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03-02-2014, 04:18 PM   #1
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please give me a reason to buy a Pentax k3 and not a Nikon D3!

I currently have a Pentax k30 with a 50 1.7, SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F2.8, the 2 kit lens, Metz 44 flash and I have been requested to do some wedding and club photography. Needless to say that my k30 doesn't work well in High ISO and i dont like to use my flash in club setting. I have been wanting to buy a k3 but have also been itching to step up my game and go FF, the D3 can be found for $1800 with 50,xxx actuations. I would love to stay in Pentax but it seems like even the k3 wont help me much in my High ISO needs.

03-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by clostoyo Quote
Needless to say that my k30 doesn't work well in High ISO and i dont like to use my flash in club setting.
.

This doesn't make sense to me. The K-30 is one of the finest high-ISO cameras in the world. 1600 is fine, 3200 is workable, and 6400 is salvageable at smaller print sizes. The K-3 is certainly not better in any meaningful way. Maybe you need better de-noise software or better technique with the one you have?
03-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #3
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The K-30's sensor performs wonderfully in low light. The AF performance is not quite so flash, but I get by with my K-01 as a back-up body for event work.
The K-3 is considerably better, especially in the AF department (and ultimate resolution of course), so it would make a great primary body for your existing glass. I would suggest you might be better served getting some fast glass.

But if you want full frame, go for it
03-02-2014, 04:36 PM   #4
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The K3 SNR score is not all that far off of the D3 at 6400ISO, even at 12800ISO. Anything lower than 6400 is also very close. The D3 isn't very impressive with high ISO for a FF camera IMO.

APSC sensor improved immensely since 2008 when the D3 was released.

03-02-2014, 04:40 PM   #5
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How about a monopod? A monopod with the SR still on buys me about 1.5-2 stops slower shutter speeds than handheld without SR. One can be used in most instances that handheld work is generally required-- especially since you likely won't be point significantly up or down in most cases at a wedding...

The K-30 is excellent on the noise factor, and as far as I've seen so far, like what's said above, the K-3 isn't a massive improvement in noise, and the D3 isn't really isn't better either, and, if you're not going for paper thin DOF, you'll likely need to stop down 1 more to get about the same DOF as you get with an APS-C.
03-02-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
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And also, decent FX lenses don't go cheap...
03-02-2014, 04:50 PM   #7
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Really?.....

I don't know your needs or your budget... I see people get great club shots with a K-x. But you don't get them with a K-30, so maybe you need a D3s, no noise up to 25,600. Or maybe a D3 is it for you. But, most of the wedding guys that post here prefer FF for the low light performance. So why would anyone convince you to buy a K-3? Are you hoping we'll tell you the camera is better than it is? What?

Have a look at some of the pictures in this thread
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/248079-k3-vs-k5-high-iso-noise-5.html

But if you want us to tell you you're going to get as good results with a K-3 as you would with a D3. We've had so many people tell us they have to have the 36 Mp of a D800, it's almost a shock to see someone tell us they are going to buy a 12 MP camera. When you shrink a 24 Mp K-3 image to 12mp, you shrink an awful lot of that noise away to nothing. You might want to compare images at the same size to see if you're really getting anything. Theoretically you should be... but a D3 is a pretty old camera. The D3x and D3s are newer, and cost more for good reason. The D3 is rated to 25,600 in some kind of extended high ISO mode. There are lots of K-3 25,600 images on the site. You might want to do a comparison before you assume you're getting ahead going to a D3. Now if you were talking D3s or even D3x I wouldn't even blink. I'd just say "Go for it if you have the money and think you can earn it back with paying gigs, and make some money for yourself." You can get a Canon 5D for a lot less money if you just want to try out FF.
03-02-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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Have you considered a D610 if you are wanting a FF Nikon body? I mean, what does a D3 specifically bring to you?

03-02-2014, 05:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I don't know your needs or your budget... I see people get great club shots with a K-x. But you don't get them with a K-30, so maybe you need a D3s, no noise up to 25,600. Or maybe a D3 is it for you. But, most of the wedding guys that post here prefer FF for the low light performance. So why would anyone convince you to buy a K-3? Are you hoping we'll tell you the camera is better than it is? What?
If you're going Nikon you need to go at least with the D3s, not D3, unless you're looking at APS-C.

QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Have you considered a D610 if you are wanting a FF Nikon body? I mean, what does a D3 specifically bring to you?
It looks like the D610 could work too.


Either way (Pentax or Nikon) you still need to get the right glass.

In Pentax, you need to be looking at the DA*55, FA*24, FA31, or FA77 (depending on the Focal Length(s) you want). You could also consider the FA*85, the DA35/2.4, possibly the FA43 (its aperture is a bit slow in practice), or various Samyang lenses (if you can go with MF); for example the 85/1.4, 24/1.4, 16/2.



I think you need to shop for lenses. If you're looking at other brands, then pick some lenses you love and then get a body that goes with them. All Tests / Reviews is a good place to start. All the DSLR makers have some very good glass. Sony Zeiss has some outstanding glass (such as 16-35, 24/2, 85/1.4, 135/1.8). Fuji now has a small (but impressive) set of lenses.

But it'll be easier (and probably more economical) to just get another Pentax lens or 2 first. And you already have one of the best DSLR lenses anyone makes in the DA*50-135. But it's not fast enough for some indoor situations.


The only significant reasons to upgrade to a K-3 right now (or a K-5 II/IIs) is if your AF is too slow, or you need a battery grip because you're taking 1000 shots a day in portrait orientation. But the AF is already supposed to be reasonably good on the K-30.

Last edited by DSims; 03-02-2014 at 06:24 PM.
03-03-2014, 01:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the in feedback, I like the monopod idea. I think I will test that in a club in the near future. I know a lot of weeding photographers that swear by the D3 and I can get one for a decent price, the 12mp doesn't bother me cause rarely does a customer ask me to make prints larger than 11x14. The D610 was on my list but I'm scared of the oil problem that Nikon had with the d600. I'm still on the fence on this as I love to shoot with my k30, when I shoot in studio with my Alienbees the k30 performs nicsly , but it leaves a lot to be desired in iso 32000.
03-03-2014, 04:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clostoyo Quote
The D610 was on my list but I'm scared of the oil problem that Nikon had with the d600.
If the D610 is the right camera, don't let some stupid oil problem scare you away. It's not a problem with the D610, and Nikon has now even agreed to fix D600s, regardless of warranty status.
03-03-2014, 04:50 AM   #12
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K30 is pretty decent at high iso. Current full frame cameras will be about a stop better with regard to high iso. The K3 will not be much better at high iso than your K30. May just need to work on your noise reduction skills...
03-03-2014, 08:36 AM   #13
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I would say that if you are interested in LONG ZOOMS, then go with the K-3 + DA* 60-250mm f/4. Any Nikon equivalent will be much heavier, more expensive, and either not constant aperture (e.g. 80-400mm) or hideously more expensive (e.g. 200-400mm f/4).

If you are interested in FAST ZOOMS, go with Nikon -- the 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm are classic and hard to beat for IQ and provide great value (and resale value).

If you are interested in FAST PRIMES, things get interesting: both systems offer great options. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, and 28mm f/1.8 "triple play" provide excellent IQ on D600 and D800 at very competitive pricing.

If you are interested in LIGHTWEIGHT or WR, then go with Pentax. The Limiteds and DA* lenses are quite compelling.

Michael
03-03-2014, 11:02 AM   #14
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Given that the iso on both the K-30 and the K-3 is excellent I can only assume that what you're really trying to do here is convince yourself you really need a full frame camera. Looks to me like you're 95% there. You don't need us to convince you not to buy. You've already decided you want to buy. You just needed to justify it to yourself. No offense but I can't help you with that. Not legitimately.

FYI, I know 2 photographers who shoot weddings all the time with K-5's. They have no problems doing it. In fact they are two of the busiest wedding photographers in this area. One of them is likely to get a K-3. He's a major techie and likes to upgrade frequently. The other probably won't. Not for a while yet. You could get by with a K-3, but I don't think you want to. You badly want to go full frame so do it. You won't be happy till you do because in your mind the K-3 isn't enough camera for you. It's probably not true, to be blunt. A FF camera for what you want to do is actually a bit overkill but if that's what you want, that's what you want, and you should get it if only to stop second guessing yourself all the time.

I think Pentax makes some of the best cameras in the world, and frankly I'd kill for a K-5 or a K-30. I'm still using a K-x to run a portrait business. I could use the upgrade. But my K-x does get the job done, mostly. Over the past year or so I've learned that I often don't need as much camera as I think I do. I still want more, of course I do, but I can make do. The K-3 is probably more camera than I will ever use and it's too expensive for my wallet anyway. That's why my next camera will likely be a K-5 or maybe a K-30, but that's it. I don't need FF for what I do. If you genuinely feel you do, and can afford it, then just go for it. Worst thing that can happen is that you'll end up with a bit too much camera for your needs and when is that ever a bad thing?
03-03-2014, 11:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clostoyo Quote
Needless to say that my k30 doesn't work well in High ISO
I respectufully disagree, it's actually wonderful at high ISOs.

QuoteOriginally posted by clostoyo Quote
it seems like even the k3 wont help me much in my High ISO needs
It will. It's excellent too, and since you wrote that you don't need 24 MP, use it at 16 MP and you'll be blown away by the results.

QuoteOriginally posted by clostoyo Quote
I know a lot of weeding photographers that swear by the D3
I know a lot of photographers who get a Nikon "because others do it". That's not a valid reason to pick a brand.

You want reasons to get a Pentax, so here goes :

WR, SR, smaller bodies, smaller lenses, more inexpensive lenses, SR, cheaper than a D3 even with a high-quality lens, did I mention SR?
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