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11-22-2014, 01:56 AM   #1
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My next DSLR-- advice

So it's getting to be time for my 6-year old, well-loved K-m to be replaced. Not only is the camera itself getting old and weird, but given that it's an entry level camera that's been around for as long as it has, it's getting to be a bit dated and has some limitations that come up often and bug me. I want to get a K-3, but the price of a new body in Norway is about USD 1500, which hurts the soul of a poor student like me. There are a few deals to be found of K-3s that have been used as test cameras and backups, that have about 2000 actuations and are about half the price of buying one new. I'm also going to the US after christmas to visit family, so I could get the new camera there, but risk having potential warranty or insurance issues. Is there anyone who has any adivce/input/tips to offer?

11-22-2014, 02:14 AM   #2
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2,000 actuations are nothing. Even 20,000 actuations would be very reasonable for a 2nd hand camera. In fact, the K-3 is durable than older Pentax dSLRs and is now rated for 200,000 actuations.

I suggest to consider such 2nd hand K-3 from reputed dealer, PF member or supplier. A 60 days or more warranty or return policy would be bonus.
11-22-2014, 02:43 AM   #3
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Don't know if there are deals in Norway but here in the U.S. Pentax's previous flagship K5iis is being sold for a killer price $549 brand new and with battery grip. And I believe some of the vendors here do ship internationally. But if you really have set your mind on the K3 than I believe they are being sold new as well with battery grip for $798-$898 at the same vendors. Worth checking it out. Hope that helps.
11-22-2014, 03:48 AM   #4
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Black Friday is near, I'd buy a new K-3 from US.


(In Czech there's a cashback promo until the end of the year - you can have K-3 for approx. USD 1.140,- + cashback USD 90,-. Pentax K-3 - t?lo + vrácení úrok? p?i nákupu na splátky + 2000,- dostanete zp?t! | AARON )

11-22-2014, 04:12 AM   #5
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There should be a one year international warranty on a camera, assuming you buy it new in the US. I really don't worry about buying used gear in good shape, though. K3 seems to be very sturdy and well built and has had few issues that seem to require warranty work.

Good luck!
11-22-2014, 05:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZoeB Quote
So it's getting to be time for my 6-year old, well-loved K-m to be replaced. I want to get a K-3, but the price of a new body in Norway is about USD 1500, which hurts the soul of a poor student like me.
The Km was my first dslr too. I still have it lying around. I then went to a K5 and that was a huge jump in camera usability and high iso shooting. I liked it enough to buy a second used K5 and have been using these two for a while now. Buy a K5II or K5iis and it will be plenty camera for you.
11-22-2014, 06:17 AM   #7
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Yeah, the prices in most of EU are pretty steep. With the discounts and grip/lens bundles you can import and still save money.
11-22-2014, 06:33 AM   #8
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Be aware when buying used DSLR...
Almost every Pentax (actually, every camera irrespective of manufacturer) has had teething problems of some kind (sensor stains, tungsten light front focus issues, mirror slap/flutter etc.).
Check the statistics for the issue, the camera's serial numbers and if the seller is aware of the potential issue/has previously sent it back to solve it.

11-22-2014, 06:36 AM   #9
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K3 is definitely the way to go. Wish I could afford one myself. Guess I will have to wait until a new model comes out and the price goes down.
11-22-2014, 06:58 AM   #10
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I am paranoid about warranty.
In your shoes I would prefer much more to buy locally a second hand k3 instead of a new one in USA.

Even if it is for the same price, I would find more convenient the second hand since it has been tested and in the moment you will buy it you know that it has not factory issues.
Then, if you would need to repair it, it still would be more convenient for you in 99% of the cases.
11-22-2014, 07:01 AM   #11
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I have had to buy stuff out of country before, so it can be done. You don't have to be lucky, you just have to not be unlucky...

K3- latests greatest.
K5IIs - better IQ than K-3 (more dynamic range) unless you really use the full 6000 pixels wide sensor of the k-3 for cropping etc.
K-50, nice little camera, not all the bells and whistles but still super IQ.

The less you spend on your body, the more you have for lenses, so I'd probably go for the used K-3 if I decided to go the K-3 route. I bought my K20D with 4,000 actuation, put 40,000 actuations of my own on it, gave it to my sister, and it's still going strong. That was 6 years ago. But also consider going with the cheapest body you can find, K-30 or better, and upgrading your glass if you don't have anything special. You didn't tell us what lenses you're aquired, so we're kind of in the dark here. Sometimes the body is the weak link, sometimes the lenses are the weak link.
11-22-2014, 10:07 AM   #12
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You don't say what those limitations are? If:
-- it is low light doubt if you will see much improvement--I don't between my K-5 and K-x, and the tests of k-3 suggest it is effectively same as K-5.
-- it is body design/ergonomics--the K-5 is much better and likely the K-5 through K-3 are similar--except for the narrower grip on the K-5 (although the first limited edition of the K-5 fixed that--that is the one I got for this reason). Ditto likely the level of WR.
-- it is weight/size--the K-m is quite a bit smaller, more so to me than the spec's suggest.
-- it is AF--I have no experience--I don't use it--but the K-3 is said to be good.
-- it is resolution (and you want more, not less)--K-5 vs K-m is minor difference--so go with K-3
Three more I find important--K-m is penta-mirror/not prism and smaller view (% and absolute), K-m I believe has option for AAA batteries and AAA Lithium are very useful and K-5/K-3 don't, K-m I don't believe has e.v., bias in M mode--which K-5 has and assume the K-3 has.
And of course the k-m is the cheapest--you already own it.
My experience was the K-5 was a bigger upgrade (to my K-x and K20d) than I expected, and no doubt that is true of the K-3. I think the AF capability amongst the various models (from what I read) is for most people the significant difference between the K-5 and K-3, and if upgrading I would think the K-5 (and K-5II,IIS) and K-3 are the major players.

Last edited by dms; 11-22-2014 at 10:39 AM.
11-22-2014, 10:28 AM   #13
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The low-light performance is pretty bad, and given that it has a CCD, rather than a CMOS sensor, any newer model will be a huge improvement. It also takes AA batteries, which can be convenient sometimes, but mostly it just eats them, and it processes long exposures very slowly, which really limits the amount of shots I can get before all of my batteries die and the Reynaud's syndrome takes over my hands (I shoot a lot at night during the winter). The bulb setting is also incompatible with remotes, so I have to use the good-old tape and matchstick system if I want to do a shot longer than 30s.
11-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #14
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Dark Frame Noise Reuction

And yes the usability of the K-5 (and presumably K-5II,K-5IIs, K-3) is hugely improved under the conditions you mention; but
It sounds like you need to make sure the camera allows turning of the dark frame noise reduction. I checked my K-5 does allow turning it of. I presume the others: K-5II,K-5IIs, K-3 also do. This ability may not be in the lesser models. Surprisingly I gather the 645Z doesn't allow it to be defeated (and I gather it borrows a lot from the k-5/K-3) so you do need to verify this for the model you want.

Personally I think used (from a reliable source) is better--as the liklihood of the camera developing manufacturing/assembly problems is usually early in life (and this is the most probable failure in the first few years/order magnitude 100K snaps of ownership) and thus was already addressed by the prior owner.

BTW about CMOS vs CCD, I am pretty sure all the Pentax dslrs (after the K10d, and excluding the 645d) share the same type of sensor--OOPS--sorry you are correct, I was thinking of K-x and the model after it--same problem in my prior post.

Last edited by dms; 11-22-2014 at 11:38 AM.
11-22-2014, 04:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Surprisingly I gather the 645Z doesn't allow it to be defeated (and I gather it borrows a lot from the k-5/K-3) so you do need to verify this for the model you want.
It has just been changed with the last firmware upgrade, now you have the option.
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