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Old Jul 3, 2015, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default pentax K-3ii (any one else using one)

If you got a Pentax K-3ii let me know your thoughts on it. Here are mine.

Well I finally got a working K-3ii. I used it at the zoo to do some photo work for the zoo including the World Of Wild Show (flying birds etc). My first impressions are ISO sensitive is more pronounced (going from ISO 800 to 1600 in full manual makes a huge difference 800 might be too dark and 1600 is overblown I ended yp having to adjust both ISO and shutter to get what I want when lighting changed which is fine). RAW files are about 1MB large per image on average with my top file so far being 31.5MB), focus is locked in first frame in burst mode and tracks very well but if the first frame is not locked in on proper focus youll not get ay good frames until you stop shooting and re-focus. Also if in mid burst the subject goes behind a tree or pole or whatever you'll loose focus when it reappears until you refocus. Focus seems slightly faster and when its good I seem to be able to get more frames per second in burst mode than my k-3. I might be getting around 7fps now vs 6 to 6.5 (in high burst mode; never able to get the 8.3 they claim you can shoot at or even 8fps).

Been using 600x SDXC cards and they are clearing the buffer very fast so I can grab a few extra frames while the entire buffer clears (might be saying this wrong hope you understand what I mean). Never had anything faster to do a comparison test but I did use one of my Sandisc 45mb/s cards in it for a quick test and their is a longer lag when buffer files before you can grab extra frames. So my advise is use a 600x or faster card if you shoot more than 1 frame at time (i.e quck action or bursts). With my understand from Pentax that the buffer is clearing/writie at 90mb/s so 1000x cards will be faster than buffer clears and 600x being about 85mb/s is slightly behind.

For my zoo work I tend to use a 70-200mm and with this body as with my K-3 I find the optional battery grip is a must for proper balance and holding of larger lenses. with out the battery grip i find the lens to be front heavy and hard to hold after a while.

Camera battery I have no idea where the manual writer or any of the reviewers are getting their number from but I got just over 1,000 shots (not 730) on single battery using 17-70 and I am at 1500 shots with battery grip attached (shows I have 1/3 battery left). So battery life with a good full charged battery is much better than they advertise and slightly longer than on my k-3 (I used to get 975 shots on single battery). Maybe they are using the flash all the time. I can also say the camera can use 128GB cards just fine (if you were wondering if it can use cards that large for all you RAW wedding and action shooters).

Any questions you have I will try to answer them if I know the answer.

Oh, I almost forgot make sure when you get your own K-3ii to go in and change the ISO noise reduction settings to custom from default and tweek them as it applies way to much noise reduction by default at ISO100 - 800 and you'll think you have a issue with your camera.

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Old Jul 3, 2015, 5:40 AM   #2
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Thanks Dave . . I've had my K3ii for about a week and I like it so far. This weekend will be my first weekend to really use the camera. I also found the buffer to be better and noticed the sensitivity of the ISO. The biggest thing I've noticed is the focus in low light is much better than my K3. Thanks for the tip about the ISO noise reduction settings. Any other tips you have would be appreciated.

I also had to send the 1st K3ii back due to it not shutting down when turned off. The 2nd one seems to be working correctly.

Thanks for your info,
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Old Jul 4, 2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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Default Quality Control Failures

Obvious that Ricoh/Pentax has a QC problem. Considering the failures noted here & my problems with my k-5iis anyone would be lucky to get a good copy the first time. Very sad performance & doesn't give a warm, fuzzy feeling for the future-especially with their pathetic repair center. Better to keep sending back & forth to your supplier until you get a good one
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Old Jul 5, 2015, 9:14 AM   #4
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No other tips I can offer at this time. ind of weird that I was not the only one to have the "it won't power off" issue

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Old Jul 5, 2015, 8:35 PM   #5
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I've decided to send my second one back. It did the "not turning off thing" also and I had to pull the battery. Working right now . . . but I'm not keeping it.
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Old Nov 12, 2015, 12:32 AM   #6
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I sent the first 2 back and the third one was finally of a higher serial number and worked well. I have approx 28,000 frames on it now. Once you learn the fine details of it like how to best use the focus points and working around the IO issue I mentioned the photos are tack sharp more so than my K-3. Many of them 90% or more) are tack sharp at 100x magnification in single shot, 75% or more in burst if first frame is good. That is the kid of keeper rate I am after as far as being sharp etc. The only negative thing I have with it is I miss having a built in pop up flash for the few times a week I need a flash and not having to carry a hot shoe flash etc all the time. I can count the events I have used a hot shoe flash on both hands as I never got good results with a hot shoe flash with any of my older cameras. Maybe this has changed with this camera but with the added weight and odd to me balance with one attached I have not really given it a long test yet (if I ever do)

I was able to finally test the camera with a 32GB 1000x Lexar card and it clears the buffer about the same as my 600x card. Buffer as I mentioned before is about 90mb/s, so it doesn't handle the images much faster than the 600x card can already handle. My hope is the next generation Pentax can use the 1000x cards (150mb/s) and have the faster buffer and pin set needed to clear faster etc. I also was able to inert and take 12 test shots using a Sandisc 512GB in it and it work in case anyone rally need to be able to shoot 8,250 RAWs. However it was just a test. I personally own 4x 32GB, 2x 64GB and a 128GB card and never even my heaviest day of animal shooting at the zoo needed more than the 128 and both 64GB cards (still had the 4x 32s left) and that was 2 flying bird shows, 1 other animal show and assorted stills and loads of bursts all shot in RAW.

One other thing I want to mention is I see a diffident speed change in AF depending on what lens I am using. My two work horses the Sigma 17-70 and Tamron 70-200 focus very fast and tack sharp while my Sigma 18-250 focuses slower and has more grain at higher ISOs. The 18-135WR is ok in focus being slightly better than the 18-250 but never as good as the 17-70, When you take the time to focus it and get the AF points right it can make some very good photos However I usually only use in bad weather as the other two lenses give me better results. So the overall message is the K-3ii does a noticeable better job with great glass vs average glass. The better the glass the better the AF and results are with this camera. So if you want the best camera and go for the K-3 make sure you have great glass for it not kit and average lenses. I am sure their are other great lenses out there I did not mention but I consider the 18-135WR average/good not great

Hope this helps someone who is thinking about getting the K-3ii
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Old Nov 12, 2015, 5:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the information. I also ordered a third K3ii that is a higher serial number and all has been great. My experience mirrors yours with the AF and the number of keepers. I'm very happy with the camera. I also purchased the new Pentax 24-70 and it has been on the camera since it arrived. It is a great combo.
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Old Nov 12, 2015, 8:07 AM   #8
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For me 24-70 is not wide enough for those wide shots and find 17mm is the sweet spot for those wide angle shots but have heard good things about the Pentax 24-70 over other brands of 24-70 so far.
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Old Nov 13, 2015, 8:41 AM   #9
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For me K3 II is a step up from K5 II. Faster and more accurate AF, none of my lenses need microadjustment, even Sigma 18-35/1.8 works like a charm.

About service center: I'm in UK and mine was affected with power off issue. I contacted Pentax UK service centre on Monday to ask about K3 II service advisory. On Tuesday FedEx picked up my camera free of charge, on Friday I called them and was told my camera is in the workshop and they're looking at sending it back to me on Monday. So 6 days turnaround with weekend in the middle. Can't say a bad word about them.
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Old Nov 28, 2015, 9:42 AM   #10
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In US they told me if I sent one of my first ones to be serviced I had to pay for shipping to send it to them, so you got a good deal also they were quoting me 2.5 to 3 weeks repair time.

Hope the repair does the trick for you. I was luckily enough to be able to return mine to the dealer and get a new one sent out.
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