Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-24-2021, 06:44 PM   #1
Junior Member

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 30
Starting from scratch - K3 lll or K1 ll?

If you were starting out with nothing, would you go APS-C or Full Frame.

I am more than excited about the new K3 lll,
I have been away from DSLRs since the D was added.

I was almost ready to pull the trigger on the K3 lll.
But I keep researching with the buy once, cry one, saying in mind.

I live in northern Michigan and my primary targets would be wildlife, streams, birds occasionally, some scenics, but no great expanses like Moab.

Normally I would say that would drive me towards the K3 lll. But this area is heavily canopied, and I will be out when the critters are out, early morning and near dusk. So light may be a factor. The image stabilization in the K3 lll is impressive.

I have no attachment to any gear at this point so it's a clean slate.
I will probably look to acquire two lenses, right away, both and good as fast as I can afford, probably 2.8 range.

I like the additional reach of the cropped sensor, but wonder if it my not pay to step up to Full Frame right off the bat,

I gave serious consideration to the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark lll, but I keep coming back here.

I have turned out some reasonably decent results with an old point & shoot, but looking to up my game.

I had pro level Canon setup back in the film era, but sold it off.

This is about the best I can achieve with my 6 megapixel beater,

95% will be outdoors, little to no video. At least at this juncture.


06-24-2021, 06:52 PM   #2
amateur dirt farmer
Loyal Site Supporter
pepperberry farm's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,397
starting over, with or without a lens collection....

for me, this would be the deciding factor....
06-24-2021, 07:06 PM - 1 Like   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,328
You are describing the thing you want to shoot and it seems like a fit to the K-3III to me. There is no 2.8 Pentax long lens but the DA*300 f4 is an excellent lens. That should be a great combination in a dark woods. The DA 55-300 PLM is a great longer zoom but may be too slow for shooting under a heavy canopy. I have not used the DFA 150-400. The are all weather sealed lenses to match nicely with the K-3III.
06-24-2021, 07:06 PM   #4
Pentaxian At Large
Loyal Site Supporter
robgski's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,901
With your interests and location, You would probably be happier with the K-3iii.

06-24-2021, 07:18 PM   #5
kiwi_jono's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,117
Touch decision to make but they are both great cameras / systems!

If you do more action / wildlife oriented shooting (which is it sounds like you might be) then the K-3III has some advantages (and its high ISO still pretty good). Also the K-3iii system will be lighter to carry.
If more oriented to landscape scenes or very low light shooting, or just need the resolution, then K-1 starts to make sense.
06-24-2021, 07:29 PM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: L.A. County, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 368
I'd say the K-3 III would be the better match for you due to the crop factor, auto-focusing performance, and larger auto-focus area. I also say that high ISO isn't an issue with the K-3 III. In my opinion, it stands nearly toe-to-toe with my K-1. I've taken shots in a parking garage at ISO 12800 with satisfactory results.
06-24-2021, 07:57 PM - 1 Like   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: May 2016
Location: East Coast
Posts: 2,763
From what you describe, I think the K-3 III would be a better fit. The crop factor plus pixel density will give you more bang for the buck for the telephoto side, and from all accounts, the low light performance of the K-3 III is top notch too. Also much better frame rate and buffer for shooting birds and other wildlife. I find my K-1 II lacking in this area compared to my K-3 II.

06-24-2021, 08:26 PM   #8
New Member

Join Date: May 2021
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Posts: 21
You want the K3iii.

I have a K1 and I love it but I am thinking about getting the K3iii as a second body for wildlife.

The crop factor and the superior autofocus are huge selling points.
06-24-2021, 09:56 PM - 1 Like   #9
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,510
there is a way to play it safe

but it will cost you

try renting and conduct your own trial

Information on Businesses that offer cameras and lenses for rent
Information on Businesses that offer cameras and lenses for rent - Page 3 -
06-24-2021, 10:08 PM - 1 Like   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
i_trax's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Perth Western Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,199

you will have plenty of Megapixels so cropping always an options
06-25-2021, 12:06 AM - 1 Like   #11

Join Date: Oct 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,703
I have K-1 + many DFA lenses 15-30,28-105,70-200, but also limiteds...and so on. I did buy K-3III to get to see if that new AF is good and if image quality would be enough. I have not touched K-1 since I got K-3III. I know that I will be doing more shooting with 2 of them, but K-3III is just so good, fun and very nice AF that I can’t let it out of my hands. I’m goingto sell more of FF stuff and buy 11-18 and that new 16-50PLM, just because it is so snappy and fun and image quality is nice too. I’m happy with eye AF too, I have many more keepers from people I’v captured with this camera as well as other things.

So starting from scratch. K-3III. Having that FF to be in future IF you need more resolution and/or more narrow DoF. Most of the lenses you can shoot with both systems(except 11-18+16-50 aps-c only(IMHO))That is my 2 cent.

Edit: I also have a bunch of aps-c lenses, like DA* 16-50SDM, *55 and DA 55-300WR and HDDA10-17(works superb with FF too). So in that way it was almost nobrainer for me.
06-25-2021, 03:19 AM - 1 Like   #12
Junior Member

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 30
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
starting over, with or without a lens collection....

for me, this would be the deciding factor....
Eat more vegetables, Got it!

Seriously, some nice stuff there. I'm assuming your are refferring to Image Quality.
06-25-2021, 05:07 AM - 1 Like   #13
amateur dirt farmer
Loyal Site Supporter
pepperberry farm's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,397
QuoteOriginally posted by LostViking Quote
Eat more vegetables, Got it!

Seriously, some nice stuff there. I'm assuming your are refferring to Image Quality.
yes and no...

if I were starting over today, I probably would not choose a DSLR at all...

as my current lens collection has a number of AF k-mount lenses, I still shoot with a number of Pentax DSLR's ...
06-25-2021, 05:13 AM   #14
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
noelpolar's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Goolwa, SA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,263
I have 2 K1s and a K3III (and a KP)..... if I could only have one of these cameras for the rest of my life.... it would be the K1. If I then could get a second camera.... it would be the KP.... so... once again.... I'm no help!

FTR.... is there a "for the record?"..... anyway.... so far.... I haven't taken a K3iii photo that I could not have taken with the KP.... off course that is just me... and I like having the K3iii.... but it wasn't wisely spent money.... just hobby cash in a slow year.

As far as DSLRs go.... have mirrorless binoculars (yes...I know... but go with it) stormed the world yet? I spend a lot of time watching stuff (ie wildlife) through the viewfinder.... K1 and K3iii win for that.

Last edited by noelpolar; 06-25-2021 at 05:21 AM.
06-25-2021, 06:09 AM   #15
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Baltimore
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,306
So, I'll approach this from a different angle. But first I'd say that your "priorities" don't seem to prioritize the strengths of one system over another. So, to that point, I'd say that if you re-think your priorities and it looks like BIF or other action shots then rank higher, go for the K3III.

But if starting from scratch, I'd go for FF because of the latitude it allows in post-processing. I started with Oly in early digital daze, but then switched to Sony FF (A850, then A7R). I also had an NEX7 apsc for a "pocket" camera. So, I have worked with all 3 file sizes in post---plus, my main camera is a 645Z, thus I have worked with 4 files sizes. There's just no question in my mind---from lots of experience now for 20 years---that the larger the file size from the larger sensor, the more malleable and forgiving those files are in post.

Also, with respect to Pentax especially, FF gives you a door into a wonderland of legacy lenses, often at bargain prices. These are for the most part lenses designed for FF, so using them with an apsc body is a compromise.

But if you are someone who does little post processing and/or shoots jpgs, then again the K3III may be the better option---also, if you won't be printing much or large. If most of your viewing will be on screens then apsc is fine for now (and probably for another decade or so). So, think harder about how you will use the camera and what you intend to do with the images throughout the entire digital photography process.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
35mm, af, angle, aps-c, camera, da, dslr, f/2.8, frame, horizon correction, ii, iii, k-1, k-3, k3, lens, lll or k1, pentax, photography, scratch k3 lll, system, weather
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
This review has me inching ever closer to a K3 lll LostViking Pentax K-3 III 42 07-28-2021 04:12 AM
Noob question-K3 lll Digital Preview? LostViking Pentax K-3 III 11 06-24-2021 09:52 AM
Review and configuration Pentax k3 lll colodion Pentax K-3 III 12 06-20-2021 04:47 PM
Starting From Scratch Nick S. Welcomes and Introductions 4 06-01-2013 10:16 AM
Walk Around Lens, Starting from Scratch Biff Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 07-06-2009 03:43 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:06 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]