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07-23-2018, 05:07 PM   #1
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Right Time to Upgrade?

I've had my K3-II for a few years now, and it has performed well, however I'm considering making a change to a K1 or I suppose K1 Mk II but if the improvement in the areas I'm concerned about aren't huge, I am willing to wait for the next FF model.

There's two primary areas it sounds like making the change now might be good:

I've been doing substantially more nighttime/low light shooting in the past year and expect this to continue.

I've been doing more shooting that requires good auto-focus performance. Not that i think the K3 II is bad at this, but it sounds like the performance of the K1/K1 II might be a decent upgrade in this regard.

Also, I believe 3 of my 5 lenses are FF compatible based on looking at the Lens Database. Here's what I have in my bag:

HD Pentax-DA 15mm Limited (APS-C)
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm Limited (FF)
SMC Pentax-FA 77mm Limited (FF)
SMC Pentax-DFA Macro 100mm WR (FF)
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm (APS-C)

The funds aren't an issue to step up as I've been setting aside a little fund thinking ahead to future camera/lens purchases, it's just hard making the decision on my own I think

07-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #2
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I guess the question is KP or K-1

Either way an upgrade with help both Low Light and AF from what I understand.
Your two lenses that are not at all FF could be replaced with something like the Irix 15mm and a DA 300. Granted you'd have zero zooms but your existing kit is quite light on them already.
07-23-2018, 05:32 PM   #3
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I will comment from my own perspective as a K-3 user awaiting to upgrade.

The step from a K-3ii to K-1/K-1ii is a major move, from APS-C to FF. This will change of lot of things because your images will not be cropped anymore. Further you have only 2 FF lenses, and will need to invest in FF lenses.

There is no doubt that the K-1 is great value for a FF camera. But APS-C is there to stay and there will be a K-3iii or equivalent next year.

It is not a simple decision and I hope that the comment may help.
07-23-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
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I moved from K3-ii to a K-1... It was a really nice upgrade, but most of the photos were _possible_ with the K3-ii. The biggest upgrade, I thought, was at least a full stop improvement in total noise (to be expected on sensor size increase). On my K3-ii my personal cutoff for good photos was usually 3200; 6400 if I knew they were only going to social media. Doubling that criteria really enables getting more low-light action shots without too much motion blur (assuming no flash). I'm no wedding photographer but I snap without flash at friend/family weddings... and it's a different game than with the K3ii.

I love it so much I even use it for sports/wildlife even though the K3-ii is arguably better for those. I just enjoy using it more!

25600 @ f/2.8 (dfa 24-70) action: Shared album - Devin Grady - Google Photos -- it's noisy, but workable in B&W
3200 @ f/2 (rokinon 24) night sky: Evening Light - Devin -- it's a pano so the noise seems even lower than it really is, but K-1 is really quite something for astro.
6400 @ f/2.8 (40xs) posed wedding: Shared album - Devin Grady - Google Photos

Obviously it's stellar in good light too but the difference isn't "I couldn't get that shot" before -- for night sky, I could get the shot on APS-C; it was not as good. For low-light action, I really had trouble getting those types of shots without flash.

Side note: the 100mm Macro _really_ feels at home on the K-1 in a way that it didn't on the K3. I liked it before but really fell in love on the K-1. I have gone on overnight camping trips carrying only the 100mm macro and been happy with my choice.

07-23-2018, 05:39 PM   #5
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I shoot both K-3II and K-1 and for some things the K-1 is clearly superior but for many things the distinction is not clear cut. This is not an easy decision to make and factors like the weight of the K-1 and the new FF lenses that go with should be considered.

I suspect if Ricoh had dropped a K-3 replacement this summer or fall the decision would be easier. But if you feel a need to upgrade now then the K-1 does look attractive. But moving to FF is not clearly better than APS-C in all situations. You should carefully look at what you are shooting and whether that could be improved significantly by going to FF.
07-23-2018, 05:51 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I shoot with the K3 and K-1 primarily. I really don’t see that much increase in weight in actual use. The autofocus is considerably improved and the camera is a joy to use. One of the biggest reasons I bought it was the vast array of legacy glass I already owned, including the three FA Limiteds (I also shoot a lot of film)
There are improvements in high iso, but I still tend to shoot low iso.
07-23-2018, 06:11 PM   #7
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Now would be a great time to go for the K-1, if you decide that it's the right way to go. It's still available brand new and at a lower price than at launch, making it a great deal. Or, if you want the K-1 II, it delivers even better AF and just got a (temporary) $100 rebate.

I wouldn't expect a new FF body anytime soon. A crop flagship and new 645 offering would make a lot more sense given that other areas have seen new entries more recently. However, given the recent slower pace of product releases, I wonder if we'll even see another new camera this year.

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07-23-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A crop flagship and new 645 offering would make a lot more sense
And holding your breathe on these wouldn't!

07-23-2018, 06:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
And holding your breathe on these wouldn't!
I so badly want me a new flagship apsc tho...
07-23-2018, 06:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I will comment from my own perspective as a K-3 user awaiting to upgrade.

The step from a K-3ii to K-1/K-1ii is a major move, from APS-C to FF. This will change of lot of things because your images will not be cropped anymore. Further you have only 2 FF lenses, and will need to invest in FF lenses.

There is no doubt that the K-1 is great value for a FF camera. But APS-C is there to stay and there will be a K-3iii or equivalent next year.

It is not a simple decision and I hope that the comment may help.
Thank you for the info - to clarify, which of my 3 lenses I believe to be FF is actually APS-C? Based on the lens review database, I thought all three of the 40mm, 77mm, and 100mm were. Just want to make sure there's not an error there.
07-23-2018, 06:33 PM - 1 Like   #11
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If you get the K-1 the DFA 28-105 (or 24-70) is almost a necessity. And to match your 15 some nice 20 would be close to the same. The issue is the 55-300. The 150-450 to give you the same reach is quite a bundle of money. If you want with a K-1 what you have with K-3 then it's a major investment.

I use my K-1 for landscape and my K-3 for wildlife and birding and increasingly for walk around lens (with the 21 ltd and 40XS in the bag, or a pocket.) The three FF lenses you have are all really nice lenses, but I really wasn't happy until I got the DFA 28-105. the DFA 28-105 is your chance to get excited about modern glass. It's not your dad's kit lens.
07-23-2018, 06:33 PM   #12
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Well for night shooting the K-1 is fantastic. Yes you can also achieve fantastic night shots with a crop sensor but the K-1 does give you a little more latitude (makes a difference in some scenarios at least). During PP, you also have plenty of image detail to allow some pretty significant cropping when you "see" the scene that you should have shot in the first place!

Its just a case of whether advantages are worth the disadvantages (cost, a bit more weight, needing to invest in lenses and perhaps not as good as APS-C for telephoto shooting - unless you don't mind the cost / weight of a big lens!).

BTW the DA40 has some FF coverage (pretty poor in the corners though) and I found I can use my DA 55-300 from about 100 - 300 (unsurprisingly corners are not super flash but I find it usable). As a starting point the DFA28-105 performs surprisingly well for the money.
07-23-2018, 06:50 PM   #13
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It seems to me the most logical for your stated needs of better low-light/low noise performance would be one of three choices- 1. Go to FF and buy corresponding lenses. 2. Get a KP for both low light and lighter carrying needs, but keep your K-3II for all other needs. 3. Wait for the next K-3 II replacement.

Choice #2 would actually be less costly than #1, and you'd have two styles of very high-quality bodies to serve overlapping but also independent needs, including the pull-out tilt screen. One thing noticeable is all of your lenses are compact to very compact, which clearly spells KP. However, I do understand sometimes having a need for the faster dedicated control set of the K-3 II , as I have both the similar design of the K-5 IIs, and the KP as well.
07-23-2018, 07:02 PM   #14
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FA77 and DFA100WR are by definition full frame lenses.
DA40 Limited is just about there, but in some situations corner sharpness and vignetting will not be up to scratch.
DA55-300 gets pretty close to covering the full frame around the 200mm mark, but i still consider it a crop only lens.
Don't even think about it with the DA15 Limited

For low light and improved AF you could just get the KP and save size, weight and a pile of cash, and continue using your excellent lenses just the way you have been.

As Norm has said, replacing your crop lenses with full frame equivalents is going to cost you big time, not only monetarily but in size and weight too. Not that I'm trying to put you off a K-1; it's a great camera! But I'd consider keeping your K-3 as well.
07-23-2018, 07:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcleary47 Quote
I've been doing substantially more nighttime/low light shooting in the past year and expect this to continue.
May be we are shooting in a similar lighting environment? I mostly shoot during Sunset to night in urban envelopment, dealing with extremely high contrast lighting and more than often, need to do handheld autofocus in low light, and I am on a K3. I have been shooting with the friends using FF body from variate brand like Nikon, Canon and of cause Sony. I have to say I always look at them with envy eyes seeing them doing handheld lowlight street photo. The high ISO performance is awesome on FF, and they don’t even have to use as high ISO as my K3 often goes. Sometimes we exchange using each other camera, I really like their camera’s doing autofocus at night, and I can see their reaction when using my K3. I often joke for them wait until they try my K5 lowlight autofocus!

Anyway, things totally changed when we are on a Tripod. I have nothing to envy while on tripod. My K3 can deliver very well and often wow my FF friends.

I want to switch to a FF too. I am sure K1 will be a good update for low light night photography, but I am not a fan of its physical weight. I am waiting for more brands to enter a mirrorless market and see what’s next for Pentax / what’s next for me. Pentax showed no interesting in entering FF DSLR before, they used to focus on compact WR APSC body+lenses, and now we see they came up with the K1 which makes money & monstrous size lenses for both FF and APSC. Who knows what will happen after Canon Nikon enter the FF mirrorless market? Fuji might follow, Pentax might follow. The money is waiting there. Meanwhile, I will still be using my awesome K3. Autofocus is not everything for me, more practice will sure help.

If you don’t care about the size and weight, I am sure FF body like the K1 will be a very nice update for what you are doing.

Last edited by pakinjapan; 07-23-2018 at 07:23 PM.
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