Product Type: Pentax digital cameras
Newest Review: ... and 2) weather sealing, so you can take it outdoors and not worry about it. Pentax' weather sealing is the best in the business, and... more
a strong alternative to canon/nikon
Pentax K 30
Member Name: clarkjames
Pentax K 30
Advantages: a great camera, weather sealed and good IQ
Disadvantages: it looks cheap and unprofessional, lack of hands on control
The pentax k30 is an incredibly ugly camera, it looks like a frankenstein camera with the range of different textured plastics they use. Looks aside it's a great camera.
For the price of a entry level canon you get a pentax which although entry level has some features that rival the flagship canon's.
Pentax aren't a very popular brand compared to canon/nikon but I have no idea why, they really do make great cameras and although they had been playing catch up for a number of years I feel that in the last year or two they have leaped ahead, the k5 was better than the 7d/d7000, and now the k30 is better than the 600d.
2 things you don't expect on an entry level camera are 1) 100% viewfinder, so you see exactly what you are getting in your picture, and 2) weather sealing, so you can take it outdoors and not worry about it.
Pentax' weather sealing is the best in the business, and despite this not being as well sealed as their flagship k5 camera it should still be as good if not better than the competing canon and nikon models.
The af system on pentax is still relatively primitive compared to canon/nikon models, but works reasonably well in decent light, although the competition and even the flagship k5 does better in low light- but this is to be expected for a product in this price bracket.
Also expected is the plastic shell, it is polycarbonate (which is what they use in police riot shields) so it's not cheap plastic, but it's never going to be as tough as the magnesium alloy cameras out there, as long as you're not in the habbit of dropping your camera onto concrete you should be ok with a polycarbonate shell, and it helps keep the weight down- the k30 is a very small and very light camera.
That's pentax's niche, they don't compete with canon/nikon to product professional cameras, they create cameras that are firmly focused (pun intended) on photographers, and even their flasgship k-5 is tiny compared to say the canon 7d.
Like all 'budget' cameras there's a real lack of hands on controls, and again the k-30 disappoints, you might find yourself outgrowing this camera.
Battery life is another budget camera foible, and here the battery lasts around 400 shots, which is about equal to a canon 600d, but less than half that the professional canon's can do (even the 60d which is mid range can do 1100 shots per charge). pentax does have a trick though, they can take AA batteries through the use of an optional adapter, which can be a life saver when you run out of juice (as long as you're near a city), this is a very traditional pentax touch and i'm glad they do their own thing instead of trying to copy canon/nikon.
Another pentax touch is in body IS- this is an amazing feature and although lens based IS has some advantages (mainly that it stabilises the viewfinder), having IS on all your lenses, even super old school vintage prime lenses is a real bonus and is a feature that canon/nikon are really lacking, to be able to stabilise a £20 lens is a treat, but the availability of cheap lenses for pentax has angered many a wife as their husbands photography collection spirals out of control
Summary: a worthy competitor to canon/nikon if you can manage to not get sucked into the mainsteam hype
|Ease of use:|
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