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11-07-2013, 06:15 AM   #1
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Bye bye K20D, hello K-3!

I've been using the K20D to good success for the last six years, steadily upgrading my lens lineup. I have gotten a good deal for the K-3 (yes even though it's just out, I got a pretty decent rebate for it!) so I sold my beloved K20D to a nice forum member who will put it to good use. The K-3 is in the mail, and oh boy how excited I am!

AF (speed, reliability, low-light, tracking), better high ISO performance, better live view (for macro) and video are what sold me. I handled the K-3 at a local photo show and was sold, I started itching for it since then.

Now I'm without a camera for a few days, and I can't wait!

11-07-2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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Now all you need to do is bust out an old film camera. Give yourself something to do in the time it takes to receive that killer machine.
11-07-2013, 07:20 AM   #3
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Shutup! You're making us jealous!
11-07-2013, 07:35 AM   #4
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Do you mind saying what you got it for?

11-07-2013, 07:59 AM   #5
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See what happens when you go to a camera expo and try out the new stuff?
11-07-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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Awww man I all Hear is "Soon honey soon"
11-07-2013, 11:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
Now all you need to do is bust out an old film camera. Give yourself something to do in the time it takes to receive that killer machine.
It's supposed to arrive tomorrow. I'll live until then

QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Do you mind saying what you got it for?
1150$, plus GST tax, no provincial tax (which is 10% here).

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
See what happens when you go to a camera expo and try out the new stuff?
Yep, these events should not be allowed...

I was planning on getting it later in 2014, but seeing that someone wanted my K20D, and seeing I got a decent rebate, I figured I might as well have my fun now.

Good thing is it seems to be well stocked in almost all canadian stores.
11-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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Would you mind sharing where you purchased this? You can PM me...I'm in Ontario and am looking to purchase soon (I hope!).

11-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
It's supposed to arrive tomorrow. I'll live until then



1150$, plus GST tax, no provincial tax (which is 10% here).



Yep, these events should not be allowed...

I was planning on getting it later in 2014, but seeing that someone wanted my K20D, and seeing I got a decent rebate, I figured I might as well have my fun now.

Good thing is it seems to be well stocked in almost all canadian stores.
Somehow distribution channels for Pentax in Canda seem very well managed. I havent ever seen a pentax DSLR in stores out here!
11-07-2013, 12:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I've been using the K20D to good success for the last six years, steadily upgrading my lens lineup. I have gotten a good deal for the K-3 (yes even though it's just out, I got a pretty decent rebate for it!) so I sold my beloved K20D to a nice forum member who will put it to good use. The K-3 is in the mail, and oh boy how excited I am!

AF (speed, reliability, low-light, tracking), better high ISO performance, better live view (for macro) and video are what sold me. I handled the K-3 at a local photo show and was sold, I started itching for it since then.

Now I'm without a camera for a few days, and I can't wait!
I'm also upgrading from a K20d, although mine will continue to serve me in 'second body' capacity.

When I saw the title of this thread I was hoping you'd already received your K3, as I was curious to see your initial reaction to the change from K10/20 era body to the current generation.

I expect / hope it will be a much bigger surprise for us compared to those who are stepping up from K-5 / K5ii bodies.

Please post your initial impressions of the upgrades from K20d when you receive your K3. I'll post mine as well, but I live in Australia (who is behind everyone else in receiving the K3), so no doubt you will get yours first.
11-07-2013, 01:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by danny09 Quote
Somehow distribution channels for Pentax in Canda seem very well managed. I havent ever seen a pentax DSLR in stores out here!
Every online seller has it, and the store behind the photo expo last week-end had a stack of them ready to be sold to visitors.

QuoteOriginally posted by Poit Quote
I'm also upgrading from a K20d, although mine will continue to serve me in 'second body' capacity.
wish that I had the financial capability. I cannot justify keeping two bodies. The K20D was a great camera, though, I won't miss it per se but I'll remember it fondly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Poit Quote
When I saw the title of this thread I was hoping you'd already received your K3, as I was curious to see your initial reaction to the change from K10/20 era body to the current generation.
It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow, I'll run lotsa tests this weekend.

QuoteOriginally posted by Poit Quote
I expect / hope it will be a much bigger surprise for us compared to those who are stepping up from K-5 / K5ii bodies.
QuoteOriginally posted by Poit Quote
Please post your initial impressions of the upgrades from K20d when you receive your K3. I'll post mine as well, but I live in Australia (who is behind everyone else in receiving the K3), so no doubt you will get yours first.
I will!
11-08-2013, 03:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow, I'll run lotsa tests this weekend.





I will!
Mine arrived this morning, so it looks my 'K20d upgrade impressions' will be before yours!

My first main impression is that in every respect (look, feel, finish, operation) this is a much more refined camera.

A guy who repairs / services cameras and lenses told me a couple of years ago that Pentax cameras were ok, but 'a bit agricultural'. I didn't really know what he meant at the time, but comparing the K3 to the K20, I can now see what he meant.

I never thought the K20 was that noisy when taking a shot, but after hearing the K3, the K20 sounded positively like KERRR-LUNK!!!! There's lots of other details and touches on the K3 that are more refined and well finished, but I won't labour the point any further, short of saying I found it a very pleasant experience becoming acquainted with the K3, and found myself constantly smiling with appreciation during the first five or ten minutes.

The battery has been charging for several hours now, so apart from that first five or ten minutes I haven't had a more detailed play. From my initial exploration, I found that the number of options for customisation are almost overwhelming, and a little bit daunting truth be told, in comparison to the K20d. I think it will take me several months to understand what everything does, and what will actually be of use to my style of shooting (if anything!).

In the meantime, I'm going to focus on learning how to do the basic things. I have a wedding to shoot next week, and given the significantly altered user interface I'm a bit reluctant to use the K3 at this early stage of familiarisation. We'll see...

Hope you enjoy yours, I look forward to hearing / reading your initial impressions as well.
11-08-2013, 06:05 AM   #13
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Yeah Poit, I know what you mean..

I'm also in the group of K20D'ers upgrading to the K-3.. I also got mine today.

It's just a completely different feel. The e-dial's are softer and don't resist turning so much... the pop-up flash feels softer and doesn't jump up with so much force. The shutter sound is amazing at 8fps!

I also agree with the features... its overwhelming.. there's so much to learn in this... Although, the first thing I did was customise those e-dials in the different modes :P Had to be done!
11-08-2013, 06:18 AM   #14
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I love my K20D too much to sell it. It has outlived a K-x, K-5 and K-01. Each had advantages in some areas, but I got rid of them and kept the K20D. The K-5 would have been an all-around upgrade, but the auto-focus was beyond useless in tungsten light.

The K-3 is so much slicker than the K20D. Auto-focus is not only better, it's on a totally different plane. Shutter sound is very important to me, the K-3's muffled snick is awesome. Burst speed is another major difference that will benefit my shooting, as will the faster processing. I'm already a fan of dual cards for real-time backup. I have experienced card failures in the past. As an avid birder, the extra pixels will be used, often. I love User Mode and I'm looking forward to adding two more sets. Fast, Live View AF is a nice feature, and Focus Peaking makes it even better. Video is not important to me, but it's there if I want it. People rave about the K10D/K20D grip, but the K-3 fits my hand much better.

I often carry two bodies, with prime + zoom or two primes mounted. If I'm using external flash, I will use it with the K20D and grip. I didn't buy a grip for the K-3. Action shots will be the K-3's domain. The K20D will likely never see the DA*300 again.

The K-3's metal body is, and feels, more solid. I have to wonder though, if it is as tough as the K20D's poly skin. The K20 survived two particularly nasty drops from several feet onto asphalt (-40 degree frozen asphalt in one case), without so much as a scuff. In each case the lens was damaged but the camera just bounced. Would magnesium have been scratched or dented? I hope to never find out.

One clear advantage of the metal body is solidity on the tripod. My A*300 f/4 had no tripod foot, I had to screw the tripod plate directly to the K20D. With a two pound lens cantilevered on the camera, the setup was woefully wobbly. I no longer have the A*300, but a tripod setup with larger zoom and flash is significantly more solid with a metal body.

I am so happy to have the K-3. A K-5 IIs is a superb camera and a solid upgrade from a K20D, but I'm glad I held out for the latest and greatest Pentax.

Last edited by audiobomber; 11-08-2013 at 07:44 AM.
11-10-2013, 07:49 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Allright, I have been using the K-3 for a few days, having received it last Friday. I can comment on the changes between the K-3 and K20D to some extend.

First, the camera is fantastic. I'm sorry for all of you hesitating and wondering if you should upgrade. The truth is that it is an impressive upgrade from the K20D.

First, ergonomics. There are significant differences, enough that I sometimes have to look at the buttons placement. That's not to say it's bad, but there ARE differences. For instance, AF mode is now a combination of buttons instead of a rotating switch. Instead of pressing the FN button to access flash mode, drive mode, etc, you now toggle between those items and AF point selection. But most of the time, manipulating the camera comes naturally, I'm not lost like when I pick up a Nikon for instance.

I love that there is a dedicated button for ISO. I actually like the way the AF selection works. I love the live view button and the movie/stills switch. I think that the metering/erase button is too near the viewfinder but that's about it for grievances. I'll mention that I have not found a way to light up the top LCD except by configuring the Fx button to do so (it's OK, I would not have used any other of the proposed options).

Speaking of the top LCD, there is now a truckload of information dislayed on it. Info on both cards, ISO and rmaining shots, metering, exposure, drive mode, and much more. I like that I can display the inclination and still have the compensation scale by pressing the EV compensation button.

Pressing such a button once keeps the option active until another action is performed, which is very nice.

The body is smaller but has the same weigth. The grip is different, but excellent, well shaped, comfortable. It feels as natural as the K20D's, which says something.

The screen is just amazing. Large, bright, high-res.

Let's move to actual shooting...

The shutter is so silent it's hardly believable, coming from the K20D. I was not sure it had taken a picture the first time. It's soft and smooth. And fast. It's not something often measured in reviews is the time it takes to take the picture when you press the shutter. THAT is really, really fast. I thought there was no delay before, but it's shorter now.

Burst mode is absurdly fast. that's it.

AF is wonderful. It IS faster. With all my lenses. It's also much more flexible with the new AF points. I currently use the AF auto 9 points, and it's nice. I can move it around as if it was a single spot. Love it. I used to operate with the SEL mode, moing my point around. This is similar but with some added flexibility. I have not yet tested the AF in really low light but it hasn't left me wanting in any situation so far.

Metering is better, very much so. Even in multi-zone, on strongly backlit scenes, it performed well. I'm not yet really familiar with the new way to change metering but I'll manage. That's one thing I prefered on the K20D, the switch was really nice and intuitive.

SR is good, as I'd expect. Hard to evaluate if it's better, it's clearly not worse. It also activates much faster, there was some delay before it was active with the K20D, hardly delay now.

ISO... that's the main reason why I upgraded. I'll just say this : ISO 12800 on the K-3 is about comparable to ISO 1000 on the K20D. I'll use it if I must, but I set auto ISO (which I rarely use) to operate between 200 and 6400. I also found something amazing. There is a "program line" for ISO, prioritizing low ISO, speed or something in between (I use speed).

Let's talk about the viewfinder. It's visibly larger, bright, but the K20D was not lacking in this. There is a lot more info displayed. I really like that the camera shows if I'm set to move the AF points or not. For the rest, almost everything you'd want to see is there.

Operation speed : it's so fast! Instant replay is instantaneous, navigating menues is quick, scanning photos in playback is extremely fast, it's just smoother.

Menues. They are very logical coming from the K20D. I went through them all once, setting things as I went, and I'm already comfortable with most options and settings. Some new things will require experimenting but for the most part I knew what I wanted and where to set it. Kudos.

Now there is one thing I can't get my head around yet. By default the back LCD is always on except when you half-press the shutter. Now I don't like that. You can turn it off easily. But on the K20D when you pressed the Info button once you got the exposure data. That's what I'd like. On the K-3 if the screen is off and you press Info, you get the screen where you can move the cursor around and change all sorts of settings, like HDR, noise reduction, etc. It's a powerful and useful screen but not usually the one I want to see.

That was pretty long-winded, but I hope it's helpful. I loved the K20D and the K-3 is a worthy upgrade. I really, really enjoy using it.
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