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07-16-2015, 09:58 AM   #1
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K-3II First Impressions

So, even though my K-3II is one of the potentially effected bodies that Ricoh sent out a service advisory for, I decided to not send it back because I have a vacation coming and I really want this camera to be with me. The Ricoh service rep said that the 1 year manufacturer warranty will cover me so that should give it enough time to pop up if it will. Luckily, i played around with the GPS, couldn't get it to lock up, and also turned it on/off dozens of times and it turned off.

Anyway, I just wanted to give my initial impressions of the camera. Note this are very early impressions. I have not played around with the AF-C.

So I have had the K-5, the K-5IIs and the K-30 (the K-50's cooler brother ). Then I went to Fuji with the X-T1 for a short stretch, then the Canon 6D (which I am currently selling if you are interested) and back to Pentax. From a size, handling point of view, it is very reminiscent of the K-5. They feel very similar in the had...which is a good/bad thing for me. They are compact and dense, and the buttons/knobs are perfectly placed. The downside is that it is slightly too small in height for my real big hands. I have nowhere to put my pinky. I never noticed it with the K-5 because that is what I was used to, but when I had the 6D, the FF body just fits my hand better. I know, big guy problems, lol. I will probably get a grip, which would make it just about perfect, for "home" shooting or dedicated photo trips, and leave it at home for travel.
Don't go by pictures...the 6D (and other FF cameras) are quite a bit larger than the K-3II. I looked at the camera size comparison website and their pictures did not do the difference in size justice. The K-3II fits nicely in my small Domke shoulder bag (i.e. man purse lol) with the 16-85mm mounted. The same cannot be said with the 6D mounted with the 24-105L.

Autofocus with static subjects (Remember, no continuous AF yet) - K-3II easily beats any of the other cameras I have listed above. The center point of the 6D was superb. The other 10 were crappy and unuseable in low light. Even the outer focus points locked on quickly in real lowlight. The X-T1 had pretty decent AF in good light, but low light it really struggled. I sold the camera before the latest firmware was released, which supposedly made big autofocus improvements, but I cannot speak to them.
I also like how spread out the AF points are with the K-3II. With the 6D, the points are too centrally located, so I had to do a lot of cropping (that is if the out points obtained focus at all, otherwise, I had to use the center point and crop even further to obtain the composition I wanted).

Focus Peaking/Live View - Focus Peaking (FP) and magnification are VERY quick, much improved from the K-30. This is actually important to me because I had forgotten how loud the screwdrive lenses were I think I am going to have to use manual focus a lot if I want to utilize my Limiteds indoors during quiet events, or if I want to go unnoticed. Luckily, FP/mag are quick enough to access and use that I think I could get away with MF a fair amount, if needed.

I am interested in how Super Resolution does with breaking water. I am a SoCal Pacific Ocean boy, and I think sea scapes may be one situation where the Super Resolution may work, with the breaking water. I will test it out.

That's all I have for the time being....I will update as I go along

07-16-2015, 10:34 AM   #2
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Thanks for this. I hope you'll keep us informed about your judgments as you try out more of the camera. Some of us may still jump to the K-3 series from what we have....

Photos that illustrate your points (when possible) are also appreciated.
07-16-2015, 12:08 PM   #3
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In real life case, I've compared K-3 and K3II photos with a without pixel shift, I see not practical difference.
07-16-2015, 12:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I am interested in how Super Resolution does with breaking water. I am a SoCal Pacific Ocean boy, and I think sea scapes may be one situation where the Super Resolution may work, with the breaking water. I will test it out.
I don't want to play spoiler or anything, but: BADLY in my experience

I took some experimental shots while on vacation on the Oregon coast a couple of weeks ago. Gentle waves in the foreground, rocks, cliff, and lighthouse in the background. I looked at the shots, laughed, and deleted. Though I may still have the JPEGs around on my FluCard so perhaps I can post a sample. I'll check tonight if I remember.

07-16-2015, 12:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
I don't want to play spoiler or anything, but: BADLY in my experience

I took some experimental shots while on vacation on the Oregon coast a couple of weeks ago. Gentle waves in the foreground, rocks, cliff, and lighthouse in the background. I looked at the shots, laughed, and deleted. Though I may still have the JPEGs around on my FluCard so perhaps I can post a sample. I'll check tonight if I remember.
Well, that's a bummer, but I appreciate your insight. Did the waves show the "zippering" effect?
07-16-2015, 12:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Well, that's a bummer, but I appreciate your insight. Did the waves show the "zippering" effect?
Yeah, but because the breakers are textured and detailed all over rather than just contrasty at the transitions -- instead of being zippery around a few edges (like, e.g., gently moving leaves on a tree), it's a big colorful checkerboard of artifacts.

Anyway, I should be careful not to overcharacterize them right now because I seriously only glanced at them on the camera screen before moving on and doing something different. I'll post some if I can find them.
07-16-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
From a size, handling point of view, it is very reminiscent of the K-5. They feel very similar in the had...which is a good/bad thing for me. They are compact and dense, and the buttons/knobs are perfectly placed. The downside is that it is slightly too small in height for my real big hands. I have nowhere to put my pinky. I never noticed it with the K-5 because that is what I was used to, but when I had the 6D, the FF body just fits my hand better. I know, big guy problems, lol.
The K-3's small size is one of the things I love about it. In a weird accident a number of years ago, I managed to sever the tendon in the top of my right baby finger, so that finger kind of curls uselessly and has basically no grip strength at all. The small grip in the K-3 is perfect for my functioning fingers, and my semi-useless baby finger curves below it.
07-16-2015, 01:57 PM   #8
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One of the things I am really interested in is whether the improved IS means that images from longer lenses can be stabilized more effectively.

07-16-2015, 09:27 PM   #9
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Here we go:



This was taken with pixel shift.

And here's a link to the full size version if you want to examine the artifacts. They seemed a lot more colorful on the camera screen -- they're almost muted here. Still I wouldn't call it acceptable.
07-17-2015, 05:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I have nowhere to put my pinky
Don't you wrap it below the grip? I think that's what I naturally do.
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