Pentax K-30 Review
Pentax K-30 Raw Comparison
We used to convert raw files used for comparison crops with dcraw (an excellent freeware raw converter), as we could count on dcraw not to apply any noise reduction, sharpening or other corrections. Unfortunately, dcraw's author has not been providing timely updates lately, so we have switched to using Adobe Camera Raw with its noise reduction and sharpening options set to zero. We've found conversions made with recent versions of ACR to be almost identical to dcraw when dcraw's demosaicing option is set to match ACR's method, so we're pretty sure ACR isn't applying any noise reduction "under the hood" like it used to.
See crops below to compare the Pentax K-30 raw image quality to its big brother the K-5, as well as a few recent enthusiast models.
As you can see from these unsharpened raw crops, the Pentax K-30 performs very well in terms of noise compared to this group, about as well as the K-5, and better than the remaining three, especially at higher ISOs. You can however see it's applying noise reduction at ISOs above 1,600, as does the K-5, which is something we'd rather not see in raw files. Even at lower ISOs, though, the Pentax K-30 produces files that are cleaner looking than the Canon, Nikon and Olympus. Note that the Pentax K-5 offers ISOs down to 80, and up to 51,200.
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.