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01-19-2015, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #16

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QuoteOriginally posted by Detura Quote
Hi, I am looking for my first digital camera. I really am attracted to the K 3, however I like the idea of the mirror less size, what is the difference in quality? I really don't have a mirror less in mind. Thx
You shouldn't compare the K-3 to a generic "mirrorless" category. All mirrorless cameras are not alike; the Pentax Q and the Sony A7II are both mirrorless yet only superficially alike.

Please name some mirrorless models you are considering, or let us know what types of photography interest you and we might be able to suggest models.

Some people find mirrorless cameras too small for a long-term shooting session. It varies depending on the size of your hands and how you use the camera. A small camera can be with you more often to cover the unexpected photo opportunities, but if you are going somewhere specifically for a day of photography your hand might cramp from gripping a too-small camera.

01-19-2015, 12:46 PM   #17
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K-3 is a top notch camera, with great AF, big optical viewfinder. I don't think any mirrorless camera can beat it in that regard.
Some mirrorless have a really good imaging sensor, but those don't come cheap. So optically, mirrorless can compete with, in some cases come close or even beat, the K-3. There are many other things to consider.

- K-3 is very compact for a DSLR, especially when considering how many features it has. Pentax in general is the DSLR brand that makes the most compact system.
- K-3 is a flagship and has pro-tier features
- K-3 is WR, so if you add a WR lens, you can go out in poor weather
- K-3 has fast PD AF (phase detect autofocus). To my knowledge, few mirrorless camera can compete with this
- K-3 is K-mount, which means you can use many different lenses, even 20, 30 year old lenses. Some of these are very affordable and still delver good image quality.

Mirrorless cameras have other advantages:
- Usually they are more compact than DSLR cameras or K-mount cameras
- You can use adapters to use K-mount as well as other lenses (adapters have some limits, though. You often lose functionality like AF and similar)
- Some mirrorless systems have really good lenses available and can compete against Pentax' top shelf lenses. But again, these don't come cheap
- One problem is that some mirrorless cameras require large lenses; which means you lose a lot of that "size" advantage. Look at Pentax K-01 with DA 21mm lens, or DA 40mm lens, or DA 70mm lens. Very compact package! Sony a6000 is small, but if you add a large lens or an adapter, you lose a lot of that advantage.
- On the other hand, mirrorless has come far in the last couple years

A compromise is the Pentax K-01. It is K-mount, so it is not as slim, but it is still mirrorless. It is very compact, and due to the brick shape, it fits into bags and even large pockets very well. I really enjoy using mine. Great 16MP sensor, as well. One of the first CMOS APSC sensors without AA filter, so its photos are very sharp and full of detail.

However!! If you are a beginner, I would recommend something like K-50 or K-S1. The learning curve is not as steep as the K-3, but it has many features, pretty much all the important ones to get started. K-50 is WR as well, and can be found for a really good price these days, as most stores are trying to empty their stock (we suspect Pentax is about to release some new cameras and lenses soon, so the current lineup is on sales). Keep in mind, the K-50 is a very cool camera, fits in the hands well, I really suggest you try one in a store. It is small, but feels very solid.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-19-2015 at 01:37 PM.
01-19-2015, 01:06 PM   #18
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I have a foot in both worlds, Pentax for great images in any weather and SR any time and Samsung NX when size matters. The nx300 and 30mm f2 makes a tiny and talented 20.3Mpx pair with fast on-sensor PDAF even in video. Battery life is sufficient for my needs and reviews are excellent, though an update with some NX1 tech (BSI sensor?) may arrive soon.
01-19-2015, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Having recently played with the Sony A7 mirrorless, (a friend of mine bought one) I was less than impressed with not having a pentaprism viewfinder. I did not like the fact that I could see the pixels, and it felts "slow" when moving the camera around. Said friend has just bought a Nikon DSLR, I think he found the Sony not quite what he expected.

As he already had Nikon lenses, I could not sway him to Pentax, sadly!

01-19-2015, 03:20 PM   #20

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Is this a first digital camera after years of film or a first DSLR or a first camera? A recommendation could range from an advanced user friendly compact right through to the K3.
01-19-2015, 03:25 PM   #21
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Thanks for all of the food for thought!
01-19-2015, 04:24 PM   #22
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Unless you are planning on printing some 30x42 or larger prints, you probably won't notice much in image quality unless you start pixel peeping.

Mirrorless cameras are pretty nice, but the majority of them aren't as fast to focus in low light. Bird in flight & sports photography is a little harder with a mirrorless. If you don't plan on doing that kind of high speed shooting or you are insanely good at focusing manually, a small mirrorless might be the ticket. They are smaller & lighter. The downside is that the more decent ones tend to be more expensive. I'm referring to those that have an EVF. Non-EVF ones are a pain to work with in the sun. Too much glare on the LCD screen.

Unless it's a Sony A6000 or Sony A7II, I'd rather get the Pentax K-3. Actually, I still prefer the K-3 over those 2 cameras, but the higher end Sony mirrorless cameras do give DSLRs a run for their money.

If you can wait, Sony is supposedly working on the Sony A7000 that will supposedly have IBIS. It will be their highest end APS-C mirrorless camera. The autofocus might be faster & better than the current non-IBIS A6000. The A6000 is among one of the few mirrorless cameras that can autofocus pretty quickly.
01-19-2015, 04:38 PM   #23

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for me, mirrorless is all about the evf, because for manual focusing use, evf blows away all dslr ovf options... and no, there isn't any lag with mirrorless:

"Bolstering the EVF, the NX1’s DRIMe V Image Processor cuts down lag time to just 0.005-seconds so that the EVF reflects the scene being shot in near real time, without delay."
Samsung Unveils its New Premium Camera, The NX1 | SAMSUNG UK

however, if you set the evf to reflect the exposure that you are taking, the framerate of the display can drop down, and get noisy as well, in poor lighting conditions... slow framerate essentially looks and behaves like lag.

if you want the evf to behave like a crippled ovf, that doesn't reflect the exposure of the picture that you are taking, you can set the evf up to do that, and then you won't see any framerate issues... but you'll have to resort to obsolete dslr functionality, like opening the lens up all the way in dark conditions, in order to set focus and such, then stop it back down... which introduces focus shift into the situation.

downsides to evf include the inability to display the full dynamic range of the picture being taken, despite the fact that you can see what the exposure will look like in the photo... this bugs some people, but i haven't found it to be much of a problem.

if you use an evf for high fps action shooting, you could see the evf black out between shots, which can be annoying... the few times that i've shot high fps with the a7r, i just kept panning the camera through the dark evf, and the framing stayed correct.

with mirrorless cameras you shouldn't have to do much if any front/back autofocus adjustments on the lenses... and you can shoot with just about any camera lens that's ever been made, which no dslr can do.

01-19-2015, 06:00 PM   #24

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The NX1 isn't exactly compact though. But fast, with a good, high res sensor and plenty of features. Build quality seems great and ergonomics too. That's the one I'd consider over a K-5/3. Well, and the better Fujis. They feel really nice, fun to shoot with.

It all depends on your needs.
01-19-2015, 09:09 PM   #25

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the rumors are that samsung is close to releasing a smaller body for that same sensor... if you want aps-c, the 4k video is icing on the cake.

in some ways, that nx1 is further ahead of everything else on the market, be it mirrorless or dslr.

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