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05-26-2015, 06:25 AM   #1
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Upgrade to K-3 or K-5iis?

I'm looking to upgrade my K-30 to either a K-3 or K-5iis...

I occasionally go on hikes and backpacking, I'm an enthusiast and photography is a hobby but I'd like to be able to print 20x30 on occasion.

I'd like to get a second body for birding with my Bigma. I'd love to be able to get to my spot, setup the Bigma with my (K-3 or K-5iis) and have the K-30 as a backup.
I also shoot with 18-135, 50mm f1.7, Sigma 8-16, and am waiting on a 16mm f2.

all things considered, here is what I desire from my new Pentax:
-Handles high ISO well (1600-3200)
-Ergonomic (I have fairly large hands... K-30 is a bit small for me now)
-Battery grip (I believe K-3 and K-5iis both have this)
-Fast AF for bird in flight shots
-Low Light performer (as stated above)

Let me know what you guys think!
I know the K-5iis is pretty cheap right now, but I expect the K-3 to drop a few $ with the K-3ii release.

I'm leaning towards the K-3, but have heard great things about the K-5iis...
Which is better for birding, and which can handle high ISO compared to the K-30?

Cheers!

05-26-2015, 06:37 AM   #2
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The K-3 is a bit larger for your hands, and has three -3EV focus points vs. just the center point on the IIs. Battery life is a bit better with the K-5 models, and iso80 is a fine option when lighting is good. Other than that, either would serve you very well. I'll be in the same spot in six months or so, we'll see if the holiday sales and my funds are compatible perhaps the K-s2 and K-3 II will drop by then.

Last edited by jimr-pdx; 05-26-2015 at 07:37 AM.
05-26-2015, 06:44 AM   #3
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I have both and they're both great cameras, but I'd probably pick the K3. Not sure there's a lot to separate them on iso performance; they both perform well. Some say the K5IIs is better, others say if you downselect to the same resolution they'll perform about equally. I can't tell a great deal of difference. The autofocus on the K3 is improved and I find it works better for birding. The dynamic range of the K5IIs is a little better, but for practical purposes not a great deal of difference. They both have grips.
05-26-2015, 07:16 AM   #4
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I choose the K5IIs last November, Black Friday due to the ISO3200 being a tad better for astro. For birding, I think that the additional resolution would come in handy along with the differences in AF. Also, you can still get the K5IIs for $496, but you really have to look since they are disappearing from regular retail shelfs. I think that the K3 would be optimum, unless money is tight and the price difference is a breaker.



05-26-2015, 07:58 AM   #5
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Either will be fine. I currently have k-3 with k-5IIs as my backup. For birding I would go with the k-3. Really both are excellent but k-3 has improvements in AF and metering that are significant. Also 24mp gives you more room to crop, and you are always cropping wildlife.
05-26-2015, 08:06 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
For birding I would go with the k-3. Really both are excellent but k-3 has improvements in AF and metering that are significant. Also 24mp gives you more room to crop, and you are always cropping wildlife.
All the above.

Cropping is a necessity for birding. I frequently crop images from 24mp down to 4mp. You can't do that on a K-5 IIs. In the K-3 In-Depth test, they found cropping to 16mp from 24mp had a similar effect on FOV as using a 1.4X TC on the K-5 IIs. So the K-3 is like having a free TC.

The K-5 IIs has no AF Hold function, which makes it far more limited in tracking a subject.
05-26-2015, 08:58 AM   #7
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Hmmm.. I am in same spot now. Planning to upgrade from K7. Hope some suggestions helps me too, to take a decision
05-26-2015, 09:14 AM   #8
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The K-3II is supposed to have new algorithms to increase focusing speed and accuracy, I'd wait for some tests to see if the improvement is worth the wait. Any improvement in AF is definitely worth the wait for birding. Also the big thing in the K-3 series cameras is the smaller AF points... when you're focusing on birds near tree branches etc, that is simply critical, but both K-3s will have that. The K-5 series cameras are noticeably weaker in that regard.





05-26-2015, 09:21 AM   #9
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If it's for birding get the K-3. Better autofocus and more megapickles.

It's not always possible to get close...

Cropped to 2 MP or less





Tough AF.



Difficult focus and cropped to 2 MP



And when you do get close, it's 24 megapickles.

05-26-2015, 10:02 AM   #10
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Original Poster
Wow lots of great comments!
Thanks everyone!!

Looks like I'll be shopping around for a K-3 then,
I might have to part with a lens to fund the purchase though... and seeing that I use my Sigma 8-16 the least, I have a strong feeling my fiancee will be pointing to that one. That will be a sad day.
05-26-2015, 12:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Wow lots of great comments!
Thanks everyone!!

Looks like I'll be shopping around for a K-3 then,
I might have to part with a lens to fund the purchase though... and seeing that I use my Sigma 8-16 the least, I have a strong feeling my fiancee will be pointing to that one. That will be a sad day.
We are here to support you, just let us know, we'll have a Pentax world wide candle vigil. I can't imagine parting with my 8-16. I don't use if often, but when i want it, there's nothing else that will do. NO better lenses no cheaper lenses, nothing.
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