Pentax K-3 Review

Specifications

The table below presents the key specifications for the Pentax K-3, in comparison with its predecessor, the K-5 II/IIs, and the current upper entry-level/mid-range Pentax DSLR, the K-50:

 Pentax K-3 Pentax K-5 II / IIs  Pentax K-50
Sensor
CMOS Sensor Resolution 24.35 MP
6000 x 4000px effective
16.28 MP
4928 x 3264px effective
16.28 MP
4928 x 3264px effective
Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.5 mm (APS-C) 15.7 x 23.7 mm (APS-C) 15.7 x 23.7 mm (APS-C)
 AA Filter No.
The AA filter can be simulated
via ultrasonic sensor vibrations
K-5 II: Yes
K-5 IIs: No
Yes
Dust Removal DR II ultrasonic
Dust alert
DR II ultrasonic
Dust alert
DR Sensor Shake
ISO Range (expanded) 100-51200 100-12800
(80-51200)
100-51200
RAW Bit Depth 14 14 12
Image Capture
Shooting Modes Green auto, P, Sv, Tv, Av, TAv, M, B, X, three user modes with direct access Green auto, P, Sv, Tv, Av, TAv, M, B, X, five user modes (via a menu) Scene, Green auto, P, Sv, Tv, Av, TAv, M, B, X, two user modes (direct access)
Shutter Speeds 30s-1/8000s 30s-1/8000s 30s-1/6000s
Light Meter 86K pixel RGB sensor 77 segment 77 segment
Meter Range -3 to 20 EV 0 to 22 EV 0 to 22 EV
Metering Modes * Multi-segment
* Center weight
* Spot
* Multi-segment
* Center weight
* Spot
* Multi-segment
* Center weight
* Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 EV +/- 5 EV +/- 5 EV
Exposure Bracketing +/- 5 EV, 2, 3 or 5 steps +/- 5 EV, 2, 3 or 5 steps +/- 5 EV, 3 steps
Max Frame Rate (buffer) H: 8.3 fps (60 JPG, 23 RAW)
M: 4.5 fps (100 JPG, 32 RAW)
L: 3 fps (200 JPG, 52 RAW)

Hi: 7 fps (30 JPG, 20 RAW)
Lo: 2 fps (unlimited JPG, 40 RAW)

Hi: 6 fps (30 JPG, 8 RAW)
Lo: 3 fps (unlimited JPG, 10 RAW)

File Formats Stills: JPG, PEF, DNG,
Videos: MOV

Stills: JPG, PEF, DNG,
Videos: AVI

Stills: JPG, DNG
Videos: MOV

Focusing
AF System and Modes * SAFOX 11: 27-point phase detect (25 cross-type) w/ AF.S, AF.C, AF.A
* Live View: contrast detect
* AF assist LED
* SAFOX X: 11-point phase detect (9 cross type) w/ AF.S, AF.C
* Live View: contrast detect
* AF assist LED
* Light wavelength sensor
* SAFOX IXi+: 11-point phase detect (9 cross type) w/AF.S, AF.C, AF.A
* Live View contrast detect
* AF assist LED
* Light source detection sensor
* Diffraction lens
AF Sensitivity -3 to 18 EV -3 to 18 EV -1 to 18 EV
Focus Peaking Yes (during live view and prior to movie recording) No Yes (during live view and prior to movie recording)
Movie Mode
Video Mode

1080i: 60/50 fps
1080p: 30/25/24 fps
720p: 60/50/30/25/24 fps
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (.MOV)

1080p: 25 FPS
720p: 30/25 FPS
VGA: 30/25 FPS
MPEG-4 AVC (.AVI)

1080p: 30/25/24 fps
720p: 60/50/30/25/24 fps
VGA: 30/25/24 fps
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (.MOV)

Video Sound

* Built-in mono microphone (48 kHz)
* External stereo microphone input
* Headphone jack (3.5mm)
* Manual and Automatic volume control with VU meter

* Built-in mono microphone
* External microphone input
* Automatic volume control

* Built-in mono microphone
* Manual volume control

Manual Video Controls ISO/Shutter Speed/Aperture No ISO/Shutter Speed/Aperture
AF During Video Yes, on demand No Yes, on demand
Flash
Built-in Flash GN 13 GN 13 GN 12
Flash Sync. 1/180 s 1/180 s 1/180 s
Hot Shoe Yes Yes Yes
Flash Modes P-TTL, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync, Wireless, High-speed sync (external flash) P-TTL, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync, Wireless, High-speed sync (external flash) P-TTL, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync, Wireless, High-speed sync (external flash)
Flash Exposure Compensation -2 to +1 EV -2 to +1 EV -2 to +1 EV
General
Viewfinder Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.95x magnification Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.92x magnification Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.92x magnification
LCD 3.2-inch, 1,037,000 dot
Airgapless
3:2 aspect ratio
3-inch, 921,000-dot
Airgapless
4:3 aspect ratio
3-inch, 921,000-dot

4:3 aspect ratio
Processing Engine PRIME III PRIME II PRIME M
Weather Sealed Yes Yes Yes
Battery D-LI90 rechargeable or 6 x AA with battery grip D-LI90 rechargeable or 6 x AA with battery grip D-LI109 rechargeable or 4 x AA with optional battery holder
Battery Grip Support Yes, BG-5 Yes, BG-4 No
Media Slot(s) 2 SDXC / SDHC / SD 1 SDXC / SDHC / SD 1 SDXC / SDHC / SD
Native Eye-fi Support Yes No Yes
Tethering Yes, wireless with Flucard

Only with 3rd party software: PK_Tether

No
Dimensions (WxHxD) 131.5 x 100 x 77.5 mm
5.17 x 3.94 x 3.05 in.

130.5 x 96.5 x 72.5 mm
5.1 x 3.8 x 2.9 in.

129 x 96.5 x 70 mm
5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 in.
Weight w/ Battery 800 g
28.2 oz.
740g
26.1 oz.
650 g
22.9 oz.

 

The K-3 has been improved over the K-5 series in many areas, and even though the K-3 image files are 50% larger than K-5 files, the frame rate and buffer capacity is better.

The technical specifications are one thing, but how the camera behaves in actual use, not to mention its image quality, is another. Read on to see how the K-3 fares!


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