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07-01-2014, 12:46 PM   #1
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K-3 compared to D7100 and 70D

Im in a pickle. I've been allowed a new camera by the girlfriend. I can't seem to pick between the K-3, D7100, 70D.


Im coming from a Nikon D80, I wan't to upgrade, 10MP, no VR lens and
bad ISO just don't cut it, my last vacation with so many blurry images due to shaky hands sealed the deal, but have a hard time deciding what to buy into. I like that Pentax has build in SR and what seems like very good ergonomics also the build quality is solid. What speaks for the D7100 is its autofocus where the K-3 seems to suffer, the 70D has dual-pixel video going for it.


Pentax has pretty much all the lenses I would want, 35mm, xx-300mm, 100mm macro, and I can get a deal on the K-3 135kit + 50mm f1.8 which will leave me off with the same lenses I had for the D80.


My main concerns with the Pentax K-3 is the autofocus and that many of the lenses has no build in AF motor. I actually see that as both good and bad. One less thing to break in a lens.
So I would like to ask is the K-3 auto focus up to par with the D7100 and how bad is the noise from the AF motor?


Thanks for any help.

07-01-2014, 01:11 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
So I would like to ask is the K-3 auto focus up to par with the D7100 and how bad is the noise from the AF motor?
The noise can get annoying. But, the good news is that there are plenty of Pentax lenses with silent motors these days, such as the 18-135mm, Sigma 17-70mm, DA* premium primes/zooms, and others.

Nikon is still ahead when it comes to AF, but the K-3 is more than adequate for more users and great in low light, and it has other merits that make up for it, such as more shooting modes and easier adjustments to shutter speed/aperture on-the-fly in P mode.

The bottom line is that any of the cameras you're considering are going to be a big upgrade over the D80. I would recommend picking the features that matter most: i.e. is silent/faster AF in the Nikon better than in-body SR on the Pentax or a better video/live view mode in the Canon. Also, look at how much you'd need to spend on lenses by switching systems and see if it's worth it.

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07-01-2014, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #3
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IQ wise, the K-3 is about the same as the D7100 (I've shot both cameras extensively). The K-3 wins on speed, buffer, quietness, water-resistance, full-magnesium frame, three user-defined settings, etc. etc. I purchased my K-3 after waiting for three years for Nikon to deliver a D400/D9300. Icing on the cake for me was the DA* 60-250mm lens: neither Nikon nor Canon have anything like it. I've grown so fond of this lens that if Nikon were to deliver a D400/D9300 it would no longer be enough: they would also have to deliver a similar lens and AFAIK, that ain't never gonna happen!

Michael
07-01-2014, 03:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
silent/faster AF in the Nikon better than in-lens SR on the Pentax
Adam, I think you meant - in-camera SR on the Pentax

apart from that - since I upgraded from Pentax K-x kit and hadn't recently had any other Pentax lenses, for me this particular upgrade was as good as switching systems. I'm glad I stayed with Pentax.

07-01-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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If you have the money, buy both from B&H, use them for a couple of days, send back whichever one you like less. For me, the Pentax user interface is soooo much better. I love the TAv mode too. Another plus for me in Pentax is the ability to use old lenses so easily. I have some old M42 lenses, they are such a joy to use, they render so differently than modern glass. Downside is Pentax flashes are way behind, few choices for fast glass.

I'd say make your choice based on what lenses you want. The18-135 is a nice walk around, but not the cornerstone of a lens collection. It is WR, though, so that's nice.

The Limited lenses are a bit expensive, don't appear to be that impressive on paper, but shooting with them is a joyful experience. So nice to have tiny tiny lenses. Most of them have pretty close MFD, so great for closeups. The DA15 is especially amazing. Look through the 15mm controls my mind thread here on the forum. Pentax is the way to go, just so you can have that lens.
07-01-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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A couple of extra data points for the comparison:



I don't think the K-3 AF suffers in comparison to the D7100 or 70D, especially when you look at the number of cross type sensors, and the low-light sensitivity of the K-3.

To me, the wonderful quietness of the K-3 shutter is also something never to overlook. Depending on where you shoot, it can be a real bonus. Don't just focus on possible AF motor noise. That should be the least of your noise worries.
07-02-2014, 02:45 AM   #7
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Hard to say. If you like video a lot, Canon is where you should go. I guess I wouldn't buy purely for a camera body (although the K3 is nice), but think about what glass you would want to purchase in each system. Pentax glass will tend to be smaller because it doesn't have in lens stabilization, but auto focus is a little noisier (doesn't bother me). The auto focus on the K3 is quite good and I don't think most folks would have issues with it compared to either the Canon or D7100 you mention.
07-02-2014, 03:00 AM   #8
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im sure youve asked the same question on canikon forums. i think the best you can do is go in a shop, get a grab of all 3 cameras, see what they feel like and then decide based on that and what your needs are.
the only positive thing about nikon, besides the d7100 being a superb camera, is that you get to use your current lenses.
user interface on the pentax lineup however is far more superior

07-02-2014, 03:01 AM   #9
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I've looked over the lenses available and they all seem to fit what i want. So i don't see any problems there.

Another of my strong points for Pentax is they seems to not dump down there cameras like Nikon or Canon just to get you to upgrade to FF.

Only concern is that some people really seems to have issues with the autofocus being really slow and the P-TTL flash system seems horrible from what i can read.

Will the K-3 work with TTL flashes?

But i think i will go for the K-3.
07-02-2014, 03:33 AM   #10
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Well, let me be the first to say, welcome to the forum and enjoy your new K3. I look forward to seeing your photos.

Regards
07-02-2014, 03:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
I've looked over the lenses available and they all seem to fit what i want. So i don't see any problems there.

Another of my strong points for Pentax is they seems to not dump down there cameras like Nikon or Canon just to get you to upgrade to FF.

Only concern is that some people really seems to have issues with the autofocus being really slow and the P-TTL flash system seems horrible from what i can read.

Will the K-3 work with TTL flashes?

But i think i will go for the K-3.
Pentax hasn't supported TTL since the film SLR days.
P-TTL is not horrible. I'd say it's limited in the advanced capabilities (weak support for multiflash setups) and the K-5 had the "bounce flash overexposure" bug, which the K-3 doesn't have.

OTOH, Pentax never intentionally cripples the flash system on the entrylevel bodies. All Pentaxes support wireless flash and HSS, unlike the entrylevel bodies from the big two.


On autofocus: Pentax AF is not really slow. It's inferior to the sports systems (sports body + sports tele) from the big two when shooting action such as field sports (not unusable, but lower keeper rate). It's arguably better (faster, more accurate) in low light single AF.

Regards,
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07-02-2014, 04:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
issues with the autofocus being really slow and the P-TTL flash system seems horrible from what i can read.
Autofocus speed, with any camera, depends on both the camera and the lens. Put an old screw drive macro lens on a Nikon D4 and it will be as slow and noisy as it would be on a K-3. However mount a Sigma HSM lens like the 70-200 f2.8 HSM on either the D4 or the K-3 and the AF will be very fast and very quiet on both bodies.

In terms of screw drive lenses, mount a light, bright screw drive lens on the K-3 with a short throw (eg the DA 40 or DA70) and it will work fast and quiet, but mount a lens like the long-focus throw (and darker) DA 55-300 zoom and the AF will be less efficient and the lens will also be noisier.

In my experience of using PTTL (with the Sigma 530 DG PTTL) on the K-3 for a thousand shots or so, I've found it generally to expose spot on, certainly more accurately than PTTL on the K-5.

tldr: your mileage may vary, with the K-3, depending how you set yourself up and the gear you use. But AF and PTTL work OK.
07-02-2014, 10:05 AM   #13
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I ordered the K-3 with the 18-135 WR and the DA 50mm. Now i just hope Pentax will have solved the mirror flapping soon after it arrives.
07-02-2014, 10:16 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
I ordered the K-3 with the 18-135 WR and the DA 50mm. Now i just hope Pentax will have solved the mirror flapping soon after it arrives.
You are going to like your new K-3. I chose it over the D7100 based on build quality and feel-in-the-hand. As for the crazy mirror syndrome...it is unlikely you will have a problem. Ricoh has offered a fix to existing owners and it is likely that fix is included in recent bodies.


Steve
07-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
My main concerns with the Pentax K-3 is the autofocus
It's fantastic. I never find it lacking.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
and that many of the lenses has no build in AF motor. I actually see that as both good and bad. One less thing to break in a lens.
Indeed, both good and bad.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
So I would like to ask is the K-3 auto focus up to par with the D7100
It's better in very low light, actually. The K-3's sensitivity goes down to -3 EV, other cameras go to -1 generally. A friend has a D7000 and is positively jealous. In bright light, AF is snappy and very reliable. You get 27 Af points, 25 of those being cross-type (the D7100 has 3) and 3 being f2.8 (the D7100 has one).

Where the D7100 is better is for tracking moving subjects. It works with the K-3 but Nikon's system is better.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dunmer835 Quote
how bad is the noise from the AF motor?
depends on the lens. However, it has never bothered me. I have one "silent" lens and I o like it, but the others were never a problem.

If you don't mind giving up the Nikon stuff you already have, then from your questions I feel Pentax could suit your needs. Whatever your choice, it will be a big upgrade from your D80 that's for sure.
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