Pentax K-30 officially announced

The Pentax K-30 is now officially announced. The specs at a glance:

  • Coldproof
  • Large 3 inch LCD
  • Low profile glass pentaprism viewfinder
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Programmable front and rear e-dials
  • In-camera HDR shooting modes
  • Compact yet durable body
  • 1080p video
  • Live View focus peaking
  • 77 segment metering system
  • ISO speeds up to 25600
  • Traditional, Auto Picture and Scene modes
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion or AA battery compatible
Available Pentax K-30 kits:

Pentax K-30 will start shipping in July, 2012

Press releases:

Featuring weather resistant capabilities, new mid-level DSLR is the perfect creative companion for active travel and outdoor photographers

Denver, CO (May 21, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announces the introduction of its new weather and dust resistant digital SLR camera – the PENTAX K-30. Ideal for photographers with active outdoor lifestyles, the new PENTAX K-30 combines a compact, lightweight body with many advanced features found only in higher end DSLR camera models, such as a weather, dust and cold resistant body, a glass prism optical finder with 100% field of view, state-of-the-art autofocusing, and full HD video recording capabilities.

“No detail was overlooked when designing the dynamic new K-30 to be weather resistant,” explains John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX.  “Every seam, every button, every hinge has been weather sealed for adventure-proof creative photography. Whether enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking in the Rocky Mountains or on vacation cruising along on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, photographers can stop worrying about weather conditions and start focusing on capturing the perfect shot.”

In addition to its versatile weather-proof capabilities, the new K-30 offers features including high-speed burst shooting at a maximum speed of six images per second, a high-speed shutter unit with a top speed of 1/6000 second, and convenient dual electronic dials for quick, fingertip access to exposure control and several Auto Picture and scene modes. Coupled with an ergonomic grip that provides firm, comfortable control of the camera, and a sporty, functional design, the K-30 assures dependable, flawless performance in the field. The new K-30 is available in three body colors: Crystal White and Crystal Blue, with brilliant, glossy finishes reminiscent of the finish of an exclusive sports car; and Black, for a traditional SLR look. It is also compatible with all PENTAX K-mount lenses.

Major features include:

Weather resistant design ideal for travel and outdoor photography
Featuring 81 seals set in its compact, lightweight, portable body, the K-30 is built to be weather, dust and cold resistant with proven functionality in sub-freezing temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). Its exterior has been designed to be both sporty and functional for active outdoor photographers – a large grip provides a firm, secure hold of the camera; a low-profile pentaprism housing for reduced height; and a rounded, soft-rubber casing for a solid grip of the camera during vertical shooting.

Newly developed SAFOX IXi+ Autofocus (AF) module for improved autofocus performance
The K-30 features the new state-of-the-art SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation by incorporating a diffraction lens to minimize chromatic aberration in accordance to the characteristics of each individual lens. A dedicated sensor also factors the light source into its calculations at the time of shooting. Additionally, 9 of its 11 focus points have cross-type sensors to capture subjects in sharp focus, while a spotbeam assists the AF system during low light situations. The K-30’s AF algorithm has also been upgraded in all areas for efficiency and accuracy. A new expanded area AF function allows the sensor module to continue to track a moving subject in AF select mode, even when it moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors. This greatly improves the accuracy and speed of detecting moving subjects during autofocus shooting, and autofocusing performance when using a telephoto lens.

High resolution, low noise, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-30 incorporates the latest 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with a large image-capturing area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm. It assures high speed image data readout to deliver super high resolution, rich gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels. This image sensor is coupled in the K-30 with the PENTAX “PRIME M” imaging engine for outstanding full 1080p HD movie clips (1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second), in addition to outstanding still image capture processing. The camera also minimizes luminance noise at low sensitivities, while offering a wide sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 (ISO 25600 maximum when expanded via a custom function).

Optical finder with 100% field of view
Despite its compact body, which is smaller and lighter than traditional mid level DSLR camera models, the K-30 comes equipped with a glass pentaprism finder featuring a 100% field of view and approximately 0.92X maximum magnification (with a 50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity) to cover the entire field of view for easy focusing and framing. Since its viewfinder delivers a clear view of the subject even in the brightest sunshine while also eliminating parallax, the K-30 responds efficiently and reliably to demanding applications and subjects, such as landscapes requiring delicate, high-precision framing, and sports scenes where the timing of shutter release is critical. The K-30 also accepts interchangeable PENTAX Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screens to facilitate manual focusing operation. Optional focus screens include cross-lined and scale types, to accommodate more specialized applications.

High-speed burst shooting at approximately six images per second
When photographing sporting events, concerts or wildlife, the K-30’s high-speed burst shooting function comes in handy, allowing the photographer to capture active, fast moving subjects in a series of images at a maximum speed of approximately 6 frames per second (in JPEG format).

Advanced Live View shooting
Thanks to the latest CMOS image sensor and PRIME M engine, the K-30 offers a clear, true-to-life Live View at a smooth 60 frames per second. It also features a focus peaking function during live view to improve manual focusing speed and accuracy. Live View on the K-30 also offers a choice of three grid display patterns including a Golden Section overlay, and detailed information overlay if desired by the photographer.

High quality video recording
The PENTAX K-30 features full HD video recording to capture high quality movie clips in 1080p resolution (1920x1080 pixels). The efficient h.264 compression format offers a choice of frame rates (30, 25 or 24 frames per second) at 1080p, or up to 60 FPS at 720p, to accommodate user specific applications. Video recording options are flexible, allowing the photographer to select aperture or shutter exposure control, while PENTAX Shake Reduction helps stabilize captured video. Users may add creative artistic effects to recorded clips using various Custom Image modes or record subjects in a series of video clips with the Interval Movie Shooting mode.

User friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes
The K-30 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which analyzes a scene then automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from Portrait, Landscape, Macro as well as others. This allows the photographer to concentrate on image composition and other creative elements while leaving more technical settings to the K-30, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. The K-30 also offers 19 creative Scene modes, including Night Scene Portrait, Pet, Backlight Silhouette, and more, to simplify photographing unique subjects and scenes that often require uncommon camera settings.

PENTAX Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism for sharp, blur free images
The PENTAX K-30 incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR mechanism, which effectively reduces blur due to camera shake by approximately four shutter steps. Usable with all PENTAX compatible lenses*, including those produced for film format SLR cameras, this mechanism produces sharp, blur free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in twilight. The K-30's SR system also offers several other useful features to assist the photographer during shooting, including an Automatic Horizon Correction function to assure high precision image framing and effortless adjustment of horizontal alignment, a Composition Adjustment function to allow minute adjustments of image alignment horizontally/vertically/axially, and an ASTROTRACER mode to eliminate light trails during astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit (available separately).
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

A selection of image processing tools for creative, personalized expression
The K-30 features a Custom Image function, which allows the user to easily and quickly select the desired finishing touch for a particular image. Choose from 11 custom settings including Bleach Bypass that creates a dramatic visual effect similar to that used in motion pictures, and Cross Process to produce fanciful, eye-catching images boasting dramatic colors. The K-30 also offers a choice of 19 creative digital filters including Miniature, which transforms an actual scene into what appears to be an image of miniature models. These filters add distinctive visual effects to captured images producing creative, artistic images without the need for a computer. The user can further expand the creative possibilities by applying multiple filters and processing modes to a single image.

Choice of two power sources
In addition to the included lithium ion battery capable of capturing approximately 480 images with a single charge**, the K-30 can also be powered by four AA-size batteries using the optional D-BH109 AA Battery Holder. Since AA batteries can be easily obtained almost anywhere around the world, there’s no worry about battery shortages, even when shooting for an extended period of time or in remote locations.
** Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, using the D-LI109 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery with no flash discharges.

Additional features include:
• Large, wide angle viewable 3-inch LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots of resolution
• 77 segment multi-pattern metering system for accurate light measurement
• DR (Dust Removal) mechanism to shake dust off from the surface of the CMOS image sensor
• PENTAX-designed Hyper control system to assure fast and flexible response to the photographer’s creative intentions
• Dynamic range expansion function to compensate for blown out (overexposed) and muddy (underexposed) areas of an image
• Retrieve and save RAW data from buffer memory for a just-recorded JPEG image
• RAW/Fx multi-function button for on-the-fly switching of image file formats, as well as for assignment and instant recall of other specific functions
• SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX (RAW processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) included

Pricing and Availability
The new PENTAX K-30 will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in July 2012 with a suggested retail price of $849.95 for body only, and $899.95 for the kit including the DA L 18-55mm zoom lens.

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  • Hcab

    : O

  • Surprisingly, I’m tempted, being a huge Pentax hater. If Ricoh will continue the line started with this affordable yet densely packed camera, there’s a hope to see an FF product in foreseeable future.

  • bob2

    Did the camera just get dropped in the toilet?

    • heehaw

      No, that is your brain in the toilet. 😉

  • Jöhan

    YES! I finally has the camera who takes the wife of picture.

    She is the cold and love to be the photo reflection. The frogs of my brain are jumping around!

    Sorry for my bad English.

  • Tobi


    Most impressive.


    Honestly at this price point, just wow.

    • Unvader

      [unvader] I am not your father [/unvader]

  • mimyofoto

    well, i’m a Nikon user, but I have to say this is a welcome addition to the DSLR world. The things users should expect at an entry level just got a little higher.

    I’ve used Pentax before and wish people stopped bashing on it simply for being different.

    If this is their entry level camera, I’m anxious to see what they have coming next.

    I hope they come out with some stellar products because it’ll only help make all camera’s better/more affordable.

  • Discontinued

    AA battery compatible ! ! !

    Wow. Once I had a Ricoh compact that was AA compatible, too. I wish there was more AA compatibility. It sucks to have all kind of batteries and chargers just #other ###king everywhere.

    • Harold Ellis

      every DSLR with grip is AA compatible

      • Anon

        Name some.

        • porkchop

          MB-D11 for the D7000 can

      • Discontinued

        Thanks for trying to be smart, Ellis.

        Not every DSLR is AA compatible and not everyone is keen on adding a grip. And not every camera is a DSLR. I wish my X10 was AA compatible like my Ricoh was and I wish my MB-D11 would melt better with my D7000. The combo never feels like one piece. The grip always stays a little loose. I am not going to buy a grip for my D800E for that reason.

        OK you won. It does not make any sense at all, to design AA compatible cameras. You are not just smart but also rather convincing.

    • Alex

      Like the K-r, it’s AA compatible with a $40/35 euro optional adapter.

      • Apache

        Well, I bought mine for 5$.

  • This camera’s impressive if it’s their entry model–focus peaking. Rated for cold temperatures to -10C? In camera SR, HD video @ 60fps, AA battery support…sounds impressive for the price point.

    The details listed above make it sound like focus peaking works with video…will have to look into that a little more.

    Noise…this is the one area where Nikon really has the lead over everyone…if this camera can produce noise-free images like the D7000 then I think Pentax finally has a winner…now if they placed all of these features in a FF body…look out world!

    • Espen

      jsvfoto, the K-5 already had slightly less noise than the D7000. Comparing with Nikon, I think the D5100 is the right camera to compare to – the K30 is introduced at approximately the same price as the introduction price of the D5100. The D5100 is already looking a bit old now and will probably be replaced quite soon. IQ should be very similar between the K30 and the D5100, but except for the articulated LCD of the D5100, the K30 offers quite a bit more. Maybe even more impressing than the weather sealing, is the fact that the K30 comes with an 100% pentaprism viewfinder!

      • I did see that comparison, but there were too many variables with it to make a proper conclusion out of the results.

        • D7000, D5100, K-5, K30, K-01 — sensors are close cousins and results are very close, especially for processed RAW images. Don’t know why you’d think D7000 is so superior as to say “has the lead over everyone”. I’d say the same is true of the previous generation of cameras with the 12mp sensor (D90, D5000, K-x, K-r)

          Noise handling at high ISO is a trade-off between maintaining detail and smoothing out the outliers. Most of these cameras have settings to adjust this.

          It does seem though that historically Pentax and Nikon have both done a slightly better job tuning their image processing with Sony sensors than Sony does in their own cameras.

          • If you read my comment again I said Nikon has the lead over the competition. To my way of thinking the D7000 is the closest comparison to this camera. The two are separate subjects.

            I never said the D7000 has better ISO than this camera.

            The D4 and D3s are worlds ahead of what Pentax (and the competition) currently has. I think that’s fairly obvious.

            The D7000 is weather sealed, shoots HD video, and is DX–that to me is Nikon’s closest comparison. True it’s not entry-level, but then again I can’t see soccer mom’s taking this camera and using it to take pictures of their kids–then again I may be wrong and they’d appreciate the weather seals when it rains. That’s where the D7000 comparison came in–it just seems a better comparison than the D5100 (which is Nikon’s entry level).

          • I take back my words–it is more comparable to the D5100, despite the weather seal, the SR, the AA batteries etc. In terms of size it’s more in line with the D5100 and like the Nikon camera it lacks a top LCD screen.

            There’s a few images floating around online of a gal holding a white one–covered in sand. You certainly can’t do that with the entry level cameras of the other brands.

            Sure does make me wonder what Pentax has in store for it’s higher end models…

    • Tim

      According to dpreview focus peaking does not work with video which is a bummer. Wonder if it is possible to change that with an upgrade or hack.

      • befocus

        In the k-01 focus peaking works even on video mode, so i think that this will too

    • Steve

      It’s been confirmed to not have focus-peaking with video.

    • Sahaja

      Strange if it doesn’t work with video since focus peaking was originally a feature found on video cameras

  • What’s a Pentax?

    It’s funny to read all of the fan boys go on about Pentax. What do you buy into? Pentax does lead the industry in having the worst AutoFocus, Quality Control, Antiquated Flash System and absolutely no plan for moving up to a Full Frame model.

    There are plenty of reasons why Pentax is bottom of the barrel. Don’t be fooled. The new pricing structure makes Pentax even more expensive to shoot than Nikon, Canon or Sony.

    Pentax is not worth it.

    • Alex

      Trolls in panic, reloaded. Let’s enjoy the show 😉

    • Sorry, Panasonic leads the industry in most crippled/antiquated flash system (and probably trails the others in “Plan for moving up to a Full Frame model” as well).

      Not that I have any expectations that Pentax will actually improve their merely adequate flash system or introduce a 36×24 system anytime soon.

      Pentax also leads the industry in “bringing out the trolls in force” on websites such as this one. Credit where credit is due.

      • bidou

        and panasonic (and olympus) for not implemented focus peaking despite having a nice range of fast prime…

    • afwiz

      Actually, Deardorff has the worst autofocus in the industry.

    • Rob

      So I assume you wont be pre-ordering……

      Worst QC? I guess you didnt own a D5000 that randomly shut down. Or a Canon strobe that blew up. Or a Sony battery that expanded then caught on fire.

      Worst strobes? um…Sony cant even accept standard hot shoe mounts.

      Is FF some kind of holy grail? I happen to like having a camera that is not classified as a weapon by TSA or need an assistant to hold.

  • This camera looks great on paper. Now let’s cut through marketing bs and see some actual images and user reports. I want to see images from frozen tundra to steamy jungles, let’s see if this camera can deliver! C’mon Pentax, talk is cheap! Image is everything! 😉

    • Harold Ellis

      talk is cheap, good marketing expensive.
      hiring some pro to do it for them might not even be enough to be paid off of those poor sales this camera will generate

  • Peter

    “Compact yet durable body” IMO you should write polycarbonate over steel shell.

    Sound better and is more correct.

  • pointshooter

    Idon’t think it should be called coldproof at only -10°C, there are many places around witch are a lot colder than that.
    Besides that probably good enough for most shooters. 🙂

    • preston

      D7000 manual says only meant good til 0 degrees C, so this Pentax is better than the (more expensive) competition in this regard.

      • Harold Ellis

        reality is that both can shoot under -20 without problems.
        as i am sure it have no automotive grade electronics inside, as well batteries, it is just that they are pushing limits beyond what other companies use as safety net.

    • Harold Ellis

      yea. it is probably splash proof as much it is cold proof. and with this kind of marketing, i am sure some kind of class action suit will come from those trying to shoot in the bathroom.

      • befocus

        never owned a pentax right?

        • Harold Ellis

          no, i don’t buy expensive toys.
          i had film pentax for a while but then came F4 and it was clear who is serious and who is just playing catch up

          • Rob

            @Harold Ellis

            You know for someone who doesnt own or intend to own a Pentax, you seem to spend a LOT of time on PR saying nasty things about Pentax.

            Are you THAT bored? Is there THAT little for you to point your not-a-Pentax Camera at?

            If you really think Pentax products are that inferior you should be happy that you are not even tempted by them. And since they are “inferior” by extension anyone using them is going to make images inferior to yours so be happy as you start every shoot with a leg up on the rest of us using Pentax gear.

            In all seriousness, if you need ideas for shoots or contact information for models I can help in the following states: California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Maryland.

          • Harold Ellis

            i am too old to work

            i am just trying to help the unskilled amateurs with their decisions.

            if 10 people start questioning their chose of pentax, samsung or even olympus or leica, my life made sense even more then it did in past half century

            take it as old fart sitting in porch of his garden and talks to random strangers while sipping good wine

          • Rob

            So let me get this right – you think Pentax cameras are worthless toys despite the fact that you dont actually shoot regularly. And you think “unskilled amateurs” should listen to you?

            I have a full time profession that is not photography but I actually SELL my images and work with real live models and book paying assignments. I have been published, featured on websites, etc. And I do that with Pentax gear. I could do it with Nikon, Canon or any other brand, I just happen to use Pentax.

            Maybe some day you will grow up and learn its not the gear but what you mount behind the camera.

          • PhiL

            True, the F4 was the best camera I had ever held. I could only afford it as used and after selling all my gear (a couple of F801Ss and a complete development lab). It used to cost more than a family car back then. At this price, quality is not just an expectation, it’s a DEMAND!
            Nikon still has a very good AF system (their predictive AF was the only one that really “predicted” focusing) and probably the only decent intergrated flash system in the whole industry.

            For my current needs however none of these matter at all. I am perfectly happy with a single AF point (I still deactivate all others) and I only use external flash with manual metering.

            For me and many others the only thing that matters is image quality and it’s hard to beat Pentax for the price. I know some people complain for QC, but personally the only problem I had was with the notoriously troublesome DA*16-50.
            On the other hand of quality, my Nikon D3000 died three months after I bought it because I shot with it during a snowfall with minimal exposure. I bought a D300s and the rubber that covered the grip side of the body detached and was left hanging, after four-five months of rare use. The service fixed it, but they claimed it was because of exposure to heat and sunlight. I have tortured all my Pentaxes beyond limits and they never failed on me. I have washed both my K20D and my K5 in the shower to remove sand and hardened mud and they never ever hinted at having any problem at all. Do that with an $800 Nikon!

            I trust Pentax under Ricoh will become it’s real self again. If he K30 is the first sign of this collaboration, then there are only good things to come, no doubt.

          • Rob


            Oh how I wish Pentax would pay Nikon to license CLS so we could have modern strobe support!

            I have never put my K200 in a shower but after one beach shoot I thought I would never get all the sand off of it. I took it to Afghanistan resigned to the thought it would not last the year but despite epic dust storms, snow, rain and more than one hard hit, it came out just fine. And that was on top of the normal abuse of bouncing off my body armor, being tossed not the back of a HMMWV and generally subjected to harsh conditions. I used to laugh as the Combat Camera guys would scramble to cover their Nikon’s in ran that I didn’t think twice about shooting in.

    • Espen

      My Pentax K10D is specified for 0C to 40C ,but has never failed at temperatures of even quite a bit below -20C, so -10 doesn’t mean it stops working there…

  • Pisano

    Wow! Anti-Pentax trolls are getting really nervous.

    They know that soon they will not be able to vent their childish personal frustrations against Pentax because their future products will be amazing 😀

    • befocus

      sure, envy is bad and what a slaphead can do about that? attack other brands meaningless and be recognized as such.

    • Harold Ellis

      reeeeeeeally nervous…

      you know, it might happen just now…

      with the release of this hideous crop camera

      more then ever since film time

      pentax have chance to go over 3% of market share!

      • Philippos

        I guess going mainstream is your thing then?
        Doing just what everybody else is doing and going with the flow…
        Just like sheep, or even better just like the Lemming you don’t believe you are.
        I guess you also have an iPhone. So you can “be different”, just like everybody else.

        Now go play your Mitsubishi camera. It has to be good. It has a 40% marketshare. Just like Nokia did. And RIM. And the Sony Walkman. And Palm. And AOL. And Yahoo. And PanAm. And Agfa. And Polaroid. And Kodak. And TWA. And WorldCom.
        I mean, 40% man. IT HAS TO BE GOOD! Doesn’t it…???

        …it does, doesn’t it…?


      • Kraken

        You invest your time insulting a brand that you consider so insignificant. It is a very good way of investing your time. Intelligent people do it every day.

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