to learn to do these things.

If you are not in this group, and you don't wish to invest the time and effort necessary to learn the art of creating nice images, then a small point-n-shoot camera is probably a better choice for you.

I hope that this helps. I really like this camera.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Body OnlyVerified Purchase
Sold my Nikon D40 and had some decisions. Was looking at the Nikon D5100, D7000, and the Canon T4i. Considered waiting to decide until Nikon introduces the inevitable D5200, but after weighing all the options, and considering the phenomenal value that is the K30 - I bought it. (white body w/standard 18-55 lens - sexy) I'm new to Pentax and glad to have made the change. Nothing against Nikon or Canon, but on top of taking excellent pictures, there is something unique about having the Pentax. I prefer the menu system over both Nikon and Canon - simpler for me to navigate. (Though deleting photos on Nikon remains simpler - hitting the 'delete' button does it all.)

I'm waiting for Sigma to release their newish 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM in a Pentax mount - then all will be perfect. They already have it for Nikon/Canon - gets great reviews. Not water-resistant (the Sigma lens), but that was never a decision making factor in the K30. (Though nice to have.) I wanted a great camera to fit a good all-in-one lens onto and be done. It lets me take great photos (and it does - even with the stock 18-55 lens) and ease into more complex picture taking as I feel fit.

People dog the video, on this and other DSLRs. My response is - get a video camera. Video in the DSLRs has been something of a gimmick since introduced. DSLRs aren't great for video, camcorders aren't great for stills. I wanted great stills - the K30 fits that bill.

Love the grip, ergonomics, the picture quality, build quality, and value compared to competition. Highly recommended if new to the DSLR world, or like me - upgrading from D40 or the like.
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73 of 83 people found the following review helpful
Color Name: BlueStyle Name: with 18-55mm LensVerified Purchase
FIRST OFF I am not a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER there are plenty of reviewers who can tell you the facts of this camera from a true photographers perspective. I am just an average consumer guy who likes to take QUALITY STILL PICTURES of whatever strikes my odd AUTISTIC WEREWOLF fancy's! My problem, I've found the standard point and shoot camera's lack the enhanced image quality I demand. Point and shoot cameras are designed with built in compromises to compensate for its single lens. Most point and shoot camera's are horrible in low light conditions. Most point and shoot cameras create images with too much image noise in them for my liking.

I think the Pentax K30 is the best Digital SLR Camera you can buy. Right out of the box on automatic mode you will take pictures that will likely astonish you and make friends drool. The standard low end kit lens does a perfectly acceptable job photographing most subjects. The built in flash does a great job illuminating most close range subjects. If you just used this camera on fully automatic mode you would have at your command a photographic instrument capable of producing picture quality far superior to any mere point and shoot mongrel out there. If ever you decide to be adventurous the Pentax K30 Camera has ample button's knobs and other controls needed to manage iso, aperture and other vital photographic settings. The full color display is large and clear. There is a rare and great optical view finder, I think goes the distance in making this a truly awesome camera. For those who love using video only to frame their shot that mode is made easily available with the change of a few settings. This camera is killer awesome in most low light situations which is much better than most other camera's I have used. The pictures have VERY LITTLE NOISE in the final images. This camera takes pictures in RAW formats that are compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements 10 and Adobe Lightroom 4. The advantage of capturing images in RAW format is that you do not lose any video information. You see exactly what the video sensor saw without loss caused by processing images into JPEG \ JPG format images. More video image information contained in the RAW image format gives you greater freedom to manipulate your raw images during post production.

The Pentax K30 is a camera the average customer can grow into at their own pace. The Pentax K30 camera makes it easy for a DSLR newbie like me to experiment with light, shutter and focus settings without fear of breaking something. The Pentax K30 Camera has an optional adapter that allows it to take conventional AA Batteries which means fresh batteries are always close as the next market, pharmacy, mini mart or other full service store. You will never lose the opportunity to take that terrific shot because your special camera specific batteries lack sufficient charge. The Pentax K30 Camera uses any of the K TYPE LENSES which are numerous and made adequate for most any situation.

The Pentax K30 Camera is on a whole well made. I find the battery closure mechanism to be the cheapest most ill engineered part of The Pentax K30 Camera and its not bad just it should have been more strongly engineered. I have a Pentax K5 Camera and the Battery closure mechanism is far more secure. The Pentax K30 Camera is made out of plastic and while I like the feel and weight of a metal Pentax K5 camera more, The Qaulity Thick Plastic Pentax K30 Camera does not feel at all cheap. One of the finer things about the Pentax K30 Camera is its size and how it feels in my hands. I have small hands with unusually long fingers and the Pentax K30 Camera feels as if it was made exactly for my hands to hold. The Pentax K30 Camera is so perfectly sized for me; it is almost as if the Pentax K30 Camera is part of or an extension of my body. The camera is not heavy at all. My brother is a really BIG DUDE, 6 feet 8 inches tall and about 320 pounds, he has HUGE hands about the size of baseball mitts, with huge fingers. While my big brother can use the Pentax K30 Camera it is less comfortable for him. My MUCH larger \ younger brother favors my Pentax K5 which by it self is still on the small side for his BIG HANDS but becomes better suited for his HUGE GRIP with addition of its optional extra AA battery compartment. Despite its plastic \ Polycarbonate body the Pentax K30 Camera feels surprisingly solid in build quality. The Tripod Mounting Point is metal not cheap plastic. The Pentax K30 Camera hot shoe is covered but easily accessible. The Pentax K30 Camera has various doors and flaps that are on a whole easily accessible. The rubberized flaps used to access the USB and hot shoe take time to access until you get the "Hang of It!"

The Pentax K30 Camera's digital view screen color is rich and true. The lettering on the menu screens can be sized to normal or LARGE for those like me with older eyes. The Pentax K30 Camera has many do-dads and special features that let you do lots of in camera processing too many for the likes of me to list. Another cool thing about the Pentax K30 Camera is the radical luminescent cobalt blue color that literally jumps out at you. The blue color dances in your eyes and is so different from the standard plain jane black cameras. The blue camera makes a bold statement even when it is sitting still not being used. For those artists who demand their equipment stand out from the photographic equipment pack this camera is sooooo YOU! I am not prone to writing great reviews for any product at a drop of the hat BUT this Pentax K30 Camera is no ordinary photographers best friend. Some time effort and thought went into designing this Pentax K30 Camera and in almost every aspect of its execution the lavish attention to detail certainly shows. This Pentax K30 Camera is the perfect crossover camera for those tired of the point and shoot dull-drums that are not ready for the high-tech buttons of a full out professional grade DSLR. The Pentax K30 Camera puts and keeps the fun in entry level DSLR photography. The Pentax K30 Camera is the perfect storm of near perfect out of the box ease of use and mind blowing options for the experienced photographer. Finally this Pentax K30 Camera is a workhorse camera that is sealed against weather if used sensibly. This Pentax K30 Camera is not so delicate it will break at the slightest environmental challenge. Yes there are better cameras in the world but, the Pentax K30 Camera is a near perfect fusion of form and function that is solidly built. The K30 lacks some of the versatility of the K5 but the K5 lacks many of the consumer driven ease of use and image manipulation features of the K30. The Pentax K30 Camera appears to be aimed squarely at consumers looking to trade up to entry level DSLR's from Point and Shoot Camera's and if I am right the Pentax K30 Camera hit almost center of its intended audience bullseye!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: with 18-135mm LensVerified Purchase
If you are looking for a K-30 or K-5, you have probably already read reviews on or

I have done a lot of research when I purchased my K-x and I am glad that I chose Pentax over Canon/Nikon. I also read reviews of K-5 and K-30 to decide which would be my upgrade for my K-x.

I chose K-30 because I have found a better price for it and it was offered with 18-135mm WR (which cost a lot more by itself) I enjoy this mid-range dslr with performance and build quality of Pro-dslr.

K-5 was reviewed and named the best APS-C sensor dslr for Image quality, Dynamic range, and ISO performance. Since K-30 shares same sensor but just with slightly different filter its images are almost identical. Therefore, you get one of the best APS-C dslr on the market for less than half of the price of K-5 when it was introduced.

Overall it is a great step up from K-x with too many improvements to list. (live view focus is way faster than K-x, and should be faster than K-5 and it has focus peaking to help with using awesome Pentax manual lenses)

16mp is more than enough to make huge prints if needed, My K-x was 12mp and that was enough already. Some competition is increasing MP to 24 and higher, but I beleive it will not make pictures much better on APS-C sensor; It will fit full frame sensor much better because of less pixels per sensor size.

I highly recommend K-30 to anyone that is looking to upgrade or to a new user that wants to get best dslr on the market, very good value for your money and with WR body.

(see some of my images in product info for comparison of K-x and K-30 high ISO)
review image review image
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: with 18-135mm LensVerified Purchase
First off, this camera and lens combo is a great deal! The DA 18-135 picture quality is really good - it's quite sharp, gives great colors, and has a handy range where I can shoot pretty wide to a decent telephoto. Great for a good all around lens. It's also light and not very big. But the amazing thing is the weather sealing in this price range. I've taken it into some driving rain conditions and it handled it with no issues. I've had Pentax weather sealed cameras before though starting with my 5 year old K10d, so I knew Pentax knows how to weather seal their cameras before I bought this K30. But I had to test it and the weather in the Pacific Northwest this time of year makes it easy to test if the weather seals are working or not, and the K30 passed.

I have some older lenses that I sometimes have difficulty focusing accurately on my older DSLR's so that was one of the main reasons I bought the K30. I already knew the reviews on the K30 were all really good and the 16MP Sony CMOS sensor was an awesome performer in cameras like the Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K5 (which I own). But I have some old lenses with apertures as wide as 1.2 and when shot wide open the really narrow depth of field makes focusing on what I want it to a real challenge. With the K30 though, there's a feature called focus peaking which when live view is on, the area that is in focus is highlighted on the back lcd screen. It's really cool... as you turn the focus ring, the highlighted part of the screen will move telling you what is in focus! Seriously easy and very effective.

I've been spoiled by some really good cameras like the Pentax k5, so I was a bit hesitant to buy the k30 since it's priced as a mid level camera and not like their semi pro models that I've gotten used to. But I am really pleasantly surprised at the quality of the K30. It's fast, it has 2 control wheels to make operations quick and intuitive, the grip is great, it feels sturdy and well built, the pentaprism viewfinder covers 100% .... and it's weather sealed and has focus peaking. Just an awesome deal!

Now some of the negatives... there is not a mic input, so if you're doing video, you will probably want a separate audio recorder. I've found that sound quality is usually better anyway if you get the audio recorder as close to your subjects anyway so this is what I plan to do in any future video projects. Another thing I'm not too thrilled about is that there is not a grip available for the k30. Also, the battery is a bit small - I'd get an extra battery or at least the AA battery adapter just to have as a backup (which I'd recommend anyway). I've bought the Wasabi branded generic batteries for one of my other cameras and they worked fine, so I'll probably be picking one of these up soon. Another thing that I find a little annoying is that the bracketing option only allows for 3 shots instead of 5 like on the K5. This is just dumb; there is no reason to do this since this is just a software issue. Personally, I think this is just an instance where Pentax wanted the K5 II to have some features that the K30 did not have to help justify it's extra cost. I hate it when companies do that... (I understand the marketing side, but it's still annoying).

But really these negatives are pretty minor on a camera that is a over achiever on every other level. Putting pro level features like weather sealing, pentaprism 100% viewfinders, dual wheels, electronic level control, micro AF adjustments for up to 10 lenses, TAV shooting mode (where you set the aperture and shutter speed and the ISO floats to get the right exposure), and button customization, all make this camera an awesome value. I would have no problem recommending this camera to someone who wants a high performance DSLR.
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54 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Body OnlyVerified Purchase
I received mine a little more than an hour ago and have not done extensive tests yet because I am waiting for the battery to charge. I already own a K5 and a KX and I have previously owned the K100 and K20 models. The K5 was the first model that I felt truly competed with the Nikon and Canon crowd. It handles noise extremely well and most reliably up to 1600 ISO and its DXO rating is tops in its class. I us it for wedding photography and it is capable for well-lit interiors but I have seen results from recent Canon and nikon models that have been making me drool over the low-light results. It is only for that reason - low-light shooting - that I took a flier on the K30.

I am blown away by the results. The low-light capability is incredible and I am very, very pleased. I shot 4 test shots starting at ISO 12,800 and going down to ISO 1600, room light only, tungsten white balance, hand-held, JPEG only (medium resolution, which was the default setting). Not only was I blown away by the noise handling, but also by the image stabiliazation. I have found my new work horse for indoor low-light photography!

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: with 18-55mm LensVerified Purchase
I have used Pentax cameras since 1958. I still have a K-1000 (film camera) in the closet. The K-30 is all the positive reviews have reported. Of the six or so Pentax Digital Cameras I have (or still) own, this is the best of all. It does focus quickly in low light situations and provides clear and accurate images if the subject. It is far from an entry level camera (except in price) and I would encourage everyone wanting to upgrade to an SLR to consider this camera.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: with 18-135mm LensVerified Purchase
I have been waiting on this camera for the past 10 years and now it's here. I love to go into the woods and take wildlife shots and this camera is suppose to be made for that kind of use. What a machine. I haven't had it but a week but I love it so far. Yes it doesn't have a microphone jack and the screen doesn't tilt. Who cares about the microphone. If you want a video camera buy one. The video that I have take is very nice though. The screen not tilting is one less thing to break. The thing I have been most impressed with so far is the autofocus. It is fast. The exposures have been good and of course you can turn it all off if you want to. I used Pentax in 35mm and have some good lens. They all work just fine on this body. The one thing that I just don't understand is why they call this an entry level camera. I just can't can't think of anything else that I would need or want. It's a huge step up from the Pentax K1000 that I started off with back in 1977.
The 18-135 lens seems to be a great lens too. It fast for a zoom lens and is a good lens if you only want one lens. The one thing that you do need to remember is that the lens have to be weather resistant (WR) to keep the WR rating on the camera but any lens made for Pentax will work just fine. I have Tamaron, Sigma and Pentax lens left over for my 35mm days and now I can put them back to use.
Then there's I ordered it Sunday and it was on my porch Tuesday just in time for my birthday. I do like to buy myself a nice present every now and then. My wife purchased me the Pentax AF-300FGZ flash to go with the camera and it seems to be great too.
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