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07-17-2015, 08:01 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
There is some measure of truth to the "k-3 files show more noise than a k-5 (k-30) file". But it is one of those things that reviewers jump on because they can make a distinguishing statement in their review. In the real world the difference is not important. If you view both files at the same size you will not see any difference. In other words if you downsize the k-3 file to the same size as the k-5 file you cannot tell the difference in the noise level.

What is important is that the k-3 file is larger, and the noise in it is 'finer' and much easier to clean up. A slight addition of NR in Lightroom and the noise is gone without the loss of detail a similar application on the k-5 file would have caused.

I found that using my k-5 Lightroom presets on a k-3 file resulted in an image that was not as good as I expected. I eventually dumped my k-5 presets and started over. This made a dramatic difference. The k-30, k-50, k-5, k-5II all used very similar sensors and I think we all got used to developing for that sensor. The k-3 sensor is a different animal and needs to be treated that way.

My comments are for ISOs in the 100 to 3200 range. I have no experience with anything higher than that, I don't shoot that high. Perhaps someone else can chime in who has used the higher values.
Thank you, jatrax. That's very helpful! Interesting note about presets in LR. I'll definitely just start from scratch with the K-3 photos then and see how it goes, rather than using my K-30 presets.


QuoteOriginally posted by Bunch Quote
I also switched from the K-30 to the K-3. Although it is a bit bigger and heavier, the difference in your hands seems negligible. Aside from from the difference in the image output and menu options, the most immediate difference you'll notice and love is shutter noise. The K-3 is insanely quiet compared to the K-30. I've been very happy with the upgrade.
I had forgotten about the quiet shutter, thank you! That will be a big difference. Thanks for the input and for your kind words about my Flickr photos.

QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
My wife can't use my K3 or my K5 for more than a few minutes unless I remove the grip and use a lightweight lens, but she has carpal tunnel problems. My old Nikon d5100 didn't bother her much, but it was much flimsier and the l lenses I had with it weren't as heavy either.

Between the K3 and K30 bodies, without the grip, they're quite similar in size, but the K3 is about 5 ounces heavier.
This site is really handy for a side-by-side or overlay comparison of camera size:
Compare camera dimensions side by side
Click "Camera 1 in front" to see more directly the difference in sizes.

If you're going to add the grip, though, that's about 30-50% more height on the body and a fair bit of extra weight, especially if you load it up with AA batteries instead of a second pentax battery.
Ahh, well I hope that won't be a problem for me. I don't plan to buy a grip, at least not right off. I did purchase a second proprietary battery. That's one thing I don't like about the K-3 -- can't use AA batteries.

Thanks for the link, very cool!

07-17-2015, 08:33 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Ahh, well I hope that won't be a problem for me. I don't plan to buy a grip, at least not right off. I did purchase a second proprietary battery. That's one thing I don't like about the K-3 -- can't use AA batteries.

Thanks for the link, very cool!
Sure thing. As long as you don't have carpal tunnel like she does, you'll probably be fine. I personally can't use it very well without the grip. My hands are too big.

I don't think you'll miss AA batteries. They weigh a lot and they burn out fast. If you really need them, like I said, the grip supports them. I've used them precisely once, to test them out.

Remember that the K3 doesn't use the same batteries as the K30, in case you were hoping to reuse them. I suggest checking out http://www.amazon.com/Wasabi-Power-Battery-2-Pack-Charger/dp/B004UR7250 -- it's a more compact and convenient charger than the stock Pentax one, and you can use it in your car. Can't hurt to have extra charged batteries around. I have 6 or so.
07-17-2015, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
My concerns are primarily regarding the size and weight. I'm a woman and my hands are kind of small. The K-30 fits me perfectly. i love the deep grip. It feels so secure in my hands. Will I have trouble holding and handling the K-3?
I have a K-3 (two K-3s, actually). I'm a woman, I have fairly small hands and, moreover, most of my baby finger on my right hand doesn't work (freak accident that resulted in a severed tendon). I really like the way the K-3 fits my hand and the weight is quite manageable. (I also have a bad back and neck problems.)

And you need a new camera bag, too

Tamrac 5423 Aria 3 Shoulder Bag (Black) 542301 B&H Photo Video

I have other bags, as well, but I really like the Tamrac Aria series when I want to carry a fairly discreet bag that looks a bit more like a handbag or shoulder bag. It's very light, it's got useful pockets, the interior can be adjusted by moving dividers, the material is somewhat rain-resistant, and the smooth fabric doesn't snag on my clothes. I have both the Aria 3 and the Aria 6 (for when I want to carry more gear). It's also easy to clean off the dog slobber and sheep kisses.
07-17-2015, 11:03 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
Sure thing. As long as you don't have carpal tunnel like she does, you'll probably be fine. I personally can't use it very well without the grip. My hands are too big.

I don't think you'll miss AA batteries. They weigh a lot and they burn out fast. If you really need them, like I said, the grip supports them. I've used them precisely once, to test them out.

Remember that the K3 doesn't use the same batteries as the K30, in case you were hoping to reuse them. I suggest checking out http://www.amazon.com/Wasabi-Power-Battery-2-Pack-Charger/dp/B004UR7250 -- it's a more compact and convenient charger than the stock Pentax one, and you can use it in your car. Can't hurt to have extra charged batteries around. I have 6 or so.
Yes, I did note that about the battery. Kind of a bummer, but I did see the Wasabi stuff and have added it to my wish list. My birthday is coming up, so hopefully I can get some accessories for this purchase using that method!

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
I have a K-3 (two K-3s, actually). I'm a woman, I have fairly small hands and, moreover, most of my baby finger on my right hand doesn't work (freak accident that resulted in a severed tendon). I really like the way the K-3 fits my hand and the weight is quite manageable. (I also have a bad back and neck problems.)

And you need a new camera bag, too

Tamrac 5423 Aria 3 Shoulder Bag (Black) 542301 B&H Photo Video

I have other bags, as well, but I really like the Tamrac Aria series when I want to carry a fairly discreet bag that looks a bit more like a handbag or shoulder bag. It's very light, it's got useful pockets, the interior can be adjusted by moving dividers, the material is somewhat rain-resistant, and the smooth fabric doesn't snag on my clothes. I have both the Aria 3 and the Aria 6 (for when I want to carry more gear). It's also easy to clean off the dog slobber and sheep kisses.
Glad to hear the K-3 works for you! Thanks.

Those are real nice looking bags. I do have several already, though. I recently got one of the Amazon backpacks (because I'm cheap) for when I want to carry more than the camera and a couple lenses. Haven't used it yet, but it looks very nice. I do like the look of these, though. Thank you!

07-17-2015, 02:20 PM - 1 Like   #20
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K-3 wants to be played on its own terms but, boy, then it delivers!

Congratulations to your ordering a K-3, Lori. At your level of photographic skill, I trust you will soon come to appreciate what this amazing tool can do for you.

Yes, it is noticeably heavier than your K-30, but its built like a tank, and its heft, rather than being a bother, gives me a sense of control and makes it easier to avoid camera shake, particularly with longer lenses. Ergonomics are excellent, and my hands are not on the large side. Bet you'll love the discreet shutter noise, which sounds more like a gentle flap than the click of lower-range models. Maybe don't expect a quantum leap as far as tracking AF is concerned, coming from the K-30, but AF decisiveness and low-light capabilities are quite good in my book.

Early IQ opinions on the K-3, often from superficial reviewers or users who hadn't yet learnt the camera, created the impression the K-3's output was underwhelming, with smudgy high-ISO performance. From practical use, and being in a position to compare it with the output from my old K-7, I can assure you the K-3 delivers. Turn off all in-camera NR, except maybe for long exposures, and deal with noise in post. Lightroom, or better yet plug-ins with proprietary NR profiles such as DxO OpticsPro or Topaz DeNoise will have generous data to work with, and thus much leeway for applying corrections without loss of much detail. Maximize some of my recent shots on 500px, often taken at ISOs between 800 and 3200, and you'll get a sense of what I'm talking about, even at that resolution.

If you like natural, differentiated colours as much as I do, one last tip for tuning Lightroom to your new K-3. It's just two clicks but definitely makes a difference: change camera calibration from "Adobe Standard" to "Embedded". With the K-3 set to Custom Image style "Natural", you will enjoy a colour differentiation unseen of any earlier K series DSLR, I wager.

At any rate, happy shooting with your K-3. If you do your part, it will show you what your fine glass is capable of.

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 07-17-2015 at 02:35 PM.
07-17-2015, 02:44 PM - 1 Like   #21
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Hi Marc,

Thanks for the helpful tips! I'll definitely keep them in mind. I already use Embedded in LR with the K-30 and agree the colors are much nicer that way.

I took a look at your photos on 500px and the ISO3200 images are very impressive. Well, all of them are, your photos are beautiful. I have used Noise Ninja in the past, but I don't believe it's being supported any more. I have found LR's noise reduction to work quite well and I'll see how it does with the K-3. I have Nik's software, too, if I need a little more NR help.

I'm very excited and am having a hard time waiting! I've gotten Amazon deliveries on Saturday and even Sunday, but for this, they couldn't accommodate me, even if I paid for One Day Shipping. Oh well.
07-17-2015, 03:30 PM   #22
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I won't counter any of the supportive statements made already, but have some added thoughts to answer your concerns. This comes from a man with small hands (but not small enough to say I was fond of the K-30 grip). Much like you, I moved from the K-30 to the K-3 - and used only a wrist strap on these bodies with any small to medium weight lens attached. The wrist strap is a bit of a stretch for the K-3, but I adjusted to it quickly. The grip on the K-3 is so much better than the K-30 - even if your hands are tiny.

Confusion regarding the high ISO RAWs is very much related to how you approach file inspection, and RAW processing. On a pixel-by-pixel basis, the K-3 is noisier (assuming no NR on your camera settings - which is the best way to go for RAW conversion). The K-30 at 3200 has considerable smoothing done - even when No NR is set; the K-3 probably has some, but not much at all. No matter what, though, the K-3 will yield sharper results at higher ISO (and you will more easily identify any blur in the photo - which has really proven challenging for many shooters; when in doubt go higher with your shutter speed).

Getting the best Raw conversion with the K-3 is quite different than with the 16 mp cameras - and not only due to the higher NR needed. How you approach Clarity and Sharpening in LR is very different. Back off the relatively high Clarity setting we tend to use on the K-30, and lower your sharpening radius. If your radius preference for 1600-3200 on the K-30 is 1.0-1.2, you'll find that the K-3 will yield more pleasing results at around 0.6-0.8.

Even better would be other RAW converters that provide dedicated micro-contrast control such as the Structure adjustment on Capture One. Often, I'll back off Clarity (even enter a negative value) and rely on the Structure setting to give me edge sharpness with less noise - or add just a bit of Film Grain (integrated into C1) to yield a pleasant texture to the minor remaining noise. Of course, many people object to all forms of visible noise, so this entirely subjective.

The K-3 is your first flagship Pentax, it appears, and you will notice that immediately. You will have an instant sense that this is a camera that can last a very long time - not only due to the many strong features and high IQ, but due to the excellent build. Ultimately, the K-3 bought at rock-bottom pricing and likely to inspire confidence for a longer term makes it a great buy.
07-17-2015, 04:00 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
I won't counter any of the supportive statements made already, but have some added thoughts to answer your concerns. This comes from a man with small hands (but not small enough to say I was fond of the K-30 grip). Much like you, I moved from the K-30 to the K-3 - and used only a wrist strap on these bodies with any small to medium weight lens attached. The wrist strap is a bit of a stretch for the K-3, but I adjusted to it quickly. The grip on the K-3 is so much better than the K-30 - even if your hands are tiny.

Confusion regarding the high ISO RAWs is very much related to how you approach file inspection, and RAW processing. On a pixel-by-pixel basis, the K-3 is noisier (assuming no NR on your camera settings - which is the best way to go for RAW conversion). The K-30 at 3200 has considerable smoothing done - even when No NR is set; the K-3 probably has some, but not much at all. No matter what, though, the K-3 will yield sharper results at higher ISO (and you will more easily identify any blur in the photo - which has really proven challenging for many shooters; when in doubt go higher with your shutter speed).

Getting the best Raw conversion with the K-3 is quite different than with the 16 mp cameras - and not only due to the higher NR needed. How you approach Clarity and Sharpening in LR is very different. Back off the relatively high Clarity setting we tend to use on the K-30, and lower your sharpening radius. If your radius preference for 1600-3200 on the K-30 is 1.0-1.2, you'll find that the K-3 will yield more pleasing results at around 0.6-0.8.

Even better would be other RAW converters that provide dedicated micro-contrast control such as the Structure adjustment on Capture One. Often, I'll back off Clarity (even enter a negative value) and rely on the Structure setting to give me edge sharpness with less noise - or add just a bit of Film Grain (integrated into C1) to yield a pleasant texture to the minor remaining noise. Of course, many people object to all forms of visible noise, so this entirely subjective.

The K-3 is your first flagship Pentax, it appears, and you will notice that immediately. You will have an instant sense that this is a camera that can last a very long time - not only due to the many strong features and high IQ, but due to the excellent build. Ultimately, the K-3 bought at rock-bottom pricing and likely to inspire confidence for a longer term makes it a great buy.
This sounds great! You're feeding my excitement.

I'm looking forward to learning a new process for processing RAW files from the K-3. I think it's helpful because once I processed 1000s of photos from the K-30, I almost kind of got into a rut where I robotically apply the same settings, the same way, for every photo. Without a whole lot of thought. This will be an excellent way to challenge my methods.

Thank you for the tips. And I'm happy to know you prefer the K-3 grip. Most people do say that, and I hope I'll feel the same way.

It is interesting that I am paying over $200 less for the K-3 than I paid for the K-30. That's what happens when you aren't an early adopter!

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