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Thoughts on my new K3ii

Posted 21/09/2016 - 19:25 Link
The day of the price rises I pulled the trigger and got a nice new K3ii (at the old price) which arrived on Monday. This is my fourth Pentax DSLR and I used it in action for the first time today. I say in action - the reality is that it was a walk around a lake near where I work at lunchtime! Exciting stuff indeed and hardly a thorough workout. So far I am delighted with it and it seems to really work well with my 16-85WR lens. It very quickly picked up its GPS location and I also switched its logging function on for my walk. It's incredible how accurate the GPS is. Early days but exposure wise it's the first Pentax I've owned that doesn't underexpose. I tried my usual +0.3 setting and I was blowing out the bright parts of the clouds, so I went down to 0.0 and all seemed well. The image size of 6,000px across is pretty mind-blowing, as I've been using a K-x for the last few months (as my K-5 is poorly)

One thing that's not so good is the box and manual. I fished out my K-5 box yesterday and it's made of really think cardboard and hotfoiled with K-5 on the top. It really looks the part. Not so the K3ii which is the same thin board as the lenses come in. Despite mine being well wrapped in bubble wrap it got squashed by DHL. The box is simply not rigid enough. As for the manual, its tragic. I work in design and print and can assure you that the current manual is very poorly digitally printed - in fact it's the worst digital printing I have ever seen! It looks more like a 3rd generation photocopy. It's properly bound, so it may be the case that Pentax are low on manuals and don't want the cost of a traditional litho print run and instead are doing short-run digital copies. A sign that production is ending? Guess it could be. Anyone out there with the manual please advise if yours is as bad as mine. It's short on pages too. Even my K-x's manual is huge compared.
K3iii, K3ii, K-5, K-x, DA150-450mm, DA16-85WR, DA16-45, DA18-55WR, DA18-135WR, DA35 F2.4, M100mm F4 Macro, DA55-300mm, FA50mm 1.4, AF360 Flash, AF540 Flash
Posted 21/09/2016 - 19:52 Link
My K3 II manual is perfectly 'normal'! Looks about the same thickens as the K7 one. Fine quality paper and print. Bought mine at SRS almost a year ago.
' remembers little things, long after you have forgotten....' (Aaron Siskind)
Posted 21/09/2016 - 21:07 Link
My manual is good!

Great camera isn't it
Gareth Williams ARPS

My outfit: K1ii - Pentax D FA 24-70mm f2.8 - Pentax DA* 300mm f4 - Pentax modified DA* 60-250mm f4 - Irix 15mm Firefly - Pentax FA 35mm - FA 50mm f1.4 - Tamron SP 90mm macro - Pentax AF 540 FGZ II

Welsh Photographer
Foundation NFT
Posted 21/09/2016 - 21:38 Link
mines ok as well box seems ok as well
mind you what do you need a manual for you yst play with the camera and work out what you have done wright or wrong
Posted 21/09/2016 - 22:16 Link
I can't comment on the manual too much as I tend to use the electronic version. I have the original K-3, not the mark two version, and I can say after 3 years of moderately hard use it is a superb camera. I shot a music festival this weekend just gone, using the K-3 and the K-5iis, both have delivered superb results, but the K-3 definitely has the edge as an 'all rounder' when taking into account AF performance, general IQ and handling. I had it mounted on a tripod with the DA*300 and it has nailed focus in very difficult lighting conditions almost 100% of the time.


Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs
Posted 21/09/2016 - 22:48 Link
It is indeed a great camera. I am going to use it this weekend to photograph a large family gathering so I'll see how it focusses with the 55-300 - a lens I love for being well away from subjects and then shooting without people realising that they are being shot!

The manual is stored away now in the box - I am using the downloaded PDF instead and I pretty much know my way around the camera after almost ten years of using Pentax DSLRs. The compass view on the screen blew me away - how does it know what way the camera is pointing when it does not have a GPS signal. I had it switched on in the office before it ever got its first GPS location and it seemed to work perfectly. Another thing I noticed is that the LCD screen is far brighter than the K-5 and WAY brighter than the K-x. The camera strap has changed design compared to the K-5 - I preferred the red Pentax lettering whereas it's now white.
K3iii, K3ii, K-5, K-x, DA150-450mm, DA16-85WR, DA16-45, DA18-55WR, DA18-135WR, DA35 F2.4, M100mm F4 Macro, DA55-300mm, FA50mm 1.4, AF360 Flash, AF540 Flash
Posted 21/09/2016 - 22:57 Link
Glad you like the camera but like you I do like a nicely printed, well constructed paper manual...a bit of a poor show if Ricoh can't get that right given that they are one of the world's biggest names in photocopiers/document solutions you suggest maybe it is because the camera is on its way out and they don't want the 'expense' of doing a proper job.

I could understand it if you were buying some cheap 50 electronic gizmo from some 'Third World' sweatshop but not when you are spending close to 800 or so on reputable branded photo gear.
Posted 21/09/2016 - 22:58 Link
Yeah - the manual is actually so bad that it looks like the sort that would be supplied with a fake product.
K3iii, K3ii, K-5, K-x, DA150-450mm, DA16-85WR, DA16-45, DA18-55WR, DA18-135WR, DA35 F2.4, M100mm F4 Macro, DA55-300mm, FA50mm 1.4, AF360 Flash, AF540 Flash
Posted 22/09/2016 - 00:55 Link
The manuals are not printed as well as they used to be, but we should probably be grateful that we get a manual at all. It's better than being directed to download the manual and print it out ourselves.....
Best regards, John
Posted 22/09/2016 - 01:01 Link
I just got a K3 11 as well (with 90 off at Caernarvon Cameras). I have to agree with the comments about the box and the manual. It had been well wrapped and protected but the box still ended up battered by its journey. The awfully "printed" manual looks like something you'd get with a cheap point and shoot. I had to go out and buy a USB3 cable for it too. The camera has had very little use yet but what I've seen so far has been impressive. I was expecting to need a correction lens for the viewfinder as I need an extra +1 on the K5. The K3 viewfinder's built-in correction has done the biz for me quite happily - with a little bit more to spare.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd
Posted 22/09/2016 - 07:56 Link
I find the best approach with this type of equipment nowadays is to download the PDF of the manual and save it on my phone. That way I have access to it at all times and without any weight at all.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X and Panasonic L digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

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