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06-17-2018, 06:14 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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FWIW I bought a K-3II in March as my very first DSLR. I bought it knowing that it had been discontinued the month before. In fact, I had been on the fence about it and hearing that it was discontinued made my mind up to buy it while old stock was still available at distributors. (But you can still get one at many places even today.)

I was sure I wanted a Pentax (I started in photography 43 years ago with a K1000) primarily because of the in-body stabilization and my collection of decent Pentax primes, but I dithered between the K-70 and the K-3II. (A K-1 was too expensive for my budget and the KP didn't appeal to me.) Was the K-70's image accelerator chip, on-sensor PDAF pixels and articulating screen (not to mention substantially lower price) worth more to me than the K-3II's built-in GPS (and hence Astrotracer functionality without need of an O-GPS1 accessory), top LCD and magnesium-alloy body? Would the lack of piezo-based sensor cleaning on the K-70 be more problematical to me than the lack of built-in flash on the K-3II? According to reviews video is about the same on both cameras: "usable" but nothing to write home about. Both cameras have weather sealing.

My primary use for a DSLR is astrophotography, with a secondary use as a landscape camera. Incidental use might be capturing the grandchildren in motion (haven't tried yet), although the Pentax AF-C might prove challenging for that without practice. I don't need a DSLR for video. I wanted Astrotracer for certain. I'm sure I would have been satisfied with a K-70 (with an O-GPS1 accessory); it's a lot of camera for the money. But I'm glad I spent more and bought the K-3II. (I actually bought it with the 18 - 135 kit lens, since carrying around and continuously swapping primes isn't something I want to do except for specific tasks, including astrophotography.)

Regarding lenses, for astrophotography the Rockinon 14mm f/2.8 and the Samyang 135mm f/2 seem to get a lot of love. In between those focal lengths and longer you can do well with SMC M or A lenses on the used market. I have several (28mm, 50mm, 100mm, 135mm and 200mm) and they perform well with mininal stop-down (one stop in most cases).

BTW, for astrophotography decent response to the Hydrogen alpha emission line (deep red) is important for many nebulae. As you can see by the various astrophotos posted to the Pentax forums, recent models are quite decent in that regard to the point where I feel they don't _need_ to be modified (which removes the camera's IR filter and optionally replaces it with one with a flatter, wider passband).

Last edited by Lew Dite; 06-18-2018 at 09:50 AM.
08-25-2018, 09:18 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 77
From a beginner's standpoint I prefer the K-3 / II simply because of the dedicated button layout. If you think about a beginner, they are just learning the photography triangle; Aperture, Shutter and ISO. On the K-3 Aperture, Shutter and ISO all have dedicated buttons or dials. However on the K-70 ISO is a multi-function button on the back via the 4-way directional pad.
08-26-2018, 12:40 AM   #18
Jonathan Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 6,782
I don't really swallow the "beginner camera" accepted notion of buying a simple (more limited) camera to start out on. I started with a K200d but that was due to cost and wanting the use of AA batteries (when compared ot the K20D) rather than anything else. Now I use a K-3 and I'm very happy with it overall.

Maybe it's different with other brands but with Pentax I think it's very easy to start shooting any DSLR camera very quickly. If you don't need a function or capability initially then simply don't use it, but further down the line when you become more knowledgeable you'll be pleased to find that your camera is already capable of the new technique you've read about. There's no reason to let extra functions confuse you - take your time and ignore the stuff you don't know about or don't need. Even after 3 & a half years I still ignore much of the functionality of my K-3.

Of course, if it's a question of cost you'll get better results dividing your funds between a camera and at least one good lens, rather than spending it all on a better camera with a relatively poor/limited kit zoom.

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