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06-25-2014, 10:02 AM   #1
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K-3 or K-5IIs

This has probably been asked a lot, but I need some advice.. I bought a K-50 with kit lenses 18-55 and 50-200, but I'm not really feeling those lenses and don't think I'll really use them, so I was thinking of exchanging it for the K-5IIs since the body is the same price as the K-50 kit (and I already have some older PK lenses so don't necessarily need any lenses right away).... but then I'm thinking I really like the K-3 and with that great deal with the free grip/flucard, how can I pass that up... Is the K-3 worth the extra money over the K-5IIs.. I really don't have the money to spend, but will if it will really be worth it in the long run. My main goal is shooting motorsports/action and wildlife with portraits and weddings too. Obviously going to need a good lens, which of course = $$$$. Will the K-5IIs be good and then put the money saved towards a better lens, or should I just break the bank and go for the K-3? Everything I read says K-3 has better AF, but I read K-5IIs has better qualities than K-3 in certain areas and vice versa... so what are your opinions? ... or just keep the K-50 kit?


Thanks in advance!


Last edited by 42volks; 06-25-2014 at 10:22 AM.
06-25-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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As long as you'll be able to get a lens or two soon enough, get the K-3.

But the K-5 IIs is already very good for those purposes. The AF is already good for action and it's going to give you less noise at high ISO when viewing at 100%. But at reduced, equivalent sizes you should be able to achieve similar noise - it's just that it may take more work.


I have the K-5 IIs, but the reason I say K-3 is because of your specific applications. For portraits/weddings I think the colors and rendering is a little richer from the K-3, as far as I can tell. And the AF is a little faster for sports.


Just make sure you're getting the right lenses. If you can't afford the lenses soon, just go for the K-5 IIs for now. And if your wedding shooting is serious, you'll need two bodies anyway (it helps for sports as well).


For action you'll be choosing among the DA/FA/F*300 lenses, the Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8, and possibly the DA*60-250. Screw-drive primes like my FA135 and FA*85 work great too.

For weddings the DA*50-135 (with its slower (but quiet) AF and top IQ) is also a candidate, and the rest (100mm or wider) you can probably figure out for yourself.

Last edited by DSims; 06-25-2014 at 11:19 AM.
06-25-2014, 11:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by 42volks Quote
I bought a K-50 with kit lenses 18-55 and 50-200, but I'm not really feeling those lenses and don't think I'll really use them
QuoteOriginally posted by 42volks Quote
My main goal is shooting motorsports/action and wildlife with portraits and weddings too.
No offence, but I am guessing you have a long way to go that is beyond what equipment you use. If you donīt have the money, donīt stretch it. Any of the modern bodies from K-30 and up are good enough for what you want. They have great AF, great resolution, high ISO and lots of controls. Iīd start with one of those bodies and the DA55-300 for action / wildlife and portraits. It is much better than the DA50-200. Later you can add a kit lens if you must have wide angle or some faster primes for best IQ in shorter focal lengths than the DA55-300.
Look for the best body only deal (I read a post by user magkelly who bought a K-30 from Amazon wearhouse for U$230) and get the DA55-300 used from the marketplace.
06-25-2014, 12:06 PM   #4
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I'd say the K-50 is plenty good enough. Buy better lenses instead - a much better investment IMO. Lenses are "forever", camera bodies come and go. Skip the K-3 and buy the successor when the time comes, and then only if you have the best lenses and still have money to spend.

But, yeah, new gear is always tempting

06-25-2014, 12:46 PM   #5
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I have the K-3 and I love it, but in my hands it feels a bit like a camera I need to grow into a bit. (I'm a relatively novice photographer.) But someone splurged on my behalf (it was a combo Christmas/50th birthday present) and I decided to go with the most advanced camera, because I knew I'd be using it a lot and wildlife photography at a distance was one of the expected uses for it. (Having 24MP gives you some room to crop and still have a decent image.) My feeling is that the K-3 is a little less forgiving of weak camera technique than a 16MP camera.

So, if you have strong technique and you really need one or more of the key enhanced features of the K3 (e.g., the 24MP sensor for wildlife photography etc), then get it. But I suspect that you might get more benefit from getting the K-5IIs plus a great lens. FWIW, by the way, I consistently get compliments on the images made with the WR 55-300. It did quite well on wildlife shots from a recent trip to Borneo except when the animal was in fairly deep shade at a distance. But the trade-off was worth it because of the WR and light weight (relatively to faster, longer lenses).
06-25-2014, 01:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 42volks Quote
Is the K-3 worth the extra money over the K-5IIs
Yes it is, but if you wait a little, it will probably continue dropping in price. The K-5 IIs and K-50 have very similar image quality (with the K-5 being ahead by a hair thanks to 14-bit raws and the filterless sensor), so the upgrade isn't as big. If you want the best AF performance you can currently get from a Pentax, the K-3 is the way to go.

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06-25-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
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What others said has swayed my slightly, since you said your budget is limited. I'm usually an advocate of using the cheaper camera (K-50 or earlier), but for your scenario it doesn't fit. So at least get the K-5 IIs for the same price as the K-50 kit - its advantages will help for the type of shooting you'll be doing, and an 18-55 and 50-200 won't do you much good anyway. So unless you're planning to get an even cheaper, used body, make the swap for the IIs! Then work on getting a used Tamron 17-50/2.8 and a new Tamron 70-200/2.8 (not sure you can save enough by going used on that one) ASAP - or whatever similar lenses suit your needs and taste.

You'll probably be fine with the K-5 IIs (I haven't upgraded mine yet) for a year. Even 6 months from now the K-3 will be cheaper and you'll have other options as well, so now's not the time for a K-3 from an economic standpoint - it will depreciate rather rapidly, probably before you're able to take advantage of it compared to a K-5 IIs. The K-5 IIs also has $40 third party battery grips if you need one, and the camera is solid and reliable.


Until you get one or two appropriate AF lenses you're just loosing time. The K-5 IIs is the sweet spot right now. Save your upgrade for later. I bet you'll realize you didn't need the K-3 anyway. But even if you find you were "wrong," the future price drop on the K-3 is likely to exceed the depreciation on the K-5 IIs, so you still come out ahead.

Last edited by DSims; 06-25-2014 at 04:37 PM.
06-30-2014, 06:59 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Thanks so much for the advice.. I just ordered the K-5IIs! Expected to arrive tomorrow! Can't wait. Thanks again for the useful info.

06-30-2014, 09:24 AM   #9
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People usually use the kit lenses mostly if they are WR, since they are the cheapest WR lenses.
The K-5IIs is a nice upgrade, but it also has a steeper learning curve.
06-30-2014, 10:43 AM   #10
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Hope it's OK to hijack this thread with my own question along these lines, since the OP has reached a decision.

My fiancé is trying to decide between getting himself a K-5 iis and a K-3-- he likes playing with my camera so much that he keeps wanting to borrow it whenever we go out, and he finally decided that he should just get himself his own camera body to use with my lenses. He'd like to keep the camera body to something less than $1000, so it's a matter of either buying the K-5 iis now, or waiting until Black Friday and hoping the K-3 body (or K-3 bundled with something that I could use) drops below that price point. He doesn't mind spending the extra $300 (or $400 or whatever the difference would end up being) as long as he would notice the difference.

Since he really likes taking pictures of birds and such with the 55-300mm, I thought he might be better off waiting for the K-3, since it has a faster and stronger focus motor. Does that sound about right? Is there anything else that I'm missing that's obvious? He's really new to photography and I've just taught him the relationship between aperture, exposure speed, and ISO, but he is a techno-gadget nerd and will learn fast.
06-30-2014, 02:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
Hope it's OK to hijack this thread with my own question along these lines, since the OP has reached a decision.

My fiancé is trying to decide between getting himself a K-5 iis and a K-3-- he likes playing with my camera so much that he keeps wanting to borrow it whenever we go out, and he finally decided that he should just get himself his own camera body to use with my lenses. He'd like to keep the camera body to something less than $1000, so it's a matter of either buying the K-5 iis now, or waiting until Black Friday and hoping the K-3 body (or K-3 bundled with something that I could use) drops below that price point. He doesn't mind spending the extra $300 (or $400 or whatever the difference would end up being) as long as he would notice the difference.

Since he really likes taking pictures of birds and such with the 55-300mm, I thought he might be better off waiting for the K-3, since it has a faster and stronger focus motor. Does that sound about right? Is there anything else that I'm missing that's obvious? He's really new to photography and I've just taught him the relationship between aperture, exposure speed, and ISO, but he is a techno-gadget nerd and will learn fast.
Honestly I think he'll be OK with either one. If either one of you might find yourself using both cameras at the same time (e.g. Event photography) then get the K-3. It gets confusing when the controls are different and you rapidly switch. So for example you put the FA31 on one and the DA55-300 on the other. You can quickly switch and it works great until you forget the controls are different and you miss the shot.

Do you need a battery grip? They're a luxury for most, but a necessity for those who shoot hundreds of portrait-orientation shots in an hour.
07-01-2014, 03:47 PM   #12
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Go to YouTube, and look up "photo University".
Scroll through the videos and find the videos on Pentax K-3.
There maybe other pertinent videos as well.
This guy is a professional photographer.
He does weddings and landscape photography and other types of photography.
I believe you can get some good answers to your questions there.

Stay safe and have fun.
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