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The K3

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by JerryNash, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Hi Chris,

    Much like the Nikon/Canon camp, they're changing their grips, as well ... but, at least, keeping the same battery :) And, whilst Canon/Nikon change their grips with every camera (D600 > D610) being the exception, Pentax keeps their, generally speaking, for two(2) generations ;)

    Cheers and enjoy :)

  2. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Well, I've got my hot little hands on my K-3, and first impressions are it is an impressive amount of camera in a nicely compact package.

    The build quality is absolutely top notch, the body reassuringly weighty in the hand. Coming from a fairly heavy set up it is lighter than I am used to which is always a bonus.

    Although I am still reading the manual and going through the menus there are some great little creature comforts which have already really impressed (judge for yourselves if I am easily impressed) - the shoulder LCD panel has two illumination strengths, and the ability to choose from 12 different menu colours is very much appreciated. The mirror noise is beautifully dampened and has the quietest click of any SLR I have ever owned, and the AA simulator does not add any noise to the process that I can detect. As far as the simulator goes, embarrassingly I have not been able to shoot anything producing moire to be able to test it jet! Minus 10 points for effort, will try harder.

    The biggest weakness Pentax had in digital - their lateness to the party - could well end up being their greatest strength in comparison to some of their rivals, in the form of their SR technology. Not only have they imaginatively used it for the AA sim, they also have a function that when used with the GPS module will track the stars with the sensor illuminating star trails in shots of up to 5 minutes using sensor shift - I was not aware that Pentax did this, however it may be just the thing to get that shot of the Milky Way I have always wanted :)

    One thing I would have liked would have been the ability to have the AA simulator activated/deactivated by the programmable RAW/Fx button on the side of the body, which I hope will be coming in a future firmware update. I have it set for anti-shake, but with such a feature as being able to turn AA on and off, I want a button for it :)

    Also, anyone know what Pentax usual maximum pc sync trigger voltage is? Not in the manual anywhere, don't want to destroy the machine for the want of a handful of volts.
  3. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Have you seen the sample images on Photozine? Only test card stuff of colour checker and some still life set ups, but all all of the ISO settings. Very impressive fine detail in the High Res images.

    This has got to be a real winner. Still dropping the pennies into the piggy bank...clunk clunk.

    Regarding voltages, I would suggest checking this out with the Pentax hot line.

    I see they have announced an 'official' trade in offer with min £85 for any camera! Got to be more for a K-5 I hope, but will they take my box brownie?
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  4. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Many thanks Monobod, I'll check the hot line out. Best of luck with your saving :)

    I've been trying to force some moire pictures to test the AA simulator, and what little I have been able to produce (much harder than I thought it would be) the function works excellently.

    A word on the noise produced by the AA simulator - for long shutter speeds it runs constantly for the duration of the exposure, and if one puts ones ear to the camera it can be heard but it's very quiet. I would say in the same area as a lens-based anti-shake system, my Nikon 70-300mm VR had a very quiet whurr when the system was in operation. For any quick shutter speed the AA sound is lost under the sound of the mirror, which as I've already stated is delightfully refined.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  5. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    it would be interesting to hear what you think of the 8.3fps performance too at some time. This camera is really what we have all long been waiting for, less the FF option, but that is a small price to pay I feel. The main advantage of FF is the shallow depth of field, but CS6 has some amazing filters to overcome this.
  6. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    A pleasure, please be aware this is just my experience - I cannot claim to be a pro to be able to base better reviews, however:

    I came from the D300s which was capable of 8fps with the battery grip. The K-3 more than matches that performance, blistering quick but with a delightful bonus of what appears to be an unexpectedly capable buffer...

    I did some tests this morning to see exactly what it can do for how long -

    Scene and settings: An energy saving light bulb (to get highest possible shutter speed) at ISO 100, f5.6 and shutter 2000. JPEG large, maximum quality. 16gb SanDisk Ultra, class 10 but not UHS-1 so this may have been a limiting factor. Shake reduction on (pointless), AA sim off.

    67 JPEGs running at 8.3 fps - for 8 seconds.

    That's right. 8 seconds at 24 megapixels. If Usain Bolt just picked his heels up a little bit more, this camera could catch his whole 100m run in full quality stills!

    I can't think of much more high-speed action out there which unfolds for 8 long seconds or more, usually its over in a flash, so this buffer has impressed me thoroughly. I thought perhaps the scene was a little too simple causing small file size so repeated the experiment at a building out the window and it came back the same, 67 shots.

    I then tried it with medium JPEG to see if we could get more space from the buffer, and... It was chopped in half, only 4 seconds at full pace before slowing. There must be more processing required to make it a smaller file, the same for the small file size, only 4 seconds, however Extra Small gave it the original 8-second buffer. Very odd, but I won't be wasting my time changing the image capture size if Large is as quick as Extra Small. The only difference was the wait while it wrote to the card, as you would expect.

    I then tried with RAW, first the pentax RAW which gave 24 pictures for about 3 seconds, and then with DNG which produced exactly the same result.

    Comparing my results to the official 60jpeg, 23raw I think card speed may well be improving the official figures. The best I had before the buffer was full and the camera slowed was 67, the worst 65. I can only imagine the results from a UHS-card.

    Just a word on Autofocus - as said I came from the D300s which has arguably the industries most acclaimed AF - the 51 point 3500multiCAM unit. As such I had BIG expectations of AF systems which claim they can track a subject. (to be honest i preferred the D2h multiCAM2000 - just as precise without being over complex)

    My limited tests so far (have not been able to get out properly yet) locking on to something in my living room and sweying the camera rather than moving the subject, indicate that the SAFOX 11 is so nearly there, it works but does not stay glued to the subject like my previous system did...

    However that said, my tests are rubbish, not exactly real-world situations, and considering its a brand new system I really feel they are just a firmware algorithm update away from having the tracking as perfect or better than the competition, and after that it will turn SAFOX XI from something awesome to something incredible. I've been wanting pentax AF since the low light capabilities were strengthened and this one does not disappoint going down to -3ev: the only reason I found out its AF assist light was green was because I left the lens cap on and inadvertently hit the AF button :eek:. Otherwise it's nippy and does the job excellently. The AF screw noise is as you would expect from lenses without motors in them.

    Hope my observations have been of help, as far as 8.3fps goes, it's a real winner.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  7. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Thanks, sure was not expecting such a full and quick reply.
  8. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    No problem, was lucky enough to have a day off work today so had the time to play with the new toy :)
  9. JerryNash

    JerryNash Well-Known Member

    Can I just go on record and say how insanely jealous I am of you for already getting hold of a K3!

    I think it'll be quite a few years before I can justify (to the missus/ the bank manager) purchasing a new camera body. I doubt my K30 has fired off more than 2000 shots, and is more than enough for my needs, but still... i'd love to get my hands on a K3. There's no way I could argue that I need a 2nd body.

    My head is - quite rightly - telling me that I would be better served investing in some decent lenses before my next body.

    I guy can dream though...
  10. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    You shouldn't get upset that you do not have the latest bit of kit. Many a fine tune is played on an old fiddle. Your camera is just a tool, it is you who creates the image.
  11. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    I too must go on record as being jealous of yourself for having got a K30, it's the camera I would have jumped ship for it if I were braver at the time and keep still plan to get one when I can, a lovely piece of kit indeed it has the best feel in the the hand of any camera I have ever held.

    If you ever plan to sell your K30 to fund the K3 keep me in mind as a potential buyer! :D
  12. JerryNash

    JerryNash Well-Known Member

    The K30 is a lovely camera, i will admit - and certainly has more than enough going for it to suit my needs.

    I would probably love it more if i hadn't got it by part-exchanging my older K7. Although the performance of the K7 wasn't much to speak of, at least at higher ISOs anyway, i couldn't fault the build quality and sometimes i miss the extra external buttons and top LCD when using the K30.

    I also would have loved it if the K30 had an optional extra grip, alas there are no terminals to fit one.
  13. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Ahh, I must admit I would very much miss the shoulder screen :)
  14. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    You could now pick up a great used or even a new K-5 with a grip for much less than they were once. Forget the K-3 if it is out of your (as it is my) price range. I have decided to stick with the K-5 for at least the coming twelve months. It is still a great camera, the K-3 has not reduced its usefulness.

    In a years time the K-3 will also be cheaper......and any bugs will have been resolved if there are any!
  15. Richard Sibley

    Richard Sibley AP Deputy Editor

    It took me a while! Tried houndstooth checked shirts, fine stripes... nothing... the detail resolution is so good that I struggled to find a fabric pattern to create some moire patterning for my test.

    I ended up turning a pair of jeans inside out and taking a shot from about 3-4m away, with the lens set to about 20mm.

    The AA filter effect worked well. There was no moire patterning, though obviously a loss in detail.

    Full review coming soon!

    Keep your eyes peeled!
  16. johnriley1uk

    johnriley1uk Well-Known Member

    I know the feeling Richard, I've been struggling all evening trying to get moire....no luck so far.
  17. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    It's baffling me why many magazines seem to be hailing the K-3 as the first 'decent' digital SLR have produced. Unbelievable.
  18. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Money, Money, Money........promos, free lunches, loans of kit perhaps? Or am I just a cynical old so and so? :D
  19. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Aha, a cunning discovery! I look forward to the review :)

    As Nikon appear (and I say this loosely, as anything could happen) to have let the D90 and D3xx lines fizzle out, they have left lots and lots of potential customers wondering what camera to upgrade to next. And they really have, having removed the next in the logical line of progression people, especially hose who like to skip a generation, those who love what they already have and just want an update, are left wanting. for Pentax to step into the void left and catch the eyes of all of those potential customers with an attractive option was, if not unrealistic, very unexpected.

    But further to that, for them to bring some genuine innovation in camera technology to the market in the form of being able to turn AA off and on - it's an industry first and well worth making some noise about. Patents were popping up left right and centre on rumours websites, slideable internal filters, electronically activated Liquid Crystal tomfoolery, etc etc etc, but suddenly here is Pentax with a model in production and available to the public right now. ​Worth making noise about. ;)
  20. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Oh, I like that!

    I do like that.

    I think that one, maybe, should be framed and hung on the wall.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013

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