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Pentax K-30 Weather-Sealed 16 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-135mm Lens (Black)
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Encased in a compact fully weather sealed body, the Pentax K-30 digital SLR comes equipped with a host of advanced photographic tools for the easy creation of great pictures in any weather condition. This compact but solid Pentax K-30 digital SLR comes equipped with a host of advanced photographic tools for the easy creation of great pictures, while delivering high standards of image quality, data processing speed and operability. Developed using the highly acclaimed Pentax K-7 as its base, the K-5 inherits the exceptional reliability, user-friendly operation, array of advanced features and compact, lightweight body of its predecessor. However, it is more resourceful and flexible in photographic expression. Combining a new high-speed, low-noise CMOS image sensor it produces super-high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with approximately 16.3 effective megapixels, even when shooting in the continuous shooting mode at a maximum speed of approximately 6 images per second. It also offers an extra-wide sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 25600 (when expanded via a custom function) and full HD-proportion movie recording at 1920 x 1080p @30/25/24 fps w/h.264 compression to expand the boundaries of high-quality visual presentation. In camera sensor shift image stabilization that allows usage with any K-mount lens. Adding other improvements and refinements--such as a faster autofocusing speed, an upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function now usable in handheld shooting, and better operability through an overall review of the design and shape of all components - the K-30 is designed to be more functional and maneuverable in every detail, and in its response to the demands of the photographer in any weather condition.
From the Manufacturer
Thanks to the K-30, for the first time in a long time location doesn't matter. Whether it's a sandy day at the beach or a trek into the wet rainforests of Belize, the K-30 is the ideal DSLR camera to capture your memories regardless of your location or the elements you face. Its 16 megapixel sensor and full 1080P HD video capabilities coupled with a fully weather sealed, dustproof and coldproof, ergonomic body, give you the flexibility and comfortability to shoot what you want, when you want and where you want.
Weather resistant design ideal for travel and outdoor photography
Featuring 81 seals set in its compact, lightweight, portable body, the K-30 is built to be weather, dust and cold resistant with proven functionality in sub-freezing temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). Its exterior has been designed to be both sporty and functional for active outdoor photographers – a large grip provides a firm, secure hold of the camera; a low-profile pentaprism housing for reduced height; and a rounded, soft-rubber casing for a solid grip of the camera during vertical shooting.
Newly developed SAFOX IXi+ Autofocus (AF) module for improved autofocus performance
The K-30 features the new state-of-the-art SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation by incorporating a diffraction lens to minimize chromatic aberration in accordance to the characteristics of each individual lens. A dedicated sensor also factors the light source into its calculations at the time of shooting. Additionally, 9 of its 11 focus points have cross-type sensors to capture subjects in sharp focus, while a spotbeam assists the AF system during low light situations. The K-30's AF algorithm has also been upgraded in all areas for efficiency and accuracy. A new expanded area AF function allows the sensor module to continue to track a moving subject in AF select mode, even when it moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors. This greatly improves the accuracy and speed of detecting moving subjects during autofocus shooting, and autofocusing performance when using a telephoto lens.
High resolution, low noise, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-30 incorporates the latest 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with a large image-capturing area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm. It assures high speed image data readout to deliver super high resolution, rich gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels. This image sensor is coupled in the K-30 with the PENTAX “PRIME M” imaging engine for outstanding full 1080p HD movie clips (1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second), in addition to outstanding still image capture processing. The camera also minimizes luminance noise at low sensitivities, while offering a wide sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 (ISO 25600 maximum when expanded via a custom function).
Optical finder with 100% field of view
Despite its compact body, which is smaller and lighter than traditional mid level DSLR camera models, the K-30 comes equipped with a glass pentaprism finder featuring a 100% field of view and approximately 0.92X maximum magnification (with a 50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity) to cover the entire field of view for easy focusing and framing. Since its viewfinder delivers a clear view of the subject even in the brightest sunshine while also eliminating parallax, the K-30 responds efficiently and reliably to demanding applications and subjects, such as landscapes requiring delicate, high-precision framing, and sports scenes where the timing of shutter release is critical. The K-30 also accepts interchangeable PENTAX Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screens to facilitate manual focusing operation. Optional focus screens include cross-lined and scale types, to accommodate more specialized applications.
High-speed burst shooting at approximately six images per second
When photographing sporting events, concerts or wildlife, the K-30's high-speed burst shooting function comes in handy, allowing the photographer to capture active, fast moving subjects in a series of images at a maximum speed of approximately 6 frames per second (in JPEG format).
Advanced Live View shooting
Thanks to the latest CMOS image sensor and PRIME M engine, the K-30 offers a clear, true-to-life Live View at a smooth 60 frames per second. It also features a focus peaking function during live view to improve manual focusing speed and accuracy. Live View on the K-30 also offers a choice of three grid display patterns including a Golden Section overlay, and detailed information overlay if desired by the photographer.
High quality video recording
The PENTAX K-30 features full HD video recording to capture high quality movie clips in 1080p resolution (1920x1080 pixels). The efficient h.264 compression format offers a choice of frame rates (30, 25 or 24 frames per second) at 1080p, or up to 60 FPS at 720p, to accommodate user specific applications. Video recording options are flexible, allowing the photographer to select aperture or shutter exposure control, while PENTAX Shake Reduction helps stabilize captured video. Users may add creative artistic effects to recorded clips using various Custom Image modes or record subjects in a series of video clips with the Interval Movie Shooting mode.
User friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes
The K-30 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which analyzes a scene then automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from Portrait, Landscape, Macro as well as others. This allows the photographer to concentrate on image composition and other creative elements while leaving more technical settings to the K-30, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. The K-30 also offers 19 creative Scene modes, including Night Scene Portrait, Pet, Backlight Silhouette, and more, to simplify photographing unique subjects and scenes that often require uncommon camera settings.
PENTAX Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism for sharp, blur free images
The PENTAX K-30 incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR mechanism, which effectively reduces blur due to camera shake by approximately four shutter steps. Usable with all PENTAX compatible lenses*, including those produced for film format SLR cameras, this mechanism produces sharp, blur free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in twilight. The K-30's SR system also offers several other useful features to assist the photographer during shooting, including an Automatic Horizon Correction function to assure high precision image framing and effortless adjustment of horizontal alignment, a Composition Adjustment function to allow minute adjustments of image alignment horizontally/vertically/axially, and an ASTROTRACER mode to eliminate light trails during astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit (available separately).
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.
A selection of image processing tools for creative, personalized expression
The K-30 features a Custom Image function, which allows the user to easily and quickly select the desired finishing touch for a particular image. Choose from 11 custom settings including Bleach Bypass that creates a dramatic visual effect similar to that used in motion pictures, and Cross Process to produce fanciful, eye-catching images boasting dramatic colors. The K-30 also offers a choice of 19 creative digital filters including Miniature, which transforms an actual scene into what appears to be an image of miniature models. These filters add distinctive visual effects to captured images producing creative, artistic images without the need for a computer. The user can further expand the creative possibilities by applying multiple filters and processing modes to a single image.
Choice of two power sources
In addition to the included lithium ion battery capable of capturing approximately 480 images with a single charge**, the K-30 can also be powered by four AA-size batteries using the optional D-BH109 AA Battery Holder. Since AA batteries can be easily obtained almost anywhere around the world, there's no worry about battery shortages, even when shooting for an extended period of time or in remote locations.
** Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, using the D-LI109 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery with no flash discharges.
Additional features include:
- Large, wide angle viewable 3-inch LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots of resolution
- 77 segment multi-pattern metering system for accurate light measurement
- DR (Dust Removal) mechanism to shake dust off from the surface of the CMOS image sensor
- PENTAX-designed Hyper control system to assure fast and flexible response to the photographer's creative intentions
- Dynamic range expansion function to compensate for blown out (overexposed) and muddy (underexposed) areas of an image
- Retrieve and save RAW data from buffer memory for a just-recorded JPEG image
- RAW/Fx multi-function button for on-the-fly switching of image file formats, as well as for assignment and instant recall of other specific functions
- SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX (RAW processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) included
Top customer reviews
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I found this site justafax.com/dslr and what's great about it is that it literally does a side-by-side comparison of the top 12 cameras in this category, based on all of the factors that should affect your purchasing decision.
I found the information on justafax.com/dslr extremely helpful, especially in comparing the types of desires and features I was getting for my $. I think you owe it to yourself to check it out, the info is very concise and easy to read and should help inform your purchase. It's not a cheap purchase, so do your homework!
Good luck guys, I hope you find the camera of your dreams.
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.
Update August 9, 2015
I got surprised by a request for information about this camera so I figured that I would update this review. First of all, I am still using this camera even though Pentax has had the K50 out for awhile and my daughter loves the K50. I also use a K-3 for most studio photos.
I also have 30 year old K-mount lenses which work with this camera (Aperture Priority or Manual only).
I still consider this a great camera.
I am uploading some photos of it. I don’t have a test chart to check sharpness so I photographed a page in the K30 Owner’s Manual for my sharpness test using the K30. I then cropped a section of that photo to give you a closer look. I used the K30 with studio flash units and a hot-shoe adapter.
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