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06-14-2015, 02:40 PM   #1
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To K3 or not to K3...

Hello all. I know I'm on the K3 forum, so try to be unbiased!

Pentax K3 with 18-55 wr lens - 674.00

K-50 with 18-135 wr - 542.00

Price difference: 132.00

NO money left for new lenses for a year or two.

Both cameras new and not grey imports. I am thinking long term, or should I not?

Already have an smc Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 (superb condition) and Pentax-A 28mm (with some dust in the lens). I use these with my MX and ME Super.

You say, I buy in the morning - fed up with trawling the net! (late now in the UK so first thing in the morning I'll see what you have to say...)

Much appreciated folks!

06-14-2015, 02:44 PM   #2
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Definitely get the K-3 in my opinion. It will last you for a very long while

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06-14-2015, 02:55 PM   #3
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to k3, no question. And save up for the 18-135 as well, it's a great combo. If you're okay buying used, I had great luck buying used from Japan.
06-14-2015, 02:57 PM   #4
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No Shakespearian tragedy about with a K3. I thought you couldn’t get a better camera than a K5 when it came out as it was so much better than anything else I had. Now it’s been trumped. Surprisingly the more I use the K# the better the photos.

Buy Buy Buy

06-14-2015, 04:12 PM   #5
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I chose K50

I have to disagree -- I just bought the K50 with 18-135 deal, and it's awesome! I came from a K200D. I figured the 18-135 would be a keeper (it's received poor "technical" reviews, but everyone who's mentioned it has really liked it) and I'll be ready for a new camera body in a couple of years (as opposed to seven) since Pentax has had a habit of deeply discounting discontinued bodies in the past. And not just for the alliteration.

If I figure it right, I got the K50 for about $250 and the 18-135 for about $400. Good deals all around in my book. If you don't need 24MP, the noise performance is about the same in low light and the AF isn't better enough for sports on the K3, but either is miles ahead of the K200D. I know Adam said the K3 will "last you for a very long while ." I respect his opinion tremendously -- he knows far more about photography and has a lot more experience than I do. However, I view this as a philosophical difference. I think of modern camera bodies as essentially disposable. Improvements come so fast, and now even Pentax is sluggish to update older bodies to accommodate changes. (For instance, if I ever purchase the 150-450, it won't work fully with either body I have now.) I think the wiser way is to determine if the body will do what you want NOW and buy cheap.

If build quality is important to you, the K50 will be a disappointment. I believe the K50 is reasonably well built, but it feels like a toy next to the K200D despite the fact the two bodies occupied the same relative places in Pentax's lineup at their respective times. But the K50 does have a lot of nice new features, a few that the K3 doesn't have that were important to me (AA batteries, anyone?), and a tremendous improvement in operation over K200D (esp. autofocus and operating speed).

There are a few odd nitpicks I have about the K50 (again, only having used the K200D in the past), and the 18-135 has a couple of odd things going on compared to my other lenses, but in my opinion none of them are show-stoppers. I thought about posting about it in the K50 forum, but it's an older body/lens combo, so I figured no one else cared.

I've had it out shooting a couple of times and with the 18-135 it is a lot of fun! With the improved AF speed, it makes some things possible that were really difficult on the K200D.

Whatever way you go, I hope you enjoy it.
06-14-2015, 04:24 PM   #6
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K-3 body only, plus DA (L?) 50-200 WR, the latest one. That won't give you the maximum quality that the K-3 is capable of, but it will give a lot of versatility, much more than baseline quality for a DSLR, and is plenty good enough to begin with. Then start saving up, because, boy, you are gonna need to! I found with my late era film SLRs a couple of zooms seemed enough, but the sheer versatility of DSLRs has me itching to buy lenses like a stamp collecter!

The Single In challenge on this forum is a particular problem - instead of deciding what lens to use for a month, I default to wondering which lens I should BUY, to use for a month...
06-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #7
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It depends a lot on the size and need. I personally faced this with my k50 choice a year ago and I opted to buy the 750 package with the 18-135 vs the 1000+ k3 package.

I don't regret it. But I also don't have a k3 to compare it to.

Personally I think they both are amazing.
06-14-2015, 06:20 PM   #8
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I'm torn, I love my K-3, I love my 18-135, making me choose between them is like making me choose between my children. The thing is you already have a couple lenses. If you could find the K-3 without the 18-55 and save up for the 18-135 or a Sigma or Pentax 17-70 or the new 16-85, the quality of those lenses are all a step above the 18-55 or I suspect the new 18-50, although I haven't seen a good comparison test of images from that lens. I'm just saying this because I have two 18-55s in my cupboard that i'm probably going to get about $25 to $50 for when I sell them because they just aren't that good compared to the above mentioned lenses. They really aren't worth buying to use, or to sell, at least not if you have something you can use until you can afford something better.

Anyway, that's my take on your predicament. That A-28 should be a pretty good walk around lens. And it's rated way higher than the 18-55.


Last edited by normhead; 06-14-2015 at 06:37 PM.
06-14-2015, 06:27 PM   #9
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The K-3. I don't think the IQ of the 18-135 is that much, if at all, better than the 18-55. I only use mine if I need a weatherproof option. The cheaper DAL 55-300 has better IQ than my 18-135.
06-14-2015, 06:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bunch Quote
The K-3. I don't think the IQ of the 18-135 is that much, if at all, better than the 18-55. I only use mine if I need a weatherproof option. The cheaper DAL 55-300 has better IQ than my 18-135.
Your 55-300 is better than the 18-135, from 18mm to 55mm? OK< I see what you're saying.. Use the 18-55 because the 18-135 is not much better and then use the 55-300 as well. My lens, and all the research done on the forum would indicate that the 18-135 is much better than the 18-55. In fact I looked at the image comparison's right here on the forum, where the 18-135 pretty much smokes the 18-55.

It's rated quite a bit higher as well. If your 18-135 is no better than your 18-55 then you need to get it calibrated somewhere.

Last edited by normhead; 06-15-2015 at 12:24 PM.
06-14-2015, 06:44 PM   #11
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For the purpose of any conversation involving you, normhead, sure why not.
06-14-2015, 07:06 PM   #12
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Do it. [/Sith Command Voice]
06-14-2015, 07:22 PM   #13
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It would be good to know your local K-s2 price too. It has the -3ev focus and 'tweener sensor so it is my not-K3 issue more than the k50.
06-14-2015, 08:28 PM   #14
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Get the K-3 body only and try to find a used 18-135mm WR lens
06-14-2015, 11:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
It depends a lot on the size and need. I personally faced this with my k50 choice a year ago and I opted to buy the 750 package with the 18-135 vs the 1000+ k3 package.

I don't regret it. But I also don't have a k3 to compare it to.

Personally I think they both are amazing.
Not a bad deal. The K5 body (in the deal I mentioned above) works out to be 163 - that's about $240.

And the thing is that I will have a good lens, coupled with my manual lenses. On the other hand, if I go K3 I end up with a great camera body but no so good lens.

Is the K3 really 450 better than the K50?

Thanks all, for your considered replies!
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