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03-15-2014, 04:15 AM   #16
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I recently made an upgrade from my K-r (obviously very similar to your K-x) to a K-3 so may be able to help you know what to expect. Obviously, the K-3 is a much more expensive camera, so you would expect some improvements. I've never used a K5-II or K-5 so can't really comment about which points below may apply to them also.

- The 24MP really is quite useful and can cover a multitude of sins when resized to a more sane size. It's nice when cropping, giving quite a bit more leeway.
- Can't really add much about the Flu-card since I haven't used one. I'm very mildly annoyed that this functionality isn't built in to the camera.
- The LCD is very nice and gives better visibility in sunlight. I don't know if you use live-view much, but the performance of this is much, much better - almost no lag.
- Better AF in low light - the AF focuses down to very low light, almost see in the dark! Having smaller AF points is also a lot better.
- Less Noise at higher ISO - certainly less noise at higher ISO and the higher resolution helps retain detail after de-noising. Wouldn't say the difference blew me away though - maybe about a stop better?
- The lack of AA filter can make a difference depending on what you're photographing. If you like to shoot outside for example, thin tree branches are a lot better. Of course, the higher resolution of the sensor helps too. I shoot with the AA simulator off and haven't had a problem with moire yet.


- In general everything just works better.
-- The metering is noticeably better.
-- The handling is significantly better - most options can be changed using dials/buttons without having to dig in to menus
-- AF adjust works per lens, rather than a global setting
-- Flash exposures seem to be a bit better if using pTTL
-- Video is more in line with other modern cameras if you care about that (I don't particularly).
-- Auto white balance is much better.

- Viewfinder is a little bit brighter
- Build quality is much better as well (although the k-x/k-r wasn't too bad in this regard either).

On the negative side:

- The K-3 is pickier about which of my SD cards it likes. Refuses to work with my Sony 32GB Class 10 card, which is annoying.

Hope this helps.

03-15-2014, 06:04 AM   #17
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If you'd prefer to focus on glass & buy a more basic body, the k-50 is reduced to $496 new.
03-15-2014, 10:56 PM   #18
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what about a used k5 (1st gen), tamron 15-50 and tamrom 70-200? I dont think the k5iis is that much improved over the the k5 and it will be cheaper than the k50. shouldn't a k5 with a tamron 17-50 and a tamron 70-200 take better pics than a k5iis with a DA 18-55 and a DA 55-300 ?
03-17-2014, 05:55 AM   #19
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Generally, yes the lenses make a bigger difference with a comparison like that. The only thing you'll lose is a longer reach with the 55-300 which has greater magnification. The 70-200 tammy is supposed to be a brilliant lens, I'd like to play with it someday myself.

03-18-2014, 09:57 AM   #20
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I will also agree that a K-50 would be a more logical upgrade. I was blown away when I replaced my K-r with it. And you don't seem to care about more physical controls, metal body, or battery grip, so I see no real downside. Plus, it's ridiculously cheap right now.
03-20-2014, 01:30 PM   #21
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My 2c...

While the K-3 may have a higher resolution sensor at 24 MP than a K-5/ii/s/50 at 16 MP, its easy to get caught up in the "megapixel wars" that are often created by camera companies or enthusiasts. Yes, there will be more resolution in a K-3 image, but the bigger question is do you really need that extra resolution. Going from the K-x 12 MP sensor to a 16 MP sensor will not only give you 4 extra MP, but it will give you a lot of extra things that are often overlooked. Not only is the higher ISO better (in terms of noise quantity), but the noise that exists is easily reduced in post processing. The dynamic range on the 16 MP sensors was the best on the market when they were released, and still are way up there. These bonuses are also evident in the 24 MP sensor on the K-3, but arent any more of an improvement over the 16 MP sensors...which means the only real improvement from the 16 to the 24 MP sensors, was the bump in resolution...

Personally owning a K-5, (and a K10) Ive yet to find a situation where I wished I had MORE resolution. I regularly print my images from 8x8 to 16x20, and the 16x20s I have done look amazing (from the aspects of noise and resolution...not necessarily on my photographic ability ). Many of these images could print even larger before the need for more resolution became a must. While Im not going to say 24 MP is too much or overkill, I find that the 16 MP in the K-5 body seem to be plenty for the vast majority of printing work that most people would do. Additionally, something to consider is the change in file sizes with a larger resolution sensor. My 10 MP K10 produced 16Mb RAW images. The K-5 produces 24-26Mb RAW images. I believe the K-3 produces 35-40Mb RAW images. For what its worth youll definitely need larger and faster cards with a K-3 and a fast enough computer to handle post processing files of that size (should you choose to).

None of this is meant to steer you away from the K-3, cause I certainly wouldnt say 'no' if one was given to me. However, if someone asked me to trade my K-5 and my DA* 50-135 for a K-3 and 55-300 WR, Id tell them very politely to go to hell. Id MUCH rather have a body that is a generation old with high end glass vs the latest and greatest body with consumer grade glass. Higher MP count wont necessarily make up for the loss in high quality glass. In the Pentax world lenses are forever. Bodies are good for 5-7 years. If I were in your shoes, Id look at better glass with a K-5/II/s/50 body vs a K-3.

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