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04-15-2014, 08:48 AM   #1
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New K3's on the way!

So, I took the jump and have two new K3's on their way to me. I'm upgrading from a K20d and a K10d backup.. Yes, i know i missed a few versions, but those two bodies did everything i needed them to do for the past few years.

I've been reading up on here about the K3 and you all have me a little worried with this shutter flap issue and noise at higher iso's.
What do you all think, coming from a K20d.... will i be happy with the K3? And for the noise... I don't push my camera much on ISO... I use 800 sometimes and a few times i bumped it to 1600. I'm not expecting night vision but i do run in to cases where i can use the extra ISO.. What do most of you feel comfortable shooting for your highest ISO?

Thanks

Darren
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04-15-2014, 09:06 AM   #2
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Based on my K5ii and unscientific methods, ISO3200 should look better than ISO800 on the K20d. Maybe ISO400.
04-15-2014, 09:21 AM   #3
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Coming from K5, at first, K3 just seemed noisier, but that's only at 100% crop. At normal size/distance, K3 images look just as pleasant.
04-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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For me ISO 3200 is enough too. I used the TAv mode with auto ISO 100-3200 and the 18-135 ln sfor most of the time and it works perfect. The only thing i am not so satisfied is the auto WB, but i shot less than 1.000 pics so far, means the learning curve is still at the low-middle level...

The pic is straight out of the K3 with the Pentax 50mm F1.8 lens and the just the lens adjustment in LR 5.4.
Hope, it helps!
Greets
Oliver

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04-15-2014, 09:39 AM   #5
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I have some ISO 1600 pictures I took with the K10D that are noisier than ISO 6400 on the K3.
04-15-2014, 10:50 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rutster Quote
What do you all think, coming from a K20d.... will i be happy with the K3?
If you like all that new-fangled stuff like autofocus and metering and adjustable ISO, yes, you'll probably be happy with the K-3 coming from the K20D.

QuoteOriginally posted by rutster Quote
What do most of you feel comfortable shooting for your highest ISO?
I leave my K-5 and K-3 auto-ISO (newfangled) capped at 6400, since they are similarly noisy at that level, but the colors are correct and detail isn't being lost when I clean up the files later on. Beyond that ISO, correcting the files tends to desaturate an already desaturated and incorrectly colored image... which might be okay for nightclubs and concert photos, but not for handheld macros on a rainy day. If I recall correctly, the K20D fell apart after ISO800...
04-15-2014, 10:52 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone... I can't wait for them to get here and try them out myself.
I know i'm in for a little bit of a learning curve, but i should be able to handle that.
04-15-2014, 11:12 AM   #8
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People who complain about noisy K-3 images are mistaken. K-3 SNR is the same as the K-5 series, and significantly better than the K20D. If your K-3 photo is noisy, just add some NR. The reasons for confusion around K-3 noise are:
1. Comparing at dissimilar resolutions
2. Mandatory noise reduction on older Pentax bodies.

Here's an ISO comparison I did vs. my K20D:

K-3, ISO 6400, pushed two stops, NR off:


K20D, ISO 1600, pushed two stops, NR off:


More here: https://picasaweb.google.com/100586096103361553535/ISOK3VsK20D?authkey=Gv1sRgCMCaztnRvoDm0AE#
Click on the magnifying glass and the "+" logo for full resolution crops.

QuoteOriginally posted by rutster Quote
What do most of you feel comfortable shooting for your highest ISO?
ISO 100-6400 is my default setting for auto ISO.


Last edited by audiobomber; 04-15-2014 at 11:18 AM.
04-15-2014, 12:10 PM   #9
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Not sure about K20D high ISO but K3 high ISO blows me away. No noticeable noise all the way till ISO 4000. I use ISO 6400 regularly and get absolutely acceptable results. Right now I am handling a Nikon D610 side by side with my K3. Mildly put, Nikon can certainly borrow heavily from Pentax on ergonomics,button placements and menu items. High ISO on Nikon D610 is certainly better but not a very noticeable difference. It seems funny I am mentioning my k3 along side the Nikon D610 for high ISO! Never thought that would ever happen. K10/K20D high ISO do not even compare with K3 high ISO performance. Yes there is more noise but it does clean up to acceptable levels.
04-15-2014, 01:24 PM   #10
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I, too, used a K10D/K20D pair right up until last year, when I replaced them with a K5iis/K3 pair.
I almost never used TAv mode before, now it's my go-to mode almost exclusively indoors. I'm happy to let the ISO rise up well past 6400 if needed. The grain is not bad and I never see banding problems.

These are nice cameras!
04-15-2014, 01:47 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I've never been a photographer to rely on high iso, most of the time i would just bring the light that i needed. I do alot of studio and off camera flash work. Sure there were a few cases i couldn't bring light, but i would shy away from those types of shoots. It'll be nice to jump up to the next level where i can push myself to accept more low light shoots.

Here's one were i was pushing past my ISO comfort level on the K20d. This was shot at 1100 iso.
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04-18-2014, 07:48 AM   #12
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They have arrived! Had a little bit of time last night to get them all setup the way i wanted and get familiar with the new OS and layout.
Time to jump in head first tonight and put about a thousand shots on one of the lucky bodies. I'm the track photographer out at a local dirt track, so i will be testing and working at the same time. I do have my K20D in the bag if something goes wrong, but i'm crossing my fingers that i'll be falling in love with the K3 tonight.
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04-18-2014, 10:19 AM   #13
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I kept my K20D as a backup to a new(ish) K-3. I'm sure you'll love it. The main advantages for me are significantly improved noise performance and AF-C tracking.

Rutster, how have you set up your auto-focus choices on the K-3? There are a few more options than on the K20. Do you use SR for shooting dirt track? Contrary to some, I'm a huge fan of having electronic control of functions on the K-3 instead of switches on the K20D (e.g. AF, SR). I have User 1 mode configured for action shooting:
AF-C, center point expandable focus point, focus priority. I haven't settled on a default for AF Hold, I'm still working on it.
04-18-2014, 10:59 AM   #14
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Dan,

I have it set very basic to start, relying on how i have been shooting with the K20D (center point AF, AF-C/AF-S, Shake reduction on). As i get get shooting at the track i'll try a new feature for a few laps and leave it or go back to the basics. It's pretty fast pace at the track, so there isn't that much time to "play with settings" I don't think i'm going to push much past 1600 ISO tonight, but as i said, on a yellow flag i might crank it up to 6400 to see how it does, but back down to 1600 when the action starts back up. I'm also going to shoot raw+ to see if i can get by with jpg only (which i could do on the K20D without regretting it) One of the good things with the track i shoot at is they race at night, so I shoot most the shots with flash. That helps with stopping the action and keeps the noise down. But if i can crank up the ISO, it's just less that my flash has to work.


I really have to get used to the electronic controls as i am used to just flipping a switch or going into the Fn screen.
04-22-2014, 09:00 AM   #15
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Well, i got the chance to break-in one of the bodies at the track on friday. Put about 1300 shots on it that night with no real problems. Had a chance to play around with some setting and really torture test the autofocus system. I did find that i miss my backordered battery grip, and my hand was cramped up big time by the end of the night. (glad i wasn't shooting the 70-200 2.8)

Here's two shots from 400 iso to 3200 iso (i use flash when it gets dark, so i was just playing with the 3200)



Straight out of camera, jpg with all noise reduction turned off....



Is the camera the answer everything... nope.... but it sure does blow away the K20D i was using. I can't wait to get these in my studio with some prime lenses!
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