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11-07-2014, 07:07 AM   #1
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K5 vs K3, worth it?

I will be flying to Europe in 2 weeks, leaving the 22nd, and seeing The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium for sure, possibly Luxemborg, France, and England. Would it be worth getting a K3 over my K5? I've decided I am bringing the 18-135 along, and have not quite figured which other lenses I am going to have with me yet.

11-07-2014, 07:14 AM   #2
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I feel like the K3 has significant benefits over the K5 in certain areas, but if you don't struggle with those, than not so much. The big things with the K3 are (1) better auto focus -- both better in low light, better tracking and smaller auto focus points can really help make a shot in a areas where the k5 would struggle. (2) faster operation -- even though the K3 has a lot more megapixels and bigger file sizes, it is a lot more speedy with regard to operation. (3) better button configuration -- after I got used to it, I prefer the K3 buttons, particularly the auto focus button placement to where the K5 is.

The biggest negative for the K3 as compared to the K5 is the lack of an iso 80. This was awfully handy, particularly as it produced really high dynamic range images that just had amazing post processing ability.

I guess I would just say as well that lack of AA filter, extra megapixels aren't reasons to buy a K3, in my opinion. You will see a little more detail, but it isn't dramatic and certainly there aren't any photos that presence or absence of these things would make or break the image.
11-07-2014, 07:19 AM   #3
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At web size you won't notice much difference...

K-3


K-5


The AF is better for screw drive... the first picture taken with the Tamron 90 macro, has very fast AF, the SDm, is pretty lame. Made worse by the comparison with your screw drive lenses.

I like the AF system... but I don't feel I have to have it, and cropping leaves you larger files. The K-3 is like the luxury version of the K-5.

But it's nothing like the old days.. when I went K20D to K-5 every image was like "wow, wow,wow" and I find it hard to look at most of my K20D images now... it's not the same with the K-3, my K-5 images still hold up nicely.

Last edited by normhead; 11-07-2014 at 07:29 AM.
11-07-2014, 07:19 AM   #4
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If you already have a K5, maybe not. I do not have a K-5, but I have other Pentax cameras that use the same or similar AF module and have had significant issues achieving correct focus where I want it on busy subject (birds in trees or flowers against a background of leaves or one person in a group of people, for instance). The significantly larger focus area often selects something other than what appears to be in the center of the focus point. The K-3 is much more precise, and tracking AF is actually usable.

If those issues aren't your issues and you won't need to crop significantly (from the higher resolution K-3 sensor) then I imagine your K-5 will be eminently suitable.

11-07-2014, 07:23 AM   #5
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You should also take into account the time it will take you to familiarize with the new camera, especially if the trip is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
Tried and true often beats new and flashy, if only because you're more proficient with it...
11-07-2014, 07:28 AM   #6
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Remember also that for travel the smaller size and less weight of the K5 can be a big advantage. I have had a K-3 for about a year and would not part with it. However, I recently reacquired a K5 in a good package deal and was amazed at how nice the size and weight were. on a recent backpacking trip I took both cameras. The k3 got the most use but you would be hard put to distinguish the pictures taken with the k5 from those taken with the k3. i did use them differently and tried (with general success) to use each for its strength.
11-07-2014, 07:32 AM   #7
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Sounds like it is a resounding no on getting a K3 for the trip. I don't seem to have the AF issues so many others do with the K5, but maybe because I am used to it. I was mainly wanting to see if the increase in resolution and sharpness is that much.
11-07-2014, 07:33 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
If you already have a K5, maybe not. I do not have a K-5, but I have other Pentax cameras that use the same or similar AF module and have had significant issues achieving correct focus where I want it on busy subject (birds in trees or flowers against a background of leaves or one person in a group of people, for instance). The significantly larger focus area often selects something other than what appears to be in the center of the focus point. The K-3 is much more precise, and tracking AF is actually usable.

If those issues aren't your issues and you won't need to crop significantly (from the higher resolution K-3 sensor) then I imagine your K-5 will be eminently suitable.
Oh, ya, I forgot about that, shooting small birds through branches, my keeper rate has increased about 100%, in fact my keeper rates is almost the same as shooting without branches. It's rare with the K-3 you focus on a branch instead of your subject.

11-07-2014, 07:37 AM   #9
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Since I am not doing any wildlife while there that I know of I should be able to hold off. I might toss 8-16 and 70-200 in my bag just in case, but probably will have the 18-135 on most of the time.
11-07-2014, 08:01 AM   #10
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Holy moly - if you have an 8-16 then absolutely take it. That lens is magical. If we weren't strapped for cash my wife would have me buy one, she still goes back to the pictures I took with it during a 2-week rental. There's no substitute for the UWA perspective.

The K5 is great, I'd probably spring for a lens rather than the K3 at this point, though I probably would get use out of the K3 for my field macro work.
11-07-2014, 08:16 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Sounds like it is a resounding no on getting a K3 for the trip. I don't seem to have the AF issues so many others do with the K5, but maybe because I am used to it. I was mainly wanting to see if the increase in resolution and sharpness is that much.
Given the responses, I'll toss out the potential of the K5IIs. Same body and sensor size, no AA for increased resolution and sharpness (especially for landscapes & cityscapes) on the 16MP sensor, improved low light AF with the -3ev capability.

Europe with out the 8-16, would be a loss - especially for the architecture and cityscapes. I would certainly take it. The 8 may be too wide at time, and other times not wide enough.

11-07-2014, 08:21 AM   #12
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Do you have a fast prime? I think it would be worth having one for photographing indoors (when flash might not be feasible or permitted) or outside when the light is limited. Although you won't be travelling in the really far north, you will be fairly far north in the late fall so you may find that you'll want the extra stops of light for photographing before 10 am and after 3 pm.
11-07-2014, 08:31 AM   #13
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Upgrade just for the trip? I would suggest not. At the very least, there is the possibility that adjusting to the new camera will result in reduced performance on your part. Take the gear you are familiar with and enjoy the trip!


Steve
11-07-2014, 08:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
Do you have a fast prime? I think it would be worth having one for photographing indoors (when flash might not be feasible or permitted) or outside when the light is limited. Although you won't be travelling in the really far north, you will be fairly far north in the late fall so you may find that you'll want the extra stops of light for photographing before 10 am and after 3 pm.
You can see my equipment list in my sig. I do have a couple primes, but I also have fast zooms, including the fastest zoom you can get. I've bought and sold plenty of primes, but stuck with my zooms more.
11-07-2014, 08:51 AM   #15
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I'll add my voice to those who prefer to stick with the known rather than changing the camera so close to a trip. It won't be like changing brands, but familiarity is helpful. I've been to Europe a few times and seem to like my wide-angle images the most, but you may prefer zooming in to details, so I'm sure the lenses you take will reflect your shooting preferences. The 8-16 would be a definite for me though, if I had one, and would probably join my 10-17 and either my 12-14 or 16-45 (which lives on my camera) on the architecture and landscape excursion parts of the trip.
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