Pentax K-30 Review

 
Camera Reviews / Pentax Cameras / Pentax SLR i 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.

Pentax K-30 Raw Comparison with
Pentax K-5, Canon T4i, Nikon D7000 and Olympus E-M5
Raw files converted with ACR, no NR, no sharpening
Daylight-balanced illumination
Pentax K-30
ISO 100
Pentax K-5
ISO 100
Canon T4i
ISO 100
Nikon D7000
ISO 100
Olympus E-M5

N/A,
ISO 100 not
supported.
Pentax K-30
ISO 200
Pentax K-5
ISO 200
Canon T4i
ISO 200
Nikon D7000
ISO 200
Olympus E-M5
ISO 200
Pentax K-30
ISO 400
Pentax K-5
ISO 400
Canon T4i
ISO 400
Nikon D7000
ISO 400
Olympus E-M5
ISO 400
Pentax K-30
ISO 800
Pentax K-5
ISO 800
Canon T4i
ISO 800
Nikon D7000
ISO 800
Olympus E-M5
ISO 800
Pentax K-30
ISO 1,600
Pentax K-5
ISO 1,600
Canon T4i
ISO 1,600
Nikon D7000
ISO 1,600
Olympus E-M5
ISO 1,600
Pentax K-30
ISO 3,200
Pentax K-5
ISO 3,200
Canon T4i
ISO 3,200
Nikon D7000
ISO 3,200
Olympus E-M5
ISO 3,200
Pentax K-30
ISO 6,400
Pentax K-5
ISO 6,400
Canon T4i
ISO 6,400
Nikon D7000
ISO 6,400
Olympus E-M5
ISO 6,400
Pentax K-30
ISO 12,800
Pentax K-5
ISO 12,800
Canon T4i
ISO 12,800
Nikon D7000
ISO 12,800
Olympus E-M5
ISO 12,800
Pentax K-30
ISO 25,600
Pentax K-5
ISO 25,600
Canon T4i
ISO 25,600
Nikon D7000
ISO 25,600
Olympus E-M5
ISO 25,600

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.

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