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09-24-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
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Upgrading to K3 from K5 - Worth it?

I figured its been long enough that the "new toy factor" has worn off and I can get some honest answers.
Is the K3 a worthy upgrade from the K5?
I understand the autofocus is supposed to be better, but what about image quality?

I'm looking to add a second pentax camera.
I'm debating either a K3 or a K5iis. What does everyone suggest?

09-24-2014, 10:25 AM   #2
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Better camera in every aspect: faster, more capable, more accurate.

Due to the higher MP sensor High ISO noise will seem to appear slightly earlier than the K-5, but is an easy fix in post and images will still have more detail than K-5 after noise reduction.

I have a K-5 and K-3 so have done many comparisons. K-3 is my primary unit now, K-5 is back up.

Last edited by crewl1; 09-24-2014 at 06:30 PM. Reason: spelink erur
09-24-2014, 10:41 AM - 1 Like   #3
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If your subject moves: K-3
If your subject doesn't move: K-5

If you primarily display online: K-5
If you like to print big or crop: K-3

If you shoot in bursts: K-3
If you computer is older or running out of room: K-5

If you use Live View: K-3
09-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #4
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I second what crewl1 said. What you have to take into consideration, though, is the capabilities and storage capacity of your computer.

The K-3's RAW files average about 30 MB, as opposed to K-5 IIs's 22 MB, so it will fill up your drive faster.

When editing in Photoshop CS6 on my computer, loading the K-5 IIs's RAW files is zippy while the K-3's files load a couple of seconds slower. Applying any PP to the K-3 files takes a bit more processing power as well.

09-24-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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I upgraded from a K-5 to a K-5 II (not IIs), in part because I was experiencing inconsistent focus with the K-5. I am much happier with the K-5 II and do not feel tempted to upgrade to the K-3.

I also had a budget limit, and the money I 'saved' in getting the K-5 II instead of a K-3 went towards a lens.

- Craig
09-24-2014, 12:08 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Like upgrading from your Audi A6 2010 to the 2013 model. It's all but identical, feels familiar, but the new one is better overall, tighter, sharper, quicker. (comes with that new smell as a bonus)

Last edited by Stavri; 09-24-2014 at 01:28 PM.
09-24-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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I've only had my new K3 for a few days so cannot give an in-depth opinion. But so far I find it a much better handling camera than the K5 - quieter, faster focus, better IQ (or is it my imagination caused by the Shiny/New factor?). I'm in the process of cycling through all of my lenses, testing whether the results are improved across the board, but to now I am VERY happy I upgraded.

Aside from the slightly more complicated menus & features my only complaint is
09-24-2014, 12:28 PM   #8
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All things considered, I'm only interested in better image quality.
Its obvious that the autofocus is superior and that the TTL metering is much improved.

However, what I want to know is if the image quality is noticeably improved.
Anyone with a K5 upgrade to a K3 and immediately notice a difference? I'm not talking about pixel peeping.

I'm either going to purchase a K3, K5iis, or a Nikon D610 (mainly for fully frame)

09-24-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by theraven871 Quote
However, what I want to know is if the image quality is noticeably improved.
Anyone with a K5 upgrade to a K3 and immediately notice a difference? I'm not talking about pixel peeping.
In a word, no.
09-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #10
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Hi, I also have a K-5 currently but have a look at the comparisons on the PF review:
Review: Pentax K-3 - Studio Tests | PentaxForums.com Reviews

There is certainly better details at low ISO - even compared to the K-5 IIs.

I'm sure you would enjoy it (as I would) but only you can judge if its worth it. My K-5 is still running great but if looks like it might falter at all then I will be jumping!
09-24-2014, 12:48 PM   #11
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Thanks for starting this thread, Raven, and to the folks who responded. It's helpful since I'm contemplating another camera body also.
09-24-2014, 12:51 PM   #12
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For image quality at web size, I can't tell the difference between D800 images and K-5 images...
It's a better camera, but IQ isn't one of the benefits, especially since they have the same noise at the same size., slightly less Dynamic Range. The better Auto focus, more selective points, and amazing low light focusing ability, are things that affect how easy the camera is to use, not IQ. You can crop the K-3 more, but you're going to have to deal with more noise in the cropped image. You magnify the subject, but you also magnify the noise.

That being said, my K-5 has been confined to backup status and is rarely used. The K-3 goes out every day.
09-24-2014, 01:04 PM   #13
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Only for the first week did I think the upgrade was minimal as I thought the K3 was a bit noisier. I was expecting better AF performance which is certainly has. The K5 is amazing, however the k3 is amazing, sensational, incredible, wow and unreal. After a week I gradually found more and more reasons to love the K3 camera. My only regret is I don't have two.
09-24-2014, 01:25 PM   #14
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I upgraded from a K5 to a K3 back in May. It honestly took me about three months to get completely comfortable with the K3, as there are a few changes.

I wouldn't go back to the K5 now, and overall the K3 is a better camera all around. The things I really like with the K3 - faster AF, faster operation, 2 SD cards, much better back LCD screen, screwmount lenses focus much faster and especially my DA55-300 - doesn't hunt as much on focus as with the K5.

The things I don't like - primarily the K3 is heaver than the K5 and I notice it. I wish it was the same weight, as I found the weight/size of the K5 ideal for me for carrying with the lenses I use. Just a little less so with the K3 - not a major issue, but it is there, and I think one of the reasons it took me a little bit longer to get comfortable with the camera.
09-24-2014, 01:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by theraven871 Quote
All things considered, I'm only interested in better image quality.
Its obvious that the autofocus is superior and that the TTL metering is much improved.

However, what I want to know is if the image quality is noticeably improved.
Anyone with a K5 upgrade to a K3 and immediately notice a difference? I'm not talking about pixel peeping.

I'm either going to purchase a K3, K5iis, or a Nikon D610 (mainly for fully frame)
I think the lack of AA filter is going to make a bit of difference without peeping pickles, depending on what you shoot you can decide if it is important.
The K-5iis may give a similar improvement.

This may be of note: if there was a K-3 variant that had all other improvements but used the sensor in the K-5, I would buy it immediately.
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