Pentax K-30 review

81 seals to keep water and dust at bay

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Although it replaces the Pentax K-r, the K-30 has a very different shape, it's a bit more angular and has a bigger grip. In fact the grip is one of the most ergonomically shaped and comfortable to use that we have come across. For extra security it is coated with a textured rubber-like material to give it more purchase.

Pentax K 30 review

The K-30 also feels a little more robust than the K-r it replaces and this is underlined by the fact that it has 81 seals to keep moisture, dust and sand at bay.

During this test we took it out for a couple of hours in the pouring rain and even though there was water running down the camera, it still worked perfectly well. We took care not to change the lens or expose any of the ports while it was wet though.

When the sensor cleaning system is set to operate on powering up and down the K-30 starts up with a knocking sound and it feels like ball-bearing is bouncing around inside. It feels reassuringly solid.

Pentax K 30 review

Unusually for an entry-level SLR, the K-30's viewfinder covers approximately 100% of the scene. It seems a little bit dim, which is more noticeable in low light, but at least there shouldn't be any surprises around the edges of the frame when images are reviewed.

While the screen layout looks a little simplistic and dated, it is up to the minute resolution-wise as it's in a 3-inch device with 921,000 dots and it provides in nice clear view in all but very bright light.

All the usual shortcut buttons are on-hand giving access to the sensitivity, drive mode, white balance and flash options. Helpfully the screen displays a graphic of the navigation buttons on the back of the camera making clear what shortcut options are on offer. This could be useful in low light or for those who have forgotten their reading glasses.

Pentax K 30 review

When the option to set the AF point manually is selected, holding down the OK button for a couple of seconds toggles between allowing the user to select the AF point using the navigation buttons and using them to access the white balance settings etc. It's a quick and simple arrangement.

Pressing the Info button brings up the information screen that displays 15 of the key settings. Changing any of them is simply a question of navigating to it and then scrolling though the options using the rear control dial. Alternatively, pressing the OK button brings up the options for selection. It's a very quick way of making settings changes.

Pentax K 30 review

The menu is spread across 13 screens and although they are sensibly grouped with tabs, it isn't always easy to find exactly what you need quickly. The format option, for example, is on the third screen of Set-up tab, which takes a bit of finding. It's a shame that there is no option to save the most commonly used features to one screen for quick access.

Pentax K 30 review

Small niggles aside, the K-30 is an enjoyable camera to use. It feels very well made and the knowledge that it won't be damaged by a downpour is very reassuring.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution16.3 Megapixel
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NamePentax
DurabilityDust Proof, Weather Resistant, Cold Proof
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Time Lapse Function, Continuous Shooting Mode, External Flash Shoe, Self-timer
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeOptical
Weight (Approximate)590 g
Image Sensor Size23.70 mm x 15.70 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4928 x 3264
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height96.5 mm
Width128.5 mm
Depth71.5 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product ModelK-30
Product NameK-30 The Outdoor SLR
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio3:2
Manufacturer Part Number15667
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

This new mid-level model offers all standard SLR features and outstanding operability. All of that packed in a compact, weather-resistant, dustproof and lightweight body for worry-free outdoor photography.

This model is developed to help SLR beginners easily capture high-quality shake-reduced 16 megapixel images. The PENTAX K-30 combines a compact, lightweight body, equal in size to entry-class models. Many of its advanced features are found only in upper-class models, such as a weather-resistant, dustproof, cold-proof body and a glass prism finder with nearly 100% field of view. It also offers such handy features as a high-speed shooting of six images per second, a 1/6000 second high shutter speed, and a full-HD movie function. Coupled with a grip providing a firm, comfortable hold of the camera, and a sporty, functional design, it assures dependable, flawless performance on the field. It even offers a choice of three body colors: Crystal White and Crystal Blue, with brilliant, glossy finishes reminiscent of an exclusive sports car's finish; and Classic Black, for a traditional, classy SLR look.

Package Contents
  • K-30 The Outdoor SLR
  • Li-ion Battery DLI-109
  • Battery Charger D-BC109
  • AC Plug Cord D-CO2E
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • Strap O-ST53
  • Eyecup
  • Hot Shoe Cover FK
  • Body Mount Cover
  • Software Media
Limited Warranty1 Year