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07-24-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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Good decision to buy a K3 (not K3ii)? crowd sourcing opininos

I appreciate your feedback on this strategy:

I do mostly nature and wildlife photography. The cropped sensor has some advantages and I have the 60-250, 21, and a few other DA lenses.

- I do think the K3 is a worthwhile upgrade from my K5ii.
- I don't feel the need the new features on the K3ii (e.g. GPS, wifi)
- I was thinking of getting a K3 (~$650)


ALTERNATIVE

- sit tight and wait for the Pentax FF, use it with my DA lenses, eventually get new lenses.
- do not buy another cropped sensor body.
- I would use the FF for macro and wide angle.

Would you wait or get the K3 now?

Thanks for your thoughts.

07-24-2015, 11:08 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Is there anything you'd do between now and FF where having a K-3 would really help? If not, I'd wait. Worst thing that happens is that you end up getting a K-3 body later, when the price has dropped some more.
07-24-2015, 11:19 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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k-3 is a nice upgrade from the k-5IIs mostly because of the increased megapixels allowing more cropping. Image quality is (IMHO) somewhat better on the k-3 but not blow your socks off better. Autofocus is more consistently reliable on the k-3. I had k-5IIs, bought the k-3 and kept the k-5IIs as my backup. Just got the k-3II and sold the k-5IIs so now the k-3 is my backup. I got the k-3II for the GPS only. Absolutely love it. That is a key critical feature for me. If not for you then stay with the k-3.

It really comes down to are staying with APS-C or moving to FF? Or are you willing / able to buy a k-3 now and a FF next year? Do you NEED a new camera now? For wildlife a 24MP APS-C camera is about as good as it gets without spending an enormous amount of cash.

I am going to guess that the FF will not be readily available until first quarter 2016. So if you need a new camera before then, get a k-3. If not (and you intend to go FF) then wait.
07-24-2015, 12:31 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If you have the K-5iis the K-3 will bring and processing improvements but you might not see them as all that important to basic picture quality. However, your message lists the K-5ii. If that is correct I think you would see a big improvement in the K-3 because, in addition to the other nice improvements you would also have the AA removed (if you wish) which, I think, gives much greater clarity over the K-5.

07-24-2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by conbio Quote
- I don't feel the need the new features on the K3ii (e.g. GPS, wifi)
What wifi?

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07-24-2015, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I would definitively go for the K-3 if you don't have a hole lot of money that you just don't know what to do with. The K-3 is a great camera and very well priced at the moment. You also have a number of DA lenses..., so wait for the FF verdict and then some.
07-24-2015, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by conbio Quote
I appreciate your feedback on this strategy:

I do mostly nature and wildlife photography. The cropped sensor has some advantages and I have the 60-250, 21, and a few other DA lenses.

- I do think the K3 is a worthwhile upgrade from my K5ii.
- I don't feel the need the new features on the K3ii (e.g. GPS, wifi)
- I was thinking of getting a K3 (~$650)


ALTERNATIVE

- sit tight and wait for the Pentax FF, use it with my DA lenses, eventually get new lenses.
- do not buy another cropped sensor body.
- I would use the FF for macro and wide angle.

Would you wait or get the K3 now?

Thanks for your thoughts.
It depends (I hate that answer lol).
Are you going to eventually want/need a full frame camera? Me personally, I had full frame, didn't like it as much as APS-C due to it's size and I liked the 1.5X crop factor for the longer end (300mm lenses tend to be lot cheaper than 450mm lenses), so I decided to switch back to APS-C.
SO for me, it didn't make sense to wait for the Pentax FF, so I got the best all around APS-C out there, the K-3II (well, I bought it a week before the service advisory came out. Had I known about it, I would've just got the K-3 and save a few hundred bucks).

Do you want really shallow DOF? Are you going to be shooting a lot over ISO 3200? Can you live with the DA 12-24 or 15mm LTD as your wide angles?
07-24-2015, 02:38 PM   #8
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Thanks friends, all these comments are helpful and make sense. I am sure that for wildlife I will stay with APS-C. I am in no rush for FF, and don't feel limited on landscape photography with the cropped sensor. I do get frustrated with low light performance of the K5 compared to the Nikonista who sometimes takes the same shot with her FF and gets better results. I will let the Pentax FF be around for 6 or 8 months before I buy it and see how its reputation fares. So now the question is wait for the K3 prices to drop more, or bite the bullet now? Thanks again.

07-24-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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I can only say what it looks like on paper as I have a K-5II but neither version of the K-3, but I don't see enough difference between the K-5II and the K-3/K-3II to justify an upgrade if you don't actually need the features; particularly if you're planning on going FF when it's available.
I don't know what lenses you have, but if you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, I'd suggest spending it on a FF compatible lens that you can benefit from now, and later on a FF.
07-24-2015, 03:18 PM   #10
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I'd say go for it. K-3 at the moment is good value for money. And the AF is overall better than the K-5II.

Plus it's very useful to have two bodies, for a variety of reasons - saves lens changes in the field, for backup etc.

Also I am not sure FF has any great advantage over APS-C for macro, due to shallower DOF. But wide-angle, yes.

The Pentax FF also still has a lot of unknowns about it - launch date, price, features. Everyone hopes it will be launched in 2015, but unfortunately everything about the Pentax FF is still purely speculation.
07-24-2015, 03:56 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I have a K5II and bought a K3 a year or so ago.....I kept my K5II as a 2nd body. The K3 is a better camera from a usabilty perspective, including focus. No regrets here. I tend to favour a fill in flash over GPS so I'd K3 again.
07-24-2015, 04:35 PM   #12
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Another vote for the K-3. It's easily the best camera I have owned, and the current prices are almost criminally low.

If wildlife is your thing, I reckon a crop camera is the way to go. If you go full frame you'll need much bigger and heavier lenses to get the same reach. If landscape and portrait shooting is a priority then it's a different story.
07-24-2015, 05:02 PM   #13
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I am in the same boat. The K-3 is a heck of a deal today since the pixel-shifting stuff is close to worthless unless used indoors or outdoors with no wind (then you can shoot "super-resolution" with 10-20 images handheld to get something similar). The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is the aggressive pricing on the 645Z. Will Pentax do the same on the FF? I'll wait a few months and see. If it does, I may go for the FF or a K-3 and more lenses. There will be lots of K-3 cameras on the used market (not all FF buyers will keep one as a spare) driving the price even lower.
07-24-2015, 05:04 PM - 1 Like   #14
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K-3 is probably better than the FF for wildlife, unless you can get very close or shoot very large animals. I am assuming the FF will be in the 36-42 megapixel range and therefore have larger pixels than the K-3.

How often do you need to crop with your K-5ii? If you rarely crop waiting for the FF sounds good. If you frequently crop then get the K-3 or wait for the next APS-C model.

Last edited by DeadJohn; 07-24-2015 at 07:57 PM. Reason: fixed typo
07-24-2015, 06:23 PM   #15
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