Pentax K3 II or Olympus OM-D EM-5 II?


madmazda86

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 14:48
Help me with my dilemma, please, Pentaxians! My Pentax k-m has developed a dodgy jog-wheel after nearly 6 years of use/abuse. I have taken many lovely photos with it but as the repair cost for the jog wheel is 80+ if it is actually the jogwheel and 300+ if it's not, and dSLR tech/my photography skills/my financial situation have improved a lot in 6 years, I have decided to shell out for an upgrade. But I have some serious analysis paralysis between the recently announced K3 II and the Olympus OM-D EM-5 II. Perhaps you might be able to help me out with deciding between the two? I know the two systems are hardly that comparable due to the Oly being mirrorless, but maybe some discussion on it might help me decide.

About my photography:
Mostly outdoors, I do a mix of wildlife, landscape, architecture, city and weird macro stuff. My photos if you need more of an idea
All done using old glass, I don't own a single DA lens other than my kit. I do very little post-processing beyond levels and contrast. These are my two main lenses:
http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-M-40-80mm-F2.8-4-Zoom-Lens.ht... http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/tokina-mf-28mm-f2-8.html

I have a couple of other ones that I don't use that often:
http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/kmz-helios-44-2-58mm-f-2.html
Sunagor 28-80mm f3.5-4.5

Part of the reason I was looking at the EM-5 II was because I also have a lot of FT Oly lenses from cutting my photography teeth on a secondhand OM-10. I can't remember exactly which ones I have but they all got me decent results when I was working with film. I haven't tried any of them with a Pentax body. I've been assured that PK lenses will work well with the EM-5 II and any adapter I purchase will actually come with a flange out of necessity rather than design, thus infinity focus is not an issue.

I know pretty much anything I buy will be an upgrade from my k-m, which doesn't help with deciding! I love the idea of pixel-shift, I do some tripod work now and then but I would love to do more. I think it would be fun to explore the capabilities and limitations of the system. The K3 II and EM-5 II appeal to me because they both have this capability. Comparing the K3 and EM-5 II on DP review's image comparing facilities show the EM-5 II to have better quality across the image despite the lower MP count, but will the K3 II be better in that regard? I don't think there is enough information on the pixel shift capability of the K3 II at the moment to be able to make inferences about it compared to the EM-5 II. The images I've seen coming from the EM-5 II are really stunning but without seeing the same shot taken on both bodies, I don't know if it's easy to make a valid comparison.

Price point wise, I can get the Oly body only for 715-899 depending on where I go. K3 II body only is 769. Aesthetically the Oly appeals to me more because of the use of the OM series for visual inspiration. K3 II is, well, it's more or less what you'd expect from Pentax - rugged, solid, etc etc. Both are weather-sealed, perhaps the Pentax more so. I do shoot in cold temperatures/rain sometimes and the back screen on my k-m packed up for about two months after a cold outdoor shoot, before mysteriously fixing itself!

I'm a bit sad about the loss of the onboard flash on the K3, I used the one on my k-m a reasonable amount, but I guess it's just an adjustment thing, and the Oly doesn't have one either. The lack of wi-fi on the K3 II is a bit of a bummer compared to the EM-5 II as well, although the pre-order offer of an included flu card from SRS sounds pretty nice. But would you need to have that card slot always activated to use the wi-fi, in which case you can't do anything with the images on the other memory card? I've never had a wi-fi enabled camera so I have no idea what I'm missing or how much I would use it - any thoughts on this?

GPS on the K3 II sounds fun - I am going on honeymoon to China, South Korea and Japan next year and I do a reasonable amount of travel with my camera generally. What kind of use cases are there for this sort of thing? I'd love to have a customisable photomap from my honeymoon travels - is that sort of thing reasonably possible with the right software?

I've already had a try of the EM-5 II in my local camera shop and found the electronic viewfinder to be of really good resolution and the automatic magnification associated with the MF-assist function is really neat. I've never used Live View on my k-m, I found the resolution to be poor and I primarily use the camera through the viewfinder with a 2s preview on the back screen after shooting for the best battery economy. The resolution of the back screen is much better these days but when trying a KS-2 in the shop I found the Live View resolution to still be relatively poorer compared to the EM-5 II. The K3 II has a similar build to the K3 and uses many K3 components - is the viewfinder also similar, and if so how might it compare to the EVF of the EM-5 II? I use the viewfinder for manual focus so having a nice clear view is important to me. I will probably never use the million AF-points provided in these systems, so the less cluttered the VF, the better, and the more things I can do without having to faff about with the back screen, the better. Pretty much the only time I use the screen on my k-m is for image preview and changing the ISO.

I love my Pentax dSLR and I'm a bit 'scared' of moving to both mirrorless and another lens system, even though my Oly lenses are sitting sad and unloved in a lens bag and I can use all my lovely Pentax acquisitions with MFT with the appropriate adapters. Either body is a considerable financial outlay and I was just about on the verge of buying the EM-5 II when the K3 II was announced, so of course that was a great excuse to continue dithering over making a decision. So please, help me out, discuss with me, correct any misconceptions I may have had in my hours spent poring over review sites, videos etc!
Last Edited by madmazda86 on 05/05/2015 - 15:04

johnriley

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 15:01
Other makes are really off topic here, but more than that a membership of Pentax Users might have very few who actually can offer any insight into such a comparison.

Having said that, after I tested the Olympus XZ-1 compact I actually bought one, but my enthusiasm soon waned because of the dreadful menu system. Likewise I tested the E-5, all very good but huge for such a small format and not the best JPEG output, not a patch on the Pentaxes of the day. So I can understand that other things can look attractive, but in the end I think you'll get better images from the K-3, and certainly more versatility should you choose to buy more lenses later.

If you want the onboard flash, snap up a K-3 whilst they are still around. you don't have to buy a K-3 II.
Best regards, John

madmazda86

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 15:11
Thanks, John - I thought maybe mirrorless Pentax users might be able to give me some info on their experiences, and there's some general questions in there about wi-fi, GPS etc that maybe people might be able to help me out with. Coming from an entry-level dSLR it is hard for me to decide in what 'way' I should upgrade - I don't often do dedicated photography trips so I mainly use the two lenses I've listed for ease of portability, as they both fit neatly in my small camera bag. So maybe going more compact by going mirrorless could be better for me? But then I'm worried about whether I'll still be able to get the same quality of shots with a mirrorless. The K3 II does have a larger sensor, after all.

I don't do very much flash photography but having the onboard flash was kind of nice for the few occasions that I did. But then there's that small flash being discussed in the K-3 II SRS thread - as long as it's something compact to fit in my bag, I don't mind too much having to get a separate flash to mount. I think if you owned a K3 already you'd have little reason to upgrade, but if you're coming from a dSLR several generations back, would you go for a K3 or K3 II?
Last Edited by madmazda86 on 05/05/2015 - 15:14

johnriley

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 15:20
If I was looking for something light and compact I'd be buying the K-S2 instead. Fantastic camera.

Upgrading from my K-5, I'd be happy with the K-3 or K-3 II, although the latter does have that intriguing high resolution mode.

While I'm still shooting weddings though, for me it will be the high end model. After I stop doing that, we'll see.
Best regards, John

McGregNi

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 15:54
The live view technology on recent Pentax DSLRs has come on a lot and offers very practical focusing aids in manual as well as contrast detect with face detection autofocus. Plus you get the excellent 100 per cent pentaprism viewfinders. The build and overall quality plus value for money of the most recent issues is all superb.

I know a member (peterkr) who recently upgraded from a KR to a K50 kit with the DA 18-135, and I'm sure he's still grinning from ear to ear! You'd benefit from a new modern lens as well, to take advantage of the latest tech connecting the lens and camera, like the distortion and CA corrections etc. Why not look for a kit deal on a K50, K-S2 or even a K3 (prices should be heading down now!) and stick with the proven brand you've loved and take advantage of all the latest improvements.
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

Russ

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 15:55
I can't add anything except when i was trying to find a K-S2 to play with in Currys i saw the Olympus range. They had the EM10 and EM5 II sitting there. Had a quick play. I know this is a Pentax forum but oh boy they were gorgeous. Such a contrast from the Canon 700D tat. Beautifully built, finished and executed. The external controls felt just right with perfectly weight and resistance. Too expensive for me and not what i was looking for but hats off to Olympus, a beautifully executed camera.

madmazda86

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 16:09
johnriley wrote:
If I was looking for something light and compact I'd be buying the K-S2 instead. Fantastic camera.

Upgrading from my K-5, I'd be happy with the K-3 or K-3 II, although the latter does have that intriguing high resolution mode.

While I'm still shooting weddings though, for me it will be the high end model. After I stop doing that, we'll see.

Aw, I tried the K-S2 in the shop but I didn't like the feel of it so much. I was really excited about it when it was announced so I went straight down to try it after it was released. But I didn't get on as well with it as I thought I was going to, which was weird. I can't even really pin my finger on why I didn't like it as much as I thought I would, other than it feeling a cheaper in my hands compared to my k-m, which I wasn't expecting because Pentax build quality is usually great. It's actually slightly larger than my k-m too, but only very slightly XD I think I was just really spoilt by my k-m to begin with, in honesty. I haven't looked to upgrade before now because I didn't really feel I had any reason to.

I don't go abroad until September so I've still got some time to decide, including waiting for the K-3 II to come out and see what the reviews are like on that and to see how the pixel shift compares to the Olympus. Lovely as many of the modern lenses are, I'm pretty happy with the glass I have (I am very much an amateur, I don't do photography in any kind of professional capacity! My entire lens collection has cost me less than 100) And it's so easy to rent lenses these days that I can always try out some shinies if I want to.

And I agree, Russ, the OM-D series is gorgeous, I love the aesthetic. I'm just really unsure about moving to mirrorless, I'm just not sure how well it all translates into real world photography practicalities. I'm a quick shooter because I do everything through the viewfinder and hardly use the menus. I don't want to lose that.

So how about the wi-fi side of things, then? Can you put a flucard in one slot and a regular MC in the other and still use the wifi to copy stuff from the other MC? I was just a bit confused how the dual slot thing would work with that. How much do you use your wifi?
Last Edited by madmazda86 on 05/05/2015 - 16:19

fritzthedog

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 18:57
Not wishing to put the proverbial feline amongst the feathered things - but just out of interest - why has your mind immediately jumped from K-m to K3II?

Have to say - if I were looking to upgrade from a K-m and had circa 800 to spend - and was in to macro work - my mind would be going - good condition used K5IIs + external (perhaps ring) flash + a decent lens or several decent old lenses

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

stu62

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 20:03
i think the oly,s are 4/3rds fit and if that serves me right is not the same fit as the om10 fit lenses
which meens more expence

hogboy

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 20:07
The M/43 system is a little lacking in the macro dept tbh
Your old OM lenses will require an adaptor, so will be manual focus only
the K3 is currently around 560 at the moment brand new, and some deals includ a free battery grip which does seem a logical upgrade
plus the K5ii/S are pretty cheap at the moment
Sony A6000 plus a bunch of lenses
Sony A7ii plus loads of glass
Fuji X20

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 21:07
The Olympus is a very lovely thing and would be a pleasure to own. I'm not a fan of the K3's design with its bulge on the front, but I'd rather have the Pentax, I think.

I own and use an Olympus EPL1 which does take very good pictures but I'm not mad about the format of 4:3 files, much preferring the 3:2 shape of an APSC file (yes, I know you can crop to any size, but that way madness lies: the Olympus's sensor is already smaller so I'd not want to start chopping bits off.)

I think if you'd really like a mirrorless camera (and there are some who think that's the way things are heading for us all) then the Fuji XT-1, with its similarly appealing retro design but a larger sensor, might be worth a look, yet I'd still prefer a K3 because of Ricoh's commitment to the K mount as much as anything else. Fuji lenses are rather pricey and adapters are a bit of a bind and seem to be a guaranteed way to introduce even more dust into the camera ( I bought one for the Olympus but never use it).

Interesting thread.
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
https://www.flickr.com/photos/78898196@N05

richandfleur

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 21:58
madmazda86 wrote:
Help me with my dilemma, please

Well lets see what we can do:

Manual focussing aids
Pentax offers an optical viewfinder for manual focussing, it is a DSLR after all. Personally I don't find the viewfinder as effective as the older film equivalent SLRs, so I myself have not had as much success utilising this method for manual focus lenses, especially where I've selected a wide aperture/narrow depth of field and focus is therefore more critical.
Pentax also offers Live View, which is effectively it's 'Mirrorless Mode'. In this mode you can enable focus peaking, which accentuates edges to assist you to spot where you have focussed. It also offers digital zoom which, by pressing the OK button, will zoom into the scene, allowing you to fill the whole rear screen with just a part of the image, so you can nail the important focus area more easily.
The two combined, focus peaking and digital zoom, are the best ways to nail your focus with manual focus lenses.

Legacy Lens Compatibility
Pentax has kept the K mount for years, so only older M42 screw lenses need adapting. It's relatively fixed though, so adapting other brands to Pentax very often requires surgery. That said though, if you stick with Pentax there are hundreds of available lenses.
Olympus being mirrorless means you can get cheap basic adapters for most lens types. Mirrorless cameras are far more compatible with older/other brand lenses as they have mounting distance to play with.
Being mirrorless also opens the doors for Focal Reducers, if you want to simulate the FF look.

Remember though, that there's no point going on about weather resistance if you don't have a weather resistant lens. That's a bit like having a weather tight house, but leaving the front door and windows open during a rain storm, or a car with a sunroof open in the rain. You get the idea. Legacy lenses don't tend to be weather sealed, so it's something to consider.

Pixel Shift Tech
It's nice to see this in the new Pentax K-3 ii, but I expect it's in response to others that are leading the way in this field, such as Olympus.
Only very recently Pentax weren't that interested in it, saying yes it made the images bigger, but the quality looked the same. Perhaps they've had success with this during later development and testing.
In all respects though, it's for fixed tripod use essentially, and nothing can move in the subject (or that you're not prepared to clone out in post processing).
Nice to have, but should be possible on all cameras with SR in them, so I'd be hoping for a firmware update to provide us all with this ability, but not expecting this from Pentax either.

Being tied specifically to Pentax in this forum I won't mention much only Olympus, but by all accounts it's been very well received. The Canadian Camera Store TV crowd reviewed this on youtube and actually compared it to a Pentax 645Z camera. I won't link here, but that should be enough for you to google that review...

Price and decisions
They are both similar as you say.
With any camera you are talking about a bunch of features that the manufacturer has chosen to include.
It's always going to be a personal thing, with regards to which feature set aligns with you.
The sensors are different, but these days that's not as big a difference as it perhaps once was.
The body design is different, with the Olympus opting for a more retro styling, and the Pentax being a more comfortable but larger modern DSLR body shape.
The Pentax K-3 ii is really a Pentax K-3 in so many ways, and this includes the lack of a floppy screen.
The Pentax K-3 ii doesn't have a touch screen either (queue moaning about how this is a good thing )
The OM-D features a silent electronic shutter, with up to 1/16000s max speed, and 1/8000s max speed for the mechanical shutter, just like the K-3 ii.
Olympus also bundle in a small fill flash, that's tiltable for bouncing, given there is no onboard flash.
Both are similar burst speeds, of 5 - 10 fps, but this doesn't seem to be important for your type of photography. The K-3's buffer is epic though, just thought I'd mention that

Wifi
The Pentax K-S2 is the future for wifi, as in it's built into the body. The Pentax K-3 line uses the proprietary flu card, which I doubt will continue in Pentax bodies moving forward.
That said the flu card was interesting in that it didn't require an app, but it was also limited as to how many options you could change etc on the camera remotely.
On the whole it works, and the flu car is a memory card also, so it didn't completely negate the benefits of twin SD card slots.

The Olympus has wifi built in.

GPS
Most newer Pentax cameras can be expanded to have GPS capabilities by purchasing the separate, overly expensive, Pentax O-GPS1 GPS Module.
The K-3 ii has this built in, opting for this over a built in flash.

I mention the above module, because the 'new' K-3 ii presents to me as a new K-3 variant, rather than a new camera design. The K-3 ii gives you more choice in the K-3 range, so you can opt for the Astro model or the base flash equipped model. There really is very little difference between the two, other than Pentax have developed some software for Pixel shifting that they should be pushing out to older models anyway, unless they're holding off doing this for a year until they've sold some new cameras on it's basis.

See here for a Video Example of what you can do with your photo data.

The Olympus doesn't have GPS, but if critical their wifi app allows you to geo tag images via your cellphone. That sounds convoluted to me.

View Finder
Not a lot to say here, other than one is optical with focus point overlays (real DSLR optical viewfinder on the Pentax)
and one is electronic, so requires the batteries to be used just to see the viewfinder.
Pros and cons to each.
Personally I like a real viewfinder, as I feel quite disconnected when looking at an electroic viewfinder, but on the other hand...
Much of a DSLR's bulk is from the viewfinder assembly, of mirror and prism etc. You can keep the same camera internals and reduce the bulk by removing the optical viewfinder component.
A digital viewfinder gives you the benefits of the live view talked about above earlier, in the viewfinder, so good for a sunny day, and a digital viewfinder is exactly what you see is what you get. Normally the DSLR optical preview is at around f4, so if you are taking a shot at f1.7 you need to hold the DOF preview button to actually see what you are going to be taking; where as you're seeing exactly what the sensor is seeing on a mirrorless.

It really is a personal preference thing here, but typically the batteries don't last as long on a mirrorless camera due to all the electronics required to keep the viewfinder/screens going. By all accounts the Olympus viewfinder is very good, but you'd want to at least try one yourself first.

My conclusions

2 comments really, no 3...

1) I'm glad this entry came up in the forum as I've been looking at this camera also. I don't know how long this post will stay up, but I think it's important Pentax owners are aware of what's going on in the marketplace, even if to highlight areas Pentax may eventually adopt. It's hard to say Pentax is a great option if you're going to ignore all the others and can't debate why it's a good option.
Yours was a very valid question: I'm considering Pentax or this other one, which should I pick and why?

2) Build quality/feel. I must say that I felt quite disappointed when I first got my K-30 camera, as it didn't feel anywhere near as solid as my K100d it was replacing. Even the paint quality on the mode dial wasn't as good. I'm over it now, and the K-30 is weather sealed, but I wouldn't want Pentax to slip back in this area. It really should be their strong point. Not saying others are better, (Canon is especially horrible in this area, such that I'll never consider them), but Pentax needs to remain strong.

3) Sensor Shift Tech. This used to be one of the biggest Pentax strengths, given they have been doing it for ages. The fact now though is others are doing it, and are doing it better. The sensor doesn't move in video mode anymore and it should. Olympus is getting my attention solely because of a few points that Pentax stubbornly refuses to address, namely the sensor shift works in video mode and the video mode gets some attention. (Think decent bit rates. focus peaking during filming with adjustable peaking colours and sensitivity, touchscreen silent adjustments, frame rates of 60fps in 1080p mode etc).

For me, (read this is just my personal opinion), I want a K-3 with some attention to video. The K-3 ii is the one I would go for out of the K-3 and K-3 ii as I would use the astrotracing ability. Others may want the inbuilt flash, but I hardly ever use this myself.

Good luck!

johnha

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 22:43
It's a purely personal decision, I prefer the built in GPS (Astrotracer) in the K-3ii than a built-in flash (the one on the K-5 has helped on only a handful of occasions). Although if it wasn't Pentax, I wouldn't be looking at an Olympus E whatsit (they all seem to be 'OM-D's), but at a certain Japanese film manufacturers offer where you can either buy a body or a body & two lenses for the 'body only' price.

The EVF's I've seen are horrendous when panning - I'm simply not interested.
PPG Flickr

richandfleur

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 22:49
johnha wrote:
It's a purely personal decision, I prefer the built in GPS (Astrotracer) in the K-3ii than a built-in flash (the one on the K-5 has helped on only a handful of occasions). Although if it wasn't Pentax, I wouldn't be looking at an Olympus E whatsit (they all seem to be 'OM-D's), but at a certain Japanese film manufacturers offer where you can either buy a body or a body & two lenses for the 'body only' price.

The EVF's I've seen are horrendous when panning - I'm simply not interested.

I agree with most of this. I've not enjoyed EVF's to be honest, but I can only see them getting better over time.
As a side note, I can't see why other DSLR manufacturers aren't providing better optical viewfinders, given that's one of the major points of difference now over mirrrorless cameras. You have to applaud Pentax for keeping up the high level of quality in this area.

What I really like about the Olympus stabilisation is it gives you options for mechanical only, software only, both systems or none. Pentax presently gives you only the option to totally warp your video footage to jello land, or turn it all off, which I think is completely unacceptable.

madmazda86

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 23:31
Some great replies so far, thank you! But now you've given me even more choices, that wasn't supposed to happen! XD

hogboy, I use entirely old glass with no AF capability so having to manual focus for all lenses is not a big issue for me - I'll never be shooting sports etc so I've never really missed having AF, in honesty. So using an OM adapter isn't a problem for me. I just checked my lens bag and actually I don't have as many OM-mount lenses as I thought I did - I only have a 50mm 1.8, a 28mm 2.5 and a 135mm 3.5. So I actually have more K-mount/M42 lenses than I do Zuiko! But it's pretty hard to use OM lenses with Pentax cameras, they are not very adapter friendly without some DIY. I'm not in a massive hurry to get a battery grip because my shooting technique is quite economical on the battery front (I've used AA lithiums with my k-m for years) and I'd rather have a smaller and more portable system, with perhaps an extra battery to swap in if need be. The nice thing about sticking with Pentax is that I know I can do this, whereas with the Oly and its EVF, I don't know if I can.

Thanks for the recommendation of the Fuji XT-1, Andrew - it looks like a really nice piece of kit, although like you say, I'd need adapters for all my lenses. It looks like the body-only price has come down quite a bit to match that of the EM-5 II, though, and having an APS-C sensor would be pretty nice. I think if the Oly had an APS-C sensor I would have probably already bought it! One to add to the tryout list. I hadn't thought about cropping in post, actually, I do crop on occasion, especially with macro. It seems like Oly in general isn't such a great option for macro. Maybe I should ask on an Oly forum and see if anyone can prove otherwise?

Carl, I do use the macro aspect of my 40-80mm reasonably often, but I also have a M42 bellows set which I use sometimes. I'm pretty happy with the lenses I own (shocking, I know, since when does one ever NOT need more lenses ) but mind you, I probably wouldn't say no to something that let me do a bit more macro work on the go, as the bellows are not very portable and require tripod mounting for stability. Again, though, I could probably get a decent macro manual focus lens for less than 200 which is the price difference between the K3 II and the EM-5 II. I just liked the look of the pixel shift function on both systems because I do work with static things often, like cityscapes and landscapes etc. I do love the long exposure functionality on the Oly cameras too, but it is a bit of a gimmick really, I don't do long exposures that frequently, I think I'd get far more use out of pixel shift overall. I could look into a second-hand K5 IIS though, I could pop into my local camera shop and have a chat with them and see if they have anything for me to try out (I have small hands so I always test everything before committing).

Richandfleur, thank you very much for your well thought out post, I'm really happy to hear I'm not the only one weighing up between these systems! I have tried a KS-2 and the EM-5 II in the shop so far. I did give Live View on the KS-2 a shot but I found the resolution using focus peaking on Live View to still be not amazing (the reason I never used it on my k-m), not compared to the EM-5 II, anyway. But the K3 II has a better resolution matching the EM-5 II, so I should not say too much about that. I'm quite happy with the K3 II not having a touch screen, in honesty, I do tend to mash my nose against the screen when shooting! Thing is, though, I do tend to do all my focusing etc through the VF and just use the focus diamond in the viewfinder. I think it'd be quite an adjustment for me switching to using digital zoom and live view, especially when leaning in and out on macro, having the camera smooshed against my face gives it a little more stability, haha. Then again, that's part of the adventure With my k-m I do all the focusing and composition with the camera switched off and only turn it on to dial in the focal length and take the picture. So regardless of what I go for, there will be some adjustments to make.

One of the really neat things about the EM-5 II, though, is the fact that as soon as you start turning the focusing ring, it engages the EVF magnification. I just love how intelligent that is. Just for info, as I've tried the EM-5 II and it sounds like you haven't yet, the EVF is really rather nice, it's not cluttered and you can switch straight back out of magnification after you've focused to take your shot. Really good resolution and very responsive from the tinkering around that I did with aperture and shutter speed in the shop. But as you say, the battery life is something to consider. I've also read about a somewhat silly bug with the EVF where if you try to activate it when the camera is about to go to sleep, it has a bit of a paddy before fixing itself. I doubt that does it any favours either.

You do make a good point regarding the weather sealing of legacy lenses - I've not had major issues changing lenses etc. I think the durability of legacy lenses does make up for the loss of weather sealing to an extent, though. It's just nice to know if I'm getting rainwater, condensation etc all over my LCD, buttons etc it's not doing anything major!

From my reading around, I don't believe Pentax are planning on incorporating pixel shift into previous models - the K3 II's gyro improvements appear to have made the pixel shift mechanic possible in that particular model. Perhaps they may backtrack on that, though - it may be just a marketing line to persuade people to upgrade.

I think your point about the build quality is pretty legit. I wanted to like the KS-2, I really did, but it just didn't... feel right. It sounds stupid, I know, but my k-m felt like it was made for me and my hands, and the KS-2 just didn't. The collapsible kit lens is really neat, but it does feel pretty plasticy and it does look rather silly when it's extended. I didn't feel like I could happily trundle around on rickety bicycles in China with that camera in my bag. I think I'd like to try a K3 in the shop because I know the body is pretty much identical to the K3 II, it'll give me a feel for the durability. I hadn't thought about the K3 II being an 'alternative' model to the K3. They do use identical sensors, after all.

I'm still a bit confused as to how the flucard knows there is a second memory card that could have images on it requiring wireless transfer. But the dual slot capability of the K3 looks really nice overall. I wouldn't plan on using video very much, though (we're being gifted a GoPro to take away on honeymoon which I think we'll use more because it's a bit less obtrusive for filming). As you've correctly identified, I rarely use continuous shooting, but an awesome buffer is great for long exposures which I do now and again! Thanks also for the link on making a photomap, that's exactly what I was after! I've been wanting to try some astro photography for ages (just never been in the Lakes on a clear night to do it!) so the K3 II would be a nice boost to that side of things. But on the flip side, I've seen some great astro stuff done using the Live Composite option on the OM-D series.

I think for the overall aesthetic and intelligence of the system I'm leaning towards the Olympus, but the K-3 II is APS-C and more affordable with other options for creativity, and I have more PK lenses overall, having been commited to the PK system for 5+ years. Or I could, as Carl suggested, look at a second hand K5 IIS (although I think for my rather amateur applications this is perhaps a little much for me and therefore perhaps a newer system with more creative options could be a better approach). It may well come down to me just trying all three (along with the Fuji XT-1) and seeing which handles the best in my hands, perhaps.

I knew making a thread here was a good decision Thanks for your thoughts so far!
Last Edited by madmazda86 on 05/05/2015 - 23:37
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