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01-22-2016, 03:21 PM   #1
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Another of those K-# vs K-# vs K-# "help me decide" threads

Dropped and broke my K-30 beyond reasonable repair, now looking for a used replacement within a 400 budget.

Options:
  1. K-30: Straight up replacement and cheapest option
  2. K-5: Much the same but with increase in DR
  3. K-3: Hardest to find within my budget, but has highest resolution and best high ISO performance
  4. K-S2: Better resolution than first two options, optional AA, swivel screen, but 12bit RAW

I'm really torn between these options. My wallet would prefer the first option, of course. I am pulled towards the greater latitude for editing with the K-3 and K-5, and whilst the significant resolution could help for prints (of which I don't actually make many), it also risks motion blur and acceptable sharpness to a greater degree. The K-S2 with the swivel screen and wi-fi might open up some creative angles, but I'm not sure how many, and having less data in RAW is a noticeable setback.

What experiences do people have with the advantages and disadvantages between these bodies?

01-22-2016, 03:26 PM   #2
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k-5.....no k-50?
01-22-2016, 03:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by clockworkrat Quote
K-30: Straight up replacement and cheapest option
Replace that with K-50, can be had for pocket change new...
QuoteOriginally posted by clockworkrat Quote
K-5: Much the same but with increase in DR
Step up as you say. If you can find a used one at a good price, it's a great camera.
QuoteOriginally posted by clockworkrat Quote
K-3: Hardest to find within my budget, but has highest resolution and best high ISO performance
That would be the best option if you can find a used one in your budget, but you could get a K-50 (new) and a lens for the same price.
QuoteOriginally posted by clockworkrat Quote
K-S2: Better resolution than first two options, optional AA, swivel screen, but 12bit RAW
I would consider this, but for not much more you could get a K-3.

Overall I would say:
If you can find one in your budget, get a (used) K-3.
If you want a new lens as well, get a (new) K-50.
If you want a step up from the K-30 but can't find a K-3, get a (used) K-5 or K-5ii.
Maybe still consider the K-S2...
01-22-2016, 03:33 PM   #4
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I'm told the K-5 IIs is the best of the K5 series, enjoying a few advantages over even the K3 in some ways. Those who own one might be able to fill you in on how.

01-22-2016, 03:36 PM   #5
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K-5/II/IIs for sure, unless the budget stretches to the K-3.

similar to what bertwert said
01-22-2016, 03:56 PM   #6
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New KS2 is $455.00 body only at B&H.
01-22-2016, 03:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I'm told the K-5 IIs is the best of the K5 series, enjoying a few advantages over even the K3 in some ways. Those who own one might be able to fill you in on how.
Not really, apart from lower baseline noise which is effectively counteracted by the increased resolution.

I would also note that the K-3 and K-5 have a sturdier build and better ergonomics than the K-30/50.

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01-22-2016, 04:03 PM   #8
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Does the K-5 not have usefully better DR than the K-3?

Does the K-3's IBIS sufficiently counteract the risk of losing sharpness from movement/DoF/diffraction compared to the K-5?

Should I not really consider the K-S2?

By the way, I have a thing about not buying new. Don't ask, but it's not gonna change

01-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
If you can find one in your budget, get a (used) K-3.
Used K-3 could be had for about $500, if you look hard. That's the route i'd recommend, either that or just get the K-50. I don't think the K-s2 any better than the K-50, for the money, that is.
01-22-2016, 04:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by clockworkrat Quote
Does the K-5 not have usefully better DR than the K-3?

Does the K-3's IBIS sufficiently counteract the risk of losing sharpness from movement/DoF/diffraction compared to the K-5?

Should I not really consider the K-S2?

By the way, I have a thing about not buying new. Don't ask, but it's not gonna change
QuoteOriginally posted by clockworkrat Quote
Dropped and broke my K-30 beyond reasonable repair, now looking for a used replacement within a 400 budget.

Options:
  1. K-30: Straight up replacement and cheapest option
  2. K-5: Much the same but with increase in DR
  3. K-3: Hardest to find within my budget, but has highest resolution and best high ISO performance
  4. K-S2: Better resolution than first two options, optional AA, swivel screen, but 12bit RAW

I'm really torn between these options. My wallet would prefer the first option, of course. I am pulled towards the greater latitude for editing with the K-3 and K-5, and whilst the significant resolution could help for prints (of which I don't actually make many), it also risks motion blur and acceptable sharpness to a greater degree. The K-S2 with the swivel screen and wi-fi might open up some creative angles, but I'm not sure how many, and having less data in RAW is a noticeable setback.

What experiences do people have with the advantages and disadvantages between these bodies?
In practice when printed or viewed at the same resolution the K-3's increased resolution seems to counter the concerns about the diffraction and noise. The type of noise present is also less objectionable per what I have read and my observation going from K-50 to K-3 is that I never EVER thought - wow if I only had the K-50 this file would look better. I also honestly rarely thought WOW this was shot with the K-3 when reviewing files and seeing both types.

The K-30 you have already has 12 bit raw - you aren't giving up anything you are used to if you don't get 14 bit raw.

If new is a requirement then the K-50 is the cheapest option you will likely find. It's around $294 at B&H I think if I recall correctly. There is virtually nothing different about it from your K-30 other than styling.

Personally I'd try to stretch for the K-3 now that I have had one - but mainly just for resale value down the road. Honestly the K-50 makes fine images - I certainly wouldn't complain if that was the only Pentax K mount I could carry for a while. The K-S2 is not something I can talk to directly. In some ways it exceeds the K-50, in others it lags. I would think that it competes pretty well unless you need wireless P-TTL mastering without an external Pentax P-TTL mastering flash (360, 540) mounted on the body.
01-22-2016, 04:39 PM   #11
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On many, many levels, I understand why one would not want to buy new. But in the long term you have a better guarantee that things will last longer and the warranty is better. I upgrade my credit card to Platinum just to get the no-questions-asked about credit for any loss, theft, accident on expensive things that are easily lost, stolen, or dropped....like cameras. My credit card company told me that they are constantly reimbursing customers that lose their drones over the coast. Ridiculous but true.

So I won't tell you that I'd recommend a K-50 new and I won't suggest that sometimes the best way to deal with a loss is to upgrade to a K-3 that you can't quite afford. I sort of have a thing about not buying used....but when it makes sense, I do it. BTW: Is Black Isle anywhere near Iona?
01-22-2016, 04:53 PM   #12
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there is a like new K50 in the marketplace for a lot less than the new price...
But if that's ruled out... I'd by the K-3 or K-S2 for resale.
01-22-2016, 05:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I sort of have a thing about not buying used....but when it makes sense, I do it. BTW: Is Black Isle anywhere near Iona?
Resource consumption and all that, but hey. Small splash in a huge pond.

The Black Isle is on the other side of the country from Iona, but considering how small Scotland is, that's maybe not too far.

---

I am starting to lean heavily towards the K-3, to the relief of many I'm sure. Imaging-resource and TCSTV give strong arguments in its favour. The swivel screen of the K-S2 probably wouldn't do much for me, and the wi-fi control can be compensated for with a flu-card some time in the future.
01-23-2016, 08:31 AM   #14
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While some people have had good luck with the K-30 and K-50 series, I have had two aperture motor failures. When I bought my K-50 (currently at Precision Camera since Jan 8 - awaiting parts) there were no reports of aperture motor failure and now there are lots. I saw the first report of a KS apf recently. So, you could trust Pentax to fix a problem in the KS series that it did not fix over 2 previous camera models or you could buy the K3 which is much more of a camera and might stand up to 30000 shots without a failure.
01-23-2016, 09:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clockworkrat Quote
now looking for a used replacement within a 400 budget.

At today's exchange rate that is about $571, so that provides some options. I am assuming you are looking at just the body alone.

QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
Used K-3 could be had for about $500, if you look hard. That's the route i'd recommend, either that or just get the K-50.

I agree with this. I believe I've seen a few used ones for about this price, but one does have to search it out.


Now, I don't know how creative you might want to be, but could you do this, possibly - Buy the K3 new from bhphoto, with the DA 50 and Battery Grip for $750. Sell the grip for $100, and sell the lens for $80. Subtracting the $180 from the $750 leaves a cost of $570, about the max that you wanted to pay, and you get a new K3 - the highest performing of all the options.
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