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11-14-2013, 10:06 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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My K-3 first impressions

OK this will be a very quick run down of my first two hours shooting with the K-3.

Body and design
Very similar to the K-7 as expected. Solid, hefty and well built. The AF selection system is very good and when I am shooting with my DA* 60-250mm then I will really get to use it properly. Today I had my Kiron 105mm Macro, 43 Ltd and 35mm Ltd - one not even AF and the other two not AF demons. That said being able to alter AF modes and selection points without moving your eye from the viewfinder is great.

Performance
30mb/sec cards hold this camera back. The RAWs (DNG) can be over 35mb! It was not as quick in operation as I was expect if I took more than a single shot in quick succession and I think this must be why. Otherwise menu speed etc is as good as you want.

One word of warning don't leave it on continuous drive unless you want it on continuous drive - it's like a hair trigger! Its almost hard to take a single shot. 8.3 fps is insane coming from a K-7

Now the exposure system was weird. It behaves quite differently to the K-7 so I will have to get used to that. It underexposes a fair bit I've noted in the quick PP that I did (See later) that shadow recovery is WAY better.

AF speed is great - the 43 is fast believe it or not. Alarmingly though my 35mm won't focus to infinity on it though...! I have a horrible feeling it might need servicing though - the lens that is - as it's not behaving itself on my K-01...

Images



The 43mm Ltd shines on the K-3. It has the resolution to feed the 24mp sensor and then some. This is a crop of the above:



As you can see it's sharp. Also the colour rendering is nice I've found.

However, I think the Kiron 105 has met its match with the K-3. It's still capable of nice pictures but the sharpness is good but not awesome - you're still getting more than 16 but not quite 24 if that makes sense. This is ISO 1600 - but resized for web so not great for an analysis. But overall noise performance is a touch behind the K-01 but TBH with the extra detail it's not an issue as long as you are using a great lens.



This image gives you an idea of the shadow recovery and sharpness. Taken with the 43 ltd with +55 shadows and darks on the tone curve and +38 shadows on the exposure:





And here are a few more images:









Overall I am really pleased with the camera and the extra resolution will be great for some image analysis work I do at a London museum.

I know I was using the 43mm Ltd - probably the best lens in that focal length ever made by Pentax and must be one of the best by anyone, however the image quality is just very very very nice. I think you can push this files quite hard and still get beautiful results. My next challenge is the put the DA* 60-250 on it!

11-14-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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Nice write up. I am finding that the dynamic range of the K3 is as good as my k5iis
11-14-2013, 10:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for the writeup. I agree that the K-3 sensor is a good one. I find it able to hold highlights better than my K-5 IIs.

Jack
11-14-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
Nice write up. I am finding that the dynamic range of the K3 is as good as my k5iis
Thanks.

That wouldn't surprise me.

Live view is also far better and the CDAF seems to be as good as on the K-01 but the live view feed seems smoother to me as well.

11-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #5
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File size impact on Lightroom performance

Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I'm running an old Core 2 QX6700 overclocked to 3.2ghz and only 4Gb of RAM. Windows 7 is installed on an SSD but the files are on a 7200 rpm 1TB HDD. Overall I'm not noticing a significant performance drop. Exporting the DNGs as JPEGs is taking noticeably longer but not problematically so.

Storage on the other hand is going to be a problem, eventually. The RAWs are up to 35mb and the JPEGs converted in Lightroom are running at ~20mb - not small. But storage is relatively cheap. Good news is that if you have a moderately fast quad core CPU you'll be fine.
11-14-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
File size impact on Lightroom performance

Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I'm running an old Core 2 QX6700 overclocked to 3.2ghz and only 4Gb of RAM. Windows 7 is installed on an SSD but the files are on a 7200 rpm 1TB HDD. Overall I'm not noticing a significant performance drop. Exporting the DNGs as JPEGs is taking noticeably longer but not problematically so.

Storage on the other hand is going to be a problem, eventually. The RAWs are up to 35mb and the JPEGs converted in Lightroom are running at ~20mb - not small. But storage is relatively cheap. Good news is that if you have a moderately fast quad core CPU you'll be fine.
I'd ad, I am waiting bait longer for files to load when I change files, but apart from that everything seems to be pretty much the same. It has convinced me I'm not going to get a 36MP camera.
11-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
File size impact on Lightroom performance

Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
Overall I'm not noticing a significant performance drop.
I'm still on LR 4.x and have been using LR since before the beginning. This is the first time I'm noticing significant slowdown with Pentax files. Reminds me of Nikon D800 files I've worked. My machine is a performance oriented and fairly new Hackintosh with 12TB of storage plus an SSD for the OS, the LR catalog and associated metadata files.

I'm not at the pain point, but I notice.

In related news, I see that Apple's new Raw camera file database update requires Mountain Lion as the minimum OS version.

M
11-14-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
File size impact on Lightroom performance

Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I'm running an old Core 2 QX6700 overclocked to 3.2ghz and only 4Gb of RAM. Windows 7 is installed on an SSD but the files are on a 7200 rpm 1TB HDD. Overall I'm not noticing a significant performance drop. Exporting the DNGs as JPEGs is taking noticeably longer but not problematically so.

Storage on the other hand is going to be a problem, eventually. The RAWs are up to 35mb and the JPEGs converted in Lightroom are running at ~20mb - not small. But storage is relatively cheap. Good news is that if you have a moderately fast quad core CPU you'll be fine.
So i have a ASUS laptop, 2.3 ghz, 8gb of RAM, Win 7 Intel I7, usb3. Use LR and Photoshop mostly. Will i have a problem? What are the options to record RAW at lower resolutions? I'd love to have the better camera processing speed and AF.

Any advice appreciated.

I know 2 women in the area that do weddings together. One buys a D800 while the other sticks to her D700. The one with the D700 runs the wedding business, website and all that. First problem to come up, how to deal with the extra file size :-(

11-14-2013, 12:06 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
So i have a ASUS laptop, 2.3 ghz, 8gb of RAM, Win 7 Intel I7, usb3. Use LR and Photoshop mostly. Will i have a problem? What are the options to record RAW at lower resolutions?
That should be fine - you won't encounter any issues. You can't have RAW at a lower resolution - it wouldn't be RAW otherwise.
11-14-2013, 12:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
I'm still on LR 4.x and have been using LR since before the beginning. This is the first time I'm noticing significant slowdown with Pentax files. Reminds me of Nikon D800 files I've worked. My machine is a performance oriented and fairly new Hackintosh with 12TB of storage plus an SSD for the OS, the LR catalog and associated metadata files.

I'm not at the pain point, but I notice.

In related news, I see that Apple's new Raw camera file database update requires Mountain Lion as the minimum OS version.

M
Interesting. I've only been playing around so far, so I may hit more performance hiccups as I start to do more advanced things. I also have a reasonable tolerance for less than amazing performance.
11-14-2013, 12:13 PM   #11
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Nice feature, the image shake reduction supports lenses up to 2000 mm; I can try to hold hand my 1200 A* :-)
11-14-2013, 12:26 PM   #12
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My biggest issue with the K3 is the movement of the AF button. I am so used to the K5 style body (have been using since the K7), that I can't find it without removing the camera from my eye. I am sure I will get use to it with time, but still, not sure why they moved it...
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