The shutter itself is an electronically controlled unit that is capable of up to 1/6000 of a second and a minimum of 30 second – there is also the bulb mode when longer times are required. White balance has a number of presets including Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Warm Florescent, Cool Florescent, Tungsten, and more.
The movie capabilities are similar to the Pentax Q in that it records videos with the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression. It is able to capture full HD video 1920 x 1080 at a rate of 30 frames per second with the option to also capture at 25 (the rate of the K-5) as well as 24 fps. Two other resolutions are also available - 1280 x720 (60,50,30,25,24 fps), and 640 x 480 (30,25,24 fps).
You also have the ability to capture in program mode, aperture priority, or manual mode. You can create time-lapse movies where you can set the interval – 3, 5, 10, 30, 60 (1 min), 300 (5 min), 600 (10 min), 1800 (30 min), 3600 (1hr) seconds per frame and a recording time from 12 seconds to 99 hours. You can record audio from the built in microphone.
So what did I think of the Pentax K-30? Overall, I really liked it. I worked with it in the heat where the outside temperatures hit 112°F and had absolutely no problems, I worked with it in hot dusty conditions at a horse show, and I worked with it during torrential downpours. The camera just kept shooting along. One thing that I must say is care still must be used when changing lenses as that does open up the camera and expose the interior as well as the sensor.
The lens that came with the Pentax K-30 is the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 and it produces images that are sharp, crisp, and clear. The ISO levels using JPEG are really great all the way up to ISO 3200 with very little noise that is noticeable. At ISO 6400 you can begin to notice some noise and loss of detail. If you shoot RAW, this doesn’t happen until ISO 12800 which means that you can get really great images even in really low light.
The video and recording capabilities are really good as well. I shot video footage at a cross-country horse riding clinic during light, but steady rain and the video capture came out pretty good but there is a bit of saturation in the colors. It really needs to be on a tripod with a floating head otherwise you will see a rolling shutter effect. Trying to use autofocus – really the AF/AE-L button to refocus, makes things stutter too much and the noise comes through on the video.