New camera

I’ve been saving up for some time now for a new camera. My Pentax K10D was in need of repair with a price-tag of $300+. For that price, I may as well work towards a newer camera. To that end, I recently purchased a Pentax K-3, their newest(ish) top-of-their line DSLR. My iPhone 6 has been a wonderful companion and I have taken some great photographs with it, but it became clear that it just couldn’t quite do all that I wanted a camera to do. For example, low-light pictures were grainy, and often even otherwise sharp and well-lit photographs still seemed “flat.” Plus I had a bunch of good lenses sitting around.

But enough apologetics. Last night I finally found some time to play with the camera a bit. I’m very pleased with the results. The camera does seem to have a back-focus issue (camera focuses beyond the point it tells me it’s focussed on), which is what needed repair on my K10D, but these newer models have manual auto-focus fine-tuning built right in. So I can solve the focus issues… I just need to decide if I should nevertheless send it in while it’s still on warranty.

Anyway, after fixing the focus issues, I took some black and white shots of our cats. I’m quite pleased with the results. Pictures taken with a 50mm lens at either f1.4 or f2.0, all of them at ISO6400 (except the last, which was ISO3200). Some of them are a little darker than I’d like, but these are all unedited, other than for size (and for the camera’s own processing to b&w jpegs).

I promise I won’t turn this into a blog of cat pictures.

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3 thoughts on “New camera

  1. Toni

    Congrats on the new camera – is that the one with the special in-body image stabilisation that allows astro-photography?

    The cat pics look fine to me, with only the first being too dark, and the rest with the camera trying to prevent the whites blowing. Nothing a quick run through lightroom or Fotor couldn’t fix.

  2. Marc Post author

    Hi Toni. It has in-body image stabilisation (so did my K10D), but it doesn’t have built-in astro-photography capability. That’s the K-3ii. 🙂 This one does have the capacity to work with some kind of additional instrument/tool/gadgetry to do astro-photography.

    I actually compared the K-3 to the K-3ii, but decided that the additional features on the latter were not worth the extra price to me.

    What about the pictures is the camera trying to prevent blowing of light?

  3. Toni

    I am assuming that the camera is trying to prevent the bright white parts of the cats face from losing detail, so pulling exposure back ‘intelligently’. A quick look on DXO mark shows the K3 to slightly underexpose, or to actually have slightly less sensitivity at a given ISO, so it could be that the camera naturally underexposes a little. Personally I’d just run the images through an editor & tweak highlights shadows, black & white points and overall brightness.

    My brother bought a D5500, but was very tempted by the K3II because he does astrophotography, and would have found the pixel-shift compensation a real boon over image stacking. The dumb thing is that the K3II has a fixed rear screen, so you have to contort your body to see what the camera is aimed at, where as the D5500 has a flip out screen to enable viewing in almost any position – that was what made the difference.

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