Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-22-2021, 06:51 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
bobbotron's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ottawa, ON
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,255
K3 iii vs K3 vs K1 low light performance?

Long time K3 owner here. I've come across some money, and have been pulled into doing some outdoor event photography for a night time lighted kayak charity event (I'm part of the local camera club, working for a donation to the club). First event was on Friday, and man it was stretching the low light capabilities of my K3. It does well, but for the next event I definitely need to eke out any extra low light performance, thinking this is a good excuse to upgrade. Curious for anyone that's owned a K3 and a K3 iii or K1, how they find the really low light performance holds up. For reference, in the recent shoot I was shooting at ISO 6400 f2.4 1/100, and still had to boost the exposures in post.

Photo for example - this one turned out the best of the super low light shots.



08-22-2021, 06:55 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
pres589's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Wichita, KS
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,911
This is almost an excuse for getting an 85 f1.4 as much as a new camera body...
08-22-2021, 07:32 AM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
bobbotron's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ottawa, ON
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,255
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
This is almost an excuse for getting an 85 f1.4 as much as a new camera body...
For some reason, I didn't bring my 50mm 1.8. Definitely bringing it next time. I had the 70mm 2.4 on me, worked alright.

I have the Rokinon f1.4 85mm lens but it's brutal to focus, for sure I'd end up with out of focus shots trying to shoot with it at night.
08-22-2021, 08:27 AM - 3 Likes   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 534
I have the K-1 ii, the K-3 and the K-3 iii. Low light performance of the K-1 ii and K-3 iii are similar and certainly better than K-3. For K-3 at iso 6400, the noise is similar to iso 12800 on the other two. I do think the K-3 iii handles chroma noise better than the K-1 ii but the K-1 ii has a bit more dynamic range at low iso.

08-22-2021, 09:06 AM - 2 Likes   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,070
One thing where K-3III is bestis colour accuracy even at high ISO. It really is much better than K-3 and K-1.
08-22-2021, 11:07 AM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
bobbotron's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ottawa, ON
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,255
Original Poster
That's really interesting. I was leaning towards a used K1 but overall my camera usage better fits the K3iii (dog sports, hiking).

Were the Nikon Z5's still on super sale I'd consider one but less of a deal without the sale.
08-22-2021, 11:19 AM - 2 Likes   #7
Custom User Title
Loyal Site Supporter
FozzFoster's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Alberta
Photos: Albums
Posts: 6,238
maybe these videos may be of interest:


08-22-2021, 11:33 AM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
bobbotron's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ottawa, ON
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,255
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by FozzFoster Quote
maybe these videos may be of interest:
https://youtu.be/8xADsUXb2OM
https://youtu.be/eu8Fa9ZwKt4
Great videos, thanks! Seems pretty comparable, both seem like good options. I love to see that video with a K3 vs K3iii. It was interesting boosting the shadows from the image above, you could really see some interesting sensor patterns coming up from the noise.

---------- Post added 08-22-21 at 02:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Syntax Quote
I have the K-1 ii, the K-3 and the K-3 iii. Low light performance of the K-1 ii and K-3 iii are similar and certainly better than K-3. For K-3 at iso 6400, the noise is similar to iso 12800 on the other two. I do think the K-3 iii handles chroma noise better than the K-1 ii but the K-1 ii has a bit more dynamic range at low iso.
It's a tough call. If I had a big budget I'd for sure get the K3iii, but the idea of getting a used K1 for half the price is quite enticing.
08-22-2021, 12:05 PM - 2 Likes   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,070
My mind has been blown with K-3III, really. Yes, K-1 steers ahead with low ISO and higher resolution. But everything else ispretty much better with K-3III. So, unless you want/need FF, then go for K-1. Also AF is abit better with K-1 from K-3(original).

I went from K-3 to K-1 and bought big expensive lenses forit, because I wanted maximum performance. I have and had heapsof old fine lenses, but really it does shine with most recent offerings. I went 15-30, FA limiteds, *70-200. Then I did get 28-105. Good thing is that I can use them allwith K-3III, but 11-18 and that DA*16-50PLM is shouting my name already. AF with this K-3III is awesome as well as That OVF, that AF and focusing really dark conditions too.

I’m aware that price is high,as are you for sure. Is it worth it? Yes. I have stopped worrying of if I can make that shot or not with this thing. I can even try things I thought that would have been impossible before.

But if you can’t afford it, then go for K-1. K-70 and K-P has been highly praised too, especially K-P.
08-22-2021, 02:22 PM   #10
Pentaxian
Oldbayrunner's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kingsville, MD
Posts: 1,512
That's kind of a bogus comparison as the K1 Mkll improvement was in was in high ISO vs the K1 mk1.
08-22-2021, 02:56 PM - 2 Likes   #11
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,080
I upgraded from my K-50 to a K-3 and years later to a KP. The upgrade from the K-50 to K-3 was a large jump in both IQ (16 vs 24mp and 14bit raw, as well as much improved features.)

The KP upgrade was a bit more subtle other than low light performance where it improved by perhaps 2 full stops. The k-3iii is supposedly even better…
08-22-2021, 03:49 PM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Tokyo
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,256
This question is in my interest too since I'm predominantly doing night photo in the city using K3.
Most testing both camera and lens on the internet is doing during daytime. It is useful in some level, but it is not the same as do the testing at night. IMHO, Day and Night photography are using a bit of difference technic both during shooting and post-processing.
It would be nice if someone kind enough to upload the DNG night samples shots from K3III.

As for OP situation, it is super challenging. The subjects are on water, which mean shutter speed need to be relatively fast. ISO 6400 on K3 is not going to play nice. And force K3 to autofocus at night on a constantly moving subject is not going to be easy, too. I can feel your pain!
K3 is durable at night. We just need to find a good balance between fast enough shutter speed and ISO setting. What I found from doing night photo is; everything is going to be very dark anyway. What matter the most is the main subject. So I usually expose at the light closest to the main subject. I can see the person in the photo has light wrap around neck and body. I would definitely take full advance of those light around the neck. It is really close to the face. You might be able to get away with ISO lower than 400 - 1/200 (maybe?) and still have a relative good exposure for the face.
note that, my good exposure for the face at night in a tricky lighting situation like that is not the same as day time good lighting.

Last edited by tokyoscape; 08-22-2021 at 03:55 PM.
08-22-2021, 06:29 PM   #13
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
bobbotron's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ottawa, ON
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,255
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoscape Quote
This question is in my interest too since I'm predominantly doing night photo in the city using K3.
Most testing both camera and lens on the internet is doing during daytime. It is useful in some level, but it is not the same as do the testing at night. IMHO, Day and Night photography are using a bit of difference technic both during shooting and post-processing.
It would be nice if someone kind enough to upload the DNG night samples shots from K3III.

As for OP situation, it is super challenging. The subjects are on water, which mean shutter speed need to be relatively fast. ISO 6400 on K3 is not going to play nice. And force K3 to autofocus at night on a constantly moving subject is not going to be easy, too. I can feel your pain!
K3 is durable at night. We just need to find a good balance between fast enough shutter speed and ISO setting. What I found from doing night photo is; everything is going to be very dark anyway. What matter the most is the main subject. So I usually expose at the light closest to the main subject. I can see the person in the photo has light wrap around neck and body. I would definitely take full advance of those light around the neck. It is really close to the face. You might be able to get away with ISO lower than 400 - 1/200 (maybe?) and still have a relative good exposure for the face.
note that, my good exposure for the face at night in a tricky lighting situation like that is not the same as day time good lighting.
Yeah, it is a neat challenge. Normally I'm shooting static subjects at night on a tripod. You're really testing the limits of your gear with shots like this.

I actually don't mind 6400 on the K3, *if* I don't need to push up the exposure even more. I don't think I could go lower on the ISO for this shot. The exif says it's 6400, f/2.4 1/10s. I had to boost the exposure a tiny bit even at that! Not a lot of light all around.

---------- Post added 08-22-21 at 09:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I upgraded from my K-50 to a K-3 and years later to a KP. The upgrade from the K-50 to K-3 was a large jump in both IQ (16 vs 24mp and 14bit raw, as well as much improved features.)

The KP upgrade was a bit more subtle other than low light performance where it improved by perhaps 2 full stops. The k-3iii is supposedly even better…
It's funny, I came to Pentax from a mico four thirds camera, and at the time it was a HUGE step up. I remember my first few low light shots being blown away. I still think it does good at night, just interested in eking out some modern gains. Definitely sounds like they have something good with the new sensor.
08-22-2021, 07:40 PM - 1 Like   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,080
QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
It's funny, I came to Pentax from a mico four thirds camera, and at the time it was a HUGE step up. I remember my first few low light shots being blown away. I still think it does good at night, just interested in eking out some modern gains. Definitely sounds like they have something good with the new sensor.
I use m43, Pentax K100D, Sony RX100IV, Panasonic LX-7, Pentax K-3, Pentax KP, Sony A7rIII - all of these have their sweet spots and their limits. I think the K-3 did pretty well to 3200 but better at 1600 (and yes I know that ISO <> the same as low light - this is just a proxy for explaining this). The KP does very well indeed to 6400 as does the Sony A7riii - the Sony is better in dynamic range and it has more leeway in RAW than the KP but dang the KP does do fairly well. The LX-7 - 400 is pushing it. The m43 - depends on the body - but 1600 is usually about all there is and sometimes that's too far. The RX100IV - seems OK to 1600 or even 3200 but it really is pushing it and it starts to fall apart pretty quickly.

My point is this - yes the KP is better than the K-3 - but the K-3 isn't bad. The KP is between 1 and 2 stops better - in JPG. In RAW the K-3 can be pushed harder than in JPG and narrows the gap to the KP a little, but only when using excellent noise reduction software in post processing. The KP files are easier to use and more forgiving and the JPGs are considerably better. The noise processing impacts both JPG and RAW - don't misunderstand me - but the external post processing step yields more improvement for the K-3 since it is less advanced in camera.
08-23-2021, 10:26 AM   #15
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
pres589's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Wichita, KS
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,911
QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
For some reason, I didn't bring my 50mm 1.8. Definitely bringing it next time. I had the 70mm 2.4 on me, worked alright.

I have the Rokinon f1.4 85mm lens but it's brutal to focus, for sure I'd end up with out of focus shots trying to shoot with it at night.
Right, I was thinking more about an 85 with autofocus. Not a lot of options available here in k-mount land...
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
aps-c, bit, dslr, event, exposure, ii, iii, iii vs k3, iso, k-1, k-3, k-3 iii, k-3 mark 3, k1 low light, k3, k3 iii vs, k3 vs k1, light, night, noise, performance, photo, shots, subject, videos, vs, vs k3 vs
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K-3 III low light AF performance Brathahn Pentax K-3 III 4 05-07-2021 01:27 AM
K1 vs K3-III choice Timd Pentax K-3 III 13 04-30-2021 06:04 PM
FA*28-70 poor low light performance Spock Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 17 09-04-2020 11:12 AM
FA 20mm 2.8 performance with K1 at low light?? kooks Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 05-13-2017 03:23 AM
K20D low-light performance Stoosh Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 03-03-2008 03:44 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:28 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top