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02-20-2021, 02:11 AM - 54 Likes   #1
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K-3 Mark III reviews in the Japanese press

The March issues of a number of Japanese camera magazines were published this Saturday, and they all have reviews of the Pentax K-3 Mark III. The one I bought was Capa. It has the K-3 III on the cover and a four-page review of the camera inside. Here it is a link to the cover. Please control your frustration that that young lady has got her hands on it before you.
??????????????????CAPA?3????????????CaPa+2021??? | CAPA CAMERA WEB

It’s worth mentioning up front that the style of reviews in the Japanese press is quite different from some reviews and discussion you find in English online. They are more interested in what you can do with the camera, rather than pitting one camera against the others or debunking manufacturer claims. Also, the magazines focus more on the JPEG performance. Photos are provided, but often too small to really say that much. Video is not covered at all.

Body and viewfinder
There is not much new to say about this because Pentax has covered this quite thoroughly in their own communications. The body is small and feels very high quality. The viewfinder is the top class in APS-C. Not only is it bigger, but it is also 10% brighter.

AF and continuous shooting
41 of the 101 points are selectable using the 8-way joystick on the back of the camera. AF points go right up close to the sides of the frame allowing focusing more like a mirrorless camera. The real-world speed is 11 fps in AF.C mode and 12 fps in AF.S. They showed a sequence of shots of an approaching train using AF.C taken with the DA* 50-135 at 11 fps. I don’t know how difficult it was for them to get a whole sequence in focus, but it was a clear, in-focus series. It’s interesting that they used the 50-135 because it’s not known as a speedy AF lens. It seems that the advantages of the AF system will be felt whatever lens you are using. The text also mentions that the system is good at keeping eyes in focus for portraits and good at birds in flight.

Image quality
The new sensor is BSI and with PRIME V and the Accelerator II it produces better image quality over the whole range of ISO values.The “fine sharpness” mode is also much improved to improve edge sharpness in in a natural way without emphasizing noise. There is a shot of a cat at ISO 1,600,000, presumably in near complete darkness. While it looks noisy as you would expect, it does not look worse than to top ISO of Pentax cameras in the past. Both. varieties of noise are everywhere, but there is at least some detail in there. It's no worse than my K-5 IIs at 51,200. A shot of bottles at ISO 12,800 looked very clean and with vivid colors. In a different magazine, an enlarged ISO 3,200 shot looked completely noise free to my eyes. The Capa review also mentioned the improved colors and IQ at lower ISOs. Overall, they describe the image quality as highly advanced, with high-sensitivity performance you would normally expect of full frame cameras.

Image stabilization and other features
The 5-axis 5.5-stop image stabilization is very effective. They were able to take 1/4 of a second exposures of a waterfall and commented it was the kind of image you would expect to have been taken with a tripod. Another magazine had a steady, handheld 1 second exposure of car light trails at night. Back to Capa, in this section they also mentioned real resolution and the low-pass simulator, but it seems to be more or less the same as previous models. They talk about the convenience of the new advanced hyper program mode. They said they had found it especially helpful for sports shooting. Finally they talked about using old lenses with the camera. The new function to record aperture in exif is useful, and the viewfinder makes it a lot easier to focus the lenses.

The final comments on the camera are that although Pentax decided to call it “K-3 Mark III”, this is a camera one rank up from what has come before.

So what I took away from this is that the camera is ready and just held up in production. The “character” of the camera is going to be very similar to the K-7/K-5/K-3 cameras, just better in every way. And the happiest thing is that it seems even existing lenses (vintage and current) will benefit from all the improvements. The photos were taken with the DA*50-135, the DA*55, the DA 18-135 and the DA 20-40, current but not even the latest ones.

---------- Post added 02-20-21 at 06:27 PM ----------

Oh. And I forgot to mention that the magazines once again mentioned that the price would be "around 200,000 yen". That is below what the K-1 II sells for, even three years after release.

02-20-2021, 02:38 AM   #2
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Thank you for this. It should put to bed the idea that some redesign on going to happen, and end the price speculation. Well I live in hope anyway.
02-20-2021, 02:58 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Thanks so much, it sounds exactly like the sort of camera I want. 😀
02-20-2021, 03:06 AM   #4
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Thanks! It's great to have info from japan like you provide.

Had to laugh a bit over the CAPA magazine covers at the bottom of the linked page. Six covers with over dressed women looking either unaware or surprised that they are holding a camera.

02-20-2021, 03:56 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Excellent. Thanks for sharing and for the great summary. Hopefully this means it will be in the hands of YouTube reviewers before too long. Confession time. I like Chris Nichols reviews. OK, him and the other guy treat Ricoh Pentax as a bit of a joke but when he gets into professional mode he is very fair. His KP review was a bit too much about the grips but the K3, K1 and K70 reviews were glowing......so, here's looking forward to seeing Kai Wong putting it on a multi shot mode and throwing it in the air .....eeeek!
02-20-2021, 04:25 AM   #6
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Do any of them mention the touch screen features/abilities?
02-20-2021, 04:37 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Thanks indeed for sharing this, JPT. Sounds like the K-3 III will bring exactly the kind of meaningful improvements that I was hoping for. Frankly, I don't particularly care whether influencers X, Y, or Z will like the camera or not, as long as they remain fair and don't just lazily badmouth the brand.
02-20-2021, 04:48 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
Thanks! It's great to have info from japan like you provide.

Had to laugh a bit over the CAPA magazine covers at the bottom of the linked page. Six covers with over dressed women looking either unaware or surprised that they are holding a camera.
That magazine seems to be the best selling despite the tacky covers. The bookshop I bought it from had three times the stock of the one I usually buy, Nippon Camera.

My criteria for choosing a magazine each month is a but weird. I leaf through and see whether there are a few articles that I want to read and can read with my Japanese ability. it's fortunate that there are a few good magazines to choose from in Japan. But even so two went out of business this year, so I always make a point of buying one. I just prefer viewing photos on paper and want to support them.

Stifflegged - As for the touchscreen abilities, they didn't say much. Not much about the wireless abilities either. However, it seems very similar to the GR III, with some Pentax tweaks. I have a GR III. What do you want to know specifically?


Last edited by JPT; 02-20-2021 at 04:56 AM.
02-20-2021, 05:16 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
They are more interested in what you can do with the camera, rather than pitting one camera against the others or debunking manufacturer claims.
That's a novel way of reviewing something!

I think I'm moving to Japan
02-20-2021, 05:20 AM - 8 Likes   #10
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All very reassuring and encouraging. If people can get over their concerns that it's not what it isn't, it looks like an instant classic.

A K3 but with massively improved AF and high ISO; what's not to love?
02-20-2021, 05:40 AM   #11
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This is great, thanks for sharing the article!
02-20-2021, 06:12 AM   #12
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This sounds very encouraging!!!
02-20-2021, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
The real-world speed is 11 fps in AF.C mode and 12 fps in AF.S.
One of my biggest complaints has been addressed.

One down one to go.

"Do you still lose the ability to adjust settings while the camera is clearing the buffer?" would be the next.

---------- Post added 02-20-21 at 09:11 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
That's a novel way of reviewing something!

I think I'm moving to Japan
I'll go with you. I've advocated similar behaviour be encouraged on the forum for years.
02-20-2021, 07:25 AM - 1 Like   #14
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well , I am just giving away my K-3II to my niece , time to start saving some fund and patiently wait for K-3III.......
02-20-2021, 07:26 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Great information, many thanks for posting!! I'm so looking forward to the release date and purchasing one!!
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