Testing Pentax K-30:
The 16-megapixel K-30 might probably be Pentax’s cheapest DSLR, but it’s far from the entry level DSLRs. The fully weather sealed camera comes with one of Pentax’s weather sealed 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 WR kit lens, a pair of command wheels, a 100% accurate pentaprism finder and a 6 frames per second bursts, all for a fair price of P25,990.
How does it perform? Let’s find out.
With the Pentax K-30 having quality resolution, accurate colors and minimal noise, it received an excellent rating for its overall image quality at ISO 100. As the sensitivity rises, the resolution declines just below the cut-off, receiving a rating of extremely high at ISO 200 and 400.
At default settings, RAW files converted to
TIFFs can always be tested with the use of the software that comes with the
camera. RAW+JPEG is the suggested shooting setting since the way the camera
handles JPEG files often prove to be instructive. The image quality of JPEGs directly from the K-30 was rated extremely
high from ISO 100 through ISO800.
Pentax approaches RAW and JPEG users differently. As a default for RAW conversion software, noise reduction is set low, allowing users to decide how much noise reduction to apply.
For users that plan on printing regular sized photographs, the Pentax
K-30 RAW and JPEG files have enough resolution. At ISO 100, the 16-bit TIFFs converted from
RAW files yielded 2510 lines per picture height while the JPEG files yielded 2330
lines. At ISOs 800 and 12,800, the RAWs resolved 2370 and 2050 lines,
respectively, while JPEGs yielded 2290 and 2030 lines at the same ISOs.
Color reproduction for the Pentax K-30 is outstanding. A test revealed
its excellence for it scored a remarkable Delta E of 5.0. Most DSLRs, at any
price are known to have a rating of 7.0.
The K-30’s autofocus is proven to be fast, most especially when lighting conditions are good. It took 0.33 seconds to focus and capture an image at its brightest exposure value level which is 12.
With a deep grip, dual command
wheels, and several possible customizations, the K-30 offers more control over
settings and interface than any other entry-level camera on the market. Users
have the option to choose what the command wheels control in various exposure
modes—which one sets aperture or shutter speed in manual mode, or which one
sets exposure compensation in aperture- or shutter-priority mode. Once the user
has customized the controls, he can save his settings to one of two custom
groupings accessed using the mode dial. This way, various users of a single
camera can easily set the camera to their liking. Programming settings for
certain scenarios and shooting locations are also made possible.
The controls of the Pentax K-30 are easy and fast to use. To select AF point, five navigation buttons that double as control buttons for settings such as ISO and white balance are used. Holding the OK button for about a second gives the option of toggling between selecting an AF point and changing the other settings. It takes some getting used to, but it becomes useful in the long run.
Exposure compensation allows for up to +/– 5 EV in steps of 1/2-and 1/3-stops. Auto bracketing allows for three frames in +/–2 EV steps.
To save on battery, the camera switches to sleep mode if no buttons are pressed within a minute. Another option would be overriding the default to set the camera to wait 10 minutes before sleeping.
Pentax’s DSLRs have always formed
their own niche in the camera market. Pentax’s “entry-level” DSLRs have always
tended to be more feature-laden than the most basic models.
Furthermore, the K-30’s sensor-shift image stabilization, works with any lens you mount on the camera. Even a 1950s-era screw-mount lens will ensure the image to be stabilized.
If you like the idea of having a cost-effective DSLR that is weather-sealed, has enough resolving power to satisfy nearly all photographic needs, and has a faster burst rate than most of its price range, then the K-30 is the camera just for you.
IMAGING: 16.3MP effective, APS-C-format CMOS sensor captures images at 4928x3264 pixels with 12 bits/color in RAW mode.
Storage: SD, SDHC, and SDXC. Stores JPEG, DNG RAW, or RAW + JPEG files.
VIDEO: Records up to 1920x1080p pixels at 30 or 24 fps in MPEG-4 H.264 format; built-in monaural microphone; no microphone input; continuous AF available; approx. 25-min maximum clip size at highest quality.
BURST RATE: Full-sized JPEGs (Best Quality), up to 30 shots at 6 fps; RAW, up to 8 shots at 6 fps.
AF SYSTEM: TTL phase-detection with 11 illuminated focus points (9 cross-type points in center); single-shot, continuous, auto (automatically chooses single or continuous); tested sensitivity down to EV –1 (at ISO 100, f/1.4).
LIVE VIEW: Full-time contrast detection, or single-shot phase-detection AF with mirror interrupting view momentarily.
SHUTTER SPEEDS: 1/6000 to 30 sec, plus B (1/3-or 1/2-EV increments); shutter life not rated; flash sync to 1/180 second.
METERING: TTL metering using 77 -segment system; multi-segment (evaluative), center-weighted, and spot (approx. 5% of finder at center); range, 0–20 EV (at ISO 100).
ISO RANGE: ISO 100–12,800 (in 1- EV steps), expandable to ISO 100–25,600.
VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level pentaprism.
LCD: Fixed 3-in. TFT with 921,000-dot resolution, 15-step brightness adjustment.
OUTPUT: Hi-Speed USB 2.0, mini-HDMI video, and composite video.
BATTERY: Rechargeable D-LI109 Li-ion; CIPA rating, 480 shots with optical viewfinder.
SIZE/WEIGHT: 5.1x3.8x2.8 in., 1.4 lb with a card and battery.
K-30 (Body) : Php25,990
K-30 +18-55mm kit lens: Php 29,990
K-30 + 18-55 WR Lens:Php32,990
K-30 + 18-135 WR Lens: Php47,990