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Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

The Canon EOS-D30 and the Pentax K-3 II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2000 and April 2015. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 3.1 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 24.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon D30   Pentax K-3 II
Canon D30 Pentax K-3 II
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
3.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-51200
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD, 114k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 8.3 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
540 shots per battery charge720 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 750 g 131 x 100 x 77 mm, 800 g

Body comparison: Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

The physical size and weight of the Canon D30 and the Pentax K-3 II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The K-3 II can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the Canon D30 is only available in black.

Compare Canon D30 and Pentax K-3 II
Compare Canon D30 versus K-3 II top
Compare Canon D30 or K-3 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-3 II is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Canon D30. However, the K-3 II is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the Canon D30. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-3 II is splash and dust-proof, while the Canon D30 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the Canon D30 gets 540 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the K-3 II can take 720 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon D30» 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 26.5 oz 540 n May 2000 2,999- i Canon D30
 
Pentax K-3 II« 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 i i Pentax K-3 II
 
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
 
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Pentax KP« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.9 in 24.3 oz 410 Y Jun 2016 649 i i Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« » 5.2 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 26.8 oz 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099- i Pentax K-5

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The K-3 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 63 percent) than the Canon D30, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the K-3 II is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (Canon D30) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon D30 and Pentax K-3 II sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the K-3 II offers a higher resolution than the Canon D30 (3.1MP), but the K-3 II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 10.29μm for the Canon D30). Yet, the K-3 II is a much more recent model (by 14 years and 11 months) than the Canon D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-3 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

Unlike the Canon D30, the K-3 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

The Canon EOS-D30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-3 II are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).

Canon D30 versus K-3 II MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon D30» APS-C 3.1 2160 1440-----Canon D30
 
Pentax K-3 II« APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680Pentax K-3 II
 
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----Canon T7
 
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-----Canon D60
 
Pentax KP« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i----Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i----Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.714.1116282Pentax K-5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The K-3 II indeed provides for movie recording, while the Canon D30 does not. The highest resolution format that the K-3 II can use is 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The Canon D30 and the K-3 II are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the K-3 II offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the Canon D30 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the K-3 II has a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon D30 and Pentax K-3 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon D30»optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon D30
 
Pentax K-3 II«optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 n Y Pentax K-3 II
 
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T7
 
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« »optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon D60
 
Pentax KP« »optical n 3.0 921 tilting n 6000 7.0 Y Y Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 6000 6.0 Y Y Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 Y Y Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y Y Pentax K-5

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The Canon D30 has one, while the K-3 II does not. While the built-in flash of the Canon D30 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The Canon D30 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the K-3 II uses SDXC cards. The K-3 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Canon D30 only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-D30 and Pentax K-3 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon D30»Y-----1.0---Canon D30
 
Pentax K-3 II«YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3 II
 
Canon T7« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T7
 
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
 
Canon T7i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon T7i
 
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« »Y-----1.1---Canon D60
 
Pentax KP« »YstereomonoY--2.0Y--Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Pentax K-5

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

The K-3 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the Canon D30 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the Canon D30 was succeeded by the Canon D60. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Canon and Pentax websites.


Review summary: Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon D30 and the Pentax K-3 II? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS-D30:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2000).

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Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-3 II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 3.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 178%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 114k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (131x100mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (720 versus 540) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 1.0).
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (63 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 14 years and 11 months of technical progress since the Canon D30 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-3 II is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

Canon D30 03:18 K-3 II

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Canon D30 or the K-3 II perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon D30»-++--- May 2000 2,999- i Canon D30
 
Pentax K-3 II«--5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099 i i Pentax K-3 II
 
Canon T7« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
 
Canon SL2« »++78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« »++84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 40D« »++++4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »++++oo- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »-++-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »-++-o- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »-++-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« »-++o-- Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Pentax KP« »-82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« »-79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2016 649 i i Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« »-83/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« »-83/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,099- i Pentax K-5
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon D30:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax K-3 II:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon D30 vs Pentax K-3 II

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon D30 Pentax K-3 II
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2000 April 2015
    Launch Price USD 2999 USD 1099
    Sensor Specs Canon D30 Pentax K-3 II
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 327.8 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.6 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 3.1 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 2160 x 1440 pixels 6016 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 10.29 μm 3.90 μm
    Pixel Density 0.95 MP/cm2 6.56 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-51200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1106
    Screen Specs Canon D30 Pentax K-3 II
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 114k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon D30 Pentax K-3 II
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 8.3 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon D30 Pentax K-3 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon D30 Pentax K-3 II
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-511 power pack D-LI90 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge720 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    131 x 100 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 750 g (26.5 oz) 800 g (28.2 oz)

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