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06-20-2015, 02:00 PM   #1
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K3 center focus point

Does the K3 have a smaller center focus spot/point then the K5? I am fooling around in the yard and have noticed the K5iis center focus point is rather large for certain situations

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Randy

06-20-2015, 02:41 PM   #2
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The nice thing is that you have a higher point density with the K-3, so in multi-point mode the camera should be able to predict your subject more accurately. For instance, you can tell the camera to use the 9 central points only and then let the camera take care of the rest. If you're just using the center point, I'd say it might be a bit smaller, but comparable in practice.

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06-20-2015, 04:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam
06-21-2015, 04:20 AM   #4
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Is there a good reference online that explains the nuances of these different AF sensors?

06-22-2015, 11:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fat Albert Quote
Is there a good reference online that explains the nuances of these different AF sensors?
That would be fantastic, but I don't think it is available in any one place. We have seen various threads, especially among the B-I-F shooters. They seem to prefer nine-point focus, and that stands to reason. Keep in mind, to clarify what Adam noted, that nine-point can be shifted somewhat to the various zones. I'm yet to hear of any advanced users recommending the "automatic" mode for any reason. It seems that most folks prefer to select the exact focal point, whether center or not. I tend to agree with those who have indicated that the nine-point zone (centered or not) does not do a great job of figuring out the desired subject. Still, I think it is probably the best setting for most sports shooting involving a number of subjects.

Ultimately, it takes some playing around with the various modes to get a good idea of how the metering modes perform. You also have to adjust the various menu items pertaining to focus-confirm vs. FPS-priority (focus-confirm is generally preferred, Auto is not terribly functional), and the extent to which a moving object is in "Focus-hold." The general consensus is that using the back button AF exclusive of the shutter release (AF2 on the menu) is preferable - and I'd agree with that.
06-22-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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Jim, in your opinion when would all 27 focus points be of use?

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06-22-2015, 03:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Jim, in your opinion when would all 27 focus points be of use?

Thanks

Randy
I'm not an authority on it, but few of the threads have indicated any excitement for that. Already, at 9-point zone the camera seems to be guessing at what might be best. Of course, I could imagine some extreme action situations where you just want to catch some super-fast movement going by anywhere in the frame.

I had the same concern about finding comprehensive info for various situations when I got the K-3 less than a year ago. It really adds up to a lot to track when you include all aspects, including the various menu options. I still haven't given the various functions that aren't in my comfort zone a lot of testing because I don't shoot much action. Hopefully, someone with far more testing of the modes can chime in.

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 06-22-2015 at 03:49 PM.
06-23-2015, 01:59 AM   #8
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It's only a minor benefit, but the first thing I've noticed over the coarser matrix is that when the K-3/K-3ii tells you which adjacent points to your selected point are in focus, you see the focus point in fine detail. I've had to install a split prism in the past to be absolutely sure of the focus point for narrow DoF shots. Playing around with the K-3ii I'm finding the fine matrix and adjacent point highlight feature is enough to achieve accurate focus on the 77ltd and FA50 at their fastest apertures with a standard screen.

06-23-2015, 06:42 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Does the K3 have a smaller center focus spot/point then the K5? I am fooling around in the yard and have noticed the K5iis center focus point is rather large for certain situations
Yes, most definitely. It is a constant amazement to me how the K-3 will focus on a bird in a tree, instead of on branches like every previous Pentax.

---------- Post added 2015-06-23 at 09:54 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Jim, in your opinion when would all 27 focus points be of use?
I've used all 27 focus points, i.e. Center Point with Expandable Area (L), for birds in flight with excellent hit rates. It is sometimes very difficult to keep the focal point within the area covered by the focal point array, especially if the birds are close and take up a lot of the frame. If you have successfully locked focus on on the bird's head, the camera needs to be able to track that shape and colour. If the head moves out of the point array, you will likely miss the next shot. Using 9, 25 or 27 points is a judgement call, depending on the subject. For tracking though, I would always recommend using the Expandable Area setting.

Last edited by audiobomber; 06-23-2015 at 06:54 AM.
06-23-2015, 09:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Yes, most definitely. It is a constant amazement to me how the K-3 will focus on a bird in a tree, instead of on branches like every previous Pentax.

---------- Post added 2015-06-23 at 09:54 ----------



I've used all 27 focus points, i.e. Center Point with Expandable Area (L), for birds in flight with excellent hit rates. It is sometimes very difficult to keep the focal point within the area covered by the focal point array, especially if the birds are close and take up a lot of the frame. If you have successfully locked focus on on the bird's head, the camera needs to be able to track that shape and colour. If the head moves out of the point array, you will likely miss the next shot. Using 9, 25 or 27 points is a judgement call, depending on the subject. For tracking though, I would always recommend using the Expandable Area setting.
Good to know, Dan. I just haven't played with it all that much. So, do you have a preference between SEL and AUTO at the 25/27 setting?
06-23-2015, 11:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Good to know, Dan. I just haven't played with it all that much. So, do you have a preference between SEL and AUTO at the 25/27 setting?
With Auto Select, something will be in focus, but not necessarily your intended target. I only use Expandable Area with center point selected. I could see using some point other than the center, for example for basketball, volleyball, etc, using shallow DOF, maybe portrait orientation and a subject that is large in the viewfinder, you may want to select a focus point that will put focus on the face for interesting composition. I would probably still stay with center the focal point on the player's torso though, because that's how I'm most comfortable.
06-23-2015, 12:52 PM   #12
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Dan, is it possible to just focus on the eyes with medium range portraits? I find the K5iis bigger focusing points make it difficult to pin point the eyes.
Hope this makes sense

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Randy
06-23-2015, 02:29 PM   #13
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Randy, are you thinking of purchasing a K3, I've found mine to be very nice over the K5 which I like very much ?
06-23-2015, 03:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by originalwinger Quote
Randy, are you thinking of purchasing a K3, I've found mine to be very nice over the K5 which I like very much ?
Thanks originalwinger

Ya I was thinking of giving my wife my K5iis and picking up a used K3. K3ii would be nice but it is to expensive for me at this point
I can't seem to get it out of her hands as she semi-retired her K100D.
06-23-2015, 07:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Dan, is it possible to just focus on the eyes with medium range portraits? I find the K5iis bigger focusing points make it difficult to pin point the eyes.
Hope this makes sense
Sorry, shallow DOF portrait photography is not my thing. Maybe someone else can answer.
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