Pentax K-3 Firmware v1.10 Released

New Diffraction Correction option and stability improvements

By PF Staff in Firmware Updates on Jul 10, 2014
Pentax K-3 Firmware v1.10 Released

Pentax has just officially released firmware version 1.10 for the Pentax K-3 DSLR.  This is a feature-enhancing update that also addresses a number of minor issues with the camera. The new firmware is available for download on the official Ricoh Imaging web site.  Read on for installation instructions and to find out what's new.

Pentax K-3 Diffraction CorrectionDiffraction Correction has been added to the Lens Correction menu

The main new feature introduced via this firmware update is Diffraction Correction, an addition to the K-3's existing suite of Lens Correction options. This feature was originally introduced in the Pentax 645Z.  Diffraction correction attempts to compensate for the degradation in image quality that occurs at small aperture settings, such as F11 or F16. Like the other Lens Correction settings, diffraction correction only applies to JPEG files and it is only available with Pentax DA, DA L, D-FA, and FA Limited lenses.

Note that on the Pentax K-3, the diffraction correction option is only accessible via the first tab of the main menu; it is not being added to the "control panel" quick-access screen as on the 645Z.

After performing some quick image tests, we discovered that the effect of this new feature is essentially a sharpening algorithm (i.e. an unsharp mask).  The photos shown below are 100% (full-size) crops taken with the Pentax K-3 and the DA 18-135mm lens at F16 (top set) and F22 (bottom set), at ISO 100.

JPEG - Uncorrected
JPEG - Diffraction Correction On

For frequent JPEG shooters, there's no doubt that this feature will enhance out-of-camera files and reduce the need for sharpening in post.  At the pixel level, Diffraction Correction effectively restores some of the detail that would normally be lost to diffraction. Its effect on scaled files will of course be less dramatic.

What about RAW shooters?  Well, since this new feature doesn't apply to RAW files, you still need to do the sharpening on your own!  At the expense of a little bit more time spent you can achieve the same effect, if not better.

RAW - Unedited
RAW - Sharpened

Other additions in firmware v1.10 for the K-3 include:

  • Faster processing times for Digital Filters and Chromatic Aberration Corrections
    (the processing time was already under 1s for each)
  • Improved the reliability of Auto White Balance
    (specifics are unknown)
  • Exposure bracketing in TAv mode will now adjust the ISO
  • The usual minor bug fixes

As a reminder, Pentax firmware updates are cumulative, so v1.10 also includes the contents of all the previous K-3 firmware updates (1.03, 1.02, and 1.01).

Pentax K-3 firmware update instructions:

  1. Download the firmware ZIP file from this page
  2. Extract the file to a folder of your choosing
  3. Locate the extracted .BIN file and copy it to the root (top level i.e. outside of any folder) of a formatted SD card
  4. Insert the card into your camera and ensure it is fully charged
  5. Turn the camera power on while pressing the MENU button
  6. Select "Yes"at the firmware prompt
  7. Once the screen displays "Complete", turn off your camera
  8. Power your camera back on and resume normal use
  9. In order to verify that the firmware update was successful, go to the firmware option under the setup (wrench icon) menu tab, and confirm that the indicated firmware version matches that of the update.

Firmware Update Tutorial Video

See our in-depth review for more information about the Pentax K-3.

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