Help me to decide. K-3 or stick to K-5 ?


BarryE

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 13:38
I've followed many K-3 discussions here and on the web, but to be honest they help me very little, especially when they drift off-topic...

What I would love to hear is from folk out there who are actually using their K-3s in the way I use my K-5. Getting the time to get out when the light etc, is "right", is naturally limited, so I want to try and ensure I give myself the best chances with the equipment I carry. Then it is down to me to mess up, or if I'm lucky, nail-it.

Here goes, in order. ( 1) is main interest, but 2) is growing ):

1) Landscapes: Tripod. 100 ISO. Mirror locked. DA primes. Raw. Crop, if required & post process carefully. Print large. (I like my images to generally be sharp across the frame, except when deliberately soft, eg in mist, framed by trees etc.)

2) Wildlife: Especially birds in flight. High ISO. 300mm. I like these images to be sharp at the point of interest)

I'm thinking that for 1) the K-3 will be better as there will be no noise issues, it will be sharper and I'll be able to crop more. However, how will the images actually compare for IQ ? Colours, contrast ... ?

For 2) The noise of the K-3 will be worse, but the AF will be better. I've no idea what's best here. Again I'm suspecting that the AF improvements will swing it in favour of the K-3.

Any views ?

Many thanks
Last Edited by BarryE on 13/12/2013 - 14:02

johnriley

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 14:58
I did the reviews for EPZ and when I upgrade from my current K-5 I will be buying the K-3, with no doubts at all. The difference in resolution is significant, there's not a trace of moire in any normal use and the noise level is not that much different from the K-5/K-5 II/K-5 IIs. Yes, there is more noise, but the detail is also crisper. I've always said I prefer a sharp noisy/grainy image to a softer noise free one, so there's no contest.

I don't see a problem, apart from finding the cash, and when I can I'll be putting my money where my mouth is, to coin a phrase.
Best regards, John
Last Edited by johnriley on 13/12/2013 - 14:59

ChrisA

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 17:02
johnriley wrote:
I don't see a problem, apart from finding the cash, and when I can I'll be putting my money where my mouth is, to coin a phrase.

Just out of interest, John, how would you compare the size of the difference between the K-3 and the original K-5, with the difference between the K-7 and the K20D?

Is K-5 to K-3 a bigger jump than K20D to K-7, do you think?
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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johnriley

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 17:11
In my view Chris, the jump from *istD to K10D was significant. The jump from K10D to K20D was also significant. After that, I skipped the K-7 as that was only a minor improvement and the jump was straight to the K-5, which was a sea change in various ways, including noise control.

From the K-5 the jumps were small but if buying new or replacing I would have gone straight for the K-5 IIs. The jump to the K-3 is another sea change, again in several ways.

The only difference now is that the K-5 is good enough for most purposes and although the K-3 is much better I am going to have to be patient as buying two is not financially sensible just at this moment. When this changes, I will buy.
Best regards, John

NeilP

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 17:33
This link maybe of interest with the wildlife. The chap whos blog this is was shooting with a K5 IIs and upgraded to K3

http://parrotletsuk.typepad.com/

I've been following Charlie for a while and you can see from his shots he know what he's doing (he's a nice chap to from email correspondence) and he reckons the K3 AF is a "significant improvement" over his K5 IIs
UK Wildlife blog ----- UK Wildlife Facebook page ----- UK wildlife Twitter

ChrisA

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 18:12
johnriley wrote:
In my view Chris, the jump from *istD to K10D was significant. The jump from K10D to K20D was also significant. After that, I skipped the K-7 as that was only a minor improvement and the jump was straight to the K-5, which was a sea change in various ways, including noise control.

From the K-5 the jumps were small but if buying new or replacing I would have gone straight for the K-5 IIs. The jump to the K-3 is another sea change, again in several ways.

That's very helpful, John, thanks. Although we cross swords sometimes, I do certainly respect your comparative view of the Pentax range over the years.

One reason I've been hesitating over the K-3 is that I can't really figure out if, when the K-3 successor comes out, we'll look back and view the K-3 relative to its predecessors as more of a K-7 than a K-5. But if you feel already that it's more than that, that's well worth knowing.

FWIW, I never owned the *istD, but my brother did, so I'm somewhat familiar with it. I came in at the K10D, skipped the K20D and K-7 (the latter as my perception was much as yours is), and now I have the K-5, which I've been pleased with in many ways. But as you probably know, it's frustrated me on numerous occasions photographing aircraft in flight and dancers in low light.

I really want the K-3 to be the advance you say, but I'll have to sell quite a lot of gear to afford it, so I can't afford it to be wishful thinking.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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Smeggypants

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 18:29
johnriley wrote:
In my view Chris, the jump from *istD to K10D was significant. The jump from K10D to K20D was also significant. After that, I skipped the K-7 as that was only a minor improvement and the jump was straight to the K-5, which was a sea change in various ways, including noise control.

From the K-5 the jumps were small but if buying new or replacing I would have gone straight for the K-5 IIs. The jump to the K-3 is another sea change, again in several ways.

The only difference now is that the K-5 is good enough for most purposes and although the K-3 is much better I am going to have to be patient as buying two is not financially sensible just at this moment. When this changes, I will buy.

I remember when the K-5 was hailed my many as the uber king of all DSLRs and all kinds of other superlatives, now it's "good enough" for most purposes.


So if we measure the K20D -> K-5 as a "Sea change", then on basis do you measure the K-5 -> K-5 as the same "Sea Change" ?




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[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
Last Edited by Smeggypants on 13/12/2013 - 18:31

wvbarnes

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 19:24
My K5 continues to be an object of wonder to me.

My son's K3 is just the upgrade he needed to replace his K20D but doesn't make me want to spend a grand to keep up with him equipment wise. I'd go buy a star lens if I had that sort of dosh to spare, which I don't as I'm an amateur.

DrOrloff

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 19:51
I did see a quantum leap from the K20 or K7 to the K5. I'm afraid I haven't yet seen a quantum leap from the K5 to the K3. Is the K3 an improvement on the K5? From what I've seen yes. How much? Not enough yet to justify the difference in cost. You get extra pixels, no doubt. If you can use them then great, if they are just to be cropped away then I don't see that as a good enough reason - just put more effort into using the available pixels. I am happy to be convinced though - but I want to see K3 shots that blow away what I can do with my K5, so far I haven't seen any.

I do believe that this says more about what a great camera the K5 is. Three years and it holds its own, I think it still will in another three years, which is a long time in the digital world.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
Last Edited by DrOrloff on 13/12/2013 - 19:55

johnriley

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 20:00
Sea Change indicates a major step forwards of some kind, something that's more than just an incremental step.

The detail is in all the reviews, but in essence the K20D to K-5 saw a step up in resolution from 14.6MP to 16.2MP, the move from Samsung to Sony sensors, a vast improvement in focusing especially in lower light and an industry-beating efficiency in reducing noise.

The K-3 sees a major step up in resolution to a point that exceeds most full frame sensors and almost equals medium format, a very innovative switchable alternative to the AA filter, another step forwards in low light focusing and speed of focusing, an even bigger higher resolution rear screen and also viewfinder image, the ability to use Flu Cards, twin card sockets......a Sea Change in my book. The noise issue isn't really much of an issue, as new owners are finding. JPEG processing deals with it almost as effectively as in the K-5 series, coupled with a crisper image anyway. With RAW capture it's easily dealt with in post processing. There's very little pain for the gain.

Hope that answers the question.
Best regards, John

ChrisA

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 21:11
DrOrloff wrote:
but I want to see K3 shots that blow away what I can do with my K5, so far I haven't seen any.

I don't think you'll see many, for two reasons.

One, someone would have to be quite good with their K-3 to do better than you can do with your K-5, in the styles you tend to adopt - it still comes down more to the photographer than the gear.

Two, the resolution increase gives subtle, not colossal, additional detail, so most of what we see (on the web at least) will only occasionally be obviously better with more pixels.

If you'll forgive me expressing an opinion based only on others' comments, it seems to me that, resolution aside, the thing the K-3 gives most of all is usability, especially in difficult situations.

This isn't going to make much of a difference to the best achievable image quality when you have time to set the shot up, but it'll potentially make a big difference to the number of good pictures achievable in a wider variety of situations.

So for instance, I'm hoping that the overall results from a day at an airshow, obtained from a K-3, would blow away the same with a K-5.

That would justify it, for me.

As an aside, the sensor-shift AA filter is a clever consequence of having a sensor you can move around, but its real-world benefits are being grossly over-played in the reviews, IMO. I don't think that counts as a sea change at all. If the difficulty John experienced getting moiré at all in order to review its removal (don't worry, I'm not going back to what I think that time should have been spent doing ), is anything to go by, it's going to affect a tiny minority of shots at the very most - and let's face it, we throw away images for all kinds of reasons already.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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JAK

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 21:22
One subtle aspect of the K-3 over most other DSLR's is the fact that it has two SD slots. It is possible to have RAW files go onto one card and jpegs onto the other. Should a card go bad there is always a backup of the image on the other card.
John K

Defragged

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 21:30
Another useful aspect, for some of us at least is it's focus peaking ability.

PS Thanks NeilP for the link to this very interesting site.

NeilP wrote:
This link maybe of interest with the wildlife. The chap whos blog this is was shooting with a K5 IIs and upgraded to K3

http://parrotletsuk.typepad.com/

I've been following Charlie for a while and you can see from his shots he know what he's doing (he's a nice chap to from email correspondence) and he reckons the K3 AF is a "significant improvement" over his K5 IIs


C.O.L.B.A.S victim
(Compulsive Obsessive Lens Buying Addiction Syndrome)

What you need are lenses, more lenses, bigger lenses, better lenses, faster lenses, and when you have these, your pictures will be perfect!
Last Edited by Defragged on 13/12/2013 - 21:39

ChrisA

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 21:59
JAK wrote:
One subtle aspect of the K-3 over most other DSLR's is the fact that it has two SD slots.

Yes, but it's a gentle ripple, rather than a sea change, n'est-ce pas?

As is focus-peaking. Nice to have, but £3-400 worth? I doubt it, somehow.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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Last Edited by ChrisA on 13/12/2013 - 22:00

Smeggypants

Link Posted 13/12/2013 - 22:03
DrOrloff wrote:
but I want to see K3 shots that blow away what I can do with my K5, so far I haven't seen any.

johnriley wrote:
Sea Change indicates a major step forwards of some kind, something that's more than just an incremental step.

The detail is in all the reviews, but in essence the K20D to K-5 saw a step up in resolution from 14.6MP to 16.2MP, the move from Samsung to Sony sensors, a vast improvement in focusing especially in lower light and an industry-beating efficiency in reducing noise.

The K-3 sees a major step up in resolution to a point that exceeds most full frame sensors and almost equals medium format, a very innovative switchable alternative to the AA filter, another step forwards in low light focusing and speed of focusing, an even bigger higher resolution rear screen and also viewfinder image, the ability to use Flu Cards, twin card sockets......a Sea Change in my book. The noise issue isn't really much of an issue, as new owners are finding. JPEG processing deals with it almost as effectively as in the K-5 series, coupled with a crisper image anyway. With RAW capture it's easily dealt with in post processing. There's very little pain for the gain.

Hope that answers the question.

I appreciate you taking the time to reply John, but it doesn't answer the question to be honest.

the Doc has summed it up succinctly:

DrOrloff wrote:
but I want to see K3 shots that blow away what I can do with my K5, so far I haven't seen any.

That's how I feel. When the K-5 was released the shots blew me away compared to what I could achieve with my K-20D. The only shots I've seen that have excited me over and above what can be achieved with the K-5 have been taken with modern FF cameras like the D800 and the A7(R).

From what I've seen so far the K-3 is an incremental upgrade to the K-5 series. Albiet a bigger increment from the K-5II than the K-5II was over the K-5 original, but an increment none the less.

There's nothing wrong with incremental changes btw. Many K-5 owners upgraded to the K-5II/IIs

I'm changing my mind about FF, it seems APS-C has hit some kind of plateaux, while the IQ of modern FF Cams seems to be improving.

John you say you're going to get a couple of K-3's when funds allow? Personally I think you should wait and see what the Pentax FF looks like first



And before anyone thinks I'm holding bias becuase of the K-3's disappointing High ISO Noise performance, that's nothing to do with this post.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
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