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Pentax K-3 III

Ergonomics 
 9.9
Build Quality 
 10.0
User Interface 
 9.7
Autofocus 
 10.0
Features 
 9.9
Value 
 9.4
Image Quality 
 9.9
Noise 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
11 24,305 Sat April 2, 2022
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $2,133.12 9.82
Pentax K-3 III

Pentax K-3 III
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Pentax K-3 III
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Pentax K-3 III
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Pentax K-3 III
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Pentax K-3 III
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Pentax K-3 III
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Description:

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.
  • Ability to track stars without the use of a GPS unit (from firmware version 1.41)

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 USB 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:

  • Added Astrotracer type 3, which doesn't require a GPS unit when locking on to stars (from firmware version 1.41)
  • Added [SATOBI] to Custom Image (from firmware version 1.31)
  • Added Tone curve display to Custom Image (from firmware version 1.31)
  • USB tethering with Image Transmitter 2 and improved individual AF front/back focus adjustments when using the DA 1.4x rear converter (from version 1.20)
  • Electronic shutter (from firmware version 1.10)

By installing the most recent update you also get the contents of all previous updates. 

Camera Manual:

 


Pentax K-3 III
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
2021
In Production
Yes
Current US Price
$1696
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor
Sensor Format
APS-C
Sensor Type
CMOS
Megapixels
25.73
Resolution
4128 x 6192 pixels
AA Filter
No (AA filter simulator)
Super Resolution
Yes
Bit Depth
14
Minimum ISO
100
Maximum ISO
1600000
ISO Range
100 - 1,600,000
Imaging
Exposure Modes
Auto (green), HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B, User(5)
Program Modes
Auto, Normal, Action, Depth of Field (deep/shallow), MTF priority
Maximum FPS
12
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 (1/16000 with electronic shutter)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/8000s (1/16000s with electronic shutter). Up to 20 minutes in Timed Bulb mode. Up to 300s in Astrotracer mode
Shutter Life
300000
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 (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Yes
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
Yes
Interval shooting
Up to 9999 frames, 1 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 20 shots
Pixel mapping
Yes
Scene Modes
None. Auto (green) sets exposure based on scene analysis
Restrictions
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
Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes
Stabilization
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
Focusing
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX 13, 101 focus points (25 cross type))
AF Points
101
Autofocus sensitivity
-4 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
Viewfinder/LCD
Viewfinder
1.05x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism
Diopter adjustment
-4 to +1
AF Points in viewfinder
Yes
Exchangeable screen
No
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnification)
Live View
Yes
Top LCD
Yes
Focus Peaking
Yes
Back LCD
3.2 inch, 1,620,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio, touch screen, red light night mode
Body
Weather resistant
Yes
Control wheels
3
Battery grip
D-BG8 which accepts the D-LI90 Li-Ion battery.
Card slots
2
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
No
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
Weight
735g (820g with mattery and SD card)
File format
PEF (RAW),DNG (RAW),JPG,MOV
Battery life
800 images
Battery
D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable
Flash
Built-in flash
No
Sync speed
1/200s
P-TTL flash
Yes
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
No
Flash exposure comp
-2 to +1 EV
Video
Resolution / Framerates
3840 x 2160 (4K) at 30p/24p fps,
1920 x 1080 (Full HD) at 60p/30p/24p fps
MPEG4 AVC/H.264
Exposure Modes
P, Av, TAv, Tv, M
Movie mode restrictions
Clips up to 4 GB / 25 minutes
AF During Recording
Continuous (with compatible lenses) and On-demand
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (via internal mic or external mic). Adjustable sound level
Interfacing
GPS
Via Accessory
Tethering
Via built-in Wi-Fi,Via Built-in Bluetooth
Connectivity
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
Link to download page
Notes
User reviews
In-depth review
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
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax K-3 III in-depth review!



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Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 2,021
Review Date: April 2, 2022 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, responsive, precise, …
Cons:
Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

I am used to K1 ever since it came out - converted to MKii. Worked with K5 and K3 before. K3iii promises 6 years of advancement in basic features like user interface, handling, AF, ... I consider an APSC camera a nice TC for FF glass and more, much more after a couple days of work!

The K3iii is a typical high-end Pentax DSLR. Superb ergonomics, weather sealing, small APSC-like form factor…
- The viewfinder is extraordinary awesome for a small format camera!
- The user interface has been redesigned. The results are nice, but please keep this design for upcoming cameras that I want to use next to the K3iii. K1 user interface appears old-fashioned next to the new one.
- AF precision is much improved over previous cameras. It is much easier to get correct focus even on oblique surfaces. Previously the focus points felt larger than indicated and slightly off. Now the camera nails focus where the points indicates - at least extremely often.
- AF tracking and speed. Much faster than before. AF joystick and performance are fun. Before I tried to avoid relying on Pentax AF-C and tracking, now it is plain fun!
- Silent AF lenses with focus clutch are preferred, FA ltds fly, but make sure your fingers are far away from the focusing ring.
- SD card. Made my tests. UHS I cards accomplished more burst images while UHS II cleared the buffer faster. SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB UHS I costs less than 32GB UHS II version and allows for many, many burst sequences. 11.6 fps for 30 image bursts with raw dng are easily possible.
- 12fps is 20% faster than D500, 26MP are 25% more pixels than D500. Buffer is good for 2.5s at full speed. Specs are superb, now AF speed needs to be evaluated and some really fast focusing tele glass would help. For a Pentax camera and for every SLR such values are just great.
- price - expensive for a Pentax, well priced for the feature set.
- light weight camera with small footprint requires battery pack for larger/heavier glass.


Key improvements
- AF joystick
- Speed

Key features
- large viewfinder
- speed
- apsc from factor

Drawbacks
- not available in FF yet
- fast tele glass matching this camera is missing
- Pentax accessories and third party support. Wireless remote control units, tele converters, quick battery charging options, … often not perfect or missing.

Conclusion
Awesome new type of Pentax camera. Pentax is renewing DA* zooms right now to match it. More glass and accessories are needed to match performance and positioning of this camera.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,406
Review Date: March 28, 2022 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: construction, electronic VF
Cons:
Years Owned: Since 2021    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

What an incredible camera, I upgraded from a K5IIs and is miles ahead
Quite, sturdy, and with an incredibly informative viewfinder.
The viewfinder is bright, and easy to see even in bright light, the electronic layouts are great

The compatibility with K and M lenses has improved ans that is a big plus

Image quality is a big step forward from what I had, all in all a camera that makes me smile every time I take out
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2017
Location: Sale, Cheshire
Posts: 149
Review Date: March 5, 2022 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything
Cons: Nothing of significance
Years Owned: 0.6    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I bought this camera as an upgrade to my K-3, which was an excellent and reliable camera.
Pentax have certainly put tremendous effort into this camera. I believe Pentax cameras are designed by photographers for photographers, with new models being a step change in performance and not a marketing tweak just to sell units (highlighted by the few distinct models Pentax sell).
The positives are:

Ergonomics and build quality are second to none (handling is very intuitive).

The image quality with the modern high quality Pentax lenses is superb. RAW images are so good, very little post processing is required.

The dynamic range is as least as good as anything comparable on the market (see the link 'https://www.pentaxforums.com/camerareviews/reviews.php?product=300' for camera comparisons).

The AF performance is excellent, for static and fast moving objects. Oncoming cars at motorway speeds are tracked with ease. The eye tacking is impressive. Eye tracking for static birds nails the focus every time and has a high percentage success rate for birds in flight.

Excellent high ISO performance - I have successful images at 80,000 ISO, using ACR and NIK Define 2 wisely for noise reduction.

Excellent image stabilisation at 5.5 stops. Hand held sharp photographs at 1/10s (1/6s with a monopod).

The superb OVF, which makes the camera a joy to use.

Very effective Pixel Shift.

Totally configurable controls.

An innovative astrotracking feature.

The list goes on!

I am not a serious video taker, but for the casual user the settings are semi-automatic on Av, etc., easy to use and produces very competent results.

As a stills camera it is an exceptional and very intuitive tool, and is a great pleasure to use.
What more can one ask for.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2010
Posts: 6,049

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 16, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Responsie AF(very good), OVF with 1.05 X, Pentax
Cons: Some quirks, not big deal
New or Used: New   

I just wanted to chime in and make a review.


I honestly did think that if Pentax don't really go up with expectations this time, it will be it for me with Pentax.

let me explain,

I have been mostly 'advanced enhustiac' but in last couple of years I'v actually been offered gigs for actual money, not just for fun/beers. And I want to deliver. Most of my 'best' shots were out of focus with previous gen pentax and that forced me to shoot in sertain way in order to get what I needed in oder to get job done.

AF worries - end of that agony.

This new K-3III does actually give me those shots I wanted to get. if I want to have more shots, it is mostly because of need to get that perfect expression/timing, do not to have to worry about AF any more.

So now it is up to me. That said, I moght end up shooting as many frames as before, or even more, but I'm sure that AF will be right there.
This alone for me is worth more than many other things build in this camera.

OVF

First of all, I do have K-1 and one thing over K-3(original) in buying decision was that bigger OVF. And it was great, untill this camera did end up in my hands. With K-1 I did take that as granted, bigger sensor -> bigger OVF. When I did shoot with these cameras, ths K-3III reminded me more of old film cameras. Thin body but amazing big VF. It is still great feeling to put this camera up and look through it. Greatest part is that clarity.


PERFORMANCE

FPS is really good, and the fact that it does actually focus during these bursts very well too does make it actually quite handy. I have never been person for long bursts. I'm using it for short bursts if needed. In my style of photography it is rarely that I'll meet the end of the buffer. Basically 3-10 frames timed in spot I see coming. So for me this is enough. I do shoot events, and portraits as well as landscapes, not so much sports. Althou my timing has been honed up too.

IMAGE QUALITY

I have put files next to K-1 which I still do think is the king.

That said.
I have also put it next to Panasonic S5, and it is not the king.

Yes, resolution is some what similar to S5. DR is just a tad below S5, couple notch below K-1. K-1 Is resolution and DR king of all of these 3.

WB, and noise performance is the crown K-3III has out of all these. Yes, you read it right. If I do import files from any of these cameras and just do simple post process, K-3III is best and most accurate. Performance with accelerator MK2 is no joke. Also details are there. This all with normal import from camera and then adjust up to your taste, K-3III, winner. This is a big deal for me as I did buy this camera for photography and I do not really enjoy post processing that much. I do enjoy process of looking and posting my pictures.

VIDEO

It is a big step up. Not quite big enough. This is why I have Panasonic S5. That said, I do think that S5 was designed with video in mind and K-3III was designed with photography in mind. When I have really taken this thing in consideration that it is 'just' expanded photo mode(in JPEG), then it is okay actually. So, let's say you are shooting mushrooms at the forest and you want to capture the surroundings, light, ect. on top of that. it does look good, especially if you use tripod. Or you want to have mood from portrait shoot, or good memory from lake or city or where ever. It is good enough. Also for normal interview with you behind the camera. If you want more, then it is better to have camera for video all in all.


discaimer with video: I do think that there is more performance in reserve, let us see if there is more to come and I'll(really) update my review. I'v looked up material shot with S5 and K-3III. This is big comparison, and the 'end result' is what is important. I'v seen thigs that do rival S5, really. but DR (10 bit) was not needed. and with tripod, you can have nice 4K quality when lithing is correctly made.

ERGONOMIC

If you like pentax. this is really well made camera. I have small hands(173 cm tall) and quite average hand size. With K-3I my pinky fell under the cam. With this, it did not. some buttons did take time to adjust to. But all in all, it is very well thought over I like everything in it. It did take 3 seconds to get new amazing joystic in my workflow.


LV

Yes, this is stll the part where Pentax is 'behind' the competition. In comparision my Panasonic S5 is as good/bad in LV as it is in EVF, althou LV you don't suffer that lag and many other weird things. LV with Pentax K-3III is practical. I do not use it. And I do not need to use it because of that amazing OVF. Really, that OVF is alone one reason to buy this thing. I do not know why it has not been brought up more?

edit: Yes, it does not have flippy, or selfie rotating screen. The point of not really needing that with beautiful OVF is still applying, I do not like flippy, too small to make a difference, external display or even your phone/pad is the way to go.


WRAP IT UP

what more should I say. Honestly in image quality, I'm waiting for the K-1III to surface. Still, even after that I do think that this will actually be my camera for 60% all in all. Now with K-1(original) and Panasonic S5 , K-3III is my photocamera NRO.1 for 95 % of usage for that. Honestly. I'm going to buy K-1III, when it will come, bu even with K-1, I some times felt like lower MP should be good, because 36 MP is too much. At some point I did think that 24 MP would satisfy me if it was FF. Having Panasonic S5, I do not think like that any more. I do not see any clear advantage in size, let alone image quality. 26 MP is more than original K-3, but that alone does not make the cake. Accelerator mk.2 does.

That and the fact that I'm obviously not that good with EVF. I had olympus 5EM2, Now I have panasonic S5. I first thugh that it was that olympus that was what ever. Now with this it is the same. irritation and even pain. One night I had frame flickering in my eyeswhen I was trying to get asleep. This is no joke. Perhaps you can get used to it, but I do not want to. And with Pentax I do not need either.

I have used this K-3III in professional gigs, where I have been paid for, and they have not complained the end result, at all. I'm safe to think that it will remain to be so. I can enjoy big and beautiful OVF. I can have all the things I need and enjoy photography. All in all I'm happy that I did pull the trigger and buy this as preorder.

edit: it says 2000 dollars, in up there, but it was 2000€
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 596
Review Date: October 26, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $2,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Crop-in mode in camera, menus, quick easy to use
Cons: Buffer (very slow for motorsport)
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 9    Value: 6    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

So first of all I do NOT own this beast.

Second of all: I have been using it for a couple of Motorsport Events this year. I got it borrowed by Pentax Spain.

Pros: It's Fast AF (finally !!!)
The Menus are quick and fantastic
Built in Crop-in 1.3x it is wonderful.
Ergonomics.
It gets software updates often.
Live View works fantastic.

Cons:
Buffer utterly insufficient for Motorsports and Action (allows only 30-40 pics per shooting doing Raw+ and Jpg+). Compared to a Nikon D500 that keeps and keeps and keeps shooting, this is very few. Plus if you get a bunch of cars now, and then you have some more later you'll miss the latest ones due to the slow buffer acting.

Price: Compared to any other camera in this range it is expensive at 2000€. Considering both Cons I'd probably pick up a D500 instead (cheaper and better buffer)

Fewer lens options. Specially for newer lenses from brands like Sigma or Tamron. You can not get a Sigma 150-600mm for the Pentax system. And the old big zooms are rare and heavily looked after so prices are expensive (i know myself).





You can check the tests I did with it here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/210-pentax-k-3-iii/427629-borrowed-k3-ii...e-10-days.html

It is the Ultimate APS-C Pentax camera indeed. It is a beast indeed. Is it what I need now? Maybe it appeared a bit too late.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2021
Location: Sydney
Posts: 6

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 22, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $2,432.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Feel in hand, bright large OVF, low noise high ISO, configurability
Cons: No tilting screen, only 1 UHSii sd slot, only ~35 shot raw buffer
Years Owned: .25    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

Easily the best camera I have ever used. I own 9 Pentax bodies and every newer one amazingly feels both familiar and yet a quantum leap forward when compared to its predecessor.

Incredible high ISO/low noise performance and superb new sensor that you can (in Lightroom) recover highlight and shadow detail you would swear was never captured.
With 12fps, action shooting is a dream but the buffer does fill up after about 3 seconds. A UHSii card does help empty it quite quickly, however, some ppl may prefer CF based cameras if they only shoot sports.

Full frame shooters may still opt for a K1 or 645Z but the K3's sensor matches or betters their pixel density. And if you only looked through its viewfinder, you would swear it was full frame !

Adverts bandied round clichés like "an extension of the artist's hand" and the like but this unit is so seriously ergonomic and button and dial configurable, that I rarely need to take my eye away from the OVF to get to any of my favourite settings and options. The Smart Fn button and Smart eDial are incredible on their own but when coupled with 10 user memories, there is no other camera out there that can truly adapt to different styles of shooting in an instant. So much immediate flexibility to be had with just your thumb and index finger.

With Covid lockdowns, I haven't been out too much with this unit yet but the few times I have felt like for the first time, the camera is no longer in charge of the situation - I am.
It's a hell of a lot smarter than me too. You have to try out "Highlight Metering" - wow. And with such a fast AF solution, I can for the first time now rely only upon back button AF and leave the shutter to do what it does best (and fast).

Shake reduction has also come a long way since the K3ii and matches the best mirrorless bodies out there today. While the SR noise is a bit disconcerting sometimes in quiet places, hearing it give itself a good workout is somewhat re-assuring.

I purchased the premium kit with the DBG8 grip and nice embossed leather strap, and just recently bought an O-GPS1, a DA* 300mmf4 and a HD 1.4 telecon but Covid has delayed me trying those out.

I have only used the K3-iii so far with the 70-200 f2.8, Sigma 18-35 f1.8 Art and an old Sigma 600mm mirror (moon shot). Very happy with the results but of course the mirror lens will never be a sharp shooter...

Looking forward to trying out so many more of its features once this lockdown ends. Will post another review once I get a good bunch of samples too.

If you have invested heavily in K mount lenses, this is the best, most versatile camera out there. For what I shoot, it beats the K1 hands down - and that's saying something because the K1 is a phenomenal body.
   
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Registered: June, 2017
Location: 3City agglomeration
Posts: 1,120

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 15, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $2,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: autofocus, image quality, build quality, OVF
Cons: short battery live, weight
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I got it to replace K-50 and it was competing with K-1 Mk II. Autofocus perspecitves won so I got this. Never regretted it, even for a second.


Camera body: it is very sturdy, feel in hand is comparable to my old Zenith XP so you feel as if you could hammer nails with it. All buttons feel sturdy, there is pleasant resistance that is felt when operating, giving just the feel that buttons are very solid but not impeding operation. Screen looks ok, I have no additional protection but the glass is handling outdoor activities ok, no scratches as of now. Overall 10 points out of 10. Even 11

Screen: it is bright enough. Resolution is ok for photo peaking or in camera editing. Not tiltable, but with wifi connectivity and mini HDMI it can be supplemented either with phone or dedicated screen so no issue for me.

OVF: big and bright, there are all informations displayed that are need to operate camera with eve glued to OVF. Only issue I have with it is black overlay for AF points and level indicators. It makes makes operating in low light or when photographing something dark rather hard.

Menu: usable. Layout is changed when compared to older cameras but it is still quite similar to old ones that navigation is not an issue

Features: still experimenting, but I never experienced situation this camera could not handle.


Image quality: superb. In all ways - both from detail and resolution to high ISO handling to color rendering it is really superb. I often find that when I load RAW to ACDSee I do not need to do anything to it. And we are talking about naked RAW, not in camera processed JPEG.


Noise: there is one on higher ISO, but for my needs/level of sensitivity to noise I set up 25600 as acceptable for auto ISO top level.


Any negatives? Well, from what I found:

- battery live is very short for DSLR. Expected it with all the calculations that are need to be done but still it is noticeable so do not go out without spare battery
- bluetooth connection sometimes goes wrong. No issue with wifi though so if you are using phone app to connect, do it via wifi
- autoexposure tends to underexpose when there is lot of reflected light in foreground, for example when shooting plane with clouds in background. Even setting meter to point is not helping. Bit weird, but if you know what to expect it is easy to compensate by proper settings

All in all I am very happy with this camera.

This is SOOC image, JPEG with retro/film setting:


_IMG2003 by Jerzy Jabłoński, on Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Cardiff, UK
Posts: 53

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 7, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Probably...the best DSLR ever made
Cons:
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I have owned Pentax film cameras (KM, MX [both still working fine] and ME Super) and digital cameras (100D, 200D, 20D, K5, K3). This camera can be seen as the finest elaboration of the design aesthetic which all these models have in common.It must be counted as being in a league of its own for design, build quality and for the range of possibilities it offers anyone who cares to pick it up. Image quality is outstanding. Autofocus excellent. The new pentaprism finder is wonderous. Most people have probably experimented with mirrorless cameras - and there are some fine ones (Fuji X Pro maybe the best of them). The K3 III may swim against the mirrorless current, but who knows if the tide will turn? After all, EVF cameras are power-hungry and so more environmentally damaging than DSLRs. On top of that, an EVF can never offer the kind of connectedness with the photographed environment that an OVF does (as said, with one exception: the X Pros manage it, but in a very different way that is not really comparable). Some will lament the lack of a flipping screen. I do not. This camera has brilliant ergonomics. A camera so good that it vanishes from the awareness of the user when it is being used, which is what every good piece of equipment ought to do.
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2020
Posts: 25

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 22, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $2,340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This is the Pentax camera I was waiting for...
Cons: Nothing. Not yet, anyway... Maybe GPS should be there?
Years Owned: Less than week    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

I am Pentax cameras user since K-10D was released. I always considered them as one of the best in ergonomic aspect, and image quality to price ratio. But on some fields competitors offered better products, as in terms of AF system features and reliability, for example.
But now there is the K-3 III. The same, very good ergonomics was improved, always great image quality is now even better, plenty of advanced technology can be used as it is built-in, but nothing will disturb simple, pure joy of the act of photography if you desire so. K-3 III can be a complicated, advanced imaging machine, or just a DSLR, a bridge between the exposure triangle in my head, the composition in my eye, and the world on the front of my lens. And when I decide that I need the AF - it is there, fast, reliable, advanced. In my previous cameras I always used the central AF point and then re-composed my frame. After two days with K-3 I realized that I can trust the technology again, operate AF joystick when thinking of my composition and be sure that focus point will be exactly where I want it to be, or I can leave all the job to be complete by the camera - and it will do the job.
And there is the OVF... I know, is old and old-fashioned. But hey, I am using second camera system, for filming. With EVF, a very advanced one. So, I compare both systems on daily basics and... yes, I still believe that OVF is good. Pretty damn good, and better than the electronic one.

PS. I bought the camera with battery grip for 2340 euro from Ricoh-Imaging Europe. I was just too late for black Premium Kit...
   
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Registered: April, 2021
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 22

7 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 22, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $1,996.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, configurability, build quality, ergonomics, layout, well thought out design by photographers for photographers. If the design goal was to build the very best APS-C Flagship grade camera, Pentax came as close to that goal as humanly possible!
Cons: Removal of the built-in GPS is inexcusable for a camera oriented to outdoor activities!
Years Owned: 0.0833    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: New   

No one knows which path the market may follow, but if the trend toward full frame and mirrorless cameras plays out as some predict, this may very well be the last APS-C Flagship grade DSLR ever designed and brought to market. Should that be the case, then rest assured that Pentax can honestly make the claim of having saved the best for last! The design team brought everything that Pentax (and their parent Ricoh) ever learned about making SLRs during the past 70 years to the drawing board, and made it all fit into this camera! The meticulous attention paid to each minute detail in the design, function and build of this camera is obvious the instant you pick it up. It is as much an object of art as it is a tool for artists; lovingly designed and masterfully crafted—much as a sculptor's work is primarily a labor of love.

There is a certain je ne sais quoi in this camera that transcends its superb technical numbers and specifications. Those who scoff at the importance of feelings in the art of photography will even agree—The K-3 Mark III is not just another camera.There's just something about it that just strikes you from the moment you pick it up, to the instant you see your image come together in the viewfinder, to the precise and quiet snap of the shutter and the soft, well-damped movements of the mirror, controlled by precision electronics to minimize shake and slap and all the other ills that befall lesser cameras.

This is not to say that the K-3iii is anything less than stupendous in creating visually exciting and technically magnificent images. It does all that with aplomb and a dignified, calm, quiet assuredness that everything is working exactly as it should with no sloppy tolerances or misaligned components. Using it makes you feel like a photographer, and inspires you to put forth the extra effort to create an image with the power to move the viewer. And that extra effort will be rewarded by the K3iii's solid pedigree and native abilities to capture the image you see in your mind's eye, and translate that into the millions of ones and zeros that make up today's digital imagery.

This camera packs in a lot of technology, and there is a lot to learn. But that learning is easy, because the foundation of this camera is based upon the solid bedrock of classical photographic technique. The extra image processing controls and adjustments logically fall into their respective niches, aligning and building upon that solid core of basic photography best practices, all the while refining and improving every component of the photographic process to the current level of mid-21st century capabilities.

To summarize, if the Pentax K-3 Mark III were a musical composition, it would be a symphony, not just another song.

   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2008
Location: RSM, CA
Posts: 430

21 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 1, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax K-3 III: Yes | Price: $1,996.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: What's not to love?
Cons: None for my needs
Years Owned: Less than a week    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 10    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Someone had to be first I guess.

Although less than a week into owning it, I'm highly impressed. I've owned nearly every Pentax DSLR made, and I can say without hesitation that this is the camera a vast amount of Pentaxians have been waiting for. Much like the K1, many of us have wanted Pentax to make a camera that could really compete at the highest level of the APS-C format, one that could be a reliable workhorse for fast actions subjects- the wait is over, this is the one we've been waiting for.

From the ground up, this is a completely new camera albeit with the exception of perhaps the battery and card slots. Adorned with familiar Pentax traits (insanely good build, weather sealing, class leading viewfinder, awesome ergonomics, deep intuitive menus), It's a gargantuan effort and Ricoh are to be commended. Great things come to those who wait, and yeah, we've been waiting.

AF speed and tracking, with the PLM 55-300mm is comparable to my Nikon D500 rig- which really surprised me. AF is tenacious, and ultra sensitive in low light, LOVING IT. I only wish there were more ultra fast focusing lenses available in the Pentax mount (Sigma, step up!). While the K mount is in a better position now than in 2015 with faster telephoto choices, I still would like to see more options.

Price is not an issue. Remember, the D500 was $1,999.99 in 2016 upon its release, five full years ago! The K3 Mk III is better built, better sealed, has a better optical finder, much better menu system, better ergonomics, and rivals the D500 in speed and performance. So yeah I can stomach $1,996.99 just fine. Perspective is 20/20.

I wanted to add my two cents here on the K3 Mk III. My heart is with Ricoh/Pentax and all of the great photographers who use the brand here. Ignore the marketing factory big website reviews and all of the nitpick hair splitting coming about this camera. They are all about pushing mirrorless and can't see the forest through the trees. DSLR's aren't dead. Bravo to Ricoh for creating a masterpiece, I'm absolutely loving it. And yeah for those who know me, I'm posting some thoughts on my blog too.

*Edit, I changed my rating of the auto focus from 9 to 10. It's closer to a 10 than and there are no half ratings. Also I changed the value to 9-10. Considering the more I use it the more I realize how capable it is, then comparing to the D500 that 5 years ago was the same price, again, it's value is closer to 10 than 9. Amazing value. Sticker shock fades very quickly once you start using it!
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