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11-29-2015, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K3 or K3ii to replace K10D

Hi all! My K10D was damaged in a house fire last year and I am finally getting around to getting it replaced with my insurance company. It took a little back and forth with them, but I finally got them to agree to a price that will allow me to replace it. Now I am in a position where I need to make a decision soon and I am having a lot of trouble deciding which way to go... K3 or K3ii.

I am strictly an amateur who enjoys taking a wide variety of different shots... My K10D was my introduction to photography 8 years ago and I was glad that I made the decision to go Pentax. My biggest issues with the K10D as I learned more and more were the low ISO performance (I never was able to get anything printable at more than 400 ISO and even that was a stretch. Auto-focus was a bit of an issue sometimes but I used a lot of old manual lenses so I was using manual focus a lot anyway. I preferred to not use the flash as I never was able to master its use, even with the Sigma TTL flash I bought.

So my first thought was to buy the K3ii. It was the newest and seemed like a no-brainer. But then I started to look into it... First there is the lack of flash. I dont use it generally, but suddenly the idea of not having it is scary... Then it also seems like it's HIGH ISO performance isnt quite as good.

But the flip side is that the extra stop of SR may be a huge benefit, and while I don't do a lot of tripod landscape stuff, I have done it before and pixel shift seems really interesting.

Then there is the price. Body for body it seems similar. I can get the K3ii for about $100 more. But there are some pretty decent packages with the K3 that include a 50mm, battery grip or small flash for the same price or less than the K3ii. What I find odd is that I can't find a single package deal for the K3ii... not even something with a kit lens. It is body only no matter where I look (Adorama has a bundle, but it just has random accessories like a bad, SD card... things I don't need). So for the price of the K3ii I can get the K3 with the DA 50mm f/1.8, and battery grip from B&H. Or for $100 less I can get it will the same 50mm and the AF-200FG flash.

In the end its not a big deal to buy the 50mm separately, and I doubt I need the battery grip right away, but if I got the K3ii I would probably want the small flash.

So I guess I am looking for advice as to which way to go... Will I notice a difference in High ISO performance with the K3ii? And is there any reason people know of why there are no kits offered? It just seems so different than any camera I have ever seen before, makes me wonder if there is something going on with the K3ii.

I have to purchase this week to make the insurance claim, so I need to decide soon.

Thanks for all the help!

11-29-2015, 01:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gcap74 Quote
Will I notice a difference in High ISO performance with the K3ii?
It's the same as the K-3's, except when pixel shifting is enabled.

QuoteOriginally posted by gcap74 Quote
And is there any reason people know of why there are no kits offered?
The K-3 II was released much more recently, so it's going to be priced higher than the K-3 for a while. Also, high-end and niche models generally don't come in kits (the same thing happened with the K-5 IIs and 645Z).

Both cameras are a huge upgrade over the K10D. I would lean toward the K-3 w/ the free 50mm lens, based on the uses you've described. IMHO the extra stop of SR is just bragging on paper; in practice I still haven't been able to tell a difference between the K-3 and K-3 II.

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11-29-2015, 01:08 PM   #3
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The only real difference between k-3 and k-3II that you will notice in day to day real world experience is the flash versus the built in GPS. If you want the flash get the k-3, if you want GPS get the k-3II. All the other stuff on the k-3II is nice, but honestly you will never notice it one way or the other. Think of it as the k-3 alternative with GPS, not as a completely new model.
11-29-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
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Makes sense.... What about the pixel shift. is it a noticeable difference when used?

11-29-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gcap74 Quote
Makes sense.... What about the pixel shift. is it a noticeable difference when used?
If you are shooting still lifes or product photography...
11-29-2015, 02:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gcap74 Quote
Hi all! My K10D was damaged in a house fire last year and I am finally getting around to getting it replaced with my insurance company. It took a little back and forth with them, but I finally got them to agree to a price that will allow me to replace it. Now I am in a position where I need to make a decision soon and I am having a lot of trouble deciding which way to go... K3 or K3ii.

I am strictly an amateur who enjoys taking a wide variety of different shots... My K10D was my introduction to photography 8 years ago and I was glad that I made the decision to go Pentax. My biggest issues with the K10D as I learned more and more were the low ISO performance (I never was able to get anything printable at more than 400 ISO and even that was a stretch. Auto-focus was a bit of an issue sometimes but I used a lot of old manual lenses so I was using manual focus a lot anyway. I preferred to not use the flash as I never was able to master its use, even with the Sigma TTL flash I bought.

So my first thought was to buy the K3ii. It was the newest and seemed like a no-brainer. But then I started to look into it... First there is the lack of flash. I dont use it generally, but suddenly the idea of not having it is scary... Then it also seems like it's HIGH ISO performance isnt quite as good.

But the flip side is that the extra stop of SR may be a huge benefit, and while I don't do a lot of tripod landscape stuff, I have done it before and pixel shift seems really interesting.

Then there is the price. Body for body it seems similar. I can get the K3ii for about $100 more. But there are some pretty decent packages with the K3 that include a 50mm, battery grip or small flash for the same price or less than the K3ii. What I find odd is that I can't find a single package deal for the K3ii... not even something with a kit lens. It is body only no matter where I look (Adorama has a bundle, but it just has random accessories like a bad, SD card... things I don't need). So for the price of the K3ii I can get the K3 with the DA 50mm f/1.8, and battery grip from B&H. Or for $100 less I can get it will the same 50mm and the AF-200FG flash.

In the end its not a big deal to buy the 50mm separately, and I doubt I need the battery grip right away, but if I got the K3ii I would probably want the small flash.

So I guess I am looking for advice as to which way to go... Will I notice a difference in High ISO performance with the K3ii? And is there any reason people know of why there are no kits offered? It just seems so different than any camera I have ever seen before, makes me wonder if there is something going on with the K3ii.

I have to purchase this week to make the insurance claim, so I need to decide soon.

Thanks for all the help!
Gcap, I was faced with the same decision just a week ago when I decided to treat myself to a new K-3 or K-3II. After reviewing the pros and cons from my perspective I decided on the K-3. The reason was I didn't imagine I would be using the GPS feature all that much (possibly because I am not familiar with all the uses of such a feature), and I do use the flash function when the need arises and it is nice to have the pop-up function, which is quick and convenient. Second there were many deals with the K3 such as getting a "free" battery grip through B&H along with a 50mm 1.8 lens. I like the battery grip because it gives better control when holding the camera, extra battery life when shooting, and finally it adds to the professional appearance of the K-3. Finally, the price for the K-3 was very attractive. There is my perspective and I hope it helps you with your decision.
11-29-2015, 02:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gcap74 Quote
Makes sense.... What about the pixel shift. is it a noticeable difference when used?
Pixel shift is useful, however for landscapes - the camera MUST be on a tripod (hand holding is not good enough) with good technique, AND there MUST be no wind, breeze or anything else causing ANY movement within the frame. Even with a very fast shutter speed, it's going to take at least a half a second to capture all 4 images (usually at least a second with a slower shutter). The folks indicate that the results are excellent and you can see a noticeable improvement.

The GPS may be worthwhile if you are going to do any astro....

11-29-2015, 05:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Pixel shift is useful, however for landscapes - the camera MUST be on a tripod (hand holding is not good enough) with good technique, AND there MUST be no wind, breeze or anything else causing ANY movement within the frame. Even with a very fast shutter speed, it's going to take at least a half a second to capture all 4 images (usually at least a second with a slower shutter). The folks indicate that the results are excellent and you can see a noticeable improvement.

The GPS may be worthwhile if you are going to do any astro....

I think if you get the K3ii you will be trying astro and will get enthusiastic about it, even if you aren't interested now.

Losing the pop up flash, which you can use as a commander for an off-camera flash, is a bit of a loss but the GPS makes up for it IMHO.

BTW: I have played with the astro capability (nothing to share yet) but haven't played with the pixel shift facility yet.


Last edited by Billk; 11-29-2015 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Added BTW
11-29-2015, 07:47 PM   #9
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I bought a used K3 for C$525 and a new D-BG5 grip to go on it or my K10 with grip plus c$100. I seldom use flash of any sort, and was quite attracted to the GPS built in on the K3 II, but saved the money. If I go on some long trip where I think the GPS will give me more valuable location data than snapping pictures of signs wherever I see them, I can always buy the add on GPS.
11-29-2015, 10:29 PM   #10
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K-3 II or K-3; it's a no brainer.

Sounds like most of those above have the K-3 and are rightly proud of it, however they down play the K-3 II which I recently bought to supplement my K-5. Apart from built in flash, it has all the excellent attributes of the K-3, PLUS:
1. GPS - provides location and direction of your photos on google maps and EXIF.
2. Improved shake reduction - 1 stop
3. Improved focus tracking
4. Astro tracing
5. Compass and tracking
6. Pixel Shift technology - used with a tripod, it takes resolution and noise reduction to a far higher level

Pixel shift technology apart, the ISO/noise levels are identical in both cameras.

Some people use built in flash for light fill in silhouette situations, it's good for that. But in my opinion, built in flash just kills indoor shots. My camera dealer (SRS) bundled the neat little (shirt pocketable) w.r. AF201 FG with the K-3 II - its adjustable angle lets me use bounce flash. I would rather have this in my bag/pocket than carry around an add-on 0-GPS unit. At least with the K-3 II, it is possible to have both gps etc and add a flash when needed - same cant be said of the K-3 and 0-GPS.

That's my rationale, everyone has their own preferences. Hope I have added some balance to the recommendations. I am sure you will enjoy whatever you choose - a giant leap forward from the venerable K-10D.

To get an idea of the power of pixel shift watch this video

Last edited by ronniemac; 11-29-2015 at 10:35 PM.
11-30-2015, 10:48 AM   #11
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I'm in the same boat as you except I will be replacing my 5 year old K-X with the new body. I'm debating between the following 3:

K3 II @ B&H for $749
K3 II @ Samy's for $698 with a $200 rebate.
K3 + Grip and 50 mm @ B&H for $740.

I already own the prime but the grip bundled in there is very tempting. I'm leaning towards that with the extra 2 year warranty.
GPS + pixel shift sound cool but not crucial to me. Would rather get the K3 now, then invest in the future APS-C body which will hopefully have a swivel screen and WiFi.
11-30-2015, 04:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by abuddhazaki Quote
I'm in the same boat as you except I will be replacing my 5 year old K-X with the new body. I'm debating between the following 3:

K3 II @ B&H for $749
K3 II @ Samy's for $698 with a $200 rebate.
K3 + Grip and 50 mm @ B&H for $740.

I already own the prime but the grip bundled in there is very tempting. I'm leaning towards that with the extra 2 year warranty.
GPS + pixel shift sound cool but not crucial to me. Would rather get the K3 now, then invest in the future APS-C body which will hopefully have a swivel screen and WiFi.
Where are you seeing the K3 II @ Samy's for that low? I am seeing $896
11-30-2015, 04:52 PM   #13
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