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

Started Mar 3, 2014 | Questions thread
JeffAHayes Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: About to buy a camera, questioning K-5ii vs. K-3 IQ difference?

Early adopters of the K-3 on this forum -- most of whom had been shooting a K-5IIs for quite some time -- compared images and determined the K-5IIs to have slightly better (sharper, for instance) images (I was not one of those folks -- for instance, I bought my K-5IIs AFTER my K-3).

HOWEVER, after quite a few weeks of folks learning MORE about the K-3, discovering various little tweaks and idiosyncracies of the camera that weren't at first apparent (such as the need to change several of the automatic settings it comes set up with), once the more experienced shooters got their K-3s properly "dialed in," every post I saw said the quality between the K-3 and the K-5IIs was either too close to call, or the K-3 was slightly BETTER -- if only because since it has 50% more megapixels that allows you to crop in tighter and/or print bigger before pixels become visible, etc.

And then, of course, there are NUMERABLE advances on the K-3 over the entire K-5 series... MUCH better AF tracking, MUCH better metering, a new DUAL-card slot that's compatible with the much faster UHS-1 cards, meaning the camera can read and write pics to its cards MUCH faster, a slightly faster top speed of 8.3 FPS and a few other odds and ends I can never entirely remember when I'm posting.

And since the price has dropped some (or you can get the grip thrown in for free, often along with a 50mm F1.8 lens), it's not as much more expensive than the K-5IIs as it was (even though there are good deals on those, as well).

IF you can afford to get the K-3 and AT LEAST one or two decent lenses to start with (and remember, at least at B&H they're generally throwing in the 50mm F1.8 lens -- or they have been for some time, now, plus the battery grip and a 32GB 80 MBPS Sandisk UHS-1 card for $1,296) -- You can get the camera without the goodies from Amazon and different deals at Adorama... So that's how I'd go if I were you -- especially if you don't think you can afford both -- as if you just get the K-5IIs, my guess is you're going to be second-guessing that for quite some time down the road IF you can't afford to get the K-3 later, whereas IF you get the K-3, you'll be MORE LIKELY to be able to get the K-5IIs IF you decide to later, as it's less money, and even if you don't, you'll have the better of the two cameras.

As for the NUMBERS listed by DXO, ALL OF THOSE comparisons are SO CLOSE I'd call them "within statistical variations," meaning that in the real world they likely don't mean anything -- not even the extra .7 Dynamic range. If you shoot RAW and have a good RAW processor, you can do loads with DR, anyway.


-- hide signature --

A word is worth 1/1000th of a picture... Maybe that's why I use so many words!

 JeffAHayes's gear list:JeffAHayes's gear list
Pentax WG-3 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-30 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM +8 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow