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02-26-2014, 04:36 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Pentax K3 vs Nikon d7100

So i recently posted about using the dual SD card slots for backing up photos from card to card. I was very keen to use this function within my business and needed to get a hold of a k3 last week. The prices had since gone through the roof as the AUS dollar has dropped. I decided to would bite the bullet and buy a Nikon d7100 for the same purpose. On spec, very similar cameras.

I only own a pentax k7, but have trapped off constantly since buying that camera 4 years ago that Pentax has the best camera build quality of any camera dslr.

So what was my reaction when I unboxed the d7100. It felt like a plastic piece of shite compared with my K7. Even the plastic feels weak. It is NOT weather sealed, even though I am sure they state it is (I may be corrected). I hear people say that they will not buy a Pentax K3 because the autofocus is not as good as Canon or Nikon equivalents. Well, after seeing the build quality of an equivalent Nikon, I wouldn't care about such diffences in performance. The durability and quality of the camera body gets my vote now in a big way. I will be keeping the Nikon for work and will be buying a K3 for myself.

02-26-2014, 04:45 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mickyd Quote
So what was my reaction when I unboxed the d7100. It felt like a plastic piece of shite compared with my K7. Even the plastic feels weak. It is NOT weather sealed, even though I am sure they state it is (I may be corrected). I hear people say that they will not buy a Pentax K3 because the autofocus is not as good as Canon or Nikon equivalents. Well, after seeing the build quality of an equivalent Nikon, I wouldn't care about such diffences in performance. The durability and quality of the camera body gets my vote now in a big way. I will be keeping the Nikon for work and will be buying a K3 for myself.
I previously owned a K5 IIs (same body as a K7) before upgrading to a K3, and I can tell you the K3 is even more sturdy and more metal than the K7/K5.
It's the most rock solid digital camera I've ever held.
02-26-2014, 04:46 AM   #3
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Was the D7100 a step back in build quality? I've used the D7000 and while it doesn't have that dense compact ruggedness that my K5 has, It wasn't BAD by any means.

But maybe that's just me.
02-26-2014, 04:54 AM   #4
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I didnt have a look at a d7000. For sure it isnt a metal body camera, but the plastic feels cheap and week. I like to trek with my k7 swinging around my neck. I wouldnt do that with this camera. It will do the job i need for sure. Just wished I had bought a K3 when i was thinking about it a month ago.

02-26-2014, 04:59 AM   #5
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No, its not just you. The D7000/7100 does feel cheap, lightweight, and toylike when one is used to the k-7/k-5/k-3 bodies as I am.
Totally agree with you, to me it feels terrible in the hands, and would make me lack confidence in the (so called) weather sealing and general robustness of the body.
02-26-2014, 05:09 AM   #6
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well i can tell you that the SD Slot cover and battery cover of the d7100 are not rubber sealed. The two biggest compartment covers on the camera would easily leak water. It's goind to take cracking photos, dont get me wrong. Pentax have a niche in the durability of their cameras tho. That much is certain.
02-26-2014, 05:30 AM   #7
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I'll be gobsmacked if the 7100 takes images any better than the k-3. I think the Pentax engineers seem to able to get something extra out of the same Sony sensor when comparing the k-5 to the d7000 or the k-3 to the 7100.
I'll grant the Nikon has a more developed flash system, advantages in long lenses, and faster, (not more accurate) somewhat more sophisticated AF, but build quality and image quality are a win to Pentax for me.

My biggest bugbear with the IQ of he K-3 is that I cannot use capture one as the raw converter, because he folk over at C1 have not go around to dealing with the raw files.
02-26-2014, 05:34 AM   #8
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I feel like the build quality was more like the build on the K30 -- solid, but not the tough feel you get with the K5/3 models. Auto focus is pretty good on the K3 at this point and I don't think you take a big hit using it versus the D7100.

Big selling feature to me is that the K3 has a decent buffer, whereas the D7100 buffer gets overwhelmed easily. Also, more banding issues with the D7100. But both cameras are capable...

02-26-2014, 10:21 AM - 1 Like   #9
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poor Nikon, will they EVER catch up?
02-26-2014, 10:31 AM   #10
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...And the same applies virtually 100% comparing K-3 to the D600 (a.k.a., "Lawsuit Special") / 610 ("We're sorry -- NOT!").
02-26-2014, 12:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
No, its not just you. The D7000/7100 does feel cheap, lightweight, and toylike...
That was my impression as well when I handled the D7100 recently. To be honest, the K-50 (never mind the K-3) feels to be better made.


Steve
02-26-2014, 12:14 PM   #12
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My brother has the D7000 and I have the K-30. Seems to me that they are close to comparable in terms of build and image quality even if the K-30 was priced to compete with the 5000 level cameras. Pricing, size, body IS and wider lens mount compatibility are big factors for me. Others need WR (and that element is a durability benefit even you don't actively use it). If I needed to do complex flash work regularly, I'd have to go to Nikon most likely (although the K-3 seems to have made strides). My second system is Canon, but it doesn't get much use as Pentax has made strides with action shooting AF (for casual use at least).
02-26-2014, 12:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mickyd Quote
So what was my reaction when I unboxed the d7100. It felt like a plastic piece of shite compared with my K7. Even the plastic feels weak. It is NOT weather sealed, even though I am sure they state it is (I may be corrected).
How did you come to the conclusion that it is not weather sealed?

QuoteOriginally posted by mickyd Quote
I hear people say that they will not buy a Pentax K3 because the autofocus is not as good as Canon or Nikon equivalents. Well, after seeing the build quality of an equivalent Nikon, I wouldn't care about such diffences in performance. The durability and quality of the camera body gets my vote now in a big way. I will be keeping the Nikon for work and will be buying a K3 for myself.
IMHO, the problem Pentax has in the AF department has more to do with the lenses than with the bodies. Just search Youtube for AF videos on Canon L or Nikon gold-ring lenses. They are lightning fast when compared to Pentax DA*, especially the 50-135. I once held a D700 with 24-70/2.8 and the AF was ready before I was. With Pentax, it's usually the other way around. But, since you buy into a system when purchasing a DSLR, a D7100 may be a better choice for someone, despite the inferior build quality.

I do concur that the D7100 feels rather plasticky. In terms of how it feels in the hand, I'd much rather have a Canon 7D (or maybe 70D) or a Pentax K-3 than a D7100. But while I understand that you value durability, a good build quality does not automatically imply that durability is at the same level. My first K-5 had issues (mirror-flop). Sure, some Nikons have had problems too, but I wouldn't assume that they are less reliable from how they feel in your hand. As for quality, that's rather subjective if you ask me.

QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
I'll be gobsmacked if the 7100 takes images any better than the k-3. I think the Pentax engineers seem to able to get something extra out of the same Sony sensor when comparing the k-5 to the d7000 or the k-3 to the 7100.
The K-3 does NOT use the same (or even a similar) sensor as the D7100.

Last edited by starbase218; 02-26-2014 at 12:45 PM.
02-26-2014, 12:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
How did you come to the conclusion that it is not weather sealed?




The K-3 does NOT use the same (or even a similar) sensor as the D7100.
What do you mean by similar sensor? D7100 is a toshiba sensor, while K3 is Sony, but they are both 24 megapixel APS-C sensors and on DXO Mark tests, they are really close in performance. Pretty similar to me.
02-26-2014, 01:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
What do you mean by similar sensor? D7100 is a toshiba sensor, while K3 is Sony, but they are both 24 megapixel APS-C sensors and on DXO Mark tests, they are really close in performance. Pretty similar to me.
Similar in the way that the K-5 and D7000 used almost the same Sony sensor. Since the K-3 uses a Sony sensor and the D7100 uses a Toshiba sensor, they are not similar in that regard.
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