Having set up my K-3 with a DA*200 ƒ2.8 and a K-1 with a Tamron 300 ƒ2.8, shooting for the same DOF , shooting Blu Jays from my blind, the K-3 out performed the K-1 in every conceivable way. Subject detail, noise, colour rendition. And the weight penalty for using the K-1 and 300 2.8 is 4.5 pound. Not to mention the practical situations like the burst rate making image acquisition twice as fast on the K-3. That's very important with small birds where a "pose" may no last more than a second. The was virtually no difference in speed of AF.

My test

I did some testing today... tripods set up maybe 2 feet apart both in the blind, taken at approximately the same time.....

One taken with the K-3 and DA*200 ƒ2.8

One taken with the K-1 and Tamron SP AF 300 f2.8

To normalize DoF, the K-3 was shot at ƒ5.6 and 400 ISO

The K-1 was shot at ƒ8 and 800 ISO

The surprise from that was the K-3 had better noise and contrast.

But enough of the web sized comparisons what about the pixel peeper you all say.

The K-3 produced more subject magnification and a cleaner image and more vibrant colour. Not what I expected.

OK, so it's only one test... but, so far in my testing.... 1 for the K-3 as a birding camera, 0 for the K-1.

Meanwhile my K-3 combination wights 1745 grams, (3.84 pounds).my K-1 combination weighs 3675 (8.1 pounds. More than 4 pounds difference.

And the size difference is equally obvious.

So the question becomes, for birding, are you making a mistake thinking a K-1 will be an improvement.

The following images are split between K-1 and K3 images, can you even tell the difference. What is there in the bottom images that could be worth carrying an extra 4 pounds of weight, 8 pounds instead of less than 4, that will make it worth your while?

The advantages of the K-3, faster burst, deeper buffer, and a much lighter lens to get the same FoV.

But if you get lucky, if you carry the heavy gear, if you can get shot off at an appropriate time, essentially if you get lucky, you can get a better image with a K-1.

K-1 and F 1.7x AF adapter on a Tamron SP AF 300 . 510mm ƒ4.5

ISO 3200, ƒ7.1, 1/400s

The one image I can point to where the K-1 images paid me back for the extra work. I'm sure printed to 50x60 this will be an awesome image. Anyone know someone who wants a 50 inch x 60 inch image of a Nuthatch.... I don't. And this is selected from the 250 images I've taken with both the K-3 and K-1 since I got the K-1. So once out of 250 keepers, which probably represent over 1000 images if not more, i felt the K-1 gave me something the K-3 couldn't.

If everything else is right, you have good light, focussed in the right place etc, you get the bird framed the way you want, your lens is long enough (the big) etc. etc, etc, the K-1 is better, but not in every circumstance as in whatever conditions produced the first two posted images. So far for an average shooter like myself with a reasonable amount of shooting under my belt, I take the K-3 out to get a new birds or to capture something specific. I take the K-1 out when I'm feeling lucky.

If worst comes to worst, if you're a birder, and you have your 500mm lens on your K-1 and you're too far away, just put your K-3 on the back of the big lens. It's not much different than having a 50% longer lens in your bag, and the whole system will weigh less. You might get your shot. Anything the K-3 does, the K-1 does smaller.

*
Last edited by normhead; 10-21-2016 at 07:15 PM.
*