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02-14-2014, 08:27 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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SLR Lounge - K3 review




02-14-2014, 08:39 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Nice glowing review, I do disagree when he says Canikon menus are more intuitive, that, my friend is a crock.
02-14-2014, 08:53 PM   #3
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I think a lot of reviewers are so used to Cannikon menus it's harder to get used to something new, therefore, it's less intuitive... (even if it's better or more logical). I find the double duty buttons to be awesome on K3 personally.
02-14-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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Great Find!

Thanks, interested_observer, that's one of the most positive reviews yet. Don't know too many others with this much praise.
I've added it to the 'Reviews So Far' thread.
Ron

02-15-2014, 12:51 AM   #5
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I think the menus comment is rubbish, the canon menus are way less intuitive, I have students who use canon and struggle to find settings when instructed to do so .
02-15-2014, 02:43 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I would like to see "AF-point selection" be available with the Fx button. I don't like how it is implemented on the K3 either. The camera would be even better if I could push and hold the Fx button with my left hand, and use my right to move around the focus points. When the Fx button isn't held down, then the 4-way control goes back to WB, flash, etc.
02-15-2014, 02:56 AM   #7
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Yes good review - and nice samples too.

I think (from what I have heard) the K-3 might have taken a slight step back with AF selection - not that I would care at all about that (its not something I would use but thats a personal preference).

I think he missed the point with the menus (probably use to Canakon) - the Pentax design makes most things one or two clicks of a button away rather than digging into menus all the time (even if they are well layed out).
I like the way Pentax menus work. Last time I tried to used a friends Nikon I found it quite frustrating to often have to go into menus.
When I was looking around for my first DSLR I tried out a Nikon D5000 and did not find it easy to get it to do what I wanted. When I first tried the K-x though, I had no such problem.
So Pentax is not harder for beginners at all from my experience.
02-15-2014, 03:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finchj Quote
I would like to see "AF-point selection" be available with the Fx button. I don't like how it is implemented on the K3 either. The camera would be even better if I could push and hold the Fx button with my left hand, and use my right to move around the focus points. When the Fx button isn't held down, then the 4-way control goes back to WB, flash, etc.
Maybe Ricoh is listening. Should be easy enough to make something like this available in a firmware update.

---------- Post added 02-15-2014 at 11:43 AM ----------

Btw, the 15mm and 40mm Limiteds are small, but comparing them to 16mm f/2 and even 60mm f/2.8 lenses respectively is apples and oranges. The 40mm f/2.8 would be a non-macro 60mm f/4 in fullframe. The 15/4... well let's not even go there. Also, the K-3 may be good at low-light, but the latest fullframe cameras will be better. So if that 15mm f/4 is all you need on APS-C, compare it to something like a 24mm f/5.6 on fullframe, which would be 3 stops slower (smaller?) than that 16mm f/2.

There is a size advantage to the Pentax system, but these are hardly fair examples.


Last edited by starbase218; 02-15-2014 at 03:49 AM.
02-15-2014, 10:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Maybe Ricoh is listening. Should be easy enough to make something like this available in a firmware update.

---------- Post added 02-15-2014 at 11:43 AM ----------

Btw, the 15mm and 40mm Limiteds are small, but comparing them to 16mm f/2 and even 60mm f/2.8 lenses respectively is apples and oranges. The 40mm f/2.8 would be a non-macro 60mm f/4 in fullframe. The 15/4... well let's not even go there. Also, the K-3 may be good at low-light, but the latest fullframe cameras will be better. So if that 15mm f/4 is all you need on APS-C, compare it to something like a 24mm f/5.6 on fullframe, which would be 3 stops slower (smaller?) than that 16mm f/2.

There is a size advantage to the Pentax system, but these are hardly fair examples.
I think you are also forgetting the pricepoint at which they are being compared as well.
02-16-2014, 04:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
I think you are also forgetting the pricepoint at which they are being compared as well.
With the new HD coating, prices have gone up. Just did a quick search. In The Netherlands, you can get the Canon 24mm f/2.8 for slightly less than the Pentax 15mm f/4.0. It is somewhat bigger and a bit heavier, but not by much. IMHO it would be a much better lens to compare the 15mm 4.0 against.

But this is just an example I make up that illustrates how you can also compare one specific Pentax Limited lens to one specific competitor lens. The 24mm 2.8 may be an exception to the rule, and it's hard to try and find a 60mm 4.0 that is small, and the Canon 40mm STM has a different FOV on FF. But to me it looks like the reviewer specifically looked for a big, heavy WA lens to put beside the 15mm Limited and try to get away with it. I'm just trying to do the opposite. Btw, put a 70D with that 40mm STM beside the K-3 and now you have a more fair comparison: same sensor size, same FOV, same aperture.

It would, however, be fair to say that the entire Limited line is about relatively slow lenses that have small size, low weight, great build quality, and great image quality (the 15 and 20-40 possibly being less then great, from what I have read), and that this is a Pentax specialty. Also, the 40mm f/2.8 is particularly small.

Last edited by starbase218; 02-16-2014 at 04:54 AM.
02-16-2014, 11:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
(the 15 and 20-40 possibly being less then great, from what I have read)
You may want to go read again, the 15 is absolutely mind blowing.
02-16-2014, 12:25 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Maybe Ricoh is listening. Should be easy enough to make something like this available in a firmware update.

---------- Post added 02-15-2014 at 11:43 AM ----------

Btw, the 15mm and 40mm Limiteds are small, but comparing them to 16mm f/2 and even 60mm f/2.8 lenses respectively is apples and oranges. The 40mm f/2.8 would be a non-macro 60mm f/4 in fullframe. The 15/4... well let's not even go there. Also, the K-3 may be good at low-light, but the latest fullframe cameras will be better. So if that 15mm f/4 is all you need on APS-C, compare it to something like a 24mm f/5.6 on fullframe, which would be 3 stops slower (smaller?) than that 16mm f/2.

There is a size advantage to the Pentax system, but these are hardly fair examples.
The 15 limited is a special lens. Not because it's fast, but because it isn't. I just haven't seen other lenses with this resistance to flare, contrast and micro contrast. Sure, I shoot on a tripod with it, but I wouldn't argue with the results.


02-17-2014, 12:25 PM   #13
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LOL, I was just on my way to post the review here, and see what everybody thought! Now, to read everybody's responses. :-)

=Matt=

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 11:34 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
Nice glowing review, I do disagree when he says Canikon menus are more intuitive, that, my friend is a crock.
I have to ask, how much have you shot with Canon and Nikon? I've been shooting with both systems for about ten years now, and I have to say that the Pentax interface does not quite measure up to the level of customization yet intuitive organization that I am used to.

I'll hand it to you that in the past Canon has had a HORRIBLE interface, and even to this day some of their custom functions are completely terribly designed. (Who ever thought that a long list of ones and zeros was a good idea? Seriously?) However, the Nikon customization interface is, in my opinion, still the hands-down winner.

There are many minor niggles, but those are things I suppose I could get used to, or that I might already be used to if I had been using Pentax for years and years. Two main things still stick out to me that make the K-3 in particular much more difficult to operate.

First, the decision to combine camera control and focus point control on the same button pad was, in short, a terrible idea. They should have put a secondary, smaller joystick controller where the movie mode switch is. This is how Canon does it, and it works beautifully. Although honestly I might have been okay with just putting the WB / drive mode / flash / picture controls on separate buttons down the left-hand side of the camera, anyways. None of those features are options that I need to access while my eye is to the viewfinder, so why put them there?

Second is the lack of a customizable "my menu" which I have grown very, very used to. I know there are a few different INFO menus that you can use to access various important stuff, but I actually dislike a huge clutter that mixes in all the settings I never use with the ones I need most. With my other cameras that have a "my menu", I can organize items in the exact priority that I most frequently need them.

So, there you have it. I'd say that it MAY be open to debate which has the most intuitive interface. But to say that arguing in favor of any one would be a crock, well, I can't get on board with that. ;-)

=Matt=

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 11:41 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
I think a lot of reviewers are so used to Cannikon menus it's harder to get used to something new, therefore, it's less intuitive... (even if it's better or more logical). I find the double duty buttons to be awesome on K3 personally.
I am certainly giving the double-duty buttons a second chance to prove their worth, however as I mentioned already- if they're settings that I don't need to access while my eye is to the viewfinder, then why do they need to be accessible to my right thumb? All four of the "other options" turn on the rear LCD, requiring you to take your eye from the viewfinder and hold the camera in both hands, which immediately makes it just as easy to use your left thumb. Or, like I said, they could have put the stupid video switch somewhere else and added a joystick like Canon has.

As I said in the review, I pride myself in being able to pick up any camera and make it "dance" within a few weeks. The Pentax K-3 has levels of customization that I absolutely love and wish other camera makers would be able to integrate, but as far as being intuitive and user-friendly? I can't vote that it takes any prizes in that category.

Honestly though, don't get me wrong here guys, I'd MUCH rather have a camera with a slightly more complex interface, if it gives me all the awesome options that the K-3 offers. I'm just that kind of guy who goes through each and every menu item until they know it like the back of their hand.

Oh, and I thought of a third interface niggle: I mentioned this in the review: 1-click 100% zooming during playback does not know which AF point was selected, and that is unfortunate. I'm very used to Nikon, and now finally Canon, offering this as a feature. It may not be a world of difference for landscape or other types of shooters, but when I shoot active portraits and things like weddings, it really comes in handy.

=Matt=

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 11:46 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
I think the menus comment is rubbish, the canon menus are way less intuitive, I have students who use canon and struggle to find settings when instructed to do so .
See my previous replies. I'll admit that some of the older Canon menus were ridiculous, especially when they use ones and zeros and expect people to remember what it all means. However their latest few cameras have made great strides towards being more visually intuitive, for example their button customization section shows a graphic of every button on the camera and lists what it does. That, and Nikon's interface was the one I was particularly liking anyways, much moreso than Canons. Again, see my previous replies that break down what I think are the strengths and weaknesses of each.

=Matt=

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 11:53 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Yes good review - and nice samples too.

I think (from what I have heard) the K-3 might have taken a slight step back with AF selection - not that I would care at all about that (its not something I would use but thats a personal preference).

I think he missed the point with the menus (probably use to Canakon) - the Pentax design makes most things one or two clicks of a button away rather than digging into menus all the time (even if they are well layed out).
I like the way Pentax menus work. Last time I tried to used a friends Nikon I found it quite frustrating to often have to go into menus.
When I was looking around for my first DSLR I tried out a Nikon D5000 and did not find it easy to get it to do what I wanted. When I first tried the K-x though, I had no such problem.
So Pentax is not harder for beginners at all from my experience.
Never judge a Nikon by the interface of a beginner DSLR. They are indeed terrible. Maybe collectively the beginner Pentax bodies have a better interface than the Nikon beginner bodies, however the pro Nikon bodies are indeed beautifully laid out and I actually almost NEVER need to go into a menu on, for example, a D800. I can even change my Kelvin WB without even going into a menu, something that I think ZERO other camera makers offer!

=Matt=

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 12:01 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Maybe Ricoh is listening. Should be easy enough to make something like this available in a firmware update.

---------- Post added 02-15-2014 at 11:43 AM ----------

Btw, the 15mm and 40mm Limiteds are small, but comparing them to 16mm f/2 and even 60mm f/2.8 lenses respectively is apples and oranges. The 40mm f/2.8 would be a non-macro 60mm f/4 in fullframe. The 15/4... well let's not even go there. Also, the K-3 may be good at low-light, but the latest fullframe cameras will be better. So if that 15mm f/4 is all you need on APS-C, compare it to something like a 24mm f/5.6 on fullframe, which would be 3 stops slower (smaller?) than that 16mm f/2.

There is a size advantage to the Pentax system, but these are hardly fair examples.
Starbase, my point was simply that such compact lenses do not even exist for a full-frame mount. If they made a ~22mm f/5.6 that was as light and small as the 15mm f/4, or if they made a 60mm f/4 lens that was as light and small as the Pentax 40 2.8, then I would compare those lenses! But by showing an "apple" and an "orange" next to each other, the point I was proving is that the Pentax system provides options that other systems simply cannot.

Besides, the Rokinon 16mm f/2 is a lens that is available in the Pentax mount, (I bought one just to test it!) ...so this only proves my point! Which is, the K-3 offers more lens options for the adventurous photographer who may be concerned about weight and size one day, and low-light performance another day, ...and maybe weather sealing another day.

BTW, regarding the "latest full-frame cameras are better" argument. True, however I've found that this new 24 MP sensor is finally good enough. Before I tested the K-3, I used the Nikon D5200 and the Nikon D5300, all which share a sensor. And I was happily shooting astro timelapses on the D5300 at ISO 6400 and even 12800!

Sure, I'd love to see Pentax license the 24 MP full-frame sensor that Sony has in the Nikon D610 / Sony A7 / Sony A99. But would that completely replace the compact, lightweight system that the K-3 is? Not at all, it would simply become another option to add to my bag.

=Matt=

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 12:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
.....But to me it looks like the reviewer specifically looked for a big, heavy WA lens to put beside the 15mm Limited and try to get away with it. I'm just trying to do the opposite. .....
As I mentioned, if both lenses are available in the Pentax mount, then it becomes an advantage to Pentax users overall, and a disadvantage to anyone else. Yes, the Rokionon 16mm f/2 is in a completely different ballgame than the Pentax 15mm f/4. But unless you shoot Pentax, you only have one option. And even then, if you shoot full-frame, you have NEITHER as an option! (If you think the Rokinon 16mm f/2 is big, you should see the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4! I wish I hadn't sold off my review copy before shooting that review image, otherwise I would have happily compared an apple, an orange, AND a banana!

Not to try and mislead people, of course, but to prove the point of how advantageous it is to, well, stop whining about full-frame and embrace a more compact, portable system. That, or at least just consider it as an additional option.

I recently went on a major backpacking trip around the American Southwest, and I had at my disposal pretty much every one of the latest DSLR bodies. You know which one I chose to take on a ~25 mile backpacking excursion? The Nikon D5300, because it was so dang light and small and the sensor image quality (roughly equal to the K-3) was just so dang good.

Actually you can see an astro timelapse clip HERE created on the D5300, of Andromeda using the D5300 at either ISO 6400 or 12800. It was the use of this camera that originally got me thinking about how awesome the K-3 might be for such a purpose, with similar lenses yet using the O-GPS1 module for even greater image quality.

The Ubertrip - YouTube

Anyways, all that to say, I think the K-3 is a fantastic camera with enough image quality to make it my camera of choice for ANY type of adventure, regardless of what other systems or sensor formats have to offer.

I won't be selling off all my Nikon gear, however for the purposes of adventure photography I will definitely be investing in a K-3 as soon as I can.

=Matt=

---------- Post added 02-17-14 at 12:16 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
You may want to go read again, the 15 is absolutely mind blowing.
I found the 15mm (HD version) to be incredibly sharp, even wide open with the AA filter turned off, in almost the entire image area except for the corners. And even there, it only seemed to be field curvature that was hindering my ability to capture stars sharply since the lens has a "hard stop at inifinity" which I actually much prefer LOL.

If I have the time to publish not only a full review of the K-3 but also a review of the DA limited lenses, I'll post more extensive sample images but suffice it to say I found them both to be incredibly sharp.

Indeed, this is only part one of my review, I'll be taking the camera out to the desert a couple times for some serious night testing over the next few days.

Take care all, and thanks for reading my review! Like I said I hope to soon own a K-3 myself and I'm very excited for the adventure photography opportunities it will provide me with... :-)

=Matt=
02-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matthew Saville Quote
I am certainly giving the double-duty buttons a second chance to prove their worth, however as I mentioned already- if they're settings that I don't need to access while my eye is to the viewfinder, then why do they need to be accessible to my right thumb? All four of the "other options" turn on the rear LCD, requiring you to take your eye from the viewfinder and hold the camera in both hands, which immediately makes it just as easy to use your left thumb. Or, like I said, they could have put the stupid video switch somewhere else and added a joystick like Canon has.
Even though all 4 of the options require you to take your eye off the viewfinder, in terms of workflow it is still faster having it accessible from right thumb because I do not need to move my left hand from underneath the lens where I would normally place it while shooting in order to push a button, re-adjust and then go back to shooting. To me, Pentax is intuitive because a few years ago when I was choosing between different brands of DSLRs, things just seem to be at all the right places. Of course you are entitled to your opinion but complaining anything loudly is bound to get some opposite opinions.

QuoteQuote:
Oh, and I thought of a third interface niggle: I mentioned this in the review: 1-click 100% zooming during playback does not know which AF point was selected, and that is unfortunate. I'm very used to Nikon, and now finally Canon, offering this as a feature. It may not be a world of difference for landscape or other types of shooters, but when I shoot active portraits and things like weddings, it really comes in handy.
Yea I think they should add that in firmware update.
02-19-2014, 03:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
Even though all 4 of the options require you to take your eye off the viewfinder, in terms of workflow it is still faster having it accessible from right thumb because I do not need to move my left hand from underneath the lens where I would normally place it while shooting in order to push a button, re-adjust and then go back to shooting. To me, Pentax is intuitive because a few years ago when I was choosing between different brands of DSLRs, things just seem to be at all the right places. Of course you are entitled to your opinion but complaining anything loudly is bound to get some opposite opinions.

Yea I think they should add that in firmware update.
Fair enough! However if we're on the broad subject of "in terms of workflow" then there are a good number of things that the K-3 is still missing that significantly slow me down, in fact moreso than any speed advantage offered by right-thumb access to those specific menu items. Namely, the lack of focus point recognition in 100% quickzoom, and a fully customizable "my menu" interface. Or being able to change kelvin temperature without going into a menu at all, that's another huge one.

BTW I'm not trying to complain loudly. I'm just trying to put all the cards on the table for anyone who is interested in the camera.

The bottom line is that, like it or not, at this stage in the DSLR game (and with mirrorless on the horizon) it is safe to say that a large portion of potential K-3 buyers are going to be "switching" from a different system. If it is a beginner DSLR from Canon or Nikon, then it may be nothing but improvements, but if it is from a pro-level camera like the D800 or 5D mk3, then there will in fact be some drawbacks. Not just matters of preference or being used to a certain way things work, but actual drawbacks. I know that is hard to admit sometimes, but having used so many different systems over the years I've just gotten used to it. For example one thing I HATE about Nikon is that they continually put ISO control on the left-hand side of the camera, whereas the K-3 has ISO control in the best location possible. ;-)

Take care,
=Matt=
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