Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Pentax Camera Reviews » Pentax Digital Cameras » Pentax K-mount DSLRs
Pentax K-3 III Review RSS Feed

Pentax K-3 III

Reviews Views Date product posted
0 3,836 Tue October 27, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
No recommendations None indicated None indicated
Pentax K-3 III

Pentax K-3 III
Pentax K-3 III
Pentax K-3 III
Pentax K-3 III
Pentax K-3 III
Pentax K-3 III


The K-3 Mark III is a compact DSLR with a 26 MP APS-C size sensor. It was announced in 2020 and will become available in April of 2021 replacing the previous APS-C flagship model, the K-3 II. The physical interface of the new camera body is in several areas a complete redesign of its predecessor:

  • The button layout now includes a third command wheel and it also includes a joystick for moving the active AF point
  • The rear monitor is a touch screen making it possible to select focus point and set focus by pointing at the feature to be in focus. This feature is available for shooting stills as well as movies. For still images the shutter can be set to fire by pointing as well
  • The viewfinder has a magnification of 1.05x (up from 0.95x) which makes the view through the finder almost as large as offered by full frame cameras like the K-1 series
  • The viewfinder has an LCD overlay with a customizable grid, electronic level, AF active points, Smart Function settings, and other features, hereunder a 1.3x crop frame
  • Smart function is selected using the viewfinder display and then adjusted with the third command wheel.

Other new features over previous Pentax DSLRs:

  • 4K video
  • The sensor-shift image stabilization can be used also when panning
  • With M and K lenses, the K-3 III stops the lens down and sets the exposure when the shutter button is half-pressed. One can thus forego the green-button stop down metering process of earlier Pentax DSLRs. This new feature also works with A lenses when the aperture ring is off the "A" setting.
  • The aperture set with the aperture ring can be recorded in the EXIF data block.
  • A new metering mode: Highlight-weighted. It supplements the traditional three modes: Center-weight, multi-segment, and spot.
  • Face detection when using the view finder: The Multi-segment metering mode can optionally be set to base exposure on faces.
  • Auto ISO: A minimum shutter speed can be set at which speed the camera will begin to increase ISO. This trigger point can be set manually or automatically based on lens focal length
  • Back-side Illuminated (BSI) sensor
  • Eye-sensor, that turns the rear LCD monitor off when using the view finder
  • Bluetooth connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi
  • Viewfinder illumination
  • The battery (and also the battery in the optional grip) can be charged via the camera's USB socket.

Features that have been significantly enhanced over previous models:

  • 12 fps frame rate
  • 101 AF points (up from 27). 41 of these can be selected with the joystick
  • A 307K pixel light meter (up from 86K)
  • Sensitivity tops out at ISO 1.6 million aided by the new Accellerator Unit II with increased signal-to-noise ratio
  • Low light AF sensitivity -4 EV (when using the special F2.8 AF points and a compatible lens)
  • The Hyper Program mode has been enhanced so that also TAv (optionally M) can be engaged with the front and back e-dials (i.e. without turning the mode dial away from P)
  • During playback, playback functions (for example RAW development) can be executed on a folder thus processing all images in that folder
  • Catch-in focus is available not only with manual focus lenses, but also with AF lenses with an AF/MF switch
  • 10 user modes can be stored in the camera, five of these can then be assigned to the exposure mode dial.

Other key features are:

  • Depth of Field and motion bracketing in addition to the traditional exposure bracketing
  • Sensor shift shake reduction also in video mode
  • No AA filter
  • AA filter simulator with bracketing
  • Pixel shift super resolution, also suitable for hand held shooting and shooting moving subjects (see more below)
  • 5 axis sensor-shift stabilisation rated at 5.5 shutter steps
  • Rear monitor night view mode
  • Dust and weather sealed
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sockets for stereo mic and head set
  • Numerous dials and buttons so that many settings can be changed without having to go into the menu
  • Support for the optional GPS unit O-GPS1 which enables the astrotracer feature as well as the storing of GPS coordinates in the EXIF information (electronic compass, navigation and time sync are not supported)
  • GPS coordinates can be read from a smart phone and stored in the EXIF data block.

The Digital Camera Utility 5 raw converter and image processing software is stored in the camera and can be installed on your computer via the provided USD cable. A CD-ROM with the software is thus not included.

With the Pentax K-3 Mark II an innovative resolution enhancement system was introduced based on pixel shift of the sensor. The K-3 Mark III improves on this system by allowing for hand held shooting and shooting moving objects with pixel shift enabled. When this feature is activated the camera will take four images in short succession shifting the sensor 1 pixel between each shot so that complete color data is captured for each pixel position. This increases the perceived resolution, improves color rendition and virtually eliminates the risk of moiré. This new technology is described further in this article

For situations where the pixel shift resolution system can't be used and moiré might be an issue, the K-3 III includes the anti-alias filter simulator originally introduced with the K-3. The effect of an AA filter is simulated through micro-movements of the sensor using the shake reduction (SR) mechanism. For subjects with very fine detail in repeating patterns where one runs the risk of false color patterns (moiré) the filter should be turned on. For landscape photography the filter should be turned off and the images will benefit from increased resolution. As opposed to a fixed (physical) anti-alias filter with the Pentax system the photographer decides whether or not to use it and the strength can be adjusted. There even is an AA filter bracketing function.

Major features subsequently added through firmware updates:

  • None yet

Camera Manual:


Pentax K-3 III
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Sensor Format
Sensor Type
4128 x 6192 pixels
AA Filter
No (AA filter simulator)
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
100 - 1,600,000
Exposure Modes
Scene analysis auto, HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B, User(5)
Program Modes
Auto, Normal, Hi-speed Priority, DOF Priority (Deep), DOF Priority (Shallow), MTF Priority
Maximum FPS
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 12 fps up to approx. 37 frames (JPG), up to approx. 32 frames (RAW), M: 7 fps up to approx 60 frames (JPG), 37 frames (RAW), Lo: 2.5 fps uup to approx. 90 frames (JPG), up to appox. 39 frames (RAW)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/8000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/8000s. Up to 20 minutes in Timed Bulb. Up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/- 5EV (+/-2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
Exposure (2, 3 or 5 frames), one-push EV bracketing, Depth of Field (3 frames), Motion (3 frames), AA filter (2 or 3 frames)
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight correction, Shadow correction
Exposure lock
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
307K Pixel
Meter range
-3 to 20 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Multi-Segment with Face Detection,Center Weighted,Highlight Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Interval shooting
Up to 9999 frames, 1 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 20 shots
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
None. Auto (green) sets exposure based on scene analysis
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av and TAv (both with automated stop-down metering) and M (with green-button stop down metering)
Lens Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes (sensor-shift SR II)
Power zoom
Supported (zoom only)
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Automated stop down metering with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters: green button stop down metering and manual focus only.
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration,Vignetting,Diffraction
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX 13, 101 focus points (25 cross type))
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-4 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
1.05x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-4 to +1
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnification)
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
3.2 inch, 1,620,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio, touch screen, red light night mode
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
Optional: D-BG8 which accepts the D-LI90 Li-Ion battery.
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD, SDHC, SDXC (slot 1 UHS-II compatible, slot 2 UHS-I compatible)
Size (W x H x D)
134.5 x 103.5 x 73.5 mm
735g (820g with mattery and SD card)
File format
Battery life
800 images
D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable
Built-in flash
Sync speed
P-TTL flash
Flash functions
Auto discharge*, On (leading curtain sync)*, Redeye reduction*, Slow-speed sync*, Trailing curtain sync*, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless**, Contrast control**
* Requires an external flash
** Requires two (or more) external flashes
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to +1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
3840 x 2160 (4K) at 30p/24p fps,
1920 x 1080 (Full HD) at 60/30/24p fps
Exposure Modes
P, Av, TAv, Tv, M
Movie mode restrictions
Clips up to 4 GB / 25 minutes
AF During Recording
On-demand and Continuous
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (via internal mic or external mic). Adjustable sound level
Via Accessory
Via built-in Wi-Fi,Via Built-in Bluetooth
USB 3.2 (type C), DC in, x-sync socket, HDMI output (type D), IR port for remote control (front and rear), stereo microphone and headphones, Wi-Fi (b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.2 (Low Energy)
Latest Firmware
User reviews
Aperture set with an aperture ring can be recorded in EXIF, Astrotracer functionality with optional O-GPS1 accessory, Top LCD can be illuminated, Continuous AF available in movie mode with compatible lenses, Electronic level, Embed copyright information in EXIF, High ISO NR, can be customized for each major ISO value, Hyper Program (HyP) can engage TAv and M exposure modes in addition to Av and Tv, Image plane indicator, In-camera RAW development, Moiré suppression via SR mechanism, Moiré suppression bracketing, Save last JPG as RAW, Save JPG from movie, Several buttons are customizable, The battery can be charged through the USB port, The function selector plus third control wheel provides a short cut to a variety of settings.
Special Editions

The body-only kit comes black or silver. Additionally there are two limited quantity kits which include a matching grip and a leather strap, one is in black, the other one in silver.

Megapixels: 25
ISO Range: 100-1600000
FPS: 12
In Production: Buy the Pentax K-3 III

Add Review of Pentax K-3 III Buy the Pentax K-3 III

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:44 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]