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02-25-2018, 04:03 PM   #1
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K-3ii switchers to K-1: worth it over time?

Given that the K-1 is now superseded (and the K-3 discontinued), I'd like to find out the impressions of it from folks who upgraded to it from the K-3, and who've used it for a considerable period of time now. Reviews all seem oriented to newer owners, and I'm especially curious if over time the added size and bulk of the K-1 and lenses has been worth it over the K-3.

02-25-2018, 04:15 PM - 1 Like   #2
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In my opinion definitely worth it. The K1 is a fabulous camera. Quite frankly I really don't notice the weight difference. But I don't do any long distance hiking with it although last July I lugged it around an air show for several hours. I used a BlackRapid Sport Breath shoulder strap. No issues with weight, My K3 has seen very little use since I got my K1. I use it now as a complement to my K1.

Last edited by gaweidert; 03-19-2018 at 05:30 AM.
02-25-2018, 04:19 PM   #3
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I can’t comment on the new lenses, but body and functionality? Absolutely! Everything about the K-1 is better than the K3. Having said that, there is still a place in my bag for apsc, which will likely be a KP.

I shot a wedding yesterday with the K3 and 50-135, and the K-1 with the DA20-40 and DA*200. Yes the body is a bit bigger, but I didn’t notice after a few minutes. I ended up using the third wheel a lot more than I anticipated, primarily for iso and EV comp. But the K-1 really shone when I was shooting indoors with low mixed lighting.
02-25-2018, 04:19 PM   #4
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Well worth it in my opinion the weight has not been a big issue I say that but just got the DFA* 70-200 and might change my mind about that but I seriously doubt it this is the first Pentax that after day one I was truly excited and impressed right away.

02-25-2018, 04:21 PM   #5
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Yes, absolutely !!
02-25-2018, 04:26 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The K-3 series are very good cameras but the K-1 is noticeably better in terms of absolute IQ with the right lenses and under the right conditions. I still travel with the K-3 and the DA 16-85 when I will be on the go and on my feet constantly with little time to set up a tripod etc. However, for National Park visits and driving trips, the K-1 really excels. So yes, I think the upgrade was worth it. I do intend to take advantage of the Ricoh K-1 upgrade in May to increase the low light sensitivity which is important my my astrophotography pursuits but the K-1 is an excellent all around camera and I highly recommend the upgrade.
02-25-2018, 04:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
Given that the K-1 is now superseded (and the K-3 discontinued), I'd like to find out the impressions of it from folks who upgraded to it from the K-3, and who've used it for a considerable period of time now. Reviews all seem oriented to newer owners, and I'm especially curious if over time the added size and bulk of the K-1 and lenses has been worth it over the K-3.
I upgraded from a regular K-3 to a K-1 and I am very glad that I did. If you can afford to spend the cash by all means do it.

What you will find is the K-3 with it's 24mp the pixel density was actually too much. I got a whole lot more noise and other things about my images with the K-3 that I just didn't like. With the K-1 though the ISO capabilities and image quality is fantastic.

If I went back to a crop sensor I would prefer a 16mp over 24mp.

As for size and all that, it's really not all that bad. It just depends on your kit and what you plan to do. My opinion is 'size and bulk' is a non issue for me.
02-25-2018, 04:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
impressions of it from folks who upgraded to it from the K-3
A relevant and timely question, @Oakland Rob.

It would be useful if respondents could also give an impression of the lenses they use(d) with the K-3/K-3 II and with the K-1. I'm a K-3 II user, and one of my main concerns is the added weight and bulk that a K-1 combo would bring. I use a DA*50-135 frequently and a DA* 300 on nature hikes. I did have an opportunity to try a K-1 + D-FA 70-200, which struck me as a bit of a beastly combination for long hikes. Using smaller lenses wouldn't be so much of a problem for me.

- Craig

02-25-2018, 04:57 PM   #9
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I upgraded from the K3 to the K-1 and for me it was the right thing to do. I'd been planning on shifting to a full frame system, so I'd been purchasing D-FA lenses before I ever purchased the K-1. And I won't lie, there are "consequences" to shifting from a APS-C system to a full frame system. The two initial obvious ones being cost and weight; and it's something you'll have to consider. The body is heavier, the lenses are heavier, and they cost more. I went from a K3 with DA-15mm to a K-1 with a D-FA 24-70mm lens. But not all "consequences" are negative. On the positive, the dynamic range improvement is huge on the K-1. And the image quality is amazing. Going to full frame has caused me to revise, or update, the way I shoot. Which in my book is a good thing. Learn new tricks, find new limits to push. Get out of my comfort zone. I find that I'm using a tripod almost exclusively now, which I ultimately find to be a huge advantage. Especially when lugging around my D-FA 150-450 lens. Lastly, I have two Limited primes, 31mm and 77mm. I really like using them on the K-1 body. They were great on the K3 but they truly shine on the K-1.

So for me, no regrets to moving from the K3 to the K-1.
02-25-2018, 05:00 PM   #10
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Well, on my K1 I have used lenses as old as my 55mm f1.8 that came with my Spotmatic II. I use a D FA 28-105, Tamron 70-200 F2.8, D FA 150-450, Rokinon 100mm macro and Rokinon 20mm f1.8. I have also posted photos using my ole Polar (Samyang) 18-28 manual zoom lens. The 55-300 WR had also seen use on my camera but it does vignette a bit. I also run my Sigma 300mm f2.8 lens too. Even my 300mm f4* lens gets used.

The focal length equivalent advantage of the K3 is a non even in my opinion. I love the way you can drill down into the image form the K1 and crop to your hearts content. You can see this on a post I did today in the "Post your K1 photos" forum. The great blue heron photo is heavily cropped.
02-25-2018, 05:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
A relevant and timely question, @Oakland Rob.

It would be useful if respondents could also give an impression of the lenses they use(d) with the K-3/K-3 II and with the K-1. I'm a K-3 II user, and one of my main concerns is the added weight and bulk that a K-1 combo would bring. I use a DA*50-135 frequently and a DA* 300 on nature hikes. I did have an opportunity to try a K-1 + D-FA 70-200, which struck me as a bit of a beastly combination for long hikes. Using smaller lenses wouldn't be so much of a problem for me.

- Craig
When I carried my K-3 I used a 16-85 a lot of the time. Naturally there are several primes I use too. The usual suspects are my primes. FA Limited and a manual fast 50. I carried my K-3 around the world at least twice. Maybe more than that.

The weight issue I don't think is that big of a deal. The only time weight will be an issue is for carry on luggage concerns. For a fully kitted out system it will be over the limit for a lot of carriers, especially little puddle jumper flights. Walking around I carry with a shoulder sling and I can carry a K-1 around all day without a problem. That said put on a huge heavy 70-200 or something giant like the 15-30 and no matter what you carry body wise it will be unwieldy over time. The shoulder strap is the way to go for walking around IMO. Makes all the size and weight questions moot for that aspect.

As for lenses and all that you will get substantially better low light performance out of the K-1. I use a 24-70 as my zoom choice, which basically gives up a little bit of reach on the long end in favor of constant aperture and substantially better low light performance. My primes amaze me. You can shoot in really really low light with the K-1 because of it's better ISO. Now add better ISO capabilities and fast lenses and you can open up a lot of worlds.

For example I was shooting in the moonlight one night as a test. I can do that with the K-1 whereas with the K-3 not so much. The bigger sensor just kicks everything up a few notches.

My main complaint about the K-1 is a lack of wide fast primes, but hopefully that gets fixed eventually.

I upgraded to full frame specifically because of better low light capabilities across the board.

See the pic below. I shot this walking around Shanghai at night and did it hand held. You would struggle to do this with a K-3 and almost any lens combo.

02-25-2018, 05:07 PM   #12
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I have the k3ii and have been seriously considering preordering the k1ii. Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Yes. But, the big hold up is the absence of limited quality glass for it. I have the fa 77, which is lovely. Though it could stand to be upgraded for digital, especially by adding quick shift focusing. That being said, I’d really like to have modern primes of Ltd quality that are designed for full frame. I think I’ll wait until there’s more offered before jumping into the ff class. I really want to buy this camera, but I don’t want to settle for aps-c specific glass.
02-25-2018, 05:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by neokind Quote
I have the k3ii and have been seriously considering preordering the k1ii. Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Yes. But, the big hold up is the absence of limited quality glass for it. I have the fa 77, which is lovely. Though it could stand to be upgraded for digital, especially by adding quick shift focusing. That being said, Iíd really like to have modern primes of Ltd quality that are designed for full frame. I think Iíll wait until thereís more offered before jumping into the ff class. I really want to buy this camera, but I donít want to settle for aps-c specific glass.
The FA Limiteds are in NO WAY handicapped on the K-1. Not by a mile. You're really missing out if you think that way.

The downside as far as primes go is they don't have anything wide. There are some 3rd party ultra wides but not a lot from Pentax.
02-25-2018, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #14
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If you need to sell in order to get a K-1, Rob, okay, but if not, hold on to your APS-C camera.

For my hiking yesterday, I left the big boy with its big boy lenses at home and went with my K-S2, DA12-24, DA40SX and DA55-300 in the backpack.

I couldn't lay down 36Mp on a scene, but my body thanked me.
02-25-2018, 05:33 PM   #15
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K-3 is used with the DA*300, often with the HD 1.4 RC, and also for astro comet hunting. Every other wider lens is used on the K-1. The controls and functions on the K-1 are better than the K-3, especially the tilting screen for astro. However, the increased pixel density of the K-3 wins out for the astro that I do (which is not nightscapes).
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