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01-10-2014, 09:29 AM   #1
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K-3 @ 24mp or K-50 @ 16mp?

I understand the differences and similarities of the K-3 and K-50. It appears the K-3 incorporates the best of both the Kll and K-50 when it comes to autofocus speed and sensitivity. I'm not concerned about the auto-tracking being less than reliable as I do not shoot sports. The price difference between the two cameras, while substantial, is also something I can manage. However, the thing that I find somewhat confusing is the difference in megapixel capture - 16mp vs 24mp. As both cameras have APS-C sensors, does the K-3 really capture more detail? If megapixels were really the goal I'd buy that Nokia smartphone with the 41mp camera (and its 1/1.5" tiny sensor).

I checked the (K-3 & K-50) reviews here at PentaxForums and, unfortunately, only the review for the K-3 has any raw images to download. What would be most helpful would be some "standard" RAW test photos taken with identical camera settings so one might load them into Lightroom and do side-by-side comparisons. If the K-3 doesn't provide 50% greater detail (and I realize that would be subjective—I use that 50% number simply because we're increasing the mp by 50%) than the K-50, I'd probably not pull the trigger on the K-3.

So bottom line, does anyone have two otherwise identical RAW images (one from the K-50 and one from the K-3) they might be kind enough to upload or point me to?

I've already narrowed down my purchasing decision to these two cameras with, probably, the 18-135 Pentax or Sigma 18-200 or 18-250. I have a few older KA mount primes, as well. I do not believe I will ever buy other (new) Pentax lenses as the cost is more than I would wish to pay. (Perhaps the 24mp sensor in the K-3 is better than the Sigma glass can "fill"?)

Thanks for any assistance.

Barry

01-10-2014, 09:51 AM   #2
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Did you check to see if imaging-resource has RAW files for both cameras?
01-10-2014, 11:06 AM   #3
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If the resolution is 50% greater the sharpness will only be about 25% greater. Not generally a significant difference!
01-10-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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I think for your general use of the camera the K-50 would be more the enough for your work. The DNG RAW images from the K-3 (24 megapixel 14-bit RAW) and K-50 (16 megapixel 12-bit RAW) are very different in size with almost twice the size for the K-3 (30MB versus 15MB).

01-10-2014, 12:59 PM   #5
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K-3 with 18-135 is a good call. You should consider more than the resolution in your choice, though. Do you need advanced video settings? How about 8.3 fps in burst mode? Do you want to shoot without an AA filter? Those, to me, are three key questions and at least one of them needs to be a yes to make the K-3 a significantly different choice than the K-50. For me, all three were 'yes.' I shoot my k-3 at 14 megapixels because I like getting 3,000 photos to an SD card and, frankly, my computer can't handle stitching together 50-60 images at 24MP, but it can do so with 14MP images in about 15 minutes. So, to that end, how you intend to use it and your PC's ability to support your post work should also weigh into your decision.
01-10-2014, 01:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rumplestiltskin Quote
I understand the differences and similarities of the K-3 and K-50. It appears the K-3 incorporates the best of both the Kll and K-50 when it comes to autofocus speed and sensitivity. I'm not concerned about the auto-tracking being less than reliable as I do not shoot sports. The price difference between the two cameras, while substantial, is also something I can manage. However, the thing that I find somewhat confusing is the difference in megapixel capture - 16mp vs 24mp. As both cameras have APS-C sensors, does the K-3 really capture more detail? If megapixels were really the goal I'd buy that Nokia smartphone with the 41mp camera (and its 1/1.5" tiny sensor).

I checked the (K-3 & K-50) reviews here at PentaxForums and, unfortunately, only the review for the K-3 has any raw images to download. What would be most helpful would be some "standard" RAW test photos taken with identical camera settings so one might load them into Lightroom and do side-by-side comparisons. If the K-3 doesn't provide 50% greater detail (and I realize that would be subjective—I use that 50% number simply because we're increasing the mp by 50%) than the K-50, I'd probably not pull the trigger on the K-3.

So bottom line, does anyone have two otherwise identical RAW images (one from the K-50 and one from the K-3) they might be kind enough to upload or point me to?

I've already narrowed down my purchasing decision to these two cameras with, probably, the 18-135 Pentax or Sigma 18-200 or 18-250. I have a few older KA mount primes, as well. I do not believe I will ever buy other (new) Pentax lenses as the cost is more than I would wish to pay. (Perhaps the 24mp sensor in the K-3 is better than the Sigma glass can "fill"?)

Thanks for any assistance.

Barry
To answer your question, yes, the k-3 has visibly more resolving power. It's actually pretty close to the d600 and sony a7 at low isos, based on some photos I shot but haven't posted yet, which is impressive. 24mp is still way under the theoretical limit for aps -c according to some folks.

Adam
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01-10-2014, 01:09 PM   #7
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If you are a beginner or you want casual shooting (I assume so, since you are mentioning 18-200mm lenses), go for the K-50 and spend the difference on gear (lenses, flashes, tripod).
If you are familiar with DSLRs, get the K-3. Its a top notch camera with pro features, probably best APSC available atm (arguable, of course) and has a steep learning curve. A beginner would probably get lost with this thing and get poor photographs.
As far as kit, the Pentax DA 18-135mm is often bundled with these cameras at a great discount, and it is Weather Resistant (since the camera is also WR, this means you can go out in poor weather). Also, the longer the zoom range, the lower the quality. If you don't want to change lenses, you might want to think about a bridge camera with a fixed zoom lens (Pentax X-5? MX-1?). The big advantage of interchangeable-lens cameras is, after all, that you can use the best lens for the scene. Without this, might as well get a cheaper, more compact solution.

On the other hand, if you have the funds, might as well get K-3 and it will last you for a decade and offer you everything as your skill progresses. Not the approach i would take, but I guess it works for some people. Usually, though, people prefer to start with a lower tier camera and higher tier lenses, as lenses depreciate more slowly and can be resold even years later; And a good lens will be good even when you get a better camera.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-10-2014 at 01:17 PM.
01-10-2014, 02:28 PM   #8
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Another important factor to me is top lcd. K50 does not have it, but K3 does. I just love it on my K10D and can not imagine life without it Mic input is not present in K50 but the pentax line of DSLRs is no match Panasonic cameras anyway. It doesnt matter though but gimme a K50 with top lcd....yay!

01-10-2014, 02:48 PM   #9
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For me the one and only difference which has me wanting the K-3 is the ability to focus at -3EV. The K-5II gives up the focus peaking and live view performance that I get in my K-30, so they are a no-go.

I'll probably get the K-3 next fall after prices drop (I really don't need -3EV very often)
01-10-2014, 02:58 PM   #10
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For the lenses you are looking to use, I would go with the K50 as it would be enough for your needs. The K3 is only needed if you are printing at large sizes.

Dale
01-10-2014, 03:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DDoram Quote
For the lenses you are looking to use, I would go with the K50 as it would be enough for your needs. The K3 is only needed if you are printing at large sizes.

Dale
I have large prints made from images from the K-01, so that is no problem.

But for low budget:

Get the K-50 with the 18-135mm for you all wheater set.

Buy from the saved money the Pentax 50mm/f1.8 lens and you van make your occasional pretty portraits and stuff.
01-10-2014, 03:15 PM   #12
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Firstly: Thank you, all, for chiming in with various answers to my question. Everyone seems to have taken a slightly different approach/perspective and all posts I consider valuable.

I'm a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh's commercial photography program (class of '73 IIRC). Probably most of you weren't even born yet. I mention this simply as a way to indicate my experience with photography goes back to the antedeluvian period of film. I owned and sold more cameras than I care to admit; even owned a 4x5 Calumet which I carted around some state parks in NY; won't do that again!

N Horuk suggests a bridge camera and I already own both an S9100 and S100fs Fuji (the latter of which is a lovely camera producing fairly nice results). But I'd like to get something sharper and the jump up from a 1/1.7" sensor to APS-C seems to be the way to do this. (I gave my *istDS to my daughter a few years ago and she's still loving it.)

dansamy suggests imaging-resource might have some DNGs and, sure enough, I did find the standard test shots (the one with the bottle of Muscat, cloth, crayons, thread, etc.). This was extremely helpful and did answer my question adequately. While I do see -some- improvement in detail with the K-3, the difference (to my eye and maybe no one else's) was only apparent at around 4:1 magnification in Lightroom. That was so magnified that the rectangle indicating the displayed area in the smaller thumbnail to the left was almost impossible to find on my 13" MacBook Air.

By the way, I found the S100fs test shot at I-R but it was a jpeg; still, it was (at the equivalent magnification) a lot better than I had expected and now gives me a better inkling of what I might expect from the Pentax (either K-3 or K-50).

So I'll look to the other benefits of the K-3 over the K-50.

The K-3 does have the earphone and mic ports but the money I'd save by going with the K-50 would more than pay for a decent HD camcorder that has both those ports; I can slip such a beastie into my coat pocket for the times I require one.

RonHendricks opines that the size of the K-3 DNGs might be a disadvantage and, as a long-time Mac user with 20TB of storage and backups already, I can "+1" Ron's warning. My S100fs DNGs are 13+MB. Double the storage requirement is depressing.

dms says "not a significant difference" between the K-3 & K-50 in terms of real resolution and I think I will agree based upon the DNGs I'm seeing.

As the LiveView AF video (in the review here at PF) shows, IMHO, adequate speed—certainly better than I was expecting—I could still take some HD videos with the K-50 so I'd hold off on that HD camcorder until I have some experience with the K-50. As for still photos, I am a viewfinder kind of guy and, there, the K-50's AF seems to be fine.

So, there it is; I guess I've made up my mind due in no small part to contributions from all of you who were interested in helping.

Thanks,
Barry
01-10-2014, 04:01 PM   #13
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Glad I could contribute, even in a small way!
01-11-2014, 06:36 AM   #14
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Oh I didn't know you had all that experience. We get all sorts of people here, you know. Hope you post a photo or two on the forum, after you get your new camera
01-11-2014, 07:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Oh I didn't know you had all that experience. We get all sorts of people here, you know. Hope you post a photo or two on the forum, after you get your new camera
+1 on this and enjoy your camera.......


(I would have recommend the K-3 if I knew this)
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