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10-12-2015, 09:16 AM   #1
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K3/K3ii Known Problems and Possible Purchase

I am considering purchasing one or other of the K3 or K3ii as a very early Christmas present to myself. The K3 is my preferred option as a built in flash for emergency use is currently a little more important to me than the GPS of the K3ii. The K3ii's slightly lighter weight and its pixel shift resolution are however becming very tempting. I know both are excellent cameras and in general use there is no real difference between them.

That apart, assuming the use of the latest firmware in both, are there currently any known problems in either camera and, if so, what are they and are they easily rectifiable by using an earlier version of firmware etc.?

Thought for the day. Given the past history of both cameras should I wait a little longer and go for their possible replacement a K3iii. It should be due out sometime next year as I suspect the K3ii is just Ricoh's way of extending the life of the K3, just like the K5ii/K5iis was for the K5.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

LoneWolf

10-12-2015, 09:32 AM   #2
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There were problems with the K-3 II, but any new version you purchase now should be fine. Also, something about the mirror flopping problem in the K-3? I believe its also been taken care of.
10-12-2015, 09:32 AM   #3
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The only thing I know about is this:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/299386-k3ii-noti...tch-sizes.html

There was also a firmware update for the K3 that caused battery drain by keeping the top lcd on I think. That has been resolved in the newest firmware.

BTW- the link given in the linked thread for the official word from Ricoh appears dead. They have been revamping their website and they seem to be doing a really bad job of it.
10-12-2015, 09:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
hey have been revamping their website and they seem to be doing a really bad job of it.
One would think they would revamp and then release it... not the other way arounf

10-12-2015, 09:49 AM   #5
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Replying only to subscribe - I'm also interested.
10-12-2015, 10:21 AM   #6
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Off topic, but relevant for the purchasing decision: Pixel shift is only a benefit for stationary objects and the camera must be on a very sturdy tripod. An otherwise decent tripod is insufficient outdoors even in a slight breeze. Obviously, foliage will look funny, but even buildings will have artifacts created by wind induced camera vibrations.

Our upcoming in-depth review will document that.

So unless you're into product photography or need the built-in GPS, the K-3 is the camera to go with.
10-12-2015, 10:30 AM   #7
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And if you need GPS, you can buy the (slightly awkward but functional) module. The reviews are HERE
10-12-2015, 10:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LoneWolf Quote
are there currently any known problems in either camera
None for current production, that I am aware of, though my source of knowledge on the matter is the same as yours*. That does not mean that there are no complaints, but none that have been clearly characterized and/or pervasive.


Steve

* This forum and other Internet resources.

10-12-2015, 01:37 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
Thought for the day. Given the past history of both cameras should I wait a little longer and go for their possible replacement a K3iii. It should be due out sometime next year as I suspect the K3ii is just Ricoh's way of extending the life of the K3, just like the K5ii/K5iis was for the K5.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

LoneWolf
My feeling is this: One can always wait for the next big thing to come out. In the meantime, the jump in quality in the K3 - both camera and image - is nothing short of spectacular. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing missing from that camera is an articulating screen, which I've found to be of great use for ground-level shots with my Sony RX100. Otherwise, I can't imagine you would be dissatisfied with a K3 of either iteration. Fantastic camera.
10-12-2015, 02:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
articulating screen,
and better video
10-12-2015, 03:29 PM   #11
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I bought a used K3 a short time ago. I am blown away by the camera, and have a lot of learning to do. It replaced a K10D, so there are a whole lot of differences, some of which are due to the CMOS sensor rather than the CCD on the K10D. This change forces me to learn how to predict the image. The K3 also does a whole lot more than the K10, which means a huge change in menus, but thankfully not in the general layout.

Yesterday I took the camera out with only the DA 55-300 (my most consumer oriented lens), and spent most of the day in green mode, just to see what Ricoh/Pentax thought was the starting point. It is not bad, but does override some of my favourite preferences, such as not using the shutter release for auto focus and leaving the back screen unused. I don't chimp every shot, and don't need the status screen to glare at me all the time

I took RAW (PEF) on one SD Card and JPG on Card 2, just to see how the camera did its thing compared to LR 6.2. One of the most time saving options is to enable all the lens corrections in camera. This reduces vignetting, Chromatic Aberrations and even corrects the lens distorsion with no user input required. It does affect only the JPG so comparison with the PEF > JPG was quite simple. The results were surprising to me, skeptic that I am. 2/3 of the out of camera JPGs were superior to the LR treatment. The other 1/3 were due to using the 27 point AF rather than centre only or 9 point that I prefer and matrix metering which isn't quite as good in some instances as centre weighted.

Generally speaking, so far, having had the camera for only about 1,000 exposures, it works significantly better than the K10D does, straight out of the box. I do find it eats batteries compared to the K10, so the grip that I have bought, but not yet picked up, will be very useful. I think the green mode has a lot to do with the higher battery consumption; the back screen is on way more than I prefer.

As they say, your mileage may vary, but I have zero regrets about the upgrade. The AF alone combined with quick shift on the 55-300 allowed me to shoot through reeds and maintain focus on a muskrat hutch that some ducks were using as a sundeck without my needing to disable AF. The K10 would have focused on the reeds every time. The more powerful screw drive in the K3 together with the upgraded programming meant I was not as dissatisfied with the AF as on the K10.

There have been comments on the site about the noisier image, but that only applies when looking at things at 100%. Viewed full screen on my Dell U2412M monitor, 1920x200 pixels, the noise is not visible until I hit ISO 3200 and even then it is minimal.
10-13-2015, 04:15 AM   #12
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I skipped the K-3 because of the mirror flap issue. I almost didn't get the k-3II because of the GPS switch issue. Luckily my supplier guaranteed that Pentax made a pull out of all K-3II with serial numbers included in the batch. So far, I have no complaints with the camera though I haven't really played much with it. I really like it. Without the mirror flap threat, I would have bought the k-3 years ago.
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