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11-18-2015, 04:58 AM   #1
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Upgrade advice - K30

Hi guys. I've had my K30 for a couple of years now and use mainly manual Pentax M lenses. Whilst I've had it, the girlfriend's shown interest in learning how to use a camera. I thought a nice solution would be to upgrade mine to a camera with a kit lens and pass the K30 and the kit on to her. She gets to learn without any real financial risk if she doesn't get along with it and I get a new toy.

The question is, what would be a worthwhile upgrade? I take mostly landscape and macro, if that helps.

11-18-2015, 05:01 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kroney Quote
Hi guys. I've had my K30 for a couple of years now and use mainly manual Pentax M lenses. Whilst I've had it, the girlfriend's shown interest in learning how to use a camera. I thought a nice solution would be to upgrade mine to a camera with a kit lens and pass the K30 and the kit on to her. She gets to learn without any real financial risk if she doesn't get along with it and I get a new toy.

The question is, what would be a worthwhile upgrade? I take mostly landscape and macro, if that helps.
I'd go for the K-3. Should be a nice improvement in terms of image quality and live view functionality/performance, among other things.

If you care for an articulating screen you could also go for the K-S2, though it's not as comfortable to hold as the K-30 and isn't built as tough as the K-3.

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11-18-2015, 05:31 AM   #3
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I'm not at all fussed by the articulating screen, to be honest. I barely use the screen at all on mine. Is it worth looking at the K-5 series, or are they not much of an upgrade? I understand they use older technology.
11-18-2015, 07:38 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Moving from the K-30 to the K-5iis in my experience...the pleasure/excitement factor increase was enormous. Still don't really care to use the backup K-30 anymore.
Those K-5s were really very good cameras. I'd bet if you went straight for the K-3, you'd instantly be crazy-happy.

11-18-2015, 08:42 AM   #5
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Recommend upgrading to one of the K3's. Stupendous camera and a logical step up from your K30.
11-18-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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Try the K3 from lensrentals and use it for few days. I rented the K3 II and I decided to not upgrade from K-30. Overall, my pictures were not significantly better (I mean the difference doesn't worth the price for me).

My experiences: If you use screwdrive the autofocus is faster, the body is more ergonomic if you attach bigger lenses (like sigma 18-35), the body is more quiet when you are shooting. I use a metz flash (AF52) which worked with the K3 better (officially the K-30 is not supported by this model).

But honestly I didn't find more reasons to upgrade from K-30. I know what you feel I wanted to upgrade too, but (un)fortunately the K-30 is too good value.

...rent one from lensrentals and you'll see it worths for you or not.
11-18-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
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I recently made the upgrade from K50 to K3 and have zero regrets. I find it much easier to change settings and it is such a solid, solid camera. The price is right, make the jump and don't look back.
11-18-2015, 02:58 PM   #8
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Hi @Kroney.

Whether you go for K-S2, K-5 series or K-3 will depend on which features appeal to you most, how the camera feels to you, your budget, whether you want new, and what deals are available. Good suggestion from @Traxino to try before you buy. I'd also consider what lens deal you could get with the new camera - e.g. a DA 18-135 and/or one of the plastic fantastic AF primes (DA 35 or 50) might suit your GF.

Some observations:
- If you are likely to continue using mainly M lenses, AF improvements won't interest you.
- If you don't crop much the sweet-sixteen sensor in the K-5 series (same as in the K-30) will be fine. Less noise at high ISO than with the 20 or 24mp sensors.
- Conversely for wildlife, where big lenses and cropping are the norm, the K-3 is a wonderful upgrade.
- If compactness matters, and you don't need a large grip, the K-S2 appeals. The articulating screen might be more useful than you think. The button and dial layout is more similar to the K-30. The PF comparison of images between this camera and the K-3 was pretty close. It uses the same size battery as the K-30 so you can share with your GF. OTOH, it still seems pricey compared to the K-3, and they are still rare second-hand.

Here's my own experience. I also just got a second-hand K-3 with a DA 18-135 for $A900 (about $US640 at present). I'm still learning to use it, so just first impressions. Compared with my K-30, the first thing that struck me was the build quality and heft. And the quiet shutter and the faster and more precise screw-drive AF. These are big pluses for long lenses and wildlife. There are countless other little features too. Just to mention one, the ability to test for dust on the sensor - sounds minor (compared to taking photos of the sky) but it's really handy. And I haven't even got to some of the headline features yet, like no AA filter, and -3EV AF capability. I have put the 18-135 lens on the K-30 and it's a good match.

11-18-2015, 04:10 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kroney Quote
I'm not at all fussed by the articulating screen, to be honest. I barely use the screen at all on mine. Is it worth looking at the K-5 series, or are they not much of an upgrade? I understand they use older technology.
I use both K5IIs and K3 regularly and K3 is my main camera simply because I find it more pleasurable to use (larger LCD, dual SD's, faster performance, Live view, etc).

K5IIs on the other hand has an extremely quiet shutter, a little better high ISO, dynamic range, colors are a little more contrasty compared to K3's sensor. The 16mp sensor in K5IIs was a great success and it is still an extremely capable sensor . It is clear why pentax released more cameras with this sensor than with any other and kept using it for so long.

All in all, I'd go for K3
11-22-2015, 05:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TedW Quote
I recently made the upgrade from K50 to K3 and have zero regrets. I find it much easier to change settings and it is such a solid, solid camera. The price is right, make the jump and don't look back.
The image quality may be similar between the Pentax K30/50 and the K5/K3 BUT the bodies are much better on the latter.

With so many more immediate access with additional buttons they are just so much nicer to use. I bought a K50 and still miss the ease of use of the K7.

You can also feel the difference in overall quality just holding them. No surprise there I guess as they are the flagship cameras at a premium price.

My next cameras will definitely be a K3.
11-22-2015, 05:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
I use both K5IIs and K3 regularly and K3 is my main camera simply because I find it more pleasurable to use (larger LCD, dual SD's, faster performance, Live view, etc).

K5IIs on the other hand has an extremely quiet shutter, a little better high ISO, dynamic range, colors are a little more contrasty compared to K3's sensor. The 16mp sensor in K5IIs was a great success and it is still an extremely capable sensor . It is clear why pentax released more cameras with this sensor than with any other and kept using it for so long.
Can this be addressed in the settings? For example, would using the VIBRANT setting on the K3 make it just as 'contrasty' as the K5II or would even just increasing the contrast sub menu in the BRIGHT setting do the trick?

Theo
11-22-2015, 07:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Theov39 Quote
Can this be addressed in the settings? For example, would using the VIBRANT setting on the K3 make it just as 'contrasty' as the K5II or would even just increasing the contrast sub menu in the BRIGHT setting do the trick?

Theo
Can't really say about that. I only shoot RAW.

Maybe it is because K5IIs has an older metering system, underexposes slightly in certain situation and therefore photos look a little more contrasty.
I am not saying that K3 metering system is bad. I honestly think it is way more accurate and reliable than K5IIs in tricky lighting situations.
All I am saying is that K5IIs in good, natural light produces slightly more pleasing colors than K3 with the same lens.

For example I took this picture with K5IIs. Then tried with the K3 and didn't love the colors that much, so I kept shooting with the K5IIs.

11-22-2015, 07:46 AM   #13
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I see what you mean. That is very nicely rendered.
11-28-2015, 04:34 AM   #14
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If we try to be objective all theses cameras K30, K5, K5-IIs, K3 will give the same pictures. This is more subtle differences than anything spectacular. Getting a bit more constrast for example or bit less exposure is just a setting away (I tend to shoot my K3 with -0.3ev setting for example).

But if you know how to take pictures, between all theses cameras you'll not see much difference. Noticably less than using different lenses for example. The most noticable improvement of theses last years outside of 100% crop is the auto focus that you don't use.

K30, K50, K5, K5-IIs are all based on the same 16MP sensor familly and have almost the same imaging processing engine. The key difference is K30/K50 have both focus peaking to help for focussing manual lenses that the K5, K5-II and K5-IIs do not have and that the K5 bodies are more pro grade with more direct access control, better build, more weight and lack "scene modes".

K5-IIs will give you better crops and better AF performance in low light. This mostly count for AF shooter then, printing huge, heavy cropping or starring at 100% crops in your editing software.

K3 and K3-II are latest greatest with much better and more precise AF meaning with the proper AF lense you don't need MF at all. Metering and white balance are a bit better but nothing dramatic. You can crop even more than with K5-IIs.

Basically your girlfriend would benefit more of the K3 than you if you give her some nice AF lenses to go with it because the AF work quite nicely in all circonstances except action/sports and remove any need for MF.

As for yourself, only if you are quite after ultimate sharpness when looking at 100% crop would you gain much from the latest camera. The biggest upgrade for you by far would be to get some modern AF lenses at a first step and maybe that's what to do. Buy a nice camera with 1-2 nice AF zoom lenses like a 17-50 f/2.8 + 55-300 for a fair price with maybe that K3. Give it to your girl friend to ease her learning curve. use it from time to time to appreciate it. If she give up photography, get it back for you. if she love it, you to check if you need AF or not.

An alternative if you plan to stay MF and enjoy it a lot is to buy an A7 body. Pentax lenses would not AF but you do not care. You'll get the FF your lenses were designed for, a small/light camera and unmatched manual focus capabilities in the viewfinder. You can then basically look for the best lenses of any brand and use them with MF. I think that's maybe the best MF experience you could hope for.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 11-28-2015 at 04:42 AM.
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