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11-22-2014, 07:32 AM   #1
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upgrade from k-7, which way to go?

Hello, I'm new in the forum and I'm looking for advice. I'm currently using pentax k-7, I bought it used 3 years ago and it served me well. The only issues I have is the high noise levels and autofocus, so I wold like to upgrade the but I'm thorn between my options, k-5ii, k- 5iis or k-3?
What I have read about the k-3 is that it's a great camera but has some compromises on the DR and hight iso compared to the k-5ii and the k-5iis.
The k-5iis seems great camera, but I was wondering about the moire factor and how bad is it?
And finally the k-5ii? It seems that it has fallen out completely of the big dealers market.... looks the only few places where I found it was priced higher that the current k-5iis deals...
I mostly shoot landscapes,night and family. I'm by no means a pro... looking for advice so please share your thoughts thank you.

11-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #2
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Morning and Welcome to the Forum!!!!

I upgraded from the K20 three years ago, which had the same sensor as your K7. The K5 sensor is head and shoulders above the 14MP sensor. Pentax really has acquired a tremendous understanding of the 16MP Sony sensor - and has produced a lot of models with it.

The K5II as discontinued some time ago, however - I believe that the demand from the outset for the K5IIs surprised them. So, that is probably the main reason for the early demise of the K5II and the continuance of the K5IIs. Pentax models have the tendency of (price wise) coming out somewhat high, then dropping over time. At the point that they are discontinued, they drop in price - inventory reduction, and then their price tends to rise through the off market dealers, who hold a few new bodies, for folks that want just that model for what ever reason.

There are a lot of posts on the difference between the K5II and K5IIs - the lack of the AA filter. The difference - and especially considering price, between the K5IIs and the K3 is currently being debated. I am considering possibly upgrading to the K5IIs this next weekend (Black Friday/Cyber Monday), since I am thinking that may be the low point in pricing. I still have not make up my mind. The K3's price will probably continue to drop a bit for the sales, bounce back up to normal and then drop over time until it is replaced (who knows when).

Upgrading to either the K5IIs or K3 will be vastly superior to the K7. That I know from experience. Which would be best for you, all depends on how and what you shoot. A bit more information would help. If you have the funds, you can't go wrong on the K3. On the other hand - for the price the K5IIs is a tremendous value. How long you feel that it will continue to be - again depends on the type of images you take - and what may be coming out next. Also, how long you plan on keeping the new body. Your lenses will also help you make the decision. The K3 benefits greatly from the better glass. The K5 will also, but tolerates less perfect quality glass better.

11-22-2014, 08:07 AM   #3
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I had the k5iis for six months or so. I ended up giving it to my brother (who is not a pro) to take pics of my little nieces. I loved it while I had it and my brother loves the camera. He was a Canon guy previously and had a k500 briefly until he got my k5iis. I used the k5iis to shoot a couple of assignments. The quality was fantastic and the client loved the results.

I kinda got lured into the k3 for the extra resolution. I have had the k3 for about six months or so and I am currently shooting a couple of paid gigs. The k3 is delivering in spades. I do miss the low noise capability and quality of my Canon 6D which was fantastic in the ISO 6400 and even above. The k3 is not as good in high ISO but it is good up to ISO 1600. What I remember of the k5iis it was good in low ISO but not great. Given the recent price reductions on both cameras, for my money I would go for the k3.

For tracking shots of kids and action, I have not been thrilled with the Pentax cameras, neither was my Canon so hot for tracking. It seems to me on the Canon side the company only gave you good focusing when you spent $5k or more on their pro bodies. Nikon has had the best focusing system of all the DSLR systems I know.

K3 or k5iis? Either way you cannot go wrong. They are both great cameras and as camera prices go, they are bargains for the guality they deliver.

Additionally, as others would say too, Lens quality is just as important. So get some good glass. Over the years, I have lost countless dollars on cameras becoming obsolete and in upgrades. However, lenses have held their values relatively well.

BTW, I have a friend who is contemplating the same thing as you. He has the original k5, a k50 and the k7. We were discussing the other day which way he should go. He is thinking about letting the k7 and the k5 go in favor of the k5iis or the k3. He is a life long Pentaxian and has lots of good glass. I suggested to him to go with the K3 given the price. I paid $1,200 for k3 package only a few months ago. Today the camera is a bargain and then some.

Good luck with your purchase. Let us know how it turned out.
11-22-2014, 09:24 AM   #4
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The only reason I was considering the k-3 was due to the option to choose the AA filter simulator. I'm afraid of the moire being present in every other shot I take will the k-5iis. On the other hand the k-5iis deals are very tempting at the moment, a leaving me with some cash to spent towards lenses, of which I have very basic kit(18-55,55-300 and a zenitar 16mm)due to uncertainty up till now if I would stay with the brand, but I made my chooce... that being said the only thing stopping me of not buying the k-5iis is the lack of AA and the concern of moire, I don't have an experience with AA less camera...
To get an idea of my photo preferences here is my Flickr page:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53729693@N03/
Thank you for your replies.

11-22-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by outcast86 Quote
I'm afraid of the moire being present in every other shot I take will the k-5iis.
I've had my iis for about 6 months now. I haven't noticed moire in a photo yet. That's not to say it isn't there, but if it is, it's unnoticeable. Something I would have to be trying to find.

Last edited by Parallax; 11-22-2014 at 09:51 AM.
11-22-2014, 09:47 AM   #6
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One important noticeable difference for me with the k3 is the auto focus in low light....it is a big advantage...another consideration is your lenses...if you have high quality optics, such as the fa primes, the higher 23mp resolution on the k3 will bring this out, at the same time if you have lower quality optics, the k3 will be less forgiving....also, of course, the 23mp, do require more computer space and processing power to some degree.....
11-22-2014, 11:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by outcast86 Quote
Hello, I'm new in the forum and I'm looking for advice. I'm currently using pentax k-7, I bought it used 3 years ago and it served me well. The only issues I have is the high noise levels and autofocus, so I wold like to upgrade the but I'm thorn between my options, k-5ii, k- 5iis or k-3?
What I have read about the k-3 is that it's a great camera but has some compromises on the DR and hight iso compared to the k-5ii and the k-5iis.
The k-5iis seems great camera, but I was wondering about the moire factor and how bad is it?
And finally the k-5ii? It seems that it has fallen out completely of the big dealers market.... looks the only few places where I found it was priced higher that the current k-5iis deals...
I mostly shoot landscapes,night and family. I'm by no means a pro... looking for advice so please share your thoughts thank you.
Regardless of which camera you choose, it'll be a considerable upgrade. The K-3 brings the latest technology to the table, so if you can afford it, I'd recommend going for the best See our review for more info and some comparisons between the K-3 and the K-5 IIs:

Review: Pentax K-3 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

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11-22-2014, 01:04 PM   #8
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Of the thousands of shots I've taken with the K3, I can identify moire in one or two. Unless you do a lot of fashion photography with textured fabrics, you are unlikely to encounter it much. The increase in resolution and absence of an AA filter on the K3 over my old K5 classic makes for very apparent improvements in sharpness, and its AF is far better. I haven't shot with the K5IIs.

11-22-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
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I made the upgrade myself this year and don't regret it. The advantage is not only the K-3, but also the fact that now I have 2 reliable cameras (so I can take both with me, each with differnt lens, whenever needed).


To compare K-3 vs. K-7... well, there are several aspects for sure:
- low light conditions... with K-3 even when you have to shoot with ISO 6400, the image is still usable (no brutal noise level)
- resolution... it's about cropping when you need it. 24 MP vs. 14 MP is a clear difference. On the other hand, as already mentioned above, you'll probably find out that K-3 is more demanding concerning lens quality.
- AF point... you can select one of 27 AF points on K-3, or expanded areas (8 x 24 x 26 back-up points) - not bad for AF.C mode
- buttons and ergonomy... the K-3 button layout is IMHO better (especially the essential AF button is much better positioned)
- also there're some improvements in menu and settings (easier access to some functions using INFO button, ...)
- K-3 has way better LCD screen (bigger size and resolution)
- K-3 is a little heavier than K-7 (800 g vs. 750 g) - not bad for stability with some lenses
- K3 has 3x USER preset
- K3 has 2 slots for memory cards and you can use faster cards
- well yes, the electronic is faster (you'll recognize it especially when shooting into RAW: K-7 Hi: 5.2 fps / 14 frames (DNG) vs. K-3 Hi. 8.3 fps / 23 frames (DNG))
- I guess 100.000 vs. 200.000 shutter actuations is also something what counts (anyway too early to compare the life time...)
- (I won't mention the video quality, as that's not something what I ever used)


Is there something where K-7 overrules K-3? Not really:
- I like the K-7 eyecup more
- I thought that the K-7 strap was better - only until the inner side started to pulverize and peel completely


What I miss on K-3? Hmmm...
- memory card -> PC transmision (wireless)
- tilting LCD screen? maybe
- inbuilt GPS (well, the O-GPS1 functions inbuilt in the camera body... wouldn't be bad)
otherwise??? probably nothing at the moment
11-22-2014, 03:48 PM   #10
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So far I heard a lot of pros for the k-3 but not much in defence of the k-5iis, is it that much of a difference? I'm not crazy about the mp count, space is a bit limited for me, and most of my edit is done on a Celeron netbook, so not much power there. ... maybe I should try and look into the k-5ii (not the s model) ... and don't worry about the moire effect.
11-26-2014, 10:37 PM   #11
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If you are going K5ii go with the 's' - you get the advantage of the extra sharpness with no (or minimal ) downside.
You will have difficulty processing on a Celeron notebook. (Well if you use Lightroom anyway!!)
11-27-2014, 01:23 AM   #12
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I was looking into the deals and tempted to place the order for the' s' model by tomorrow or so... as for the notebook, I have been using Lightroom, Photoshop elements, topaz and photomatix on that netbook for over 2 years, not the best, coming from Intel i3 laptop, but it works fine for now, and I like the mobility. ...
12-04-2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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I went from a K20D to a K5II and I am very pleased.
12-05-2014, 10:58 AM   #14
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I decided to go with the k-5iis and got it a week ago! I still haven't got the chance to test it out because of work.... at fist inspection of the camera, I noticed the "ratelling" of the sensor, which is said to be perfectly normal in the user manual, but compared to my k-7, it is much more notisablet (I didn't even feel it on my k-7 before...) until I got the k-5iis and got curious .I hope everything will be fine, and today I will finally take my new toy out for a "test drive" I hope it will perform already as well as my trusty k-7, if not better ..
12-07-2014, 07:36 AM   #15
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I can't imagine either being a bad deal for the cost right now...personally i'd shoot for the k-3 (no pun intended) but I'd be happy with either as an upgrade.
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