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01-27-2014, 06:57 AM   #1
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K-3 vs the future

Hi everyone, so I just found out that there were going to be 2 new rivals for K-3 in a month or 2 that will succeed Canon 7d and Sony a77. Which is also the time when I'd be getting myself a K-3. There's a vast choice between the manufacturers and their models today, added to that there's not much difference at all between them. One can almost do the same thing with a Canon, Nikon or a Sony counterpart. Now, I'm not supporting any company and I also understand that one of us would bring this topic up in the future anyways when they'd be released, but what I would like to know is if these upcoming cameras would have an upper hand against the K-3 and worth waiting for. Buying a Dslr today is a really tough choice, especially knowing it's going to be with you for a really long time and there's a lot of money involved for an average Joe. This makes one keep an eye at all the available and oncoming options.
Anyways, here are my concerning points:

1)In India, K-3 (body only) costs $1425 and comes with a 3 year warranty. If there was any problem, I'd have to travel 150 miles and get it mended in Mumbai.
2)Pentax lenses are hardly available, expensive too. I'd be starting with a 50mm/f1.7 and 200mm/f4 to cut initial costs and get lenses I'd need overtime from my cousin in US. (they charge sh*tload of customs for packages otherwise)
3)Pentax has just arrived in Indian markets, they are slowly building themselves up so things might be much better in upcoming months.

But I'm ready to do all of this, even if it's not something I feel one would do just for a specific camera. So what I really want to know is if K-3 will be worth it in the long run. Cause there are Nikon, Canon and Sony service centers where I live but I'll have to do a lot of travelling in case of something unexpected. (although one doesn't expect that to happen every now and then for a Dslr)
It's just that electronics at times can be a pain in the long run. Have had an awful experience with a HP laptop.

Thank you for your opinions

01-27-2014, 07:44 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I'd be glad to have a 3-year warranty, regardless of how far I had to ship the camera! (You do have a postal system...)

That said, Nikon, Canon and Sony make nice cameras (and Nikon and Canon make lots of nice lenses), so if you can wait, check out what they offer in a few months. Of course, what you heard about new camera releases may or may not happen in the spring, and they may not be competing in the same areas that the K-3 excels at (build quality, small size, innovative tech, ergonomics). Canon tends to favor video capabilities, Nikon has always excelled in AF and metering, and Sony just comes up with some crazy form factors!. As always, it's up to your priorities for what you want to shoot and shoot with...

You won't find me convincing you to "just buy a K-3 and enjoy it," because I don't know what you want to do with your camera. Remember it's only a tool, and these days, almost none of the available cameras are a restriction to making good images... with a good eye and some patience, even cell phones can do the job.

Last edited by panoguy; 01-27-2014 at 07:50 AM.
01-27-2014, 07:48 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Choose what is best for you. I wouldn't worry too much about warranty stuff, as it seems that the K3 hasn't had many issues. Have to see what the 7D MK II is like. Probably a nice camera, but not so great sensor. Seems like Canon's focus lately has been more on video than on still photography.

Good luck!
01-27-2014, 08:12 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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So, there is going to be a new announcement for two new bodies - Canon and Sony in 2 months? OK, so let's say that the announcements actually come out on schedule. Then there is the additional 2 months or so, for the cameras to actually arrive at stores for sale. Do you want to be an early adapter - the first one out of the box? no reviews? no other users indicating what is good and what is not? If you really don't want to be an early adopter, and wait to read several reviews - wait another 2+ months to decide.

That brings us up to about 8 months from now for acquiring a camera. Then, there will be yet another camera (or 2 being announced). You are right back to square 1.

Let's say that you go with a K3 as you indicate. In 2 or 5 or 8 or 12 months will it suddenly stop taking pictures because of the new announcements, deliveries, reviews? No, it will just chug along taking pictures as it has has always. What will be the differences? Really, can't say - because we do not know what the new announcements are going to announce.

Here is a real example (just 1 sample point, me). 2010 (September 20th) Pentax announces the K5. Great camera - first shipments go out. Then the sensor spots are reported (all camera manufacturers have QC problems Nikon with dust, etc.). Reviews come out - great camera, sensor spot problems get resolved. About a year later, I see the price drop for a day sale at $750, well I buy it (announced price was $1700), next day it goes back to $1K. A year later the K5II/K5IIs are announced. Good upgrades, but not worth trading in my K5. A few months ago the K3 is announced - a great camera, wonderful reviews, but my K5 is still chugging along and I see absolutely no need to go with either the K5II/K5IIs or the K3.

So, my 2 year old camera with 3 year old technology - counting that it was used in the Nikon D7000 - probably going on 4 years now - it is still taking wonderful images. No problems - they were all worked out by waiting. Saved a ton of money on the price - it came down from $1700 to $750.

I still have my K100D from about 7 or 8 years ago. It is still taking wonderful pictures too!

I would do my homework, select a camera, then stop reading about any other camera other than the one that you selected - only continue reading to see how it works. Nothing else matters. Now, if you think that the K3 is the one that will perform best for you. Solid reviews and no reported problems, and several months of operating history. That just indicates that it was a solid selection on your part. I would just go with it and forget about all the rest. New cameras, new announcements - really do not matter. They only matter up to the point that you actually buy. After that they are all a distraction - they are marketing pitches to get you to dump your current camera and to go with the new one.



01-27-2014, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You'll have to weigh all the factors - including weather resistance, technology and support. Some of these factors might outweigh the others. As far as cameras go, you can get a good unit from any of these manufacturers. Also remember new cameras and lenses will come with a premium price tag.
01-27-2014, 08:21 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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and neither Nikon nor Canon offer very many choices of pro-level, DX lenses. Which means you end up with basically the same weight as an FX system, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'm really liking how Pentax has specialized in DX-only pro lenses. It is the reason I recently added a K-3 to my D800 kit. If Pentax only offered big, heavy, FX lenses, I wouldn't have bothered.

Michael
01-27-2014, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Well, what kind of photography do you need a camera for?
What do you shoot?
It is best to match the tool with your requirements.
All DSLRs are good & you seem to realize that.
Their capabilities diverge nearer the fringes. Also their sizes make a difference. So, what works for you?

M
01-27-2014, 09:17 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I don't know your experience level, but the way you write the question leads me to believe you do not have a lot of experience with DSLR cameras, and I am also left believing you have a limited budget. If those two assumptions are true, then I highly recommend getting a K-50 with 18-135 kit. It will save you a ton of cash, and it is a great camera.

The k-50 has "scene modes" which can help you learn to shoot in different settings. The K-3 is not as friendly for beginners. You really need to get off green mode as quickly as possible, and these can teach you how. Also, read the book titled "understanding exposure". A great learning tool. You will quickly outgrow the scene modes, but they are a useful learning tool.

The K-50 with the 18-135 is also WR, which means shooting in monsoons just for fun. If you really want a long lens, add the 55-300WR. You still have much less invested than the K-3 kit you proposed, and it is much much better all around.

For your 3rd lens, add a fast prime Da 35/2.4, Sigma 30/1.4 or a fast 50 if you like.

01-27-2014, 10:07 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I just wrestled with this same problem and sought the 'chat' advice of a tech guy at B&H: I bought the K-5 shortly after the "spots" issue. I updated the firmware and have had no issues other than the infamous "lost lens release button" problem (which meant mailing it to AZ). It has served me well as long as I've accepted loosing some images due to the autofocus failures in low-light conditions. After some continued use, I also noticed that it favored back focusing, particularly with the DA* 50/135 lens. I downloaded a focusing tool, printed it out, mounted it to card stock and went through the test procedures to correct this issue. I've enjoyed getting some good images during the two + years I've owned this model, but I've continued to follow the threads on this web site after the introduction of the K-5 II and its twin, the K-5 II s, noting the various comments and opinions regarding these models.


Then the K-3 came along and I toyed with the idea of upgrading. Could I afford it? Did I need it? Money being an important factor, I turned to B&H's tech people for an opinion. The tech guy asked the one question we all should face: "What are you doing with the camera?" And then he suggested: "If your images aren't going to appear on billboards (i.e.: do you need 24 mega-pixels?)--if you're looking for good quality images to display on your wall, you may find that the images produced by the 'II s' camera will do just fine." He continued, "Without the anti-aliasing filter, the K-5 IIs' images are very close to those of the K-3 unless enlarging them to extremes is your goal. If money is the issue, the II s version is certainly cheaper.


I took the tech's advice and bought the II s. The very first day after opening the box and upgrading the latest firmware, I went out armed with the DA* 200 lens and got 3 "continuous" images of a great blue heron--each one in perfect focus and "nailed" at 1/1600th sec. (one is posted on another thread). I do a lot of portraiture and those images have been stunning with the DA* 50/135 lens set between 60-70mm. They are so detailed that my subjects are shocked to see their images magnified on my laptop screen with every pore and blemish in full view. They are thankful that PSE & Lightroom5 can mask these imperfections.


I'm more than pleased with the II s choice. The K-5 will not be retired. It is a reliable back-up and I've learned how to work around its faults. A K-3 or its predecessor may be in my future. Time will tell...
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01-27-2014, 10:16 AM - 1 Like   #10
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It's a rigged game. There will always be a new and improved camera coming out soon. But these days it seems the improvements are more marginal. That said, I think you can buy just about any camera in the vicinity of ~$1500 and get both a good camera and capture great shots. One can nit-pick over specs and pixel peep even more than before to argue over what's better. But if you just want to go out and shoot and not care much about that, factors such as how does the camera feel to you, what is available in lenses both new and used, etc may be a good basis for your decision making.

Best wishes and happy shooting no matter what you get.
01-27-2014, 10:52 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I don't know your experience level, but the way you write the question leads me to believe you do not have a lot of experience with DSLR cameras, and I am also left believing you have a limited budget. If those two assumptions are true, then I highly recommend getting a K-50 with 18-135 kit. It will save you a ton of cash, and it is a great camera.

The k-50 has "scene modes" which can help you learn to shoot in different settings. The K-3 is not as friendly for beginners. You really need to get off green mode as quickly as possible, and these can teach you how. Also, read the book titled "understanding exposure". A great learning tool. You will quickly outgrow the scene modes, but they are a useful learning tool.

The K-50 with the 18-135 is also WR, which means shooting in monsoons just for fun. If you really want a long lens, add the 55-300WR. You still have much less invested than the K-3 kit you proposed, and it is much much better all around.

For your 3rd lens, add a fast prime Da 35/2.4, Sigma 30/1.4 or a fast 50 if you like.
This. Spend at least half of your budget on lenses-they will give you more things to play with and will carry over to new bodies in the future. K-50 with these zoom lenses will be great in humidity, dust, rain, etc..

Sure the new Canon will be good, but it will also be big. I suggest looking for a used 7D if you are starting out.

And sure the new Sony will be good as week, but they seem to change their strategy as often as they change their underwear.
01-27-2014, 11:26 AM - 1 Like   #12
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There is an adage in the computer world that applies equally to cameras. "If you can buy it, it is obsolete." Get one that you like and go for it. I'm still using a K10D. It still takes nice pictures. I drool over the latest and greatest, but must agree with She Who Must Be Obeyed - we have other things that are more pressing to spend our limited funds on. Set your budget, and buy what you can afford. I agree with a post a few up that lenses are more important than the camera.
01-27-2014, 03:03 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Ricoh/Pentax offers a 3 year warranty in India?
In Australia, Pentax only offer 1 year on body and lenses.
01-27-2014, 08:25 PM - 1 Like   #14
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The GH4K will also be released next month if you want video.

It's a good time to buy any camera. But I'd echo Miguel:
"Well, what kind of photography do you need a camera for?"
And what lenses will you buy? And how do the different bodies/lenses suite your goals?
That might help answer your questions if you ask yourself honestly...
01-27-2014, 11:36 PM   #15
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Wow! This forum is amazing. Everyone's really helpful here.
So I'm going to stick with the K-3. I mostly do landscape/nature and a lot of cropping. I've been using Sony hx-1 for the last 4 years, has worked perfectly without a hiccup till now but whenever I decide to crop, the resolution just lacks in every sense. With K-3, I could get really closer to the subject when I need to, crop it and still have enough for a good print. I've handled one of my cousin's d7100 and found it a real joy to use, especially with the 1.3x mode on 70-300vr. Coming back, I understand using a Dslr is different compared to a bridge and that's exactly what I want. I want to take time to learn and understand as much as I can, I could hang on a K-3 for almost a decade and I'd only need to invest in lenses and accessories.
Talking about the lens, I had Sigma 17-50/2.8 in mind when I get a chance from my cousin in US for landscapes and a fast M prime for handheld night.
Here are some of the photos I've made with the Sony, and the lotus one is from a 5 year old Nokia.


images

Now my mind on K-3 is stronger than ever, thank you very much for all the help here. I'm still amazed how helpful everyone is here.

The fast burst rate, high resolution will be perfect for landscapes and wildlife. Summer vacations would be a perfect time in getting to know the Dslr as well.
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