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01-27-2015, 12:46 PM - 1 Like   #1
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My first 18 hours with a K-3.

I'd like to compliment brewmaster15's thread about his initial impressions of a K-3.

I finally made the jump to a K-3 from a K-30 thanks to Adorama's recent sale that included a battery grip, DA 50mm lens, and a FluCard. My FluCard is being shipped separately and I haven't tried the DA 50mm yet. It's raining outside and I've only experimented indoors with a FA 31mm and 43mm lenses. The battery grip is filled with six AA Eneloops rated at 1900 mA each. Here are my initial impressions.

  • The camera feels slightly heavier and bulkier than a K-30. I'm a small Russian dude with small hands. My hands cannot fully wrap around the grip as comfortably on K-3. It's not bad but the K-30 was more comfortable. Something new to get used to?
  • The battery grip makes the camera very heavy and it feels huge! I feel like I am holding a powerful and professional photographic tool. Something else to get used to?
  • The tactile feedback from the buttons is much better on the K-3. The shutter button has a very nice and light feel. On the K-30 I must press harder and counteract the action with my left hand. On the K-3 I think I am jerking the camera a bit. I must adjust my technique.
  • The main LCD screen on the K-3 has more contrast and looks sharper/brighter. There is top LCD screen on the K-30. I need to get used to the K-3 having one and learn how to use the information on it vs. using the main LCD. Both screens together seem to duplicate the displayed information. I like how the main LCD screen rotates when I rotate the body. Nice!
  • The K-3 has a lot more buttons and interactions available to the user. I don't feel like I need to dig through menus as much now. There is a learning curve here but I don't think it's very steep coming from a K-30.
  • AF speed seems faster and AF lock seems easier to achieve. This will be proven (or disproven) over time.
  • IQ is very, very good! At higher ISO settings my K-30 seems to have more relative chroma noise but the K-3 seems to have more luminance noise. Since the chroma noise seems lower on the K-3 the luminance noise stands out more to me. The luminance noise is probably lower on the K-3 than the K-30. This is another area of the camera that will be proven or disproven over time.
  • The owners manual for the K-3 seems a bit thin compared to the K-30. Maybe the different formatting is throwing me off. I think if I came into the K-3 as a new Pentaxian I feel I would be very confused. Thankfully I learned a lot about the baseline and common features on my K-30. The transition for me is easy going for now.

My experience with Adorama has been top notch! I initially purchased a bundle for the body, lens, and grip but no FluCard. Two days later Adorama posted a sale for almost the same price that included the same pieces plus a FluCard this time. I felt bad and anxious about missing the sale. Helen Oster at Adorama equalized my bundle with the sale and all is well. My FluCard is on its way to me. I'm so glad I went with Adorama instead of buying from eBay. There probably isn't an eBay seller that can match this level of service. Adorama packed everything very well and everything arrived in great shape!

My K-3 came with firmware v1.11. That tells me this recently built hardware coming fresh from the factory. It's not old inventory. I have taken 37 shots and my last file is named IMGP0037. The shutter count webpage on Pentax Forums tells me my shutter count is 38.

I understand that there are rumours of a new full frame or APS flagship K-mount body coming. My initial plan was to wait for that fabled body. With the K-3 in my hands now I will pass on the next flagship product. The K-3 has a lot of technical advances over the K-30 that enable me to learn new techniques. Maybe I'll get the flagship after this one coming up.

01-27-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I haven't tried the DA 50mm yet.
You are going to smile when you do. The DA 50/1.8 is a sweet little piece of kit.

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Something else to get used to?
Yes, something else to get used to. It did not work for me so I passed it on to another user.

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The owners manual for the K-3 seems a bit thin compared to the K-30.
Yes, the K-3 manual is not only thin, but it is incomplete from the perspective of actually providing a full survey of the camera's features. I suggest downloading a copy of the K-5 manual to complement your K-3 manual. There are differences in implementation, but the K-5 manual is more complete overall.


Steve
01-27-2015, 01:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You are going to smile when you do. The DA 50/1.8 is a sweet little piece of kit.
Sadly, and happily, I will not get a chance to try this lens. My plan is to bundle it with my K-30 and its accessories and pass it on to my father. I'm sure he'll smile when he tries it.

I already has the FA 50mm f/1.4 and the D FA 50mm f/2.8 lenses. That's plenty for me.
02-05-2015, 01:13 PM   #4
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I just received my k-3 with 18-135 WR lens today. I noticed how heavy it was right out of the box, but I love it. You can tell the quality when you pick it up. I can`t wait to get out and shoot with it.
I`m coming over from Nikon, and this is my first Pentax. I`m really excited, and hope that they keep up the work on the cameras so they can close the gap on the big two.

02-05-2015, 01:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wilding905 Quote
I just received my k-3 with 18-135 WR lens today. I noticed how heavy it was right out of the box, but I love it. You can tell the quality when you pick it up. I can`t wait to get out and shoot with it.
I`m coming over from Nikon, and this is my first Pentax. I`m really excited, and hope that they keep up the work on the cameras so they can close the gap on the big two.
I think Ricoh did just that with the announcement of a FF body!
02-05-2015, 01:19 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Agreed!
Like you, I considered waiting it out for the FF, but decided on the K-3. Maybe years down the road, I`ll get into it, but don`t need it right now.
02-05-2015, 01:27 PM   #7
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I posted in another thread that I will probably get a Pentax FF body one day. That "one day" is probably 2-4 years out for me. I wait for bugs to be worked out in initial product releases and then I wait for the discounted prices. The K-3 is a great camera to have in the mean time. There is plenty of technology inside of it that will enable me to explore more areas of photography.

Fun, fun, fun!
02-05-2015, 02:06 PM   #8
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Yup, the K-3 will do for quite a while! It is a thoroughly good camera.

And for now I see no compelling reasons for getting an FF anyway. For my kind of shooting APS is a better fit.

02-05-2015, 09:47 PM   #9
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The K-3 is a great camera, but I think it does have a steeper learning curve than any of its predecessors. Just wait until you start exploring all the AF-C options
02-06-2015, 09:14 AM   #10
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Just picked up the K-3 myself after bout 2 years of using a borked K-30. I tend to do a lot of night shooting, and one of the first things I noticed is I am finding myself in the odd situation of trying to get my nighttime RAW files to at least match the in-body JPGs the camera kicks out. The white balance (I've been using the multi-auto) is amazing. I can actually shoot under arc-sodium street lights and have perfectly usable shots coming straight from the camera.
02-06-2015, 09:27 AM   #11
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I love my K-3 but I wish I would have waited until now to get it. I really didn't expect the price to drop so quickly. Only thing I would want on my K-3 is a tilt screen which I'm sure the next model will have but it will be hard to justify upgrading from K-3 just for that. When I bought the K-3 I was thinking this is going to be the last DSLR I will ever need. Next step will be Pentax MILC... I guess we'll see...
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