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12-31-2014, 03:29 PM   #1
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K-3 vs. Panny FZ1000

Hi, I joined recently and was about to pull the trigger on a K3 bundle before the specials expire tonight on Adorama/BH. I used to have a pretty extensive SLR rig years about but for the past few years have had Olympus/Lumix travel zooms. But recently I got the itch to get back into something of a higher quality. In the DSLR realm, I really like the K-3. However, I am also attracted to the FZ1000 bridge camera. Even with the smaller 1-inch sensor, IQ looks excellent especially at lower ISO. I've gone back and forth between these 2 cameras for weeks (reading and re-reading reviews). I'd be using the camera for a bit of everything - family, travelling/vacation, landscapes, indoor concerts, baseball games, etc.

Here are my thoughts on the strengths of each.

K3: build quality, weather sealing, ergonomics, system flexibility, excellent APS-C IQ, good low-light performance, decent lens (I'd be getting the 18-135 in the bundle), better battery life, this forum (couldn't find much for Lumix).
FZ1000: also good ergonomics, very nice and reasonably fast Leica 28-400mm equiv lens, excellent video quality (4K), cheaper, IQ competitive to APS-C at least at lower ISO, excellent AF.

Am I missing anything? Has anyone else considered both options? I didn't see anything via search. Rationally, the FZ1000 is a great step up from what I've been shooting for the past few years and I believe the build quality is decent if not near Pentax (my Lumix TZs have been great). But I'm usually driven toward quality and having an extensive SLR system in the past (and understanding the pros/cons of multiple lens, etc.), I keep coming back to the K3.

BTW, I think my Pentax system would be the K3, BG5, 18-135, 50-300. Not sure how the quality of these 2 Pentax zooms would compare to the built-in Leica lens.

i also know I could reduce the price gap by looking at a K50 or K-5 IIs system but I really like some of the changes on the K3.

Thanks for any thoughts...

12-31-2014, 04:14 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forums.

In some ways you are comparing apples with potatoes because these cameras have quite different strengths.

Only you can answer the question really but other things to consider:
* The "System flexibility" aspect is potentially fairly significant depending on how far you want to take the hobby. For example with access to fast lenses (as in big apertures) this opens up a whole new world of shallow depth of field and control over your photographs.
* Size is definitely a factor. The Pentax system is relatively small (as far as SLR systems go) but something like the FZ1000 is smaller. That said a K-3 paired with a small Limited lens such as the DA 40 takes some beating for compact size.
12-31-2014, 04:31 PM   #3
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Bridge cameras are nice, some are high quality and well built instruments but they are basically souped up P&S cameras and lack the flexibility, customizability (is that a word?) and expandability of a dslr. Either is a good choice *if* it is what you want but if you want what an slr can deliver then you will not be happy if you settle for a bridge camera no matter how well built it might be.
12-31-2014, 04:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I almost think the fz1000 and sony rx10 should have a new category vs the other bridge/superzoom stuff. Bigger sensors and other trickle down tech from their dslrs. What do you think about those 2 pentax zooms vs the builtin leica lens? In terms of iq.

12-31-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by irishnutter Quote
Thanks for the feedback. I almost think the fz1000 and sony rx10 should have a new category vs the other bridge/superzoom stuff. Bigger sensors and other trickle down tech from their dslrs. What do you think about those 2 pentax zooms vs the builtin leica lens? In terms of iq.
They seem a pretty good proposition really. I don't know how the lens IQ will compare (maybe looking at some sample images will give you a clue?) but I'm guessing (and its only a guess) that the 18-135 + 55-300 would be slightly better. But the real advantage to the DSLR is being able to add (as budget allows) a higher quality lens later including say a nice f2.8 lens with lovely bokeh.
12-31-2014, 05:30 PM   #6
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I have both a compact camera and a k3/k5iis. Sometimes which I take doesn't matter - good light, if I'm just documenting an event or thing (in good light or if on camera flash is ok) and I'll use whichever. But if there's a chance where light will be tricky (high dynamic range, iso 1600 and above), or if I may want to print the image large (11x14 or bigger), I will take the DSLR. There's also the issue of responsiveness, buffer depth, accessory options, useability and weather sealing that could influence my decision to use the DSLR. But there are times where being a bit less conspicuous is good and many times where carrying less is great. If I had to choose just one though, it would be the camera that would do the best in the most situations - it would be the K3 for sure. The interesting thing is, I use the Pentax Q7 more, but I understand it's limitations and I'm not willing to ignore the clear advantages of the K3 for when it's important.
12-31-2014, 06:20 PM   #7
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Are you married to the idea of K3? The K50 is another good option, 16MP, weather sealed, pretty amazing camera really. It's cheaper even with current deals and has slightly lower weight and size.
12-31-2014, 06:59 PM   #8
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There is no point in comparing bridge camera and DSLR. They used to be popular in early 2000s, but when affordable DSLR appeared, they felt out of favor. I went through the same route nearly 10 years ago – I was choosing between Panasonic FZ30 and Pentax *Ist DL. I've read all the forums and they all were like "don't buy bridge camera, buy DSLR instead!". I chose Panasonic. Only 1 year passed, and I went buying Pentax K10D DSLR. The Pentax was overwhelmingly superior to Panasonic in image quality, but you need lenses for it. My strategy then was to use fast primes on Pentax and keep Pany for long telephoto reach. But when I tried old Russian 200mm manual focus lens on Pentax, I never looked back. Yes, you could zoom all the way to 400mm on FZ30 and it has autofocus, but images from that old lens on DSLR were much more pleasing, that I would rather cope with manual focus and shorter reach, than use bridge camera.
Anyway, FZ1000 is impressive revival of FZ line, tried one in shop, FZ30 is a toy compared to it, but:
QuoteOriginally posted by irishnutter Quote
IQ competitive to APS-C at least at lower ISO
Unless you are happy with jpegs straight from the camera – no. Heavy post-processing on images form smaller sensor will bring out more noise and tones will degrade more even at low ISO. And dynamic range cannot be too wide even on APS-C. Are you sure you won't need high ISOs? At 400mm, they will come handy.
QuoteOriginally posted by irishnutter Quote
FZ1000: also good ergonomics
Questionable. They combined zoom and focus to the same ring, so in manual focus you have to switch modes to zoom or focus. Zooming with ring is electronically coupled, that means fixed max zoom speed – on FZ30 you could zoom from wide to tele instantly.
Front element of FZ1000's lens is so big there is going to be no good tele or wide converters, or they are going to be expensive.

Bridge cameras are in awkward position – too big and expensive compared to point'n'shoots, too limiting and inflexible compared to system cameras. So many choices these days: don't like weight of DSLR's – plenty of mirrorless to choose from. Zooms with very wide range are now available for DSLRs. It will cost more to cover such range on system (DSLR or mirrorless), but it's going to be more future-proof and will go a long way along your learning path. Bridge cameras like FZ1000 are fun to use, but considering their price and capabilities, they are kind of extravagance.


Last edited by Aberrator; 12-31-2014 at 07:04 PM.
12-31-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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Just wanted to thank everyone for the input...it helped. Just ordered the K3/18-135/BG5 thru B&H (linked from the forum) with literally a couple of mins to spare. Now that the torture of the decision is behind me, looking forward to getting and learning the K3 and learning even more from the forum.
12-31-2014, 10:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by irishnutter Quote
Just wanted to thank everyone for the input...it helped. Just ordered the K3/18-135/BG5 thru B&H (linked from the forum) with literally a couple of mins to spare. Now that the torture of the decision is behind me, looking forward to getting and learning the K3 and learning even more from the forum.
Enjoy your new camera! This forum is an amazing support.
12-31-2014, 11:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by irishnutter Quote
Just wanted to thank everyone for the input...it helped. Just ordered the K3/18-135/BG5 thru B&H (linked from the forum) with literally a couple of mins to spare. Now that the torture of the decision is behind me, looking forward to getting and learning the K3 and learning even more from the forum.
I couldn't believe that this is one of the situations when a bridge camera can cost as much or even more than a high end DSLR. Yes, the FZ1000 is newer but it does not make it better. Enjoy the new k-3!!
12-31-2014, 11:42 PM   #12
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I you shoot in portrait orientation much you'll like the BG - sounds like a good setup.
01-01-2015, 03:07 AM   #13
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I know what you feel when it comes to choosing between them.

When I started it was between a "higher end"bridge (Olympus stylus 1) or an entry level dslr. I ended up choosing the bridge, because of the package including excellent manual control (two dials and manual focus) and rapid auto focus.

Eventually I got my k3 and I couldn't be happier. With the limitations of a bridge, I realise why I needed to upgrade.

Still I'm happy I own both, there will be days where I choose the stylus.
01-01-2015, 08:20 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by CNunez Quote
I know what you feel when it comes to choosing between them.

When I started it was between a "higher end"bridge (Olympus stylus 1) or an entry level dslr.
I also had the OM-D EM-10 in the running for awhile (I also have had Olys in the past and love their cameras). The zoom options seemed a bit limited to me and when I added up the costs, I was back up in the K3 range given the current aggressive pricing on the K3. I also considered the D7100 for quite awhile, but I just didn't see any real advantage to going that route (for me). There is something to owning Pentax's best DSLR even if it lasts for only weeks or a few months until the next best thing comes along!
01-01-2015, 11:51 AM   #15
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I went from my Sony V3, also a bridge camera, to my K-x. I still love that Sony and don't think I can ever part with it, even though I no longer use it. A DSLR obviously gives more flexibility, but it also means a higher learning curve.
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