New PENTAX - K-3

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by wolf_weber, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. From 16.3 straight to 24 (aah) Mp's, skipping the 20 or so... Not a full frame, with quite a few interesting, useful
    tech specs. Finally something to look forward to (again). Current pre-order price a stiff $ 1300,00. That'll come down.
    Always does.
     
  2. Pentax K3 hands-on preview:
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/pentax-k3/pentax-k3A.HTM

    Good article on Steve Huff:
    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/10/07/the-new-pentax-k-3-it-means-business/
     
  3. here is a great comparison link...

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/pentax-k-3-verses-pentax-k-5-iis-dslr-comparison-23042

    i'm not jazzed about the weight, but dual SD slots and the overall boost of features is amazing.

    I will also take the opportunity to say to those who said Ricoh was buying Pentax to shut it down, quit it. I'm tired of it. If
    this is shutting down a brand, then lets do it. This is by far the biggest spec leap for a Pentax camera I have seen. Yet, it
    appears the ergonomics are identical.

    This camera really seems to put ulltra high end features and specs into what is still a very light, compact and robust body.

    While the IQ of the K-5 was the first upgrade, IMO, over the K10D, the specs of this camera, and I truly hope the IQ as well,
    make this a must upgrade camera for the first time in a while. Obviously, images and reviews will determine if the spec
    sheet is more than #s on paper, but this definitely should quiet all the doomsdayer's.

    Well, it won't, because until we see a full frame camera, there will always be doomsdayer's
     
  4. Dear Santa, my name is Stevie
    and I've been a very good boy
    this year...

    Selectable anti-alias filtering?
    Crazy!
     
  5. Pentax products seem to have a hard time catching up with technology trends. They need faster development cycles so that what sounded good at some point can get released at a time when it still sounds good.
     
  6. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    Purchase of this beauty, after finally convincing my spouse that K5iis was the ends of the earth, would sure lead to my demise. I agree with Steve though; there are some instances I feel I need both my K7 and K5iis and this camera could deal with both situations with this feature.
     
  7. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    And I double Justin's rant. Never thought I'd say this but 'Je t'aime Richo!'
     
  8. I do not view the Pentax way of product deveopment as having a "hard time" keeping up. I approve of their slowness because when they do arrive at a certain point, they have done their homework and come up with a superior product in offering a better-built design, unique in being compact yet of higher quality at a reasonable price, with innovative advanced features targetting still photography. Like Nikon, Pentax has been less concerned about keeping up with the latest in higher MP's and appealing to that mentality, and more concerned in presenting a quality product.
    For instance, where niether Pentax nor Nikon were hitting the 18MP category common with Canon, Pentax was offering superior user control of factors such as noise suppresion and DR in the 10MP K200D and 14.6MP K20D as well as superior build with weather sealing at unbelievable prices. In tests, these cameras were able to outperformed the competition in delivering images at higher ISO with good noise reduction while preserving better detail. Were there shortcomings? Sure, but less MP's, a tad less speedy AF (but perhaps more accuracy), less than the best video or live view performance, were not factors that outweighed the above advantages for many still photographers like myself. Even while owning and mostly using my K-5, I continue to enjoy using these two models and still think the results I produce with them to be very fine.
    I feel the same as Justin, however, that the K-5 is truly a visible step up in IQ over even the excellence of the K10D, K200D and K20D. That does not relegate these former models to obsolete crapdom. They can and do still produce damn good quality photos.
    I welcome the latest arrival. Perhaps in true Pentaxian fashion, they have taken their time, and building upon the latest already existing technology, have given it better form and performance with continued uniqueness in features. I have been thinking for a while that perhaps the MP race has lost practical value in terms of visible advantage for most uses. I mean, as measured by machine testing, as the K-5 delivers a shade under 2600 lines when you already have over 16 MP are we going to see a resolution advantage from a 24 MP model that delivers a bit over 2800 lines? An increase of 200 or 300 lines may have been descernable when coming from a 6MP model. I was expecting a 24MP model to deliver at least 1,000 lines increase over the K-5.
    So I have not been one of those who have been disappointed as they wait for the next yearly model's higher MP's. Tests have also revealed that those 24MP models have not done as well with noise at higher ISO settings as the K-5. And the higher file sizes cause everything you do with each file to run slower, and tax storage. So where is the advantage?
    I do nonetheless look forward to seeing how Pentax may have refined this technology- maybe even equalling the fine high ISO of the K-5. A switchable AA filter is of great interest, along with other feature upgrades. And at last maybe a silver/black version that does not disappear after a month or sold just to Asians or Germans... that would be appealing.
    I am with Justin on the weight increase- about 4 oz? And why does Pentax insist upon going backwards to go forwards? Why a K-3 instead of a K-6? I hope if or when a full frame series is introduced a refreshingly sensible policy will ensue- like it will be the "F" series (Full Frame) F-1, next F-2, then F-3, etc!
     
  9. Great news making the forum here a bit more active as well :)
    Did you read anything about the flash sync speed of the K-3?
     
  10. Great news making the forum here a bit more active as well :)
    Did you read anything about the flash sync speed of the K-3?
     
  11. Did you read anything about the flash sync speed of the K-3?​
    Sadly, still at 1/180. That's probably the most obvious "con" with the K-3 on paper. Otherwise looks like a solid offering in the two-dimensional world.
    ME
     
  12. I don't think the weight change is quite that big -- only 40g, or 1.4oz.
    4mm taller, 3mm thicker...but you get a second card slot and better viewfinder in return -- seems fair.

    It looks like quite a few ergonomic improvements:
    • mode dial can be locked/unlocked with a lever
    • metering mode with button + e-dial (the stubby little lever under the mode dial on the K-7 through K-5 was a bit hard to operate with human fingers)
    • AF mode button near AF/MF switch (somewhat like D7100)
    • Separate AF point mode button rather than tiny lever (this seems an improvement, probably brought on by more options due to more AF points)
    • Movie mode now has dedicated lever rather than position on e-dial
    • Live view button moved out of way next to viewfinder and AF enable/disable moved closer to upper corner, away from green button -- the three functions are now separated farther so you won't mix up the three by feel.
    • better diopter setting dial
    Also:
    • improved 0.95x rather than 0.92x viewfinder magnification
    • Tethering via special $99 16GB wi-fi SDHC card
    • Best-in-class 8.3 fps continuous shooting/buffer (?)
    • Segmented white balance -- could be interesting, *might* be capable of applying different WB to different regions of image?
    • Hi-res 86K-pixek RGB metering (up from 77-segment in K-7 through K-5)
    • User-selectable sensor-vibration-based anti-aliasing
    • Various movie/video mode improvements
    I haven't seen confirmation yet on focus peaking though would be surprised if it's not there.
    Looks to me like it may end up being worth the wait (and probably the weight too). Too bad they couldn't eek out 1/250 x-sync, though I admit most of the time I like the slick, quiet shutter of the K-7 thru K-5.
     
  13. Also, I don't think anybody mentioned that Pentax also announced a DA 55-300 4/5.8 with WR and HD coatings. Personally I think they should have SDM'ed this lens though I know a lot of people are still very suspicious of Pentax's SDM reputation. Either way, making an excellent lens (one of their best sellers) even better.
     
  14. I approve of their slowness because when they do arrive at a certain point, they have done their homework and come up with a superior product in offering a better-built design, unique in being compact yet of higher quality at a reasonable price, with innovative advanced features targetting still photography.​
    When they arrive at some point the competition is already ahead. The camera bodies are one thing, but Pentax is now touting their stable of APS-C lenses while still having gaping holes in their lineup. Meanwhile, in the time Ricoh took to bring this K-3 and a few other incremental products to the market, Fuji has produced several camera bodies and a full stable of lenses - none of which can be called inferior to what Pentax is putting out. Compact systems of high quality at reasonable prices are no longer unique to Pentax. The market changed a lot since the K10D, but Pentax products are still released as if they were operating in a bubble. Where is a K-mount lens roadmap that can get someone excited about this system? What is Pentax's answer for MILC technology - or are they planning to become the Leica of SLRs? Whatever, time will tell and teach those that cannot anticipate.
     
  15. Andrew, the comparison Justin provides states a K-3 weight of 800 grams vs 680 for the K-5.
    Yes, I guess Pentax is in a bubble and behind the times since the new model is "only" 23MP instead of forging ahead with 30MP. With a new MILF too and a whole slew of dedicated lenses, then some people might be happy for a few months. But I would not be contemplating the possibility of buying such products myself. The other brands were likewise behind when they took so much time to arrive with those compact high-quality models, which Pentax was already making for a while. One is still hard pressed to find another brand with a model as compact yet well-built as the K-5 with WR as good and cold temp performance as good, great low light performance, and having SR built in, while offering user controls of NR and other unique features, and all that in its price range. Pop Photo's recent review of the new Pentax K-50 found it to be an extraordinarily well-featured, well-built model with WR, unique for its class, and an extraordinary value as well.
    I am quite content with the IQ I am getting from my Pentax stable of bodies. I have never been a rangefinder type of person, preferring the SLR type viewing. For those preferring an aps-c MILF, Fuji apparently makes a very good one. I consider my little K-r with a pancake near as compact in practical use as an aps-c MILF, yet I can throw on a 200mm f/2.8 or a 300mmf/4 if I need to. Great versatility with TTL viewing, and great low light performance. I have lenses up the kazoo, more than I actually need, but am still contemplating getting the DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited (while still keepinng my fine, fast FA 43mm f/1.9) because it is sooo small, with fine optical performance even wide open, on any body with any AA filter.
    I believe the switchable AA filter of the new K-3 to be an industry-leading feature at this point. I hope this new model is as good for low light performance as the excellent K-5 has been. Forthcoming dpreview and other testing will be of great interest. I also hope that the silver/black version is not merely another disappearing limited edition farce.
     
  16. One is still hard pressed to find another brand with a model as compact yet well-built as the K-5 with WR as good and cold temp performance as good, great low light performance, and having SR built in, while offering user controls of NR and other unique features, and all that in its price range.​
    You can make a camera system look better on paper than in real life, but the problem is that even on paper the Pentax proposition has eroded and it is not as easy to argue as it used to be. I used to have a post on my blog recommending Pentax for the features you enumerated plus a few more lens related reasons - I went over it a couple of years ago and I realized that all of those reasons had been eroded by new products from Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung, Sony, and Fuji - I ended up removing that post because I couldn't find any way of updating it in a positive way. These days I can get all those features you enumerated in an E-M1 and what the paper calculation won't tell you is just how much more fun one of those cameras is in use than a DSLR.

    The sad reality is that the Pentax system is so promising that Zeiss and Voigtlander have decided to focus their efforts elsewhere - on NEX and MFT, respectively. No matter how you twist it, that is not a sign of platform health. I'll congratulate Ricoh when they will do something that makes other companies want to invest in their platform. Fuji already got Zeiss support for a less than 2 year old system - it's not full support, it's crumbs from the NEX table so far, but it's still better than the nothing that Pentax gets.
     
  17. I was wondering the same thing. flash sync (mechanical) has been sub par
    since the PZ-1P. Why can't we get a 1/250 (minimum) or preferably 1/500.

    as far as product cycles, if they are replacing bad products, I get it, but
    almost every pentax DSLR had produced great images and been capable of
    grabbing the shots. They aren't producing $4000+ cameras so I'm not sure
    what people are expecting in faster product cycles. what we will get is
    disgruntled buyers who move on because batteries and grips and
    accessories change every 6 months.
     
  18. I'm not sure what people are expecting in faster product cycles​
    I was talking about development time, not about body release cycles. Ricoh has released more Pentax bodies than they released lenses so far. It's the lack of lens development that I deplore. Look at these releases: 35/2.4 in 2010, 50/1.8 in 2012. These lenses should have been around since 2005. 8 years to release two inexpensive prime lenses? Compared to the pace at which lenses get added to MILC systems, this is pathetic. MFT and NEX had similar lenses available for them within a couple of years after they were introduced.

    Pentax is trying to sell their system as being the most complete APS-C system on the market. John Malcolm's words:
    With the announcement of the (*) our new long zoom 55-300mm lens, Ricoh Imaging now offers twice as many APS-C optimized lenses as some of our competitors​
    (*) Typo is from the quote I picked from dpreview.

    But once you look closer at their lens lineup:
    • DA Limited lenses used to be cool because they were small - but now you can get lenses just as small or smaller and yet faster on other systems with shorter mount registration distance
    • Gaps still exist - no 24mm, no 28mm.
    • Some of their DA lenses seem to actually cover a FF image circle, which means that they're not really optimized for APS-C
    For a new customer looking at investing in an APS-C sytem, Fuji or NEX look far more appealing. And that's why they sell more than Pentax, even though they're very young systems.
     
  19. These lenses should have been around since 2005. 8 years to release two inexpensive prime lenses? Compared to the pace at which lenses get added to MILC systems, this is pathetic. MFT and NEX had similar lenses available for them within a couple of years after they were introduced.​
    Are you seriously comparing lens development quantities between a tiny manufacturer of a relatively mature APS-C platform product (Pentax) with what has been happening with multiple large competitors in a newer product market? That argument manages to be both disingenuous and irrelevant at the same time. Congratulations.
    Of course a new platform is going to attract new vendors, each of which is trying to claim their grubstake by releasing new lenses and bodies. So what?
    ME
     
  20. Like many shooters with a Nikon focus I've been waiting for the D400 since I first picked up a D300s and was blown away by the build and ergonomics. Nikon, be worried. I think it's highly likely I will own this beauty soon. And a 35/2.8 to go with it :)
    p.s. As to this only having 24MP, I'd have far preferred this to have had 16MP and larger photo sites.
     
  21. I'd have far preferred this to have had 16MP and larger photo sites.​
    Why? Fewer, larger photosites provide no benefit - certainly not in terms of noise.
     
  22. Really? I'll need to tell all the companies which have been making those pointless Full Frame bodies that they've been wasting their time
     
  23. The K-3 hits the goldilocks spot for me. Improved AF always welcome, a couple of mm here and there keep the ergonomics that I have grown to love with the K-5 series. 8.3 fps point at improved processing speeds internally, and dual cards give me another few options. I am not overly pushed about the sensor Mp difference besides hoping that it equals the 16Mp Sony for DR and high ISO output. The argument for FF will always exist for some but we had a gear orientated meeting earlier this week at my photo club, and there was some serious kit on show, Canon 5D III, Nikon Dx3, Nikon D7200 but the camera that got handled and asked about most was my K-5 :) Admittedly it also had the most lens on show beside it, all the FA Limiteds, DA's 15 & 35, a CZ 2/50 Planar-Makro and a Voigtlander APO 90 but the over riding expression I got from the other members as soon as they picked it up was wow, this feels nice in hand and it is soooo quiet. How come no one knows about these?
     
  24. I have a D5100 and in the last year, after loads and loads of searching for an upgrade which is actually sensible, I've come to the conclusion I should have bought a K5. But, what can you do? Pentax didn't even register during my research. After all the problems on the Nikon front and the constant demands (which I am certain Nikon is aware of) for the D400 for the last two years at least, I am very glad I haven't invested heavily in Nikon glass.
     
  25. Robbie, it's good to hear about those experienced photographers recognizing those special qualites of the K-5. Of course they don't yet know the half of it until they have the chance to handle its control features in actual shooting situations.
    Like the Pentax Hyper Program and Hyper Manual systems, for instance. How in P mode one can instantly switch to Aperture Priority or Shutter riority temporarily without having to change first to Tv or Av mode- just by selecting the desired shutter speed or aperture which will stay where you set it as long as the camera remains on. How in M mode one can very quickly take spot meter readings around a scene just by hitting a green button. Or in M mode if wanting to chane aperture or shutter speed, but keep the same exposure value, just hit the AE-Lock button and upon selecting a new aperture the shutter speed will automatically change accordingly, same for selecting a new shutter speed where the aperture will follow suit.
    A top Pentax DSLR model is an extremely efficient photo shooting machine for control by the photographer in making adjustments and changes on the fly.
     
  26. Are you seriously comparing lens development quantities between a tiny manufacturer of a relatively mature APS-C platform product (Pentax) with what has been happening with multiple large competitors in a newer product market?​
    Nice try, but Pentax can no longer use the "tiny manufacturer" excuse now that it belongs to Ricoh. Ricoh has both experience manufacturing cameras and budget to rival pretty much anyone else in the business. And they acquired Pentax about the same time that Fuji entered the ILC market with their XPro1. I get it that they had to reorganize and wonder what they should do, but give them two more years and they'll still not issue as many lenses as Fuji did so far. If they released half, it would still be something.
    Of course a new platform is going to attract new vendors, each of which is trying to claim their grubstake by releasing new lenses and bodies. So what?​
    The problem is when they abandon your platform to do that. And that only happened to Pentax. No other camera system has been abandoned by third party manufacturers. Pentax can only look good when compared to Samsung or Sigma, which don't get abandoned because they don't generate interest to begin with.
     
  27. Heck Laurentiu you are putting a lot of effort into your views :)
    Can't say they bear much relation to the K-5, K-01 and various fine Pentax lenses I use.
    Not actually using Pentax are you...
     
  28. Heck Laurentiu you are putting a lot of effort into your views :)
    (...)
    Not actually using Pentax are you...​
    Well, after you run out of arguments, you do have to pick up on the person. Nothing much left to do, eh?
    Can't say they bear much relation to the K-5, K-01 and various fine Pentax lenses I use.​
    I am commenting about the market share of Pentax products - whatever qualities those fine Pentax products have, they certainly don't seem to make much impact on the market share. But some people seem to be unable to differentiate between their personal experience and the business aspects of a brand. The K-3 is a fine product, but it is not finer than K-5 was at its time, or than the K-7, or than the K10D. Making fine products is not enough these days - everyone makes fine products.
     
  29. Pointing out you are talking about a product you aren't using is personal how ?
    It does go some way to explain why your random assessments seem in my experience to be wrong.
    The K-5 is in my experience, a 'finer product' than the K-7 which I owned.
    As it was well 'finer' than the K10D before it that I also owned.
    Most of Pentax's market share issues are due to general invisibility and the bizaare brand culture that
    surrounds most consumer items including cameras.
     
  30. I am a long time Pentax user, going back to my Spotmatic from 1968, which was purchased over a Nikon due to size and ergonomics (a term net yet invented). Besides assorted 35mm bodies, I have a DS, K10D and a K-01. I have been quite satisfied with all of them (bought the K-01 when the prices dropped, primarily to try out the sensor and to use as a dedicated landscape and macro camera; haven't used it much so far). To be honest, I don't shoot as much as I would like to, but my results from all of them have quite adequate for my needs. I can usually print up to 10 X 15 from the DS and larger from the K-10D, with very nice results. After almost ten years of shooting digital I find that I usually still work like I am shooting film and work pretty selectively and economically.
    I haven't upgraded since the K10D (I don't count the K-01 because I much prefer using a viewfinder) simply because that camera has been performing well for me. I'll probably get a K-3 after the initial bugs have shaken out, simply because I've waited out the upgrades that have followed the K-10D. I'm hoping for better IQ, focusing and low light performance and don't really care how those are achieved. What I also would like is the ability to shoot a B&W JPEG and a RAW file at the same time, so as to be able to review the shot in B&W on LCD, without losing all the data to the in-camera conversion.
     
  31. Really? I'll need to tell all the companies which have been making those pointless Full Frame bodies that they've been wasting their time​
    Stephen. Sensor size is the point there, not pixel size, This is absolutely basic, fundamental stuff, and the facts don't back up your smartarse attitude.
    A bigger sensor must be hit by more light than a smaller sensor - agreed? Just like a big window lets in more light than a small one. The more light hitting the sensor, the better the signal, the better the sensor performs - other things being equal.
    That's what makes the difference. Pixel size is utterly irrelevant at the image level. (Of course, anyone clueless enough to believe that "per pixel" noise actually matters is probably a lost cause).
    Otherwise - to keep it simple and Nikon-specific - the D200 would have better IQ and high ISO performance than the D7000. Wouldn't it? After all, they're both DX, but the D200's pixels are much bigger than the D7000's.
    But the D7000 kills the D200. Doesn't it?
    Or let's talk about Canon bodies - FF bodies, although the exact same thing is seen in the crop bodies: The 5D Mk III has far smaller pixels than the original 5D, but the Mk III's IQ is far better, right across the board. Again, how would this be possible if you're right?
    My 18 mp Canon 7D's pixel size is much smaller than those in my old 8 mp 30D - yet the 7D is all over the 30D in IQ terms, at every ISO.
    Hell, at the image level my 7D is better than some of the older Canon pro FF bodies - and they've got huge pixels in comparison.
    Seeing a pattern yet?

    Executive summary - the notion that pixel size is a predictor of image quality is utter drivel: and it's drivel that anyone who has done any research into the subject and actually thought it through, realised years ago was so much internet meme crap.
    Read this and learn something. Even DxO Labs gets the idea - they used to have an "Insight" article on their site called "More pixels offsets noise" - the article isn't there any more, but Google the phrase and you'll see soon enough from all the discussion about it, what it was telling us: that your premise is utterly wrong-headed and bereft of the first clue about how this stuff actually works in the Real World.

    And more here from someone who took the time to actually find out whether larger pixels made the difference you (and he) expected.

    No, they did not.

    And that article has existed - and held true - for years and years. None of this is a secret. His assumptions were just plain wrong, but at least he tested them.

    Jeez, even Ken Rockwell gets it: these examples demonstrate unequivocally that when images are equalised, the size of the pixels doesn't make the slightest bit of difference.
     
  32. Pointing out you are talking about a product you aren't using is personal how ?​
    Well that would be relevant, except that is not what you did. What you did was to tendentiously drop a phrase like:
    Not actually using Pentax are you...​
    And that is irrelevant. It's not even a direct accusation, it's a tendentious implication which seems to be typical of the slithery nature of your arguments.
     
  33. I'm hoping for better IQ, focusing and low light performance and don't really care how those are achieved.​
    The K-3 will give you all of those improvements - the K-5 already did. The K10D was a nice camera and can still produce great images, but it is very limiting in low light. The ergonomy of the new bodies is also much improved over the K10D. The only thing I've been missing was the nice metal lock opening the SD card compartment - that is gone since K-7.
    Even DxO Labs gets the idea - they used to have an "Insight" article on their site called "More pixels offsets noise" - the article isn't there any more​
    Wow. Looks like they removed that section of their site - it was there just a month or so back.
    +1 on what you said on sensor size vs pixel size.
     
  34. Keith, I've clicked on those links and am currently digesting this information. As far as I can tell, the thinking/reasoning/findings is/are that, while smaller pixels are noisier, the ratio of signal to noise is still such that there is a net benefit from more pixels.
     
  35. As a wild life camera the K-3 will be absolutely awesome. As a person who's already ordered a K-3, I know exactly why I ordered it and what it will be good for. Not one thing mentioned above in this thread changed my mind. Big things coming are
    Dual card slots with tethering and a wifi card in the second slot.
    New AF system.
    A first ever in any system selectable AA filter.
    Best low light focusing in the industry. I have to ask Mr. Christofor why none of the other players in the industry haven't matched the low light focusing capacity of even the K-5 II. It's getting to be kind of old news around Pentax land. I guess it never occurred to you that the fastest AF on the planet doesn't mean squat, if it's so dark your camera won't focus when others will. Pentax tackled low light focus first then started working on their AF speed. A different approach, but Ricoh has stated their goal of making Pentax AF the best in the business. Pentax is a different company than it was under Hoya.
    More resolution than any Canon camera, APC-c or FF.
    Makes the absolute best use of long lenses in terms of Subject size. Easily outpaces it's only competition, the Nikon D7100 in many features.
    8 Frames a second in burst mode.
    While others complain about Pentax and their lack of whatever imagined ills attract their attention at the moment, Pentax shooters just keep rolling along. Of course Pentax doesn't have to develop a slew of new lenses. There are over 340 lenses currently available of K-mount, over 3 million currently in use. Many of these companies you speak of will vanish before they come close to Pentax's numbers. Of course they have to bring out a lot of new stuff. Their users have very little old stuff that's still functional if any at all.
    Pentax is doing just fine. The fact that some people don't see it is neither here nor there. When all these other companies have a single lens like the FA 31 ltd. regarded on some sites as one of the top 3 of all time, then maybe we'll start talking about Pentax needing new stuff. The DA* 60-250 f4 is still a lens that would be worth buying a whole Pentax system for , just so you can use it. For us outdoors, wildlife landscape shooters, their stuff was already top notch. They just increased their lead with the K-3. I'm not going to bore you and say it's the best camera for everything. But if you shoot outdoors and you carry your gear, a K-3 with the limiteds and a 60-250, along with a few third party lenses is the way to go. Bar none.
     
  36. I've ordered one too.
    I've wanted a new body for a while and was considering a K-5IIs but all the bells and whistles drew me to the K-3. I'll give my current backup, a K-x to my son and make my K-5 the backup. Running the same batteries will be nice for taking both bodies out. Hopefully the K-3 AF lives up to the expectations now set, I shoot some sports (skiing, mountain biking) and better AF-C would be nice for those uses. I also shoot some dance in low light so the low light focusing sounds good for that. Same for the burst rate and buffer capacity.
    AA-less sharpness will be nice.
    I like shooting dark landscapes or starscapes so I'm hoping for a little lower noise at high ISO but find the K-5 acceptable here. Less would always be better. As long as it's not noisier (which would be a surprise).
    It still appears to be small and light enough to carry along on my adventures traveling by my own power.
    More pixels is nice for more options with cropping and printing. If space is too much of a concern I could always dial it down.
    Interestingly enough I also have a 60-250 and a couple of limiteds so I guess I'm the right buyer for what its worth.
    I'm definitely excited to get it, I just hope there aren't too many growing pains for us early adopters, but wouldn't be too surprised if there were some; bleeding edge n' all that.
     
  37. Being an early adopter, if the same thing goes wrong with my camera twice, I get a new camera. I splurged for the extended warranty thing. There have been so many cameras bad at launch lately, including the Nikon D600 and D800 I don't want to take any chances.
     
  38. I am with ME in that comparing APS-C ILC systems and lens offerings with APS-C DSLR systems is like apples and bananas. It boils down to a very old discussion. Pentax throughout most of its long history has never had anything like a large market share. That requires lots of advertising, like in every monthly issue of major publications. Advertising both creates new markets and perpetuates markets.
    I don't expect Pentax to go overboard and be a Fuji me-too with this APS-C ILC thing and a whole slew of dedicated lenses, just as Nikon has not done and Canon has not done. Even though some have wished this to happen. I believe the digital age has been a bonanza for camera makers with the rapid advancement of improved technology that has produced visible results, enough to keep people selling and buying new equipment. But that visible advancement has slowed. Some companies have created "new" interest/ markets through advertising by resurrecting the old discussion of higher-class mirrorless rangefinder cameras with dedicated lenses vs SLR cameras, which goes back well into the film era. For some, such cameras are just the ticket for their photographic needs. Fine. I understand. Go look at a Fuji, or settle for what Pentax does offer, if that suits the need. For others like myself, a small DSLR is nearly as small as APS-C ILCs, but having better on-body control features with better ergonomics for using those controls to make quick adjustments on the fly. And it takes all my existing lenses for superior flexibility going from a compact setup to a big, fast lens setup, even incorporating some faster telephoto needs. Unlike Nikon or Canon, Pentax has chosen to diversify in the MF market.
    Like Nikon and Canon, Pentax has put out decent efforts to satisfy some degree of ILC need , though certanly not to the degree of commitment as Fuji or Sony. Instead, they continue to emphasize the uniquely compact DSLR. The K-5 series is STILL unique in being the most compact DSLR of professional build/design, and having unique features that are useful. The K-3 may still fill a similar role in the 24mp category, along with yet more unique features. No doubt it will do virtually everything better than the K10D. But will that be true regarding the K-5? We really don't know yet. Remember, with the K-7 Pentax failed to take a step forward in IQ over the K20D, especially in high ISO performance.
    It is sobering to examine the review from last summer by dpreview of the K-5II & IIs. Go to the high ISO/noise control section, where a comparison comes up with Nikon's 24mp D7100. Adjust nr to "auto" or "normal" and compare the two at ISO 1600. Which between them delivers less noise, yet preserves the most detail? Pop Photo's recent review of the D7100 indicated a reading of 2820 lines compared to their result of just under 2600 lines for the K-5. Not a whole lot of difference in resolution at ISO 100. In their conclusion and final word paragraphs, dpreview declares the K-5II (a tweek of the K-5) to be still very relevant in today's market place, even with the D7100 compared in their testing!! The K-5 in its day is still to this day!
    Pentax has targeted buyers on lower budgets with the K-30 and now K-50. A compact DSLR that is weather sealed and cold resistant at a modest price. Unique in the marketplace, the K50 has been declared amazing in its class and a great value by reviewers such as Pop Photo and dpreview. And it is actually being advertized!!
    We can only speculate that in the K-3, Pentax may have pulled out some magic and has outdone the Nikon D7100.
     
  39. I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Those arguing the merits of Full frame vs. Crop need to relax. The Nikon crop sensor D7100 24mp actually produces sharper images than its 24mp FF D600 cousin because the 7100 lacks an AA filter. This Pentax lacks the AA filter too. I think some people are pissed that they shell out a lot of $$$$ for the full frame body and notice very little improvements. I’ll bet side by side, you couldn’t tell the difference between prints from either of the two Nikons.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oeLnzR7RKA- real life comparison between full frame & crop Nikons. Give you an Idea of how the Pentax compares.
     
  40. That is true because of pixel density being greater, due to the crop factor of the same area of a scene shot at the same FL. But IQ may be greater for the 24mp FF model at higher ISO settings. Lower noise and better preservation of detail at higher ISO is a main sell for FF design, along with wide angle performance with faster lenses having lower distortion being available. The higher ISO performance of the Pentax K-5 series, however, as well as that of the related 16mp Nikons, is so good they have come close enough to that of FF models to pose a serious challenge.
     
  41. I am with ME in that comparing APS-C ILC systems and lens offerings with APS-C DSLR systems is like apples and bananas.​
    I don't think you understand the advantages of MILC systems, but then people didn't see the point of digital vs film for a long time either. It is not just the small size - that is just the most obvious advantage to perceive. It is the new features that you get from a digital solution. To take one example out of many: your viewfinder is no longer limited by the sensor size (*). Such advantages caused rangefinders to be replaced by SLRs and now will cause SLRs to be replaced by MILCs. Canon and Nikon are too big to make a change that their customers don't yet request, but the Pentax brand cannot be managed as if it was Canon/Nikon.
    (*) it amuses me that most people that argue the advantage of an OVF in SLRs are happy using the small ones of APS-C DSLRs.
    Look at the announcements of the last few days. They were rumored for a while now. Sony has introduced FF cameras that are compact and affordable. You can now use an exceptional lens like the FA 31 on the format it was designed for - Ricoh should be able to either offer that or to offer an APS-C lens to rival the FA31. And unlike with the NEX, Sony now seems intent to release quality lenses for this FF system. In other news, Panasonic has introduced the GM1 - have you seen its size compared to the Q7? It's incredible. I always liked the Q, but I cannot see much point in investing in it when a camera like the GM1 offers an alternative. Ricoh will have trouble keeping the Pentax brand alive if they don't change their strategy, which so far seems to be a very conservative one of refining existing Pentax camera and lens lineups. There just isn't any future in that. And it's not like they lack choices. Yet.
    It is sobering to examine the review from last summer by dpreview of the K-5II & IIs. Go to the high ISO/noise control section, where a comparison comes up with Nikon's 24mp D7100. Adjust nr to "auto" or "normal" and compare the two at ISO 1600. Which between them delivers less noise, yet preserves the most detail?​
    It is sobering, but the effect on us seems to be different. To me, the comparisons at dpreview show that the differences between cameras across all three main formats are now minute in terms of noise/detail/color. You can discern some but only through pixel peeping and it can be a misleading difference. The D7100 may look noisier (at ISO 6400 than the K-5II) but it has higher resolution and captures more detail (check the watch face, for example). For me sensor performance of all systems is good enough now. I read about it just for technical curiosity, not because it is meaningful to my photography.
    Those arguing the merits of Full frame vs. Crop need to relax.​
    There is no merit, but APC-C has never been properly developed. Pentax did not have the resources and their goal was not to rival FF in optical performance, but in size and portability. And Fuji, who started with the stated goal of building an APS-C system to rival FF ones, may have a change of heart now that the A7 is here. If not, then the best APS-C system will be Fuji's. Everyone else will offer APS-C as a stepping stone to FF, like Canon and Nikon did, so they will never build an APS-C system to truly rival their FF ones (just watch Sony now). Ricoh may continue to try to build an APS-C DSLR lens lineup, but they haven't done anything new in that direction yet.
    I think some people are pissed that they shell out a lot of $$$$ for the full frame body and notice very little improvements.​
    The A7 body is just $400 more expensive than the K-3 one. Which one do you think will sell more and bring new users into the respective brand? Yes, people that invested a lot more in old FF bodies should be annoyed now, but that is their problem. One no longer needs to invest a whole lot more to get a FF body. The D600 and now the A7 show that.

    Ricoh and Pentax combined have all the experience and the financial power that they would need to build an appealing system. I bought the excuse of Pentax going through a hard time when they went under and out of Hoya, but it looks like their challenge is a lack of vision and a difficulty of letting go of their past - it's what allowed Nikon and Canon to overtake them and what also allowed relative newcomers like Olympus to capture a larger share of the market repeatedly over history.
     
  42. I must say, I am interested in the new MILF's mentioned by Michael Kuhne. MILF's can be lots of fun, though they tend to distract me from photography.
     
  43. I'm pretty happy with the MILF I already have!
     
  44. The K3 specs look great. Compared to Canon & Nikon, I’m of the opinion that you get more quality for your money with Pentax. Some of the Pentax primes also have really good ratings. I have an FA 43 limited that takes great pictures when paired with my Pentax 12mp KX. The disadvantage with Pentax is lens choices. Canon & Nikon have so many more choices which is sad. I’m certain that Pentax has studied the competition and made the K3 better. I just can’t wait to see the reviews when it comes out.
    FF would be nice, but is it really worth the $$$$ for a little less noise at higher ISO? All things being equal a 24mp FF should have the same resolution as a 24mp crop given that both have quality lenses of equivalent focal lengths. I know that physics is on the side of the FF in terms of quality, but can you really tell without pixel peeping? Unfortunately, I don’t have both to compare. If anyone has done this comparison, I’d love to hear from you.
    I do have a Mamiya 645 FILM camera and a Nikon 9000 film scanner, and from pixel peeping comparisons, the 12MP Pentax has just about the same resolution as 120 speed Medium format Velvia film (just from my eyes, not scientifically done). The K3 should be a welcome step up in resolution.
     
  45. What I am clearly seeing in the dpreview test is an obvious loss of detail at ISO 1600 with the D7100 compared to the K-5, because of its aggressive noise suppression which still does not result in the lower noise of the K-5 that HAS preserved detail. The new Pentax K-3, however, may turn in a better performance. We shall see.
    For myself, the ILCs present no advantage. I know what they are, have handled some, and find they do not suit my photography style or needs. I sensed all this verbiage has been about the same old BS- that Pentax should abandon the antiquated APS-C DSLR concept and join Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, et al in developing similar APS-C ILC systems, because APS-C DSLRs will 'go away" and most serious photographers will be running around shooting with expensive quasi- P/S cameras having dedicated interchangeable lenses. Nonsense. Nikon and Canon continue to offer newer ENTRY level APS-C DSLRs for NEW customers. With good reason. The Pentax K-50 is the most advanced entry level DSLR available in terms of its build quality and WR design, as well as having advanced control features. It is currently being advertised.
    The issue for preference between the rangefinder and SLR had less to do with VF size and more to do with viewing through the lens to really see what you are shooting through the VF, rather than a secondary representation of it. That is what an SLR with mirror, etc is all about. Some nevertheless still preferred the mirrorless rangefinder, due to smaller size and for shooting at slower shutter speeds on a tripod without the vibration effects of a mirror, or its temporary blackout effect. The SLR never actually replaced the rangefinder. Pentax introduced the more compact SLR with the ME series, which was closer in size to a rangefinder, yet satisfied those preferring the SLR style camera for TTL viewing. I am not one of those who've had a problem focussing through a DSLR VF due to its being of less size than a FF VF, and I still have film bodies I use on occasion.
    There have been some photographers who left Pentax because for them even the K-5 is too small. They prefer a larger body for their hand fit. I certainly cannot imagine them selling their DSLRs for an ILC. The APS-C ILC is not that much smaller than a compact DSLR, but just enough to necessitate inadequate (for me) on body controls. Even my K-r or a K-x are better for controls and ergonomics for their use. The new K-50 is better yet, though a little bit larger, because it has the thumb and finger dial system. If somene likes the ILC concept as the hand fit is right for them, and the control setup it does have is all they require to meet their needs, fine. But others require something more extensive in those departments.
    FF sensors are better for very wide angle photography, and for more reduction in depth of field. An APS-C DSLR will be advantageous for middle to tele FL use and can deliver more pixel density in the same area in those FL ranges without having to go to a much bigger lens to get the same thing in the frame.
     
  46. What I am clearly seeing in the dpreview test is an obvious loss of detail at ISO 1600 with the D7100 compared to the K-5​
    Have you moved across the picture? The images are not focused identically across cameras so depending on the area you check one may look better than the other because of this difference. I couldn't find any meaningful advantage in the K-5/K-5II over the D7100. The K-5IIs captures impressive detail for its resolution, but I would still not pick a camera over the other for any differences exposed in those tests.
    Nikon and Canon continue to offer newer ENTRY level APS-C DSLRs for NEW customers.​
    Because they still can. Nikon and Canon have a much larger share of market than Pentax. Why would they shake that out by pushing a new technology? Ricoh/Pentax doesn't have this challenge, but they behave as if they do.
    The issue for preference between the rangefinder and SLR had less to do with VF size​
    I didn't say it has. SLRs replaced rangefinders because they offered TTL. mirrorless will replace SLRs because they offer a bunch of other things *besides TTL* - one of those things is the ability to have a FF-sized VF on an APS-C camera - something that today's APS-C DSLRs are incapable of offering. Just because you don't need advantages doesn't negate their existence. There is absolutely nothing of importance that a DSLR enables that cannot be achieved in a MILC. There are tons of features that you can enable in a camera as long as they are not a DSLR.
    The SLR never actually replaced the rangefinder.​
    For all practical market purposes, it did. It barely made it into the digital era. Leica is the only extant manufacturer and at some point they'll probably just make MILCs - look at them advertising LiveView and movie mode in the last M.
    There have been some photographers who left Pentax because for them even the K-5 is too small.​
    There is no point to be made on that. There is nothing preventing a manufacturer from making a MILC with the ergonomics of the Pentax K-5 - except lack of market demand. If the number of people leaving Pentax because of body size would have been that significant, Pentax would have taken note of it, or at least, they could have made Pentax take notice. But a couple dozen guys complaining online about a camera body is irrelevant for the market and for such arguments.
    FF sensors are better for very wide angle photography, and for more reduction in depth of field. An APS-C DSLR will be advantageous for middle to tele FL use and can deliver more pixel density in the same area in those FL ranges without having to go to a much bigger lens to get the same thing in the frame.​
    This has nothing to do with DSLR vs MILC.

    As for APS-C vs FF, a FF camera can always use APS-C lenses in crop mode (the A7 shows that such a FF body can still be tiny - smaller than any APS-C DSLR in fact). The "reach" advantage of APS-C is bogus - whatever strength that argument had is only going to erode further as larger resolution FF sensors will be released. There was a time when technological challenges prevented FF sensors from having similar pixel pitch as APS-C, but now we're going to move back to a time when formats only matter for resolution offered, as it was the case during the film era. When I pointed this out a year ago, someone protested that only the D800 offers 36MP and that is an expensive camera - now we have the A7R at a more affordable price point - even if this is still too high for some, the point is to observe the trend. FF sensors are becoming more affordable. With the initial price of the K-5 you can now get the A7 and that gives you the resolution of a K10D in crop mode. Spend more on the A7R and then you'll get the resolution of the K-5 in crop mode - not at all a bad way to spend money on equipment. The K-3 now offers more resolution, but at this point, what is better to invest your money in? A FF camera that gives you the crop mode resolution that everyone has lived happily with until now PLUS the FF mode with all its benefits or an APS-C camera that gives more resolution than the crop mode but less than the FF?
     
  47. These are the current facts. Using 36 Mp camera the crop mode is about 15 Mp, not even as much as K-5. A D7100 or K-3 will give you 24 Mp in the same crop area. You can try and spin that any way you want.. but that doesn't change it. If you're using an FF sensor in crop mode, you're better off with a D3200, a D5200, or a D 7100 (or a K-3). You will get more resolution and IQ in the area of the crop sensor with APS-c. There quite simply are no 50 MP FF cameras. ANd no one knows what will come first. A 36 Mp APS-c camera or a 50 Mp FF camera. It could be that the D800 was the one and only time FF had an advantage with crop lenses, or cropped images.
    The fact that you can write a paragraph implying that's not true doesn't ad anything to the conversation.
     
  48. Agreed, Norman! Thanks for those facts. And, you can indeed get the same telephoto shot as a FF body would while using a smaller, lighter lens as well.
    So now, Laurentiu, the dpreview test is flawed due to their misfocus of the D7100 images offered for comparison. And that accounts for the lack of detail, not the aggressive noise suppression necessitated by the 24mp sensor. Strange that practically every test by every lab I have seen, of every APS-C model with a 24mp sensor, a higher degree of noise accompanied by a greater loss of detail by comparison to the K-5 or K-r has been the case. And this with a very modest increase of lines of resolution over the K-5. I am hopeful, however, that the K-3 will prove to be the equal of the K-5 in these areas of question, while affording a meaningful increase in resolution, but then there's that dratted file size increase. The switchable AA filter is of great interest, however.
    An EVF can be made to any size, since it is essentially a digital electronic screen. It is of course still a secondary representation, not a direct view of the actual subject through the lens as is the case with an OVF, as found on a DSLR.
    There are lots of people with larger hands who prefer larger camera models. There are lots of photographers who use larger lenses and prefer larger bodies for that also.
    Much has been made of the APS-C MILC or ILC having a more compact design over a DSLR, although in reality not that much smaller than a compact DSLR model. That said, they certainly do have some appeal for lighter packing, if one does not mind going without the control advantages of a fully developed DSLR. That reduction in size necessitates loss of a full set of control features. Trying to squeeze that many controls on such a body would be an ergonomic joke. Even the K-5 had to eliminate some of the on-body control set of the K20D. Advanced photography is rightfully associated with control by the photographer, which modern technology has made far more efficient by offering the numerous on-body fingertip controls found on a better grade of DSLR. Such a camera is simply a far more effective machine for making fast adjustments and readings than one with few on-body controls. Sorry.
    Nikon and Canon are doing as they are doing because they recognize the fact of there being a significant market out there of new customers who are interested in the APS-C DSLR for the above reasons.
     
  49. I can see both sides on this one. The K-3 would seem to offer about the best combination of features available in an APS-C camera at its particular price point. I ditched all my Nikon gear nearly a year ago to go down the Olympus OM-D E-M5 route and haven't looked back. The on-body controls are as good as a comparable DSLR. The light weight means I can (and do) carry the camera everywhere. Image quality is superior to my old Nikon D300. In body image stabilisation is outstanding and my experience is such that I would ot consider aother system which doesn not have it. The new Sony twins do not have IBIS and neither is the lens situation particularly appealing yet. Battery life on the Sonys looks poor looks even worse than my Olympus (and that's its weakest area IMO).
    So in summary, the E-3 looks like the pick of the APS-C bodies right now, subject to the usual image quality resuts from testing. However, it's not enough to tempt me away from Olympus due to the weight of the system.
     
  50. In body image stabilisation is outstanding and my experience is such that I would ot consider aother system which doesn not have it.​
    You do know the K-3 has in body stabilization, plus a selectable AA filter that uses a slight shift in the sensor during exposure to emulate an AA filter where moire is likely to be present.

    Looking at the OM-D-E-M5 on DxO I don't see it measuring up to my K-5 in any category, performance wise. It would seem to be at the level just above my old K20D. I simply could never go back to a camera that has a dynamic range with a number in the 12s. I assume there are other qualities, that don't have to do with the actual image produced that have you considering this camera the top of the APS-c world. Like the combination of weight and performance or something like that. But that would be more interesting if you'd actually used a K-5 or D7000, D7100 or in a few days a K-3, or another one of the APS-c cameras that I've heard others rave about.
     
  51. Norman, I do know that the K range has IBIS. I also have a Nikon D7000 (as a back-up for weddings) and a bad back and arthritic knee. When out and about, it's the OMD every time. I cannot say that the D7000 produces better quality images than the OMD - mainly because it doesn't. I'm in contact with many OM-D users here in the UK, several of whom have ditched their APS-C and full frame Nikon and Canon kits in favour of the Olympus m4/3 system - and I'm talking professional wedding and portrait photographers here. One great feature the E-M5 offers is real-time under/over exposure on the EVF BEFORE taking the picture, allowing easy one finger exposure compensation or manual exposure adjustment to be set. I cannot say I've encountered any real world situation where the D7000 would have produced a better image than the E-M5.
    For an alternative comparison of dynamic range, try dpreview and set the E-M5 gradation setting to 'auto'. I'm afraid the E-M5 betters the K5-2s in both shadows and highlights & significantly so in the former.
     
  52. I use Imaging Resource for these kinds of comparisons.. I don't see a lot of difference in dynamic range. The K-5 IIs would seem to have perhaps a little better colour, the M5 is surprisingly good though, and despite there being little difference in the test scores, the M5 looks a little bit cleaner. Interesting. I saw no discernible difference in dynamic range. The images are very close. However, I'd expect the 30%-60% additional lw/kh that's been measured on the K-3 will take it way beyond the M5. Very good images from the M5 though. Almost up in foveon country in terms of sharpness. I notice they had no images tested below 200 ISO. For a landscape guy, the richer colours and lower ISO setting might give the K-5 the edge, but the M5 was certainly has it's strengths, well beyond my expectations. I don't see anyone being unhappy with those images. Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  53. Yes, ISO 200 is the base on the E-M5 - which is a real PITA when trying fill flash as diffraction sets well in above f11 (hence the D7000 for when I use flash thanks to the excellent TTL flash system on Nikons) and nornal flash sync is 1/160th. At the other end, I tend to max out at ISO 2500.
    BTW, how good is the P-TTL flash system on the K5 series? I'm particularly thinking of the pre-flash in TTL mode. I find TTL flash unusable on the E-M5 for people shots due to the pre-flash delay causing quite a lot of 'blinkies'. If it's negligible, I can forsee a switch to Pentax as my second system to take advantage of IBIS with prime lenses. I can deal with exposure variations and flash compensation.
     
  54. I don't use flash much myself, but just from reading a lot of forum posts, I've gathered that the flash is probably the weakest part of the K-5 system, and so far I've heard the K-3 isn't any better. Of the wedding guys who own multiple systems, none that I know of use their K series cameras for flash work... although the guys who use just a k-5 seem to be able to make do. People switch to Nikon just to get the more capable flash system. I would never advise one to switch to Pentax for the way it handles flash. In fact I'd say don't even think of switching to Pentax for it's utility with flash, unless you've tried the system and can live with it. It's one of the big reasons people complain about Pentax cameras. For my purposes it's fine. But I use flash for fill light in images, maybe once in every 10,000 images, never use multiple flash units, in fact the built in flash on the camera is all I've ever used. I've never seen a post discussing TTL that said "this works great" on any Pentax K series camera. Sorry I don't have a more positive answer.
     
  55. Thanks Norman. Looks like I'll have to stick with Nikon for this and get some image stabilised lenses.
     
  56. These are the current facts. Using 36 Mp camera the crop mode is about 15 Mp, not even as much as K-5.​
    Well if you want to count every pixel, yes, the K-5 has 1MP extra. But do you think it is critical enough to drop the FF advantages just to jump on the APS-C bandwagon?
    A D7100 or K-3 will give you 24 Mp in the same crop area. You can try and spin that any way you want.. but that doesn't change it.​
    Well, I don't have to change it. It is still a weak argument, because, you see - if you really care about reach, why stop at APS-C? A 24MP cropped to MFT size gives you 14.6MP - why not just get an E-M5 and milk an extra 1.4 MP from that one (since you're so keen on counting 1 MP as a bonus).
    The problem with your argument is that you're not following it earnestly to its conclusion. You can try to rationalize the existence of APS-C but the fact is that it was introduced as a cost-cutting budget format. Same as MFT, except MFT was built from the ground up rather than as a stepping stone on the way to FF, and it made a better IQ/size compromise.
    Strange that practically every test by every lab I have seen, of every APS-C model with a 24mp sensor, a higher degree of noise accompanied by a greater loss of detail by comparison to the K-5 or K-r has been the case.​
    Careful there Michael, or you're going to deliver another kick to Norman's argument about the benefit of these 24MP APS-C sensors.
    An EVF can be made to any size, since it is essentially a digital electronic screen. It is of course still a secondary representation, not a direct view of the actual subject through the lens as is the case with an OVF, as found on a DSLR.​
    An advantage in my opinion because what you are going to capture is what the sensor sees, not what you are seeing through an OVF.
    Much has been made of the APS-C MILC or ILC having a more compact design over a DSLR, although in reality not that much smaller than a compact DSLR model.​
    You are clearly not speaking from experience. Or maybe you are speaking from the experience of the K-01 - I keep forgetting about that Pentax foray into MILCs. Most people that moved from an APS-C DSLR to a MILC appreciate the size advantage. You cannot fit even just the K-01 body into a P&S bag like I can do with the E-PL2 and its 14mm lens.
    That reduction in size necessitates loss of a full set of control features.​
    A full set? Sounds like you lost control of your hyperbole there.

    What control features are you missing on the E-M5 or E-M1? It's not like the K-5 fills its surface with buttons - it actually even wastes space with the top LCD screen. It's also not like every MILC has to be small. You seem indifferent to the ability of switching between a small combo and a larger one on the same system, but it is a significant advantage (in terms of both finance and convenience) to be able to invest in a single system where you can use cameras ranging in size from GM1 to GH3.
    Such a camera is simply a far more effective machine for making fast adjustments and readings than one with few on-body controls. Sorry.​
    Absolutely, but you're making a strawman argument here and you should be sorry for doing such things in what should be an honest conversation about technology. The E-M5 is not a camera with few on-body controls. And it allows functional customization of those controls in ways that put Pentax cameras to shame.
    Nikon and Canon are doing as they are doing because they recognize the fact of there being a significant market out there of new customers who are interested in the APS-C DSLR for the above reasons.​
    That market dropped 18% just like the MILC one did. You probably missed that. It was very nice to contrast that drop with the earlier statements of continued DSLR growth.
    Looking at the OM-D-E-M5 on DxO I don't see it measuring up to my K-5 in any category, performance wise. It would seem to be at the level just above my old K20D.​
    The sensor itself appears to actually be more comparable to the K-x, which caused furors among Pentax users for the incredible improvement it represented over the K20D/K-7. And if you check the graphs, it is similar to K-x in all aspects except in DR where it exceeds it within ISO 400-1600 settings (camera settings not dxomark measured ones). Did you notice that twist I just mentioned: dxomark measures ISO in a different way than manufacturers do and so when they show an E-M5 result at ISO 800, it is what the camera produces when you would select ISO 1600. This is why users rave about the E-M5 performance being comparable to K-5, but the dxomark scores won't reflect it- you'll have to check the graphs to see it. If you think that is unholy, the D800 does something similar - ISO 1100 in dxomark graphs corresponds to ISO 1600 selected in camera. So getting back to the comparison of E-M5 with Pentax cameras, the E-M5 would perform well above your old K20D at same camera settings. Is it as good as the K-5, does it come close to it? I don't know, but it is good enough that I don't have to ask such questions. And when I look at dpreview's ISO 6400 samples, I don't see anything to make me wish for a different sensor.
    I simply could never go back to a camera that has a dynamic range with a number in the 12s.​
    Why not? I doubt you ever get to use those 14Ev of the K-5 except for correcting really bad exposures. And this is where an EVF and 12Ev can do the work just as well, because they make it harder to miss exposures.
    In the end, this is the difference between arguments made for the sake of rationalizing an equipment choice and the reality of what one needs to be effective as a photographer or as a photographic company. We can count the extra Ev fractions that the K-5 provides over the D7000 and the amazing ergonomic controls without which one cannot dare to press the shutter for fear of utter failure, but at the end of the day more people will spend their money on an E-M5 with a smaller 12.3 Ev sensor than they will do on the gloriously spec-ed K-5. But when this fact is pointed out, most Pentax users are in denial and show themselves to be ignorant or indifferent to all advantages provided by the competition. Sadly, this is the state of the Pentax management as well - they don't understand why they are unsuccessful and in turn they cannot take the actions required to be successful, so they're just continuing on this death spiral they're in.
     
  57. Laurentiu makes some interesting points. The E-M5 does indeed offer as many external controls as you need combined with class leading IBIS. I would also argue that the native m43 lens offerings are superior to those offered by Pentax (in 35mm equivalence: 24mm f2, 34mm f1.8, 40mm f1.7, 50mm f1.4, 90mm f1.8, 150mm f1.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 24-80mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8), all at lower price points than their nearest Pentax equivalents except the 50mm equiv. pana-leica.
    The problem with mirrored APS-C is that it is stuck in the middle between the portability and lightness of m43 which has IQ close enough to the best APS-C sensors for it not to be an issue for 'real world' photography and the advantage of FF bodies with better control over DoF and better high ISO performance. In business terms being 'stuck in the middle' is not where you want to be. Until Pentax can offer a FF body and a better set of zooms both for FF and APS-C, it is destined to be a bit part player at best. Nikon and Canon users have clear upgrade paths from APS-C to FF. The new Sony twins represent a potential great leap forward, but need affordable decent quality lenses to make the system succesful isofar as they need to secure both enthusiast and professional users.
    Some may argue that APS-C is a 'goldilocks' format and that may be true. However, it seems to me that mirrorless is the way forward for all sensor sizes. On sensor phase detect AF (like on the new Olympus OMD E-M1) just did away with the argument that m43 'cannot do action' and advances in display, processing and sensor technology must surely mean that the mirror will become increasingly pointless. The only thing now is to work on battery life - IMHO the weakest aspect of mirrorless systems.
    The K-3 offers an interesting upgrade path for existing Pentax users and is a tempter for the new DSLR purchaser (but at too high a price point for the latter). I cannot see it attracting Canon or Nikon users into the system and as such, I see Pentax making little headway in the market.
     
  58. Until Pentax can offer a FF body and a better set of zooms both for FF and APS-C, it is destined to be a bit part player at best.​
    Exactly. We got side-tracked on this APS-C vs DSLR discussion because I pointed out that Fuji has achieved as much in 2 years as Pentax did in a decade, to which I got a challenge that pulled us down this road:
    I am with ME in that comparing APS-C ILC systems and lens offerings with APS-C DSLR systems is like apples and bananas.​
    But even if we leave MILCs aside, Pentax was still behind Olympus and Sony when they were all still making SLRs. Olympus looks as if they always started from scratch with some line (Pen, OM, FT, MFT) and still managed to grab a larger market share than Pentax, which was an older player in the industry. And it is disingenuous to claim that advertising and money spent on advertising would have changed things - especially since for the past 2-3 years I kept seeing Pentax advertised and reviewed in Popular Photography - it has the same coverage as any other brand. No, it is the lack of vision and understanding of market tendencies that made Pentax release products like the K-01 or like the Q. The Q was an interesting concept, but its sensor was behind the times - trailing in size that of high-end P&Ss that it was competing with. And the K-5 was/still is a great product, but there is not much you can do on top of that, as the K-5II and K-3 show. You can still do some innovations in SLR controls, but SLRs are essentially limited even when it comes to AF - there is only so much of the frame that you can cover with AF points. This is where MILCs provide more opportunities. What were the main innovations to have hit SLRs in the last decade? LiveView, video mode, and better sensors, none of which is enabled by a mirror or a rangefinder. Leica may have survived SLRs but their products may also become just high end MILCs at the end of the day. An innovative company can make more difference today by working on MILC products than they'll ever make by developing SLRs.
     
  59. You are still on that road- MILC's vs DSLRs, as you were which prompted ME's response. I have found their controls to be cramped, and inadequate for my needs especially in view of the cramped ergonomics to operate them. Long ago, I purched the ME Super new, and shot with that for many years. Then the Super Program. These were exceptionally compact bodies having relatively few basic controls, which allowed good ergonomics despite their compact design. Much later, I acquired the Pentax PZ-1p, a large camera with many controls which were very well laid out. The PZ-1p was a very full-featured design, and its operational speed and functional efficiency were outstanding.
    A couple of years ago I purchased a K-r for its compactness, which has far better operational ergonomics that the mirrorless models I have examined because it is just larger enough for a more functional design. And it takes any of my lenses, large or small. It is a sidekick to my main system when I need a smaller, lighter setup without having to go to a whole other system just for that purpose. I can even fit it into a larger jacket pocket with a small lens on it. All this fits my need also while having a real VF instead of an electronic representation. I still balk a bit, however, that it has no top LCD, which forces me to keep tilting the camera down to observe settings, an annoyance I find. And its controls are also lacking compared to the K-5, which I miss but forgive in view of the price and the fact it fulfills its subsidiary role.
    The K-50 seems to have an attraction in the lower price range market wth its compact but tough build, WR and cold resistance, and two-dial control design with the fast-operating Pentax Hyper system. Popular Photography had high praise for the concept.
     
  60. I used to use an ME super and still have a Program A. I have seriously considered all Pentax DSLRs since the K10, but always came down to two issues: the flash system and lenses - areas in which Nikon have a superior offering.
    Luckily I have small hands, so the controls on the E-M5 work well for me. On the weight front, it's lens lightness that's key: e.g. 220g for the all plastic 40-150mm; 115g for the utterly stunning 45mm f1.8; 130g for the almost as good 12mm f2; 155g for the excellent 9-18mm f4-5.6 and so on. With a bad back and knee, I need all the weight reduction I can get while still keeping the flexibility and quality of an ILC.
     
  61. You are still on that road- MILC's vs DSLRs, as you were which prompted ME's response.​
    Pentax has been making DSLRs for a decade and they still have holes in their lens lineup. How is pointing that out a DSLR vs MILC issue?

    MEs answer was:
    Are you seriously comparing lens development quantities between a tiny manufacturer of a relatively mature APS-C platform product (Pentax) with what has been happening with multiple large competitors in a newer product market?​
    Sure I'll be comparing the holes in that "mature" APS-C platform product with what is happening with new systems in their first years. Where is the "maturity" of that platform supposed to come from? Being around for a long time doesn't necessarily make one mature, it just makes them old. This is not a MILC vs DSLR issue. I would compare with new DSLR systems if anyone would bother starting one, but no one does. Actually, I can compare with a DSLR system introduced in the past: Olympus FT, started from scratch, still gained more share than Pentax despite the famous advantage of having an existing user base for their K mount system. How did Olympus achieve that? By releasing a solid set of lenses - same thing that they and Fuji do now.
    There is no MILC aspect in this argument. Yes, Fuji makes MILCs, but they could have just as well made DSLRs - do you think that their lens development would have been slower in that case?
    And to this argument, you brought your insight:
    I am with ME in that comparing APS-C ILC systems and lens offerings with APS-C DSLR systems is like apples and bananas. It boils down to a very old discussion. Pentax throughout most of its long history has never had anything like a large market share. That requires lots of advertising, like in every monthly issue of major publications. Advertising both creates new markets and perpetuates markets.​
    The idea being that with advertising you can sell anything, no matter the qualities, right?
    Well, Fuji has sold their X100 mainly through word of mouth - and it got purchased by many Canon and Nikon users. And this happened at a time when Pentax cameras were also prominently featured in ads and reviews in PopPhoto - so much for that lack of advertising (another piece of Pentax mythos). It's not like Pentax isn't advertised, but you cannot expect advertising to do all the work. How many people that buy cameras even care about what major publications say? They go online and ask around. Canon and Nikon users will know to recommend a Fuji camera now for certain requirements, but they still don't have any idea why anyone would buy Pentax. Do you think advertising will change that?
     
  62. Ough... Hard to follow some of the exhaustive postings and arguments in this thread. I'd liked to have thrown in a word here
    or there, but I just don't have the time. Meanwhile Pentax's latest and greatest (..?) is showing up in stores, at the launch price. No discounting yet. But that'll only be a matter of time... Weeks, maybe..? The EOS 70D has already come off its High Horse.
    If it wasn't for the continued lack of certain (long focal) lenses, teleconverters and macro adapters, I would most likely
    go Pentax all the way. Mr. Ricoh however seems to prefer color over substance.
     

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