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01-30-2020, 08:21 PM   #1
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Better second camera: K3ii or KP?

I have my K3ii with battery grip that I have enjoyed for the last 2+ years and have really learned by feel. I am looking for a used 2nd camera for back-up or as a second camera in certain situations. I do a lot of Motorsports photography where having a long lens and a short lens readily available would be handy. I’m torn between another K3ii or the KP. Add to that, I really don’t want to wait for the mysterious new top line Pentax APS-C camera. The WiFi and tilt screen on the KP are intriguing and would help at work, but my comfort level with the K3ii is, well, comforting. I’d love to hear from those of you who may have been here too!


Last edited by JCCharles; 01-30-2020 at 08:26 PM.
01-30-2020, 09:20 PM   #2
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Compare the features you use on the K-3II with those supported on the KP. If they don't match, another K-3II or the K-new might be better options.


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01-30-2020, 09:21 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I used my K 3 and K 3 II in a similar fashion when I wanted immediate ability to use " short range " and telephoto capability while on safari or otherwise expecting wildlife photographic opportunities

the K 3 and K 3II are closely matched
01-30-2020, 09:48 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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Having two identical camera bodies for a shoot, particularly when you might want to change quickly from one to the other, makes much more sense for me. No distractions of different control systems and ergonomics = full concentration on the photography.

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01-30-2020, 10:16 PM   #5
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The KP is a much different beast than the K3 bodies. I really loved my K3, but having the WiFi capabilities of the KP and K1 are something I’ve really started to enjoy and get a lot out of.

Having said that, as MrB1 said, having two identical bodies can be important, especially if you are shooting for anything paid.
01-30-2020, 10:25 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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Another issue with having both K3II and KP is that they use two different batteries, and the battery for KP may need replacement quite often.
So it makes it a little more difficult to handle spare batteries, so that you bring the right amount of the right type of batteries.
01-30-2020, 10:46 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
Another issue with having both K3II and KP is that they use two different batteries, and the battery for KP may need replacement quite often.
So it makes it a little more difficult to handle spare batteries, so that you bring the right amount of the right type of batteries.
Good point but the KP with battery grip can use the same battery as the K3 I believe.
01-30-2020, 11:16 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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If it's just to get the job done..... two bodies near identicle..... if it's just hobby stuff for you.... then KP for something new/fun.... K1 for..... mmmm..... ah.... thinking.... what have I done?


Last edited by noelpolar; 01-30-2020 at 11:21 PM.
01-30-2020, 11:22 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rudy Quote
Good point but the KP with battery grip can use the same battery as the K3 I believe.
This is true, the KP grip will take the same battery as the K3.

As far as battery life goes, the smaller battery of the KP isnít something Iíve noticed as being a problem. At one point I had the K5, K3, and K1, all of which take the same battery. All the worry I did about the battery with the KP was for nothing.

Itís about the features you want/need the most. I love the compact, almost film camera size of the KP. I have a choice in camera size when I look at the K1 and KP, it all depends on what Iím going to shoot and where.
01-31-2020, 01:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rudy Quote
Good point but the KP with battery grip can use the same battery as the K3 I believe.
Correct me if I am wrong but the cost of the grip is 200-300$

That skews the comparison a little bit price wise.
01-31-2020, 01:56 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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Nikon D500?
01-31-2020, 02:02 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I would definitely get another K3ii.
With KP you would need to get a battery grip + large body grip + spare D-LI90.
In Australia KP comes with a small body grip , unusable for me it has very different feel to K3ii body grip.
01-31-2020, 02:30 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Owning a KP and a K-5 (but not a K3), I'd suggest the ergonomics of the "front e-dial/shutter button/DOF Lever" arrangement of the two cameras are sufficiently different to be "annoying", (if not downright inconvenient)!

For me, switching between two bodies in an action situation, I'd much prefer to have the button layouts as similar as possible. The *ist's, the K-5, the K-70 (and probably others) are all very similar, why they had to change things on the KP I can't figure Even the very slightly different placement and feel of the shutter button can be sufficient to have me thinking twice on occasion ... I find it a nuisance!

The KP is a jolly good camera, with lots of advanced features, but if I've got to think about where to find them whilst my subject is disappearing into the next parish I'd rather have a second body I'm totally familiar with

Last edited by kypfer; 01-31-2020 at 02:33 AM. Reason: spelling
01-31-2020, 02:58 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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I have two K-5IIs and a KP. The KP is a very good camera, but it just isn't ergonomically as good as the K-5II. The battery life is very noticeably shorter and it's not nearly as comfortable to hold as the K-5II, even with the large grip. For me, the KP's short battery life, lack of IR remote, small buffer, no top LCD, and uncomfortable grip are more than compensated by its low light performance, fast processing, better focusing and tilt screen.


01-31-2020, 04:09 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCCharles Quote
I do a lot of Motorsports photography where having a long lens and a short lens readily available would be handy. Iím torn between another K3ii or the KP. Add to that, I really donít want to wait for the mysterious new top line Pentax APS-C camera.
Hmm... maybe waiting is precisely what you want to do?
At least, until the end of February, to see if we'll find out more about it (at CP+).

IMO you have to decide on the longer term, that is if to target the new APS-C or not. You will get better image quality (at least KP level, presumably slightly better), and higher performance with a new AF system which might help with motorsports.
If you cannot wait and you do need a backup, there's always the option of looking for a cheap K-3 - to save money for the new camera.
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