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02-07-2014, 06:45 PM   #1
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The k-5IIs vs. K-3 wedding photography difference.

Hello,

I'm a family photographer, I do family, senior, weddings, events etc. The last two seasons I shot with two K-5 Classic, one on each side with sigma DC 17-50 / DA 50-135 and FA 50 1.7. This combination of lenses works for me. Although I'm buying a sigma 35mm f1.4 for more flexibility at low light venue.

Yesterday I sold a K-5. I now need a new Pentax body.

I know the K-5II and K-5IIs have much better AF capabilities especially in low light and I'm very excited about that. How many times did I have to lock at 17mm, focusing ring secured where I knew it would catch focus if I placed myself accordingly. This technique works good when you can move freely around the subject, but it's restrictive.

Here's my dilemma: since I shoot mostly still or slow moving people, I don't care about flu cards, 16mp is enough for me, do I need to spend another $500 for a K-3, or should I just go for a K-5IIs and use the remaining money to help paying for my 35mm?
In other words do the improved AF and IQ of the k-3 over the K-5IIs justify the extra $

Thank you.

02-07-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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One of the biggest improvements in the K-3 (IMO) is the metering and white balance system. The K-3's AWB is much more accurate in low and artificial light, and for that reason I'd say it's worth upgrading to it.

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02-07-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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Good point. Thank you!
02-07-2014, 06:51 PM   #4
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The K-3 is just a better camera, higher MP, the new AF system is far superior to the K-5 series. The noise handling is on par, but it keeps better detail at high ISO.

Recently a member did a head to head on the K-5 and the K-3

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/250828-4-cameras-6400-iso.html

There are other reviews as well as the review done by pentax forums.
Pentax K-3 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

02-07-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
One of the biggest improvements in the K-3 (IMO) is the metering and white balance system. The K-3's AWB is much more accurate in low and artificial light, and for that reason I'd say it's worth upgrading to it.
Should 50 or 60Hz be used for artificial light?
02-07-2014, 07:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
Should 50 or 60Hz be used for artificial light?
Depends on where you live. In the US it's 60Hz, Europe and Asia is 50hz. But isn't that just for live view flicker reduction?

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02-07-2014, 09:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicoprod Quote
Hello,

I'm a family photographer, I do family, senior, weddings, events etc. The last two seasons I shot with two K-5 Classic, one on each side with sigma DC 17-50 / DA 50-135 and FA 50 1.7. This combination of lenses works for me. Although I'm buying a sigma 35mm f1.4 for more flexibility at low light venue.

Yesterday I sold a K-5. I now need a new Pentax body.

.
Like you, I've used two K-5s since 2011, one wide and long. High shutter counts due to dance. Bought a K5-IIs in Dec., used it heavily for a month and bought a second K5 IIs last month. Low light AF is important to me because of theater and no AA filter is an incremental improvement in sharpness. I typically start at ISO 3,200. I don't need 24 MP and I print 16x20, 16x24 and 20x30 often.

I'm selling one K-5 and its older backup, a K20 which I haven't needed. So I have will have 3 bodies, 2 working and a backup, same layout, same batteries including my extras. Bought both K5-IIs for 1,550 total. The difference in price from two K-3's will go for more lighting gear. Looking to add an Einstein & battery pack to my AB800's. There's always stuff to buy.

I'm a bit of a dinosuar, don't use video or live view, shoot DNGs ( WB is a non issue) and don't use the camera meters. I do is use a handheld incident meter, the histogram and experience. When Im bouncing flagged flash indoors ( like your weddings ), flash is P-TTL with some -EV dialed in. I find it works well.
02-07-2014, 09:50 PM   #8
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Thank you.

02-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #9
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I was a little disappointed with the K3 after my first couple of outings. If you shoot handheld, it is much less forgiving. Low light /high ISO can appear more grainy.

After taking more care, the K3 has more detail, not less. When I removed noise post process, I ended up with a clean pictures.....less detail loss and a sharper pic.

It takes a little more care, but you end up with a much better result.
02-08-2014, 12:46 AM   #10
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I would think for someone making money on his photography K3 would be an awesome choice.
-Better AF
-Best Metering yet of any pentax body
-Excellent Detail at all ISO' (high ISO needs Topaz DeNoise'ing?)

The Part II of imaging resource's K3 review dwells in detail about the incredible increase in detail compared to a K5 series body.
You can purchase a brand new K3 for US $ 1000 or thereabouts right now. Come thanksgiving 2014 and you can add another K3 body for 700 bucks. I dont think difference between K5IIs and a K3 is $500 right now.
If you watch the K3 prices closely you might snag a new K3 for 1000 bucks from a reputable store in next 15 days or so. Either way do let us know what you end up deciding. Good luck!
02-08-2014, 12:49 AM   #11
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It sounds like you have a good set of lenses already and if it would be a hardship, I would recommend saving your money and going with the cheaper one but I think the K3 does seem like a pretty good deal and a pretty good upgrade for someone in your line of work.
02-08-2014, 04:16 AM   #12
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The K3 definitely is a step up from the K5 II with regard to certain things -- it does better at tracking, it has more and smaller auto focus points. Both can lock focus in very low light and are very accurate. Metering is probably better on the K3 and white balance definitely is, although I didn't struggle with them that much on the K5 II.

I currently shoot with both a K5 II and a K3 and I think in most situations you would be fine with a K5 II. It is a very solid camera and unless you are tracking a lot of speedy couples or, need to print at a lot higher print size than you can with the K5.
02-08-2014, 04:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Depends on where you live. In the US it's 60Hz, Europe and Asia is 50hz. But isn't that just for live view flicker reduction?
AFAIK it affects also the exposure and white balance estimation of the 86K RGB sensor and possibly even the AF.

Those two sensors sample the light in discrete steps much like the CMOS sensor does in live view and can be subject to the same 'beat' effect in artificial lighting. Setting the different lighting frequency allows the camera to optimise the sampling rate to reduce inaccuracies that might cause.

I don't know how much this affects it in practical terms though.
02-11-2014, 08:46 AM   #14
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Thank you everyone. I decided to pull the trigger on a K-3 bundle with FA31 Ltd, 2 yr extended warranty (3 total), and Pentax backpack for $1,999. If I sell the FA31 for a good price, I'll end up with a K-3 with 3 yr warranty for under $1K.
If not I'll have the superior normal prime I was looking for anyway.
02-11-2014, 11:31 AM   #15
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I've done some work similar to yours though less frequently, in addition to low light theatrical shoots and other occasional event photography. To date I've been using a similar setup, though rather than 2 K-5 I have used a K-5 and a K-7, combined primarily with the 50-135 and 31mm LTD. My point without getting into specifics is to say that though I've not taken the K-3 (purchased about 2 weeks ago) on such a shoot yet, I am excited to do so. I have not been blown away by the performance gain on every level since coming to the K-7 from the K10D. The new K-3 is a joy and I have zero regrets buying, though I considered what you are currently, buying the K-5iis instead. I am glad I didn't. The IQ is ridiculous on this new body. Here ends my gushing.
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