Digital Photography Review (DPR), one of the web’s most-trusted resources for all things digital photography, has just posted an in-depth review of the Pentax K-30, a mid-level capability dSLR sold for an entry-level price. When first announced, many people were excited about the K-30 as it incorporated many features of the K-5 flagship model for about 50% less money.
So, does the K-30 live up to the hype? In short, yes.
On the image quality front, the K-30 is very similar to the K-5, which is a very, very good thing as the K-5 is considered by many to be among the best (if not the best) APS-C camera on the market for picture quality. To that end, the K-30’s sensor is the same that is used in the K-5 and, no surprise, it produces images that are just as stunning as its more expensive brother. From extremely high detail at low ISO (especially in RAW mode) to stunningly low noise at the top of the sensitivity scale, according to DPR, the K-30 lacks for nothing on the still image front.
Other points of high praise for the K-30 come on other areas where it is the unchallenged leader of the pack in the sub-$1000 price range. With its fully weather-sealed body, 100% viewfinder, 6fps continuous drive, and ability to use AA batteries if necessary, the K-30 offers features that one simply will not see with any other brand at this price point, all of which make it an extremely attractive option for a serious photographer looking for a first dSLR.
As for handling, DPR has a lot of praise here, too. Thanks to its solid feel, user-friendly control layout, and extensive customization options, the K-30 once again offers performance that one would not expect at its sub $900 price point.
Gripes? They all come down to one word: video.
While it may be hard to believe that video in a dSLR was once seen as a gimmick marketing ploy,many of today’s photographers are as discriminating on the video side of the cameras as they are on the still and, according to DPR, this is where the K-30 falls short of the competition. Foir starters, the K-30 lacks things commonly seen on most other current dSLRs, including a dedicated video button, HDMI port, no external microphone socket, and no ability to shoot stills and video simultaneously. In addition, according to DPR, the camera has poor battery life in video mode.
Final thoughts? It’s a mixed bag as DPR obviously loves the camera on the stills front but feels that it is lacking a lot on the video end of things so much so that, in its final conclusion, DPR states that the lack of consideration for video mode alone keeps the K-30 from earning the Gold Award. On the other hand, DPR also states that, so long as one isn’t serious about video, it’s hard not to recommend the camera.
My take? The K-30 looks like a real winner and, if you need tons of video features, just buy a video camera, too.
Want to buy photo gear in the Cleveland area? Well, there’s Cleveland-based Dodd Camera, with its downtown superstore. In addition, there are many smaller Cleveland metro area chain stores in the Cuyahoga County area, too. Dodd is an authorized Pentax dealer.
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