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06-30-2015, 11:51 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
More test notes:
  • The AF really works at very low light. Ricoh wasn't joking when they said the AF works down to EV -3. Using my DA 50/1.8, I was able to get reasonably accurate focusing down to that very level for as long as there is a high-contrast subject to focus on.
  • The SR has definitely improved. In the same low-light conditions, the K-5 would have practically no chance of giving even a somewhat sharp shot at about 1/4s. With good technique, the K-3 II would give shots that are only slightly soft most of the time. (SR on the K-5 was originally specified to be effective to 4 stops but is closer to 3 stops in reality as that number was not CIPA spec. SR on the K-3 II is rated to 4.5 stops, a value which is CIPA spec.)
  • Live View has changed considerably. The control layout changes keep tripping me up. Pressing OK now magnifies the image, not INFO which will always pull up the control panel. The contrast detection AF is much smarter, racking back and forth fast for a first pass and doing a slower second pass only if required to confirm accuracy.
    • Edit: Live View now has significantly lower lag and runs at 60 fps provided there is enough light, unlike the K-5 which ran Live View at 30 fps. The maximum sensor gain allowed during Live View has increased as well, allowing higher frame rates even in poor lighting conditions. Live View also is no longer subject to interruption when a lens is removed or attached, and resumes automatically after exiting from the menu or control panel or from playback mode.
  • Pixel Shift Resolution brings a huge boost in resolution when used correctly. See the image below to get a sense of what you can expect from this technology. For full-size images, see these Flickr links: PSR off, PSR on
Pentax K-3 II with D FA 50mm macro lens. Av, 5s f/8 ISO 100. Image on left is with Pixel Shift Resolution OFF; image on right is with Pixel Shift Resolution ON.

The d-FA 50mm f2.8 macro was tailor made for the pixel-shift feature.....

06-30-2015, 12:00 PM   #17
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Not just a lot of clicks but a mess of typing too Hope the new camera doesn't cause a carpal tunnel flareup..and Thanks for all the data!
12-06-2015, 12:12 AM   #18
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Original Poster
Sorry for this late reply, but here are some more notes after several months of ongoing use including in a professional capacity as a sports photographer:
  • Menus are temporarily locked out when the camera is busy clearing the buffer while the camera is still processing them. The effect is most pronounced when there is a large amount of data in the buffer; with short bursts, or when the buffer has only a few shots in it, the menus are accessible albeit with a few options disabled. The core shooting controls such as the shutter button, autofocus, e-dials, ISO, and exposure compensation remain operational and responsive at all times unless the buffer is entirely full. This is an improvement over the K-5, where the menus are completely inaccessible until the buffer is completely cleared.
  • Autofocus responsiveness in suboptimal conditions has dramatically improved. On the basketball court, I am able to instantaneously acquire focus and fire in response to game action and expect the result to be sharp (and often very sharp) at least 50% of the time. The same simply cannot be said of the K-5, which will miss far more often than not if the same is attempted.
  • Output at higher ISOs is noticeably noisier at the pixel level than that of the K-5, but the noise profile is easy to clean up from RAW with the appropriate tools and technique. There is only about half a stop of RAW headroom (slightly more at higher ISOs), so recovering from clipped highlights may be very difficult. Fortunately, the camera's exposure control is able to avoid highlight clipping in the vast majority of situations, and, as mentioned earlier, highlight correction is automatically enabled by default. (This article on exposure in wildlife photography explains RAW headroom in more detail.)
  • If you intend to use JPEGs directly, the default noise reduction can be a bit heavy-handed. You might want to use the custom NR mode and have it set to Off for sensitivities below ISO 3200. Note that while there is always a degree of NR at higher ISO settings even when it is set to Off, turning it down can improve detail retention.
  • The ability to quickly select large ranges of images for deletion is a big boon as it lets you get back to shooting a lot faster when you have long sequences of images to delete—this happens way too often in sports and action photography.
12-07-2015, 06:14 AM   #19
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I just received my K-3II, Saturday night, I went from the KX to this and all I can say is wow! The focus is so fast, I don't understand why it gets a knock. I don't want to put it down,

12-10-2015, 06:29 AM   #20

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QuoteOriginally posted by Bongogator Quote
I just received my K-3II, Saturday night, I went from the KX to this and all I can say is wow! The focus is so fast, I don't understand why it gets a knock. I don't want to put it down,
I do understand why you can't put it down. I really get confused and torn between the k-5II and the k-3II. There so many things to learn in order to get the maximum potential of both cameras. And every time I hold them it seems you don't want to let go.
12-15-2015, 01:20 AM   #21
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Got mine copy of K-3 II yesterday and initial feel is promising. I have K-5 as a first Pentax camera and K-3 seems to perform better in low light focusing where K-5 struggled. I love to take darker photos for which this is a huge bonus.
Must also test the astrotracker feature during winter holiday.

fun times ahead...!

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