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12-03-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
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Pentax K-3 vs K-30 on AF & high ISO

Hi, i am looking for an upgrade from my current Pentax K-x to either K-3 or K-30. I am very happy with the K-x but am looking for better autofocus in low light condition (indoor lighting e.g. Children birthday party) and focus tracking. A better high ISO performance is also on the wish list. Better video function is preferred but not essential. The instant video recording button on the K-3 is not really that important for me.

Currently the K-30 is really offering a very attractive deal, though the K-3 is also within my budget. I could have use the money saved up on the K-30 to buy some extra lens(es)? My theory is that camera bodies will depreciate in a year or two with advancing technology whereas lens will always keep the value. So if the K-3 is not significantly better than the K-30, I would rather go for the K-30 and get a, say, Sigma 18-35 or the sweet Pentax 21mm. (Note: lens choice is not within the scope of this thread)

So my question is whether the autofocus and high ISO on the K-3 is, if at all, really SIGNIFICANTLY better than the K-30?

Please share your thought and experience. Much appreciated.

12-04-2013, 12:01 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by samuelyuen3 Quote
Hi, i am looking for an upgrade from my current Pentax K-x to either K-3 or K-30. I am very happy with the K-x but am looking for better autofocus in low light condition (indoor lighting e.g. Children birthday party) and focus tracking. A better high ISO performance is also on the wish list. Better video function is preferred but not essential. The instant video recording button on the K-3 is not really that important for me.

Currently the K-30 is really offering a very attractive deal, though the K-3 is also within my budget. I could have use the money saved up on the K-30 to buy some extra lens(es)? My theory is that camera bodies will depreciate in a year or two with advancing technology whereas lens will always keep the value. So if the K-3 is not significantly better than the K-30, I would rather go for the K-30 and get a, say, Sigma 18-35 or the sweet Pentax 21mm. (Note: lens choice is not within the scope of this thread)

So my question is whether the autofocus and high ISO on the K-3 is, if at all, really SIGNIFICANTLY better than the K-30?

Please share your thought and experience. Much appreciated.
The AF of the K-3 is going to be significantly better in extremely low light (2 ev or lower), but otherwise the performance will be comparable. The low-light performance of the two cameras is comparable: at high ISOs the K-3's increased resolution cancels out its higher base noise.


I would recommend going to the K-30 or K-50 and pairing it with some nice lenses. That combo definitely won't disappoint!

Adam
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12-04-2013, 01:14 AM   #3
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I sold my K30 (kept my K5) to fund my K3 purchase and don't regret it.

AF tracking is better on K3, there is less start-up lag on the K3, better build quality on K3, top LCD on K3.
I think the high ISO performance is better on the K3, the noise is finer and more managable in LR5.

Don't get me wrong the K30 is a very good, capable camera but I think the K3 is a step-up in class, it just feels like a Pro camera.
12-04-2013, 01:39 AM   #4
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You have some good answers. The only thing I want to add is that you should not expect a big step up in high ISO performance.
I have a k-x and a k-5 (which has about the same high ISO performance as K-30) and while the K-5 is a lovely camera, the high ISO performance is about the same as the K-x. Of course the K-5 / K-30 has a higher resolution which can mean you can recover more detail but really they are very similar. And actually thats more of a reflection on how good the K-x sensor is in low light.

12-04-2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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I fully agree with Adam.
12-05-2013, 12:24 AM   #6
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Thank you. Excellent replies. Thanks so much. Any comments on the video performance between the two cameras?
12-05-2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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Video ????!!!!!
12-05-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by samuelyuen3 Quote
Thank you. Excellent replies. Thanks so much. Any comments on the video performance between the two cameras?
If you look at the specs, you can see that K-3 is the first Pentax camera that's ever taken video seriously. So if you take video seriously, it's no contest.

12-05-2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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If you take video seriously and don't want to use rigs to stabilize the camera (glidecam, steadicam, shoulder mount, ...) or shoot scenes with lots of detail and movement then better get the K-5. The stabilization in the K-3 is vastly inferior to the K-5 (typically the type of system used in the K-3 is so bad people recommend to turn it off) and bitrates are too low. The K-3 does have big advantages in terms of control and sound quality/options... Just the video quality isn't that good.

The K-50 has a rather slow focusing motor, so that is another downside (I doubt the K-30 is better).
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