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Old Jan 19, 2014, 10:57 AM   #1
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Default K-3 Issues?

I've read in a few reviews where users/reviewers state the K-3 is not a fast focus camera, especially on moving subjects such as birds, etc. Can any K-3 user relate to this? My Oly E-3 is also known for that and I was thinking of upgrading? to the K-3 but I'm not sure if this would be an economically sound decision. I have also read that the kit lenses leave something to be desired but I guess that's true with most kit lenses.
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Old Jan 19, 2014, 6:18 PM   #2
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I can't speak about he K3, because I don't have one (alas). But one thing to be aware of, at least with Pentax cameras, is that focus speed can vary greatly depending on what lens is on the camera. I love the optical sharpness of the DA 50-300 on my K5, but the lens can sometimes be painfully slow to focus. The Sigma 70-300 APO DG (which I have had for many years, but which no longer works correctly) always focused very quickly. I find that the DA 18-135 focuses lightning fast on my K5, as do my DA* lenses.
As I said, I can't speak about the K3, but I would be highly suspicious of a broad statement claiming that the K3 focuses slowly. I could much more easily believe a report that says the K3 focuses slowly with a particular lens.
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 6:48 AM   #3
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I can not comment on the K-3 yet, have only used on one outing. I got good results with my K-5. BIF's take patience and practice. A through the lens view helps. I always work to get the best results within the limitations of my equipment. If you are not using the equipment properly a few tenths of a second improvement in focus time will not help. A camera good at high ISO helps, if shutter speed is not fast enough the image will blur no matter how accurate the focus. Learn what focus method works best with your camera. I am still working with that on the K-3. With my K-5 if there was not a lot of clutter around the bird Multi-focus worked best. It is really difficult to keep spot focus on a moving bird, it may focus faster but it will also go out of focus if the point comes off the target. Good luck in your search .

Ed
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 12:51 PM   #4
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James,

I'm no expert, but with my recently purchased K-3 four of the five lenses I have focus instantaneously, including in low light. The only one that hunts when the focal point changes significantly is the Pentax DA 55-300 (plus it is noisy).

The kit I bought was the one with the 50/1.8 lens, which is a very sharp lens. There are several Pentax, Sigma, and Tamron zooms that seem to get better reviews than the 18-55 kit. For my uses, the Pentax 18-135 seems like a good compromise, is 14.4 ounces, water resistant, and fits the camera well.

Elliot
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Old Jan 20, 2014, 4:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments all. Based on reviews I've read, etc., I think I'll hang on to my E3 for a while. I really don't think I am going to notice any difference in IQ between the Pentax and the E3, at least not for what I do. The E3 focuses fast for most subjects but for moving targets like birds, the single point focus seems to work best providing you can keep the target on the subject and set the camera for continuous focus. Easier said than done. :=)
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 12:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory View Post
Thanks for the comments all. Based on reviews I've read, etc., I think I'll hang on to my E3 for a while. I really don't think I am going to notice any difference in IQ between the Pentax and the E3, at least not for what I do. The E3 focuses fast for most subjects but for moving targets like birds, the single point focus seems to work best providing you can keep the target on the subject and set the camera for continuous focus. Easier said than done. :=)
The E3 is a fine camera and may work for BIF somewhat but there is little doubt that a K-3 would be much better at it. Also keep in mind that the usable upper ISO limit on the K-3 will be much higher than the E3. Faster shutter speeds combined with a faster burst mode and a better AF system (even if not up the top of line Nikon standards) and I am sure your keeper rate for BIF shots would skyrocket. But it's a pretty hefty price to switch systems so if BIF isn't that important to you there's no reason to do it. Oly cams take awesome shots. My E1 is still my favorite camera to shoot with, a pure joy. Just not very usable for what I do anymore.

John
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 1:45 PM   #7
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I've heard that from a few people regarding the E-1, the ergonomics were very good and it was easy to use.
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The E3 is a fine camera and may work for BIF somewhat but there is little doubt that a K-3 would be much better at it. Also keep in mind that the usable upper ISO limit on the K-3 will be much higher than the E3. Faster shutter speeds combined with a faster burst mode and a better AF system (even if not up the top of line Nikon standards) and I am sure your keeper rate for BIF shots would skyrocket. But it's a pretty hefty price to switch systems so if BIF isn't that important to you there's no reason to do it. Oly cams take awesome shots. My E1 is still my favorite camera to shoot with, a pure joy. Just not very usable for what I do anymore.

John
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 4:21 PM   #8
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James - there seem to be encouraging reports on the K3 front over at DPR. Seems to be an improvement over k5 series. It's still unknown how well it stacks up to the Nikon and Canon top dogs. What muddies the waters a bit is lenses. Super Teles is the achiles heel of Pentax right now. If you're going to be using third party lenses like a Bigma I think it will do very well. But, if you want better glass - say a canon 400mm 5.6L (not sure what nikon lens equivelent is) then you're in a bit of a bind. There are a lot of Nikon d300s and canon 7d birders disgruntled by the lack of new aps-c cameras as replacements for those models. But, the lack of high end super tele availability for Pentax is worrisome for those willing to spend money on glass. And while both canon and nikon have some aps-c offerings people are turned off on build quality, buffer etc. as neither the Canon 70d nor the nikon d7100 are real replacements for the 7d and d300s respectively. Tough time to want a high end birding solution in a new system
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Old Jan 22, 2014, 10:51 AM   #9
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Thanks John G. I've been reading similar stories about the Pentax long glass. Seems like I would be better of to keep the E-3 system as the 50-200 non SWD used prices are under 500 and that is an excellent lens and I'm sure better IQ than anything Pentax/Sigma has to offer in a similar price range.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 9:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks John G. I've been reading similar stories about the Pentax long glass. Seems like I would be better of to keep the E-3 system as the 50-200 non SWD used prices are under 500 and that is an excellent lens and I'm sure better IQ than anything Pentax/Sigma has to offer in a similar price range.
The 50-200 is indeed a great lens but the reason it is so cheap is that the E series is a dead system so while the price is good now in the long term unless you want to switch to micro 4/3rds w/adapter you are left with great glass on a hopelessly out of date camera. Judging by the amount of used Oly glass on the market right now I'd say most people have decided to jump ship.

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