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09-18-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
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Upgrade from K-5 to K-3 or Fuji XT1 or Oly EM1

Hi folks,

Please no flame, but I have some doubts. I really love my K-5 and enjoyed great time with 35 2.4 and 21ltd BUT...

I am very unhappy with AF. Sometimes I took "great" shot and that small bitch focused somewhere else - on the wall behind ...

I was really considering selling equipment (I don't have that much lenses) and buying Oly EM1 or Fuji Xt1. I really like Fuji, but also AF speed of Oly. Primes of Fuji looks really great. And size of both of them ...

I'm not doing sport or wildlife. My favorite is street photo, family photo, walkaround while traveling ...

My question is if it's worth to buy new system, or I should think about K-3. Is AF really that much better comparing to K-5?


Thanks


Last edited by zVratko; 09-18-2014 at 02:36 PM.
09-18-2014, 02:40 PM   #2
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Auto focus is done by a machine, so it cannot possibly know what you want. It decides to focus on the biggest object in the AF point, which is larger than the AF overlay (little red square in the viewfinder). Of course focus is critically important to how a photo turns out. This is why photography is an art and a skill that you hone. If you want everything to be in focus, start using zone focus or get a camera with a smaller sensor and panfocus (like MX-1). You shouldn't expect magic. Many members on this forum switched from Pentax thinking AF of Canikon will be significantly better, but they found it is still a difficult thing to learn. With Canikon you can get better AF performance, but you should expect to also pay a lot.
But if you want street photography and have the budget for good Fuji lenses, go right ahead. You can sell your Pentax stuff to fund it. Olympus is also well liked for street photography. But check some lab AF tests before you decide. And its also great if you can try the camera in your hands, see how the AF feels in person.
Good luck
09-18-2014, 02:42 PM   #3
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I don't know. I have the same ideas from time to time but in the end I'm doing mostly manual focus anyway (I have only one autofocus lens ^^). My main issue is thus fast movements but I still manage to pull off most if not all the shots I really want. So whenever I think about it I end up dismissing the idea after a while. The only thing would be an x100s or something, that would be more portable than a full blown K5.

My guess is that you should find a way to try all the systems you mentioned ; there are tradeoffs for all of them, and find the one you're most happy with.
09-18-2014, 02:45 PM   #4
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The K-3 is a really huge step up from the K-5, and the reports indicate that the AF is quite a bit better.

On the other hand, clearly you have done some research. I looked at the same alternatives for a friend who is in heavy Nikon, asking about Pentax because she has health issues (and does a lot of travel shooting) - requiring her to go as light and small as possible. Given that she likes to shoot birds, I think the Olympus is her best option. However, it is very possible that Fuji will address the super-tele in 2015 based on the roadmap. You aren't doing wildlife, so really either Oly or Fuji can meet your needs. Just remember, you only have limited alternatives to OEM lens offerings.

Personally, I would prefer Fuji over Oly. Their technology has jumped hugely every year, they are clear about building the system - and meet the timeline. The glass is great, and the XT1 produces images as lovely as the body's aesthetics. The sensor size, and quality of the Fuji sensor design gives it a real advantage. Unlike all the other brands, as far as I can tell, it is very apparent where Fuji is headed - and the company is really well managed.

09-18-2014, 02:45 PM   #5
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K5ii then you can keep your lenses.
09-18-2014, 02:54 PM   #6
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The K-3 is way ahead of the K-5 in terms of AF, but still not quite up to Nikon's better bodies (D7100 and up). The Fuji XT-1 is a very nice body, with a lovely EVF and some gorgeous lenses available, but it isn't cheap by any means. Also, the AF isn't much better or faster than the K-3. I've used these two bodies right next to each other in comparison, so this isn't just some "guess." The biggest difference is that with the EVF, you get what you see is in focus!

I've never used an Olympus EM, so there's no way I can comment on that one.
09-18-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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K-3 is a huge improvement in AF accuracy and lock, but as Na Horuk says AF on a DSLR is at least part art. You cannot expect the camera to focus where you want. I use single point focus and either focus and recompose or move the focus point around to where I want. I never use multiple AF points.

That said for street shooting, the Fuji is attractive. I might be tempted if I did not already have a good selection of Pentax glass. A number of pros I know are dumping their big Canons and going with Fuji, IQ is good enough for publishing and the weight is so much less.
09-18-2014, 02:56 PM   #8
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I'm a fellow k-5 owner, but have tried a friends k-3. It's a significant upgrade, and those lenses will really sing on it.

When I upgraded to the k-5 from the k-x, it felt like a bit of an anti climax. I've never really got on with autofocus on the k-5 (the k-x always seemed to be a bit more accurate), so I feel your pain! The k-3 is better in that regard from my limited testing, certainly it felt to me like a 'fixed' version of the k-5 (I loved it!). The image quality is something else though. Jaw dropping coming from the k-5!

I can't comment on the other cameras you've listed, but I honestly can't imagine they'd give you more satisfaction than a k-3. My 2 cents...

09-18-2014, 03:42 PM - 1 Like   #9
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the K-5 is actually kind of a legend but I'm too new to Pentax and never tried it. I moved from Canon to the Pentax K-5 iis and Olympus and haven't looked back. I chose Oly over Fuji for a number of reasons. For travel and street shooting the size and prices of the lenses is awesome. (Fuji lenses are a bit pricey for me.) So is the image quality most of them produce. I've used the 60mm macro for food photography and gotten great results in a class when I was the only one shooting m43, for example, and gotten event and product jobs based on in-camera zoo images some folks happened to see. Fuji images are great, no doubt about it, and many of the photogs around here are really into it, but for an overall system with great ergonomics, price, features, movie capabilities, build quality, a menu system that makes sense to me, tools like the color creator and now tethering, and the variety of lenses, Oly wins in my book. The EM1 is fantastic in so many ways, but if it's a price issue the EM5 and grip is also a great little camera that will get the job done very well and give you a lot more than basics. Shooting with m43 is a little different in some ways and it pays to do some research to learn how to get the best DOF, bokeh, stop action, shoot in low light, etc. but learning all that more thoroughly helped me refine my lens preferences and I took a step up as a photog. And Oly has that special something in the color rendition, which is also the reason I chose Pentax. I also found the Pentax K-5 iis has plenty of capabilities and great IQ for my needs as well. I love its low light and dynamic range capabilities. The K-3 is an awesome camera (love the dual card slots and larger screen) but more megapixels and slightly better focusing wasn't enough for me to spend the money to trade up right now. I find the classic styling fits comfortably in my hands and the viewfinder, raw colors, smaller primes, nice menu system and excellent build quality make for a much better shooting experience for me than Canon offered. Put a nice prime lens on a K-5 ii or iis body and another in your pocket, or do the same with an EM5 gripped, and you've got an awesome device that can cover events, streets, portraits, whatever. Also, I found that buying used gear is the best way for me to try and learn without losing as much if I choose to resell. Enjoy your own search!
09-18-2014, 03:44 PM   #10
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My 2 cents:

I owned a K-3 for 3 weeks. The autofocus is significantly faster than the K-5, but is still hampered by your lens choice. I was hoping that the K-3 would solve my problems as I am a sports/action shooter. I was only getting about a 30-40% in focus rate, which is about the same as the K-30 (same as K-5 AF). I tried the DA* 200 with SDM, and the Sigma 70-200 2.8 with HSM. I liked the performance and versatility of the Sigma, which was about 10% better than the DA*. I liked the IQ of the DA* much better, but it lacked the versatility. So, I waited to see if Pentax would release a DA* 70-200mm F/2.8 at Photokina - they didn't. So, I bought a Canon 1D Mark III with a EF 70-200 L 2.8 IS USM. This camera is only 10MP and 7 years old, but the AF with this lens is better than the Pentax. The K-3 AF is just as fast as the Canon, but it's the lens that makes the difference in sports shooting. I am now selling my Pentax gear to help fund my Canon stuff, but I will definitely miss the quality and feel of the K-3. The K-3 is like a Lamborghini and the Canon 1D is like a Ford F-150. The bottom line is you need the right tool for the job. If Pentax had the lens, I would have kept the K-3 - no question. However, if you are doing portrait or other than sports photography, you will be pleased with the K-3 as long as a lens is offered that suits your needs. Find the lens you want first, than get the camera that goes with it. Cameras get replaced every 6 months, but the lenses are the key and you need a perfect match. If I were doing street photography, I would be looking more at the micro 4/3 systems of Olympus and Panasonic. Good luck.
09-18-2014, 03:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Auto focus is done by a machine, so it cannot possibly know what you want. It decides to focus on the biggest object in the AF point, which is larger than the AF overlay (little red square in the viewfinder). Of course focus is critically important to how a photo turns out. This is why photography is an art and a skill that you hone. If you want everything to be in focus, start using zone focus or get a camera with a smaller sensor and panfocus (like MX-1). You shouldn't expect magic. Many members on this forum switched from Pentax thinking AF of Canikon will be significantly better, but they found it is still a difficult thing to learn. With Canikon you can get better AF performance, but you should expect to also pay a lot.
But if you want street photography and have the budget for good Fuji lenses, go right ahead. You can sell your Pentax stuff to fund it. Olympus is also well liked for street photography. But check some lab AF tests before you decide. And its also great if you can try the camera in your hands, see how the AF feels in person.
Good luck


Thanks for reply. I know that AF cannot read my mind. But I'm almost all the time using 1AF point (cross middle) and sometimes manually select different. But if camera is not able to focus on head in the middle and instead of that focuse on some bigger object behind, that is not very good


It's neither about speed, that is not that much important for me, but about accuracy and focus hunting, which I really know very well.

---------- Post added 09-18-14 at 11:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
The K-3 is way ahead of the K-5 in terms of AF, but still not quite up to Nikon's better bodies (D7100 and up). The Fuji XT-1 is a very nice body, with a lovely EVF and some gorgeous lenses available, but it isn't cheap by any means. Also, the AF isn't much better or faster than the K-3. I've used these two bodies right next to each other in comparison, so this isn't just some "guess." The biggest difference is that with the EVF, you get what you see is in focus!

I've never used an Olympus EM, so there's no way I can comment on that one.


If AF is comparable to K-3 it will be probably enough for me I was also looking more on XT1 than on Oly. I know that lenses are not cheapest one, but at least there are. This is also big problem of Pentax for me. I really love limited lenses. They are doing wonderful job in very small package. My 21ltd is great, I was also looking for 70ltd which I could get now for great price (400Eur for new with warranty). But as you maybe see, Pentax is creating interesting bodies, but almost no interesting new lenses. Something wide with nice aperture ... My colegue just bought Canon EF-S 10-18mm . New one for 250E. Why we don't have something similar. And when I try it? I was not able to hear AF and it was damn fast


That's why I am not sure which way to go
09-18-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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After owning the X-T1 for a few months now, if you are looking for AF that is a lot better than a K-3, look elsewhere.
The X-T1 is no slouch when it comes to AF, but I wouldn't put it in the same league as a top notch new generation DSLR.

I made the switch because I LOVE the Fuji lenses. I love fast lenses and I don't mind the extra bulk that comes along with that.
You mentioned that you are into street photos, family and vacation walk around photos. The X-T1's AF can easily handle that. But so can pretty much any modern camera, because, to be honest, those types of photography are not very challenging to a modern AF system.
09-18-2014, 04:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
After owning the X-T1 for a few months now, if you are looking for AF that is a lot better than a K-3, look elsewhere.
The X-T1 is no slouch when it comes to AF, but I wouldn't put it in the same league as a top notch new generation DSLR.

I made the switch because I LOVE the Fuji lenses. I love fast lenses and I don't mind the extra bulk that comes along with that.
You mentioned that you are into street photos, family and vacation walk around photos. The X-T1's AF can easily handle that. But so can pretty much any modern camera, because, to be honest, those types of photography are not very challenging to a modern AF system.


That's true. XT1 was just a tip. I looked on it and love it But in some cases it's pretty hard to handle these situations with AF of my K-5. And is also about lenses :-/ When my ex had an dance exhibition and there was low light I preferred to use 50A lens because it's 1.7 and my manual focusing was sometimes better than DA 35 2.4 AF
09-18-2014, 04:53 PM   #14
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I really can't help here, except to state that I'm also interested in the OP's query. A real-world "auto-focus duel" between the K-3, XT-1 and E-M1 would make a fine PF article, and might decide what my next body will be. Throw in an NX1 for bonus points. At this point I'm leaning towards staying with k-mount because of the high cost of lenses and the dearth of long-ish (more than 135mm equiv) 1:1 macro lenses on the other side of the fence. Well, that and the recent downward price movement of the K-3.
09-18-2014, 05:11 PM   #15
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I second that request. I shoot a lot of dog photos, and dogs have a habit of moving in odd directions at the last second, so I've had to put a lot of attention on learning to prefocus and anticipate their actions, no matter which camera I'm using. The 50-135mm does a nice job with IQ but it shoots slowly. The M1 is much better unless I'm working indoors with lower light, and then the panasonic 35-100mm needs a flash, which can wig out some dogs. Of all the shooters I know who use the XT-1, only one shoots sports (basketball) and he still reverts to his Nikon DSLR on occasion. So if anyone's interested, there's a guy on YouTube who goes by Michael the Mentor and he does some nice autofocus and shooting speed comparisons, so maybe someone has access to different cameras and can try similar tests and techniques?
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