Pentax K30 Rugged DSLR - Gear Review

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Until recently, the thought of taking your expensive DSLR camera into the woods would make any photog sweat.  Dirt, dust, water, cold, heat, heck just about everything out there was a recipe for disaster.  The idea of bringing a fancy camera along on a back-country paddling trip was simply just not practical.  Sure, you could store it in a waterproof case, inside a dry bag, inside a pack, but one wrong move and it's hundreds of dollars down the drain.


Enter the new Pentax K30 rugged DSLR.  Now, I am not even going to pretend to be a master photographer.  I took about 500 pictures with this thing, and the vast majority of them are proof of that.  What I was blown away by was the clarity and crispness of every shot.  Colors are more vibrant, and moving objects are frozen in time.  Compared to our usual photo tools, an iPhone in a waterproof case and a point-n-shoot, the difference is shocking.

A calm afternoon at camp
Take amazing pictures with all settings on "Auto" for those of us that are not all that photo savvy, and you get pics like those here.  Start tinkering in the incredibly user friendly settings menus and you can really make this camera dance.  Image stabilization, with an in-body Shake Reduction. Take pictures in the dark with ISO capabilities up to 25,600.  Speed shooting, burst shooting, and HRD all allow you to capture amazing picture and are just the tip of the iceberg of what this camera can do.


Crystal clear waters of the BWCA
Beyond stills, the K30 can capture Full HD video at 30 frames per second. Rival just about any HD video camera on the market, and but take advantage of settings and adjustments that you can only find on top-flight SLR's.  Even a novice like myself can capture video that will impress.

Heading back to camp after a morning fishing trip
You may be saying to yourself, "my camera can do all that"...  Well, that may be true, but what makes this camera special is that it does all that and more in any weather conditions you can throw at it.  With 81 rubber seals and designed specifically to be dust-proof and water resistant, Pentax made this camera an outdoors enthusiast's #1 choice.  It isn't "waterproof" so you can't take it scuba diving, but we had this camera out in the canoe, getting splashed and rained on for 5 days straight.  If I had done to a regular DSLR what we did to this camera, we'd of had a $1000 paperweight when we got home.  Want to capture the widest range of picks, opt for the Double Zoom kit with a 18-55 lens and another 55-300.

Since it's launch, Pentax has delivered 2 model upgrades, the K-50 and the K-3, both of which carry bigger sensors and price-tags.

MSRP: $750 with 18-55 lens

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