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★★★★☆

“The Pentax ZX-30 is an excellent and affordable...”

Written on: 09/07/2001 by Gunshot Lead. (1 review written)

Good Points
Inexpensive entry level SLR.
Multiple Exposure Programs (Sports, Portrait, etc).
Capable of Point-and-Shoot operation in Green mode.
Diopter adjustment for corrective glass/contact wearers.
Supported by family of Pentax lenses for expansion.

Bad Points
CR-2 batteries are expensive!
No depth-of-field preview button.
Lens mount is made of plastic.
Built-in flash tends to pop-up too often in auto mode.

General Comments
The Pentax ZX-30 is an excellent and affordable entry-level 35mm SLR camera. It has sufficient automation features, including multiple Autoexposure modes (Sports, Portrait, etc) as well Aperture Priorty, Shutter priority, Program and Metered Manual. It's automatic "Green" mode allows it to be used as a Point-and-Shoot camera as well. The Metered Manual mode gives a certain growth potential to budding photographers who wish to explore more creative techniques. The modular body design is compatible with a wide range of Pentax and third party lenses, flashes and accessories. The drawbacks of the ZX-30 are few, but may be critical for later growth - especially the lack of a Depth-of-Field (DOF) preview button and a fairly dim viewfinder. The plastic lens mount may unnerve traditionalists used to a mostly metal body. To be fair, the mount has had a good reputation to date. The CR-2 batteries are quickly drained after 20 or so rolls, so the optional Battery Grip that employs 4 AA cells is highly recommended. The built-in flash has a relatively low Guide number, and has a tendency to pop-up too often, despite six-segment metering. Switching the mode dial to flash-cutoff solves this problem. Other comparable SLRs in this category include the Canon Rebel 2000 and the Nikon N65.