Pentax K-3 Announced (April Fools 2012)

Full-frame, backwards-compatible K-mount DSLR

By PF Staff in Site News on Apr 1, 2012
Pentax K-3 Announced (April Fools 2012)

Update as of 10/2013: the Pentax K-3 has been announced for real- click here for details

It has been over a year and a half since we've seen a new DSLR from Pentax- the K-5 and K-r both came out in the fall of 2010, and the K-r ended up being discontinued in late 2011, prior to the announcement of its successor.

While we all expected the next DSLR announcement from Pentax to be about the K-z (the K-r's successor), today Pentax Japan surprised us all by giving us an early look the Pentax K-3, a new full-frame addition to their DSLR lineup.  Together with this camera, which will likely not start shipping until this fall, Pentax will also be re-releasing many of their FA-series full-frame lenses as D-FA lenses.

The key specifications of the Pentax K-3 are outlined below:

  • Sensor: 24.0 Megapixel CMOS (36x24mm)
  • ISO Range: 100-25,600 (50-102,400 expanded)
  • Autofocus: 29-point SAFOX X w/light wavelength sensor
  • Shutter: stepless, 30s-1/8000s rated for 200,000 actuations
  • Framerate: 6FPS at maximum resolution
  • Video: 1080p/720p recording at 60/30/25/24 FPS, VGA recording at 120/30FPS
  • Image processor: Dual PRIME M
  • Media: Single SDXC/SDHC/SD card
  • Body Color: Graphite black

Note that these are tentative and based on initial reports; the official specifications have not yet been publicly published by Pentax.

The K-3 uses the same "crippled" KAF2 mount that's found on other Pentax DSLRs, meaning it's fully backwards-compatible with manual lenses, but needs to stop-down meter when one is mounted.  Whenever DA (APS-C format) lenses are mounted, the camera will automatically switch to a 12-megapixel cropped sensor mode which only utilizes the APS-C image circle.

Professional photographers using the K-3 will be eligible for the PENTAX Professional Services program (PPS).

The K-3 features an iconic graphite finish, and borrows the thickened grip from the original K-5 limited silver.  The price of this camera has yet to be announced, although the fact that it has components in common with the K-5 will likely put its price in the mid-$2000 range.  We will post more details about this camera as they become available, and are very happy to see that Pentax Ricoh have finally stepped up their game!

Update: if you've gotten this far, we hope you realize this was an April Fool's joke and the K-3 is obviously not yet a reality.  You can discuss current Pentax full-frame rumors in the rumors forum. Despite this, we do hope to have the pleasure of making this announcement for real at some point in the near future!

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