A cornucopia of color: Pentax K-30 gets added visual appeal


posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 10:03 PM EDT

It's a bit  of a strange paradox: photographers are, by nature, visual people -- and yet for the most part our cameras are decidedly dull, unattractive boxes in either black or silver. A few years ago, Japanese camera brand Pentax decided to do something different, launching its consumer-friendly K-x digital SLR in a selection of colors for a neat, personal touch. Some made light of the decision, and Pentax itself was initially somewhat hesitant, announcing these colorful variants only as limited special-editions in the US market, but consumers apparently took to the idea in droves. It wasn't long before Pentax added a wide range of additional colors, and its competitors began to experiment with colorful SLR bodies as well.

The Pentax brand -- now a part of consumer electronics giant Ricoh -- is still most closely-associated with the idea, though, and particularly in its home market, offers a vast selection of customizable body and grip color choices on many of its cameras. Not all of them have made it stateside, but an announcement from the company's US division reveals that another model is soon to be available here in a profuse selection of colors and finishes.

The Pentax K-30 in its new Silky Green trim.

At launch, the Pentax K-30 shipped in the US in just three color choices: black, white, or blue. In the Japanese market, six other colors -- red, bordeaux, orange, yellow, green, and silver -- have long been available, and for each color there's a choice of glossy or matte finish. (Crystal or Silky, in Pentax parlance. The colors hitherto available here were Crystal for blue and white, and Silky for black.)

Now, all nine colors will be available in the USA in both colors, providing a selection of 18 different styles to match your personal tastes. You can see all of them below, with Crystal variants on the left, and Silky on the right. (We're partial to the Crystal Red and Silky Green -- share your favorites in the comments below.)

The Pentax K-30 is now available in nine colors, each with either crystal (left) or silky (right) finish. From top to bottom, the color choices are red, bordeaux, orange, yellow, green, blue, black, silver, or white. The original three colors are crystal blue, silky black, and crystal white.

Each of the new colors is available only in a kit with DA-L 18-55mm lens, and cannot be purchased body-only. The customized K-30 kits can be preordered immediately on Pentax's official web store. Pricing for the new colors is set at US$800 or thereabouts, some US$50 more than kit pricing for the standard three colors, and US$100 above body-only pricing.

The Crystal Red version has a glossy finish, unlike its matte Silky counterpart.