Canon M6 Mark II vs Pentax K-30
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II and the Pentax K-30 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2019 and May 2012. The M6 Mark II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-30 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 32.3 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 16.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M6 Mark II and the Pentax K-30? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon M6 Mark II and the Pentax K-30 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The K-30 can be obtained in seven different colors (black, silver, blue, red, yellow, green, white), while the M6 Mark II is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-30 is considerably larger (50 percent) than the Canon M6 Mark II. Moreover, the K-30 is substantially heavier (59 percent) than the M6 Mark II. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-30 is splash and dust-proof, while the M6 Mark II 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 M6 Mark II gets 305 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the K-30 can take 410 images on a single charge of its D-LI109 power pack. The power pack in the M6 Mark II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon M6 Mark II||120 mm||70 mm||49 mm||408 g||305||n||Aug 2019||849|
|2.||Pentax K-30||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||May 2012||849|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||387 g||305||n||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon RP||133 mm||85 mm||70 mm||485 g||250||n||Feb 2019||1,299|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899|
|6.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|7.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|8.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|9.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|10.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|12.||Pentax K-50||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||Jun 2013||599|
|13.||Pentax K-500||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||646 g||710||n||Jun 2013||549|
|14.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|16.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|17.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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-30 is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (M6 Mark II) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon M6 Mark II offers a higher resolution of 32.3 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the Pentax K-30. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.23μm versus 4.79μm for the K-30). However, it should be noted that the M6 Mark II is much more recent (by 7 years and 3 months) than the K-30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M6 Mark II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M6 Mark II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 34.8 x 23.2 inches or 88.4 x 58.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 27.8 x 18.6 inches or 70.7 x 47.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 23.2 x 15.5 inches or 58.9 x 39.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax K-30 are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M6 Mark II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-30 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon M6 Mark II||APS-C||32.3||6960||4640||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Canon RP||Full Frame||26.2||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.8||14.1||1235||82|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the M6 Mark II provides a higher video resolution than the K-30. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-30 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M6 Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M6 Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon M6 Mark II and Pentax K-30 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon M6 Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||14.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M6 Mark II has a touchscreen, while the K-30 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M6 Mark II has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the K-30 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the M6 Mark II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Canon M6 Mark II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M6 Mark II and the K-30 write their files to SDXC cards. The M6 Mark II supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the K-30 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 M6 Mark II and Pentax K-30 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon M6 Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|11.||Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the M6 Mark II has a microphone port, which is missing on the K-30. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The M6 Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the K-30 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the K-30 was succeeded by the Pentax K-50. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Pentax websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Canon M6 Mark II better than the Pentax K-30 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS M6 Mark II:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (32.3 vs 16.1MP) with a 42% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x70mm vs 130x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 242g or 37 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 3 months of technical progress since the K-30 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-30:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 305) 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2012).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M6 Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (19 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M6 Mark II and the Pentax K-30 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the M6 Mark II and the K-30 in practical situations. 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon M6 Mark II||..||+||85/100||4/5||4/5||Aug 2019||849|
|2.||Pentax K-30||4/5||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||849|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon RP||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||1,299|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899|
|6.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|7.||Canon 4000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|8.||Canon M50||..||+||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|9.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|10.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|12.||Pentax K-50||5/5||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||599|
|13.||Pentax K-500||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||549|
|14.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|16.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|17.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon M6 Mark II vs Pentax K-30
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-30|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2019||May 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 849|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-30|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||32.3 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6960 x 4640 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.23 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||9.57 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||PRIME M|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1129|
|Screen Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-30|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-30|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-30|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-30|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||305 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
120 x 70 x 49 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9 in)
130 x 97 x 71 mm
(5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||408 g (14.4 oz)||650 g (22.9 oz)|
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