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03-08-2016, 03:03 PM   #1
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K3 IQ vs KS2 IQ

Just curious to those who have compared these two cameras side-by-side.

I came across a nice 'old-stock' NIB K3 at the local shop for a great deal and was thinking of picking it up to use for wildlife / landscapes and to compliment my newish K2s which my wife has been using more and more.

I'm familiar with the spec differences between the two cameras, I guess I am just wondering in regards to IQ. Technically the K2s is a newer camera then the gen-1 K3 and I'm absolutely thrilled with the IQ of K2s and the 20MP sensor - it has exceeded my expectations. Is the K3 going to be a step-up IQ wise for landscape / wildlife pics?

I suspect there will be very little, if any difference unless I'm pixel-peeping. So, I suppose I'm just wondering if this is more of a sideways move then an upgrade in which case I'll continue with the K2s as my main body.

Thoughts?

03-08-2016, 03:17 PM   #2
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More than the body it's the lens that really lets you achieve good photos. Money would be better spent there. And in studying composition.

What lenses are you using, btw?
03-08-2016, 03:20 PM - 1 Like   #3
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The K3, although older, was the flagship APS-C and has significant advantages over the K-S2:
a) 24MP vs. 20MP
b) AVI and MOV additional video formats
c) 14 bit depth vs. 12
d) 27 phase detection AF vs. 11
e) 3.2" rear screen vs. 3"
f) 1/8000" top shutter speed vs. 1/6000"
g) Metering range down to -3EV vs. 0EV
h) 13m guide number flash vs. 12m
i) PC terminal and wireless external flash connections
j) USB 3 outputs as well as headphone and mic jacks
k) 1860 mAh battery vs. 1050 mAh

The main advantages of the K-S2 is the articulating rear screen and built-in wifi.

I think the K3 is clearly a step up and not a sideways move in terms of resolution, AF, low light capability, battery life, and shooting video.
03-08-2016, 03:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for quick replies - I'll be running primes and a zoom or two (100mm WR 2.8 Macro, Tamaron 90mm 2.5, 50mm 1.7 and 2.0 - prob going to get a HD 55-300 for wildlife) regardless of which body I use as a primary.

Alex, thanks for the run down! However, I believe the K2s can also meter down to -3EV and pretty sure uses the same SAFOX X AF, albeit with with less points then the the K3 - the thing can damn near focus in the dark as is. I've found the 20MP is also nice resolution and easy to work with, you figure the 24mp is a step up? I guess for cropping it would be without a doubt.

As I said more concerned about real life image quality then specs, specifically for shooting outdoors, namely landscapes and wildlife.

03-08-2016, 03:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The K3, although older, was the flagship APS-C and has significant advantages over the K-S2:
a) 24MP vs. 20MP
b) AVI and MOV additional video formats
c) 14 bit depth vs. 12
d) 27 phase detection AF vs. 11
e) 3.2" rear screen vs. 3"
f) 1/8000" top shutter speed vs. 1/6000"
g) Metering range down to -3EV vs. 0EV
h) 13m guide number flash vs. 12m
i) PC terminal and wireless external flash connections
j) USB 3 outputs as well as headphone and mic jacks
k) 1860 mAh battery vs. 1050 mAh
Add magnesium body, stronger focus motor, top LCD, and wired remote fitting and you pretty much have it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The main advantages of the K-S2 is the articulating rear screen and built-in wifi.
Size and weight. Both are hard to appreciate without having the two bodies in hand to compare. Oh, yes...there is NFC for those who need it.


Steve
03-08-2016, 03:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Senko Quote
However, I believe the K2s can also meter down to -3EV and pretty sure uses the same SAFOX X AF,
- 0-22 EV(100) 77 segment SPD metering vs the -3-20 EV(100) 86Kpx RGB sensor on the K-3
- 11 point Safox X vs. 27 point Safox XI on the K-3

FWIW, I have considered picking up a K-S2 as a lighter/smaller complement to my K-3.


Steve
03-08-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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^^ Thanks.
03-08-2016, 04:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Senko Quote
I believe the K2s can also meter down to -3EV and pretty sure uses the same SAFOX X AF....
As I said more concerned about real life image quality then specs, specifically for shooting outdoors, namely landscapes and wildlife.
Although the metering range of both cameras is almost the same, the K3 is rated -3EV thru +20EV whereas the K-S2 is 0EV thru +22EV. That gives the K3 a significant edge in low light and the K-S2 in extreme high light.

In 90% of your shooting, the two cameras will give you equivalent IQ. The K3, however, will handle the extreme situations better. Wildlife AF with more focus points and a stronger, faster motor. With longer lenses or zooms, the heavier K3 will be better balanced. It really depends on your tolerance or expectations, so defining significance is really subjective.

And as others have mentioned, getting better glass is a better value, but as I understood your original post, your wife was using the K-S2 more and you could use your own camera. To me, the K3 is a step up, but obviously not worth it if the K-S2 fulfills your needs.

03-08-2016, 05:21 PM   #9
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If you're mainly interested in image quality and/or handing, go for the K-3. The K-S2 has a few new features, but the core hardware in the K-3 is still more advanced.

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03-08-2016, 05:58 PM   #10
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The k-3 is better at low ISO. The k-s1/2 are better at high ISO. The k-3 is a better camera, but mainly for reasons other than IQ.
03-08-2016, 09:41 PM   #11
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The k3 also acts as a pttl wireless master/controller with the built in flash which I think the ks2 does not offer.
03-08-2016, 11:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The k3 also acts as a pttl wireless master/controller with the built in flash which I think the ks2 does not offer.
Only if the K-S2 has downgraded the P-TTL functionality of the built-in flash from the K-30/50. What you can't do with a K-30/50 is adjust the contrast flash ratio when you use the built-in flash as a controller, but I'm not sure you can do that with the K-3 either.

---------- Post added 03-09-16 at 12:55 AM ----------

You already have a K-S2 in the family, so really this is a question about getting a second body. If the K-3 is too big or too heavy, or if articulating screen and wi-fi tethering that isn't dependent on a slow Flu-card are deal breakers, forget about picking up a K-3, even if the price is good. A second body isn't a necessity, so you can wait a year for the successor to the K-3II (assuming you can afford a body that is likely to cost about as much as the K-3 did when originally released) or you can decide to buy a K-3 for all the differences between it and a K-S2 at as low a price as you will ever see for a new one. A different "kind" of camera for your second body is almost as important as getting the best value for your money. I don't see the point in buying two identical bodies, unless you have a commercial reason to do so.
03-09-2016, 06:20 AM   #13
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/293159-k-s2-wire...lash-mode.html

No wireless control modes. The k3ii and k-1 lack this also but they also lack a built in f lash.
03-09-2016, 01:02 PM   #14
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I think robthebloke answered the main concern raised originally. I don't think the IQ difference is at all notably different. Even though the K-3 is an older body, most likely its sensor is actually a slightly new design. The 20% difference in pixels also doesn't have much importance - even with the high quality optics used by the OP.
03-09-2016, 10:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
No wireless control modes.
Thank you, I now know more than I did before. Chalk this up as another reason to buy a K-3 at a good price.
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