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11-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
Press Info 2x and you can bring up the level

True, but will that activate the level in the viewfinder? And even if it does, this is harder to do while looking through the camera compared to using the Fx button, which is perfectly located. I'll have to test it out this evening.

11-02-2013, 02:38 AM - 1 Like   #47
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A few observations

These are really just jottings that may be of interest. They are not a systematic collection. (I only shoot DNGs).

AF-C

I have only tested this about the house - single centre spot, holding my finger half-down and panning around. (DA* 60-250mm f/4 and DA* 300mm f/4). It quickly (but not instantly, of course) focused on what was at the centre. I suspect it is lens-limited, and this is hardly a realistic test.

I did notice one thing that was bit disconcerting with both of these lenses. Occasionally it would fail to focus on something, for example featureless curtains or wall. (OK). The focus indicator hexagram in the viewfinder would blink. (As it should). But continuing the pan to something it should then focus on didn't cause the camera to start trying again. It would then be pointing at something with adequate light and detail for focusing, but the focus indicator would continue flashing and the image would remain blurred.

Only lifting my finger on the shutter button then re-applying it would start it focusing again. I haven't tested my K-5IIs yet to see if that works the same way. Nor do I know whether there is a setting which would improve this.

Auto-bracketing

When shooting 3-image bracketing, it fires the 3 shots so fast compared with my K-5IIs that I thought something was going wrong. But no - the cycle time for auto-bracketing appears to have been upgraded along with the increased fps. Nice!

Grip

I normally carry my camera in my right hand. Although the K-3 grip is slightly different, and may be an improvement over my K-5IIs, I still end up carrying the camera mostly using my 3rd and 4th fingers. These still get tired, not helped by the fact that the camera is slightly heavier. My battery grip is still waiting for stock to arrive, but I'm sure I will find it necessary for long shoots.

High ISO noise

First field results suggest to me that beyond perhaps ISO 6400 my K-3 isn't as good as my K-5IIs. Both colour and luminance noise are significantly worse, especially heading towards ISO 51200. I hope I am wrong, and perhaps more experience with different Lightroom parameters will improve things. Until then, I'll use my K-5IIs rather than my K-3 for High ISO.

AF Mode button

This is such a trivial point that I almost didn't mention it. But .... AF modes are changed by holding down the AF Mode button and using the dials. The button doesn't protrude far from the body, (especially compared with nearly all other buttons), and I find it tricky to press it firmly in while also rotating the dials. Clip your nails before using this button!

(I felt that the old AF Mode rotating switch was a rather unconvincing device, and while it served its purpose to switch between AF and M, it was not good switching between AF-S and AF-C. Whether or not the new AF Mode switching method will prove better, this switch is now a much more positive switch between AF and M).

Menu memory

I use the setting to remember the last menu position. With my previous cameras, this remembered (and returned to) the last used page in the menu. With the K-3 it returns to the last used item on the last used page in the menu. So at the moment if I access the menu it goes straight to "Format". I think this is better. (Unfortunately, because there are 2 card slots, the Format action is more complicated! But that is to be expected).

Overall impression

This gives the impression of being a very good general upgrade compared with the K-5IIs, and obviously from anything earlier than that. I haven't spotted anything that makes me doubt that I will be better off with this camera. No regrets about pre-ordering it! But ... I'm glad my K-5IIs will always be nearby, in case I need High ISO before I know how to control the extra noise of the K-3.
11-02-2013, 03:00 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
I did notice one thing that was bit disconcerting with both of these lenses. Occasionally it would fail to focus on something, for example featureless curtains or wall. (OK). The focus indicator hexagram in the viewfinder would blink. (As it should). But continuing the pan to something it should then focus on didn't cause the camera to start trying again. It would then be pointing at something with adequate light and detail for focusing, but the focus indicator would continue flashing and the image would remain blurred.

Only lifting my finger on the shutter button then re-applying it would start it focusing again. I haven't tested my K-5IIs yet to see if that works the same way. Nor do I know whether there is a setting which would improve this.
Sorry, thought you were talking about AF-S.

It's a bit weird to do that in AF-C, you'd think, especially with all the whizz-bang follow focus business - hmmm.

EDIT: Just tried it on the K-5, and after flashing at failure to focus, it would then refocus when pointed appropriately - finger constantly held down.

So, you don't do video? Would love to know a bit about that.

AB

Last edited by Mutters; 11-02-2013 at 03:13 AM.
11-02-2013, 07:42 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
These are really just jottings that may be of interest. They are not a systematic collection. (I only shoot DNGs).

Menu memory

I use the setting to remember the last menu position. With my previous cameras, this remembered (and returned to) the last used page in the menu. With the K-3 it returns to the last used item on the last used page in the menu. So at the moment if I access the menu it goes straight to "Format". I think this is better. (Unfortunately, because there are 2 card slots, the Format action is more complicated! But that is to be expected).
that's a custom menu setting, you can set it to do the same on k-3 too

11-02-2013, 08:04 AM - 1 Like   #50
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Interesting….I'm not doing this in any methodical way, but, one of my favourite lenses for porch birds is my Sigma 70-300 because at a focussing range of 12 feet, it provides double the magnification of my DA*60-250. So when I saw a few birds at the feeder this morning, I pulled it out to give it a go. After 5 minutes it had failed to achieve focus, in any AF setting. I thought "maybe it's broken." Put it on the K-5, and got instant focus lock.

So then of course I wondered " what about my other old lenses. I pulled the F-70-210 out of the cupboard and snapped it on, and tried the same test. The focus was so fast, I couldn't believe it. SO I focussed on a tree out close tot infinity. Instant lock, then back to the porch again. Again instant lock. My take on this is they've speeded up the screw drive mechanism. I think my Sigma lens was probably geared over Pentax spec, and it's now so fast in it's movements the camera doesn't have time to lock focus. It does seem to fly by the focus point in a real hurry. It was a great thing when used on my *ist. Apparently now not so good.

IN sort of half panic, I grabbed the Tamron 90 , one of our favourite lenses. ANd again it was "wow". Instant lock. I'd say as fast as the Nikon D600 with 85 I tested, maybe faster. Focus on the DA 35 was practically instantaneous.

So in the end I guess with the screw drive lenses, it's going to come down to how they are geared. The 70-300 going from the back end it range all the way out to macro in less than a second doesn't help if the camera doesn't find the focus point.

On to the HSM lenses.
The next big hitter in our line up is the Sigma 70 macro. Especially down on the macro end, this lens tends to hunt on a K-5. Like the Tamron 90, the focus was fast and decisive, even when going from having the barrel extended to focusing on infinity. (whew).

The 60-250 felt about the same, as did 18-135. So SDM and DC were not noticeably improved. I guess jacking up the speed of the screw drive motor is considerably different from adding extra voltage to SDM or DC. given the failure rate of SDM, it's not looking like they engineered those lenses to operate with a faster AF system i.e.attained by increasing either a voltage or amperage . It will be interesting to see if any of the new Hd SDM lenses address this issue. It's odd having the Tamron 90 outperform the Sigma 70 in a focus test.

Anyway, enough for this morning. If I had a full range of lenses, I'd run through them all. The synopsis would be, screw drive is faster, but in at least one screw drive lens, too fast to lock focus.

At least one lens that could be very slow to lock focus on a K-5 is much better on a K-3. The Sigma 70 macro.
HSM, and SDM lenses are about the same, and feel a bit slower than their screw drive counterparts at this points.

Those are just my impressions… , I'm not running a lab here, except for the part where the 70-300 was so fast it wouldn't lock focus, nothing impressionable about that.

So my experience would be Sigma 70-300, un-useable.
Sigma 70 macro- much improved.
All screw drive lenses, much faster,
SDM and HSM lenses- about the same a speed barrel rotation but faster focus lock, once the focus point has been found.

The one more thing I'd like to look at would be if I can get the 70-300 to focus in better light, it's overcast and pretty dark today. But for that, i have to wait for the sun, maybe tomorrow.


PS
I got a little sun spot, and still no go… even when I manually focus and switch to AF, it will not lock focus on the indicated centre point… it always goes buy it and locks on the background. Not very useful for a macro focus lens.

Last edited by normhead; 11-02-2013 at 08:20 AM.
11-02-2013, 08:23 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
At least one lens that could be very slow to lock focus on a K-5 is much better on a K-3. The Sigma 70 macro.
HSM, and SDM lenses are about the same, and feel a bit slower than their screw drive counterparts at this points.
Your impressions are pretty much what I've seen as well, except for HSM (but on a very different lens).

It was too windy here yesterday for the birds to perch on their favorite bush in our yard, but I tested the Sigma 50-500 OS out on the (empty) bird feeder, then on the closer porch rail, then the back shed, then back again. Compared to the K-5, the K-3 made the HSM of the Bigma feel noticeably faster going between these points, and didn't hunt at all in the overcast light. The DA*50-135 is just as pokey as before, and I can't tell much with the DA Limited primes, since they are all pretty fast focusers (small throw, light body), except the 35 macro, which seemed faster when going "all the way out and back" (ah, no focus limiter).

Quite happy with the AF in the K-3. On Halloween night it did a yeoman's job in "unavailable light" photography!

Last edited by panoguy; 11-02-2013 at 08:45 AM.
11-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Interesting….I'm not doing this in any methodical way, but, one of my favourite lenses for porch birds is my Sigma 70-300 because at a focussing range of 12 feet, it provides double the magnification of my DA*60-250. So when I saw a few birds at the feeder this morning, I pulled it out to give it a go. After 5 minutes it had failed to achieve focus, in any AF setting. I thought "maybe it's broken." Put it on the K-5, and got instant focus lock.

So then of course I wondered " what about my other old lenses. I pulled the F-70-210 out of the cupboard and snapped it on, and tried the same test. The focus was so fast, I couldn't believe it. SO I focussed on a tree out close tot infinity. Instant lock, then back to the porch again. Again instant lock. My take on this is they've speeded up the screw drive mechanism. I think my Sigma lens was probably geared over Pentax spec, and it's now so fast in it's movements the camera doesn't have time to lock focus. It does seem to fly by the focus point in a real hurry. It was a great thing when used on my *ist. Apparently now not so good.

IN sort of half panic, I grabbed the Tamron 90 , one of our favourite lenses. ANd again it was "wow". Instant lock. I'd say as fast as the Nikon D600 with 85 I tested, maybe faster. Focus on the DA 35 was practically instantaneous.

So in the end I guess with the screw drive lenses, it's going to come down to how they are geared. The 70-300 going from the back end it range all the way out to macro in less than a second doesn't help if the camera doesn't find the focus point.

On to the HSM lenses.
The next big hitter in our line up is the Sigma 70 macro. Especially down on the macro end, this lens tends to hunt on a K-5. Like the Tamron 90, the focus was fast and decisive, even when going from having the barrel extended to focusing on infinity. (whew).

The 60-250 felt about the same, as did 18-135. So SDM and DC were not noticeably improved. I guess jacking up the speed of the screw drive motor is considerably different from adding extra voltage to SDM or DC. given the failure rate of SDM, it's not looking like they engineered those lenses to operate with a faster AF system i.e.attained by increasing either a voltage or amperage . It will be interesting to see if any of the new Hd SDM lenses address this issue. It's odd having the Tamron 90 outperform the Sigma 70 in a focus test.

Anyway, enough for this morning. If I had a full range of lenses, I'd run through them all. The synopsis would be, screw drive is faster, but in at least one screw drive lens, too fast to lock focus.

At least one lens that could be very slow to lock focus on a K-5 is much better on a K-3. The Sigma 70 macro.
HSM, and SDM lenses are about the same, and feel a bit slower than their screw drive counterparts at this points.

Those are just my impressions… , I'm not running a lab here, except for the part where the 70-300 was so fast it wouldn't lock focus, nothing impressionable about that.

So my experience would be Sigma 70-300, un-useable.
Sigma 70 macro- much improved.
All screw drive lenses, much faster,
SDM and HSM lenses- about the same a speed barrel rotation but faster focus lock, once the focus point has been found.

The one more thing I'd like to look at would be if I can get the 70-300 to focus in better light, it's overcast and pretty dark today. But for that, i have to wait for the sun, maybe tomorrow.


PS
I got a little sun spot, and still no go… even when I manually focus and switch to AF, it will not lock focus on the indicated centre point… it always goes buy it and locks on the background. Not very useful for a macro focus lens.
Thanks Norm - Ifeel much better having ordered the K-3 just disappointed about the Silver version still a month off. I am also looking forward to focus peaking in live view with SMC 500 with 1.4 rear converter. Given the proper lighting this should be grat for perched raptors and larger - fairly stationary - wildlife.
11-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
So my experience would be Sigma 70-300, un-useable.
The perfect excuse for an HD 55-300mm WR?

11-02-2013, 09:21 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by civano Quote
I know the K-3 only started to arrive in user's hands yesterday but I'm excitedly awaiting Pentax Forum member reviews. I keep obsessively checking the forums to see if someone has posted what their impressions of it are. I really want to hear how those of you who purchased the K-3 like it.
It would also be a good idea to check this thread for sample pcitures: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/241198-k3-sample-shots-post-here.html

JP
11-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
that's a custom menu setting, you can set it to do the same on k-3 too
Are you sure? My K-5IIs option is to remember the last used menu tab. My K-3 option is to remember the last used item in the last menu tab. The cameras actually say different things, corresponding to the different behaviours I've described.
11-02-2013, 09:52 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The perfect excuse for an HD 55-300mm WR?
it could be that they made some tweaks in favor of pentax zooms... Not that I'd call that a bad move.
11-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
Are you sure? My K-5IIs option is to remember the last used menu tab. My K-3 option is to remember the last used item in the last menu tab. The cameras actually say different things, corresponding to the different behaviours I've described.
Ah I re-read your statement again, I didn't even notice this behavior. Good catch
11-02-2013, 09:21 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Interesting….I'm not doing this in any methodical way, but, one of my favourite lenses for porch birds is my Sigma 70-300 because at a focussing range of 12 feet, it provides double the magnification of my DA*60-250. So when I saw a few birds at the feeder this morning, I pulled it out to give it a go. After 5 minutes it had failed to achieve focus, in any AF setting. I thought "maybe it's broken." Put it on the K-5, and got instant focus lock.

So then of course I wondered " what about my other old lenses. I pulled the F-70-210 out of the cupboard and snapped it on, and tried the same test. The focus was so fast, I couldn't believe it. SO I focussed on a tree out close tot infinity. Instant lock, then back to the porch again. Again instant lock. My take on this is they've speeded up the screw drive mechanism. I think my Sigma lens was probably geared over Pentax spec, and it's now so fast in it's movements the camera doesn't have time to lock focus. It does seem to fly by the focus point in a real hurry. It was a great thing when used on my *ist. Apparently now not so good.

IN sort of half panic, I grabbed the Tamron 90 , one of our favourite lenses. ANd again it was "wow". Instant lock. I'd say as fast as the Nikon D600 with 85 I tested, maybe faster. Focus on the DA 35 was practically instantaneous.

So in the end I guess with the screw drive lenses, it's going to come down to how they are geared. The 70-300 going from the back end it range all the way out to macro in less than a second doesn't help if the camera doesn't find the focus point.

On to the HSM lenses.
The next big hitter in our line up is the Sigma 70 macro. Especially down on the macro end, this lens tends to hunt on a K-5. Like the Tamron 90, the focus was fast and decisive, even when going from having the barrel extended to focusing on infinity. (whew).

The 60-250 felt about the same, as did 18-135. So SDM and DC were not noticeably improved. I guess jacking up the speed of the screw drive motor is considerably different from adding extra voltage to SDM or DC. given the failure rate of SDM, it's not looking like they engineered those lenses to operate with a faster AF system i.e.attained by increasing either a voltage or amperage . It will be interesting to see if any of the new Hd SDM lenses address this issue. It's odd having the Tamron 90 outperform the Sigma 70 in a focus test.

Anyway, enough for this morning. If I had a full range of lenses, I'd run through them all. The synopsis would be, screw drive is faster, but in at least one screw drive lens, too fast to lock focus.

At least one lens that could be very slow to lock focus on a K-5 is much better on a K-3. The Sigma 70 macro.
HSM, and SDM lenses are about the same, and feel a bit slower than their screw drive counterparts at this points.

Those are just my impressions… , I'm not running a lab here, except for the part where the 70-300 was so fast it wouldn't lock focus, nothing impressionable about that.

So my experience would be Sigma 70-300, un-useable.
Sigma 70 macro- much improved.
All screw drive lenses, much faster,
SDM and HSM lenses- about the same a speed barrel rotation but faster focus lock, once the focus point has been found.

The one more thing I'd like to look at would be if I can get the 70-300 to focus in better light, it's overcast and pretty dark today. But for that, i have to wait for the sun, maybe tomorrow.


PS
I got a little sun spot, and still no go… even when I manually focus and switch to AF, it will not lock focus on the indicated centre point… it always goes buy it and locks on the background. Not very useful for a macro focus lens.

sounds like back focusing, try the Micro focus adjustment in Camera and see if that helps
11-07-2013, 06:54 AM - 1 Like   #59
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Pentax K3 and RRS L-plate

I just picked up the Pentax K3 from Fovi AS here in Oslo, Norway.

According to a previous post, the custom RRS L-plate does not fit the Pentax K3. The first thing I did was trying my RRS K5 L-plate on the Pentax K3. It fits on my Pentax K3.
The potensial problems are as follows:

The AF mode button. If you have large fingers it can be a little tight.
And the headphone jack is also a little tight.

Conclusion: It can be used.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bogartist Quote

For anyone wondering about Really Right Stuff plates: the custom RRS L-plate for the K-7/K-5/II/s does not fit the K-3. The RRS "multi-camera" plate BP-CS does fit beautifully, and clears the battery door.

Hope this is useful opinion.
-Jos
11-07-2013, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #60
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Got mine!

1st a little background, started out with the K10, then K20, K7, K5, now K3 so not only has the K series evolved but I have too! It came in late yesterday afternoon and after putting in a new freshly charged aftermarket battery and two PNY 32GB Elite Performance SD cards, I performed the preliminary set up. First thing was it is noticeably heftier.The back LCD is brighter and crisper than previous models. The viewfinder besides having a bigger image was likewise brighter and I don't see any spots. The menu seems to have a better layout and controls are more handy. Having read of some of the problems others were having I tried installing only one SD card, switching cards, etc. but could not produce the lock up another poster experienced. The level indicator is spot on. Next I tried several different lenses, zoom and Limiteds, under different conditions for focus speed and operation. All seemed to have a snappier, quicker response focusing when compared to my K5. Mirror action is quieter. Love the new auto-focus points. Using my 17-50 Tammy, the pop-up flash worked flawlessly. My shooting was done to test the mechanics of the camera. While I reviewed the images and all were satisfactory I'm not going to post them now as there was nothing remarkable. Other than the initial settings I left everything in default and will post images after I get a chance to reread the owners manual and do a proper setup. I usually wait 6 months before getting a new model but I am extremely happy to have purchased this camera.
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