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03-27-2016, 10:47 AM   #1
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Time to look for a new body, suggestions? (From a malfunctioning k30)

So one month after my extended warranty expired, my beloved k30 is beginning to suffer from aperture drive failure. Now I need to figure out which body is next. I do have a few concerns / questions.

First, I have no problems with the IQ of the k30. I don't think I've ever printed larger than 8x10.

My son is in track, and I do occasionally shoot birds, so I often find myself at the end of my 55-300. At this point auto focus becomes a factor.

Most of my shots are outdoors, and I do use the pop up flash for fill, so that rules out the k3ii.

I do have a Tamron 28-75 f2.8. The auto focus screw drive for this lens is a bit slow. I believe the k3 has a more powerful screw drive than other Pentax bodies. Anyone have experience with this?

My school age children often have performances indoors, where I have to crank up the ISO, so noise and lowlight focus take priority.

So my top contenders are the ks2, k5iis, and the k3. I've always had the smaller Pentax bodies (k100d, k200d, and the k30) so the ks2 seems like it would be similar in size to what I am used to. The articulating screen also seems like it would be useful, though it may be more of a novelty in real world use.

On paper, the auto focus of the k3 seems to be the best of the three. Of course it is the costliest of the three as well. The k5iis sits between the other two, though I'm not sure how it's lowlight performance compares to the ks2. Newer midline versus older top of the line?

Lastly, would everyone agree that the auto focus and lowlight abilities of these three cameras are better than those of the k30? Any other comments would be appreciated.

03-27-2016, 11:12 AM   #2
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I played with a KS-1 which is the same sensor as the KS2, had a K5, and have a K3. I would say K3 hands down for low light, fast AF with screwdrive, and better AF.
03-27-2016, 11:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
Time to look for a new body, suggestions?
Well mine would be of no use, it's probably older than yours... oh to be eighteen again.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 03-27-2016 at 12:41 PM.
03-27-2016, 11:47 AM   #4
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The KS-2 has the same low light sensitivity as the K-3 and K-5 II, which is 2 stops better than the K-30.

I think the K-S2 is the way to go based on your post . It'll be a nice upgrade in terms of image quality and features.


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03-27-2016, 12:08 PM   #5
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Any reason you couldn't use a small external flash for fill over a built in unit?

I'm somewhat in the same boat, wanting upgrade from my k30, but split between the overall better performance of the k3 and the IQ and file size I know and love with the k5iis.
03-27-2016, 12:22 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I had both a KS2 and K3 and in the end it was a wash for me. I would have been happy either camera but ended up selling the K3 and keeping the KS2.

The 'pro' feel of the K3 together with more external controls and top screen was nice. Personally tho I liked the size of the KS2 more and prefer 20MP to 24MP sensor....felt I got more keepers with the KS2, but thats prob more my technique then anything to do with either camera.

Tilt screen and the clarity enhancement feature on the KS2 is really nice too. When shooting lots of jpgs ...you get great pictures that need virtually no pp with clarity enchantment. I find I don't miss the top screen at all. Low light focus, IQ, etc are fantastic.

Both cameras are great...sold the K3 because it was easier to sell and because I really liked the KS2 features for my type of shooting. Your milage may vary, both are amazing dslr bodies.
03-27-2016, 01:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I played with a KS-1 which is the same sensor as the KS2, had a K5, and have a K3. I would say K3 hands down for low light, fast AF with screwdrive, and better AF.
The AF is the only thing the k3 has that keeps me considering it. AF seems like it has always been the Achilles heel of Pentax, and it seems nothing (Pentax-wise) is on part with the k3 right now.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Well mine would be of no use, it's probably older than yours... oh to be eighteen again.
you got me there!

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The KS-2 has the same low light sensitivity as the K-3 and K-5 II, which is 2 stops better than the K-30.

I think the K-S2 is the way to go based on your post . It'll be a nice upgrade in terms of image quality and features.
The ks2 definitely has some features you can't find on any other Pentax models, and I am kind of a gadget guy. Seems like it has a strong following, good to know the sensor is on part with the others.

QuoteOriginally posted by skierd Quote
Any reason you couldn't use a small external flash for fill over a built in unit?

I'm somewhat in the same boat, wanting upgrade from my k30, but split between the overall better performance of the k3 and the IQ and file size I know and love with the k5iis.
I'm a pull it out and shoot kind of guy. I have a 360 flash, but don't use it unless I've consciously planned to use it. I end up using the on board a lot more than I thought I would.

QuoteOriginally posted by Senko Quote
I had both a KS2 and K3 and in the end it was a wash for me. I would have been happy either camera but ended up selling the K3 and keeping the KS2.

The 'pro' feel of the K3 together with more external controls and top screen was nice. Personally tho I liked the size of the KS2 more and prefer 20MP to 24MP sensor....felt I got more keepers with the KS2, but thats prob more my technique then anything to do with either camera.

Tilt screen and the clarity enhancement feature on the KS2 is really nice too. When shooting lots of jpgs ...you get great pictures that need virtually no pp with clarity enchantment. I find I don't miss the top screen at all. Low light focus, IQ, etc are fantastic.

Both cameras are great...sold the K3 because it was easier to sell and because I really liked the KS2 features for my type of shooting. Your milage may vary, both are amazing dslr bodies.
Thanks for your hands on experience between my two top contenders!

---------- Post added 03-27-2016 at 02:31 PM ----------

Thanks to all of you for the replies. From what I gather, it seems that the ks2 will do everything I need. If I want the best autofocus, I have to look at the k3. It seems the k5iis, though a great camera, doesn't really buy me anything. So I can take that off my list. I guess I'm left with two questions.

Can anyone comment on the AF systems between the k30 and ks2 (both speed and accuracy)? Is the ks2 a marked improvement in this area?

Second, has there been any reports of aperture motor failure in the ks2? Is it too new to tell? It seems to be a different line from the k30/k50, not just a refresh, correct?
03-27-2016, 01:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
Can anyone comment on the AF systems between the k30 and ks2 (both speed and accuracy)? Is the ks2 a marked improvement in this area?
In live view, the K-S2 is noticeably better. This is thanks in part to the faster screwdrive motor, which will greatly reduce the total focusing time for screwdrive lenses. The camera's algorithms have also seen improvements. In daylight (with standard lenses) I consider the live view AF to be just as good as the viewfinder AF for everyday shooting.

Through the viewfinder, you get the two additional stops of low-light sensitivity (down to -3 EV), which will result in better accuracy and faster focusing in low light. In daylight, focusing speeds with SDM lenses will be comparable, but screwdrive speeds will be faster again thanks to the improved motor in the body.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
Second, has there been any reports of aperture motor failure in the ks2? Is it too new to tell? It seems to be a different line from the k30/k50, not just a refresh, correct?
I consider the K-S2 to be a direct successor to the K-50, though Pentax certainly experimented with making the camera more flashy from a cosmetic standpoint. I think the original marketing idea behind the KS line has largely been abandoned, in part due to the faux-pas of the K-S1.

The K-S2 uses the same shutter assembly as the K-30 and K-50. The camera is likely too new for this issue to present itself, assuming it hasn't been resolved. It's possible that the K-S2 isn't as susceptible as it has a slightly slower burst framerate, which may place a lesser strain on the hardware.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
Thanks to all of you for the replies. From what I gather, it seems that the ks2 will do everything I need. If I want the best autofocus, I have to look at the k3. It seems the k5iis, though a great camera, doesn't really buy me anything. So I can take that off my list. I guess I'm left with two questions.
The only thing to note is that both the K-5 and K-3 are from the "flagship" line, which is built to tighter standards and is thus more durable and ergnomic. Overall, I'd consider the K-3 to be the "best" of the three cameras, but if you were happy with the K-30 then IMO there's no need to make that big of a jump. Plus, the K-S2 has some features that the K-3 lacks (Wi-Fi, articulating screen, facelifted menus).

I'd recommend that you take a look at our in-depth reviews for a closer look at the differences between the two:
Pentax K-S2 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Pentax K-3 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews


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03-27-2016, 03:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
In live view, the K-S2 is noticeably better. This is thanks in part to the faster screwdrive motor, which will greatly reduce the total focusing time for screwdrive lenses. The camera's algorithms have also seen improvements. In daylight (with standard lenses) I consider the live view AF to be just as good as the viewfinder AF for everyday shooting.

Through the viewfinder, you get the two additional stops of low-light sensitivity (down to -3 EV), which will result in better accuracy and faster focusing in low light. In daylight, focusing speeds with SDM lenses will be comparable, but screwdrive speeds will be faster again thanks to the improved motor
So both the k3 and ks2 have a faster screw drive motor than my k30? Are they the same motor, or is the k3 one still better? This info is very relevant as I only have one non-screw drive lense (the 18-135).
03-27-2016, 09:16 PM   #10
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The K-3 also has a faster frame rate (8 FPS IIRC), and a larger buffer, which can be valuable for action shooting.
03-27-2016, 09:38 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
So both the k3 and ks2 have a faster screw drive motor than my k30? Are they the same motor, or is the k3 one still better? This info is very relevant as I only have one non-screw drive lense (the 18-135).
Ahh, reading the full review answered this for me.

QuoteOriginally posted by Cthulhugan Quote
The K-3 also has a faster frame rate (8 FPS IIRC), and a larger buffer, which can be valuable for action shooting.
I never really used the burst mode on my k30... well, except for getting the aperture drive to work.
03-28-2016, 02:04 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
Ahh, reading the full review answered this for me.



I never really used the burst mode on my k30... well, except for getting the aperture drive to work.
I'm I'm the same situation. My k30 has done aperture problem 3 times in four years but it makes it and then 300..600 or even more shots without the problem.

I tried ks2 in shop and it's nice. Faster screw drive af but it lacks flash Commander mode so if l buy it I'll need a second flash/wireless trigger
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