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02-26-2018, 11:21 AM   #1
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Move Up from a K-5?

I've had a K-5 since they were introduced in 2010 (I'm on my 2nd K-5 body after my first stopped working properly). I've been holding off buying a new camera because I was happy with my K-5 and didn't think the upgrades warranted getting a new camera. I had decided, however, that when an update to the K-3 II came out, I would buy one... but... when might that be? From what I've read, it might not even happen. My K-5 has a 26,500 shutter count.

So... should I buy a used K3 II? A K-70? KP?

I mostly shoot wildlife, street scenes and landscapes and low light capability is important. I would love a camera with better AF. Is the K-3 II significantly better than the K-5 in focusing?

I know I would be giving up some battery life which concerns me because on some trips I take, finding a place to plug in electronics is not always easy. I have several batteries as it is. I don't care about video so that's not a factor.

I also am considering going to a mirrorless system (probably Sony) and could wait it out with my K-5 for a few more years before I do that. That is born a lot out of it being more difficult to haul around the weight of a DSLR and lenses as I age.

What are your thoughts?

02-26-2018, 11:28 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
Is the K-3 II significantly better than the K-5 in focusing?
I would say so, particularly thanks to the low-light improvement that originally debuted on the K-5 II. The battery life of the K-3 isn't really any shorter, either. You'll probably be happy with the bump up in image quality and usability, too.

If you're interested in compactness, the KP would be worth considering (and it brings a further improvement in image quality over the K-3). However, you'd need a couple more spare batteries as the KP uses the smaller/lighter D-Li109 rather than the same D-Li90 as the flagship models.

Who knows if there will be a K-3 II successor, or if the Pentax flagship line will be defined by the FF model going forward. Prior interviews have suggested the former; perhaps this will be clarified at our CP+ interview next week.

If you go down the mirrorless route, FF would make a lot of sense for what you're shooting.

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02-26-2018, 11:33 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
I've had a K-5 since they were introduced in 2010 (I'm on my 2nd K-5 body after my first stopped working properly). I've been holding off buying a new camera because I was happy with my K-5 and didn't think the upgrades warranted getting a new camera. I had decided, however, that when an update to the K-3 II came out, I would buy one... but... when might that be? From what I've read, it might not even happen. My K-5 has a 26,500 shutter count.

So... should I buy a used K3 II? A K-70? KP?

I mostly shoot wildlife, street scenes and landscapes and low light capability is important. I would love a camera with better AF. Is the K-3 II significantly better than the K-5 in focusing?

I know I would be giving up some battery life which concerns me because on some trips I take, finding a place to plug in electronics is not always easy. I have several batteries as it is. I don't care about video so that's not a factor.

I also am considering going to a mirrorless system (probably Sony) and could wait it out with my K-5 for a few more years before I do that. That is born a lot out of it being more difficult to haul around the weight of a DSLR and lenses as I age.

What are your thoughts?
If low light performance is important to you, much as I really like my K-3 & K-3II, I'd recommend going for one of the newer bodies. Both the K-70 and KP have superior high ISO performance, especially the KP. Battery life isn't the best, but if you get the grip you can use the higher capacity D-Li90 which will give you much better battery life. The buffer for continuous shooting isn't great (the K-3II is better in this respect), so make sure that's not an issue for you before making any decision.

Otherwise, I think we'll see the K-3II replacement this year, given it's now officially discontinued. But I don't think it will be cheap, and I don't know how comfortable you are with being an "early adopter" of an entirely new model...

With mirrorless, I can only comment on the Sony A7 MkII which I own and use frequently. I like it a lot, but the high ISO performance is more-or-less the same as the K-3. Later models are much better in this respect...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-26-2018 at 12:05 PM.
02-26-2018, 11:38 AM   #4
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the forum has a very useful tool under " Cameras "

it allows you to do a side by side comparison of various Pentax Digital Camera bodies

Pentax K-3 II vs. Pentax KP vs. Pentax K-70 - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

you might also look at the " in depth reviews "

_______________

you might want to look in the market place " buy/sell " if you are interested in " experienced " equipment

since you live in the US, you might consider checking out the companies that rent camera equipment to have your own " hands on " experience before buying some thing new

lensrental.com

borrowlenses.com

there may be others

02-26-2018, 11:40 AM   #5
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Maybe Ricoh will so the same trick for the K-3 II as they did for the K-1. Then it would be the ideal camera for you. Not that low light on the K-3 II is worse than on the K-5. At pixel level it is a bit worse, but because there are more pixels it is better overall.
02-26-2018, 11:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
Is the K-3 II significantly better than the K-5 in focusing?
Yes, it is. With the K-5 I used to shoot and refocus a couple times and take home 3 shots to make sure I got one in focus. With the K-3II I did that for a while until I got tired of deleting the two perfectly in focus shots that I took extra. I would say you would see an immediate difference. Battery life in the real world is not significantly different in my experience. Especially if you already have several batteries.

The newer KP might be another option but it has the smaller battery.

Personally I would do nothing for a bit until after CP+. We might (or might not) know more about a K-3II replacement. But even if it is mentioned it will not be until fall/winter at the earliest and likely more expensive.

Last edited by jatrax; 02-26-2018 at 11:48 AM.
02-26-2018, 11:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
Is the K-3 II significantly better than the K-5 in focusing?
I would say yes. The focus points are smaller (so easier to focus on smaller objects), and it's quicker to focus, especially in low light.

QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
know I would be giving up some battery life which concerns me because on some trips I take
QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
I also am considering going to a mirrorless system
I think the mirrorless offerings still lag behind on battery life. From what I've seen will e.g. the Sony A7 (ii) last about half of the K-3ii on one charge. To me that's one major obstacle they have to pass before I will give them a serious look.
02-26-2018, 12:20 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, this is really helping. I'll wait just a bit to see if there will be any news for a new camera, but yes, I'm afraid of what the price point might be. Just knowing that the AF would be better is making me want to make the move.

02-26-2018, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
Just knowing that the AF would be better is making me want to make the move.
I always noticed the performance on the K-5, in other words I was at least as good as the camera. With the K-3II I feel when something goes wrong it is me not the camera. I don't notice the camera holding me back any longer. I feel no real need to update the K-3II even if a new replacement was announced. For what I shoot the camera is better than I am so no need for anything better.
02-26-2018, 12:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I always noticed the performance on the K-5, in other words I was at least as good as the camera. With the K-3II I feel when something goes wrong it is me not the camera. I don't notice the camera holding me back any longer. I feel no real need to update the K-3II even if a new replacement was announced. For what I shoot the camera is better than I am so no need for anything better.
I agree 100%. Even better high ISO performance would be nice, as would a full AF overhaul... but neither is essential to me, and in any case a new APS-C flagship is going to be too rich for my blood - at least for a few years. I'm very happy with the K-3 / K-3II...
02-26-2018, 01:01 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
in any case a new APS-C flagship is going to be too rich for my blood - at least for a few years
Me as well. Any funds dedicated to photography will be going to FF lenses for the foreseeable future. Assuming no disasters my K-3II is good for another 3 years at least. Especially now that it is the 'backup' and doesn't get as much use.

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Even better high ISO performance would be nice
I'm not sure I care about high ISO, 1600 is nose bleed level for me. But I would like increased dynamic range, and maybe the ISO performance is related to that? More technical than I can understand but hopefully that is the case. An additional stop of dynamic range would be huge for sunset / sunrise landscapes.
02-26-2018, 01:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
But I would like increased dynamic range ... An additional stop of dynamic range would be huge for sunset / sunrise landscapes.
Yep, I'll take that too... in a few years, though, unless my lottery ticket is working properly this time
02-26-2018, 01:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
lottery ticket is working properly this time
Snowed in right now and cannot get to the grocery to buy mine today. Just my luck, it would be the one that actually worked for a change.
02-26-2018, 01:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
I've had a K-5 since they were introduced in 2010 (I'm on my 2nd K-5 body after my first stopped working properly). I've been holding off buying a new camera because I was happy with my K-5 and didn't think the upgrades warranted getting a new camera. I had decided, however, that when an update to the K-3 II came out, I would buy one... but... when might that be? From what I've read, it might not even happen. My K-5 has a 26,500 shutter count.

So... should I buy a used K3 II? A K-70? KP?

I mostly shoot wildlife, street scenes and landscapes and low light capability is important. I would love a camera with better AF. Is the K-3 II significantly better than the K-5 in focusing?
My experience with the K5 autofocus was worse than painful. The AF worked OK in good daylight with no strong colours in the scene and the lens well stopped down. That was it's comfort range, and outside of it, it was anywhere from useless to really appallingly bad.
For the record, flakey AF was one of several well documented and quite serious issues with that body. If Yugo made a camera, it would have been the K5.
The K3 is the first Pentax I've had where I felt the AF was actually working properly, and I quite like it.
I don't have any experience with later APS-C models, I jumped from the K3 to the K1, but I would say anything made after the K5 is going to be a significant improvement in AF dependability. This is something Ricoh fixed after taking over from Hoya.

QuoteQuote:
I know I would be giving up some battery life which concerns me because on some trips I take, finding a place to plug in electronics is not always easy. I have several batteries as it is. I don't care about video so that's not a factor.

I also am considering going to a mirrorless system (probably Sony) and could wait it out with my K-5 for a few more years before I do that. That is born a lot out of it being more difficult to haul around the weight of a DSLR and lenses as I age.

What are your thoughts?
Before you jump into mirrorless, make sure your eyes can take the strain imposed by an electronic viewfinder. Mine can't, and apparently, I am one of some 30% of the population that will have problems with eye strain. Also, if you are concerned about battery life, mirrorless my not be the 'droid you are looking for. Yes, they are compact, and that is nice, but they are also battery hungry little piglets, and the small bodies don't carry large batteries.
Be aware also that the lenses for mirrorless are not necessarily all that much smaller, if they are smaller at all, than lenses for an APS-C SLR.
My other system is Fuji. I have an X-T1 and five lenses. All of them are bigger and heavier than the Pentax Limited lenses, though to be fair, they are also all significantly faster.
The battery life of the Fuji is terrible if one uses the camera the way one would be used to being able to use an SLR. Any time you are using the viewfinder, you are in live view, and you are killing your battery. I've heard of people getting as few as 50 exposures on a battery, I have never been able to get more than ~250, and this is by very careful usage, where I have the finder set to turn on only when I bring the camera to my eye, and I spend as little time as possible on the viewfinder, With the Fuji, I rarely spend more than 2-3 seconds looking through the viewfinder.
Contrast this with getting a thousand or more pictures from a battery in a DSLR, and all of a sudden the weight savings of the small body doesn't look so good. I carry half a dozen spare batteries for my Pentax, and with my shooting habits, I can travel for a couple of weeks without having to charge a battery. To do the same thing with my mirrorless, I would have to carry a couple of dozen batteries.
I can add a battery pack to the Fuji to extend shooting life, but this adds size and weight, and doesn't address the overall consumption issues that plague these small sized camera bodies.

Whichever way you jump, do your homework regarding the size and weight of the lenses you would be interested in, as well as battery life. You might find that a small APS-C Pentax isn't such a bad way to go.

If you decide to go full frame, yes, the Sony bodies are quite petite, but full frame lenses tend to be bigger, and heavier, especially the more modern ones, which seem to be rather porcine.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 02-26-2018 at 03:43 PM.
02-26-2018, 01:42 PM   #15
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I'm thinking very seriously about a K-3ii (currently shooting 8 year old K-20D), and I am disappointed that K-3ii was officially discontinued. Guess I better make a decision before they are all gone.
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