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


richandfleur

Link Posted 05/05/2015 - 23:44
I like the idea of the focus aid zooming happening automatically, but I somehow doubt that will happen when you're using adapted lenses?
As in how is the camera body going to know that the lens is being manually focussed if it can't talk to it?
As long as this feature can be initiated manually then it doesn't matter if you use adapted lenses, but it may be something to think about.

No idea how the flu card works, and I too am keen to hear more about it.
Given the choice of a K-S2 or a K-3 I'm leaning towards the K-3. I'd personally take the K-3ii if the price was the same as the K-3 as I value the astrotracer more than the inbuilt flash.

Here's some ideas re video for you
GoPro for travel and Pentax for fun
Last Edited by richandfleur on 05/05/2015 - 23:48

Russ

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 10:41
The beauty of Pentax is the huge backlog of Pentax legacy glass. The 100% optical finder, weather sealing and nice build.

But as you say, you have legacy glass from another brand (olympus), that is going to be harder to use with a Pentax body. This really is where the mirrorless crowd (all brands) have the traditional DSLRs (all brands) by the goolies. You can buy a cheap adapter for every brand of legacy glass. There's simply nothing you can't connect to a CSC. And if you don't mind manual focusing and aperture, then the world is your oyster.

As someone else said, its good to have these discussions. Pentax (and Canon/Nikon) don't have a camera to suit everyone. Especially as all three refuse to fully embrace the mirrorless format. I've had a Pentax since i started playing with a camera aged 13 in 1983. And will replace my K5 with another Pentax body. But for a travel camera, one i can carry every day to work, i had to look elsewhere. And a Fuji X camera fitted the bill perfectly. I still get IQ to match my K5, plus using a 7 adapter, can use all my Pentax-M. I miss the optical finder and ruggedness of the K5 but that's the weekend shooter.

madmazda86

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 10:57
Yes, you're quite correct, adapted lenses won't work with automatic MF magnification unless you're using an adapter with contacts. None of my lenses have contacts anyway. But it is very cool. You can assign magnification to one of the four function buttons. I tried doing it in Jessops this morning and it works pretty well, love the fact you can pick which part of the image you want to magnify as well, the first button press brings up a green window in the EVF you can move to the area you want, and the second press magnifies. Press again to exit. I was pretty slow with it but I imagine it becomes second nature after a while. Even if you don't want to use the magnification you still have focus peaking in the EVF which is pretty nice to have. I had a go with panning because somebody mentioned EVF performing quite poorly. I found it to be fairly responsive with a moderate pan speed, actually. Fast pan speed, obviously not great, but it's quick to resolve on termination or slowing of the pan. Also, another random note - the strap lugs on the EM-5 II are in a really dumb place - you have to put some fingers underneath it to hold the camera and one finger above it to operate the shutter and function buttons. Why not place it further back like on the EM-1 so your whole palm goes over it instead? Bit of a design fail from Olympus there, given the rest of the body is so nicely designed.

I tried the Fuji XT-1 this morning, Jessops only had the body on display, but I really like the separate dials for ISO and shutter speed, really nice styling to it! Give me those over jog wheels any day. It was a little big for me in terms of handling the body, I can only imagine what it's going to be like with my chunky metal legacy lenses on. Nice big viewfinder though! And the body price has really come down. I love the idea of the split view focusing too. I think I'd need to try it again with a lens on to see what the EVF was like. Great recommendation, thanks, Andrew!

I also handled a K3 body today, there was a KS-2 right next to it and I was swapping from one to the other. The K3 is definitely nicer to handle, there's just something about the KS-2's grip that just doesn't feel right to me. I still haven't figured out what it is, other than maybe the lighter weight making it feel different? But the K3 sure is nice, again I'd want to try it with a lens on to see how the Live View focus peaking etc was, but I really liked it, so I think the K3 II is definitely a good option. I wonder if Jessops would frown at me taking my 40-80mm in to try with the K3

@Russ, yeah, that's pretty much it. But I would need two adapters, one for OM-MFT and another for PK-MFT. That's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it does mean I lose the majority of the benefits offered by the compact aspect of the system, it just isn't compact anymore when you're packing an extra inch of adapter XD They're such damn nice cameras though! I shouldn't be so sold on looks, dammit, I just can't help myself. Pentax need to work on their aesthetic a bit more, I think

From the reading around I've done, it's suggested that you add a battery grip to the OM-D if you're planning to use legacy glass, it's to rebalance it, but it does make it no longer really compact anymore. If by the time I've gotten all the things I need to actually use my legacy glass, it's about the same size as a K3 II anyway, I may as well get the K3 II.

Edit: Richandfleur, I watched those videos you linked - great stuff!
Last Edited by madmazda86 on 06/05/2015 - 11:21

BruceStrachan

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 14:16
I found the olympus's to feel small delicate and cheap.
Maybe I have big hands but just couldn't see me parting with that much cash for something so plasticy feeling.
I love the K3 & the KS2 I took the latter on a 3 week hot and very dusty and bumpy trip to Uruguay and have no complaints.
Camera still looks like new and handles really well and pics are still great.
I am looking for a 4/3 as well but prefer the feel of the Lumix G5 & Go to the olympus offerings.
Much cheaper a well and highly rated by Eustace and others.
Maybe you should broaden your search....
Meantime buy a KS2 to try out for a while if you don't like it I'd be very surprised you can always sell it for almost what you paid for it.
Cheers,

Bruce

madmazda86

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 15:14
Good to hear the KS-2 is more durable than it feels! To be honest, I think I'd rather just pay a little bit extra and go for the K-3 II if I stick with Pentax. It just has more options that appeal to me and the I like the handling of the K-3 better than the KS-2.

Lumix make some lovely cameras, I've heard great things about the G5, although the lack of IBIS makes it not suitable for my lenses.

Russ

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 15:51
madmazda86 wrote:
Good to hear the KS-2 is more durable than it feels! To be honest, I think I'd rather just pay a little bit extra and go for the K-3 II if I stick with Pentax. It just has more options that appeal to me and the I like the handling of the K-3 better than the KS-2.

Lumix make some lovely cameras, I've heard great things about the G5, although the lack of IBIS makes it not suitable for my lenses.

Lumix are changing that. The GX7 has IBIS.

madmazda86

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 16:04
Oooooh. Damn, I wish could just take one of each of these home with me for a weekend so I could try them all out! So hard to decide.

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 19:29
I don't want to confuse things but I've had a couple of thoughts since yesterday...

If you do a lot of low light photography, a K5II might be just the ticket. I've just been processing some high ISO shot taken indoors with my K5 and the lack of noise has to be seen to be believed (so to speak). Not sure the Olympus would be quite as good.

Those Sony A7s are interesting as they're full-frame and, with adapters, can be fitted with any lenses. People get quite good results with them. Of course, you have to get past the fact that they look as if they've been designed and built by the council...
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
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McGregNi

Link Posted 06/05/2015 - 19:40
You do seem to have some conflicting aims, or at least it's not always perfectly clear what is your main objective with your upgrade plans ....is it more compactness, lighter weight, ruggedness and durability..... .?? The K3 is not a 'small' camera, yet you consider it alongside other smaller form factor options.

Many here are looking towards a larger sensor choice for the ultimate in quality output, and most will be hoping that Pentax can continue to offer that in a neat and well designed package as with their app-c models . Anything smaller than aps-c is going to bring inevitable compromises in image quality and a more restricted range of output and usage choices.n

Looking at your portfolio you linked to ( some nice creative work there ) what you would most benefit from , in my opinion, is some modern autofocus glass .... This would be best achieved in a package that optimises the lenses with the form factor and body ... And a new Pentax DSLR gives you so much choice and freedom. I don't see what you hope to gain by retaining your old manual focus lenses and trying to stick them onto a different smaller form factor body ...
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

madmazda86

Link Posted 07/05/2015 - 13:25
Yeah, the trouble is I have more than one objective, really. I mainly use my k-m out and about, I very rarely use it indoors. But the reason I do have the freedom to use it out and about as much as I do is because it is smaller than the other Pentax dSLRs (I know the KS-2 is the same size almost as the k-m, but it doesn't feel right in my hands so I don't want to get it), and I can handle it freely with little worry about durability or breakages. I fit it into a little camera bag with my 40-80mm and my 28mm. The K-3 is a size and weight increase on what I had, but I wouldn't need to buy any new lenses because I have PK glass I can use. I don't want to buy any new lenses at the moment - I'm replacing my camera body because it seems to make more sense to do that than divert between 80-300 into repairs, especially as I've developed my skills since getting the k-m and feel like I'm ready to move onto a more high spec camera, be it mirrorless or dSLR. But I'm happy with my lens collection for the stuff that I do.

I probably am missing out on some things as a result, but I enjoy working with what I have. What would I do with a modern lens with AF? Even on my kit lens I never used the AF. If you could explain to me how I benefit from having AF at my disposal then maybe the second-hand K-3 or K5 and a new lens would be a good route to go down. Maybe it's just my mindset as an amateur shooter that makes it difficult for me to get it, I don't know. If I can't get a shot because of my kit limitations, oh well, there's plenty of other ideas to try. I have captured bumblebees in flight mainly with a lot of patience and trial and error. But that doesn't really bother me. I just really like the feel of legacy glass, I have tried some DA lenses but their build just doesn't appeal to me in the same way. So I haven't really wanted anything more lens-wise for years.

And from that, I guess that's what I want to gain by sticking my manual focus lenses onto a smaller form factor body. I just like my lenses, and I've been a bit sad of late that I haven't made any use of my OM lenses. Thing is, I do have a nice 50mm in PK mount, and a nice 28mm, so the only OM lens I have that would be a legitimate non-duplicate is the 135mm that I have, and even then I do have a Takumar tele, it's just not nice optics compared to some of the other PK teles (I bought it without researching it first *slaps wrist*).

This is pretty much why I'm finding it hard to decide. Portability is a significant factor for me, I'm not gonna lie. But I also appreciate sharp images and having the control to generate that, and while I've seen some great MFT shots, the ones I've seen coming out of the Fuji XT-1 are less flat-looking. I also shoot quickly due to how I use my k-m, and I don't want to lose that speed, so it'll also depend on how easy it is to use the manual focusing aids provided by the different systems. I'm definitely not going to buy anything at all until the K3 II comes out and I've had a chance to look at it and try it out. The only reason I'm in this dilemma at all is because mirrorless appeals to me in terms of the aesthetics and being compact, as well as being incredibly compatible with any legacy glass. I would probably put up and shut up with the K3 II's size and weight if mirrorless was still as it was a few years ago. But it's not. Side by side using the DPReview comparison image, the EM5 II and the XT-1 both give comparable image quality to the Pentax, but I'd much rather try something out first hand than pixel peep on a website.

I'm planning to borrow an Olympus EM-1 this weekend under the Test and Wow scheme at my local camera dealer - it uses the same sensor and EVF as the EM5 mk II. I'm taking it to a place that I've shot with Pentax before so I can compare the images. I'll let everyone know how I get on!
Last Edited by madmazda86 on 07/05/2015 - 13:27

JohnX

Link Posted 07/05/2015 - 14:07
For me there's no one camera (yet) that combines all the features I want, so the answer for now is multiple cameras, using the one most appropriate to the task.

Light and simple with huge zoom? Canon bridge.

Compact and high quality? Fuji X20

Sophisticated all weather workhorse with high IQ? Pentax K5II

Light and high IQ? Pentax K-S1 (with a set of DA Limiteds).

Travel? K-S1, Fuji or Canon, in that order.

Macro? K5II

Social gatherings? Fuji

McGregNi

Link Posted 07/05/2015 - 14:32
I love my old lenses as well, but there are situations where they are limiting, mainly in dynamic shooting where there's movement (ie with little kids it's rare to really nail the focus with manual I find whereas autofocus gives me many many more hits), plus the inevitable delay in metering on the non -'A' types, makes it all a bit more work.

For me, old lenses need to offer a really high IQ and extraordinary value to make them more valuable than a modern AF equivalent . I understand your attachment to your own collection, but its often said here that it's mainly about the glass. That is what mostly adds up to improved images and IQ, more so than an incremental body upgrade. I'm not saying you should stick to the K-m, just that I would recommend factoring in a new lens or two to go with a updated camera ... Some kit offers can be very good, and ultimately I think it will be this combination that will give you better images.
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

madmazda86

Link Posted 07/05/2015 - 14:40
I agree, John - there's no right answer for all questions with any system. I still have a film body that I could use too, but when it comes down to it, all my other lenses and that body sit at home because I don't go out to take photos, I go out to do some thing or another and just like taking photos along the way. Much as I'd love to do some kind of dedicated photography trip somewhere, 99% of the time I'm with my partner and we've come to a place for an event, or to see people, or just to do something fun, and the last thing I want to do is hold any of that up due to messing around taking photos. My other half enjoys seeing the pictures I take but he only has so much patience for me re-taking a shot over and over to get it perfect XD So I'm looking for a body that lets me quickly compose, set and take shots with minimal fuss. Same goes for editing too, I don't shoot in RAW (I'm a heathen, I know) simply because I don't have a lot of spare time to put into editing and converting etc. If it doesn't look roughly right SOOC I'm not going to spend hours trying to make it so.

I would like to do a bit more macro stuff, though - not gotten my bellows out in forever! I just have less time for photography in general at the moment which makes me sad (blimmin' wedding getting in the way of these things). I'm really looking forward to flexing my photography mojo on my honeymoon in the autumn!

richandfleur

Link Posted 07/05/2015 - 23:34
Reading the above, I'd be tempted to sell all your Olympus gear and Pentax body and buy a newer Pentax, either K-S2 if size is an issue, or K-3/K-3ii if not.
Get a kit lens with them, the WR 18-55 or the newer weird collapsible one if size is an issue, and use that as your work horse lens. It's AF and it's WR, so for travelling that gives you a fully WR device.

One shouldn't expect lower quality photos from a mirrorless camera. They have the same photo taking mechanisms inside, so the mechanical shutter sound is real, not like a compact camera. Mirrorless just means you don't get an optical viewfinder, that's it.

At the end of the day though, there are very few bad cameras these days. Sensor performance has plateaued unless you're prepared to do something bold like the 12MP A7s. I wouldn't waste too much time stressing over the decision as either way will have pros and cons. Go and handle the cameras, take the lenses you like etc and see which one feels right for you. Good luck

Greytop

Link Posted 16/05/2015 - 11:53
madmazda86 wrote:


I'm planning to borrow an Olympus EM-1 this weekend under the Test and Wow scheme at my local camera dealer - it uses the same sensor and EVF as the EM5 mk II. I'm taking it to a place that I've shot with Pentax before so I can compare the images. I'll let everyone know how I get on!

As an ex-Pentax user myself now with Oly m4/3rds (E-M1 and E-M5 Mk1) and a bunch of Sigma DPMerrills
I'd be interested to hear how you found the the E-M1.

I'm sure you've already established that you can use focus peaking with any lens (manual or otherwise) via the rear screen or the excellent EVF, a fantastic tool for manual focussing.
Regards Huw

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