Pentax K-30 review

81 seals to keep water and dust at bay

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It may not be perfect, but there's plenty to like about the Pentax K-30. For a start its 16Mp sensor is capable of recording an impressive level of detail, especially if you record raw files – which helpfully are in DNG format. There's also lots of room to experiment and try different options to create more interesting images.

Those on the move and without access to mains electricity to charge the supplied Li-ion battery will also appreciate the dual-form battery compartment that can accommodate four AA batteries with the optional D-BH109 holder (£29).

We liked

The durable body is comfortable to hold and is capable of surviving exposure to heavy rain. Of course this would be pointless if the image quality wasn't up to standard, but the K-30 produces superb images with lots of detail and good colours.

We disliked

In less than perfect light with the 18-55mm kit lens mounted the autofocus system often needs to make several attempts at getting the subject sharp. It's also annoying having to switch off raw file recording to use the digital filter effects.

Final Verdict

The fact that the body is weather-proofed is a huge bonus as one of the main reasons why cameras area sent for repair is water damage. Of course to get the full benefit of the K-30's weatherproofing it needs to be matched with one of Pentax's WR (Weather Resistant) lenses.

Given the 'outdoors' credentials of the K-30 the smc DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR is a better pairing than the 18-55mm lens, giving greater flexibility, reducing the need to change lens in hostile environments and offering much better autofocus performance. If you're buying a kit rather than the camera body only, we'd recommend the 18-135mm version, but at £250 ($300) more that means a serious hike in the price.

While the self-levelling sensor is a great idea (and one we have seen before in Pentax SLRs), it really needs to work beyond 1degree to be useful. As it stands it's better to use the electronic level in most situations.

The digital filters are lots of fun, but when you want to get serious about image quality the results from the raw files taken at ISO 100 and 200 are hard to beat.

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