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08-07-2015, 03:05 AM   #1
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Upgrade advice for K-r

Hi all,

I currently own a Pentax K-r that I am looking to upgrade from. The main reason is that I'm finding it struggles in low light conditions and sometimes struggles to focus on a specific area. I've done some research and the options seem to be the K-3 or the K-S2 - any recommendations between the two or is there something else I should be considering?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

08-07-2015, 04:09 AM   #2
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I would say (without ever trying the KS-2!) that the K-3 is the better tool. The KS-2, though, is smaller and lighter (like the K-r), has a flip-out screen, and supports WiFi. And produces a bit smaller files, in case that matters. The K-3 has smaller focus points, which I find as a big plus when trying to focus on specific areas.

Any camera from the K-30/K-5 onwards will be a step up for low-light photography. The K-5IIs would also be a good alternative IMO, especially if you can find one at a good price. If there's no budget constraint I'd have a K-3.

The main things that attracts me to the KS-2 is the flippy screen - would be nice for macros - and smaller size. Apart from that I prefer my K-3.
08-07-2015, 04:24 AM   #3
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Both the K-3 and K-S2 are great performers in low light. There's reviews on them in the review section in this forum...
I like my K-S2 a lot. It has a user interface that combines features and handling from both entry level (K-r) and advanced level (K-3) in one package. It has the full 100 percent viewfinder screen, weather sealing and twin dials and HyperProgram mode from the K-3, combined with advanced automatic modes and scene modes from the K-3. Both are great cameras, but they have different user experiences. I prefer my K-S2, I like the smaller size and the auto modes can be fun when shooting JPEG's and well just shooting away... But for more serious work I use the semi-auto modes and HyP mode with RAW files.

I upgraded to the K-S2 from my K-x and K-10D, I wanted one single camera instead of two.
08-07-2015, 05:05 AM   #4
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Enjoying my time with the K-S2. I am using it like my old film ME super, small light, see a shot take it out and shoot. Does it have everything, no, but more than enough for my capabilities. have no regrets in making the purchase. In fact having such fun the LBA erupted and got a Samyang 85mm, what a lens!

08-07-2015, 06:43 AM   #5
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Like another poster I don't have the ks2 only the k3. I love it. I upgraded from a k50.
08-07-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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I upgraded from the K-r to the K-3 and I absolutely love shooting with it. Double the resolution, great low-light performance, quick autofocus, and dual edials (that actually work).

Regards,
Dan
08-07-2015, 07:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sassinak Quote
Hi all,

I currently own a Pentax K-r that I am looking to upgrade from. The main reason is that I'm finding it struggles in low light conditions and sometimes struggles to focus on a specific area. I've done some research and the options seem to be the K-3 or the K-S2 - any recommendations between the two or is there something else I should be considering?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
QuoteOriginally posted by dcumpian Quote
I upgraded from the K-r to the K-3 and I absolutely love shooting with it. Double the resolution, great low-light performance, quick autofocus, and dual edials (that actually work).

Regards,
Dan
I also just recently upgraded from a K-r to a K-3 and I cannot recommend it highly enough! The only caveat is the bigger size, as a flagship-level body, it is considerably larger and heavier than the K-r. If you're looking to keep things small and light, the K-S2 would probably be the way to go.

If you choose K-3, it's currently available for $750 with a free battery grip from B&H, or same price with a free DA50mm f/1.8 and FGZ-200 flash from Adorama.
08-07-2015, 07:57 AM   #8
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If money is a concern, the K-50 is REALLY cheap at the moment. Otherwise, i'd try to get the k-3

08-07-2015, 08:14 AM   #9
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^ Yeah. The K-50 is insanely cheap!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/94-pentax-price-watch/301123-k-50-w-18-55...ore-399-a.html

It's quite useful up to ISO 3200 & still reasonable at ISO 6400. However, it doesn't have the low light autofocus capability that the K-S2 & K-3 have. Sometimes you'll have to flip the switch to manual & focus by hand in really low light.

If you're dead set on the K-3 or K-S2, you can't go wrong with either. If it were me, I'd jump straight into the K-3. The extra 4MP & 14 bit RAW files can easily get you up to a 36x48 print. Maybe even a 60x40 print depending on the shot.
08-07-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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I wouldn't obsess over either one too much - pick the feature set you like and enjoy. Here's one feature the K3 has that the Ks2 and K3ii lack - wireless P-TTL master via onboard flash. That may or may not matter to you - if it does just weigh it against other factors and decide if that's enjoy to sway you. There are a lot of other goodies you get with the K3 and the KS2 that make it hard to select between them depending on your needs.

The one thing I think I can say is that I expect the K3 to hold value more than the KS2 - the KS1 blowout pricing and the K50 blowout pricing aren't what I expect to see for the K3. The price has fallen but it hasn't taken a dive off a cliff like the KS1 and K50 did. The KS2 however is still a current camera whereas the K3 is on the way out so I could be totally misreading the situation.
08-07-2015, 11:39 AM   #11
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Upgraded from a K-2000/K-M, K-7, K-5, and now K-3. The K-3 is so much more advanced and is the best camera I've ever used. I would get a K-3 if I were in your position.
08-12-2015, 06:32 AM   #12
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Wow! Thanks for the quick replies, guys. Having now visited a shop that actually stocks a small range of Pentax (gasp!) I was able to get my hands on the two to compare side-by-side. The K-S2 feels more like the K-r in the hand (weight and grip) but the K-3 definitely has a more premium feel like the K-r (construction) and weight doesn't seem that much different to the K-r.

Hmm ... still a little torn but I'm leaning more towards the K-3. More to get used to regarding button placement but feels like a step up more so than the K-S2.
08-12-2015, 08:46 AM   #13
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I faced the same decision. Due to odd circumstances I had a mere $25 difference between the K-S2 and the K3 so it seemed like a no brainer to get the K3. I do not regret my choice.
08-12-2015, 09:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sassinak Quote
More to get used to regarding button placement...
Yeah, the K-3 is a big step up in handling! More physical buttons to learn, sure, but the end result is a much more intuitive camera. Once you're comfortable, you can turn off the main screen and rely solely on the top and viewfinder screens. Nearly every setting can be changed without diving into menus or even looking at the camera. For starters, you have two dials, so you can change primary exposure settings more easily. Exposure comp, AF mode, ISO, etc. can all be changed by holding the respective button and spinning the dial. There's a dedicated button to switch the arrow keys to function keys with no need to hold the OK button for 1 second. (Although, I still much prefer the K10D handling here, with truly dedicated arrow keys for moving the focus point.)

Also, with a dedicated AF button now, I've embraced back-button AF and found that it's far superior to half-press AF.
10-09-2015, 11:22 AM   #15
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Well, pulled the trigger on a KS2 from eBay - couldn't resist for the price. Arrives tomorrow, fingers crossed!
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