K30 really 'entry level'?


J2R

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 16:37
I'm considering my options for possibly replacing my Samsung GX-10, and have been catching up on the more recent Pentax models. I see that the K30 is often referred to on various sites as 'entry level', or as a beginner's DSLR. Looking at the specs and reviews, though, it seems to me to have at least the same level of control possible for a more experienced photographer as my GX-10 (K10D) does, possibly more. Have I misunderstood something about it? Or is it only entry level by virtue of the fact that there's the K5 above it in the Pentax range? I'm all in favour of something which is easy to get started with, as long as it doesn't hold me back.

johnriley

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 16:41
I think it depends what we mean by entry level. At the time lowest cost entry into the Pentax range, but much more advanced than a beginner's DSLR.

It's one of those odd tags that get bandied about that has never really been defined.
Best regards, John

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 16:57
J2R wrote:
I'm all in favour of something which is easy to get started with, as long as it doesn't hold me back.

The K30 was made for you then. It's a brilliant camera. The specs put it somewhere between Nikon's midrange model (D5200) and enthusiast model (D7100) IMO so don't let the entry level tag put you off.
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Mike-P

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 17:08
These days I think the term entry level is aimed at the lower priced end of the market as usually the cheaper the body the less features the camera has. Obviously things have moved on a lot since the K10D so the less expensive bodies have caught up (and passed) cameras from 5 years ago and the "enthusiasts" bodies should be quite a way ahead,
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McGregNi

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 17:32
I've often seen a distinction in camera ranges between those models offering specific 'scene' modes on the top dial or not ; eg: modes such as landscape, portrait, night scene and macro,if included on the main mode dial, would indicate a camera aimed at new users of dslrs.

A mode dial that did not have any of these subject-specific modes (such as the k7 / k5 series) would not be targeted at that same group of users. With technology advancing now so quickly and the incorporation of very high spec features into more and more bodies, this particular definition of mine seems a goof reliable guide don't you think?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

johnriley

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 18:04
It has a certain logic to it Nigel. However, if we look into the K-5 etc menus then we find the various digital filters and picture styles there, including Landscape and Portrait.

I take your point though.
Best regards, John

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 18:07
By that definition, is the K30 'entry level'? Compare to the K-x...







McGregNi wrote:
With technology advancing now so quickly and the incorporation of very high spec features into more and more bodies

It does seem to be only Pentax who incorporate traditional enthusiast 'hardware' features into their cheaper cameras though (twin dials, on body controls, WR, big bright viewfinder etc)... The only thing which *for me* I feel is slightly lacking compared to my K7/K10 is the top LCD, but I got over that one pretty fast. Some of the buttons are dual operation, which means (for example) you can't use the AF button to focus and AE lock at the same time, but... meh.
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McGregNi

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 18:59
John, there is a key difference between those modes I was referring to and the custom image settings you mentioned - namely that the mode dial scenes will directly alter the program aperture and shutter speeds. The custom image modes will not. Despite the similar terms they are completely different things
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

ambient housewife

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 19:49
There is probably very little difference (or none) in the images from a K5 and the K30, they seem to use the same sensor with minor tweaks. For Pentax, 'entry level' seems to mean that you do not get a wired remote socket or two dials and the top lcd panel. There are other bits too, so work out what features you find the most crucial. I had not realised the K30 has user modes, the user modes, ability to turn of dark frame noise reduction, focus adjust and the wired remote were main reasons I moved from the Kx to the K5, but the K30 will be pretty capable, as was the Kx. Lots of things in the Pentax 'entry' that are tricky to find else where, I wouold suggest review what you like to use and then find out if the entry level covers it. In all likelihood, it will.

McGregNi

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 21:07
The theme that's developing here would suggest that the traditional specifications cannot now be relied on in defining the user category for any given model in a range.

I mean, as has been said above, there is becoming less iq differences between the 'top and bottom' in the range, as far ads the sensor output goes. There are more clearer distinctions amongst my pet subject- usability and control items.

But I still think the best guide to the target end user would be 'photographic aid' type features, like the mode dial scene modes. I read here recently that the k500 has no focus point indicators in the viewfinder. Now to me that is unacceptable, but to another person, someone who has no understanding of focus or choosing where to ffocus then that feature may be completely wasted.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

richandfleur

Link Posted 26/09/2013 - 21:56
I have a K-30 and I think it's excellent.

To answer the original question, No, I don't consider it entry level. As has been mentioned above, it may be close to the entry level of Pentax DSLR's but it compares very favourably against other brands at points well above their entry level offerings.

It is packed with many features you don't necessarily consider up front but when you find yourself in certain situations it's nice to find them. The interval shooting control for instance, and electronic levels, full manual control of video and focus peaking etc.

Not to mention the obvious weather sealing, 100% view finder, high framerate shooting etc which are definitely not entry level specification levels. All that without even getting to the image quality when compared to other brands entry level and above products!

jules

Link Posted 27/09/2013 - 09:09
Pentaxophile wrote:
By that definition, is the K30 'entry level'? Compare to the K-x...







McGregNi wrote:
With technology advancing now so quickly and the incorporation of very high spec features into more and more bodies

It does seem to be only Pentax who incorporate traditional enthusiast 'hardware' features into their cheaper cameras though (twin dials, on body controls, WR, big bright viewfinder etc)... The only thing which *for me* I feel is slightly lacking compared to my K7/K10 is the top LCD, but I got over that one pretty fast. Some of the buttons are dual operation, which means (for example) you can't use the AF button to focus and AE lock at the same time, but... meh.

That does it for me, look at that mode dial! K30 is not entry level it's advanced user interface but in a cheaper body and (Barely) less specified than the K5, just as capable and a teeny bit sharper straight out of the camera due to it's lighter AA filter. Each manufacturers idea of this corollarial and theorematic reasoning, is different, and all to a price, depending on what they prioritise where, a little form Column A and a little form Column B.
Rear LCD's are a good indication, if you look at the Nikon range it's much clearer there who each Camera model is aimed at but they make a big play of instructional features in the display modes there, which after a time are a little condescending to be honest but you can switch some of it off! If you see big green instructional text and smiley faces on a Pentax mode dial it's entry level Green smiley face is for Idiot Mode...
Cheers Jules...
tri-elmar-fudd

Back in the room!
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”...Ansel Adams
www.exaggeratedperspectives.com
Last Edited by jules on 27/09/2013 - 09:11

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 27/09/2013 - 10:19
The problem Pentax now have is that their 'base models' are so nice, their flagship APSC cam had better be pretty blinkin spectacular to compete on price v performance! IMO
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

McGregNi

Link Posted 27/09/2013 - 10:44
Pentaxophile wrote:
By that definition, is the K30 'entry level'? Compare to the K-x....

As Jules said just above, No! So the definition theory is holding up The User modes (which the K30 does have) are quite an advanced feature I feel, because they presuppose the knowledge exists of why you would need different settings for different subject types of shooting conditions, plus you need to have the skills to activate and fine tune those settings before they are stored.

The 'scene' modes as you showed on the K-x are comletely automated - they will take the 'program' defaults and bias them towards certain objectives - (eg : greater DOF for landscape, wide aperture for portrait, fast shutter for sports etc). So the user can get the effect without any knowledge of the technical process underlying it. That is what makes those cameras 'entry level' - who they are targeted at.

The problem IMO with these scene modes is that, (when combined with a kit lens as they often would be) their effect is not extreme enough, or their chosen settings are not as extreme as a knowledgable photographer might set manually, to provide a big enough effect, or distinction between the different modes. This can limit the learning impact on the beginning photographer, so their use as a tool at the 'entry level' is limited I feel. A photography book with illustrations of example Av / Tv / ISO settings to try out would be more valuable surely?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

timd

Link Posted 27/09/2013 - 12:10
I would suggest that a "pro" camera would have quick access (dedicated buttons)to many of the features that were embedded in the menu of the "entry level" camera. Also the "pro" camera would likely have faster burst rate and a bigger buffer. Having said that, the gap between "pro" and "entry" is getting smaller....
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