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10-31-2013, 01:40 PM - 4 Likes   #1
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Things I've noticed about the K-3 so far...



I'm coming from a K-5 (not a II or IIs), and before that I had a K20D and a K10D and a slew of Canons (including a 1Ds). Got my K-3 today and have already noticed some interesting things. So far it's a great camera, and just what I need for my work (industrial HDR panoramas) and play (family stuff and landscapes).

Rather than bury this stuff in the "shipped" post, here is what I started writing there, but in a new thread:

Good news! The Mestos K-5 arca plate fits perfectly on the K-3. Not sure about other made-for-K-5 plates or attachments, and I didn't get a grip.

The processor is MUCH faster than the K-5. Turning on all the distortion, CA, and vignetting correction does not affect the time to shoot and review, even in burst mode. No more "hourglass" for lens corrections (on a DA 35 Macro Ltd), however there is still a "processing" progress bar for in-camera HDR captures.

Next, the SD card write speed is much faster. I can auto-bracket 5 shots in raw, and still no hourglass. (Of course, I'm using a Lexar Pro UHS-1 card) It even shows all the image previews on the back LCD as it shoots!

Annoyingly (for me at least), there is still now way to have "mirror up" and "exposure bracketing" at the same time (my old Canon bodies did this, and it was great for HDRs). Further, if you choose "Self-timer + Exposure Bracketing" it still puts a 2 second wait in between each bracket if you last used a 2 sec. timer (this is all with "One Push Bracketing" set in Custom functions).

Not sure if this was discussed or detected, but "Movie SR" is in fact mechanical SR. I can hear the magnets moving the sensor... but I don't know if I'll hear it in the video since the little built-in mic hole is further forward now (above the lensmount, not on the top). EDIT: You can enter live view and record video with no lens on the camera, so I watched the sensor during both operations. In live view (w/ SR on) the sensor moves around in reaction to motion, but when in video mode (recording or not) the sensor does not move at all - the humming is the sensor being held in place. Apparently this means the "Movie SR" is digital only.

Press the "AF Mode" while in Live View or Movie Recording, and big symbols for all the contrast-detect focus modes come up on the back, and naturally, turning the rear dial scrolls between them. Nice! Press it while looking through the viewfinder in (ahem) Stills Mode, and at the bottom of the viewfinder are two displays that show the AF mode (AF.C, AF.A, AF.S) which can be changed with the front dial, and the focus points (Auto, Spot, etc.) with the rear dial. Of course, this is all on the rear LCD as well...

One thing I was most looking forward to - dual SD slots so I can back up while shooting on the job! I've put two identical Lexar Pro 16GB cards in both slots, formatted them both in-camera, and then proceeded to shoot some of my typical raw file HDRs. 5 shots, +-2 ev apart... 8-10 seconds with the camera only semi-responsive...huh? So there's the hourglass! Reminded me of my Sigma DP2 Merrill! It seems (but I'm not sure) that the camera writes all 5 files to one SD card, then when that's done, writes them to the other! Seemed verrrry slow compared to just writing to one SD sot, in fact more than double the time!

I'm also not sure if this is a K-3 thing, or if the K-5II series also had it. You can set the RAW/FX button to be a toggle for the Shake Reduction! Finally, a physical switch again! I've missed that since my K20D, mainly because I take my camera on and off the tripod or panohead all the time.

The DA*50-135 is just as pokey with the K-3 as it is with the K-5. The main difference is that the last little "double check" of focus is much faster on the K-3. Also, there is no repeated blinking of the AF point display (red box) that annoys me with the K-5. Screwdrive seems the same speed to turn the lens (FA and DA Ltds), but overall the AF is much more confident and can lock on with a lot less light! Also, the SR and Screwdrive motors are impossible to hear over the mechanical turning of the lenses... not sure if this is an improvement or not.


Last edited by panoguy; 11-02-2013 at 06:22 AM.
10-31-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Sounds like AF probably isn't much different from K-5II(s), unless tracking turns out to be better, which I'm really hoping for. Glad the over-zealous blinking red box has been tamed, though.
10-31-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
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I think there are limits to what the system can do with an in-lens focusing motor.
10-31-2013, 01:58 PM   #4
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No doubt. I'm wondering if Sigmas with HSM may see a speed increase. Tbh, though, better tracking is all the K-5IIs left me wanting for.

10-31-2013, 02:07 PM   #5
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I'm hoping for some predictive tracking. ie horses, bikes, cars, coming towards you.
10-31-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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Great write-up! How is the focus peaking, and continuous AF(?), during video?
10-31-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Posted this on dpreview aswell, don't want to create a new thread here as your findings are pretty much the same as mine

First of all I've been using Pentax since K10D --> K-X --> K-5 as my primary gear, so I'm quite familiar with Pentax ergonomics and performance.

I won't bore anyone with obvious spec i.e dual sd card, etc rather this is a hands on experience from someone who is familiar with Pentax system.


Pro:

First and foremost, processing speed and overall operation is MUCH faster than any of its predecessor, no more waiting around for buffer to clear before you can use the camera again. This alone is probably worth the upgrade for anyone who use burst mode a lot.
Big improvement in AF menu and customization, zone mode, tracking lock, etc. This will need getting used to for everyone as the system has been completely re hauled
Grip is much better than K-5, I never felt comfortable holding K-5 without grip and K-3 is the complete opposite.
The new Zone metering and Zone AWB is great! Still need further testing but so far it seems like a major improvement
Mode dial lock disabler!

Cons:

No more AF-C dial switch....I have no idea why pentax removed this, I thought it was unecessary
Metering switch is now gone, replaced with button, I think this button should be located on where the EV button is
Inconsistent mode change operation....some things you have to hold and use the scroll to change (metering mode, af mode) while others you just have to press and scroll (ISO, EV)
Zooming in LV require pressing OK button and then zooming using the rear wheel, I prefer the old method pressing info button
Still no in depth Auto ISO customization ala NIKON

High ISO seems to be as good as K5 or maybe a bit worse, further testing is still required.

So far most of my cons are mainly ergonomic based which probably just need getting used to.

Will test AF speed / accuracy during my next concert gig.

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My website and portfolio: Luwindo Photography
10-31-2013, 02:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Great write-up! How is the focus peaking, and continuous AF(?), during video?
focus peaking is there but not as nice as I expected
no AF during video

10-31-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
focus peaking is there but not as nice as I expected
no AF during video
AFAIK, you are the first person to confirm whether or not the K-3 does not support AF during video, so thanks.
(Comment deleted, since it was revealed that the camera will support AF on command.)

I'd be curious to hear more details about your impression of the focus peaking and its weaknesses -- in due time of course.

Last edited by Tanzer; 11-01-2013 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Corrected comment regarding AF.
10-31-2013, 03:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 7samurai Quote
I'm hoping for some predictive tracking. ie horses, bikes, cars, coming towards you.
Denser AF points and the new AF-hold adjustment should do the trick, but of course the question is how much better?
10-31-2013, 03:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
AFAIK, you are the first person to confirm whether or not the K-3 does not support AF during video, so thanks.

I'd be curious to hear more details about your impression of the focus peaking and its weaknesses -- in due time of course.
not much to say, I think by turning on focus peaking the camera turn on the sharpness of the LV to the max which makes LV looks weird but it makes it easier to see which image is in focus
10-31-2013, 03:44 PM   #12
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I don't like the AF-switch on my K-5's so it should be an improvement for me. I have tough time setting it quickly to AF-C without looking and often end up with MF.
10-31-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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Cool! sound like nice things!

About those AF-C dial and Metering mode thing...no problema at all for me it is not so much to be used to be have in one switch. really. This new locking system seems more like usable thing, since you do change modes more, don't you. I do.

So only High Iso is dragging it down. This was suspected. other that that. seems like great!
10-31-2013, 03:56 PM   #14
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Great to hear about the faster processor. One major aggravation with the K5 is the delay in LV when manual focusing. This delay makes it very difficult to accurately manual focus in LV with the K5. Has this been addressed with the K3 - if one uses manual focus in LV, is there instant response/update to focus on the LCD screen or is there still a delay?
10-31-2013, 04:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tariq Quote
Great to hear about the faster processor. One major aggravation with the K5 is the delay in LV when manual focusing. This delay makes it very difficult to accurately manual focus in LV with the K5. Has this been addressed with the K3 - if one uses manual focus in LV, is there instant response/update to focus on the LCD screen or is there still a delay?
Shooting with LV is much much improved, with K-5 the mirror need to go down and then up again before capturing image. K-3 does it instantly, and no I have not noticed delay MF with LV
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