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08-10-2014, 03:13 AM   #1
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Advice on which to purchase, Pentax K-5IIs or Pentax K3

Hello,

This will be my first time transitioning to the Pentax brand. I used to shoot with a Canon 7D and have decided to move on. I wanted to ask for your advice. I shoot a lot of music events (in-doors, dark, fast movement), outdoor events music festivals, portraits, homes/property (indoor rooms,etc) and some landscapes.

I know the Pentax K3 has come out last October and have read many great things about the camera. I have also read many great reviews about the K-5IIs as well. I'm looking for a camera that I'm able to shoot in low light situations with good focus points, and also shoot portraits, etc.

I am leaning towards the Pentax K3, but knowing how technology is progressing, I'm sure they'll be a newer Pentax camera coming out with better features and have thought about getting the Pentax K5IIs in the meantime. Before making the investment, I wouldn't want to by the K3 and then Pentax releases another body this or early next year.

I wanted to ask for your advice on anybody who has experience using these cameras (k3 & K5IIs). I would appreciate any advice/info.

08-10-2014, 11:06 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DCphotog Quote
I know the Pentax K3 has come out last October and have read many great things about the camera. I have also read many great reviews about the K-5IIs as well. I'm looking for a camera that I'm able to shoot in low light situations with good focus points, and also shoot portraits, etc.
The K-3 and K-5 are comparable in all those areas. You get lower base noise with the K-5, but also less resolution, so they essentially cancel each other out. The K-3 has slightly faster scewdrive AF and more af points (though the size of the AF area remains unchanged). If you want the latest and greatest overall, I'd go with the K-3. Read our K-3 review for more info.

QuoteOriginally posted by DCphotog Quote
I am leaning towards the Pentax K3, but knowing how technology is progressing, I'm sure they'll be a newer Pentax camera coming out with better features and have thought about getting the Pentax K5IIs in the meantime. Before making the investment, I wouldn't want to by the K3 and then Pentax releases another body this or early next year.
They probably won't. It took the K-5 took 3 years to be fully replaced, and historically models have been around 1.5 years apart.

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08-10-2014, 02:10 PM   #3
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+1 for the k-3.
08-11-2014, 06:19 PM   #4
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Thank you Adam for the advice. Would you happen to know if there's any SYNC issues when using an External Flash? I also wanted to use either K3 or K5iis with studio lighting equipment.

08-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #5
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Hi Newbie, I had the chance to look at the K-3 yesterday after looking at Nikon and Canon . I was impressed with the K-3 build quality . I see there are users of the K-3 with issues ? Is this common or just a glitch with the K-3. I will be buying a K-3 but want to make sure first before handing over the cash. I will be using it for low light and sport.
08-14-2014, 08:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DCphotog Quote
Thank you Adam for the advice. Would you happen to know if there's any SYNC issues when using an External Flash? I also wanted to use either K3 or K5iis with studio lighting equipment.
Pentax syncs at 1/180 which is a bit lower than Nikon from what I hear. Other brand flash systems are more advanced, but for general on/off board flash work the K series will work fine. There is a separate Flash forum if you have more specific questions. Flashes, Lighting, and Studio - PentaxForums.com

QuoteOriginally posted by Huffleur Quote
I see there are users of the K-3 with issues ? Is this common or just a glitch with the K-3. I will be buying a K-3 but want to make sure first before handing over the cash. I will be using it for low light and sport.
Some users have reported an issue with mirror overrun, this has not occured on my K-3 and I have had it almost a year.
There have been a couple of firmware upgrades since the release which may address the issue. Overall the camera is fine, I think that more users that have an issue will report it and we don't hear of the ones with no problems.
There are a couple of threads on this topic in the K-3 forum. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/

BTW - if buying a new Pentax DSLR in the US note there is an add on 2 year warranty you can buy for 20 bucks that will give 3 year total warranty for peace of mind.
Pentax 2 Year Extended Warranty for all current DSLR, Compact and Q Cameras. (Total Warranty 3 years - 1 Year Standard + 2 Years Additional)
08-14-2014, 09:57 AM   #7
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I have owned a K5iis for almost 2 years. Yesterday I purchased the K3 and it will arrive Tuesday.

I should have an opinion for you very shortly since I already know my K5iis weak spots and I intend to quickly put the K3 through its paces to make sure it's an upgrade.
08-14-2014, 10:02 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DCphotog Quote
Before making the investment, I wouldn't want to by the K3 and then Pentax releases another body this or early next year.
A new camera body would make the K-5 ii even more obsolete

QuoteOriginally posted by DCphotog Quote
Would you happen to know if there's any SYNC issues when using an External Flash?
Issues? No.

I'd say if your budget allows it, get the K-3. It's a clear and marked evolution in terms of camera performances and features for Pentax. I've owned a K20D for 6 years before purchasing a K-3, and I've used most bodies in-between. The K-3 is a significant step up.

08-15-2014, 02:22 AM   #9
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Crewl1 Nomadkng thanks for the replies. Would like to see pictures taken with a K3 without being messed with as they come from the camera for quality . You here the sales pitch ,it's nice to here and see results form owners.Should I buy body only and choose lenses?
08-15-2014, 09:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Huffleur Quote
Crewl1 Nomadkng thanks for the replies. Would like to see pictures taken with a K3 without being messed with as they come from the camera for quality . You here the sales pitch ,it's nice to here and see results form owners.Should I buy body only and choose lenses?
It depends on what your lens preference is. The kit is usually bundled with an 18-135WR which is a decent all around lens and works well on the K series.
If you prefer to shoot primes then body only + lenses is the only option.
The Limited series and DA* series are highly recommended.

I believe there are some straight out of camera samples in the K-3 review on this site, as there are on other review sites.
Pentax K-3 Review - Introduction - In-Depth Reviews
08-15-2014, 01:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Huffleur Quote
Crewl1 Nomadkng thanks for the replies. Would like to see pictures taken with a K3 without being messed with as they come from the camera for quality . You here the sales pitch ,it's nice to here and see results form owners.Should I buy body only and choose lenses?
I don't even show my gf pics that haven't been processed...lol. I shoot RAW for a reason, so that I can import them into photoshop and PP them to my taste.
In term of image quality, there's enough testament to the improvement of K3 images in "normal" light. There's some debate about higher iso images, which I'm not going to regurgitate.

I can tell you my number 1 most important improvement I'm looking for is AF speed AND accuracy. I shoot about 50% fast moving subjects such as birds/whales/airplanes/cars/critters and I can tell you the K5iis is NOT designed to handle these subjects. The keeper rate is horrible and when you are out in the field and you miss once in a lifetime shots because your PDAF thinks a trunk in the lower left is more important than a furry or feathered subject under your CENTER POINT FOCUS sensor, it becomes as major issue.

For my landscape work, any resolution improvement will be nice, but just icing on the cake, since the K5iis takes wonderful waterfall and mountain images. So the first thing I'm doing the Saturday after getting my K3 is heading down to the bird park and I'm going to shoot birds and more birds from sunrise till it's 100 (which will be about 9a this time of year). I'm going to put the expanded AF modes through their paces and hopefully the 27 points will make me a lot happier.

I'm really tired of having to pre focus in manual and hope that I find a subject that's falls into my hyperfocal range. It's hit or miss, but definitely more hits than relying on the K5iis PDAF which is nearly an 85% failure rate at 300mm.

In terms of lenses, I can't see your checking account balance so I don't know what's right for you. I have been shooting SLR and DSLR for over 30 years, so I have a stable of top of line lenses. It's not even a consideration for me, because the glass carries over from body to body.

If you are new(er) to DSLR photography, chances are, you are better off getting a package deal until you know what you like to shoot and how you like to shoot it. You can spend 5k on a 500mm f4.5 lens from sigma, but if you have no clue how to use it, many of the tele shooters here will run rings around you with a DA50-200. The K3 is likely far more camera than 80% (90%?) of those that own it will ever need and a decent mid priced kit lens is probably enough for 50-60% of those using the body.

Unless or until you describe yourself as an advanced amateur, you can probably save yourself a lot of research headaches and stick to mid priced and/or kit lenses like the 18-135 that comes with it. This forum is full of threads that start out "What lens should I buy?" In almost every case, the answer is (to paraphrase), "If you don't know already, you shouldn't be buying anything."

In your case, perhaps matching your Canon lens lineup in Pentax and Sigma glass would be the most straightforward approach.

Last edited by nomadkng; 08-15-2014 at 01:44 PM.
08-16-2014, 01:47 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies . Go purchase and practice practice practice. I currently do thermal imaging pictures . Have been doing that now for twenty years and still learning , that's what I like about photography you never stop learning. nomadkng I will be using the K-3 for marine sports , long exposures and anything else I can think of.Just down the road we have a national trust park .I cant wait. As to glass im thinking DA 40mm 18 -135 55 -300.
08-16-2014, 07:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Huffleur Quote
Crewl1 Nomadkng thanks for the replies. Would like to see pictures taken with a K3 without being messed with as they come from the camera for quality . You here the sales pitch ,it's nice to here and see results form owners.Should I buy body only and choose lenses?


From my K-3 with my DA-L 55-300mm. This is a jpeg of the RAW file. It was resized from the original 6080 x 4032 pixel size to 1280 x 851 for better display. No other processing was added.





This is a 1280 x 800 pixel crop from the RAW of the above image.





Hope that helps some.
08-17-2014, 01:52 AM   #14
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kkoether thank you for sharing the information. Pick the right glass and hopefully I will get the right results with a K-3.I have looked at some comparisons of stills from other camera's and the K-3 looks richer in colour and depth.
08-19-2014, 01:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Pentax syncs at 1/180 which is a bit lower than Nikon from what I hear. Other brand flash systems are more advanced, but for general on/off board flash work the K series will work fine. There is a separate Flash forum if you have more specific questions. Flashes, Lighting, and Studio - PentaxForums.com


Some users have reported an issue with mirror overrun, this has not occured on my K-3 and I have had it almost a year.
There have been a couple of firmware upgrades since the release which may address the issue. Overall the camera is fine, I think that more users that have an issue will report it and we don't hear of the ones with no problems.
There are a couple of threads on this topic in the K-3 forum. Pentax K-3 - PentaxForums.com

BTW - if buying a new Pentax DSLR in the US note there is an add on 2 year warranty you can buy for 20 bucks that will give 3 year total warranty for peace of mind.
Pentax 2 Year Extended Warranty for all current DSLR, Compact and Q Cameras. (Total Warranty 3 years - 1 Year Standard + 2 Years Additional)
Thank you for the info, it has helped. I'll be purchasing the K3.
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