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11-16-2013, 04:57 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Second impressions after a couple of weeks

First impressions are worth reading because we notice things that are different. After using the camera for a while we don't notice those things anymore.

Now, after using the K-3 for a while in different circumstances, what are your impressions?

I'll throw mine in.

The autofocus is very nice. Not omniscient, but reliable and predictable. I'm getting shots I wouldn't have attempted with my K-5.
The pentax lens stable needs updating, they are slow to focus even on a quick accurate body. The bottleneck has moved.
IQ is quite nice. I'm noticing colors in my shots that didn't stand out on my K-5.
Handling is good. The impression of speed isn't there anymore, but I never have to wait. Once I figured out how to shut off the lights and noise, the experience is very nice. The camera doesn't demand your attention, it just does what I want quietly and quickly. The shutter action is very pleasant to listen to.
Metering is consistent, but the spot metering is very sharp and can give you unexpected results.
Noise is about the same as the K-5. I set the top limit to 3200 as I did previously. It cleans up nice post.
There are the odd instabilities. Not repeatable, but out of a couple thousand shots two or three odd exposures. I had it lock once the second day, not since. Probably obscure bugs that will disappear after a firmware update or two.
Batteries don't last as long as on the K-5.
My DA*300 has more reach than on the K-5.
Something I forgot. The AF button has moved. I have used it maybe once or twice. I used it all the time on the K-5. I don't need to cancel focus very often.

Nothing annoying, in fact, the things that I had to fight with on the K-5 just work now. A very pleasant camera to use and shoot with. I haven't probed the limits of the thing yet, in fact am just getting past the point where I'm paying attention to the equipment not the shot. I look forward to taking lots of shots and improving my skills. It has opened up opportunities for learning and developing skills that will keep me occupied for a few years at least.

I am beginning to resent Ricoh/Pentax releasing stuff every month that I really want to buy. I have a feeling it will get worse next year.


Last edited by derekkite; 11-16-2013 at 05:03 PM.
11-16-2013, 05:42 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I have been using the K3 for 4 or 5 days now, so this is more of a first impression post.

The K3 is just a very solid entry. The biggest thing that I notice about it is the speed with which it operates. The K5/II was fast with regard to fps, this is a lot faster and really is a lot more responsive. Quicker preview of images, buffer empties really fast. I really notice this if I shoot a five shot burst in multi exposure mode. It would take the K5 a good four or five seconds to reveal the images, the K3 is much, much faster.

Auto focus is better with regard to tracking, although really about the same in AF-S mode. Focus points are a lot smaller which is really nice. CD-AF is really fast too and I often use that when shooting landscape photos from a tripod.

The sensor really feels about the same as the K5 sensor, but with more resolution. I can process the files the same, but get more detail from the K3 ones.

I haven't used video modes.

Overall, it is a nice improvement and the biggest quibble I have mentioned before is the moving of the auto focus button, which I like to use to focus and then use the shutter button to fire the shutter.
11-16-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
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Rondec I like where the new AF button is though it took some getting use to..
Derek have you ever tried cancelling AF on the shutter button and just using the AF button?
11-16-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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Not with the K-3. I did try with the K-5 for a while but found that I was pressing the green button by mistake. The K-3 is positioned perfectly; just roll the thumb up from the grip position. I will try it out.

11-16-2013, 06:44 PM   #5
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This camera remind me the upgrade of Z1p to MZ-s.

It is day and night compare with all the old models... snappy, quick response... less af error (so far).

Now wait Lightroom native support the new pef / dng will be perfect.
11-16-2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
My DA*300 has more reach than on the K-5.
Huh? That doesn't make any sense........
11-16-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Huh? That doesn't make any sense........
In practice, I can shoot and crop a subject at a further distance with that lens on the K-3 compared to the K-5.
11-16-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
In practice, I can shoot and crop a subject at a further distance with that lens on the K-3 compared to the K-5.
Ahh - ok. I didn't know you were talking about cropping.

11-16-2013, 09:49 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I agree with just about everything posted here about the K-3.

The shutter sound is very seductive indeed.
The AF is definitely, but not dramatically, better. I really like the repositioned AF button; I now shoot with the shutter button AF disabled. I'm still getting used to the new way of switching AF and AE modes, but I can see how much sense it makes.
The feel of the camera - the switches, the dials, the weight, the grip - are all an improvement on the already excellent K-5.
The speed of the processor is astonishing.
Resolution is outstanding. I'm still getting a feel for the noise, but I don't think it's any worse than the K-5. I haven't had a live music gig since I got the K-3; a couple next week should test it out nicely.
Battery life for the way I use the camera is still pretty good.
I agree with Derek's comments about the lens lineup. The K-3 has shown problems with my FA43 to which I was hitherto unaware. I look forward to spending more time with some of my sharper lenses to see how they fare.

I also struggle to find a negative. Really.
11-17-2013, 12:19 AM   #10
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I don't need to struggle- the needless injection of extra button clicks on various menus (such as the INFO button) right now is my primary gripe. I'm still struggling with the location of the AF button (compared to the K5) as well as moving/selecting focus points in Liveview.

On the plus side, Liveview is really crisp, no doubt due to the new display. I really like the images I'm getting out of it but it will take more time to adapt to the new interface.
11-17-2013, 01:40 AM   #11
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I agree

In general just more and better everything.

Only two gripes so far: I don't like the position of the Live View button - it should be in the center of the LV/Movie switch. And I really get annoyed with the Info screen menu - I want to get the Level Screen with three presses of the Info button, not two presses, plus two presses of the Right button, plus a press of Okay. It's maddening. But I can't use the FX/Raw button for the Level anymore because that's controlling Shake Reduction now that there are only three User modes.

So that's three gripes: only three User modes is annoying, too.

But the new viewfinder is great, as is the new rear screen. Focus peaking is very cool. They have obviously redesigned the lens release button, as it's much more springy now and I don't fear it popping-off like on the K-5. I'm not finding the dual SD card slots as groovy as I thought they would be. It really seems like something for video users mostly, although if I was making a living with my camera having a backup as insurance would be very worthwhile. I think I'll mainly use it to get away with buying smaller and cheaper SD cards since now two 16s can fill-in for one 32.

But of course the BIG deal is the sensor: the resolution blows me away. Besides the larger image size the sharpness OOC is amazing. Just slightly more noise than the K-5 - no problem taming it in Lightroom.
11-17-2013, 09:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ENicolas Quote
In general just more and better everything.

Only two gripes so far: I don't like the position of the Live View button - it should be in the center of the LV/Movie switch. And I really get annoyed with the Info screen menu - I want to get the Level Screen with three presses of the Info button, not two presses, plus two presses of the Right button, plus a press of Okay. It's maddening. But I can't use the FX/Raw button for the Level anymore because that's controlling Shake Reduction now that there are only three User modes.

So that's three gripes: only three User modes is annoying, too.

But the new viewfinder is great, as is the new rear screen. Focus peaking is very cool. They have obviously redesigned the lens release button, as it's much more springy now and I don't fear it popping-off like on the K-5. I'm not finding the dual SD card slots as groovy as I thought they would be. It really seems like something for video users mostly, although if I was making a living with my camera having a backup as insurance would be very worthwhile. I think I'll mainly use it to get away with buying smaller and cheaper SD cards since now two 16s can fill-in for one 32.

But of course the BIG deal is the sensor: the resolution blows me away. Besides the larger image size the sharpness OOC is amazing. Just slightly more noise than the K-5 - no problem taming it in Lightroom.
Is the Info screen issue people are unhappy with the same as the Info sequence in the K-01? That camera also requires a selection from screen options every time you want to change the info scree. It IS annoying. Cycling through screen layouts that the K-5 uses is much nicer.
11-17-2013, 09:44 AM   #13
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I have to say, compared to recent launches by a number of other camera companies, this one has gone pretty much without a hitch. As I hoped, it's my K-5 only better. But then, I'm not a person who spends a lot of time in menus, figuring out obscure options etc. are demands a lot of my camera. I had the K-5 6 months before I found out how TAV worked. I'm not analyzing the menus, because everything I use is still there and works the way it did before. My most used menu item is "format card".

I have noticed the reduced use of the info button to change the playback info… that was disappointing, but I'm used to it.
11-17-2013, 12:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I have to say, compared to recent launches by a number of other camera companies, this one has gone pretty much without a hitch.
This is something I have been curious about but have not had time to read other forums to investigate.
Do other manufacturers (Nikon, Canon) have issues with their new flagship designs like we have seen in the past?
11-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #15
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I agree the Info screen change is damn annoying, it adds unneeded complexity and isn't intuitive compared the original method... (Like on my K-7).

I also dislike the dedicated movie switch, replacing the metering switch.... It's just a backwards step, I change metering 3 or 4 times per day, and use video never. Now I have to fiddle with buttons, dials and look at a screen every time I adjust the metering.... Mind boggling backwards step IMO.

The K-3 is also slower to turn on and respond than my K-7..... If I turn the switch to on, I can press the 'Play" button to bring up the last image for review on my K-7 instantly. The K-3 I press the play button 3 or 4 times and eventually I get the image on screen, it's 2 seconds at least less responsive on startup. After 4 years of having that speed, it's quite annoying difference in reaction to have to wait and press the button 4 times.

I'm not totally convinced by the White Balance and Metering as yet, it's fine most of the time, but I have been able to confuse it a few times too.

Those are my minor niggles so far for what is otherwise an amazing camera.
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