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11-07-2013, 10:28 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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D-BG4 grip can work on the K-3.

but, there are caveats.

The electrical compatibility is not 100%. Something about pinout on the connection to the camera body has changed. This has the following implications:

1. The battery in the body can power the grip, but power metering will not work correctly. The camera will only register a grip battery as well if you load AA.
2. You must have a battery in the camera body. (if not, the camera will power on, but say 'Battery Depleted'
3. While the power metering may not work, I believe the battery itself does get used as directed if you specify 'Grip First'. Dropping my AAs back into my battery charger seems to confirm this.

How to make it fit!?!?:
I removed the top metal plate from a D-BG4. (The two corner metal pegs, which are what stops the grip from sliding around the bottom of the camera are different sizes in the K-3. The peg closer to the recessions for storing the connector covers (opposite the battery door) is bigger on the K-7/5. The other peg (the one close to the grip's battery door) is smaller on the K-7/5.

The pegs, and a small cutout around where the lens mount sits above the D-BG5 is the only form factor difference between the two battery grips.

You could file down the pin thats furthest from the door to make a D-BG4 fit on both bodies and still have some anchoring. Either way though, there is still potential for the grip to slide around slightly. If you are talented with something like epoxy or bondo you could make both pins fit. If your time is worth it though, its probably just cheaper to buy a D-BG5.

Testing I performed:

1. Shot 20 minutes of video
2. Verified that controls on the grip work
3. Took approximately 800 shots on continuous shooting mode, large JPEG, CA adjustment on, distortion correction off.
4. About 10 minutes of live view use

All of these were performed on the same battery loadout without removing anything from the camera. Afterwards, I removed the battery grip and verified that the in-camera battery was still at full charge.

Looking at the comparison pictures, it should be pretty easy to see.

Important note! : If you try this yourself, keep track of EVERY screw. They are different sizes.

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11-07-2013, 10:46 PM   #2
hcc
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Thanks for the info. Very informative.

This could be a 'sticky'.
11-07-2013, 11:23 PM   #3
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Not sure stickying something that likely voids multiple warranties is a good idea, but thanks for the thought!

Last edited by kain; 11-07-2013 at 11:36 PM.
11-08-2013, 06:27 AM   #4
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that's a lot of work. would it be better getting a third party grip to do that?
If it doens't work out if wouldn't cost so much

11-08-2013, 08:06 AM   #5
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This is like buying a new car and using re-treads to save money. if you can afford the body, you can afford the grip.
11-08-2013, 08:43 AM   #6
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Thanks OP. Good information here. I think it's especially usefull for those that have a third party grip, or want to buy a third party K-5 grip for use with the K-3. I'm guessing it won't be long though until they start coming out with thirp party grips for the K-3 since they are not that different.
11-08-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
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I have both the BG4 and BG5. The battery compartments are interchangeable. Both have the tripod socket in the same spot, unfortunately. Very slight change to the look and feel of the finish, although that might be just due to one being brand new and the other having been polished from handling. Both seem very well made. With the grip attached I find the camera very comfortable to hold.
Both the K5 and K3 when mounted on the tripod without the grip have the level indicators exactly in agreement with the bubble on the tripod head and 2 degrees tilted left when the grip is attached. That suggests that the bottom of the grip is not parallel to the bottom of the camera. I haven't confirmed this, but for those for whom this may matter (panorama head users, possibly?) it is worth noting, although probably more serious than the tilt is the displaced tripod socket.
11-08-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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I would be cautious with this. They have made the grip not fit for a reason. My personal thought is they have added a high speed serial interface to one or a few of the pins (like they did to the flash shoe) to support future grips/modules with WiFi, GPS and other things. The reason they have made the old grip incompatible is it will break either the grip or the camera, probably the camera in this case. I do not think Pentax would have made the grip not fit if it was only beacause of the moved buttons.

11-08-2013, 12:49 PM   #9
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Yeah, I would tread very cautiously with this, and would definitely not try it with an actual DBG-4, only a knock-off. (I actually wouldn't do it with either). Just doesn't seem like a good idea to hack something to fit your new $1300 camera. There very well may be more implications than are currently realized. Not to mention that the fit is not exactly the same. It's going to end up having a bit of a hacked look to it. Spend the $199 and get the real thing. I've had a knock-off for a previous body and it was ok, but I definitely prefer the real Pentax grips.
11-08-2013, 12:56 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Well, that's why I tried it, so you all wouldn't have to.
11-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #11
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@dbh - If determined beforehand that the in-camera level is accurate, then it should be the last tool checked for a level camera on a tripod. Then it wouldn't matter if the grip threw the level off a couple of degrees.

Jack
11-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #12
dbh
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
@dbh - If determined beforehand that the in-camera level is accurate, then it should be the last tool checked for a level camera on a tripod. Then it wouldn't matter if the grip threw the level off a couple of degrees.

Jack
In most cases, that's exactly right and a non-issue. In the situation where you have a panoramic head, the head should be level.
But of course there are always work-arounds. For example enabling the in-camera horizon correction, taking off the grip, straightening in pp...
I was just pointing out something I noticed that may be significant in certain situations.
11-09-2013, 04:53 AM   #13
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Hello

I modified my BG4 too - but mine is working with a battery in the Grip only.
Klaus-takes-Pictures - The Blog: Modification of a #BG4 for #PentaxK3
12-02-2013, 03:31 AM   #14
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Great post but discouraging that there are some compatibility issues. I may revisit this mod in a few weeks.
12-02-2013, 08:21 AM   #15
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I've been using s dbg4 since start of November I see none of your reported 'compatibility issues'
The plastic buttons are reversed but the grips dbg5 and dbg4 are electrically identical (belled out multimeter)

Rather than strip the grip down I 'removed' the offending lug with stout pliers
the only problem you have to be careful with aliment as without the locating lugs there's initial play as you bolt it on so you have to semi tighten , waggle then secure
If anyone really interest in seeing the camera reporting both battery status without issue I can post.

Last edited by awaldram; 06-11-2015 at 07:33 AM.
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