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08-13-2014, 11:02 AM   #1
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Just received my K-3; first experience not good

So I finally decided to take the plunge and just received my K3 with battery grip and 540 flash combo yesterday. I was on the fence about staying with Pentax as I have started a part time sports photography business. With the new speed of the K3 AF, I decided to upgrade from the K30. My upgrade path has been Kr - K01 - K30 - K3, so I am familiar with Pentax. I also purchased a Sigma 70-200mm F/2.0 HSM with OS. Total investment $2500, not including my other Pentax lenses/gear. The battery needed charging, so I popped on the battery grip with AA batteries, set the AF to AF.C, high speed burst mode, focus priority, rear AF enabled, so as to test the tracking. Had my kid run toward me as I held the AF button and fired away. After only 3 shots, the camera went into machine gun mirror mode and quickly depleted my batteries. Not good. After about a 30 minute charge, I finally was able to test the AF with the rechargeable batteries. I had the AF.C set to first shot - focus priority, and other than that shot, all others were out of focus while panning my kid running in an arc (so as to test AF.C). I also noticed that the Sigma was out of focus on stationary objects as well even though when mounted on my K30, it is sharp. My settings were 1/1000, F2.8, so blur due to movement should not be an issue. Also, the AWB under tungsten is way off. No problem adjusting in LR, but very yellowish. My K30 is slightly better, but my little Nikon P&S nailed the white balance. I also noticed that the firmware is version 1.00. So....

1) Does the newest firmware address any of these issues?
2) Does the Sigma need a fine tune adjustment
3) Should I just return the K3 and lens, avoid all the hassle and get the Sony A77ii?

Thanks

08-13-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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1) don't know specifics, but there was something about the AF.
2) Yes, in general this lens needs fineadjustment.
3) Don't know.

With lens you have to make a choice on using the SR in camera or the OS in the lens. You can turn both off if you like, but having both of them turned on you will have no sharp images.

At least do testing with a full loaded battery.
08-13-2014, 11:33 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Khoff2 Quote
Just received my K-3; first experience not good
Hi Khoff,
To answer your questions -
1) Does the newest firmware address any of these issues? Certainly update the firmware because at the very least it "improves stability"
2) Does the Sigma need a fine tune adjustment. I personally do not use a new lens without checking the focusing. My 70-200 runs about +6 on the K-3 micro focus adjustment. Be aware that there is a auto focus set difference between 70mm and 200mm, particularly obvious at short distances, so find a happy median setting that suits you shooting.
3) Should I just return the K3 and lens, avoid all the hassle and get the Sony A77ii? If the firmware update does not fix the mirror flapping my personal opinion is the camera is faulty and should be returned. (I don't have experance with the Sony A77ii so I cannot comment on that.

Chris
08-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #4
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Seriously you are all over the place. Like RonHendriks1966 said at least do your testing with fully charged batteries. If they are new it might take a few cycles till they are working at peak power.

As for out of focus images shooting at 1/1000 at f2.8 will not protect against movement blur. You are shooting wide open which narrows the in focus zone.

You can set the white balance manually for any lighting condition.

08-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #5
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re: the AWB -- there are detailed settings for that to adjust the degree of correction. Some people prefer only partial correction under tungsten light so it stays warm. Change it from Subtle to Strong.
08-13-2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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Tracking AF only works if you use one of the expanded AF settings (SEl). This seems to be a common problem for newbies. Give it another go with one of these settings enabled. As for mirror flip, it is quite possible you may never see it again. I had a few flops but none since February of this year.

Jack
08-13-2014, 12:25 PM   #7
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The idea that you can just start shooting action like a pro immediately after getting a new camera is silly.

The K-3 in conjunction with lenses like thje Sigma 70-200 can indeed to decent AFC tracking. You just have to get the [dozen or so] AF settings right and practice some. Plus get a monopod and turn off SR, especially if you are doing any panning.
08-13-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for your comments. I will update firmware tonight. I had the expanded area AF set as well. As for being silly, I have been called worse, but the whole reason for my post is that I am practicing with settings before taking my "pro" shots and asking for advice. Being judgmental doesn't normally help.

08-13-2014, 01:07 PM   #9
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Oh and for panning: turn off SR in camera and set the OS on the lens to setting #2 (wich is for panning in landscape).
08-13-2014, 01:30 PM   #10
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Make sure the fine adjustment is not already set to some silly number, as it can be a returned camera. You never know.
08-13-2014, 02:32 PM   #11
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A few things, if you were not sure about staying with Pentax and liking your Nikon P&S and thinking of the A77ii, why buy a K3? Bear in mind that the Sony will also have little quirks and issues.

If you are still within your return period, the floppy mirror issue might warrant a return. However, using low mah AA batteries + OS lens is begging for trouble. And 30 minutes is not a charge for a DLI90 battery, think more like >4 hours.

As it was mentioned, OS + SR will result in very bad pictures. OS (setting 1) will also not like panning (neither does SR). Even if OS (setting 2) is supposed to be for panning, I never managed to get a decent panning shot with it enabled.

When using AFC, it is always better to use single point or smaller zone AF mode vs the full 27 points. Also having a very, very shallow DOF, f/2.8 is not the best aperture for action shots.

The auto white balance is stellar on the K3 compared to every other Pentax I owned. But I did tweak the tungsten setting a bit but I can't remember if mine was too blue or too yellow.

Regarding the Sigma 70-200 being off, it is very possible that it will need in camera adjustments but it is also possible, depending on how you hold your lens, that you turn the focus or zoom ring slightly when you are panning. I don't know about the 70-200 but on my 120-400 the focus ring is stupidly sensitive and being a full time manual override it may screw your focus if moved. Also it is a very big lens and it will take a while before you get the hangs of shooting with it even more so with a heavy K3 + grip. And always remember that SR and OS take a second or two to activate when you half press the shutter button, SR will show you the little hand in the viewfinder when it's ready but not OS

And 1/1000 will get rid of blur due to camera shake but will not eliminate motion blur.

Give it some time. You can't expect to take award winning pictures on the first day you get your new camera. Especially in one of the most challenging setting imaginable. When I got my DA* 50-135 I was very disappointed of its performance, I tried everything, I did countless test shot of charts, focus adjust, the whole nine yards but still it wasn't as good as the price suggested. Fast forward a couple months, it is now my favorite lens and it is almost always on my K3, with 0 adjustments; I was looking for issues where there weren't any... actually the real issue was the thing behind the camera. I worked on my posture, my breathing and my technique.
08-13-2014, 02:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Khoff2 Quote
Thanks for your comments. I will update firmware tonight. I had the expanded area AF set as well. As for being silly, I have been called worse, but the whole reason for my post is that I am practicing with settings before taking my "pro" shots and asking for advice. Being judgmental doesn't normally help.
I am so sorry for your first experience with your K-3 but I must say your post has made me acutely aware I am so not ready for a k-3. I hope things improve I can imagine the feeling of dismay hope it behaves from here on in there is obviously a larger learning curve with the k-3 than I envisioned.
08-13-2014, 04:31 PM   #13
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I was in your shoes a few months ago when I too got my K3 and did not do any adjustments when friends told me I needed to. What happened was I got lots of OOF photos or sharp background and blurred subjects. I too got very upset and wondered if I had made the right choice as the other bodies I owned, K5, K30 and K5IIs did not need any adjustments at all.


I got another friend to help me set and on my older Sigma 70-200/2.8 APO EG, it is a +10. Even my DA*16-50/2.8 is a +10.

For the K3, it seems that most lenses needed to be adjusted. My FA43 & 77 needed a +3 and my FA*85/1.4 needed a +6.

I now have nice sharp photos.
08-13-2014, 04:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Khoff2 Quote
Thanks for your comments. I will update firmware tonight. I had the expanded area AF set as well. As for being silly, I have been called worse, but the whole reason for my post is that I am practicing with settings before taking my "pro" shots and asking for advice. Being judgmental doesn't normally help.
Make sure your batteries are fully charged before doing the update.
08-13-2014, 04:42 PM - 1 Like   #15
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nearly every new Nikon D800 user had serious "problems" with their "new" camera. Turns out that super high-resolution cameras such as the A7, D800, and yes, the Pentax K-3 (and many other cameras too) force users to "up their game" as the extra resolution punishes you for less than perfect technique or perfect adjustment. I know this is not what you want to hear, but I'm trying to say that many many users of OTHER high-res camera systems have had similar complaints to their brand new, expensive systems. The good advice has already been given: learn the camera, make adjustments, improve your technique. And be aware that there *is* a possibility that you might have a legitimate problem with your gear. But the best advise is to eliminate all the other possibilities first. Doing so will only make your case stronger should you need to exchange equipment.

YMMV

Michael
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