After three long days with the Pentax K-3 in the field and in the studio, we're ready to share our first impressions of this camera, as well as give you an early verdict about its performance!
Based on what we've seen, we are tempted to say that the K-3 is the best APS-C DSLR currently on the market. Rest assured that even as a Pentax-oriented editorial staff, we're normally hesitant to make such conclusions. The K-3 is unquestionably superior to its predecessor (the K-5 II/IIs), as it brings marked improvements in terms of features, overall performance, speed, and image quality. It may not outperform the competition in all areas, but at the moment there simply isn't any other enthusiast APS-C DSLR out there than can deliver the same level of sophistication, build quality, and handling in a single package.
The remainder of this article is broken up into a number of sub-sections that take a closer look at various aspects of the K-3. Enjoy!
For our first shoot with the Pentax K-3, we took the camera out to the park together with the DA 35mm Limited Macro lens, one of the sharpest lenses in Pentax's current lineup. We captured a number of test photos with the camera: they're not artistic, but they do emulate many different real-world scenarios.
We found the K-3's image quality to be absolutely stunning at ISO 100— take a look at the 28 samples in this post and see for yourself! The exposure and white balance were generally spot-on, and the files are bursting with detail! Each thumbnail below is accompanied by a link to a full-size JPEG and RAW download. All photos are straight out-of-camera and no post-processing of any kind has been applied.
All settings were left at their default values, though we did bracket as needed. With a -0.3EV or -0.7EV exposure compensation, the K-3 seemed to handle even our most challenging test shots very well, including those with harsh lighting and contrasty areas.
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Yesterday, we received our production copy of the K-3. This means that we can finally start taking a closer look at this exciting camera! We will of course do our best to offer you a definitive verdict about the K-3's performance in our upcoming in-depth review, which you can expect to see on our homepage within a week or two.
We will be sure to put the K-3 through its paces to find out just how big of an improvement it is over its predecessors, the K-5 II and IIs; considering that the core hardware found in the K-5 II is more than three years old, we have high expectations for the K-3— and based on our very first impressions of the K-3, we have a hunch that those expectations will be met!
For now, let's start off with an unboxing of the Pentax K-3. We will follow up with a first impressions post once we've had enough time with the K-3 in the field. Enjoy and stay tuned!
The Pentax K-3 has just arrived at B&H Photo, which means that all pre-orders for black K-3 bodies have just started processing and will be shipped shortly. Want Pentax's latest high-speed 24-megapixel DSLR? Don't miss out- order yours today!
Henry's in Canada is also showing that the K-3 is in stock. Likewise, the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm WR Lens has just hit the shelves.
You can expect to see our in-depth review of the K-3 in the coming weeks. Until then, to learn more about the Pentax K-3, check out the following resources:
Adorama has just posted lots of excellent Pentax lens deals, but hurry- these savings all expire on October 31st, 2013, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time (in just over two days).
To enjoy these savings, use coupon code S102831013 at checkout, after placing the lens(es) in your cart. The savings are summarized in the table below, or click here to view them all.
The annual PhotoPlus trade show and conference was held in the Javits Convention Center in New York City this past weekend. We have already reported on the surprise presence of Pentax and on the K-3, but we still owe you an overview of the show, as there were many other interesting exhibitors and products on display. In this post we'll take a look at many of the interesting things that the show had to offer!
The show occupied but a small corner of this huge convention center and was therefore easy to navigate.
We had yet another chance to try out the Pentax K-3 hands-on at the PhotoPlus tradeshow in NYC, which ended yesterday. While no production K-3's have reached the US yet, we were told that they will start shipping from Japan late next week, which means that customers will start receiving their K-3's in early to mid November. In the mean time, Pentax has provided us with a pre-production K-3 featuring firmware version 1.00, so stay tuned for some first impressions in the field, as well as some sample photos! But for now, let's take a look at what we learned about the K-3 while at the show.
Burst Mode and Shutter
By far the most impressive aspect of the K-3 is its burst mode. The camera can shoot up to 60 JPEG frames at its maximum burst rate of 8.3 frames per second, as shown in the video below:
The shutter is also surprisingly quiet (just like that of the K-5), which will undoubtedly make users of other DSLRs envious.
Despite the fact that no official Pentax booth was planned for the PhotoPlus tradeshow (Oct. 24-26 in New York City) this year, it seems that Pentax has mustered a small exhibit showing off the K-3, HD Limited lenses, K-50, and other lenses. The exhibit is part of the Unique Photo stand which is located directly behind the Sigma booth. It is very easy to overlook (we almost missed it!) as it is not listed in the PhotoPlus exhibitor directory or on the official show site.
Even though this Pentax exhibit is very small, it was a positive suprise for us to see at least one occurrence of the Pentax/Ricoh logo amidst a sea of other brands. While at the booth, we of course got a chance to try the new Pentax K-3, and we were assured that the camera would start shipping to US customers as early as the first week of November.