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11-07-2014, 06:57 AM   #1
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To buy or not to buy?

I don't usually ask for advice on a prospective purchase, but I am undecided about the K-3.

Current price is very attractive, and I am due for birthday and Christmas presents, but I'm concerned about the following:

1. Mirror flops
2. Flash delay

The former, I can hope that either I will get a unit that doesn't suffer from the problem, or that if it does occur, it will be infrequent, so it would be no biggie. The latter, I can see being frustrating. Although I'm not thinking at all of action shooting, I can nevertheless imagine it to be a nuisance.

Given the above, your suggestion is to buy, or not?

And finally, does anyone know if the extended warranties available are valid out of the US?

Thanks for any input.

11-07-2014, 07:04 AM   #2
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That's not really enough info for a call. Do you have a camera already? Which one? What bothers you about it? What do you expect to achieve by getting a K3? What lenses you've got? Which ones you want to buy? Dreaming about FF?
11-07-2014, 07:08 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxdoo Quote
Dreaming about FF?
oh dear ! I'm a very optimist and stocking FF lens, just in case, but I doubt that Pentax FF will be released soon. Definitely not this Christmas

K-3 is the winner of EISA and TIPA award, so if I haven't had my K5 IIs, I'd go straight for that bad boy Depend on where you buy the camera, you can always change for a new one if you see any problem with your camera. In Europe, the policy is max 30 days after purchase
11-07-2014, 07:36 AM   #4
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The flash delay is a fraction of a second. That can be an issue if shooting fast moving children but not otherwise. If I shoot children I put it in manual mode and test the exposure and then shoot. No delay at all shooting with manual flash.

Buy the camera.

11-07-2014, 07:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxdoo Quote
That's not really enough info for a call. Do you have a camera already? Which one? What bothers you about it? What do you expect to achieve by getting a K3? What lenses you've got? Which ones you want to buy? Dreaming about FF?
Thanks, but this is all irrelevant to my question, which expressed concerns about two issues. I was not asking whether or not I should upgrade from what I already have.

---------- Post added 07-11-14 at 14:51 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by redcat Quote
oh dear ! I'm a very optimist and stocking FF lens, just in case, but I doubt that Pentax FF will be released soon. Definitely not this Christmas

K-3 is the winner of EISA and TIPA award, so if I haven't had my K5 IIs, I'd go straight for that bad boy Depend on where you buy the camera, you can always change for a new one if you see any problem with your camera. In Europe, the policy is max 30 days after purchase
Well yeah, upcoming equipment is always a concern. But, the current K3 price would probably reflect better value than anything new that comes out, hence the temptation.
11-07-2014, 07:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
Thanks, but this is all irrelevant to my question, which expressed concerns about two issues. I was not asking whether or not I should upgrade from what I already have.


Heh, I obviously misunderstood your question. Sorry for being overly inquisitive.
11-07-2014, 07:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
The flash delay is a fraction of a second. That can be an issue if shooting fast moving children but not otherwise. If I shoot children I put it in manual mode and test the exposure and then shoot. No delay at all shooting with manual flash.

Buy the camera.
I suppose this would be an occasional, but infrequent problem for me.

Is there a consensus as to whether or not all K3s suffer from this issue?

(You've almost talked me into it)
11-07-2014, 07:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxdoo Quote
Heh, I obviously misunderstood your question. Sorry for being overly inquisitive.
Next time I'll write in Greek

11-07-2014, 07:56 AM   #9
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I just purchased a K-3 and it is perfect thus far. I too got a few jitters in the weeks ahead of that purchase, reading horror
stories of those individuals who received a camera not so perfect. But a quick reminder that complaints are usually
more vocal than contented customers and the realization that if every perfect camera was reported against every flawed,
the negativity would probably drown out.

Add to that piece of mind that I'm in the first month of 3yr warranty and I feel quite at ease.
11-07-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
I just purchased a K-3 and it is perfect thus far. I too got a few jitters in the weeks ahead of that purchase, reading horror
stories of those individuals who received a camera not so perfect. But a quick reminder that complaints are usually
more vocal than contented customers and the realization that if every perfect camera was reported against every flawed,
the negativity would probably drown out.

Add to that piece of mind that I'm in the first month of 3yr warranty and I feel quite at ease.
Agreed, satisfied users tend to not complain. Still, I understand that the two issues are real and not particularly rare.
11-07-2014, 09:03 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
Is there a consensus as to whether or not all K3s suffer from this issue?
AFAIK, all K-3s have some degree of flash delay. As for the runaway mirror issue, consensus is that the issue is uncommon and evidence is that the incidence in recent production cameras is practically zero.


Steve
11-07-2014, 09:17 AM   #12
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Thanks for all input so far.

I'd like to "refresh" my question : does anyone know if the extended warranties available are valid outside of the US?

I suppose that in a way, that question could be taken to mean "who performs the repair under such warranties?" If it has to be a US entity, then that implicitly answers the question.
11-07-2014, 09:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
1. Mirror flops
Never happened to me. I think it's real but not that frequent.

QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
2. Flash delay
That I observe, when using TTL. It's different (takes longer) than with my former K20D but not really a LONG delay.

When using flashes in manual or when using my radio trigger I get no delay whatsoever.
11-07-2014, 09:25 AM   #14
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^ what he said. The flash delay that causes the most missed shots is the time it takes my flash to recharge after use, not the shutter delay.
11-07-2014, 09:36 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
Agreed, satisfied users tend to not complain. Still, I understand that the two issues are real and not particularly rare.
I have had my K-3 since early April and have used it for flash photography periodically since then. The first I became aware to the flash lag was when I read about it here on this forum. I guess that gives some indication of how serious the issue is in general use. The lag is perceptible, but not obvious and may be an item of concern for some use cases. I don't know if similar behavior is present with other brand cameras.

As for rarity...as in my comment above, I have not read of any K-3 that do NOT have flash lag. In regards to the runaway mirror issue, the incidence was never high* and evidence is that it is extremely rare to non-existent in recent production cameras. A good indication of seriousness of the runaway mirror issue would be to take a look at RiceHigh's blog. He has a long history of continuous criticism of Pentax product, but the runaway mirror issue warranted very little attention from him. The same is true of the flash lag behavior.

In regards to your purchase decisions...If either of these issues are deal breakers for you, an alternative brand/model of camera might be a good idea. Be aware, however, that Consumer Reports members report that 4% of recent purchase Canon and Sony dSLRs and 6% of Nikon dSLRs had fatal or serious issues requiring repair or replacement. Yes, that is 1 of 20 boxes going out from your friendly local camera store.

Edit: If you do decide to purchase a Pentax dSLR and live in North America, I would suggest also buying the Pentax two year warranty extension. I say this, not because the cameras are prone to failure (they are not), but because it is such a good value at less than $20 USD.


Steve

* Be aware that there is an amplification phenomenon in relation to product issues on the Internet. People who post their problems to the forums typically belong to more than one forum and often re-post their complaints multiple times in multiple places. This is both good and bad. It is good because it encourages other people to describe the issue and assists the makers in characterization of what is happening in the field. It is bad because it creates the illusion of a pervasive problem when the actual incidence is very low.

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-07-2014 at 09:43 AM.
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