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12-08-2015, 07:57 AM   #1
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K3 vs K3ii for Astrophotography

I've been shooting m4/3 for personal photography for a few years now, as an injury and schedule forced me out of doing weddings and events as I used to do so I moved away from a Nikon FX kit.

I'm ready to pick up a dslr to complement my current kit. I love my Em-1 setup, mostly, but it definitely doesn't have the same ergonomics as a dslr. I've narrowed my choices down to Nikon or Pentax.

I've been becoming more interested in wide-field astrophotography as of late. I'm aware of most of the differences between the k3 and k3ii, except for their use in astrophotography. Which leads to my question:

Is there any benefit to the k3ii over the k3 for Astrophotography use, beyond having the OGPS-1 built in? Any added functionality or improvement at all? (The price difference between the two at this time is roughly the cost of the OGPS-1, so I could get the k3 and have use of the built in flash for macro fill and add the GPS unit.)

12-08-2015, 09:12 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shepx13 Quote
Is there any benefit to the k3ii over the k3 for Astrophotography use, beyond having the OGPS-1 built in?
Not really, it does have pixel shift for non-astrophotography you can use that for still macro. (I see you mention macro)
12-08-2015, 09:26 AM   #3
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Not for the Astrophotography, no. For my work, field macro, the K3II makes sense since it would be easy to mount a flash and have the GPS active. If you don't need GPS information tagged to your photos then the internal GPS is just more "stuff" in the body.
12-08-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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The only benefit of the K-3II is that the OGPS-1 is built in & this helps to get better astrophotography from the get go. You'll have to add the unit to the K-3. Supposedly the SR in the K-3II is lightly better. According to some reviews, the continuous autofocus is better as well. The pixel shift feature could come in handy at times. You do give up the flash & the ability to fire off camera flashes, unless you attach a flash that can fire the off camera flashes.

Outside of those differences, image quality is exactly the same. If you attach the external GPS unit to the K-3, you get the exact same astrophotography results. I personally still rather get the K-3 over the K-3II, but if the price was right, I'd get the K-3II.

12-08-2015, 12:24 PM   #5
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One advantage of the built-in gps is the fact that you dont have to worry about the AAA battery. Also it frees up the flash mount for other accessories while using gps. This isnt as important in astro, but if you want to use flash and gps at the same time, you cant do that with the ogps-1 mounted. That being said...either one with the ogps-1 opens a whole world of possibilities. Here are some of my shots with the ogps-1 https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/242797-k-3-astrophotograph...session-8.html
12-08-2015, 01:38 PM   #6
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Having the flash mount free would be an advantage sometimes but will using the camera battery power the GPS be helpful, particularly since astro uses long exposures? In other words, isn't the built-in GPS consuming battery power that could be used for a few extra shots? Either way, the Pentax astrotracer function is a feature that sold me on the Pentax brand. On the plus side for the K3ii, the O-GPS won't snag and get torn off by a moment's inattention.
12-08-2015, 02:18 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
Having the flash mount free would be an advantage sometimes but will using the camera battery power the GPS be helpful, particularly since astro uses long exposures? In other words, isn't the built-in GPS consuming battery power that could be used for a few extra shots? Either way, the Pentax astrotracer function is a feature that sold me on the Pentax brand. On the plus side for the K3ii, the O-GPS won't snag and get torn off by a moment's inattention.
And you won't keep popping the flash open while hiking...

I think the GPS can be turned on and off, so it's not a constant drain.
12-08-2015, 07:51 PM   #8
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did anyone mention astrotracer in K3ii

12-09-2015, 07:38 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Looks like if I decide on the Pentax over the Nikon kit, I'll just base my decision between the k3 and k3 ii on price.
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