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11-18-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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K-5 to K-3 - how big an upgrade.

I'm reading all the reviews, not yet decided whether to go with the K-3 yet.

I went to the K-5 from the K10D, and naturally it was a big upgrade.

I'm wondering about those that went from the K20D to the K-7 - a smaller upgrade - and whether in the fullness of time, the K-5 to K-3 transition will be seen as comparable.

Can someone that remembers back to K20D days comment on whether that sounds fair?

11-18-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisA Quote
I'm reading all the reviews, not yet decided whether to go with the K-3 yet.

I went to the K-5 from the K10D, and naturally it was a big upgrade.

I'm wondering about those that went from the K20D to the K-7 - a smaller upgrade - and whether in the fullness of time, the K-5 to K-3 transition will be seen as comparable.

Can someone that remembers back to K20D days comment on whether that sounds fair?
The K-3 basically irons out most of the issues that the K-5 had, such as lack of manual video controls, no focus peaking, slow lens corrections, etc. and then improves on it in areas such as metering, white balance, autofocus, and image quality. I would say that it's a bigger upgrade than the K20D going to the K-7, though the body itself is more of a facelift than a redesign.

My favorite thing about the K-3 (apart from the resolution and more accurate white balance) is the screen- the 3:2 aspect ratio makes a pleasure to use.

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11-18-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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I went from the K10D to the K20D then the K7 (which I still have) then the K5 (also have) and now the K3. Yes, that sounds fair but I was happy with each transition.
11-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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I think the K3 is a real upgrade over the K5. Biggest things that I notice differences with: (1) Processing speed. Just a lot faster with the K3. Photo previews come up quickly and buffer flushes a lot faster.

(2) auto focus. K5 original struggled with tracking, particularly in lower light. The K5 II improved auto focus in lower light, although the camera doesn't track terribly well. K3 improves on both of those.

(3) Shutter. Really fast. 8 fps is really fast. Don't know what else to say there.

(4) video. I guess this is an improvement, but to me, I didn't use it much with the K5, so not a big deal to me.

(5) sensor. Basically more resolution at lower isos, at high iso, about the same.

(6) ergonomics. Still really good. I always thought the K5 was one of the best cameras I have used from an ergonomic standpoint. K3 doesn't really screw any of that up.

Overall, I do think there is a real improvement with the K3 in most situations over the original K5. I wish I could say that high iso a stop better or, the dynamic range was improved by a stop, but I guess that wasn't really to be expected. If you are currently using a K5 II, there wouldn't be as much improvement, as auto focus with the K5 II is already pretty good.

11-18-2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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shutter now rated for 200,000 actuations.k5 is 100 k.
dual card slots,
a new 86k-pixel metering system
antialiasing filter simulator.
a 27-point autofocus system,
wireless tethering support,
and more!
11-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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For myself I'd say the K-3 is a sufficient jump on many levels - but if those improvements meet your own needs is your question you alone can answer. More dense AF points and f/2.8 sensitivity may or may not apply, also video features aren't relevant to everyone. I've never filled a 32G card personally, but two slots sounds nice. Focus peaking is helpful for almost everyone, and the identical battery is a plus. I'd need a spare on a long backpack, as the battery life is down.

If I had $1200 to spare I'd probably do it, and I almost hope it doesn't drop much over the holidays or I'll be in trouble!
11-18-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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I also upgrade directly and sell the previous body.
11-18-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zmohie Quote
shutter now rated for 200,000 actuations.k5 is 100 k.
dual card slots,
a new 86k-pixel metering system
antialiasing filter simulator.
a 27-point autofocus system,
wireless tethering support,
and more!
Agree with above.

I've also been comparing the K3 to D7100. Here's some pluses to the K3 - i don't have one yet, but been reading a lot of new user comments:

1. Smaller AF sensors - this is a plus over the K5 ii series i believe. i suspect d7100 already has, but don't know that for sure.

2. SR in body. the Sony Nex cameras i have as backup cameras don't have this so i appreciate this factor even more than i used to. 7100 doesn't have this

3. Automatic horizon connection. enabled by the SR sensor, but this feature on the K5 has markedly reduced processing time for me. 7100 doesn't have this

4. Ability to switch the camera from no AA to slight blur with sensor. 7100 doesn't have this K5 ii doesn't have this

5. Frame Rate, 8+ fps for K3, 7100 is 6 fps

6. AF performance. Certainly the reports from first buyers has been very complimentary on the K3. One would think the 7100 would have an advantage here, but that testing has not been done yet. Several reports indicate the screw drive motor has been speeded up. It doesn't sound like the sdm motors are any faster, but the signal processing is probably faster than previous Pentax DSLRs,

7. Faster data processing. One post indicated that his K3 had faster processing than their D600, like a "rocket". Certainly my K5 drags terribly after several shots.

8. Quiet Shutter - all 5's had this and K3 continues it. The D600 has a noisy shutter, don't know about the 7100. I have been shooting rehearsals for a playhouse for the last 4 years and really appreciate this. Camera makers don't always include features like this in follow-up cameras - kudos to Ricoh.
Also the K3's shutter is now rated for twice the life, 200,000 actuations.


Last edited by philbaum; 11-18-2013 at 02:50 PM.
11-18-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
1. Smaller AF sensors - this is a plus over the K5 ii series i believe. i suspect d7100 already has, but don't know that for sure.

6. AF performance. Certainly the reports from first buyers has been very complimentary on the K3. One would think the 7100 would have an advantage here
The D7100 and even the D80 had muchhhhh smaller AF sensors...otherwise if you use f/1.2 lenses, you'll get a lot of misfocused shots. That's probably one reason Pentax stopped making ultrafast lenses...

And the D7100 has a much better continuous AF module from the D700. Sounds like the K-3 can't even keep up w/ the D610's older D90-era AF module according to the review on this site...
11-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for these replies, folks, much food for thought here.

I guess I was looking for a less scientific, specs-based answer - something along the lines of either "no, it feels way more than K20D to K-7 was", or conversely, "yes, that's about the size of it".

I can be seduced by the specs easily enough, but I guess I'm looking for a substantial upgrade, especially to the AF, over the K-5 which I use at the moment.
11-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisA Quote
Thanks for these replies, folks, much food for thought here.

I guess I was looking for a less scientific, specs-based answer - something along the lines of either "no, it feels way more than K20D to K-7 was", or conversely, "yes, that's about the size of it".

I can be seduced by the specs easily enough, but I guess I'm looking for a substantial upgrade, especially to the AF, over the K-5 which I use at the moment.
I guess it feels like more of an upgrade than the K20 to the K7 (I liked the body changes, faster fps, but couldn't have cared less about video), but on the other hand moving to the K5 from about any preceding camera seemed like a huge improvement, because the sensor was just that good. K3 sensor is a small improvement over the K5 sensor, but enough on its own to recommend it. The question is if you need the other things the K3 offers.
11-19-2013, 02:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The D7100 and even the D80 had muchhhhh smaller AF sensors...otherwise if you use f/1.2 lenses, you'll get a lot of misfocused shots. That's probably one reason Pentax stopped making ultrafast lenses...

And the D7100 has a much better continuous AF module from the D700. Sounds like the K-3 can't even keep up w/ the D610's older D90-era AF module according to the review on this site...
As Falk pointed out, the same AF system on a FF camera will have a built in advantage over an APS camera with the same AF system. Until some lab chooses to compare the K3 to an APS camera, we won't know if the K3 is better or worse than the competition. If you looked at the comments following this flawed PF review, you would see several comments objecting to the comparison with a FF camera.
11-19-2013, 02:18 AM   #13
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Come on, be fair an talk about the con too. One good reason to keep the K-5 around is the mechanical SR during video. The K-3 doesn't have that anymore. It has the digital pseudo SR, that causes the jello effect. I'm baffled as to why they did that. Well that's the one and only con that I know of.
11-19-2013, 03:33 AM   #14
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I went from K10d to K-5 and I was blown away by the performance of the K-5. I loved it and went from taking 13000 frames in 4 years to 32000 frames in 2 years. What I had issues with on the K-5 was the auto focus the gave me sharp shots sometimes so I usually used manual focus when I really needed the shot to be tack sharp. With the K-3 I feel relaxed and I trust the auto focus again. Its fast and accurate. In low, low light it gives me sharp images! I am thrilled. The step up from K-5 to K-3 is not as huge as from K10d to K-5 but still a huge improvement. It is a K-5 on steroids. Everything is faster. It is much more responsive and the IQ is really, really good. The sharpness alone is worth it. I have taken some 3000+ pics til today and have not had any moiré problems.

What I dont like on the K-3 is; 1) When I want to turn off and on the lcd info display I have to click more times then before. 2) The user manual is just a quick start manual, not "Pentax"-manual. It lacks info. 3) Well, as of now I cant find anything more to complain about.

I really, really recommend the K-3.
11-19-2013, 07:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisA Quote
I'm reading all the reviews, not yet decided whether to go with the K-3 yet.

I went to the K-5 from the K10D, and naturally it was a big upgrade.

I'm wondering about those that went from the K20D to the K-7 - a smaller upgrade - and whether in the fullness of time, the K-5 to K-3 transition will be seen as comparable.

Can someone that remembers back to K20D days comment on whether that sounds fair?
I really like the camera. I had the K-5 and went to the K-3. I find the AF accuracy to be the single biggest advantage at this point. The camera is faster at everything which you notice pretty quickly. I'm doing a lot of B&W and the 24MP sensor produces a nice fine grain even at high ISO.

WB has been different in color. I'm getting use to it, but not everyone seems to having WB issues. I've been using my 31mm mostly so AF speed is really not something I can judge.
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