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07-06-2015, 07:11 AM   #1
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K3 II low light... better?

Does anyone know if the K3 II has better low light capabilities than the K3? I ask since I know the K5 IIs is better than the K3 in that respect. Just was wondering if they addressed that issue. Thanks.

07-06-2015, 07:16 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
Does anyone know if the K3 II has better low light capabilities than the K3? I ask since I know the K5 IIs is better than the K3 in that respect. Just was wondering if they addressed that issue. Thanks.
What issue exactly? Better at what?
07-06-2015, 07:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
I ask since I know the K5 IIs is better than the K3 in that respect.
Yes, better at what? And how do you know that? I use k-5Iis and k-3 and k-3 is far more reliable than the k-5IIs in low light. Have not tried the k-3II yet.
07-06-2015, 07:25 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
Does anyone know if the K3 II has better low light capabilities than the K3? I ask since I know the K5 IIs is better than the K3 in that respect. Just was wondering if they addressed that issue. Thanks.
The two cameras have identical image capture specs, except for a supposedly-better SR system in the K-3 II. If you activate the K-3 II's pixel shifting mode, you can get much clearer high-ISO images, but this requires you to be on a (perfectly stationary) tripod and will not work if anything moves in the scene.


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07-06-2015, 07:32 AM   #5
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I think OP was talking about the amount of noise, not SR. The 16MP sensor of the K-5IIs has, according to some users, better high ISO noise properties than the K-3 with its 24MP sensor.
Of course, SR is part of low light performance, so the improved SR of the latest K-3II might give it the edge over the K-5IIs. But I dunno, I don't have these cameras to test them against one another
07-06-2015, 07:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
Does anyone know if the K3 II has better low light capabilities than the K3? I ask since I know the K5 IIs is better than the K3 in that respect. Just was wondering if they addressed that issue. Thanks.
Well I skipped the K5 series and went from the K7 to the K3 which I found to perform better in low light situations despite having a 24mp vs. a 14.6mp CMOS sensor. All else being equal, I think the lower MP would provide less noise because of the larger photo cells. However, all else is not equal and firmware etc., has improved along with each new iteration of the K series. So yes, it is possible that the K3ll could provide improved performance over the K3 ...I don't know if any one has specifically tested this aspect, but the 1 stop improvement in SR should allow one to go to one stop lower ISO which would improve low light performance.
07-06-2015, 08:30 AM   #7
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The only substantial difference I've seen in tests and photos indicate that the K-5 series has a bit cleaner low ISO profile - and that extra dynamic range facilitated by the 80 ISO setting. If anything, the K-3 yields superior output starting at around ISO 3200 due to somewhat less softening. It is pretty clear that all manufacturers now use smoothing on their amplified "RAW" images. This is especially apparent with the K-5 series - and has been noted by DxoMark. The application is far subtler on the K-3 and hasn't been targeted by DxoMark.

I find the high ISO rendering using Capture One (v8) on the K-3 especially good, somewhat better than Lightroom. The sharpness/noise reduction difference between the 16mp and 24mp sensors at high ISO is less apparent in Lightroom. Not that LR is inadequate, we just haven't seen improvements in recent years.
07-06-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
Just was wondering if they addressed that issue. Thanks.
QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
What issue exactly? Better at what?
Yes, what issue? The K-3 is competent, if not best in class for low light performance.


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07-06-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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I just moved from the K-5 to the K-3. I think over all the K-3 is better. It really shined in low light at 3200 in a gymnasium for gymnastics show.
07-06-2015, 11:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I use k-5Iis and k-3 and k-3 is far more reliable than the k-5IIs in low light. Have not tried the k-3II yet.
If this is in reference to AF accuracy then it pretty much answers my question, Thanks!. Been debating upgrade path between a used K5iis or K3 "close-out" sale when it happens - now leaning towards K3. I'm still using K5 Classic which is no slouch by any means but can get frustrating in low light even with fast lenses.
07-06-2015, 01:30 PM   #11
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I have found the K5iis better then K3 in high ISO performance. The autofocus is quite similar, but I have found so far that when the K3 is in automatic focus point it is better at guessing at which subject you want to focus. It is also a bit better at keeping that focus point on the subject you intended on focusing on.
Hope this makes sense
I can't say about the continuous focusing though as I haven't tried it on the K3
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07-06-2015, 05:49 PM   #12
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I have k3 and k3ii. I can say that the k3ii images have better clarity than k3. It is very clear to me.
07-06-2015, 06:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
If this is in reference to AF accuracy then it pretty much answers my question, Thanks!
Yeah, sorry AF accuracy is what I meant. I've used both side by side for about a year and while the difference is nothing dramatic there is no question in my mind that the k-3 is a noticeable improvement over the k--5IIs in the AF department.
QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
I have found the K5iis better then K3 in high ISO performance.
You could be right, I rarely use anything over 800 ISO so I'm not a good source for high ISO info. I initially found that k-3 images had more noise at a given ISO than a similar k-5IIs image. However the extra megapixels in the k-3 allow you to add a slight amount of noise correction in Lightroom, about 10 to 20 on the scale and achieve an image that is at least as good and usually better than the k-5IIs but significantly larger. YMMV of course and my tests are all at 800 ISO and lower.
07-06-2015, 08:57 PM   #14
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A lot of this debate comes when looking at the images at the pixel level. Yes, the additional smoothing in the K-3 series will yield a less noisy look magnified, but we are talking about 50% more pixels and added softening on the K-5 series, so the comparison isn't exactly fair. The K-3 also demands a bit better exposure control than the 16 mp sensors, so an underexposure in low light is a problem for the K-3. Ultimately, for normal viewing, low light images properly exposed and processed to full potential goes to the K-3 - as all the tests have indicated (Here, Dxo, etc.). Admittedly, the K-3 demands a different processing technique stressing a bit more noise reduction, less general sharpening, and greater micro-contrast enhancement to get the most out of the 24mp sensor. Once that is figured out, the advantage is very apparent.

For anyone claiming superior low light performance on the K-3ii vs. K-3, you are going against what has been stated by Pentax and the apparent baseline for the essentially similar sensors. Some real-world comparisons would possibly add credence, otherwise it seems that such a claim is based on hopefulness.
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