Overview of K-3 issues.

Started Jan 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
PhotoHawk Contributing Member • Posts: 828
Re: Overview of K-3 issues.

I have the K5 and the K3.  The K3 keeps what I liked about the K5 and moves things up a considerable notch.  I've read the reviews and most of them are not really reflective of the experience.  For example the carping about the Pentax saturated colours.  The default is the "Bright" setting and the "Natural" setting addresses this.  And this applies only to JPEG, but this seems to escape many reviewers.  I don't use the video much - its nice to know its there if I want to use it - maybe in the future.

I've done a fair amount of testing and shooting and yes the sharpness over the K5 is noticeable.  I do like the white balance of the K3 better.  While the DR of the K5 tests out better the difference in reality is negliable.  In general the K3 provides better pictures over the K5 up to 1600.  At 3200 and up its about the same.  I generally didn't use the K5 past 1600 (about 5% of my shots on the K5 were 3200 - very rarely above 3200)  I figure I can use the K3 up to 3200 taking advantage of its greater number pf pixels to handle the apparent noise at the size of pictures I would ever want to print at.  But that is entirely subjective and depends on a particular persons idea of IQ and their art.

Handling is like the K5 but the grip and balance seems a bit better. The screw drive seems quicker. The AF is quick and effective.  I don't shoot fast sports but its never left me thinking I need faster or more AF points.

The default settings need attention.  The NR is one - there are a few others that need to be changed.  I generally shoot raw+Jpeg.  I have set the NR to none to 1600 and low above that.  It seems to work well - Jpegs at 3200 with this setting seem to look fine.

In short this is not the kind of camera you buy unless you know what you are doing or you take the time to find out how the camera works.

I have noticed that some raw converters make better work of the K3 Jpegs than others.  The DCU software is simply junk.  It seems to smear things even when everything (and I mean everything) is turned off.  ISO settings don't seem to matter to DCU - nor apparently does anything else.

The best I've found is DXO.  I haven't tried Capture 1 but I'd bet they'd have it nailed.  ACR wants to apply its 25 sharpening setting on the K3 raw as well as its standard default NR.  I do the raw conversion using DXO and then open that up in CS6 ACR as a DNG or TIFF and start there.  Using the lens softness feature of DXO for the K5 was an eye opener - on the K3 its amazing.  The DXO NR is also very good.  If you want more NR then you can use CS or a plugin like Nik.

Build quality is very good if not the best I've seen for a camera this side of $2500.  It can probably go toe to toe with anything out there on that.

You may have read that you need to use the K3 with a good lens.  Yes, for best results you do.  Don't buy it with the 18-55.  Get the Sigma 17-50 or the new 17-70 or even better yet get the Sigma 18-35 or a Pentax limited prime.

No buyers remorse whatsoever.

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In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. - Yogi Berra

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