Summary: Pentax may not be the first name you think of when you shop for a digital camera, but the company has a history of making good DSLRs — the K-5 is a favorite of many photographers, for instance. As we've seen with the Q and K-01 , Pentax also likes a gimmick: the Q was impossibly small, the K-01 impossibly odd-looking.
Summary: Conclusion With a feature set commensurate with its designation by Pentax as a mid-level DSLR, the K-30 is nevertheless the current entry-level model in the Pentax line. It's a short line to be sure, consisting of the K-30 and the K-5II/s. The K-5 is still available, but its price slots it between the K-30 and its newer sibling. Like it or not, the K-30 is your weapon of choice if an entry-level Pentax DSLR is on your shopping list.
Excerpt: This colourful entry-level DSLR grabs sharp 16 megapixel shots, and it's nimble too, with a burst mode of six frames per second - perfect for capturing fast moving sporting moments. Or is it? We check it out in our Cannes group test: hit the video to see what we made of it.
Summary: The Pentax K-30 offers a comprehensive feature set, excellent high ISO performance and very flexible Raw files at an attractive price point and is therefore an easy recommendation for any stills photographer. However, if you are looking for a DSLR to shoot video with the competition offers better alternatives.
Pros: Good detail at low sensitivities (even better in RAW), Very good high ISO image quality, good detail up to high sensitivities, Exceptionally low shadow noise in RAW files at low ISOs, Responsive operation, 6 fps and good burst size in continuous shooting, Good build-quality with weather-sealed body, Thought-out user interface with useful TAv and SV modes, Large, bright viewfinder with 100% coverage, Good feature set with HDR mode, digital filters and time-lapse movies...
Cons: Lower JPEG highlight DR than competitors (without Highlight Correction activated), Live view exposure simulation has very limited range, No external mic-socket, No dedicated video button, No stills capture in video mode, Focus-peaking not available in video mode, No HDMI port, Poor battery life compared to its peers
Summary: Using the Pentax K-30 is particularly enjoyable. I would not hesitate to take the camera out in adverse weather and most key exposure controls are quick to access and make adjustments. I find the multi-segment metering a little unpredictable, though, and had to be more active making exposure adjustments than I would like. For a camera at this level, the AF system performs well in a number of situations, but the motor in most Pentax lenses is far too noisy.
Excerpt: Pentax has created an ecosystem of rugged, weather-resistant DSLRs and lenses. The new Pentax K-30 fills a particular niche, as an affordable, versatile camera that you can take just about anywhere. With its weather-sealed, dustproof, coldproof construction, you might actually wait until the rain starts before you go outside to take pictures.
Excerpt: PA verdict: If you're looking for a quick and easy DSLR to take your photography further, then the K-30 could be the camera for you. If you like your action photography you can shoot on JPEG and get a maximum frame rate of 6fps to ensure you capture the decisive moment. And if you're worried about draining your batteries from all your frame bursts, Pentax has made a very useful (optional) battery cradle that will hold 4x AA batteries to run the K-30.