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03-06-2015, 11:37 PM   #1
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K-3 Upgrade: K-5 Owner Looking For Advice

Hi
I'm an infrequent visitor. None the less, I would appreciate any feedback.
I own a K-5, old model, which has served me well. I have a mix of lenses. Most Pentax. Limited or Star.
I'm considering upgrading to the K-3.
The two main reasons are the increased resolution and the anti-alias option.
Are there any reasons I should stay with my K-5?
Are there any surprises that might piss me off sufficiently to regret my decision?
I've read the reviews and the various discussion threads - all more or less good.
My lenses -
14mm, the three amigos, 55mm, 100mm macro, 50-135mm, 300mm
and the Sigma 17-50 EX 2.8 (so shoot me)
PS: I also have the standard kit lens - I call it my party lens - if it breaks - shit happens.
SO
Pentaxians - do I bite the bullet - you FX dudes, keep it to yourself!
thanks in advance
Michael

03-07-2015, 12:07 AM   #2
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For me, the main incentive would be the improved focusing the K-3 - or even the K-5 IIs - has over the K-5.

I doubt you'll have regrets. Either the K-3 or K-5 IIs should serve you well. I still have a K-5 IIs and a K-5, but I prefer the IIs.
03-07-2015, 12:15 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Bite the bullet. K-3 beats K-5 in every way IMO.
03-07-2015, 12:18 AM   #4
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K-3 improvement over the K-5: more sharpness with the same lenses, more advanced AF (also works better in low light) , more burst rate and buffer size, less battery life, some functions of the K-5 such as advanced bracketing + other removed.
The LCD display of the K-3 shows better image quality than on K-5, but it's mostly flattery, if a picture looks twice as good on the K-3 LCD than on K-5 LCD, once you load on PC/Mac, the difference is not so much...
Given the fact that the K-3 has smaller pixels, slightly more noise, I did not like that Pentax removed the ISO80, instead I wished they had provided a ISO50 with firmware operated double exposure within a single aperture cycle.
Regarding battery life, since I have L-Bracket permanently on my camera for quick use of tripod setting, I don't want to use a grip. So I carry multiple batteries. But IMO , the battery life on K-3 is a bit too low. Interestingly, I found out that the K-3 has a higher constant current consumption when not in use, i.e if you leave the K-3 switched on, the battery gets empty a lot faster than the K-5... So, regarding battery life, it's not only about how many shots you do but how long the camera stays switched on.
When the K-3 was introduced , marketing hype was around the AA filter simulator. Well at 24Mpixel I never see moiré patterns and I never use the AA filter simulator.
Other than that , every camera is different, it's also a matter of getting used to it.

If I had to redo the purchase at this point in time, maybe I'd buy a cheaper K-5IIs and save for a FF.

03-07-2015, 12:25 AM - 3 Likes   #5
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Hi Michael,

OK, I had an old original K5 and moved to a K3, so I will try to help a bit.

K5 is a good camera, and unless you are printing huge or cropping heaps then you will not need the step up in resolution.

Having said that the K3 with the AA filter off, and extra sensor does give you a lot more detail in the image - it is noticeable.

Other good stuff with the K3:
Screw mount lenses focus faster
The focusing overall is a lot quicker and more decisive than the K5, and overall you just get a much better focussing system
The rear LCD is a lot sharper

The bad/different stuff with the K3:
It is heaver - noticeably so in the hand - I really wish it was the same weight as the K5, as that felt 'just right' in my hands with a range of lenses. It took me a while - say 3 months to get used the the K3 in the hand. I don't notice it so much now, but I still wish it was lighter.
The batteries don't last as long as the K5 - again a noticeable difference
The colours (even in RAW) are different - different sensor, different way the RAW converter handles (I use Apple Aperture for this). I really used to like the K5 RAW colours I got, and again it took a while to get used to the difference with the K3. The advantages with the K3 are there is a lot more fine detail colour info recorded in RAW. Now that I am used to the sensor, and what it gives me - I will take images of sunsets that I wouldn't have bothered with the K5 - because I know the info is there, and I can pull it up in post. Even if I can't see it on the LCD. So - different colours that take getting used to (best way to describe is they feel flatter initially), but definitely more scope and 'headroom' with the K3
Bigger files - especially RAW. K5 were about 15MB, K3 are typically 25MB. This means bigger SD cards, and you will fill hard drives or SSDs quicker. Just need more spec on your computer really.
Finally - the 24MP sensor 'punishes' you much more than the 16MP sensor if you don't get it right - i.e. your technique has to be better, your focus better etc. etc (as a side note, I can only imagine what a 36MP or 50MP sensor demands out of you). Simply, when you get everything set right you will be stunned, if you get settings or focus a bit wrong you will be punished - I think this is a function of how good it can be when you get everything right, and how much you notice when it isn't like that - but be warned, it is a step up from the K5's 16MP sensor. The K3 has forced me to up my game a bit over the K5.

I think that is about it - it took me a good three months to get used to my K3 after the K5 and be really comfortable and happy with it. Having said that, I was in New York the day I brought the camera, and that day was about Manhattan, and got several stunning images which I am still particularly happy with.

I have had the K3 nearly a year now, and wouldn't go back to the K5 - the much better autofocus system, and what you can get from the 24MP sensor with no AA filter have spoilt me.

You will make your own decisions, based on a range of information. I wish you the very best with your decision making. In the end if you keep the K5 you still have a superb camera, and if you buy the K3 you will also have a superb camera. So you can't miss either way

Ross
03-07-2015, 12:27 AM   #6
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The only disadvantage of the K3 compared to the K5 is the flash delay on the K3 when using P-TTL. On the other hand, P-TTL off camera actually works on the K3 which is doesn't really on the K5.

Other than that, the K3 is sharper, with much better AF. A definite step up. The lack of an AA filter really helps the resolution. I never use the simulated AA filter, though I have tested it and it works quite well in those very rare circumstances where moire is intrusive.
03-07-2015, 12:39 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
It is heaver - noticeably so in the hand

One reason is cause the K-3 has a full magnesium alloy body instead of a partial mag body with a plastic back panel like the K-5 series. Heavier but more substantial and feels like a stronger camera.
03-07-2015, 01:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
Hi Michael,

OK, I had an old original K5 and moved to a K3, so I will try to help a bit.

K5 is a good camera, and unless you are printing huge or cropping heaps then you will not need the step up in resolution.

Having said that the K3 with the AA filter off, and extra sensor does give you a lot more detail in the image - it is noticeable.

Other good stuff with the K3:
Screw mount lenses focus faster
The focusing overall is a lot quicker and more decisive than the K5, and overall you just get a much better focussing system
The rear LCD is a lot sharper

The bad/different stuff with the K3:
It is heaver - noticeably so in the hand - I really wish it was the same weight as the K5, as that felt 'just right' in my hands with a range of lenses. It took me a while - say 3 months to get used the the K3 in the hand. I don't notice it so much now, but I still wish it was lighter.
The batteries don't last as long as the K5 - again a noticeable difference
The colours (even in RAW) are different - different sensor, different way the RAW converter handles (I use Apple Aperture for this). I really used to like the K5 RAW colours I got, and again it took a while to get used to the difference with the K3. The advantages with the K3 are there is a lot more fine detail colour info recorded in RAW. Now that I am used to the sensor, and what it gives me - I will take images of sunsets that I wouldn't have bothered with the K5 - because I know the info is there, and I can pull it up in post. Even if I can't see it on the LCD. So - different colours that take getting used to (best way to describe is they feel flatter initially), but definitely more scope and 'headroom' with the K3
Bigger files - especially RAW. K5 were about 15MB, K3 are typically 25MB. This means bigger SD cards, and you will fill hard drives or SSDs quicker. Just need more spec on your computer really.
Finally - the 24MP sensor 'punishes' you much more than the 16MP sensor if you don't get it right - i.e. your technique has to be better, your focus better etc. etc (as a side note, I can only imagine what a 36MP or 50MP sensor demands out of you). Simply, when you get everything set right you will be stunned, if you get settings or focus a bit wrong you will be punished - I think this is a function of how good it can be when you get everything right, and how much you notice when it isn't like that - but be warned, it is a step up from the K5's 16MP sensor. The K3 has forced me to up my game a bit over the K5.

I think that is about it - it took me a good three months to get used to my K3 after the K5 and be really comfortable and happy with it. Having said that, I was in New York the day I brought the camera, and that day was about Manhattan, and got several stunning images which I am still particularly happy with.

I have had the K3 nearly a year now, and wouldn't go back to the K5 - the much better autofocus system, and what you can get from the 24MP sensor with no AA filter have spoilt me.

You will make your own decisions, based on a range of information. I wish you the very best with your decision making. In the end if you keep the K5 you still have a superb camera, and if you buy the K3 you will also have a superb camera. So you can't miss either way
Same experience for me going from K-5 to K-3.

Some more good things about the K-3; generally faster at everything it does, better view finder, dual card slots, dedicated user modes on the mode wheel.

Slightly annoying that we can no longer can assign Composition Adjustment to the Fx button. But then it is possibly to assign SR toggle instead.

Another thing that might bother you for a day or two is the slightly different placement of some buttons. But I really prefer the K-3 layout now.

03-07-2015, 02:14 AM   #9
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I upgraded from a K-5 to a K-3 a year ago. I would call it an evolutionary step forwards rather than a dramatic leap.
The K-3 is faster in every respect. AF is faster -especially in low light - but also the other functions are instantaneous. To me this is the biggest difference.
I have a grip and an extra battery in both cameras. Battery drainage is therefore less of an issue. Noice characteristics are a bit different, requiring a somewhat different approach in post processing. However, to me image quality is not the decisive thing, K-5 is already good enough for just about everything. It is more about speed, AF, two card slots and possibly the absence of an AA filter depending on what you shoot. K-3´s higher frame rate in continous shooting may also come in handy.Build quality is excellent in both of them. Changes in the user interface and button layout are minor.
About the only disadvantage I can think of is the file size, forcing you to get bigger memory cards.

Regarding the FF: I plan to get the FF once available, but also keep the K-3.
03-07-2015, 06:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FireDog Quote
Hi
I'm an infrequent visitor. None the less, I would appreciate any feedback.
I own a K-5, old model, which has served me well. I have a mix of lenses. Most Pentax. Limited or Star.
I'm considering upgrading to the K-3.
The two main reasons are the increased resolution and the anti-alias option.
Are there any reasons I should stay with my K-5?
Are there any surprises that might piss me off sufficiently to regret my decision?
I've read the reviews and the various discussion threads - all more or less good.
My lenses -
14mm, the three amigos, 55mm, 100mm macro, 50-135mm, 300mm
and the Sigma 17-50 EX 2.8 (so shoot me)
PS: I also have the standard kit lens - I call it my party lens - if it breaks - shit happens.
SO
Pentaxians - do I bite the bullet - you FX dudes, keep it to yourself!
thanks in advance
Michael

I was in the exact same boat. I still have the original K5 sitting next to me. It's been a little work horse and I like it, but I will tell you that when you put those lenses on a K3 you will be like "WOW!"

The K5II series wasn't a big enough upgrade if you ask me, but the K3 definitely is.

Just in sheer improved AF performance you will think you have a whole new set of lenses.

The increased resolution is great too, but it all depends on what you do and if you are going to be heavily cropping shots or not.
03-07-2015, 07:08 AM   #11
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I own a K5, K5-IIs and a K3. The K5 was my first DLSR and had a steeper than I would have expected learning curve, But thanks to this site I have learned a lot. The K3 focus is better, Not only that, focus but confirmation on the K3 is better than either my K5 or K5-IIs. This is important to me as most of my lenses are manual focus. I also tend to use manual focus on my Tamron 70-200 f2.8 more than auto focus. Just old habit from 45 years of doing this. Recently I had to switch from auto to manual focus on my Sigma 17-70 lens. It seems that at -3C (28F) the auto focus just quit working. it really drained the battery trying to make it work. The accurate focus confirmation help me nail the focus.
03-07-2015, 07:26 AM   #12
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I have both K-5 and K-3 and Here is what I noticed:
1. Images straight from the camera look similar but the K-3 images can be cropped more and still maintain detail. This is a factor for photographing birds and butterflies.
2. Autofocus with screwdrive lenses, in my case the DA Limiteds is faster with the K-3. Seems a little quieter but not really a big difference. With my two SDM lenses the DA 17 - 70 and DA* 200 the autofocus is pretty much the same with both cameras
3. Small differences in build quality between the two cameras. The K-3 has magnesium alloy back plate and glass cover on the monitor. I prefer this to the all plastic back plate on the K-5. The Glass monitor on the K-3 is much less susceptible to scratches from jacket zippers and buttons and vests than the plastic monitor cover on the K-5. If this is what accounts for the weight difference then it is well worth it in my opinion.
4. Weight difference was hardly noticeable in my opinion, neither was battery life.
Overall I feel the K-3 is a better camera than the K-5 but I still use and enjoy both. I use the K-5 with the SDM lenses and the K-3 with the screwdrive DA Limiteds and the DFA 100 macro WR where the improved screwdrive autofocus is a big advantage.
03-07-2015, 07:58 AM   #13
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Posts: 355
One thing I dislike about the k3 is the way you have to toggle the info panel on image playback. I preferred just pressing the info button until the info screen I wanted was up. Not a biggie but I still curse it a little every time I have to flip back and forth.
03-07-2015, 08:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
Hi Michael,

OK, I had an old original K5 and moved to a K3, so I will try to help a bit.

K5 is a good camera, and unless you are printing huge or cropping heaps then you will not need the step up in resolution.

Having said that the K3 with the AA filter off, and extra sensor does give you a lot more detail in the image - it is noticeable.

Other good stuff with the K3:
Screw mount lenses focus faster
The focusing overall is a lot quicker and more decisive than the K5, and overall you just get a much better focussing system
The rear LCD is a lot sharper

The bad/different stuff with the K3:
It is heaver - noticeably so in the hand - I really wish it was the same weight as the K5, as that felt 'just right' in my hands with a range of lenses. It took me a while - say 3 months to get used the the K3 in the hand. I don't notice it so much now, but I still wish it was lighter.
The batteries don't last as long as the K5 - again a noticeable difference
The colours (even in RAW) are different - different sensor, different way the RAW converter handles (I use Apple Aperture for this). I really used to like the K5 RAW colours I got, and again it took a while to get used to the difference with the K3. The advantages with the K3 are there is a lot more fine detail colour info recorded in RAW. Now that I am used to the sensor, and what it gives me - I will take images of sunsets that I wouldn't have bothered with the K5 - because I know the info is there, and I can pull it up in post. Even if I can't see it on the LCD. So - different colours that take getting used to (best way to describe is they feel flatter initially), but definitely more scope and 'headroom' with the K3
Bigger files - especially RAW. K5 were about 15MB, K3 are typically 25MB. This means bigger SD cards, and you will fill hard drives or SSDs quicker. Just need more spec on your computer really.
Finally - the 24MP sensor 'punishes' you much more than the 16MP sensor if you don't get it right - i.e. your technique has to be better, your focus better etc. etc (as a side note, I can only imagine what a 36MP or 50MP sensor demands out of you). Simply, when you get everything set right you will be stunned, if you get settings or focus a bit wrong you will be punished - I think this is a function of how good it can be when you get everything right, and how much you notice when it isn't like that - but be warned, it is a step up from the K5's 16MP sensor. The K3 has forced me to up my game a bit over the K5.

I think that is about it - it took me a good three months to get used to my K3 after the K5 and be really comfortable and happy with it. Having said that, I was in New York the day I brought the camera, and that day was about Manhattan, and got several stunning images which I am still particularly happy with.

I have had the K3 nearly a year now, and wouldn't go back to the K5 - the much better autofocus system, and what you can get from the 24MP sensor with no AA filter have spoilt me.

You will make your own decisions, based on a range of information. I wish you the very best with your decision making. In the end if you keep the K5 you still have a superb camera, and if you buy the K3 you will also have a superb camera. So you can't miss either way

Ross
yes ! thanks for sharing your thoughts...since someone is interested with my K-5.im gonna sell it and upgrade to K-3..
03-07-2015, 09:11 AM   #15
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As many have suggested already, the k-3 with better overall performance, will breathe new lives to your existing array of fine lenses... at least that is my experience IMHO and YMMV.
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