Pentax K-30 Comparison Review
The Pentax K-30 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in May 2012 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 16.1 megapixel.
Is the Pentax K-30 a good camera? The K-30 has a Camera Elo of 1668. This rating puts the K-30 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the K-30 also ranks below average. – Well, the Pentax K-30 is more than 9 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2012.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Pentax K mount lenses|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 12 800 (100 - 25 600)|
|3.0 LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|6 shutter flaps per second|
|410 shots per battery charge|
|130 x 97 x 71 mm, 650 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Pentax K-30 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Pentax K-30 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Pentax K-30||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||May 2012||849|
|2.||Nikon Df||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||130 mm||94 mm||63 mm||497 g||350||Y||Sep 2013||1,399|
|4.||Panasonic GX7||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||n||Aug 2013||999|
|5.||Pentax K-S2||123 mm||91 mm||73 mm||678 g||410||Y||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749|
|7.||Pentax K-50||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||Jun 2013||599|
|8.||Pentax K-500||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||646 g||710||n||Jun 2013||549|
|9.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|10.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|11.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Pentax K-30 was launched in the US market at a price of $849. 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 with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Pentax K-30 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Pentax K-30 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of alternative cameras.
|2.||Nikon Df||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||none||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73|
|4.||Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|10.||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 can also record movies. The K-30 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the K-30 can use is 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 that provides a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.61x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax K-30 and comparable cameras.
|1.||Pentax K-30||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon Df||optical||Y||3.2 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||n|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|4.||Panasonic GX7||2760||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Pentax K-S2||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/6000s||5.4||Y||Y|
|6.||Pentax K-S1||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||5.4||Y||Y|
|7.||Pentax K-50||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Pentax K-500||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||Y||Y|
|10.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Pentax K-5||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
One convenient feature of the K-30 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 Pentax K-30 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Pentax K-30||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon Df||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Panasonic GX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Pentax K-S2||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Pentax K-S1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Pentax K-50||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Pentax K-500||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Pentax K-3||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Pentax K-5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the K-30. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Pentax K-30||4/5||..||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||849|
|2.||Nikon Df||4/5||..||..||81/100||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749|
|3.||Olympus E-M1||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||1,399|
|4.||Panasonic GX7||4/5||+||..||79/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999|
|5.||Pentax K-S2||4.5/5||..||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|6.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749|
|7.||Pentax K-50||5/5||..||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||599|
|8.||Pentax K-500||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||549|
|9.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|10.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|11.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.
Pentax K-30 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the K-30.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the K-30?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Pentax equipped the K-30 with the PRIME M image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the K-30?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Pentax K-30?
Pentax does not publish a shutter rating for the K-30. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Pentax K-30?
The K-30 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Pentax K-30 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The K-30's flash sync speed is 1/180 sec.
Which battery does the K-30 use?
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D vs Pentax K-30
- Canon 200D vs Pentax K-30
- Canon 7D vs Pentax K-30
- Canon SL3 vs Pentax K-30
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Pentax K-30
- Nikon D1 vs Pentax K-30
- Nikon D3000 vs Pentax K-30
- Nikon P950 vs Pentax K-30
- Panasonic FZ1000 II vs Pentax K-30
- Panasonic G80 vs Pentax K-30
- Pentax K-30 vs Pentax Q
- Pentax K-30 vs Sony A6600
|Camera Model||Pentax K-30|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 849|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||370 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 928 x 3 264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||PRIME M|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1129|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||No front-flip|
|Touch Input||No touchscreen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||D-LI109 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge|
130 x 97 x 71 mm
(5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||650 g (22.9 oz)|
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