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12-16-2015, 12:45 AM   #1
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Pentax k3 worth upgrade?

Hi all, I have owned a Pentax K5 ever since its release, and just love it. I was wondering if upgrading to the K3 would be worth it? I do a lot of night photography. Is the sensor that much better in noise? Also, are there any outstanding features over the K5?

12-16-2015, 01:21 AM   #2
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In short, it's a fairly substantial upgrade. Key improvements include overall resolution/detail, AWB performance, faster live view AF and screwdrive AF, a more user-friendly menu, and faster everyday speed. For low-light shooting (especially if you don't benefit form the added resolution), the difference is negligible at the end of the day.

This should help you decide whether or not the camera is right for you:
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12-16-2015, 01:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I do a lot of night photography. Is the sensor that much better in noise?
No.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
Also, are there any outstanding features over the K5?
Lots! Some, like focus tracking, you may not use. Others, like the lack of an AA filter, you will.
12-16-2015, 01:26 AM   #4
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I do own neither of those but I do own a K-01 which has the same sensor as the K5. That sensor has a very good reputation for its low light performance.

In terms of noise, the K5 should be better at high ISO compared to K3 since it packs much less pixels into the same sensor area which is always better for high ISO performance. But thats actually only true for pictures straight out of camera. Since the K3 has a lot more megapixels to offer you have more possibilities to remove noise in postproduction while retaining more details and overall sharpness.

If autofocus is important to your kind of low light photograpy I can tell you from what I've read that autofocus performance of the K3 especially in low light has increased dramatically compared to the K5.

12-16-2015, 01:40 AM   #5
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Yes, the k-3 is much better. High ISO from the k-3 is better, better AF, better IQ, better viewfinder, but the main reason is that it's so much more responsive than the k-5. (I owned a k-5 before I upgraded to the k-3, I don't miss the k-5 at all)
12-16-2015, 01:48 AM   #6
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I went from a K-5 IIs to a K-3. It's worth it. Features, ergonomics, speed, metering, megapixels, all worth it. Some people say that because of pixel pitch, the K-3 must have more noise. I say it depends on what you're using your images for. From what I've noticed comparing my own images and from what I've read on the forum and elsewhere, the K3 produces more noise at higher ISOs only noticeably when printed or viewed at resolutions higher than 16 megapixels. Downsizing the K-3 image down to the size of a K-5's image negates the effects of increased noise. Even then, to my eye, the difference at higher resolutions is negligible.
All that said, as of right now I have a K-3 and two cameras - the K-01 and Ricoh GR which both share the same sensor as the K-5. When I'm gonna shoot low light I have no hesitation in picking the K-3 over the other two.
12-16-2015, 03:29 AM   #7
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Never had a k5. I went from k30 to k-3. I think there are lots of improvements going from k-5 to k-3. A huge improvement in high ISO noise is not one - some ppl say it's actually worse and some people say it's "different" (a different processing method needed - reducing size as stated above) - but hardly anybody claims it's substantially better!
12-16-2015, 05:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
Hi all, I have owned a Pentax K5 ever since its release, and just love it. I was wondering if upgrading to the K3 would be worth it? I do a lot of night photography. Is the sensor that much better in noise? Also, are there any outstanding features over the K5?


I upgraded from K-5 to K-3 and haven't looked back since.


I have to agree wih Clackers that the sensor is NOT better in noise characteristics, but the increased sensor resolution and the whole pack of functions and features (which were the determining factor for me) plus the improved AF capability made the upgrade worth every penny/cent for me.

12-16-2015, 06:26 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone. Being a low light photographer, low noise is something I really find important. My first thought was the dense packing of all the additional pixels. Can you direct me to samples showing me the difference? Leo does the K3 still have pixel repair for stuck pixels? Over the years I have had to use this twice. Thanks.
12-16-2015, 06:46 AM   #10
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I just got a K3II last night. We'll see - the K5 has started acting up a little, I may send it for service. Maybe I'll have the IR/UV filters removed...I don't know.

The K3 seems impressive though I have not put it through too many trials yet, just some low-light images in the living room. It has NO trouble acquiring focus and the jpg output looked great on the camera's display. Hopefully it's a nice weekend and I can spot some ducks on the river to get a better idea of how the camera will perform.
12-16-2015, 07:04 AM   #11
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I have and love my K-5 but have upgraded to the K-3 for about 8 months now and the "upgrades" are considerable. If your main concern is night photography, I do believe it is about the same performance wise although there are times I feel like high ISO on my K-3 tends to output a little more grain. Just my opinion.

Otherwise, everything about the K-3 is a much needed upgrade in performance all across and you'll see why it was TIPA Best Expert DSLR of the Year in 2014 for a reason.

If you do upgrade to the K-3 you'll most likely find less usage for the K-5 IMO.
12-16-2015, 07:14 AM   #12
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There was some very nice performance comparisons done in the K3 review showing low light and regular light performance compared to the K5II also a comparo of K5 to K5IIs in another review. You will see a big jump in IQ especially if you are going to print fairly large. The lack of AA filter and the 16 to 24mp upgrade will make a big difference. Also the K3 had much truer color rendering in low light. I still have my K5 but only because I'm waiting for a tilt/articulating screen like seen on other new releases from Pentax. I would have already spent the $ but my knees told me I had to wait.
12-16-2015, 07:49 AM   #13
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I've got a 2 year old K-30... I've been thinking to upgrade glass rather than the camera, and decided if i'm to upgrade to the k-3 level, i'd wait until it comes out with a flip screen... if it ever does.
12-16-2015, 08:11 AM - 1 Like   #14
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K-3 is better than K-5

Here is a comparison of the same night scene shot with both the K-3 and K-5 with similar ISO, Aperture. I did this to test the K-3 Improvement over my existing K-5 after I got it a couple of weeks ago. Not only is the noise levels better on the K-3, you also have to consider that if the K-3 24 MP images are resized to the K-5 16 MP size, when the images are resized to 16 MP. See the comparison for yourself. All are 100% crops from the raw images. My focusing was a bit off on the K-3 because it was a manual lens and shot in the dark, Samyang 16mm F2, the aperture for all the shots was f 2.8 and just checked now, the shutter speeds were different, but everything else was the same. That could be what made the difference as i had the shutter automatically metered. Also you might find the K-3 Images are not as focused as the K-5, but thats my manual error. I also did not shoot beyond 6400, so I have no samples at ISO 12800 and ISO 25600 or 51200



This is how dark it was for the actual scene..



---------- Post added 12-16-15 at 09:26 AM ----------

Also here is another indoor shot at ISO 3200 on the K-3 and its 100% crops, the white balance is off, please forgive me.



crops




Last edited by donpjt; 12-16-2015 at 09:52 AM.
12-16-2015, 08:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
Thanks everyone. Being a low light photographer, low noise is something I really find important. My first thought was the dense packing of all the additional pixels. Can you direct me to samples showing me the difference? Leo does the K3 still have pixel repair for stuck pixels? Over the years I have had to use this twice. Thanks.
It has an option for Pixel mapping, which I think is what you're on about!!!
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