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11-27-2014, 08:26 PM   #1
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K3 video question

I'm considering buying a K3 and wanted to know what the impressions are of this camera for video.

I don't need 4K at the moment. I need something that will look professional on the web and in presentations. Its for a documentary that I'm building around Foster parents (which I'm one of) so I'm targeting the PBS/documentary broadcast crowd.

I thought that maybe this camera would be a good compromise between my need to make a professional looking trailer and at the same time upgrade my K-x

I also need advice on a good indoor lens (stage lighting scenario's) & one for outdoor sports. Other than the original lens that came with the K-x, I have the Tamron 70-300 Macro/Telephoto which I hope would fit the K3.

Last, I've been training on the Davinci Resolve software... anyone have experience with post production work & the K3?

Thanks.

PS- other camera in the running is the Sony AX100. Hope to find a good Black Friday price on either one of these.

11-27-2014, 09:21 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
I'm considering buying a K3 and wanted to know what the impressions are of this camera for video.

I don't need 4K at the moment. I need something that will look professional on the web and in presentations. Its for a documentary that I'm building around Foster parents (which I'm one of) so I'm targeting the PBS/documentary broadcast crowd.

I thought that maybe this camera would be a good compromise between my need to make a professional looking trailer and at the same time upgrade my K-x

I also need advice on a good indoor lens (stage lighting scenario's) & one for outdoor sports. Other than the original lens that came with the K-x, I have the Tamron 70-300 Macro/Telephoto which I hope would fit the K3.

Last, I've been training on the Davinci Resolve software... anyone have experience with post production work & the K3?

Thanks.

PS- other camera in the running is the Sony AX100. Hope to find a good Black Friday price on either one of these.
i jsut bought a K3 myself on black friday and i do mostly video work... but the caveat is that it's stop motion so its really a series of stills.
the K3 video is bad. not horrible but not usable for commercial work. it aliases pretty bad (maybe becasue of no AA filter? i dunno the technical part of why) and the encoding is pretty wonky (from all samples i've seen and buzz i've heard)
if you want to do video i really REALLY recommend the panasonic GH3 or GH4, and get the 12-40mm lens.
these cameras perform as good if not better than the canon 5d and are pretty damn cheap, maybe you can find a black friday deal on one.
if you shoot video handheld, use a wider lens with constant aperture if you plan on zooming. (dont ever zoom)
the longer the lens the more shake in your video. stay in the 15-40mm field and move closer. use a shoulder rig.
an older parfocal lens will be of great benefit as well. i jsut bought a 20-40 limited becasue its parfocal.
up your contrast and tones becasue you will lose alot of it in compression of video compared to stills.
the sony seems ok too, but i've never used one.
11-27-2014, 09:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dominikkolendo Quote
the K3 video is bad. not horrible but not usable for commercial work. it aliases pretty bad (maybe becasue of no AA filter? i dunno the technical part of why) and the encoding is pretty wonky (from all samples i've seen and buzz i've heard)
I think the files are just poorly processed / over-compressed. Even videos from the 645Z are no better than what the K-3 produces, so something must be amiss in the Pentax firmware.

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11-28-2014, 12:52 AM   #4
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I have two heavily color corrected K3 videos on my vimeo account
You can download the HD version to check it if you want.



I guess it depends on your expectations & the compromises you are willing to take.
The one big issue I have with it, is the low bitrate, which makes it difficult in wide & lots of detail shots (which in turn you may have a lot in documentary shootings).
On the other hand, I do find the files quite clean and (relative) easy to work on in post.

11-28-2014, 06:15 AM   #5
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Thank you grispie. Interesting look on those films. Did you get that soft 'filmic' look from post? I actually enjoyed both films since it reminded me of 'old school' real film if that makes sense. Did you accomplish the color profile in post as well? (meaning the desaturation in some places and the high gain in others?) I wonder how that look will go over here, even though it reminds me of times long gone and missed.

Also, noticed many other films on your site. Did you use the K3 for those as well?

Again, thank you (and to everyone else that have answered)... if I can get a 'filmic' look for my trailer that would be ideal.
11-28-2014, 06:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dominikkolendo Quote
i jsut bought a K3 myself on black friday and i do mostly video work... but the caveat is that it's stop motion so its really a series of stills.
the K3 video is bad. not horrible but not usable for commercial work. it aliases pretty bad (maybe becasue of no AA filter? i dunno the technical part of why) and the encoding is pretty wonky (from all samples i've seen and buzz i've heard)
if you want to do video i really REALLY recommend the panasonic GH3 or GH4, and get the 12-40mm lens.
these cameras perform as good if not better than the canon 5d and are pretty damn cheap, maybe you can find a black friday deal on one.
if you shoot video handheld, use a wider lens with constant aperture if you plan on zooming. (dont ever zoom)
the longer the lens the more shake in your video. stay in the 15-40mm field and move closer. use a shoulder rig.
an older parfocal lens will be of great benefit as well. i jsut bought a 20-40 limited becasue its parfocal.
up your contrast and tones becasue you will lose alot of it in compression of video compared to stills.
the sony seems ok too, but i've never used one.
DITTO THE ABOVE. Get a GH4 and go for it. Shoot it in MOV 4K format with the CineD curve, which will allow some basic grading, edit and down convert to 1080P and you will have for all practical purposes, video that is pro broadcast quality -- assuming your editing, lighting, audio skills are a match for the video.
11-28-2014, 06:45 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
Did you accomplish the color profile in post as well?
Actually the K3 has one picture profile that films really very neutral (and that helps a lot in retaining detail that needs to be pushed through the processing pipeline)
I always use that one (can't recall the name by heart now...)
So yes,all color processing and (de)saturation happened in post. I feel it handles quite well.

On the other films, what may interest you:
In "Iceland Part three". The shots from 6.45 to 8.16 are also the K3. (bit shaky but it's handheld in a very windy environment...)

Do note that i tend to film a lot with shallow depth of field. That hides a bit the problem the K3 has in resolving a scene with lots of detail.

The rest is with the Sony A77. Which resolves better and has a higher dynamic range than the K3.
11-28-2014, 09:32 AM   #8
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Which lenses do you use?

Btw, that Icelandic footage is nice!

11-28-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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If you want to stay with Pentax, get the K-5 (any version). They are better. I don't see any reason to buy a K-3, because there is nothing special about it. It offers no advantage over other, cheaper cameras. The K-5 isn't perfect, but it does have some strong unique selling points.

The codec doesn't compress as much, you can keep much more detail, there are fewer (usually no) compression artefacts.

The K-5 doesn't crop the frame, so shooting wide angle is easy.

The K-5 stabilises your videos very effectively, so you can actually shoot handheld. It will give you a handheld look, but a pleasant one, as if you have your camera on your shoulder for example. Only the Sony A7 II and the Olympus OM-D series offer that, and the Olympus won't even let you chose any framerate other than 30...

Only drawbacks compared to the K-3 are less control over audio (record externally) and lack of full manual controls. But you can set the aperture and lock the exposure... you just don't have control over shutter speed and ISO.

The K-5 has IMHO a rather filmic look, much nicer than what I have seen from Sony (but the A7S with S-Log is really nice...). Aliasing and moire are unfortunately there, you'd be much better off with a modern Nikon.

If you are looking for a filmmaker's tool you might want to look into the Samsung NX-1, or if you can hold out wait for the inevitable A7S II with shake reduction. No shake reduction on the NX-1 unfortunately, but otherwise it's a dream. Mirrorless, so it will take your Pentax lenses. APS-C, so low light and dynamic range are better than with a Panasonic. Ridiculously fast sensor, so you can do 1080p at 60 fps without any drawbacks. No moire, no aliasing. Even at 60p. Should have reduced rolling shutter too. Can shoot 4K without huge files. Tough, weather resistant, fast.
11-28-2014, 10:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
Which lenses do you use?

Btw, that Icelandic footage is nice!
With the K3, for video, i mostly use the m28 2.8 & m50 1.7.
Affordable and very good lenses for video.

But this is the thing.
We have no idea on your background, what exactly you expect when it comes to video and what is more important for yourself: photo or video.

there are a lot of options out there, as mentioned in the other answers. The K3 will indeed get blown away by panasonic gh series and Sony A7s e.g.
For video alone, the K3 is not the best option out there.
I went with the K3 as I wanted full manual control for video and i wanted the latest & greatest for my photography.
As Kadajawi mentions, the K5 also has some attraction points, mainly at the expense of manual control and larger files i guess.
You mentioned the AX100 e.g. Thinking of documentary, you might consider the RX10 as well.
Just a few thoughts... You can only spend your money once.

Yes, Iceland was a very nice trip :-)
11-28-2014, 11:12 AM   #11
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Thank you again grispie.

My expectations are open. If I can shoot clear video & be able to work on it in post to correct or grade to my liking, then the K3 will be sufficient.

I'll be using the 5 minute trailer for fundraising purposes and/or to shop around to documentary type TV/News stations.

Then I'll be able to buy a higher end video camera (and accessories) for the 30-60 minute documentary.

I liked the look of your videos. Although I would do the color grading differently, I just wanted to know that its possible. And I think you've shown me that it is. Although, reading back on your post, it seems that the scenes with the horses (nice color) were not shot with the K3... rather with your other camera.

Again, very appreciative for everyone's help.
11-28-2014, 11:32 AM   #12
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If you are going for run and gun type of shooting, please do yourself a favor and skip the K-3. The K-3 works best when locked down on a tripod, or mounted to a glidecam. It also doesn't like movement too much. Or wide angles, cause you'll need really wide lenses for that (IIRC there was something like a 1.8 to 1.9 crop?).

The K-3 is not a cheap camera, and a D5300 will clearly give you much better results. Or a GH3. etc. pp. And if you want to avoid having to use a tripod or glidecam there really is only one realistic choice... the K-5. The A7 II is probably a bit much. And any other camera without a stabilised lens will give you bad results, including for example a A7S. You will get some wobbling around.

Alternatively you could grab a LX100... basically a GH4 with a nice (non interchangeable) lens for a good price.

Oh btw., you can grade the K-5 files nicely. They aren't as heavily compressed as with the K-3.

@Adam: It's the h264 encoder in the Milbeaut, and how it is used. Recent Nikons can get good results out of their Milbeaut, but maybe those are improved chips. The MJPEG the K-5 used was much better than that... it's a shame that Pentax doesn't give us the option for the situations when quality is more important than size.
11-28-2014, 12:39 PM   #13
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So when you guys recommend the K5 do you mean it or the K5 IIs?

Yes, I've been looking at the LX100 as well but not too impressed with it. What turned me on to the Sony AX100 was the review that Phillip Bloom gave it. But its till more than I want to spend.

I've read on here that someone has used the K3 all day with no overheating issues, would the K5 IIs be the same? Either way, it looks like both have 8bit 420 as well. Part of why I look at that is my learning Davinci and want to play but also to give the film/trailer my own signature look. I believe that the image should be as good as the story.

The GH3/4 I've looked at as well but all the add-on's just send the price into outerspace for me.

I love the still pics that my K-x gives me. My Nikon snob friends are floored. This is why I'm here asking all my questions because I'd like to stay with Pentax personally & keep thumbing my nose at my snob friends! I know I'll have to get another brand for the full length doc's that I want to do. But thats down the road.

Thanks again.
11-28-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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Ah yes. Forgot about the overheating. I meant any K-5 series camera is ok, but at least my K-5 runs hot. The only problem is hot pixels when shooting at high ISO, but they can be removed in post. And if you shoot low ISO you won't notice them even when you shoot very long.

The K-3 shouldn't run hot... but there's nothing in it that makes it better than a D5300 for example (unless you record audio in camera), but some things that make it worse. There are also far less stabilised lenses for Pentax than for Nikon, and you will probably need them.
11-28-2014, 01:52 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
So when you guys recommend the K5 do you mean it or the K5 IIs?

Yes, I've been looking at the LX100 as well but not too impressed with it. What turned me on to the Sony AX100 was the review that Phillip Bloom gave it. But its till more than I want to spend.

I've read on here that someone has used the K3 all day with no overheating issues, would the K5 IIs be the same? Either way, it looks like both have 8bit 420 as well. Part of why I look at that is my learning Davinci and want to play but also to give the film/trailer my own signature look. I believe that the image should be as good as the story.

The GH3/4 I've looked at as well but all the add-on's just send the price into outerspace for me.

I love the still pics that my K-x gives me. My Nikon snob friends are floored. This is why I'm here asking all my questions because I'd like to stay with Pentax personally & keep thumbing my nose at my snob friends! I know I'll have to get another brand for the full length doc's that I want to do. But thats down the road.

Thanks again.
For video there is probably no great difference between the K5 and K5iis. But the K5iis usually focuses faster and more accurately than the K5 and often produces sharper pictures because of the lack of AA filter.
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