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05-03-2021, 04:28 PM - 1 Like   #1
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How difficult are K-3 III AF points to see through the viewfinder?

Two questions for actual K-3III owners...

It appears that the K-3III's AF points light up dark grey when in focus, not the bright red found in previous K-7/5/3 series models.

When using the viewfinder -

1. How difficult are the focus points to see against a dark background and in the dark?
2. Is it possible to change the AF point colour?


See this video, in which the AF points light up okay against a light background, but are nothing like those bright red AF points found in the KP and K-5, for example.



05-03-2021, 04:43 PM - 4 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gray Quote
1. How difficult are the focus points to see against a dark background and in the dark?2. Is it possible to change the AF point colour?
I've been playing with my new K-3 Mark III, but have not exercised it in a lot of lighting conditions. However, I've discovered the following.

The black focus points/boxes are easy to see against a light background or subject. However, I find it somewhat difficult to see them against dark backgrounds or subjects. Black-on-dark doesn't work well.

However, there seems to be an undocumented feature:

Pressing the AF Mode button illuminates the viewfinder display with red lighting, so the VF grid, focus-point array, and other indicators appear in red. The AF Mode button does not need to be kept pressed. This helps the user to position the preferred AF point or array onto a dark subject. For any of the 'moveable' AF points, such as the 21-point array, the boxes will illuminate in red briefly as they are moved around with the AF focus point selector lever.

Applicable to AF.S mode: When autofocus is engaged, whether the red illumination is on or off initially, the camera-selected focus points flash briefly in red, then return to black. I find that this helps to locate the focus points that have been used in the AF action. However, as in my K-3 II, the points flash only momentarily, so one needs to pay attention to the viewfinder.

At the moment, I think it's an elegant implementation. We'll see how I get along with it as I use the camera more extensively.

Hope this makes sense.

More info in my post #4 below.

- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 05-04-2021 at 03:02 PM. Reason: Mention AF.S mode
05-03-2021, 04:49 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I've been playing with my new K-3 Mark III, but have not exercised it in a lot of lighting conditions. However, I've discovered the following.

The black focus points/boxes are easy to see against a light background or subject. However, I find it difficult to see them against dark backgrounds or subjects. Black-on-dark doesn't work well.

However, there seems to be an undocumented feature:

Pressing the AF Mode button illuminates the viewfinder display with red lighting, so the grid and other indicators appear in red. When autofocus is engaged, the red illumination turns off, the AF does its thing, the AF-selected focus points flash briefly in red, then return to black. I find that this helps identify the focus points that are used in the AF action.

Hope this makes sense.

- Craig
Yeah, that's the only workaround I see right now. I'm really hoping the contrast/color is improved with the .1 release.
05-03-2021, 05:21 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Yeah, that's the only workaround I see right now. I'm really hoping the contrast/color is improved with the .1 release.
@gatorguy, I guess that you probably have been through the menus, but I'll add for completeness:


The viewfinder's red light may be set to Auto (VF illuminated only in dark places); ON, or OFF.

Menu C4 > Viewfinder Display > Viewfinder Light.

Also, the illumination brightness seems to adjust automatically -- it's very bright with high contrast against a bright subject (say, a mostly-white screen on my computer monitor).

I have found occasional instances in which neither the black boxes nor red boxes provide sufficient contrast. It's workable, though.

- Craig


Last edited by c.a.m; 05-03-2021 at 05:28 PM.
05-03-2021, 05:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip. I just got my K-3iii a couple of hours ago. The dark lines work nicely against a light background but got lost otherwise. I would have preferred an option that lets you pick the colour (ie white) but the ability to change it on the fly using the AF mode button is pretty handy.
05-03-2021, 07:05 PM   #6
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The K-1ii also has this, under Menu-C2-Viewfinder Light.
05-03-2021, 07:34 PM   #7
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It looks like you can configure any of the configurable buttons for the viewfinder light.
I'm not sure if doing that and pressing the button puts the light on or just toggles through the 3 options.

Does any know? I don't have the camera, but I'm curious.
05-03-2021, 10:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
However, I've discovered the following.
Thanks Craig and everyone - that's very helpful. The viewfinder AF point system behaviour obviously needs to be explored and got used to by new users coming from previous generations of cameras.

05-03-2021, 11:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
However, there seems to be an undocumented feature
Thanks, great discovery! The AF Mode button is not really one I'm accustomed to using, but I'm guessing on the K-3 III it will see more use.


As usual with Pentax cameras there's probably a lot to find out that's not so clear from reading the manual.

Wim
05-04-2021, 12:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gray Quote
Thanks Craig and everyone - that's very helpful. The viewfinder AF point system behaviour obviously needs to be explored and got used to by new users coming from previous generations of cameras.
This is strange... I am finding some inconsistency here. I did notice that there was a general red effect in the screen when focus was achieved in dark room (Viewfinder Light set to Auto) and thought that was a nice confirmation. Now I cannot replicate that even if I use the On and Off option and go in a dark cupboard! Something is strange..
05-04-2021, 06:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by snappyhoffy Quote
This is strange... I am finding some inconsistency here. I did notice that there was a general red effect in the screen when focus was achieved in dark room (Viewfinder Light set to Auto) and thought that was a nice confirmation. Now I cannot replicate that even if I use the On and Off option and go in a dark cupboard! Something is strange..
That's odd indeed. I've not noticed any inconsistency.

Are you able to consistently bring on the red illumination when you press the AF Mode button, when 'Viewfinder Light' option is ON?

Perhaps other members will add to our knowledge base on this feature.

- Craig
05-04-2021, 06:43 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Great discussion and glad for the additional knowledge on something that isn’t quite clear in the manual. This is definitely a topic for whoever writes a in-depth book on the K3iii should expand upon.
05-04-2021, 06:49 AM   #13
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Same in the K-1 but pressing the AF mode button will turns on a very sexy red light inside the OVF.
05-04-2021, 07:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
That's odd indeed. I've not noticed any inconsistency.

Are you able to consistently bring on the red illumination when you press the AF Mode button, when 'Viewfinder Light' option is ON?

Perhaps other members will add to our knowledge base on this feature.

- Craig
No... now I am worried.. I did have some red light..

I 'RESET' the 'Still View' settings and now get a momentary flash of red light (doesn't stay on) is that correct?

Anyone else out there with same issue?
05-04-2021, 12:13 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by snappyhoffy Quote
No... now I am worried.. I did have some red light..

I 'RESET' the 'Still View' settings and now get a momentary flash of red light (doesn't stay on) is that correct?

Anyone else out there with same issue?
If it is the same as K-1, the red light is on for a short time only.

Hope that helps.
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