K3 handling


Jimbro66

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 17:09
Now that there are quite a few forum members using the K3 I wonder what their thoughts are on the handling?

Having come to the K3 via K5 and K5 IIs I have to reluctantly say that I don't find the K3 particularly comfortable to use. Specifically, I find the cut-out in the grip places my middle finger about 4mm too high, resulting in the front e-dial feeling too low for the index finger and my thumb riding too high on the rear pad (quite remote from the 4-way controller). Also, holding down the AF mode button while turning the front e-dial feels quite awkward to me. These issues are rather more pronounced with heavier lenses than with the lightweight LTDs so perhaps the D-BG5 will help when it arrives?

I appreciate that this is very much subjective due to different hand sizes, etc, but what are the feelings of other owners so far?

I have to say that in most other respects this is so far proving to be quite an amazing camera.

Jim

jules

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 17:35
I like it, feels even better to me than the K5, I have small girly hands though!
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

matwhittington

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 18:24
I have been using one for a couple of days now, and for the most part I think it presents very similarly to the K7/K5 as you might expect. I think the increased number of functions where you hold down a button and turn an e-dial is probably a reasonable approach to the number of things they have shoe-horned into the camera and coupled with the main screen it's reasonably intuitive.

The shutter sounds absolutely brill and I got a bit of a shock the first time I autoficussed a screw drive lens as it seemed to me rather noisier than the K5 - I think there is a beefed up motor so that might explain it. The screen on the back coupled with the high res sensor seems to make the images positively sing on the back of the camera - not bad on the big screen either once downloaded

I think the resolution/noise concerns are valid. I think in the case of the K3, which I have shot almost exclusively at ISO 3200 since i have had it (!) the noise can reasonably be said to approximate more closely to film grain - it's a bit like shooting Tri-X 400 film rather than Pan F if that makes sense. Contrast with old style pink/green blobby noise like I used to get and it's a whole different ball game IMO. There are a few images on my flickr if anyone wants to check them out. So far I have only been able to process my RAW files on my ageing version of PSE. Normally I use DXO Optics pro and I would love to see how its noise reduction operates on the files - as yet it has not been updated to accommodate the K3 though.

My only real bugbear (and I suspected it would be as much when I saw the first pictures of the back of the camera) is that the AF button has been moved. I use that to auto focus exclusively as I don't really like the function on the shutter button very much, and I also wear glasses and always use my left eye in the viewfinder… that might make me a rare case, but the position of the AF button on the K7/K5 meant that my thumb just sat alongside the bottom of my nose and didn't foul on the right lens of my glasses. Now, my thumb is right across the right lens of my glasses and leaving greasy smears all over it, am sure I'll get used to it but I am using the bottom of my t-shirt a lot more to wipe my glasses!

All in all though, I think it is a good package. I have also been using a full frame compact recently, similarly with a 24MP sensor and I think the images from the K3 compare pretty well - the images from the FF are spectacularly good from a noise perspective - it simply isn't an issue, although some of that might be due to PP. Will see in due course.

Overall I think it represents a good evolution from the base K5 and I am delighted with it, although I never had a K5ii/s so can't comment on how much it is a step up from those.

Cheers
Mat W

My Flickr: link

Fletcher8

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 19:20
Initially the relocation of the AF button did annoy me, however after three days of continuous use, I have now concluded it is in fact in a better place now than it was before.

Really liking the extra focus points for more control of selective focusing and the AF just seems better than the K5lls. I think the reshaped grip also works well and make handling even better than the original K7 K5 shaped body.

Personally I have not really noticed the improved view finder, but really liking the screen on the back of the body.

I have just purchased an HD 70mm LTD and this paired with the K3 is stunning, the HD coating certainly improves the contrast and that new sensor in the K3 takes and makes full advantage.

Pentax Ricoh really have a great camera with the K3, I am now in two minds as to if I should sell my K5lls and buy another K3?
Fletcher8.

McGregNi

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 19:46
matwhittington wrote:
.... I think the increased number of functions where you hold down a button and turn an e-dial is probably a reasonable approach to the number of things they have shoe-horned into the camera and coupled with the main screen it's reasonably intuitive....

Its a big change from the setup thats been in place since the K7 in May 2009 - inevitable that many things will need 're-programming' for users of the K7 / K5 series moving on.

The extra AF complexity and range of options presents new challenges I'd think - both in the practical physical operation in changing shooting situations, and new decisions concerning extra continuous modes and the number of points to have active in an 'array' - all taking time and thought prior to shooting.

The aa filter simulator is a whole new thing too - until recently we had no choice at all. Then with the K5II / s models we had one choice - and it had to be made when buying the camera. Now with the K3 we have a new choice - and we need to make it every time the camera is turned on!

Early adopters - could you tell us how the aa filter simulator is controlled, and is it easy and quick to access?
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
Last Edited by McGregNi on 12/11/2013 - 19:48

johnriley

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 19:56
As far as I'm concerned Nigel, the choices are just set up once and then that's it unless something unusual comes along. I think you tend to see the settings as something to apply to a shot, whereas I see them as ways to set up the camera to an individual's taste.

So, AF centre point focus, AA simulator off (in the menus two clicks to the right and two clicks up), centre weighted metering, all just the same as the K-5 models. The exciting bit will be in seeing the images.
Best regards, John

davidstorm

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 19:58
I've only used the K-3 once for about an hour, but I have to say that already I am liking the handling. It is very much like using the K-5, like a familiar old friend, but improved in some subtle ways. I don't have strong views on the re-positioning of the AF button, but there are many things I like better:

- Rear screen is at least as good as the K-5ii and is bigger too (3.2 vs 3 inch); much better than the K-5 Mk1

- I love the way you can adjust the AF whilst looking through the viewfinder by simply pressing a button and using the scrollwheel

- AF / MF selector is better

- Locking Mode Dial is improved

- Viewfinder dioptre is now a wheel not a slider and is easier to use

- Grip is a bit deeper and very comfortable

- Performance wise it is fast - I now find it feasible to leave the Distortion and CA correction switched on; I always had this 'off' with the K-5 as it slowed the camera to a crawl

It is every bit as sturdy as a K-5 which is to say it is built like a tank in comparison to something like a Nikon D7100.

The AF is definitely faster and seems unerringly accurate, but I've had no time yet to test tracking. In some ways, the AF options add complexity and it will take some time to learn how to use them effectively, so for me it is a bit of a double edged sword. Accuracy is the most important AF feature for me.

Regards
David
My Website http://imagesbydavidstorm.foliopic.com

Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

McGregNi

Link Posted 12/11/2013 - 20:11
johnriley wrote:
... The exciting bit will be in seeing the images.

No !! Never !! I won't hear of it ! Not the images, the exciting bit is all the settings & things to fiddle with

Actually, yes John, we do see these things differently. I see most features & controls as ways of optimising the camera specifically for each unique style or genre, or the conditions at the time. They are things to be reconsidered every time the camera is taken out.

So I'm always interested in the ease of use, access and intuitivness of such things, and so I see a camera's 'quality' in these terms to an extent.
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
Last Edited by McGregNi on 12/11/2013 - 20:13

Jimbro66

Link Posted 13/11/2013 - 11:34
A lot of interesting comments there. Particularly that most find the ergonomics and handling of the K3 an improvement on the K7/K5, the only small issue being placement of the AF button. It must be my 'Kenny Everett' hands that make the K3 a little uncomfortable for me Hopefully the new D-BG5 grip will help me with the heavier lenses.

McGregNi wrote:
Early adopters - could you tell us how the aa filter simulator is controlled, and is it easy and quick to access?

The AA simulator can be accessed in the menu system as mentioned by John Riley but it is perhaps just a little easier to get to it by going to Control Panel via the Info button and selecting the bottom-right icon. That then gives the choice of OFF, Type 1 and Type 2 simulation. It's probably easy enough access for most users.

As regards AF performance, in the Chris Niccolls YouTube review he found the lens to be hunting when quickly focussed on near and far objects. I carried out a similar test on a very dull day using the Pentax 17-70 and 50-135 lenses and experienced no hunting at all. It locked on to near and far targets instantly. The only hunting I have experienced so far is when trying to focus indoors on objects with very little contrast in very poor light. Otherwise focussing on static objects is superb. I've not yet had an opportunity to test continuous focus in any meaningful way.

Jim

Sean282

Link Posted 18/11/2013 - 22:00
Bit the bullet on Friday and phoned SRS. Delivered today.

First impressions are all good. Having jumped from the K5mk1, I'm going to notice alot of improvements. I'm sure the mk2 guys less so. But I felt the extra few pounds was worth the functionality/performance improvements.

McGregNi

Link Posted 18/11/2013 - 22:21
Even putting aside megapixels and IQ aspects, there's plenty new on board the K3 to fully justify the extra cost over the K5II or 's' models. It opens up real new control & feature choices at the top end - something missing for a while with Pentax I think. As such it gives us a lot more to consider before getting out the wallet, although I don't think many who have already bought a K3 will be expressing any regrets

It will come down much more to individuals practical shooting needs, rather than just whether you demand the best IQ output available, or the old 'aa filter or not' question. So all the things like the advanced autofocus, improved video, higher burst rate, dual SD card slots, focus peaking ... plus quite a few more I'm sure ... all come into the equation.

Of course, it all has to be paid for, and for some many of the new features may not be taken advantage of, and will be seen as unnecessary or 'OTT for me'. But many more will be attracted to the possibilities, not least because it puts them straight at the top of the pile
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

Smeggypants

Link Posted 18/11/2013 - 22:45
McGregNi wrote:
johnriley wrote:
... The exciting bit will be in seeing the images.

No !! Never !! I won't hear of it ! Not the images, the exciting bit is all the settings & things to fiddle with

Actually, yes John, we do see these things differently. I see most features & controls as ways of optimising the camera specifically for each unique style or genre, or the conditions at the time. They are things to be reconsidered every time the camera is taken out.

Well if you get a K-3 you'll have to take out a tablet with a copy of powerpoint and a multipath flowchart on it for your checklist.


[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

pentaxian450

Link Posted 19/11/2013 - 00:17
I do have a gripe, and it's not with the camera, but the instruction book. It just goes too fast over the AF and the metering. It doesn't give much explanation of the new multisegment metering and all the intricacies of the new AF.

And, to make matter worse, the French instruction manual isn't included here in Québec. I know, I know, my grasp of the English language is outstanding, but sometime, French can save the day.

For a French instruction book, we have to order it from Pentax Canadian headquarter. That really sucks.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)

McGregNi

Link Posted 19/11/2013 - 07:59
Probably whoever got the job of covering the autofocus options couldn't work it all out themselves! or maybe figured no one would be using much of it so didn't bother. But seriously though, in my view for this sort of multi-option system its best considered in a real use context with example scenarios, and that's more the domain of a guidebook.

In a manual it can difficult to provide the context within the style constraints of the format. Perhaps users will have to come up with the practical ideas for specific set-up .... Hey, then just create a checklist for others to use
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
Last Edited by McGregNi on 19/11/2013 - 08:00

johnriley

Link Posted 19/11/2013 - 08:53
I think operating manuals tell us how to do things, but not why we would want to do them.

That latter part is the learning curve of photography.

There used to be very useful books that went way beyond the basic manuals, such as the long series "The Asahi Pentax Way", but there are so many models these days and such short production life that I suppose it can't be kept up.

The original Spotmatic lasted from 1964 to 1971 until it became the Spotmatic II.....
Best regards, John
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