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07-25-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
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Is it worth going from my K5 to the K3?

Is it worth going from my K5 to a K3? How much of a gain do you think I would get with it? I do some landscapes, low light at anime cons, and am all about sharpness and good AF. You can see the lenses I have in my signature other than the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 I just earlier this month. How much of a benefit would I see by upgrading? Is it worth it?

07-25-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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I have not picked up my K5 cameras since I got my K3 cameras.
I used to shoot with 2 K5 cameras and now shoot with 3 K3 cameras.
You will not regret it.

07-25-2014, 11:59 AM   #3
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Biggest two things for me from K5 to K3 are white balance and low light AF. WB is very accurate on K3 so I don't need to tweak as much in post. Low light AF is so much better that I can focus in near darkness with center area even with the 18-135mm lens. Also k3 is just a lot snappier but you will notice that K3 is a tad heavier. Personally I think it's worth it just for the first two things alone especially if you are photographing events-like situation where you need to just take a photo as quick as possible and move on.

The additional mega pixel should be great for the Sigma 18-35.
07-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #4
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Yes. I'm a k5 owner, and have had a few chances to play with a friends k3. Its a bigger jump from the k5 to k3, than from the k-x to k5. I've decided to pass on the k3 (MF or FF for me next), but I do get quite jealous of k3 owners!

07-25-2014, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I had a K5 for 2 years and put 30,000 clicks on it. It is a very good camera, and enjoyable to use.

I have had my K3 for 3 months now, and I have put 3,000 clicks on it, to be honest I am still learning to use it and get the most out of it.

I take a lot of landscape, and cityscape photos, and the main thing I have noticed (as you would expect) is the level of detail from the 24MP sensor and no AA filter is significantly improved over the K5. I am not sure it would be that noticeable over the K5IIs. As others have noted the focussing is a lot better, and more decisive than the K5. I use a DA55-300, which used to hunt a lot on the K5, it is noticeably quicker and better focussing on the K3. I have used the K3 with my DA15 and 21 Limited, and also a range of manual focus lenses. I have been very happy with the results.

The K3 is heaver than the K5, not a lot, but it is actually noticeable - I have been prepared to trade that for the increased image quality, but I did find with the K5 that the weight/size fitted very nicely in hand, and with the K3 you tend to notice the weight a little more, even with the small Limited lenses fitted.

I am very happy with the K3, and would not go back to a K5 - it offers significant improvements in a range of areas
07-25-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
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I would have originally said an almost definite "maybe leaning towards no". :-)
I initially saw almost no advantage to the K3.
My main hopes were for faster focus. Focusing speed is limited more by the lenses so my hopes of that were dashed quickly.
For landscapes, focus speed is not much of an issue of course...

Of course, now that my K3 is in the shop and I have had to go back to the K5, I realize a few things...

The K3 focuses much more reliably than the K5. I think the focus sensor is smaller so it is easier to get good focus exactly where you want it. Focusing on the eye is easier, where the K5 is constantly missing and hitting a nose if your'e not zoomed in close enough.
The K3 will also focus well in near darkness where the K5 will simply give up. Lately I've had to focus a lot on dark dogs in shadow... so much easier with the K3 than the K5!
The K3 also has focus peaking in live view mode, so getting perfect focus for macro or other difficult to focus environments is trivial!
The use of dual cards is a feeling of confidence against loosing data that I never thought would matter before... especially when one card just recently died on my K5 and I had no backup! (first time in ten years that a card died on me)

I'm sure there are others, but after using my K5 for the past two months while the K3 is out for service has made me really appreciate the improvements.
I would say it is worth the upgrade.
07-25-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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I shoot predominantly long lenses and the improvement is substantial. Focus, white balance, metering, the continuous mode is amazing. I got a second one because going back to the K5 was such a downgrade if it was necessary to send it in for repair.
07-25-2014, 06:08 PM   #8

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Man, I really hate it here... now I have to go buy a K3

It's been on my want list for a while but I have been putting it off.

07-25-2014, 06:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Man, I really hate it here... now I have to go buy a K3

It's been on my want list for a while but I have been putting it off.
Glad to be of help.
07-25-2014, 07:32 PM   #10
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I could have gotten by nicely, getting quality results under present circumstances, without a 28+ ounce DSLR, a DSLR's *precision* focusing complications, and the cost for a body vs. investment in lenses... but it had to be about outdoors IQ for me and just getting a good-looking shot without hassles indoors and at night. So K3 it was, without my being wed much at all to a Pentax system. I actually started acquiring the quality lenses I'd require sooner (without yet owning a DSLR!), in anticipation of finally getting the K3.

When the Sony A6000 came out (and thinking, too, about the Metabones Speed Booster and MF prime lenses in conjunction with it), I did feel a moment of pause... but I knew Sony's history vs. other manufacturers' with respect to optimizing the performance of their own sensors; and following some pixel peeping online, I still feel I made the right choice at an opportune moment. Considering what more I've learned here over time about how the K3's numerous improvements simply add up to more effective photographic clout, the picture is now only more clear, as far as I'm concerned. So, I'd say go for it!

Last edited by Kayaker-J; 07-26-2014 at 10:09 AM.
07-26-2014, 07:27 AM   #11
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I own a K5 and a K5II-s. I have been on the fence with the K3 also. My biggest problem is optics. Other than the 12-24mm DA lens all m other lenses are from 23 to over 40 years old. And all manual focus. Some of them needed to be thrown out due to issues that made them simply too expensive to repair. Recently I have been testing my remaining lenses performance in these cameras. A quick trip through Yellowstone last year left me with a keeper rate that was embarrassing. Most of it was my fault and not understanding how the cameras work. I: am getting a handle on it now, but my optics still need some upgrading.

So my shots are getting better, but I evaluate a lot of images in my line of work. My job is to insure that they are technically perfect. This affects how I look at images. I actually now notice technical quality before I even see the subject matter. For this reason alone I want a K3. But Photokina is coming and I am wondering what Pentax has up it's sleeve. In late August I will be in Yellowstone again and need to upgrade my lens kit too. Hard choices but right now I think I have to master what I have before doing any camera upgrading.
07-26-2014, 07:43 AM   #12
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Biggest improvement in my experience over the K-5 is applicable to sports since the camera does everything faster and more accurately (AF, FPS, file storage and image review.)

For landscape and portrait the K-5iis would probably suffice.
07-26-2014, 09:11 AM   #13
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"Worth it"? It will improve autofocus under all conditions. It will give you higher resolution. It will give you two cars slots. It will not give you any better high ISO performance.

And it will point out more clearly what weaknesses your lenses have. Not that your lenses week be less good, you will just see their limits more easily. Which may end up costing you way more than just a new body...

I got a good deal on an "as new" used K-3 (500 clicks), and that made it worth it to me.
07-26-2014, 10:04 AM   #14

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I'm a little mixed on this one. Yes the K-3 is a great camera. On the other hand so was K-5 II in low light focussing. For me the toy is also important and K-5 and K-01 still have an edge over the K-3 when it comes to grabbing the camera and go out shooting. I think for portrait I still use the K-01 the most while the K-5 has the edge for sports (in good enough light). Simply because I can make my image with those two camera's and the images are of a quality that is great enough for what I do. The K-3 brings things that I don't need all the time. I would prefer less megapixels on it.

On the other hand, you have the cash and Ricoh Imaging needs it (how can we ever get a Full Frame K-1 if we don't all buy the new toys) and has a shiney gunmetal for you
07-26-2014, 08:13 PM   #15
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My cause for pause is Dynamic Range for landscape. DxO score (grains of salt, I know) actually dropped slightly for K-3 (13.4) compared to K-5 (14.1). Is there a noticeable difference without pixel peeping?

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