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07-31-2014, 11:33 PM   #16
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So yes K3 has better AF in low light (the K5-II too)
Yes the shutter of K3 & K5 (don't know for K5-II but would be yes) make lower noise than many camera.
Yes the K3 offer much more sharp image compared to K30/K5 due to increased MP and no low pass filter.

As a pro the difference between K3 & k30 is really big. AF is far better, images are sharper... You can use dual slot memory card in case one card break... The batery are far better and build of the camera is really better.

You could go for K5-II as it would have the better AF in low light and get the better shutter speed too... but I think the other improments are worth the jump up to K3.

For your second body, if there is no money, why not just keep the K30 when you have the K3... less expensive than to sell the K3 and buy some K5-II... The idea is you need the second body only in case of problem... Can use the K30 for 1-2 days if necessary and order a better body when the problem arise... Maybe by that time you'd afford a second K3 body!

08-01-2014, 07:15 PM   #17
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An economical solution

If Masta has to work his way up to a truly professional camera, and yet needs to have two cameras in the stable (and this truly is essential for any pro), there's an excellent route to that goal.

I shoot a lot of concerts and other quiet low-light situations. The best device for that is the K-01 - which makes a K-3 sound like a machine gun by comparison. Of course, you can't make the K-01 sound like a machine shooting in RAW at only 1fps, but I digress. Put a nice LCD loupe on the K-01 and you can manually focus far more precisely than focusing any fast lens in the VF (no matter what screen or magnifying device you add). Obviously, the K-01 camera will not AF track well in the dim, but in typical concert situations neither will the K-3 - the light is just too low (unless it is a really well lit stage scene - and then, yes, the K-3 is going to do somewhat better than any of the other options).

So, hang on to your K-30, get a K-01 with a nice loupe (Perfect GGS is probably the best). When you've raised enough money using those two bodies, buy a closeout K-3 cheaper than the current pricing - and sell either the K-01 or the K-30 based on whichever pleases you least. (The K-30 has great features, but the K-01 is miles ahead in build, battery life, quiet shutter, dependability, and video capabilities.)

Nice thing about that K-30/K-01 combo is that have similar, excellent IQ (same process engine and sensor), and the menu layout is nearly identical - making it quick and easy moving back and forth (like a pro).
08-04-2014, 12:04 AM   #18
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You all have made some great points!


Imageman, are you suggesting I purchase two 1st-gen K5's or something like a K-5 II/IIs with a standard K-5 as a backup? I did a lot of research on the K-30 at the time I bought it and went for it largely because it bested (narrowly) the original K-5 in low light AF performance. My primary goal for considering an "upgrade" at this point is that I could benefit from better low light performance. If the K-5/K-30 are essentially the same in this regard, the K-5 II/IIs would be a better compromise, correct?


ScooterMaxi Jim, you make a couple interesting points. One of the big reasons I like my K-30 (and some of the other "big" models) is because of the beefy hand grip! Also, I have read several reviews indicating that the K-3 can deliver strong AF ability when there is virtually no light (ex: the photographer can barely make out the subject with his own eyes). Now, I understand that doesn't necessarily equate to focus "accuracy" or result in a useable image. However, the K-01 is practically guaranteed to be no better than my current K-30, aside from the improved shutter noise. Additionally, I'm hesitant about moving to manual focus for what I do. I used a 50-135mm DA* for a while doing portraits in manual only and had good luck, butI don't have a lot of experience with trying to manual focus quickly in low-light scenarios with fast-moving subjects. Is resorting to manual focus really the best solution in this case?


Thanks again for all the great replies!
08-04-2014, 04:31 AM   #19
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The best AF result are with live view or manual focussing if you can manage it (me it is ok with live view and focus peaking). That the most precise way to get focus, but it tend to be slow. From test of lens rental, you cannot be more precise than using live view focussing.

AF phase system is made to be fast and is not as precise than live view AF (constrast AF).

I have the DA50-135 and with the K3 (I had a K5 before) I discovered that:

- in all condition AF is more reactive, faster with my 50-135 on K3.

- that all AF sensor are far smaller except the central one. This mean that instead of using central AF and them reframe, you select your AF point and make the focus on it. On the K5 theses AF sensor are really big (even through one only see a small red point) and even through you see the red dot on the eye, the sensor could have detected the noze of some hair. On the K3, with smaller sensitive area this work far better, you can select more precisely the area where to lock focus.
- focussing is general is more precise. This is also very true with my FA50.
- focussing work really better in low light. It hunt far less.

On another topic, tracking start to be a good feature on K3. I tryed in full light at least. If you pick a contraty subject with central AF point you can reframe and the focus will be kept on that subject, even if the AF sensor has to change. Don't know if it would work with eyes. I didn't tried.

K5-II provide AF improvement in low light for sure. It may provide the speed improvement, but I don't think it would provide all. It doesn't provide smaller sensor points, the faster AF body motor or the improved tracking algorithms.

08-04-2014, 04:06 PM   #20
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Nicolas06, I appreciate your first-hand observations. That's what I figured. It really does sound like a K-3 is a worthwhile investment for what I do and I'm "ok" with keeping the K-30 as a backup. I'd definitely feel more comfortable with a second body on hand. One more question on the K-30 vs K-5 vs K-5 IIs...is the control layout of any of these similar to the K-3?
08-04-2014, 04:07 PM   #21
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Don't get too hung up on gear, get an affordable kit, 2 bodies, anything k5 or better. Its down to your satisfaction with the chosen model.


My opinion on this is no better than anyone elses really. If I say get a k5IIs and you do it but something makes you unhappy with that choice, its a bad choice for you.


I can produce high quality images with a 6 megapixel camera, but that's only part of the story.


If you will be shooting sport, you need a fast capable responsive camera, If you will be shooting weddings you need good low light capability pleasing skin tones and fast recycling flash. get 2 camera bodies that you can afford that meet your technical requirement and operate the same so you can move seamlessly from one to another.


Remember its easy to imagine you need a 20 megapixel camera for weddings for the detail and sharpness, but wedding images don't need to be huge, and the bride wont demand super sharp images. When did the last bride demand prints for an album larger than 10x8.


On the other hand product shots and advertising images demand sharp detailed images.


Think of the area of work you will be dealing with.


If you don't yet know, you want a general purpose all singing all dancing camera, k3 or k5IIs, because you don't know what will be thrown at you by clients. Then it might be better to buy one high end camera and keep your existing as the backup body. That way you get most bang for your buck.


You produce the goods on the high end when product shots or ultra high definition is needed, and the backup body you reserve for weddings where slightly lower resolution would be welcomed by the bride.


Lower resolution images are slightly softer than high resolution and often seen as more romantic and perfect for weddings so this approach would work well.
08-04-2014, 11:15 PM   #22
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@Imageman...

I agree that depending of what you do, you might not need the latest and greatest... And if your are sure you never going to use the advenced feature don't buy them.

Now if you are a pro, you might want the best gear available at an affordable price so you can use all the feature and benefit of the gear quality to get even better shoots.

You included the example of wedding. I would go for for a FF + 2 f/2.8 zoom (possibility juste 2 old tamrons) but that may be very well too exprensive. But until you get something up to this level you might find that the one that have it have an "unfair" adventage.

If you do streets shoots, maybe the K30 is better suited. For portraiture I would not go for K5 due to lack of focus peaking and of small AF points but one can make wonderfull portrait with it.

I didn't want to start an FF war and this was just for the example that the old good K5 is not just the ultimate of everything. Bodies with better AF exist and that can help a lot in practice. Bodies with better metering exist and that help a lot too. Bodies with better high iso performance exist and that too is really good. Body with better overall picture quality exist (here I'am thinking more MF) and that can be usefull too.

Where I perfectly agree with you is that one as to know where to stop and settle on a good compromize.
08-05-2014, 09:35 AM   #23
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I think that "good compromise" for me is definitely the K-3, as I rely on AF heavily (most of the time) and often find myself in low-light, indoor conditions where my K-30 (which is on par with the original K-5) struggles. I could also benefit from more pro-level features, such as dual SD cards, the better video performance and I'd like to continue to use the lenses I already have. In a small way, I wish the K-3 maintained the lower noise levels of the 16MP sensors, but with access to Lightroom, Photoshop, etc., I'll take the better AF and nicer sounding shutter over increased high-ISO noise.


Finances definitely do not warrant a full frame model at this point.


I'm currently in discussions with the wife as to whether she would prefer to use a K-5, K-5 IIs or a K-30. She enjoys taking photos casually, as well, and whatever the second body ends up being, it will also function as my "back-up" camera when I'm on a job. Even if it ends up being my K-30, I won't be disappointed.


Thank you all for your help and input. I'll let you know what I end up doing shortly...

08-07-2014, 05:30 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Masta' C Quote
You all have made some great points!


ScooterMaxi Jim, you make a couple interesting points. One of the big reasons I like my K-30 (and some of the other "big" models) is because of the beefy hand grip! Also, I have read several reviews indicating that the K-3 can deliver strong AF ability when there is virtually no light (ex: the photographer can barely make out the subject with his own eyes). Now, I understand that doesn't necessarily equate to focus "accuracy" or result in a useable image. However, the K-01 is practically guaranteed to be no better than my current K-30, aside from the improved shutter noise. Additionally, I'm hesitant about moving to manual focus for what I do. I used a 50-135mm DA* for a while doing portraits in manual only and had good luck, butI don't have a lot of experience with trying to manual focus quickly in low-light scenarios with fast-moving subjects. Is resorting to manual focus really the best solution in this case?
Beyond a doubt, the K-3 is going to be your best bet for AF in low light, and it will perform better than the K-30 or K-01. The K-01 and K-30 live view are the same, so if you have a relatively fast lens the AF can be quite good - and very accurate - down to a certain level, but not as low as the K-3 (based on the tests I've seen). That said, I was giving you IMHO the best possible solution for someone who needs a back up camera and very limited budget. My concern is that the K-30 hasn't proven to be a very dependable camera (the simpler K-01 is far better in this regard). If you have fast prime(s), a good loupe on the K-01 is quite easy to MF with some movement - but if its salsa dancing (etc.) it will be a lot of hit-and-miss.
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