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03-09-2015, 02:45 PM   #1
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K3 vs. K5IIs - IQ and AF

I know there are lots of threads of this type, comparing various bodies (and I've read many of them), but hoping for some input on a couple specific questions from people who have used both the K3 and K5iis. I'm planning on upgrading from a K5. My main frustration with the K5 is AF speed, accuracy, consistency, and tracking ability, particularly in lower light situations. These days, I shoot mostly my (very mobile) 1-year old around the house, so these attributes are important, and I'm tiring of getting very low keeper rates with the K5 in these situations. When not chasing my daughter, I shoot landscapes/travel, and a touch of (not very serious) macro. Other than AF characteristics, the other things I care about are dynamic range, high ISO noise performance, and resolution. I'm trying to weight the K3 (better resolution, ?maybe a little better AF) against the K5iis (better dynamic range, ?better high ISO noise performance due to larger pixel pitch). Would love to hear thoughts on these parameters from folks who have experience with both cameras.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

-Brandon

03-09-2015, 02:55 PM   #2
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The K-3's image quality, overall, is considerably better. It might have a little bit less dynamic range at high ISOs, but the added resolution makes up for the increase in noise. At lower ISOs, the extra megapixels have the potential to bring out a lot more detail. Plus, you get an all-new white balance system which is more accurate in artificial light.

The AF speed and sensitivity is about the same but since the K-3 has more AF points, it has the potential to be more accurate in auto area AF mode. I don't think the practical difference is that big personally.

You might find these low-light tests interesting:
Pentax K-3 Review - Low-Light High-ISO | PentaxForums.com Reviews

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03-09-2015, 02:57 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I have the K-3 and the K-5iis.
There is no visible difference IMO between the IQ of the two cameras as far as noise.
I also had a K-5 and had bought a K-3 and noticed a bit more grain in the K-3 at same ISO.
I replaced the k-5 with K-5iis thinking I'd still see the same IQ as K-5 but actually K-5iis shows a bit more grain as well.
I attribute it to the K-5 AA filter smoothing things a bit, which the K-5iis lacks.
All of the cameras clean up easily with Post process, and with the K-3 and K-5iis you can pull more detail out of a shot.

If you want better AF in all situations and an overall more responsive camera get the K-3 and skip the K-5iis.

IMO.
03-09-2015, 03:20 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bpv_UW Quote
I know there are lots of threads of this type, comparing various bodies (and I've read many of them), but hoping for some input on a couple specific questions from people who have used both the K3 and K5iis. I'm planning on upgrading from a K5. My main frustration with the K5 is AF speed, accuracy, consistency, and tracking ability, particularly in lower light situations. These days, I shoot mostly my (very mobile) 1-year old around the house, so these attributes are important, and I'm tiring of getting very low keeper rates with the K5 in these situations. When not chasing my daughter, I shoot landscapes/travel, and a touch of (not very serious) macro. Other than AF characteristics, the other things I care about are dynamic range, high ISO noise performance, and resolution. I'm trying to weight the K3 (better resolution, ?maybe a little better AF) against the K5iis (better dynamic range, ?better high ISO noise performance due to larger pixel pitch). Would love to hear thoughts on these parameters from folks who have experience with both cameras.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

-Brandon
I owned a K5IIs which I passed on to my bother. I now have two K3s. K3 has more resolution than K5IIs but that is about it. Images from both cameras are world class. In my experience both cameras suck at tracking. I was hoping K3 with its more focus points would be better. It perhaps is a little better. However, missed tracking shot percentage is way too high for my taste.

I have shot Canons and Nikons in the past. I thought Canon was bad. K3 is just as bad in tracking. The only camera that has delivered in that department is Nikon. Off course we are comparing cameras in the $1,000-1,500 range. More expensive Canonikon cameras are a different story though.

03-09-2015, 03:30 PM   #5
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Just repeating what's been said. I held out for more than a year on the K-3, but finally couldn't resist the sales. The K-5IIs is a great camera, but the K-3 is a step up all around and I'm glad I made the switch. I mostly shoot landscapes and wildlife and I haven't had any issues with noise or dynamic range, and I find WB and metering superior (I'm having to do less fiddling in PP).
03-09-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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Getting the exposure, focus and WB right in camera every time more than offsets any minor theoretical benefit of a supposedly 'better' sensor. Plus if exposure does need fixing, there goes any noise advantage.
Maybe the k-5 is a tiny fraction better in a controlled environment, but chasing a one year old under furniture is not the same situation as being a DXOmeasurbator shooting graph paper.
03-09-2015, 06:49 PM   #7
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Own K-5IIs and rented the K-3 for a week to try it out. I didn't buy the K-3 because image quality was a wash, for my 20x30 prints, and the autofocus was not substantially improved. In fact, now I shoot event work with a Canon 6D -- whose autofocus is great, by comparison.
03-09-2015, 08:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the great replies, all. Just what I was looking for. Sounds like both are great cameras that produce high quality images (as the original K5 does as well, of course). Will probably end up going with a K3. Now just have to figure out new vs. used, US vs. international, Ebay or not, etc...

Brandon

03-10-2015, 05:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bkpix Quote
Own K-5IIs and rented the K-3 for a week to try it out. I didn't buy the K-3 because image quality was a wash, for my 20x30 prints, and the autofocus was not substantially improved. In fact, now I shoot event work with a Canon 6D -- whose autofocus is great, by comparison.
I agree with you. I sold my last Canon which was a 6D to switch to Pentax k5IIs. No regrets but I miss Canon's better focusing. 6D is by no means perfect but better than K5iis or K3 for fast action event work. For studio work, the K3's extra resolution is simply stunning.
I shot a christening this weekend as a guest and I suffered with the K3 not focusing or missing the focus inside the church. The pro on the job was using a mid range Canon. I did not see what it was but he was blasting away shots like there was no tomorrow. I have mentioned in other threads too in PF. If I had to shoot events, I would have to go back to Canon or Nikon.... Ouch! I love my Pentax though.
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