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05-29-2019, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #1
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What's your favorite 2008-2013 APS-C Pentax DSLR and do you still use it?

I intentionally constrained the the date range to encompass the transition from CCD to CMOS and to limit the rise in MP count.

I'm wondering how these older DSLRs are holding up today. I'm especially curious about how their IQ stands up.


Last edited by MD Optofonik; 05-29-2019 at 03:25 PM.
05-29-2019, 02:24 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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I am still using my K-3 as my primary body, (purchased 2014). Camera is holding up without issue and it still takes awesome images
well within my needs. I am eagerly awaiting the next APS-C flagship body, but more for some of the expected creature comforts than
any real need for better IQ.

I also have a K10D as a backup that gets absolutely no use at present, (the K-3 has never needed to be 'backed up'.). Someday I'd like to get
the K10D converted for infrared shooting.
05-29-2019, 02:30 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Currently using K-01 and K-30 (both 2012-2013), albeit the first one much more than the second - just love to use LV for MF lenses (I know, only the latter is a DSLR).

IQ? exceptional, I don't feel the need for much more... even in museums and places when "they" allow you to take pictures but "without flash, without tripod, without anything".

I've taken pictures of paintings in dark churches, and those compared very favorably to the same pictures taken with full frame Canon cameras, and available on Wikimedia Commons at full resolution.

Recently I bought a - cheap - 4K TV and started using it as a monitor, retiring the old fullHD one... and seeing more of the data in the images made me like them even more... there's so much information that one wasn't getting before, that I think sometimes the answer is not upgrading the camera, but just exploiting its files to the full.

So, yeah, IQ-wise I'm liking them a lot.

Last edited by LensBeginner; 05-29-2019 at 02:35 PM.
05-29-2019, 02:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I intentionally constrained the the date range to encompass the transition from CCD to CMOS and to limit the rise in MP count.

I'm wondering how these cameras are holding up today. I'm especially curious about how their IQ stands up.
I have a K3 and a second hand K3 iI but Iím finding Iím using my two K-01s more often as they are easier to carry, less threatening for candids and street photography and work perfectly with infra red filters. IQ depends more on the lens than the sensor, in my experience.

05-29-2019, 02:46 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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My K-5 still serves as my "walkabout camera", for general purpose and macro photography it's more than adequate and has all the features I want readily available on switches and dials, no digging around in menus whilst the clouds blow past, the rainbow fades or the subject starts to move


My *ist's give me that CCD colour for when I'm feeling a bit "arty" and can fill the viewfinder, I use my K-70 almost exclusively with a "bigma" for wildlife photography, where I can take advantage of the extra "cropability" that 24Mpixels gives ... the only real reason I bought it, though I must admit the low-noise at hi-ISO performance is very impressive!
05-29-2019, 02:47 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I bought a KR and K5 during that period. The K5 was a great camera for its time, with outstanding low light image quality. It's still a usable camera and I keep it as a backup to the K1. The KR was sold on the marketplace.
05-29-2019, 02:55 PM - 1 Like   #7
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My K3 is just fine. I bought it from SRS in Watford after the K3ii had superseded it, and they were sold out of their remaining stock that Saturday; even the two used ones were gone. It's a great camera. I sometimes use the built in flash of the K3, but the astrotracer function of the K3ii isn't much use to me, which is why I went for the older model. I got it at a very good price, too. If I ever need the astrotracer function, I'll borrow the separate module from my brother.

I still have my first Pentax DSLR, a K20D. I used it a couple of weekend ago. It comes out when I need two camera bodies, and gets it's old mate the 16-50. The K3 got the 60-250 that day. The K20D is set up for manual focus. It has a Katzeye screen and the Pentax magnifying eyecup. Oh yeh, it also has a small piece of velcro on the rear AF button so I can find it by feel (as does the K3) and a wall of Sugru around the mode dial so it doesn't get knocked onto the wrong mode. And, I almost forgot, some basic depth of field tables for 24 and 50mm lenses, sellotaped to the base.
05-29-2019, 03:28 PM - 8 Likes   #8
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Another K3 user here. I shoot at night with people using various camera almost every weekend. I think my K3 is still doing more than ok. I never have a problem with image quality / IQ when compare with whatever latest camera in the market but I guess it has to do with what lens being used with it too... and... shooting technic..if we talk about urban night photography. I have a number of full-frame user with the latest camera in the market amazed by what the K3 does like in the image below. I believe, with the right shooting technic and a good lens in front, any modern camera body in the last 5-8 years can deliver great results.

However, I struggle more with its autofocus at night. I learn not to trust its autofocus when doing night street photography, so I often switch to manual focus in live view. but that makes me looks like a badass pro-photographer to another when in fact I am not a pro or anywhere near being a pro. My camera autofocus is unreliable, that's all
Day time autofocus works great by the way.



This one shoots from street level with very height contrast between light and shadow parts of the image. The observatory is about 250m high up and K3 sensor still manage to capture all the details including people faces (shape) on the left hand.

Bottom line, Invest in good lenses & find time to shoot more with it.


Last edited by tokyoscape; 05-29-2019 at 03:48 PM.
05-29-2019, 03:46 PM - 4 Likes   #9
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Pentax K-r converted to infrared 720nm:



[ Pentax K-r IR with kit lens: DA 18-55mm AL II at 24mm ]

Philip
05-29-2019, 03:52 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoscape Quote
Another K3 user here. I shoot at night with people using various camera almost every weekend. I think my K3 is still doing more than ok. I never have a problem with image quality / IQ when compare with whatever latest camera in the market but I guess it has to do with what lens being used with it too... and... shooting technic..if we talk about urban night photography. I have a number of full-frame user with the latest camera in the market amazed by what the K3 does like in the image below. I believe, with the right shooting technic and a good lens in front, any modern camera body in the last 5-8 years can deliver great results.

However, I struggle more with its autofocus at night. I learn not to trust its autofocus when doing night street photography, so I often switch to manual focus in live view. but that makes me looks like a badass pro-photographer to another when in fact I am not a pro or anywhere near being a pro. My camera autofocus is unreliable, that's all
Day time autofocus works great by the way.
Edit Message


This one shoots from street level with very height contrast between light and shadow parts of the image. The observatory is about 250m high up and K3 sensor still manage to capture all the details including people faces (shape) on the left hand.
Nice. Interesting to see an image output by an APS-C sensor from 2013 with 24MP. At the height of the MP marketing wars it seemed that many sensors suffered from having too many pixels.
05-29-2019, 04:59 PM - 4 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I'm wondering how these older DSLRs are holding up today. I'm especially curious about how their IQ stands up.
My one and only DSLR (K-30) was purchased July 2012. I'm a hobbyist, shutter count is about 22,000 and I have had zero problems. Would it be nice to have 1-2 stops lower noise, with say a K-70, yes, of course, but compared to a Super Program (my most recent SLR, which stills works BTW in spite of its age), I have so many opportunities to take images that are impossible with film, I'm not complaining. Other than better (almost impossible to be worse) AF.C, a newer, better body isn't going to improve my photography. I'm not saying I won't buy another DSLR, but with K-50 firmware (so I could use the 55-300 PLM if I had one), there is no compelling reason to replace my K-30.


Maybe I'm part of the problem for camera manufacturers, unless I make a quantum leap in spending on my photography hobby, to get serious glass like the DFA * 70-200 f2.8 or DFA 150-450, there is not much to be gained by upgrading my body. I'm at the point where all the low hanging fruit in terms of lenses to add to my bag is taken care of, so even my lens buying is drying up. Do I buy a DA 21 or FA 43 or a rectilinear ultra-wide wider than the DA 15, to make a difference in less than 5% of the pictures I take? Do I, at a minimum, double the amount of time I spend taking photos by setting aside time to practice photography, in order to make buying a new lens worthwhile? (besides, I can always spend more time using what I already have) Without children in our household, taking candid portraits is an unwelcome activity and landscape and wildlife photos are limited to travelling in my free time. Unfortunately, when my time is free, the travel part isn't, so photography is becoming a hobby that I indulge in less and less. I have so many pictures of my wife's flowers, even she can't be bothered to look at them. There is a real possibility that if you run the same poll ten years from now, I will still be using my K-30.
05-29-2019, 05:05 PM - 8 Likes   #12
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2 K-3 bodies and 1 K-5 IIs here

one of the K-3's I bought new and it's rapidly closing in on 100k shutter actuations - it's a tank...

second K-3 was bought used here through the Marketplace and doesn't have half that amount of shots on it (yet)

the K-5 IIs I bought "used" from Roberts Camera and is now my permanent M42 body (I say "used" because it had less than 500 shots on it and I could not tell that it had ever been used)....

I had a K-50 that I traded off because it was developing an electrical glitch that I figured was going to kill it eventually, so I replaced it with the second K-3...

as far as enjoying them - I cannot imagine having better camera bodies in my hand, either the K-3 or the K-5...

and the IQ is consistently surprising me...

some of my favorites:











05-29-2019, 05:24 PM - 7 Likes   #13
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K-5, I bought used in 2014 (my first real camera) is my only camera. But I'm saving for something else someday (still Pentax ).

I use mostly my K series lenses I've collected over the past 5 years.

With the K-30mm f2.8


With the K-50mm f1.4


With the K-85 f1.8
05-29-2019, 06:46 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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I have had a K20D, K-30, and K-50 which I still have. The K20D was my first Pentax and hooked me, but the K-30 and K-50 were the best, I sold the K20D when I got the K-30, bought the K-50 when the K-30 was getting the aperture block repair, and sold the K-30 when I got a KP. The K-50 doesn't get much use since the KP came along, but I did have it out last week. I also bout a kx and another K-50, but they were gifts for my kids.
05-29-2019, 07:15 PM - 3 Likes   #15
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My K5 got no use after I got the K-1II, so I have gifted it to my daughter who's studying Fashion. So, the K5 lives on doing fashion photography.
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