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02-22-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
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Why would you buy a K-3?

OK, this isn't as rude a question as perhaps the title suggests. However, it is a genuine newbie question.

My first Pentax DSLR, as I've mentioned elsewhere, is a K-30. I really enjoy using it, and find it both comfortable and straightforward. It allows me to learn Manual picture taking, and is fine at fairly high ISO when I'm shooting in low light.

Posts I've read are clear, of course, that no camera or lens will make a bad picture good, and ultimate determinant of a good picture is a good photographer. Once that is in place, all posts seem to suggest that it's the lens that makes the difference.

So what is it that makes an upgrade from the lower-end to a high-end so important?

02-22-2014, 04:23 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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There are many honest and good answers to your question, but I am not good at those. There is, however, an entire thread on this site dedicated to the opposite question:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/239325-why-i-wont-buy-k3.html

Ignore the original post. It is not important. Once you know all the reasons to not buy a K-3, all that is left are the reasons to buy...or something like that.


Steve

(...tongue firmly planted in cheek...)
02-22-2014, 04:33 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
OK, this isn't as rude a question as perhaps the title suggests. However, it is a genuine newbie question.

My first Pentax DSLR, as I've mentioned elsewhere, is a K-30. I really enjoy using it, and find it both comfortable and straightforward. It allows me to learn Manual picture taking, and is fine at fairly high ISO when I'm shooting in low light.

Posts I've read are clear, of course, that no camera or lens will make a bad picture good, and ultimate determinant of a good picture is a good photographer. Once that is in place, all posts seem to suggest that it's the lens that makes the difference.

So what is it that makes an upgrade from the lower-end to a high-end so important?
Take a look a the K-50 (=K-30) vs K-3 spec comparison and see for yourself:

Pentax K-3 Review - Specifications - PentaxForums.com

Apart from the review itself I also think this single page summarized the highlights pretty well:

Pentax K-3 Review - Highlights and New Features - PentaxForums.com

Adam
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02-22-2014, 04:46 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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There has to be a limitation that your current body can't get around, or else there has to be a feature that would provide improvements in some area of your photography needs.

If you are happy with the body you have and don't yet feel it is holding you back in any way then there is no reason to upgrade.

You would be better served in getting to know your camera and investing in lenses.

02-22-2014, 04:51 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
Posts I've read are clear, of course, that no camera or lens will make a bad picture good, and ultimate determinant of a good picture is a good photographer. Once that is in place, all posts seem to suggest that it's the lens that makes the difference.
That's basically a correct observation, I should say.

QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
So what is it that makes an upgrade from the lower-end to a high-end so important?
Good question, but there may be more than one anwer to that. "Importance" is a relative concept, but aside from those gear nerds (nothing wrong with being that) who just MUST have the newest technology, I think that the answer will be found in the direction: "It is important/desirable when you feel constrained by your current gear". It is true that a good photographer can take good photographs with almost any camera, but even for him or her, the success rate may increase with more advanced gear.

And one's 'needs' can be in multiple areas: Better viewfinder; better low-light AF performance; faster and more reliable AF in difficult scenes; more frames per second; more advanced bracketing options..........

Again, these improvements do not make one a better photographer, but they will almost certainly improve one's hit-rate in the more difficult situations.
02-22-2014, 04:59 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
OK, this isn't as rude a question as perhaps the title suggests. However, it is a genuine newbie question.

My first Pentax DSLR, as I've mentioned elsewhere, is a K-30. I really enjoy using it, and find it both comfortable and straightforward. It allows me to learn Manual picture taking, and is fine at fairly high ISO when I'm shooting in low light.

Posts I've read are clear, of course, that no camera or lens will make a bad picture good, and ultimate determinant of a good picture is a good photographer. Once that is in place, all posts seem to suggest that it's the lens that makes the difference.

So what is it that makes an upgrade from the lower-end to a high-end so important?
Stevebrot already replied with my suggestion for you. But I also shoot a K30 and can answer to you that only Ahab knows if we should buy a K3. In my case, I need another camera body to hang a Limited prime so I have two guns? Seems like as good a reason as any.
02-22-2014, 05:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote

You would be better served in getting to know your camera and investing in lenses.
Amen to that!
02-22-2014, 06:07 PM - 1 Like   #8
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a) Newer sensor. Sensor technology is improving, and generally a more expensive camera has a better sensor. This means it records more data (colour tone information), allows more corrections in post processing, has less digital noise at high ISO, etc. There might be exceptions. The K-3, for example, will have only slightly better performance than a K-30. Unless you are making prints, in which case the 24MP can become important
b) Faster AF. I think reviews show that the K-3 has pretty great AF, even tracking and in low light
c) Features. I think the K-3 allows faster burst mode, allows bracketing 5 shots, has new WB features, has a top LCD screen, more customizable modes, etc. Features and options can be important.
d) Size. If you are using large lenses, you need a larger camera, and a grip is good, too.

That being said, if you have a K-30 and it fulfills your needs, no need to upgrade. If you feel it is limiting you, then think about the K-3, which should fill those gaps. The photographer behind the gear is definitely important. A newbie with a K-3 would probably end up taking worse photos than a newbie with a K-30, since the camera is more complex. But a great photographer can squeeze more out of the K-3 than out of the K-30.
And of course lenses and other gear is pretty important.

02-22-2014, 07:28 PM - 1 Like   #9
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The K-3 has everything I like about the K-5II (well, maybe not some ext-bracket functions?) plus it has the K-01's video talent. That would allow me to let go of more gear and reduce the net K-3 price. More AF points could come in handy if I get into action or birds, but extra MPxls + ultra burst mode don't impact what I currently do. Actually I don't do video much either, but if my best camera also did video I might dabble more.. ?
02-22-2014, 07:41 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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I have a K-30, and there are a couple of features on a K-3 that make me consider upgrading: better low light autofocus (my personal main reason), faster screwdrive performance (minor), better battery life (minor), and rear receiver for the IR remote (reasonably important to me).

However, one thing to remember is that money is the root of all evil. Cameras are not evil (except some of those Sonys). So if you trade money in for a camera, you have lowered your evil quotient.
02-22-2014, 07:54 PM - 1 Like   #11
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A few things. I haven't shot with the K-30, but have a K-5 which is not too dissimilar.

Cons:

The K-3 is larger and heavier than the K-30. It is heavier than the K-5, noticeably so.

Pros:

Higher resolution. If you crop, this makes a substantial and well worth while difference. I shoot mostly long lenses and wildlife, and the extra detail gives me the ability to crop a bit more. In a given situation with low light and the distance being just a bit too far, I can get something with the K-3 but not with the K-5.

Metering. It is substantially better than the K-5. There are the odd situation where I need to adjust the exposure compensation, but far fewer.

White balance. This is one that you forget quickly if you have a K-3, since it is not an issue. It is accurate in almost all circumstances. The only time I had an issue was with a third party flash shot and a turquoise towel. My K-3 is in for repair (don't drop your gear), and I'm using the K-5 as a backup right now. I used to carry a grey card with the K-5 because I needed it, and I had to remember how to adjust the white balance with the shots I took today.

Focus. It is substantially better than the K-5 especially with long lenses.

Speed. One gets used to not having to wait for the equipment with the K-3. It is nice and worth the extra.

Accurate flash exposure. It just works.

You are right about a good photographer getting great shots with whatever they have in hand. Much depends on what you shoot, your style. I used to get bird in flight shots in focus with a manual long lens, but there were many many thrown away. I can count on getting a focused shot now. I couldn't count on it with the K-5.

It comes down to the individual. I found that it took me a good couple of years to get to know the K-5 over the seasons and light characteristics. I was able to get excellent results out of it, but as time went on I found that I was fighting it's limitations. I was seeing shots that I couldn't get with my gear. There were conditions where I knew there were things to see, but I didn't bother shooting because I knew I couldn't get a good shot. The K-3 has opened up new opportunities and possibilities, and it will take me a while to acquire the skill to take full advantage of it.
02-22-2014, 09:06 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
So what is it that makes an upgrade from the lower-end to a high-end so important?
As you've probably already gathered, many times it's not important at all.


Your K-30 is still fully able to take advantage of $1000+ lenses, so invest in lenses if you haven't already. Only change the body if you have a specific need for a certain feature. But Pentax is better than anyone else at putting most features in their entry-level bodies. So only upgrade the body if you really need to. The quality of your images will barely change if you already have top lenses.

I must have spent at least 5x the cost of my K-x (which I bought new at launch time - about the same cost as the K-30 and K-50 at launch) on lenses before I ever considered a K-5. And while I have a few reasons I need that level of camera now, at the time I felt like I'd almost thrown my money away, because the ROI in IQ was so much less than I'd been already getting buying quality lenses. Plus it was kind of crazy spending more on the body than any of my lenses cost, and it depreciated so rapidly!


If you don't already have a lens with the quality of the DA*50-135, then spend your money on one of those instead. And if you need a second body, then get a K-50 plus a DA*50-135 (or similar quality lens)!

Last edited by DSims; 02-22-2014 at 09:15 PM.
02-23-2014, 02:39 AM   #13
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Thanks for all your replies, really interesting and helpful insights on the differences I might find and need. At the moment, there is still so much to learn with the K-30, and (strange word I know) it's really FUN! So I'm not budging for the moment. I guess it will be a K-1 by the time I get there (or even the K- -1!). For now, new lenses will be a priority, as funds allow. I've got the kit 18-55mm, and a 50mm prime. May look at that 50-135, and then think about more primes as I see the lengths I'm using most.

So glad I found this Forum. Always positive answers out there!

(Later Edit: 1000 for a 50-135 may be out of reach for now! May go for 18-135 first)

Last edited by kentishrev; 02-23-2014 at 02:46 AM.
02-23-2014, 03:18 AM - 1 Like   #14
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For me I think it would simply come down to what is lacking in my current camera. For example I upgraded from a K100D to a K200D because I was finding that for large double page magazine spreads it was becoming hard to crop effectively and retain 300dpi. The extra resolution of the 200 meant I could do larger magazine images and have room to manoeuvre.

Image size is not really an issue in the K30, but if your doing shoots that require absolute sharpness the flexibility of the AA system might be beneficial. Likewise is your finding yourself doing high quality video, you might find yourself running into limitions and thus find the K-3 better choice. I'd hazard a guess at your level the K30 is more than enough camera and thus no reason to even think about the K3.
02-23-2014, 04:00 AM - 1 Like   #15
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You already have some good answers. The K3 has faster operation, more external buttons, more resolution at low iso, and an option for a grip. That said, the K30 is a great camera and unless you are frustrated with it in some respect, you are better off investing in glass.
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