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11-30-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Should I purchase a K-3 or K-5iis?

I have been learning and shooting portraits for a couple of years or so in my limited spare time. Sometimes I go a few months without touching my gear. I use a K-20d that I'm sort of content with, however I struggle with being content with the sharpness of my images as I like tack sharp. My eyes aren't very good so I rely on autofocus and I know the outer points aren't the greatest to rely on as well but those are what i prefer to use. Anyone have an opinion or solution? Also I've been told i am maxed out on image quality with my gear. Not sure I believe that. I do mostly low light portraits and obviously on the K20d this is an issue.

I guess I'm asking if There is enough people using the K-3 who have personal experience with the K-5iis and thier opinion on the difference in image quality, low light auto focus and AF in general, and higher ISO quality. As very much an amature who rarely gets to shoot am I better off sticking with my K20 wich has been worked on for AF issues in the past, or would I be happier and can I justify purchasing a K5iis or even making the bigger jump if it's that far advanced quality wise to the K-3?

Sorry for the long winded question. Thank you for your time and opinions.

11-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
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Based on what you're saying, I'd recommend the k5ii or iis. The k3 will also work if you want to spend the extra money, but that might not be justified if you don't use your camera gear often.

Both cameras have af systems that are much better than what's in your k20. At high isos, they're about the same, though the k3 has an edge due to the higher resolution.

I recommend that you take a look at our k3 review and then take it from there

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11-30-2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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What lens do you use for portraits?
11-30-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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I use an FA 50 1.4, DA*50-135 2.8, and seem to use my sigma 10-20 f4 a lot. I going to notice a big difference in image quality coming from the K20 and might my photos be sharper because of an upgraded AF and low light boost?

11-30-2013, 09:26 PM   #5
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Are you sure the K20D is missing focus? Could you post some examples of good and bad shots you've taken with the K20D?

Really, the best thing you could possibly do for your low light capability is get a flash and learn to use it effectively to supplement the natural light sources. High ISO performance will only get you so far.
11-30-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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I'm in my phone so I'm not sure how to add a photo. I use flash all the time. But off camera flash doesn't hp me AF in low light and in some rare occasion I still have to push the limits of my ISPO that I'm comfortable shooting at. I don't like to shoot over 400.

Am I sure that it's missing focus? No, it could very well be just me. I've been told that I might be getting the best results I can for the most part, out of the gear I have. Do I expect too much?

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12-01-2013, 03:10 AM   #7
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I think most of the pics are sharp and the ones that aren't have sharp parts but not enough depth of field the cover the whole model. Though I guess you focused on their faces and not their chests on the shots, despite the chests being sharper. How come you use such a short depth of field in the studio?
12-01-2013, 05:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lostcawz Quote
Sometimes I go a few months without touching my gear
Shame on you and fancy admitting that here on the forum.

QuoteOriginally posted by lostcawz Quote
Should I purchase a K-3
Go on spoil yourself get the K-3, you only pass this way once.

12-01-2013, 07:40 AM   #9
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With out going back on my PC to look at exit info, I don't believe I was under f5.6. Mostly F8 or f9 I believe especially in the later images. Some of those are also before the camera was sent out for 3 months and they did a bunch of work to it mostly on the AF system.

I have to admit I don't shoot often and it shows in my images. I feel i should be on a different level if i had more time to practice. I work 80 hour weeks so spare time is limited. Also money is a factor. So if I don't feel like my pictures will improve them I'm not sure I should spend the money.
12-01-2013, 08:15 AM   #10
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In your position, I'd pick up a bargain basement k-5 IIs. Trust me, going from your K20D to a K-5 is a world of difference. On the other hand, whoever told you that you can't get any better with your K20D, show them this Pentax K20D | PhotoExtract and suggest maybe they can't get as good as a K20D with their camera. The K20D is not as wide Dynamic Range as K-5 series cameras, but in the kinds of situations you're describing, low light portraits, Dynamic Range shouldn't be an issue if you're exposing properly. In fact we had a professional fashion photographer shooting with a K20D here until not that long ago. I gave mine to my sister who still uses it. Just as a rule of thumb, there's a lot of camera snobbery out there, I wouldn't take advice regarding a specific brand of camera, from anyone who doesn't use it. People get committed to a brand do their research and come to a conclusion, then justify it for the rest of their lives. The best advice about your K20D will come from people who use it. With mine sharpness was never an issue. If you think your images aren't sharp enough, you need a 36 MP FF camera. Going to even 24 MP isn't going to make the difference you are looking for. I find with photo stuff, you need things to be twice as much as what you have to make a difference. Your K20D is 14 MP. If you were happy with the IQ and wanted better AF or low light performance and were happy with the detail, then I'd say get a K-5 IIs, you'll be blown away. But is you want more detail, specificly, then it's D800 and 2 or 3 thousand dollars of lenses. 16 Mp or 24 Mp is not going to do it for you.

Given that it's just hobby use, a K-30 would probably do you good. So my two choices would be K-30 or K-5IIs. Both of those are a step up from what you have. But, really, a K20D is a capable camera. For more detail, you need 36MP FF. It would be your choice if that kind of money is worth it to you. We can't help you with that.
12-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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The person telling me I may be maxed out had the same suggestion you did. Said knowing me and what I like and expect, I need FF. he suggested the d800 as well.
12-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lostcawz Quote
The person telling me I may be maxed out had the same suggestion you did. Said knowing me and what I like and expect, I need FF. he suggested the d800 as well.
If that's what you like, you're not going to get it from APS-c. Your only Pentax choice would be to wait 7 to 9 months for a Pentax FF. ANd you don't know it will come out at 36 Mp, which is really what you need. While were getting close to some diffraction limits, we aren't there yet. Currently Mp makes more difference than format size for resolution, and currently, there are no 36 MP APS-c cameras.
12-01-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
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Oh? Will the FF except my current lenses?
01-01-2014, 09:17 PM   #14
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Another K20D owner question

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
In your position, I'd pick up a bargain basement k-5 IIs. Trust me, going from your K20D to a K-5 is a world of difference. On the other hand, whoever told you that you can't get any better with your K20D, show them this Pentax K20D | PhotoExtract and suggest maybe they can't get as good as a K20D with their camera. The K20D is not as wide Dynamic Range as K-5 series cameras, but in the kinds of situations you're describing, low light portraits, Dynamic Range shouldn't be an issue if you're exposing properly. In fact we had a professional fashion photographer shooting with a K20D here until not that long ago. I gave mine to my sister who still uses it. Just as a rule of thumb, there's a lot of camera snobbery out there, I wouldn't take advice regarding a specific brand of camera, from anyone who doesn't use it. People get committed to a brand do their research and come to a conclusion, then justify it for the rest of their lives. The best advice about your K20D will come from people who use it. With mine sharpness was never an issue. If you think your images aren't sharp enough, you need a 36 MP FF camera. Going to even 24 MP isn't going to make the difference you are looking for. I find with photo stuff, you need things to be twice as much as what you have to make a difference. Your K20D is 14 MP. If you were happy with the IQ and wanted better AF or low light performance and were happy with the detail, then I'd say get a K-5 IIs, you'll be blown away. But is you want more detail, specificly, then it's D800 and 2 or 3 thousand dollars of lenses. 16 Mp or 24 Mp is not going to do it for you.

Given that it's just hobby use, a K-30 would probably do you good. So my two choices would be K-30 or K-5IIs. Both of those are a step up from what you have. But, really, a K20D is a capable camera. For more detail, you need 36MP FF. It would be your choice if that kind of money is worth it to you. We can't help you with that.
Lately I have been thinking about upgrading from my K20D. I have heard from several that the K5iis would be a noticeable improvement in IQ even at lower ISO, but I am inclined to agree with your opinion here. I like the extra features of the newer cameras, but can do without them. Having moved from 35mm film to 6x7 Medium format, and adding later 645 film, I realize how much an IQ jump it takes to make a difference in my area, which is landscape photography.

For my needs, I think I can hold out for a more significant improvement at low ISO performance before upgrading. In some situations, I can get an 8x10" print that gets close to those I made in MF film already. It is interesting to me that few film photographers I knew spent over a thousand US dollars for their hobby. Today I read so many who do that every few years in digital.
01-01-2014, 11:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lostcawz Quote
Oh? Will the FF except my current lenses?
Nobody knows but it's very likely that Pentax will not change the mount in which case they will physically fit. As your FA50 is a film era lens, it will project an image circle that's large enough to cover a FF sensor. The 50-135 and 10-20 are a different story as they were designed for APSc; it's possible that they project an image circle that's big enough to be used on FF without issues but it's also possible that you will notice vignetting (slight or significant depending on the lens). There is a thread somewhere in this forum where people tested how well lenses, designed for APSc (all DA lenses fall in this category), will work on FF.
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