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04-24-2015, 10:18 AM   #1
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Is FF worth the upgrade?

After the announcement of FF, I got lucky and managed to save up enough to cover upgrading to FF from my aging K5 in anticipation of its release. But with the announcement of the K3ii, I'm wondering if FF is actually the way to go. For the price of FF I could upgrade both my main camera (the K5), and my backup kit (thinking of switching from M43 to Fuji). I'm not 100% FF would be that much of an upgrade over the K3ii. I might also be naive.

Going from the K5, how big of a difference would there actually be from the K3ii to full frame? What would FF get me that the K3ii couldn't? Is it really that big of a deal?

04-24-2015, 10:33 AM - 1 Like   #2
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No one else can quite answer this coreectly, it's more subjective than marketers will admit. The larger sensor can do some things better with larger pixels, but APSc allows smaller lenses and more telephoto effect by capturing a smaller image area. If you value wildlife shots or small body with DA pancake lenses then APSc is more suited to your style. Wide angle, highest ISO shots and a larger carry bag come with the "FF" decision.

Other folks can add to these lists, these are the reasons that pop up most often.
04-24-2015, 10:36 AM   #3
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The upcomming FF is a niche camera, a serious professional tool with a level of novelty attached to it, its a camera mainly for those who mainly shoot landscape and need better indoor low light performance. I was asked once if the Pentax F 50/f1.7 offers 30% better performance than the DA 50mm/f1.8 to justify the higher cost. The answer was No of course. You won't see 230% better performance on the FF (that's the estimated markup from the K3ii) but if you're a wedding photographer who shoots indoors or venues where flash is not recommended, getting 2-3 stops in performance will might justify the purchase.
The K3/ii is a professional grade camera that will most likely surpass the needs of 99% of its user (me included) There's pros who still shoot with their K10D, K20D, K5 + DA 16-45 and produce amazing work.
Check out Bill Gekas Photography | The Gallery

here's some (not so) relevant threads:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/169-pentax-full-frame/288496-full-frame-real-pros-cons.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/169-pentax-full-frame/291826-full-frame-w...e-you-buy.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/169-pentax-full-frame/291864-full-frame-w...ernatives.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/16-pentax-news-rumors/288490-unveiling-fu...prototype.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/169-pentax-full-frame/291235-recent-full-...xperience.html

Last edited by Stavri; 04-24-2015 at 10:46 AM.
04-24-2015, 10:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Omestes Quote
What would FF get me that the K3ii couldn't?
FF with pixel-shift? There is always the matter of the larger sensor too.


Steve

04-24-2015, 10:45 AM - 1 Like   #5
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It is amusing; I was very stoked, but then I realize how expensive the thing actually is (even if I can afford it). Do I actually NEED it? I am not a pro, I dont really make any income on photography. I want the best quality I can get, obviously; but is this like buying a semi when all I needed was a pickup truck?

I makes me question my motivations. Do I just want it because it is big, new, expensive, and awesome? Or because it will actually help my photography?
04-24-2015, 11:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Omestes Quote
It is amusing; I was very stoked, but then I realize how expensive the thing actually is (even if I can afford it). Do I actually NEED it? I am not a pro, I dont really make any income on photography. I want the best quality I can get, obviously; but is this like buying a semi when all I needed was a pickup truck?

I makes me question my motivations. Do I just want it because it is big, new, expensive, and awesome? Or because it will actually help my photography?
Seems like it would be impossible to financially justify such a horrific expense under any circumstance other than, maybe, the "fun factor." Just sayin.'
04-24-2015, 11:45 AM   #7
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The difference is negligible I think. If you're really that concerned about technical quality of your image than I would suggest medium format or even finer - large. But that's a moot point. I really really like the images I've gotten out of the k5iis. I also like the pics that came from a minolta x-700 just as much... and a mamiya rz67. It's more about the pictures that you tend to like than the gear... I think. Worrying and obsessing takes all the fun out of everything.
04-24-2015, 12:33 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flylooper Quote
Seems like it would be impossible to financially justify such a horrific expense under any circumstance other than, maybe, the "fun factor." Just sayin.'
you could say the same thing about getting a k3, instead of shooting with a smartphone.

04-24-2015, 01:04 PM   #9
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Well it is also hard to decide since we have not even seen the FF specs yet nor the actual price. Obviously FF lenses alone are a major investment for the newly released Pentax lenses so in any event, an APS-C system will be much cheaper. Again, since we don't know the sensor size of the new camera we can only speculate but DOF will be an improvement and decreased noise will also be there. but it comes down to what you want to do with your camera. Come back in a month or two and you will know for sure that the specs have been released.


Personally, since the K-3 and the K-3II use the same sensor, unless you need the geotracking and Astrophotography and don't need the GPS, the K-3, as of now until we see how the FF looks, would be the better option, at least in my opinion. Pixel shifting samples look incredible on the K-3II but there is a caveat, it has to be a static subject which in some instances will be of limited or no use. There is a rumor that a FW update will include Pixel Shifting into other Pentax bodies but that is still a rumor. If it is possible, the K-3 would most likely be released first.


Bottom line, a lot of speculation on what the FF will actually look like spec wise and also what you are looking for that will benefit FF vs current APS-C cameras.
04-24-2015, 01:47 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Omestes Quote
It is amusing; I was very stoked, but then I realize how expensive the thing actually is (even if I can afford it). Do I actually NEED it? I am not a pro, I dont really make any income on photography.
QuoteOriginally posted by Flylooper Quote
Seems like it would be impossible to financially justify such a horrific expense under any circumstance other than, maybe, the "fun factor." Just sayin.'
No one needs a camera. Professional photographers make a living with one, but if certain cameras didn't exist, they'd make do with what exists. If there were no cameras, they'd simply find some other way to make money. This is a hobby for most of us here and you can take it as far as you want. The key is figuring out how far you want to go, how far you can go, and how far from perfection you can accept to be happy. Really, it's about letting yourself be happy.

The internet is a double edge for photography. On the one hand, it puts us in contact with a community and allows learning of techniques you never would have without the connectivity of the world wide web. On the other, it awakens the bad parts of our competitiveness, shows us what we can't do.
04-24-2015, 02:10 PM   #11
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Honestly, if you are looking for someone to "sell" you on a FF camera, you probably don't need it. Those of us that need it or want it already know, based on our shooting styles and demands, what a FF will deliver.

I'll tell you what I have told a couple of my personal friends who also shoot Pentax, get a K3, invest the rest in better glass and see if you can max out your kit's capabilities. When you can/do, you'll know exactly why, and if, you need/want a FF. Until then, invest your money is what is really a flagship DSLR, the K3.

All I can say about why I need one, is that I am a combo landscape and wildlife shooter. The FF is as close to the 645Z as I'll get for a while, and is much more portable and it won't require me to buy a whole new set of lenses. (all my current lenses are FF compatible already). From a wildlife perspective, I'm very excited about the improved AF tracking in the K3ii, and can't wait for it to be implemented with MORE AF points that almost have to be intrinsic to a larger sensor. Could I make do with my current K3? Yes, but I feel I personally can take advantage of what a FF has to offer for my shooting style, and to me the expense is justifiable.

That's where the soul searching comes in. Only you know your true budget. If it were a matter of WHICH FF, then you can and should be "sold" based on various pros and cons. Whether to GO FF, you have to look inward for that answer.
04-24-2015, 02:16 PM   #12
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I say no. However, I do have a FF body for use with a 17mm TS lens that costs almost 2X, so it is essentially a cheaper option than another TS lens.
04-24-2015, 02:24 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Omestes Quote
. Do I actually NEED it?
Of course not.

But you never "needed" your K5, either.

QuoteQuote:
...Do I just want it because it is big, new, expensive, and awesome?
Yes.

QuoteQuote:
...Or because it will actually help my photography?
Yes.

Now, as soon as you admit to yourself that it's not about *need*, you can enjoy the purchase of your new, awesome, lust-worthy, hobby-satisfying FF K-mount camera. (Which will (or should) also help your photography a bit.)

.
04-24-2015, 02:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
No one needs a camera.
There is that. I suppose "need" isn't the best phrasing. Its more "I shoot photography, I want the best experience within my budget to fit my needs; what would best serve those". The issue is the sudden realization that I could get a K3ii, AND buy a new Fuji with a lens or two (or upgrade my m43 kit, AND get a lens) for the same price as a single camera. Its sort of amusing, and sobering to think about. Is a single FF camera a better value than a decent upgrade and upgrading/replacing my second ("fun") kit?

QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
The internet is a double edge for photography. On the one hand, it puts us in contact with a community and allows learning of techniques you never would have without the connectivity of the world wide web. On the other, it awakens the bad parts of our competitiveness, shows us what we can't do.
This is a truism. I probably never would have cared about FF, unless I spend however many years reading its praises, and reading the FF lust lying just beneath the surface of these forums.

I suppose the thing is... I understand the basics of what FF would get me (expanded DR, shallower DOF, more pixels to play with/crop in PP), but I don't understand the magnitude or scope of these improvements, never having shot FF before (not counting film, which is a different beast). I can understand the difference between my K5 and a K5iis, K3, or K3ii, but I can't quite see it with FF. Especially considering that FF is upgading just my K mount kit, where just upgading APS-C would allow me to upgrade basically all my kit, both the "serious photography", and "hey lets take a camera to the grocery store and see what happens!" kits. Is FF THAT big, especially for a semi-casual but serious photographer such as myself who isn't paying the bills with their craft?
04-24-2015, 03:14 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Being able to shoot APS-C and full frame extends the capability of the system. The FA31 will be a fast wide angle AND a normal lens. The FA77 can be either short OR long portrait lens. My FA*24 will be an ultra-wide again. If I really want shallower depth of field I can get it. Conversely, I can leave my telephotos on the APS-C body and get the reach I'm used to without forking out a fortune on massive new lenses.

Improved low light performance and higher resolution will be great too. I can't imagine my life being complete without the FF
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