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08-05-2016, 12:15 PM   #1
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Can a K3 with 18-135 match the a6300 with 16-50 and 55-210 for pure IQ?

I'm considering picking up another K3 (now that prices are fairly cheap) but only one stipulation. I only plan on using two lenses with it (cause I don't like lens swapping and lugging them around). The 18-135 (cause its the most versatile one with zoom at a reasonable price), and the 50mm 1.8 primetime.

Now I know the specs on the K3 is a bit dated when compared to a 2016 beast like the a6300. For instance, looking at 27AF points vs over 2000 on the Sony (and arguably THE best camera to date with the best AF system), is a bit concerning.

For just pure IQ, can the K3 with those lenses match the Sony with those lenses?

I have another camera for my video needs so that's why I'm opting for the K3 over the Sony. Also the K3 feels 1000x better in hand with much better ergonomics, is weather sealed, much more rugged and I can't stand the Sony UI.

08-05-2016, 12:56 PM - 1 Like   #2
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If you like EVFs and all those focus points and AF supremacy are important to you, go with the A6300 - you'll be much happier.

IQ is about more than the lenses and the camera sensor... The big downside for me with the A6300 is that it still produces RAW files using Sony's lossy 11+7 bit delta compression. I have first hand experience of how that can ruin a good photo (using my Sony A99-based Hasselblad HV)... silhouettes where you want to bring up the dark areas will have nasty edge artefacts, as will other areas of high contrast (the edges of a black car against a white sky on a dull day, for instance). Posterization can start to appear when working with curves in extreme shadow and highlight areas - it can appear as banding in otherwise-beautiful dark skies in night shots, for instance. Honestly, it's a pain. I far prefer the true RAW files that the K-3 produces. YMMV

EDIT: I will add one more thing, and this is just how I am personally... Specs are just specs, and I generally don't care about them unless they pertain to what I do with photography. Many times I will pick up my K-5 because it's to hand, or the lens I need is already fitted to it, and it meets my needs for what I'm doing on that occasion. It doesn't bother me that my K-3 is newer and more advanced - there are many occasions where that just doesn't make any difference. So, if the A6300 gives you what you need and the K-3 doesn't, go for the A6300. If the K-3 gives you what you need and you prefer the ergonomics, weather sealing, rugged build, user interface etc., get the K-3

Last edited by BigMackCam; 08-05-2016 at 01:40 PM.
08-05-2016, 01:27 PM   #3
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I don't know about the 55-210, but the K-3 and 18-135 will wipe the floor with the 16-50 for IQ. Plus weather sealed, and tough.
08-05-2016, 03:26 PM   #4
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If IQ is important then the DA 16-85 should be considered too. The 18-135 is a pretty reasonable (certainly frame center IQ is good) but the 16-85 is better all round - with exception of a little less reach at the long end and a little bigger.

08-05-2016, 07:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
If IQ is important then the DA 16-85 should be considered too. The 18-135 is a pretty reasonable (certainly frame center IQ is good) but the 16-85 is better all round - with exception of a little less reach at the long end and a little bigger.
Yes, although at 20-75mm, you'd be hard pressed to see the difference. Even on the edges. Also depends on your budget, and the 16-85mm is quite a bit bigger and heavier.
08-05-2016, 08:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
I don't know about the 55-210, but the K-3 and 18-135 will wipe the floor with the 16-50 for IQ. Plus weather sealed, and tough.
I had the A6000, which is pretty similar, and the 55-210. The combination is pretty slow at f/6.3 on the long end. I don't have the 18-135, but I suspect the Pentax would wipe the floor with the SONY here as well.
08-05-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
If you like EVFs and all those focus points and AF supremacy are important to you, go with the A6300 - you'll be much happier.

IQ is about more than the lenses and the camera sensor... The big downside for me with the A6300 is that it still produces RAW files using Sony's lossy 11+7 bit delta compression. I have first hand experience of how that can ruin a good photo (using my Sony A99-based Hasselblad HV)... silhouettes where you want to bring up the dark areas will have nasty edge artefacts, as will other areas of high contrast (the edges of a black car against a white sky on a dull day, for instance). Posterization can start to appear when working with curves in extreme shadow and highlight areas - it can appear as banding in otherwise-beautiful dark skies in night shots, for instance. Honestly, it's a pain. I far prefer the true RAW files that the K-3 produces. YMMV

EDIT: I will add one more thing, and this is just how I am personally... Specs are just specs, and I generally don't care about them unless they pertain to what I do with photography. Many times I will pick up my K-5 because it's to hand, or the lens I need is already fitted to it, and it meets my needs for what I'm doing on that occasion. It doesn't bother me that my K-3 is newer and more advanced - there are many occasions where that just doesn't make any difference. So, if the A6300 gives you what you need and the K-3 doesn't, go for the A6300. If the K-3 gives you what you need and you prefer the ergonomics, weather sealing, rugged build, user interface etc., get the K-3
Thanks. I prefer the weather sealing, rugged build, UI of the Pentax.

Only thing is, no stores locally sell the K3 anymore and the stores only have the K3II in stock but its $220CDN more. Do you think its worth it? Will the K3II net more resale value down the road (years from now?)

Would the K3 or K3II with 18-135 match the IQ from my Panasonic FZ1000?
08-05-2016, 08:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
If IQ is important then the DA 16-85 should be considered too. The 18-135 is a pretty reasonable (certainly frame center IQ is good) but the 16-85 is better all round - with exception of a little less reach at the long end and a little bigger.
I would prefer the optics of the 16-85 but I want the extra zoom and the 18-135 is $400 cheaper.

Though I do truly believe that a K3 or K3II with the 16-85 and 50 1.8 would be an amazing setup.

08-06-2016, 01:14 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LemonStarburst Quote
Only thing is, no stores locally sell the K3 anymore and the stores only have the K3II in stock but its $220CDN more. Do you think its worth it? Will the K3II net more resale value down the road (years from now?)
No, the K-3II isn't (in my view) worth that much more than the K-3. It offers pixel shift, GPS / astrotracer and KAF4 lens support, but loses the built-in flash. Unless those new features are of particular interest to you, the K-3 is better value for money, in my opinion. Here in the UK, the difference in price is currently 40 (C$70) - which I think is about right. The extra features *are* worth a premium, but the loss of built-in flash offsets that to some extent.

QuoteOriginally posted by LemonStarburst Quote
Would the K3 or K3II with 18-135 match the IQ from my Panasonic FZ1000?
It wouldn't match it - it would completely obliterate it. Almost any half-decent lens paired with the K-3 or K-3II will vastly outperform the Panasonic FZ1000 (nice camera though it is). But I think you probably know this anyway, as you've owned a K-3 before (from your first message). Compare the images from your K-3 (from any modern AF lens - it doesn't really matter) to those from your FZ1000, viewing them at 100% reproduction size. You'll see the difference straight away.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 08-06-2016 at 01:48 AM.
08-06-2016, 05:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
No, the K-3II isn't (in my view) worth that much more than the K-3. It offers pixel shift, GPS / astrotracer and KAF4 lens support, but loses the built-in flash. Unless those new features are of particular interest to you, the K-3 is better value for money, in my opinion. Here in the UK, the difference in price is currently 40 (C$70) - which I think is about right. The extra features *are* worth a premium, but the loss of built-in flash offsets that to some extent.



It wouldn't match it - it would completely obliterate it. Almost any half-decent lens paired with the K-3 or K-3II will vastly outperform the Panasonic FZ1000 (nice camera though it is). But I think you probably know this anyway, as you've owned a K-3 before (from your first message). Compare the images from your K-3 (from any modern AF lens - it doesn't really matter) to those from your FZ1000, viewing them at 100% reproduction size. You'll see the difference straight away.
Thanks.

Pixelshift does really interest me, but from what I was told, it can only be used when the camera is on a tripod?

For me $220 is quite the different, that's 20% more in price. I would agree that K3 is the better value.

I would use the K3 for stills and FZ1000 for video. I would still use the FZ1000 for any images longer than 135mm, cause yes its an awesome camera and one of my favourite of all time. It can actually match some entry level DSLRs with kit lens, but the K3 is a top of the line APS-C, so I think the K3 would mop the floor as well.
08-06-2016, 07:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LemonStarburst Quote
I would prefer the optics of the 16-85 but I want the extra zoom and the 18-135 is $400 cheaper.

Though I do truly believe that a K3 or K3II with the 16-85 and 50 1.8 would be an amazing setup.
May I ask what prices you're being quoted for these bodies and lenses? Seems something is not right.
08-06-2016, 07:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
May I ask what prices you're being quoted for these bodies and lenses? Seems something is not right.
Well Im in Canada and prices have gone up in the past 6 months.

K3 is discontinued everywhere, so if I wanted this, I would need to order on ebay or somewhere online.

K3II is the only model stores here sell and the body only is $1100CDN.
K3II with 18-135 is $1400CDN.
Pentax 16-85 is $735CDN.
50mm 1.8 prime is $150CDN.
08-06-2016, 08:12 PM   #13
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I've got both the 16-50 and 55-210 for my Sonys. The former is not great
I really like the latter.

08-06-2016, 09:45 PM   #14
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Is there a huge jump from the Ks2 to K3II?

Im a bit dissapointed that no one has K3 anymore and I would have to get K3II. The price between a KS2 with 18-135 and KsII with 18-135 is almost $400CDN.

I really want the swivel LCD.
08-06-2016, 10:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LemonStarburst Quote
Is there a huge jump from the Ks2 to K3II?

Im a bit dissapointed that no one has K3 anymore and I would have to get K3II. The price between a KS2 with 18-135 and KsII with 18-135 is almost $400CDN.

I really want the swivel LCD.
If you really want the swivel LCD, get the K-70. IQ is like a K-3II with better low light capability (from early reports), and the price is below the K-3.
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