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02-02-2018, 04:00 PM - 1 Like   #1
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What do you think are the K-3's biggest weaknesses?

The K-3 and K-3 II have a lot of strengths. I think those are mostly obvious or else we wouldn't all be here. But the camera has a lot of weaknesses too. I don't necessarily specs that lag behind other brands, but inherent weaknesses to the K-3 design that can get in your way while shooting. Here's a list of my own top 5, uh I mean...7 weaknesses of the ergonomics and controls.

Confusing front buttons
: Including the x-sync socket cover, there are four little nubs running up the front left side of the camera that you need to press by feel alone. The AF mode and Raw/Fx button have exactly the same tactile response, and if you're not careful, it can be easy to grab one and think you have the other. The problem could easily be solved by texturing one of the buttons. They could make it even better (for use with gloves) by utilizing the other side of the camera front for the custom function button, like Nikon, Canon and Fuji all do.

Too few Fn buttons and lack of many functions for them
: Even though Pentax offers a good amount of external controls and customizations available to the dials and green button which confusingly change in each respective shooting mode, there's only one button on the camera that could truly be called a function button, which has a rather limited set of possible functions. I have mine set to toggle SR, and then I menu-dive to change JPEG image size, which is tedious.

Playback button location
: I prefer to keep automatic image review off and only review images as needed - this preference mainly comes from the fact that I need to use the rear LCD to change certain settings on the K-3 like white balance or certain drive mode specifics, which don't show up on the top LCD. So, an automatically displayed image can get in the way of a quick follow up shot with different settings. Needing to use my left hand to toggle playback is annoying and tedious. I might be supporting the lens with my left hand, so I end up breaking my shooting stance just to review an image, which ought to be a quick process.

Changing AF mode: The K-5 had a beautifully intuitive switch for AF point selection on the back of the camera. With the K-3, we lost that and gained a movie mode toggle that nobody needs to access so quickly that they can't shift their grip. As I've been shooting with my 55-300mm PLM more and more, I've been discovering how badly set up the K-3 is for changing between AF-S and AF-C modes. Namely, when I change from AF-S with spot (not Select) center point to AF-C with 9 point area selection, that the 4-way controller is automatically toggled to become an AF point selector, and I then need to press an additional button (not conveniently located, and the indicator for which is not easily visible in the viewfinder if you wear glasses) to switch it back and access those controls, namely WB and drive mode, again. My workaround has been to assign one of my custom user slots to be my dedicated "action" mode because otherwise, there are just too many tedious button presses for a simple AF mode change.

Live View button location
: This is another one that mystifies me. Live View can be a useful way to confirm focus while shooting MF lenses, so moving it all the way to where you can't reach it from a shooting grip just makes the camera less useful.

Rear LCD screen in shooting mode: There's no single button press to make the Info screen go dark while shooting, and also no eye sensor to make it go dark when you bring the camera up to your eye. It will go dark with a shutter half-press, but The only way to turn it off permanently is with five (count them) total button presses across three separate buttons (Info, Info, Right, Right, OK). Getting the Info screen back is just about as bad (Info, Info, Right, OK), so it's not really a "quick info" screen. This is mostly an annoyance because the top LCD is missing certain important info (namely, white balance and AF mode), so I end up looking at the rear LCD most of the time instead of the top LCD, but bringing the camera up to my face in low light, I get light in my face.

Switching between cards while shooting: Strangely, there is no obvious menu setting to set to only record to card 1 for a while, and then change it to only record to card 2 for a while. And if you power on the camera while only card 2 is in the camera, and then put card 1 back in the camera later, then the camera will now record to card 2 as default. The only way to change it back is to physically remove card 2 and power on the camera with only card 1 inserted.

So what are your biggest gripes with the K-3/K-3II?

02-02-2018, 04:08 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
So what are your biggest gripes with the K-3/K-3II?
It looks like you about covered it, though I don't share your complaints. I went straight from a K10D to the K-3 with little or no stumbles and have no complaints with the features on your list.

Out of curiosity, is this #2 of a series? Yesterday you started a thread complaining about the K-3 battery life. Today it is a more comprehensive list. Will there be a third installment? I would suggest a topic, but my complaints about the K-3 are limited to a concern that the button lettering may rub off before the shutter dies. (Strap lug wear might be another problem.)


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-02-2018 at 04:23 PM.
02-02-2018, 04:27 PM   #3
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I remember! When I first got my K-3, I had a terrible habit of accidentally changing the 4-way controller settings with the heel of my thumb. It would be nice to require a confirmation step for configuration changes, preferably as a custom option. I made that suggestion through the suggestions thread and with any luck maybe it will make it onto the next round of product.


Steve

(...don't do that anymore...hands must have adapted...)
02-02-2018, 04:35 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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Mine had Ricoh printed on the back. Weakest branding choice ever! Sad!

I sold it.

02-02-2018, 04:40 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Mine had Ricoh printed on the back. Weakest branding choice ever! Sad!

I sold it.
You are so right! We and the good people of Tokyo should be thankful that the full scope of the livE hociR plans were not realized.

Perhaps the mods will see fit to merge these two threads? OTOH, perhaps two parties are better than one...

Read about it here >> Why I won't buy a k3





Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-02-2018 at 04:53 PM.
02-02-2018, 04:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Out of curiosity, is this #2 of a series? Yesterday you started a thread complaining about the K-3 battery life. Today it is a more comprehensive list. Will there be a third installment?

Perhaps the mods will see fit to merge these two threads? OTOH, perhaps two parties are better than one...
why I won't buy a k3 (Warning: Satire Thread) - PentaxForums.com

Steve
Why the rudeness?
02-02-2018, 05:06 PM   #7
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Not in production!
02-02-2018, 05:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
Confusing front buttons
- I am not confused by the buttons. I find that the AF button is well situated just above the AF switch. I use the switch as a cue for the AF button (my thumb pad rests on the switch, and thumb tip pushes the button). Similarly, I use the Synch cover to as a cue for the RAW/Fx button. The GPS button is distinctive by its position and slightly raised profile.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
Too few Fn buttons and lack of many functions for them
- I think a multitude of Fn buttons and customizations is a drawback - I don't think memorizing Fn settings on generic buttons across many options is ergonomic.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
Playback button location
- I mostly agree with this issue. When heavier lenses are mounted, I either drop my left hand from supporting them, or continue to cradle them and bring my right hand over to activate the button. Not great in either case.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
Live View button location
- I haven't noticed a problem - my thumb can reach the LV button by shifting it slightly from a grip position. It has a good profile.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
Rear LCD screen in shooting mode
- Yeah, a bit of a nuisance, this one, but I can't think of an alternative implementation.

My issues are niggles - I love the camera and find that it's very ergonomic. My muscle memory settled in quickly after I got the camera, and I can use it almost completely without having to look at the controls.

- Craig

02-02-2018, 05:14 PM   #9
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Doesn't the K-3 have user modes available? The K-1 has 4 or 5 and all those custom functions and settings can be defined in a user mode, then it's a simple turn of the dial to select your favorite configuration. Personally I have never owned or used a K-3, but I will say that all cameras have shortcomings and compromises so a buyer simply has to choose the one that suits their own preferences. Most of us here like what Pentax does and we are willing to overlook a few minor things in order to have the instrument of our choice.
02-02-2018, 05:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
My workaround has been to assign one of my custom user slots to be my dedicated "action" mode because otherwise, there are just too many tedious button presses for a simple AF mode change.
- That seems to be a good use for a Custom USER slot.
02-02-2018, 05:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbeley Quote
The K-3 and K-3 II have a lot of strengths. I think those are mostly obvious or else we wouldn't all be here. But the camera has a lot of weaknesses too. I don't necessarily specs that lag behind other brands, but inherent weaknesses to the K-3 design that can get in your way while shooting. Here's a list of my own top 5, uh I mean...7 weaknesses of the ergonomics and controls.

Confusing front buttons
: Including the x-sync socket cover, there are four little nubs running up the front left side of the camera that you need to press by feel alone. The AF mode and Raw/Fx button have exactly the same tactile response, and if you're not careful, it can be easy to grab one and think you have the other. The problem could easily be solved by texturing one of the buttons. They could make it even better (for use with gloves) by utilizing the other side of the camera front for the custom function button, like Nikon, Canon and Fuji all do.

Too few Fn buttons and lack of many functions for them
: Even though Pentax offers a good amount of external controls and customizations available to the dials and green button which confusingly change in each respective shooting mode, there's only one button on the camera that could truly be called a function button, which has a rather limited set of possible functions. I have mine set to toggle SR, and then I menu-dive to change JPEG image size, which is tedious.

Playback button location
: I prefer to keep automatic image review off and only review images as needed - this preference mainly comes from the fact that I need to use the rear LCD to change certain settings on the K-3 like white balance or certain drive mode specifics, which don't show up on the top LCD. So, an automatically displayed image can get in the way of a quick follow up shot with different settings. Needing to use my left hand to toggle playback is annoying and tedious. I might be supporting the lens with my left hand, so I end up breaking my shooting stance just to review an image, which ought to be a quick process.

Changing AF mode: The K-5 had a beautifully intuitive switch for AF point selection on the back of the camera. With the K-3, we lost that and gained a movie mode toggle that nobody needs to access so quickly that they can't shift their grip. As I've been shooting with my 55-300mm PLM more and more, I've been discovering how badly set up the K-3 is for changing between AF-S and AF-C modes. Namely, when I change from AF-S with spot (not Select) center point to AF-C with 9 point area selection, that the 4-way controller is automatically toggled to become an AF point selector, and I then need to press an additional button (not conveniently located, and the indicator for which is not easily visible in the viewfinder if you wear glasses) to switch it back and access those controls, namely WB and drive mode, again. My workaround has been to assign one of my custom user slots to be my dedicated "action" mode because otherwise, there are just too many tedious button presses for a simple AF mode change.

Live View button location
: This is another one that mystifies me. Live View can be a useful way to confirm focus while shooting MF lenses, so moving it all the way to where you can't reach it from a shooting grip just makes the camera less useful.

Rear LCD screen in shooting mode: There's no single button press to make the Info screen go dark while shooting, and also no eye sensor to make it go dark when you bring the camera up to your eye. It will go dark with a shutter half-press, but The only way to turn it off permanently is with five (count them) total button presses across three separate buttons (Info, Info, Right, Right, OK). Getting the Info screen back is just about as bad (Info, Info, Right, OK), so it's not really a "quick info" screen. This is mostly an annoyance because the top LCD is missing certain important info (namely, white balance and AF mode), so I end up looking at the rear LCD most of the time instead of the top LCD, but bringing the camera up to my face in low light, I get light in my face.

Switching between cards while shooting: Strangely, there is no obvious menu setting to set to only record to card 1 for a while, and then change it to only record to card 2 for a while. And if you power on the camera while only card 2 is in the camera, and then put card 1 back in the camera later, then the camera will now record to card 2 as default. The only way to change it back is to physically remove card 2 and power on the camera with only card 1 inserted.

So what are your biggest gripes with the K-3/K-3II?
A lot of these issues have been addressed in future bodies (note that not having a physical switch for the AF mode is a requirement for software-controlled and user-defined AF settings). One main weakness IMO is lack of tethering support (this was finally added starting with the KP), and the removal of proper stabilization in video mode.

Apparently the SD card slot issue is related to patents, as hard as that is to believe.

Adam
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02-02-2018, 05:54 PM   #12
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My real complaint is that the lettering on the menu button rubbed off. No such thing as a perfect camera. I have two K-3's, so I find it close enough to perfect.
02-02-2018, 05:57 PM   #13
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Lost the eyecup after like the first week.

Wish there was a "hold" mode switch so the rear buttons do not change settings while it's bouncing against my hip.

Wish it took AA batteries via a holder without the grip.

Otherwise, I love it.
02-02-2018, 06:22 PM   #14
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For me it's just the changing my focus points accidentally with the rear controllers. The controllers are the natural spot for my htumb, and that causes no end of problems. For me, the area for my thumb to grip the camera is too small. I frequently change the single point focus selection on the fly during a session. But, I adjust my EV to centre my histogram and my focus point is out on edge somewhere because my thumb inadvertently hit one of the buttons.

But I deal with it. As long as I'm getting the shots I'm looking for none of these things really bothers me much. If you grew up with film and split screen focusing, it's actually all pretty amazing.

IF you want to do photography, you have to learn to be efficient with your camera. That's just part of the game. It's a lot more difficult than it used to be.

This is sure to turn into one of those threads the camera store salesmen turn tom when they want to show folks why they shouldn't choose Pentax. Saying "Because we don't sell them here." just seems so self serving..

Last edited by normhead; 02-02-2018 at 06:28 PM.
02-02-2018, 06:25 PM - 7 Likes   #15
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For my K-3, the biggest weakness has been the guy pressing the shutter release.
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