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02-02-2017, 05:58 PM   #1
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Looking for my first DSLR, but not first SLR, for sports!

Hi,

I am now looking at finally upgrading my film SLR (ME-Super) to a DSLR. Most of my photography is sports (local footy teams), and motor racing, as I run the social media and website for a local footy team and therefore, would like to improve the quality of the images that are uploaded. Lightroom can only do so much to save my photos ...

So, this is where I'm at.

Have done the usual research and bugging sales folks at camera stores (not electrical stores). Looked at Canon and Nikon, as you do, and if I go down that track, I would likely get a 70D or 80D. However, as I have manual Pentax lenses I would like to, if possible, stay in a Pentax camera.

I have been looking into the K-70, and through the research it looks like that the Auto Focus isn't up to photographing quick to fast moving objects. So, I am looking at the K3-ii and have now discovered the recently released KP. I am reluctant about the K3 because with the release of the K-70 and KP it appears that the K3 is scheduled to be replaced in the range.
I am unlikely to stretch my budget to the K-1.

I am confused.

I am looking for some guidance from anyone here who shoots sports into what camera I should consider buying. I ask this question expecting that I won't get a recommendation to buy a Canon or Nikon from a Pentax forum. So, what would you do?

Thanks in advance.

02-02-2017, 06:03 PM   #2
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buy a used k3 (8fps burst rate, amazing for sports) and a quick focusing lens (maybe a 55-300 plm?)

a fast body with old lenses isn't going to get you what you're looking for, i use a k3 for shooting motorsports and have a lot of success with it, you just need to prepare for the shot you want, and shoot a burst when the subject is in the area.


i don't think the k70 or kp would offer you any benefit over the k3 for what you're trying to do.
02-02-2017, 06:04 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.
I recently posted about Auto Focus in this thread: Any news about Pentax AF system breakthrough? - Page 6 - PentaxForums.com
I've had no problem shooting football with my K-5. I suspect the K-70 would do a fine job but if your budget stretches to a K3ii or a Kp, those should be good choices too.
Certainly, I would rate a K-3ii higher than an 80D, but then you are on PentaxForums, so that's not altogether surprising, LOL.
02-02-2017, 06:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Welcome to the forum.
I recently posted about Auto Focus in this thread: Any news about Pentax AF system breakthrough? - Page 6 - PentaxForums.com
I've had no problem shooting football with my K-5. I suspect the K-70 would do a fine job but if your budget stretches to a K3ii or a Kp, those should be good choices too.
Certainly, I would rate a K-3ii higher than an 80D, but then you are on PentaxForums, so that's not altogether surprising, LOL.
Thanks Mark, I will have to go through that thread away from the office ....

02-02-2017, 06:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wibbly Quote
buy a used k3 (8fps burst rate, amazing for sports) and a quick focusing lens (maybe a 55-300 plm?)

a fast body with old lenses isn't going to get you what you're looking for, i use a k3 for shooting motorsports and have a lot of success with it, you just need to prepare for the shot you want, and shoot a burst when the subject is in the area.


i don't think the k70 or kp would offer you any benefit over the k3 for what you're trying to do.
Hi Wibbly,

Thanks for the response.

I am assuming we're talking about the K3-ii ... not just the K3. Why a used? I am happy to fork out the cash for a new k3-ii if I think that's the right answer.
02-02-2017, 06:40 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SalT Quote
a new k3-ii if I think that's the right answer
I use a k3ii frequently for college sports, and while I rarely shoot bursts longer than 5 images, I'm very glad it has a large buffer because I shoot raw or raw+jpeg and hitting the buffer was never a concern. The KP's 8 raw buffer could probably do it, but it would require careful management or shooting jpeg (which IMO is generally fine for sports if you check white balance beforehand).

Never compared directly with other camera brands, but I can say that af performance depends on the lens you're using and learning to use your gear. That being said, many of my photos are taken with screwdrive primes in addition to the 60-250 and they work just fine for me. Most shots I miss are because I'm too slow to react, the camera's rarely a limiting factor. Check out the sports threads for the k3(ii) and general sports photo here on pf!

Last edited by aaacb; 02-02-2017 at 06:47 PM.
02-02-2017, 07:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SalT Quote
Hi Wibbly,

Thanks for the response.

I am assuming we're talking about the K3-ii ... not just the K3. Why a used? I am happy to fork out the cash for a new k3-ii if I think that's the right answer.
K3s are cheap now, and the k3ii doesn't offer any features that would assist in your style of shooting. The money is better spent on lenses.
02-02-2017, 07:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SalT Quote
Hi,

I am now looking at finally upgrading my film SLR (ME-Super) to a DSLR. Most of my photography is sports (local footy teams), and motor racing, as I run the social media and website for a local footy team and therefore, would like to improve the quality of the images that are uploaded. Lightroom can only do so much to save my photos ...

So, this is where I'm at.

Have done the usual research and bugging sales folks at camera stores (not electrical stores). Looked at Canon and Nikon, as you do, and if I go down that track, I would likely get a 70D or 80D. However, as I have manual Pentax lenses I would like to, if possible, stay in a Pentax camera.

I have been looking into the K-70, and through the research it looks like that the Auto Focus isn't up to photographing quick to fast moving objects. So, I am looking at the K3-ii and have now discovered the recently released KP. I am reluctant about the K3 because with the release of the K-70 and KP it appears that the K3 is scheduled to be replaced in the range.
I am unlikely to stretch my budget to the K-1.

I am confused.

I am looking for some guidance from anyone here who shoots sports into what camera I should consider buying. I ask this question expecting that I won't get a recommendation to buy a Canon or Nikon from a Pentax forum. So, what would you do?

Thanks in advance.
OK well I was in your shoes a few months ago... Yes, I could have bought a K1 if I wanted to and DFA 24-70, DFA 70-200 and DFA 15-30 again IF I wanted to. Instead I spent about the same money and will have after the KP is out a KP and K3II with battery grips for both so very nice crop bodies and 8 lenses for about the same money. I am NOT a professional but I waited several years after shooting with an MX1 and QS1 both awesome 1/1.7 small senor cameras mind you before graduating to the big boy toys.

It all comes down to how you want to use your gear. If money is tight the K70 is a really good camera, actually is a real deal with the 18-135 an awesome walk around lens. The focusing sure isn't a million points like the Nikons or even 27 like the K3II or upcoming KP but in my opinion a ton of focusing points isn't the be all, end all. In fact in this day and age and for the money at least in America I would NOT advise the KS2 the jump to the K70 is so little in price for a much better body. So my take if money is tight K70 all the way. If you can get a good bundle with a 18-135 you won't regret it either.

However if you want something a step or two up a K3II or upcoming KP might be worth it to you however YMMV. I mean is the 1,100 USD KP worth nearly double the K70? Well the depends, or is the K3II about an extra 50 percent the value of a K70? Only you can make that call. I would put it like this if you want the best dollar for dollar semi professional / prosumer crop APS-C DSLR for the money the K3II for 850 or 900 USD is the steal of a century. If you look at the spec sheet, quality of construction, pixel shift, GPS, dual SD card slots this is a compelling camera. It "only" goes to ISO 51,200 and is the same basic design as the K3 from 2013 but who cares? I sure didn't when I purchased mine. It shoots good at ISO 1,600 and 3,200 is pretty usable as well, much more than like 6,400 which can be used too but any higher like 12,800 is pushing it. Still for the money and quality and 27 point auto focus it can't be beat. One of the best values in higher end APS-C DSLRs today.

The KP represents another option, it is likely slightly over priced at launch... I have a pre-order and I admit it. It will have even better ISO range arguably better auto focus performance than the K3II due to algorithm changes/programming but a single SD card slot, no top LCD screen and no GPS. It does however bring back a small, very small actually on board pop up flash. It has good build quality as well and arguably better if not more retro looks than the K3II, can't wait to mount the Limiteds on mine! But in the end is more costly and still in a few ways not even as good as the K3II but is slightly smaller. I am willing to pay more for a second body and a cool retro more prosumer KP as a compliment to my K3II as a second body. Would I buy that as my first digital body? Not me personally but it all depends upon what you are after also the KP does have the flippy back screen too!

In the end it comes down to what do what to spend and how do you want to use it. As you can see you can't go wrong with any Pentax crop DSLR including the KS2 but for a little more you can have K70 which gives you a lot more camera. Or if budget allows the K3II is an absolute steal I imagine Pentax will be asking 1,400 USD or so for its replacement so at like 850-900 USD with a battery grip in America it is a good deal. That leaves the new and largely unknown KP if you like the look and high ISO potential it isn't a bad bet either. I have a feeling I will use it in different situations than I do my K3II.

Sorry to ramble so you can't go wrong whatever you do. Best of luck shopping, hopefully this was helpful.

02-02-2017, 07:33 PM   #9
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I have a K-3II. I have used it to shoot birds in flight, other wildlife activity, and college soccer. It has done very well. The AF is formidable and the detail/color in the images is excellent. It has an lcd screen on the top right of the camera that displays settings (ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and +/-EV). The KP and K-70 do not. The build and features of the K-3II are the most advanced of the Pentax aps-c camera bodies, and it is weather sealed.
02-02-2017, 07:41 PM   #10
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I almost forgot buy what you like too, you don't necessarily need to feel pressured one way or another because a bunch of Pentax forum users say something. It is going to be your camera, just like the Ford vs Chevrolet vs Dodge argument in America. Or even more specific to General Motors trucks and full size SUV's the 5.3L vs 6.2L V8 debate. Don't mean to get side tracked but your own personal perfence must be taken into consideration.
02-02-2017, 07:46 PM   #11
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For primarily sports, in my mind it's an easy decision: K3 (if you want on-board flash), otherwise K3-ii.
02-02-2017, 07:51 PM   #12
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The K-3 is the oldest Pentax body to include subject tracking with the exposure metering module, SalT, so it represents excellent value.

A variation is on the FF K-1:

02-02-2017, 08:58 PM   #13
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I own both a K-70 and K-3 -- and I shoot sports occasionally for my local publication. The burst rate on the K-3 would seem to make it an obvious choice -- except if you are looking for immediate distribution, the onboard Wi-Fi on the K-70 allows for immediate sharing to social media in a way that my Flu card just can't match. If immediate distribution is your priority, the K-70 will work -- but the burst on the K-3 gives me better choices for print.

BTW: The ME Super is what I learned on in journalism school, and its lenses (now long gone) were the reason I started with an *ist.
02-02-2017, 11:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SalT Quote
I am now looking at finally upgrading
QuoteOriginally posted by SalT Quote
to a DSLR
QuoteOriginally posted by SalT Quote
sports (local footy teams), and motor racing

Have you considered mirrorless?





QuoteOriginally posted by SalT Quote
I am confused.
For social media and webpages you wont need a high megapixel image,so a ML cam that shoots 4K still and video(Panasonic) will do the job.Speciifically a GX85 or G85(weather sealed).....8mp images are enough for online....the advantages are lightweight and compact and plenty of choices in lenses.( may need an extra battery)


While its halftime you can get lots of images online...game over, the scores there 5-10 mins after completion and all the action accompanies a brief game report.


Checkout John Flores football action, shot at night.I think theres a few shots in NON Pentax section...Micro Four Thirds Club....Johns on Flikr and his websites down there too.

Last edited by surfar; 02-02-2017 at 11:15 PM.
02-03-2017, 05:27 AM   #15
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I went from a ME Super to the K3II. Love the K3II. I debated on a straight K3 (it was last April), and I'm really happy I went for the K3II. Why? The built in GPS and astrotracer open up doors to me that are neat/fun to have that I would not have shelled out extra bucks for as an attachment, but I have found I like having, and I was going to end up with an external flash regardless. After messing around with my daughter's K70 (which is a great camera!), I really don't miss a built in flash, at all. I know some like it, and it's discrete, but it's still a built in flash.... I love the 8.3 FPS. I shoot a lot of bird pics and way too many of my dog playing in the yard. I find for action running towards/away me (think dog), I prefocus on the spot I want to grab her. Panning side to side chasing birds, the AF seems to work pretty well. For the birds, I'm using the D FA 150-450. For the dog, it's apt to be the DA* 16-50 or my daughter's DA 16-85. All of them seem to do pretty well. I end up using the center spot focus the most. I will say it may be me and my lack of figuring out how best to use the other focus modes, but I seem to do a better job of locking onto what I want in focus with just a single spot in the center I can put directly on my subject. When I try to go with multispot focus, I feel like I loose control on what part of the scene might get grabbed and locked on to. Again, maybe this is me being a dumb user, but what I'm getting to is a whole slew of focus points doesn't seem to improve my results, so I'd suggest maybe not getting sucked down the rabbit hole of thinking you must have a ton of points for good AF. I love the 8.3 FPS - I feel I've gotten shots because of the high capture rate. I shoot everything as RAW+ and JPEG. I've never had any buffer issues, and I've watched the light flashing quite a bit after shooting a series of shots as it writes the buffer to the SD card. It makes me grateful for such a nice large buffer - I've never had to worry about overflowing it. So, I don't think you could go too far wrong with the K3II, and when it comes to equipment of this nature, I've always recommended going for new and getting full warranty etc., and perhaps you can even get an extended Pentax warranty for a nominal increase if it's a concern. And yes, I still do use some of my old lenses, so I have had no regrets staying with Pentax instead of switching brands. In fact, really think Pentax is making some great cameras at great prices. Highly recommend/would buy again
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