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01-07-2022, 02:57 PM   #1
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Advice for upgrade - K3 or K3iii?

Hello again,

Something like 2 years ago I ventured into the forums here to get advice on upgrading my workhorse K20D. I was eyeing the K3, specifically focusing on improvements on auto-focus, speed for dog, kid, wildlife action, and low light performance. I got a lot of useful food for thought specifically advice to give the KP another look. I did, but it's image quality and fps etc advantages just couldn't overcome some other things I valued more esoterically (handling especially with large lenses, lack of LCD, some other things). So I kept my eye on the marketplace and so very limited used market here in Canada for a K3, and just kept missing opportunity after opportunity.


I am still looking for an upgrade, and now the K3iii has got some more usage history. Whereas the onboard flash was a deterrent for me at first for the K3ii, given my frustration at obtaining a new camera, it now seems like a small issue if I can get a small external on-camera flash, especially if the k3iii overcomes any drawbacks of the k3.


I would greatly appreciate any insights on handling, image quality, higher iso capability (like, max 3200-6400, I cannot see myself using ISO higher than that ever), speed, compared to the K3 and KP in particular. I have considered the K1 as well, but the speed is a deal breaker for me.

Thank you in advance!

01-07-2022, 03:20 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cls Quote
.. . . .I am still looking for an upgrade, . . .
if your budget allows it, I urge you to look strongly at the K 3 III

Pentax K-3 III vs. Pentax K-3 II vs. Pentax K-3 vs. Pentax KP - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

questions I urge you to consider

budget

what your " photographic goals " are and do you need the

-continuous shutter speed offered by the camera you are looking at

- the high ISO

the various features - tilt screen, flash, battery grip etc
01-07-2022, 03:21 PM - 1 Like   #3
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if the speed of camera it's a great deal for you , go for k3 III , it's three time faster thank k3 or k3II or kp . image quality it's a step up from those cameras ,but not a deal breaker . AF and Drive Mode the main advantage it's very fast ....
K3 III handle very smooth on higher ISO even up to 12000. the main purpose to upgrade it's for wild life , sports , birds ........... , huge step up . but if you in landscape , street , macro , or walk around camera i suggest you get KP , save some money and invest in great lens . i own k1 , kp and k3 III and they all great .
01-07-2022, 03:25 PM   #4
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if you haven't read this yet

QuoteQuote:
Pentax K-3 Mark III Review
Introduction
Pentax announced the original K-3 in 2013. It was the first DSLR fully developped under Ricoh ownership. The camera reaped rewards and was regarded as one of the best APS-C DSLRs at the time.

2015 saw the release of the K-3 Mark 2 (also written K-3 II), a moderate upgrade whose main difference with the original was the replacement of the built-in flash with a GPS unit.

We are now in 2021, and Pentax released the third generation of the K-3 line. This time, however, the K-3 Mark 3 (or K-3 III) is a huge upgrade. This new camera keeps the K-3 DNA, but features a new body and overhauled hardware. The list of new and enhanced features is seemingly never-ending. . . .


Read more at: Pentax K-3 Mark III Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

01-07-2022, 03:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nixxo2002 Quote
if the speed of camera it's a great deal for you , go for k3 III , it's three time faster thank k3 or k3II or kp . image quality it's a step up from those cameras ,but not a deal breaker . AF and Drive Mode the main advantage it's very fast ....
K3 III handle very smooth on higher ISO even up to 12000. the main purpose to upgrade it's for wild life , sports , birds ........... , huge step up . but if you in landscape , street , macro , or walk around camera i suggest you get KP , save some money and invest in great lens . i own k1 , kp and k3 III and they all great .
QuoteOriginally posted by nixxo2002 Quote
if the speed of camera it's a great deal for you , go for k3 III , it's three time faster thank k3 or k3II or kp . image quality it's a step up from those cameras ,but not a deal breaker . AF and Drive Mode the main advantage it's very fast ....K3 III handle very smooth on higher ISO even up to 12000. the main purpose to upgrade it's for wild life , sports , birds ........... , huge step up . but if you in landscape , street , macro , or walk around camera i suggest you get KP , save some money and invest in great lens . i own k1 , kp and k3 III and they all great .
Thank you for this - this is what I am seeing, especially browsing through the images thread for the K3iii. And isn't it all about the images, ultimately. I do some botany or landscape focused but wildlife and dog sports as well as family stuff are my main foci and I am finding the slowness of my current camera extremely frustrating, just keep telling myself it is making me a better photographer. But still. I do recognize that almost any model will be a vast improvement.
01-07-2022, 03:35 PM   #6
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Besides the obvious speed and AF improvements, as a K-1 and K-3II user, I think the viewfinder and shutter button are major things that have improved with the K-3III. I'm not sure everyone will like it but for me the main obstacle to using the K-3II after using the K-1 is the shutter button and the viewfinder. With those two upgraded to K-1 level apsc is very attractive.

I would hesitate to pay the K-3III price for those small things but in reality they make all the difference to my photography.
01-07-2022, 03:35 PM   #7
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As someone who owns each version of the K-3 now the K-3iii is really a great camera. The AF, once calibrated, actually is noticably better and its performance at high ISO is outstanding. The burst rate is faster, buffer is larger, and the buffer clears noticeably faster as well which may be other benefits to consider. If you can't tell I love my new toy.

01-07-2022, 03:45 PM   #8
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You already received a lot of good advice.As the owner of a K-3 and considering to buy a K-3iii, here are some cues:
-price: the K-3iiii is very expensive, comparatively to the K-3 when it was new. And prices are not going down right now.
-on board flash: the K-3 has an on-board flash and the K-3iii does not.
-burst rate: the K=3 is a decent body with about 8 fps, but the K-3iii is better.
-camera sensor: the K-3iii has a newer better sensor, but the sensor of the K-3 is not bad. I continue to get some good shots.


Finally, a great IQ is not about the best camera body. It is about the photographer working .with his camera system: body + lens. Thus, I would urge you to think hollistically at your lenses as well. Maybe a 2nd hand K-3 could allow you to invest in great prime lenses. This has been my 'politics', to have slightly older bodies but invest in top-of-the-range prime lenses. In part because lenses do not loose values, and primes lenses are possibly the best value for IQ. In addition, I like to shoot with prime lenses (over zoom) because it force me to move around more and has improved my photographic skills.


My 5 cents hoping that it may help.
01-07-2022, 03:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
My 5 cents hoping that it may help.
It is all helpful, thank you hcc, and others. Meh. So hard to choose. I assuaged myself not replacing my camera body by investing in some good lenses over the last 2 years, but I really feel I have hit a wall with the K20D. But the price is a little bit of a barrier, to be sure.
01-07-2022, 03:59 PM - 1 Like   #10
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K-3 or K-3 III, this is a decision that ultimately only you can make.

Coming from a K20D, the original K-3 should feel like a substantial upgrade on various levels. How would I know this? Because it felt to me that way coming from the K-7, the K20D's successor (which IQ-wise was only incrementally better than the model it replaced; the K-7's main progress lay elsewhere, in the build quality, ruggedness, and the new form factor).

And much as I have my eye on the K-3 III, my 2014-vintage K-3 still remains capable of doing just about anything I want to do with it. I have just been able to add the DA 55-300 PLM to my kit and having a blast with it photographing our new kitten. Ricoh has been generous enough in providing firmware updates to let the K-3 benefit from even the latest lenses. My personal high-ISO comfort zone with the K-3 maxes out at about ISO 5000, which is where my Auto ISO is routinely set, but processed with DxO PhotoLab's DeepPrime NR, well-exposed shots are still looking remarkably good AFAIC (feel free to take a look at samples on my website linked in the signature).

Does the K-3 III better the K-3 in just about anything to an equally substantial extent? Now, that's precisely why I want one. But my K-3 is certainly not going to make the time I will have to wait for it feel wasted. So, at the end of the day, it should be up to your personal needs, preferences and, not least, budget.

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 01-07-2022 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Style.
01-07-2022, 04:22 PM - 1 Like   #11
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What struck me in your story is that you found so many reasons not to upgrade from your K20d, given the good advice by all those friendly people here.
01-07-2022, 05:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
What struck me in your story is that you found so many reasons not to upgrade from your K20d, given the good advice by all those friendly people here.
Had the K20d, then K5, then K3, now K3mkIII, can honestly say that each step was a vast improvement even though I said I would not buy the MK3 I did . With the Mk3 autofocus is the main gain, Image quality a bit but not the deciding factor. I think you should be able to get a used K3 at a decent price point. Also in Canada and the market here is not great for used Pentax gear but one does show up from time to time.
01-07-2022, 06:29 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I had a K20D and then upgrade to a K-5 IIs felt like a big upgrade. Now the K-3 III feels like an even bigger jump.

The K-3 III is undoubtedly expensive. I don't know to what extent you are cash-constrained or just showing self-restraint, but the way I would see it is if you are going to keep your next camera as long as you kept the K20D, you can probably justify buying the best one available. You get good use out of your cameras.
01-07-2022, 06:49 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Go for the newest technology that you can afford, if you can afford the K-3III, it would be the one. If you don't, you may or may not be disappointed, but you will always wonder. I doubt too many people regret buying the K-3III instead of the II or original K-3. The autofocus speed of the K-3III will be a huge jump over any other Pentax camera, which should really help with what you shoot.
01-07-2022, 06:54 PM   #15
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I own the mk II, and one of my favorite subjects is drag racing. If I could afford it, I'd jump on the mk III for the better AF and would recommend the same to you. If you can afford it, that is.

Lack of pop-up flash doesn't bother me. Those are for those times where you absolutely need more light and have no other options. They create harsh shadows, so don't make for very pleasing photos. The way I see it, people fall into two categories for this.

-They rarely need a flash, so a pop-up flash isn't going to be needed in the first place.

-They need a flash often enough for this to be a concern, in which case they should be investing in something more than a pop-up anyway.

I personally have two speedlights. One is the Pentax AF201FG (the cute baby flash with P-TTL), the other a $30 generic manual speedlight. To be honest, my manual speedlight often does better than the $160 Pentax branded one. It is more powerful, so works great as a bounce from my ceiling, and doesn't take a lot to dial in. If you think you would benefit from a pop-up, I'd go for the mk III and get a cheap manual speedlight (unless you find you need more). Even if you shoot straight on, they can come with built in diffusers and bounce cards so they aren't as bad as a pop-up.
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