About to buy a camera, questioning K-5ii vs. K-3 IQ difference?

Started Mar 3, 2014 | Questions thread
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
K5II/s vs K3

pkokity wrote:

Hi folks.

I want to get into photography as a hobby, mostly for textures/designs in nature because that is what I love looking at when I look at photos (also the amazing portraits of of people with really weathered and/or wrinkly faces). I do not know if I would go macro or not, but insects are pretty freakin' cool to me.

I also need a camera for doing studio pictures for future handouts/book material. Video abilities for posting presentations (mostly) on my website would be great but I realize that the best cameras in my price range may not have the best of both options.

I first wanted to buy a 70d because it would cover both, and I do like the canon colors a little bit more than other brands, but the pictures/subjects just seem a little flat (in compared to Pentax). I am guessing this has to do with dynamic range. (It is almost 2 EV's less than the K-3, and even more than the K-5ii per dxo)

Then, I was considering one of the new Fujis because I like their compactness, styling, and low noise. . . but then I saw some amazing pentax pictures and realized that the Fujis are much darker to me. Their highlights do not seem to be very 'high' to me. And, waxy skin tones from the noise reduction software)

I tried a Nikon D5200 for a while but just did not like it. I do not the coloring for whatever reason and it did not focus well even when using whatever prime I had bought with it.

No considering Olympus. Their pictures feel fake to me. I do not know why. Maybe the software settings?

So, I am back to looking at Pentax cameras, which is what I was considering a year ago before Life distracted me from buying the K-5ii(s). The only thing I do not care for (in many of the online samples) is the color saturation but one of the online reviewers say that there is a 'natural' color setting to help with this. I rather buy one of the 'flagship' models to learn on rather then blow $500-600 now and upgrade in the near future. That money would be better spent on good glass.

Hopefully all of the above answer all of the questions I am foreseeing people asking me. Now, on to the question:

DXO says that the K-5ii(s) has a little bit better image quality (82 vs. 80), color depth (23.9 vs. 23.7) and dynamic range (14.1 vs. 13.4 EV's) than the new K-3. I do not know if the IQ grade really means anything toward real-world use of cameras. The color depth difference is probably not perceivable by our eyes. But what about the 0.7 EV difference in the dynamic range? If that is an accurate difference, then the difference between these two models is about half of the difference between the K-3 and the 70D. That seems significant to me since the DR seems to be why I have decided against the 70D.

Am I accurate in noticing these things?

I love the Flickr image galleries for the K-5ii(s) cameras. I just saw the K-3 pics that someone else posted on here (http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53200138) and the "K-3 pool" pictures (https://secure.flickr.com/groups/pentaxk3/) on Flicker. The higher definition sensor does create some amazing pictures even if there is less DR.

So, the K-3 has less depth/DR but better detail. What is more important for someone like me who is really into textures?

I do not think I have enough money to buy and experiment with both cameras and still have money for good glass.

Sorry if I was rambling.

IMHO get the K3, it is an improvement over the K5II/s in may areas like better white balance metering, consistent PTTL flash metering and most important of all is the pro Canikon level of continuous AF and there are a lot of photos already posted around the net, you can judge for yourself

I own the K5II and I am very happy with it and the AF-S accuracy, I'd say it is as quick as any Canikon but what stands out is how consistent, accurate and confident it is even at low light (I also use/borrow a D7000, D7100, D610, D800, D3S, 60D, 7D, 6D, 5DII) and I mean night club low light.

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There is no such thing a "Pro" level gear, just Pro level work.

 fakuryu's gear list:fakuryu's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Pentax K-r Pentax Q Pentax K-5 II
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