Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-02-2014, 05:34 AM   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
ismaelg's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Puerto Rico
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,007
Upgrade path: K5II? IIs? K3?


Depending on your definition, I can be considered a semi-pro photographer. That means I have regular customers and make some money out of photography, but not enough to leave my full time job. Some formal education in the form of seminars and workshops and about 25 years experience, most of it in the last 6 years or so. I have a very strict control of income and expenses. LBA and related illnesses can be dangerous
Anyways, my main DSLR is my K20D. It performs like a champ and has never missed a beat. I find myself doing more and more events in poor low light where flash is not allowed. Church's events, dance performances, theater performances etc. One area where my K20D is limiting is higher ISO performance. I feel confident up to ISO 2000, maybe push it to 2500. But after that it becomes hard to handle. As a stop-gap measure, I got a Kx last year and it has helped a lot in this area. Quality fast glass rounds up my rather humble gear set.
I have an upcoming event that can possibly leave enough profit to consider an upgrade. I'm dreaming with a K3, but at almost half the cost I'm considering K5II or IIs as options.

My main reason to upgrade is high ISO performance. Been several generations old, anything will be an improvement over my K20.
At the other end of the spectrum, I'd like to have lower ISO (less than 100) to control shutter speed below flash sync for daylight fill flash.
While not stellar, the AF in the K20 has been relatively adequate. My only problem with AF has been noticeable back/front focus under certain artificial light conditions, while spot on in daylight. I suppose again, any upgrade will improve in this area.
Frames per second: At about 3fps, even the Kx trumps it.

Soooo....... I think K5II or IIs can do the job, while saving some money for LBA.
Other than the obvious lack of AA filter: Any difference between these 2 models? Is the lack of the AA filter that big of a deal? What will I miss (or don't get) by not going K3 other than more MP, faster fps and improved AF?
Any other considerations? Comments?


Last edited by ismaelg; 03-02-2014 at 08:37 AM.
03-02-2014, 06:37 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Body Upgrade?

Hello Ismael,
I can give you one perspective, it may help with your choice. I went from a K10D to K-7, then K-5 Classic. Honestly the K-5's 3200 ISO's looked as good as either of the older models @ ISO 800! It was remarkable, a two-stop (or better!) improvement in noise and general I.Q.
So, the K-5IIs (my recommendation) could only be better, perhaps in A/F and sharpness, lacking the low-pass filter. Moire? I think it can be an occasional problem, but PP should handle it.
For half the price of a K-3, it will be a major improvement.
03-02-2014, 06:51 AM   #3
Veteran Member
fgaudet's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 726
Personally I will always skip one generation (K10D, K5, K3 // or // K7, K5ii(s), K???) Although each generation will have benefits, the previous one will still be a very good piece of hardware. High ISO will always get better but at the same time faster lens are getting cheaper and in general newer lenses are getting optically better too.

In the end, it depends on how often you can afford to upgrade. The K3 offers a fair amount of improvements over the K5iis but are they worth the premium? I debated for months to see if it was worth upgrading my K5 (classic) to a K3 and even now, with a K3 on order I'm still wondering if it is worth it. As I keep saying all over the forum, better glass will pay off a lot more than a better body, even at higher ISO you'll gain from a Pro lens.
03-02-2014, 12:43 PM   #4
johnyates's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,319
I upgraded from a K20D to the K5. As for Image Quality at base ISO (100 for the K20D, 80 for the K-5) I found there isn't a whole lot of difference. Maybe there would be if you printed big, I don't know--but for viewing on the monitor there's no immediate difference. So that's not a reason to upgrade.

If you need high ISO then, yes go for at least a K5. It's very good up to 3200 or so.

If you're not able to go for a K3 right now, you should consider the old K5 classic. A used one right now is very inexpensive, and the image quality will be the same as on a new K5II. Wait to take a jump to the K3 when prices fall.

03-02-2014, 01:16 PM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,578
I too went from a K20 to a K5. I would suggest a K5II primarily because of the improved AF in low light. The K5II has been discontinued and its prices have been very good - if you can find one new (which would provide you with the ability to get a $20 extended warranty). If AF is not that important to you, then just a K5 will do nicely and they can be had here on the marketplace for very good prices. For that matter I have seen K5II and IIs for excellent prices too from folks upgrading to the K3.

The low light ability of the K5 is significantly better than the K20. There was a post here a while back, that compared the K5II with the K5IIs output. The bottom line was for other than landscapes, the II could be sharpened to the level of the IIs.I mainly do landscapes and feel no urge to move to the K3. The K5 does everything - and I don't use AF that much.

03-03-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
Senior Member
tele_pathic's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Photos: Albums
Posts: 292
Last year, I upgraded from a K200D to the K-5ii. I couldn't be happier with my choice. I will upgrade to the K-3 in a couple years, no matter what comes out between now and then.
03-07-2014, 08:35 PM   #7
Veteran Member
peterjcb's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Weddington, NC
Posts: 468
I had a K-3 for almost a month but it had USB connectivity issues and I sent it back for a refund and decided to pick up a used K-5 in like new condition (108 shutter clicks) fora lot less than 1/2 the cost of the K-3. While I'll concede that the K-3 is a superior camera I really didn't need it. The K-5 is an excellent camera and it also does everything that the K-3 did for my purposes. The K-5 also has ISO 80 which I was missing on the K-3.
Collecting nice glass is a lot more important to me than the latest model camera.
03-08-2014, 04:03 AM   #8
Junior Member

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 30
Also look at a K30

It is worth considering the not very much talked about K30 as well, which is also at very good and at close out prices.

Although nominally a lower range model than the 5's the K30 is more modern and responsive and IMO better than the old K5. I think you would have to put the K5ii and iis substantially ahead of the 30 but they are more expensive and it still isn't a completely clear choice if you really want the 30's focus peaking for those old lenses. Comparing between them is difficult as the 5ii(s) models are ex top of range and better built but an older generation than the K30 (which is more like a cut down K3) so the balance of features is different and not a simple hierarchy. So look hard at what *you* want and how important the different features are to you.


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af, camera, daylight, dslr, flash, iso, k20, k3, k5ii, kx, lack, photography, upgrade
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DA 300 AF speed K3 vs K5II Shanti Pentax K-3 & K-3 II 7 01-05-2014 11:03 AM
DXOMark - K3, K5II & K5 MarkJerling Pentax K-3 & K-3 II 11 12-23-2013 05:06 PM
K5 IIs or K3? The Kellyboy Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 10 11-22-2013 11:25 PM
New K3 vs K5ii high iso RAW tests ihasa Pentax K-3 & K-3 II 8 11-04-2013 09:15 AM
Scanner upgrade path ismaelg Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 4 08-13-2013 07:26 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:13 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]