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09-08-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
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KS-1 vs K-3 for Street Photography

After staying in London for a month, and making a huge attempt at being a street photographer, I have come to the conclusion, that out of all DSLR on the market, the Pentax System easily has the best DSLR system for the job. Out of all current SLR manufactures, Pentax is the only system that has nailed four out of the five aspects required (for me), that is, small but relatively fast primes (I'm using the plastic fantastic DA 50mm f1.8), silent operation (screw drive isn't really that loud compared to ambient city noise), excellent low light performance (both AF, which is average speed, but quite accurate, and high ISO noise performance) and durability (sure the 50mm isn't WR, but I've never had any problems in bad weather in the field). The only thing that I think could make Pentax THE BEST choice for street photography, would be if they released a smaller SLR, keeping what makes the K-3 amazing, adding an aperture coupler, and striping anything not essential (potentially SR, battery life, and even duel control wheels).

Fortunately, I am in luck, for the most part at least. Pentax has gone ahead and released the KS-1, and it almost ticks all the boxes for me. Sure, it has obnoxious LED lights, but they can be switched off, so no problem. Next up, Pentax has equipped it with that magnificent 100% pentaprism viewfinder, which seems to pretty much be too much for the other two to handle in their bodies. And last but not least, it keeps the SR while still being tiny, which is absolutely fantastic. But, I don't know why Ricoh does this too us, but like, where is the WR. I know its probably hard to implement, but this is not a beginner camera (at least in price), and outside of the lowest price bracket of cameras and lenses, Ricoh should be making an effort to keep the system consistently weather sealed, it's just convenient for the buyer. Sensor-symencher, I don't care, there no such thing as a Pentax camera which doesn't utilize it's sensor to the max (outside the 12-bit vs 14-bit argument, and don't quote me on that). But, the biggest let down is that Ricoh is still utilizing the 11 point autofocus system and the 77 segment metre. Sure, there is nothing wrong with that, but yet again, for the price I would at least expect one of the other, but maybe they couldn't fit it inside that tiny body? At least that is what I hope happened, as its time to start retiring that last gen equipment. I honestly hope this is the last Pentax utilizing this tech, and the next gen will be, for lack of a better phrase, more advanced.


Fortunately for Ricoh, I think, at least for me, those downsides are not complete let downs and are worth overlooking. For a street photographer like me, the KS-1 seems to be a no brainer purchase. All I have to do before purchasing is to see what happens this photokina, and hope for the best.


PS: Sorry for the rant, again...

09-08-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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Rather than a KS-1 why not a K-30/K-50?
You get the WR, and same battery life and I am sure the KS-1 shutter will be louder than your K-3, similar to the K-30/50.

OK maybe the lack of AA filter will be to your liking from the KS-1.

My issue with the K-3 for street is it tends to get a little heavy after a while, I never noticed the weight with the K-5.
Personally the DA21 limited is my favorite prime for street.
Previously the FA35 f2 was my go-to street lens before I bought the 21.
50mm felt too tight.

These days I take the Q or Q7 and 02 zoom at widest setting, it is compact and easy to maneuver. AF is not as quick though.
All in all though I just use whatever is handy.
09-08-2014, 12:28 PM   #3
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K-3 most likely have less mechanical sound from shutter and mirror mechanism than it's smaller brothers. K-S1 probably use same/similar mechanical parts as on K30/K50/K500 which is louder than on K-3.
09-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #4
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I am sure, then Most Likely - I sure wish I had a gut certainty about the shutter sound. I'll know soon since I'm getting one anyway but clearly I am not part of a stampede! The extra megapixels could prove useful for cropping a street scene, and fps seems fine too. The shutter is a wild card, so we cannot be very convincing.

When in doubt buy the real camera over the unavailable one!


Last edited by jimr-pdx; 09-08-2014 at 01:29 PM.
09-08-2014, 01:40 PM - 5 Likes   #5
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FWIW, one of the best street photographers that I know does not rely on stealth. In fact, he often actively engages with his subjects.* I dabble in street work when feeling brave and can make these generalities:
  • Large camera = bad (intimidation factor)
  • Large lenses = bad (see above)
  • Vintage or rough-looking gear = good
  • AF is not your friend, better to shoot the hyperfocal in manual focus
  • Moderate wide-angle = good (35mm on FF or 24mm on APS-C)
  • Shoot single shot = good (machine gunning makes the subjects feel like prey)
  • Being intentional = good
  • Command of the gear = good
  • A ready and genuine smile = good. This point and the two preceding shout professionalism and respect and allows your subjects to feel flattered to be part of your photo.
  • Don't steal the shot, the subjects are not prey
  • Don't capitalize on poverty or disability. The human condition as a subject borders on the immoral.
Hmmm...not a lot about gear in that list. What is my choice? My favorite is the FED-2 rangefinder (ca 1961) with a 35mm lens attached. Second choice is my 70s vintage Ricoh XR-2s SLR mated to the FA 35/2. As noted above, the K-3 works fine except that it is a bit heavy for the task.


Steve

* That would be Javier Guitterez, better known as jgredline or Street Vision LA.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jgredline/
Welcome to Street Vision Los Angeles 8~)
09-08-2014, 02:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
* That would be Javier Guitterez, better known as jgredline or Street Vision LA. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jgredline/ Welcome to Street Vision Los Angeles 8~)
Javier helped me get over my shyness with street. Too bad he is not posting here anymore since he seems to have switched over to another brand.
09-08-2014, 04:35 PM   #7
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I used to do street photography with Leica Ms (4 & 5). Here is a comparison of the sizes for the K5 and Leica M9:

Compare camera dimensions side by side

The Leica body does has a slight edge, but its lenses will be heavier and more noticeable. I sold my Leicas 12 years ago. Most of my street photography is now done with a K-5 and K-5 II. My most-used lenses are the 40 mm and 21 mm in that order. I have just finished a series of tests at night (shortly before and after sunset) and can say that the K-5 II definitely does acquire focus at times the K-5 doesn't (my reason for getting the K-5 II).

I agree with Steve's comments above, except for the autofocus one (I was never good at estimating distances and zone focusing requires some ability at that; and hyperfocal requires a higher f stop than what I am used to using to get a good range). I don't try to hide; the camera is right out there. But I do keep moving once I have taken the shot. I have been accosted a few times, and I am sure there are other times I would have been if I had hung around. Henri Cartier-Bresson told one photographer to move slowly when doing street photography: if you're walking quickly and stop suddenly to take a picture, people notice; whereas if you are walking slowly and then stop, it is less likely to be noted. This is an instinctual "prey" thing, but not in Steve's sense.

Last edited by cpk; 09-12-2014 at 05:24 AM.
09-08-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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Why so worried about WR for street photos? There shouldn`t be much dust or dirty hands on the streets... Have you looked into the Ricoh GR? I think B&H or Adorama includes a hotshoe viewfinder for free

09-09-2014, 09:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Why so worried about WR for street photos? There shouldn`t be much dust or dirty hands on the streets... Have you looked into the Ricoh GR? I think B&H or Adorama includes a hotshoe viewfinder for free

It's not generally the dust or dirty hand that we worry about; it's the rain. In the summer we don't get much rain but in the winter we do.
09-09-2014, 10:35 AM   #10
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Are you planning to srand in the rain without even an umbrella taking pictures?I dont think its realistic to think of such situation as an argument for WR need.
I am an outdoors man and rain is the least of the reasons I value WR. Also, my most used lenses arent WR but I dont pay much attention to that.
Its fine dust, sand, greasy or dirty hands that one needs to be careful about. Water is easy, rasin cover, plastic basg, umbrella, towell, etc and you are done. But in street photo you shouldnt encvounter this problems.
Whast is nice regasrding water is being able to wash the body with tap water.
09-09-2014, 11:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
In the summer we don't get much rain but in the winter we do.
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Are you planning to srand in the rain without even an umbrella taking pictures?I dont think its realistic to think of such situation as an argument for WR need.
It is common knowledge that for people living in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, carrying an umbrella is a sign of weakness. We assault the damp gloom of winter with no more than Gortex and a good hat/hood. We do a lot of standing in the rain.


Steve
09-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I sure wish I had a gut certainty about the shutter sound. I'll know soon since I'm getting one anyway
I did a comparison Pentax Shutter Sounds K30 K5 K3 - YouTube
09-09-2014, 12:32 PM   #13
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They are both cameras. Use either for street photography. I'd personally recommend a fast prime lens for street photography with whatever camera you choose, but it isn't an absolute requirement.

If you're asking because you want to be "stealthy" with your street shooting, then it still doesn't matter. The K3 is a bigger camera that looks more "professional" so that will make some people look ... and the KS-1 looks so weird that I'm sure that will get attention as well.

If you're looking for street photography tips you can use with any camera then check out this video:

http://boingboing.net/2014/05/26/fuji-x-t1-zach-arias-street.html
09-09-2014, 08:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
And I have a K5/K-01 shutter check.. but no K-s1 sound-tests are available. It won't stop my purchase, but since this is a camera for nearly all shooter 'categories' it's hard to know which shutter mechanism it will inherit. I did note that the flash guide number is down to 10, but I usually throttle back the flash 2/3 steps anyway so maybe I can go with 1/3 step now?
09-11-2014, 11:56 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It is common knowledge that for people living in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, carrying an umbrella is a sign of weakness. We assault the damp gloom of winter with no more than Gortex and a good hat/hood. We do a lot of standing in the rain.


Steve
I would add that holding an umbrella might complicate the shooting session a bit.
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