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04-08-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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K3 vs d600

It's an older comparison but if you haven't seen it, take a look.

Nikon D600 vs. Pentax K-3 Image Comparison: Pentax Sweeps Nikon


Man I can't wait to get a K3!!!

04-08-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
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I read it over, and decided they went into a bit of hyperbole there. "As good as in a different kind of way" , or "the same only different" I might endorse... sweeps? That might be taking liberties with the literal truth. But I do like my K-3.
04-08-2014, 06:11 PM   #3
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You do have an interesting point.
04-08-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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The Pentax Forums had some high iso comparison photos between the A7 and the K3 and it was surprising how close they were, despite the fact that the A7 is full frame.

04-08-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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I have looked at the comparator at DPReview many times and compared almost all the 135mm bodies with K3. Not much difference IMO. Still can not beat the K3 value proposition.
04-08-2014, 08:03 PM   #6
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The bokeh on the D600 is noticeably smoother.. makes for more subject isolation at the same aperture it appears (from the test shots).

Between the two, I prefer the test images from the D600 for that reason. But that is after factoring in adding a bit more contrast to the D600 images.. they appear largely washed out in the test images.

I say both cameras (and platforms) have their merits... I'd pick the K-3 (or any APS-C) for long ('telephoto') shots or macro and the D600 (or any FF) for landscape, lowlight, or portraiture.. if I had my druthers.
04-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
The bokeh on the D600 is noticeably smoother..
Bokeh is an attribute of a lens not a camera's sensor or it's size. You can have good, bad and ugly bokeh on a D600 or K3 too.
04-08-2014, 08:15 PM   #8
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True, but that 500 dollar f1.8 Nikkor is cranking out nicer bokeh than the 800 dollar f1.4 Pentax.. and you can't put D600 'F' mount lenses on a Pentax body (and get all the fun electronics to function) hence you need the D600.

04-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #9
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I know everyone has read the in-depth review, still I just wanted to quote something that caught my eye when I read it and ask does anyone know if the separate post they mentioned was ever made? I would love to sees what they meant just for the sake of knowing.
Thanks.


"We are confident that it will stack up well against the competition, and that the gap between it and 24-megapixel full-frame DSLRs is smaller than you might think (stay tuned for a separate post on this topic)."
04-09-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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Just to say that the biggest difference between the D600 and K3 (other than lenses available -- which is pretty huge) is the dynamic range at a given iso, with a distinct advantage to the D600. Noise looks to be pretty much awash.
04-09-2014, 10:38 AM   #11
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And I would say, that the biggest advantage to the K-3 is magnification of macros and telephoto shot, and a faster burst mode for action/wildlife. On macros you have a sensor that's half the size, and that gives you twice the magnification, and on telephotos you get equivalent lenses at a fraction the cost.

But with a D600 you can buy a D7100 to go with it and have the best of both worlds. But really , for low light high ISO photographs, you want a D4s. The difference between a D600 and K-3 is rather piddling. It's irritating seeing people recommending half-assed solutions. Recommend the camera that does the job that needs to be done, then start looking for compromises if you can't afford it.

Last edited by normhead; 04-09-2014 at 10:43 AM.
04-13-2014, 10:58 PM   #12
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It hat the smell of a paid endorsement.

You can play exactly the same game comparing the D7100 vs. the D600, and it's even easier since they share same Nikon picture controls. I refer you to Ken Rockwell's web site if you care to follow that up.

Then you ask yourself, staring at two more-or-less identical 24 MP images, "is the glass half full, or is it half empty?".

If you want to convince yourself that the APSC output is functionally every bit as good as the full frame data, knock yourself out. The default output of the Nikon and Pentax cameras are sufficiently different that if you want to be brand-loyal you are welcome to announce, "Hoho, isn't the Pentax color so much nicer!".

According to dpreview, it's the K-3 color that has issues, but personally I don't much care for the D600 standard default either so we'll call it a draw.

However, as a long-time APSC user who recently stepped up to the D600, I insist that at both the pixel level, and the format level, it's an entirely different world. First, at the hardware level, the viewfinder is just bigger and better, and the lens FOV/DOF characteristics are reshuffled. On my Nikon system, it means I now have a cheap, light, and excellent standard lens (the AFS50/1.8G), and plenty of options in the 20-50 mm range of wide-standard prime lenses, and 85-135mm range of short teles where before I was always stuck on APSC with a vaguely wrong FL. (I'm not a serious telephoto user so the crop factor/pixel density of APSC is of no benefit) Second, at a data level, the performance of the 24 MP FX sensor up to ISO6400 is near unbelievable, especially at the low ISO range: there is simply no noise up to ISO400. Not even at 100%, not even if you push a stop. It's perfectly clean. Now you may or may not have a use for this level of performance, but you'd have to be in blind denial to insist it isn't there. Modern 24 MP APSC can't touch it, though - sure, I'm happy to admit it - at the top-level the difference can often be very subtle.

I find myself wishing recently for a Pentax FF dSLR. While, unlike Nikon, Pentax *does* have a decent selection of high quality modern APSC lenses, the fact remains that the only "true" equivalent 50/1.8 FOV lens on ASPC crop is the 31/1.8. That's hardly within reach of most, and its size and weight vs. the Nikon 50mm is such that my D600/50 is lighter and essentially the same size as my K10D with the FA31. AND the 50/1.8 has wider DOF control, for a lens costing 1/5 of the FA31. Sad to say this, but if I really wanted to use my (mostly full frame, mostly manual focus) Pentax lenses on a modern camera, I would probably go with the Sony A7 before I went out and got the K-3.

In summary: the K-3 is a great camera, capable of taking great photos, and in certain respects (build quality, continuous shooting) out-performs my D600. But make no mistake: the gravitational pull of "entry level" full-frame is strong. Once you go there, it's almost impossible to go back. It just feels right.
04-16-2014, 07:29 PM   #13
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I'm one of those who went to the 645D from digital 35mm FF and I have no regrets. But I did have a need for a smaller, lighter body. I subsequently bought a Pentax K5 as a backup/alternative use body. During that period of time I had the opportunity to shoot both the D800 and D600 extensively. I was not impressed at all with their default colors anymore than others have been with Pentax colors. Out of camera JPGs are irrelevant for my purposes as I shoot RAW and I can't really imagine anyone spending the money that any of these cameras cost and just using JPG output. Later, I sold the K5 when the K3 became available after extensively shooting both the D800 and D600, and more than a month in the case of the D800. As many 645D owners have found, the Nikons were disappointments.

As for the pixel level noise and detail of the K3 vs the SONY/Nikon FF 24 bodies, the noise pattern of the K3, more so than the K5 in my opinion, can be nicely controlled in ACR with no significant loss of detail at gallery print sizes. As for comparing detail at the pixel level, check out the various elements of DPR studio images or the Imaging-Resource studio image. The sensor of the K3 without an AA filter is more than a match for the FF SONY or Nikon. Certainly that could change if SONY or Nikon offered a 24meg FF without an AA sensor. Forgetting the DOF and bokeh discussions, which are somewhat irrelevant for landscape and nature shooting, the K3 easily holds it own against the presently available AA filtered 24meg FF bodies. While the Pentax K mount lenses are OK, the K3 really sings with the Samyang 35mm 1.4 or the 14mm wide angle, and at amazingly low costs.
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