New Pentax K-30 and New 50mm f/1.8 Lens Offer Refined Performance and Durability


The K-30 is Pentax’s newest endeavor in the DSLR market and features a familiar set of specifications, while improving upon functionality and overall efficiency. Serving as the successor to the K-r, the K-30 offers an increase in effective resolution, greater HD video capabilities, a video-optimized image processor, and the ability to withstand temperatures below freezing. This camera aptly raises the bar of an entry-level camera and truly blurs the line on what defines a beginner’s camera.

16.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor with PRIME M Image Processing Engine

At the core of the Pentax K-30 (available in black, blue or white) is the PRIME M image processor. This processing engine has been optimized for video, while still retaining a more-than-capable ability to handle high resolution still images. An effective resolution of 16.3 megapixels provides rich image quality and visual depth, plus, it provides you with file sizes worthy of making decently-sized enlargements. The speed of the processor provides up to 6 fps continuous shooting with a top shutter speed of 1/6000 second, too. When combined with the CMOS sensor, there is also extensive low-light sensitivity to ISO 25600 with reduced noise levels.

Full HD 1080p/30 Video with H.264 Compression

Aided by the processing speed of the PRIME M processor, full HD 1080p is possible with the K-30 at frame rates of 30, 25 and 24 fps. 720p/60, 50, 30, 25 and 24 fps are also supported for a wide range of movie recording options. The H.264 compression allows for easy Web publishing and sharing of your videos while still retaining superb quality, able to be shown on your HDTV.

Advanced SAFOX IXi+ Autofocus Engine and Image Stabilization

The SAFOX IXi+ autofocus system is a TTL phase-detection system that utilizes 11 points with 9 cross-type points for fast, precise focusing while shooting. An integrated AF assist lamp also improves low-light focusing. In addition to advanced autofocus functions, peaking is also available when focusing while using live view. Peaking provides objective contrasting lines along the highlights within images, allowing you to fine-tune your focusing based on the edges of subject matter. This function will prove to be especially useful when recording HD videos and when manually focusing. Also integrated into the K-30 is a sensor-shift style shake and dust reduction system that, aside from helping to keep the sensor clean, will enable any mounted lens to act as a stabilized lens. This helps to ensure crisp, clear photos that exhibit the greatest sharpness possible no matter your shooting conditions.

Flexible and Accurate Exposure and Metering System

A highly accurate 77-segment metering system provides detailed results for garnering the most precise exposure settings, even in complex or low-light situations. For efficient modification of your exposure settings, there are programmable front and rear dials for utilizing the Pentax hyper shift command system. This system allows you to quickly change between exposure modes without having to navigate through menus; for example, you can instantly switch between shutter-priority and aperture-priority AE modes just by simply turning the programmed dial. For extending your exposure beyond the normal limits of an image’s effective EV tolerance, in-camera HDR shooting modes allow you to blend several images together in order to compensate for blocked shadows or blown highlights.

Compact, Functional and Rugged Design

The design of the K-30 has been reworked to provide a small form-factor with a highly robust build. The body is fully weather-sealed for additional confidence when shooting in adverse conditions as well as being able to properly function to below freezing temperatures (14°F / -10°C). It is also ergonomically designed to be as compact and easy to manipulate as possible while still maintaining enough room to house the large APS-C-sized sensor and mirror. A low-profile optical pentaprism provides 100% field of view, while the 3.0” 921K-dot LCD provides high-resolution playback and monitoring when working in live view. For greater functionality, the K-30 can be powered from a traditional rechargeable lithium-ion battery or from 4x AA batteries when using an optional AA battery holder. When using AA batteries, you are able to capture about three times as many images per charge when compared to the included lithium-ion battery, and playback time is about twice as great.

A New 50mm f/1.8 Prime Lens

Pentax has just announced a new medium-telephoto-length 50mm f/1.8 prime lens (76.5mm equivalent) that's a perfect companion for the K-30 camera. The smc Pentax-DA 50mm f/1.8 features the Pentax K-mount and is specifically designed for use with Pentax interchangeable lens cameras. This specificity of design promotes greater edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity for outstanding images. The large f/1.8 aperture will help you to achieve maximum control over your depth of field when photographing and produces a very pleasing bokeh background effect when shooting wide-open. This lens will also help you when photographing in low-light situations by providing more room to use faster shutter speeds. The 76.5mm (35mm equivalent) focal length is an ideal portrait-length lens, perfectly suited for framing pictures of people and visually separating them from cluttered backgrounds.

The lens features a compact and minimalist design, measuring only 1.5 inches in length and weighing only about a quarter-pound. Pentax’s SP (Super Protect) coating has been applied to help reduce dust, dirt, water and other contaminants from sticking to the front element of the lens and, additionally, the coating makes for easier cleaning.

This lens will prove to be a valuable asset for mid-range photography. It is a solidly built, compact prime lens that is ideal for portraiture and other general-purpose applications. The large aperture gives you a great deal of control over how your images appear and promotes the use of faster shutter speeds for increased handheld usage.

Bundled Lens Options

You can't go wrong if you pair the new K-30 camera body with the new 50mm f/1.8 lens. But there are also a number of options for bundling different lenses with the K-30 body. The black body is available with an 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. This lens is equivalent to a 27.5-207mm in 35mm format, giving you a wide range of focal lengths from standard wide angle to telephoto. This 7.5x zoom lens incorporates a direct current focus motor for quick, quiet operation, which is ideal for HD video use. For a more compact option, you can also get an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens bundled with the camera, which is available with black, blue or white body colors. This lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 27.5-84.5mm and features aspherical lens elements to help reduce spherical aberrations. For a duo of lenses, you can get a black body paired with a longer 50-200mm f/4-5.6 lens and the aforementioned 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. The 50-200mm f/4-5.6 lens has an effective focal length of 76.5-307mm and also features a quick-shift focus system for instant switching between auto and manual focusing. The longest lens bundle option puts a 55-300mm f/4-5.8 lens together with a black body and the same 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens featured in other bundles. The 55-300mm f/4-5.8 lens has an equivalent focal length of 82.5-450mm in 35mm format, giving you extreme telephoto possibilities. All of these lenses incorporate Pentax’s SP (Super Protect) coating, which helps to minimize dust, water and oils from your front lens element and further improves your ability to keep your glass clean. And furthermore, with the exception of the 18-55mm lens, these lenses also feature extra-low dispersion glass, providing you with increased sharpness throughout the zoom range and a reduction in chromatic aberrations.

The K-30 serves mainly as a refinement and an update of Pentax’s consumer-grade DSLR and elevates it to a level that will certainly extend beyond the encompassment of “entry-level.” The imaging capability of this camera paired with its enhanced HD video functions allow it to perform as a workhorse no matter your skill, plus the strengthened construction and sub-freezing usage possibilities mean you can take this camera almost anywhere.

Pentax K-30
Sensor Type CMOS with primary color filter
Sensor Size APS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm)
Color Depth 8 bit/channel JPEG, 12 bit/channel RAW
Effective Piexels 16.3MP
Total Pixels 16.5MP
Dust Removal Sensor movement with SP coating on low pass filter
Pixel Mapping Yes
Image Stabilization Sensor-shift SR with rotational compensation (3 stops maximum)
Lens Mount Pentax KAF2 Bayonet
Usable Lenses Pentax KAF3, KAF2, KAF1, and KA (others with optional adapters)
SDM Function Yes
Focus System SAFOX IXi+ TTL phase-detection
Focus Points 11 points (9 cross)
Focus Sensitivity Range EV -1 to 18 (ISO 100)
Focus Modes AF.A (auto), AF.S (single, w focus lock, focus/shutter priority selectable), AF.C (continuous, w focus/FPS priority selectable), Manual
Focus Point Adjustment Auto 11 pt, Auto 5 pt, User-Selectable (with Expanded Area AF), Center
AF Assist Yes, via dedicated LED AF assist lamp
Focus Peaking Yes (not available while recording video)
Metering System TTL open-aperture 77 segment metering
Exposure Sensitivity Range EV 0 to 22 (ISO 100, 50 mm f/1.4)
Metering Patterns Multi 77, Center, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 EV (1/3 and 1/2 steps)
Exposure Lock Yes
Exposure Bracketing 3 frames, up to +/- 2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Shutter Type Electronically controlled, vertical-run, focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed 30-1/6000 sec., bulb
Viewfinder Type Pentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage 100%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.92x
Standard Focusing Screen Natural-Bright-Matte III (interchangeable)
Diopter Adjustment -2.5 to 1.5 m
Depth-of-Field Preview Optical (diaphragm stop-down), digital
LCD Monitor 3.0" / 7.6 cm 921k-dot TFT-LCD
Live View Type TTL by CMOS image sensor
Live View Field of View 100%
Live View Display Modes Magnification (2-6x), Grid Overlay (4 x 4, Golden Ratio, Scale), Bright/Dark Indication, Histogram
Live View Autofocus Contrast detection AF (face detection, tracking, select, spot)
Built-In Flash Type Retractable P-TTL popup flash
Guide Number 39.4' / 12 m at ISO 100
Flash Coverage 28mm wide-angle equivalent
Flash Modes On, Red-eye, Slow Sync, Slow Sync + Red-eye, Trailing Curtain Sync, Wireless
Flash Exposure Compensation -2 to 1 EV (1/2 steps)
External Flash Connection Hot shoe (P-TTL)
Sync Speed 1/180 sec.
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC
Interfaces USB 2.0, AV out, cable switch
Video Out NTSC, PAL
Microphone Built-in monaural
Power Source D-LI109 rechargeable lithium-ion battery, optional 4x AA battery holder
Recordable Images Approx. 560 (lithium-ion), 1600 (AA)
Playback Time 300 min. (lithium-ion), 620 min. (AA)
Movie Recording Time Up to 25 min. clip length
Recorded Resolutions 4928 x 3264 (16MP)
4224 x 2816 (12MP)
3456 x 2304 (8MP)
2688 x 1792 (5MP)
Quality Levels Best, Better, Good
File Formats RAW (DNG), JPEG, DCF 2.0, DPOF, PIM III
Color Space sRGB, AdobeRGB
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
White Balance Type Image sensor detection with light wavelength sensor assist
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent (D, N, W, L), Tungsten, Flash, CTE, 3 manual, and 3 Kelvin temperature presets
White Balance Fine Adjustment +/- 7 steps, A-B axis or G-M axis
Capture Modes Hyper Program (P), Sensitivity Priority (Sv), Shutter Priority (Tv), Aperture Priority (Av), Shutter & Aperture Priority (TAv), Hyper Manual (M), Bulb (B), User (U1, U2), Scene (SCN), Auto Picture (AUTO), Movie
Auto Picture Modes Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Night Scene, Blue Sky, Forest
Scene Modes Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Moving Object, Night Scene Portrait, Sunset, Blue Sky, Forest, Night Scene, Night Scene HDR (JPG), Night Snap, Food, Pet, Kids, Surf & Snow, Backlight Silhouette, Candlelight, Stage Lighting, Museum
Custom Image Modes Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, Cross Processing
Face Detection Yes
Digital Filters Extract Color, Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Shading, Invert Color, Color
Dynamic Range Adjustment Highlight, shadow
Digital Level SR auto-level function
File/Folder Customization Folder name (standard, date), file name (standard, customizable), embed copyright
Drive Modes Single, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-Timer (12 s, 2 s), Remote (0 s, 3 s, continuous), Auto Bracketing (3 frames, standard, timer, remote)
Continuous Shooting Speed Up to 6 fps
Multiple Exposure 2-9 exposures, auto exposure adjustment
Interval Exposures 999 exposures, 3 sec. to 24 hr. interval, time delay
HDR Auto, HDR 1, HDR 2, HDR 3, pixel alignment
Playback Modes One Shot (no data, basic data, full data, color channel histogram, bright/dark indication, copyright info), Multi Image Display (4, 9, 16, 36, 81 thumbnails), Magnification (up to 16x, scrollable, quick magnification), Image Rotation, Calendar Filmstrip, Display, Folder, Slideshow, Select & Delete, Movie Playback (no data, basic data, full data), Save RAW Data From JPG (if available in buffer memory)
Playback Mode Pallete Image Rotation, Digital Filter, Resize, Cropping, Slideshow, Save as Manual WB, RAW Development, Index Print, Image Comparison, Protect, DPOF, Movie Edit, Extract JPG from Movie
Playback Digital Filters Monochrome, Extract Color, Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Shading, Invert Color, Color, Tone Expansion, Sketch Filter, Watercolor, Pastel, Posterization, Miniature, Soft, Starburst, Fisheye, Slim, Base Parameter Adjustment
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080p30/25/24
1280 x 720p60/50/30/25/24
640 x 480p30/25/24
Video Quality Levels Best, Better, Good
Video File Formats MOV, MPEG-4, AVC (H.264)
Video Sound Audio gain adjustment
Video Capture Modes Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, Cross Processing
Video Digital Filters Extract Color, Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Invert Color, Color
Video Interval Movie 3 sec. to 24 hr interval, 12 sec. to 99 hr record time, time delay (AVI, MJPG)
Custom Functions Available 23
Languages English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, Russian, Korean, Traditional/Simplified Chinese, Japanese
Primary Construction Materials Reinforced polycarbonate over stainless-steel chassis
Operating Temperature 14-104°F (-10-40°C)
Dimensions 4.8 x 3.1 x 2.3" / 12.2 x 7.9 x 5.8 cm
Weight 22.8 oz / 646.4 g
Pentax smc-DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Focal Length 50 mm
35mm Equiv. Focal Length 76.5 mm
Maximum Aperture f/1.8
Minimum Aperture f/ 22
Angle of View 31.5°
Minimum Focus Distance 1.5' (0.45 m)
Maximum Magnification 0.15x
Lens Construction 6 elements in 5 groups
Number of Diaphragm Blades 7
Diaphragm Control Fully automatic
Filter Diameter 52 mm
Lens Mount Pentax K-mount
Lens Coating Super Protect coating
Dimensions 2.5 x 1.5" (6.3 x 39 cm)
Weight 4.3 oz (122 g)