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12-14-2014, 01:41 PM   #1
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trying to decide on the right camera

hi everybody, I've been lurking these forums for a while. Sorry if this is posted in the wrong section. I've been looking for a new cameras slowly reading countless reviews has led me to pentax and I'm definitely buying a pentax body.

But here in the UK there's quite a significant price difference between the k5ii and the k3. If I really want to, I can afford the k3. But the price is roughly £200 more (about 300$?) To me that's another lens I could buy. Is the price difference justified? I have read up thoroughly on the issues and quirks people have come across with the k3. So I think I am prepared for what it brings.

How significant is the difference in IQ between the two? Would I feel any buyers remorse in choosing the cheaper option? I've read lots of reports of people who swear by their k5s


12-14-2014, 02:32 PM   #2
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Hi! Welcome to the forums
I've actually been in somewhat of the same boat as you, and have decided to get a K-3. Here's my thoughts:

I've had the DSLR that I'm replacing for five years. It has, in that time, been very heavily used, and the tech (especially sensor) has become both worn and dated. Although the K-5IIs is a great camera with an awesome sensor and IQ similar to the K-3, I want my camera to last for another 5-10 years. That little edge in DR, the little extra bit of IQ, that's gonna be a lot more noticeable in a few years. I also shoot a lot at night, and outside with frankly weird lighting conditions. So, since i'm spending the money on a new camera in the first place, I want to get the camera that has the absolute best low light sensitivity and dynamic range for my lens system. The K-3 not only fits this, but also has one of the best APS-C sensors out there in general. So that's where I'm at.

Note that I do already have a fairly good setup of k-mount lenses, so saving money on the body and getting a few lenses isn't as much of a consideration for me.
Good luck in choosing, you'll get a fantastic camera no matter what!
12-14-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZoeB Quote
Hi! Welcome to the forums
I've actually been in somewhat of the same boat as you, and have decided to get a K-3. Here's my thoughts:

I've had the DSLR that I'm replacing for five years. It has, in that time, been very heavily used, and the tech (especially sensor) has become both worn and dated. Although the K-5IIs is a great camera with an awesome sensor and IQ similar to the K-3, I want my camera to last for another 5-10 years. That little edge in DR, the little extra bit of IQ, that's gonna be a lot more noticeable in a few years. I also shoot a lot at night, and outside with frankly weird lighting conditions. So, since i'm spending the money on a new camera in the first place, I want to get the camera that has the absolute best low light sensitivity and dynamic range for my lens system. The K-3 not only fits this, but also has one of the best APS-C sensors out there in general. So that's where I'm at.

Note that I do already have a fairly good setup of k-mount lenses, so saving money on the body and getting a few lenses isn't as much of a consideration for me.
Good luck in choosing, you'll get a fantastic camera no matter what!
Very good advice here. I own the K-5ii and can say it is wonderful! If you can save some money on the body and add to your lens selection I suggest you buy the K-5iis. If you already have the lenses then spring for the K-3 since it is worth the extra money. Either way you won't be disappointed with these cameras.
12-14-2014, 02:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by CNunez Quote
But the price is roughly £200 more (about 300$?) To me that's another lens I could buy. Is the price difference justified?
Yes. k-3 is easily worth that much more as a camera. The results of using the camera may not justify it though.
QuoteOriginally posted by CNunez Quote
How significant is the difference in IQ between the two?
Marginal.

The k-3 is a much better, more responsive camera. But for everyday family use you will not see a significant difference in IQ unless you intend to print very large. For web images and 4x6 snaps, no difference at all.

12-14-2014, 02:59 PM   #5
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thank you two for your replies, I like the idea of the K5IIS but my pp skills are appalling to say the least, my laptop died, so the only time I use one is to transfer images to clear my SD . So if I were to encounter moire, I wouldn't know how to handle it. The k3 gives me a great option there

I've been looking through pictures from both bodies and the quality is stunning! I must admit despite the price difference I'm ever so slightly leaving towards the k3, but I have also come to realise that they're all amazing.

The art lady next to my work has been trying to sell me an old pentax film camera, if I'm lucky I can strike a deal on some of her lens collection.
12-14-2014, 03:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Yes. k-3 is easily worth that much more as a camera. The results of using the camera may not justify it though.

Marginal.

The k-3 is a much better, more responsive camera. But for everyday family use you will not see a significant difference in IQ unless you intend to print very large. For web images and 4x6 snaps, no difference at all.
The largest I have printed is 20x20 reluctantly due to the size, but the result was great it was for a present. I've seen some of the crops people have made with their 24mp shots. Amazing detail down to every pixel.
12-14-2014, 03:54 PM   #7
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You could do very well with a K-5 or a K-50 even.
While the K-3 is feature-rich with all the latest bells & whistles, the K-5ii is the K-3 of recent yester-year.
I have a K-3 and a K-50. I find the K-50 to be smaller, lighter, and just as much a joy to use as the K-3.
The K-5 line is the K-50's daddy.
12-14-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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6 months ago I was torn when upgrading my ancient, but rock-solid performing K-100D Super. It was a toss up between the K-50, K-5II, K-5IIs and K-3. I opted for the K-5II and a HD DA 40 instead of a K-3 body. The important thing to remember is that the lenses will last you longer than the camera body. If you take a $600 camera body and attach a great $550 prime; you'll most likely capture better images than you would shooting with an $1,100 camera body and $200 kit lens.

Here's an interesting clip; "Pro DSLR + Cheapo Lens vs "Cheapo" DSLR + Pro Lens" (please excuse the Canon logos)



Last edited by Saltwater Images; 12-14-2014 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Added text
12-14-2014, 05:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by CNunez Quote
I've been looking for a new cameras slowly reading countless reviews has led me to pentax and I'm definitely buying a pentax body.
Welcome to Pentax Forums!

I think it would be difficult to recommend something to you without having a bit more information:

- Do you have a DSLR now? Which model?
- What types of pictures do you like to take - e.g., landscape, portraits, kids in action, macro?
- What lens(es) were you thinking of getting with the new camera?
- Will you do any post-production?
- Do you have a suitable computer to handle the file sizes of the K-3?


- Craig
12-14-2014, 06:02 PM   #10
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I recently printed a file from a K-5 and a couple of files from the K-3 at 20" x 30" for a gallery show. There was no discernible difference in image quality. So don't get a K-3 for image quality, particularly if you have a slower computer that will struggle with the 24 megapickle files. The only reason to get the K-3 over the K-5iis is for improved autofocus. If your subjects move, get the K-3. If they don't, get the K-5iis and add the 35mm F2.4 to your shopping cart.
12-14-2014, 06:12 PM   #11
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My biggest problem with the K5 series is the size of the auto focus sensor.
I understand that the K3 sensor is smaller and therefore critical focussing should be better.
Can anyone else comment on this, as it may make a difference to the OP?
12-14-2014, 06:57 PM   #12
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The K-3 has 24MP, so its files are much bigger. For most of us, even 16MP is a lot. So i would suggest the K-5 and, as others have said, invest the difference in glass. A good lens can be used on the K-5, and on any subsequent cameras, even years later! A camera body.. well, in the days of digital, it has a limited lifespan. I use lenses made in the 1970s, and they are practically as good as when they were made; but I doubt you will find many people using DSLRs older than 7 years
12-14-2014, 08:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rod_grant Quote
I understand that the K3 sensor is smaller and therefore critical focussing should be better. Can anyone else comment on this, as it may make a difference to the OP?
For general shooting there is not that much difference. I use both k-5IIs and k-3 often on the same shoot. For fixed subjects with reasonable contrast and detail I do not notice any difference at all.

However, when shooting things that are moving, in AF.C or in low light or objects that are of poor contrast there is a significant difference. For what I shoot, mostly studio with lights or landscapes on a tripod no real gain. For someone shooting sports or BIF the difference would be remarkable.
12-15-2014, 11:15 AM   #14
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I have an old Olympus dslr and an Olympus stylus. The dslr is very old fashioned and I personally feel that the stylus(bridge camera) is better for most situations.

When I started with photography it was countless hours reading up on the exposure triangle all the terms, trying to understand composition, importance of background and so on.

I tend to only shoot in manual mode also as I constantly learn that way. (The stylus has two dials for manual control, which is a great help).

I like shooting just about everything. I'm a big football fan (soccer), and with my tcon for my bridge, I've managed some decent snaps from the stands.

Thank you all for the replies, first chance to get back to you. I've probably left out lots of info.
But a focus system that can handle movement somewhat great is very welcome.
12-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #15
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Depend on your budget really. Personally I would go for the k-3 (unless it will compromise your lens budget too much).

I'd skip the 18-55 wr kit lens though (unless you want something cheap and weather sealed - just in case it rains). The limited series lens are basically amazing. The 35mm macro would be my recommendation for an all round lens (quite pricey at the moment, although ffordes.com occasionally has second hand ones at reasonable prices). The 35mm f2.4 and 50mm f1.8 are a good place to start otherwise (microglobe.co.uk were selling 40mm xs lenses for £99 a while ago - that might be an option - id phone order, or visit in person though, because their website security does not look great!)

The 55-300wr seems to be the best bet for longer range shooting (eg football - assuming you're talking about being in the stands - and not at the side of the pitch on a Saturday five aside match - in which case a lens in the 50-100mm may be all you need).
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