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12-27-2018, 12:51 PM   #1
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My K-3 died. What now?

Hello, everyone! Here's another "help me choose a new camera body" thread.

One of my two K-3 bodies died recently, and I need to replace it with...something. I've been incredibly happy with my K-3's, and ordinarily I would have just gone ahead and bought whatever the newest high-end APS-C body was, but the K-3 ii has been discontinued, I can't find any used K-3 ii bodies from the usual venues I'd buy from, and so now I have some decisions to make.

I do mostly landscape photography, the non-casual sort: camp, get up at 5 AM to catch the sunrise, do a bunch of PP, push the sensor to its limits, that sort of thing. Besides that, I do some studio portrait photography.

The way I see it, my options are:

Used K-1: This is pretty much everything I'd hope for, but it's a lot more than I'd like to spend, I'm not sure about the weight, and I don't currently own any weather-sealed FF lenses, and I don't have the budget to buy any.

KP, K-5: Great cameras, but I'm serious enough about what I'm doing that I feel I really need the dual SD card slots for redundancy.

K-70: All of the above disadvantages, plus, given the sort of accidents I've had, I *really* need extra-rugged body.

GR: The idea of seeing the world through a take-everywhere 18mm lens is pretty appealing, but, honestly, it's not a major use case for me to be doing serious photography in places where I can't lug around a big bag of gear.

And, for reference, here's my list of lenses:
APS-C: 8mm Rokinon, 18-55, 20-40, 15, 21, 40, 55-300
Full-frame: 14mm Rokinon, 31mm, K 55mm 1.8, 77mm, M 100mm macro

Anyway, what are your thoughts?


Last edited by Outis; 12-27-2018 at 01:02 PM.
12-27-2018, 01:03 PM   #2
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Another K-3 from the marketplace sounds like a good start. I see there were a couple the last time I checked. But the K-P is no slouch if you can do away with the top LCD and dual SD card slots. I wouldn’t go any more vintage than K-5 IIs and even then you are still doing away with the dual SD card slots. K-1 would be everything but at the same time overkill since your lenses don’t bring out the best of that camera. I’d say a replacement K-3 or K-3 II.
12-27-2018, 01:05 PM   #3
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Have you tried sourcing a used K-3 classic&II from the market on this forum? When my own K-3 died because of an accident I was able to buy one from my local (Dutch) Pentax forum.
12-27-2018, 02:17 PM   #4
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I purchased my last K-3 from the Marketplace here; I have also seen used K-3's at B&H and LensAuthority - both of which I would recommend...

12-27-2018, 05:55 PM   #5
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You can find a used K-3 or K-3ii, if not here at PF, then possibly at keh.com, B&H, or Adorama. But if you were willing to sell of your APS-C lenses, you might be able to scrounge up enough money to get a used K-1. You've got enough FF primes to make a go at it, and perhaps later on, you could add the DFA 28-105 for greater flexibility.
12-27-2018, 05:57 PM   #6
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B&H has a K-3II available used.
12-27-2018, 07:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
Hello, everyone! Here's another "help me choose a new camera body" thread.

One of my two K-3 bodies died recently, and I need to replace it with...something. I've been incredibly happy with my K-3's, and ordinarily I would have just gone ahead and bought whatever the newest high-end APS-C body was, but the K-3 ii has been discontinued, I can't find any used K-3 ii bodies from the usual venues I'd buy from, and so now I have some decisions to make.

I do mostly landscape photography, the non-casual sort: camp, get up at 5 AM to catch the sunrise, do a bunch of PP, push the sensor to its limits, that sort of thing. Besides that, I do some studio portrait photography.

The way I see it, my options are:

Used K-1: This is pretty much everything I'd hope for, but it's a lot more than I'd like to spend, I'm not sure about the weight, and I don't currently own any weather-sealed FF lenses, and I don't have the budget to buy any.

KP, K-5: Great cameras, but I'm serious enough about what I'm doing that I feel I really need the dual SD card slots for redundancy.

K-70: All of the above disadvantages, plus, given the sort of accidents I've had, I *really* need extra-rugged body.

GR: The idea of seeing the world through a take-everywhere 18mm lens is pretty appealing, but, honestly, it's not a major use case for me to be doing serious photography in places where I can't lug around a big bag of gear.

And, for reference, here's my list of lenses:
APS-C: 8mm Rokinon, 18-55, 20-40, 15, 21, 40, 55-300
Full-frame: 14mm Rokinon, 31mm, K 55mm 1.8, 77mm, M 100mm macro

Anyway, what are your thoughts?
Best idea a used k-3 and wait to see what Pentax brings out. It keeps the controls identical.
12-28-2018, 06:17 AM   #8
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KEH has a K-3 listed in their eBay listings... free shipping and a six-month warranty...

12-28-2018, 07:54 AM   #9
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If dual card slots are a must-have and the K-1 is outside your budget, the K-3 series is your only choice. Any idea what's broken on your K-3? If you can wait for repair that might cost less than buying a used camera.

"I do mostly landscape photography, the non-casual sort: camp, get up at 5 AM to catch the sunrise, do a bunch of PP, push the sensor to its limits, that sort of thing. Besides that, I do some studio portrait photography."

Reconsider the K-70 or KP because the sensor is better than what's in the K-3. You didn't mention needing bursts for action photography which is the K-3 specialty. Yes, as you already noted you'll be limited to a single card slot.

You did mention body durability. That makes a used K-5 your budget option. Less resolution than K-3 but better dynamic range, and similar durability. Also limited to a single card slot.
12-28-2018, 08:04 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
. . . Any idea what's broken on your K-3? If you can wait for repair that might cost less than buying a used camera. . . .
I wonder if the OP has looked into the cost of repair.

US Pentax Warranty Repair Information - PentaxForums.com

Precision does repair Pentax cameras and lens that no longer have warranty coverage and will give a free estimate, you do pay shipping

I just had my HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW repaired by them
12-28-2018, 09:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I wonder if the OP has looked into the cost of repair.

US Pentax Warranty Repair Information - PentaxForums.com

Precision does repair Pentax cameras and lens that no longer have warranty coverage and will give a free estimate, you do pay shipping

I just had my HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW repaired by them
From what other users had reported with similar problems, the cost of a repair was something in the $300-500 rage, which is more than I want to spend on a camera that's worth about that much. But I could send it in and get it looked at, at least.
12-28-2018, 09:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
From what other users had reported with similar problems, the cost of a repair was something in the $300-500 rage, which is more than I want to spend on a camera that's worth about that much. But I could send it in and get it looked at, at least.
I would suggest calling them and seeing what the cost of shipping would be

once you know that, you can decide whether it is worth it.

or you could take a road trip to Enfield CT.
12-28-2018, 12:47 PM   #13
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The advantage of another K3 or K1 (or K5 for that matter) are that you can still use the same battery,
12-28-2018, 01:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stemked Quote
The advantage of another K3 or K1 (or K5 for that matter) are that you can still use the same battery,
The KP battery grip can as well so there's that. But I think having had a K-50 and K-3 simultaneously and then two K-3's and now one K-3 having two identical bodies is a better idea than having two different ones - it keeps the controls and menus the same and makes for a lower stress situation when swapping from one to the other.
12-28-2018, 03:19 PM   #15
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I also second the K-3 or K-3II as a replacement, especially if the OP is of the frame of mind to be interested in what Pentax will be replacing the K-3 line with later on...
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