Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera

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83% Gold Award
The K-3 represents a series of steps forward for the Pentax line - not just with the addition of features such as anti-aliasing simulation, but also in the inclusion of a more advanced autofocus and metering systems.”

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Key Features

  • 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, selectable on/off of anti-aliasing filter
  • 8.3 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 27-point AF system with 25 cross sensors and 3 low-light AF sensors
  • ISO 80-51,200
  • 1080 60p/50p/30p/24p HD video (H.264)
  • 3.2 inch TFT LCD with 1,037,000 dots
  • 100% viewfinder
  • Pop-up flash with hot shoe
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Fully weather sealed and cold proof design with magnesium body
  • Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots
  • Eye-Fi / FLU compatible

Product Description

The K-3 touts 24 megapixels in an APS-C sized CMOS sensor with the world’s first selectable anti-aliasing filter—giving the user the ability to easily toggle anti-aliasing functionality on or off by way of the PENTAX-original SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism. As a replacement for both the K-5 II and K-5 IIS, improvements include a top shooting speed up to 8.3 FPS and a new autofocus module with 27 AF sensors and a vast light sensitivity range of –3EV to +18EV. Using optional FLU card SDHC technology, the K-3 offers complete remote camera control, including aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus points, shutter release and image transfer to laptops and compatible devices. Other enthusiast pleasing features include H.264 video capture, dual memory card slots, Live View, an electronic level, and weather sealing in a magnesium alloy body.

Specs

Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Max resolution 6016 x 4000
Other resolutions 4608 x 3072, 3072 x 2048, 1920 x 1080
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 25 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Prime III
Image
ISO Auto, 100 - 51200
White balance presets 9
Custom white balance Yes (3)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Best, better, good
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 27
Lens mount Pentax KAF2
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3.2
Screen dots 1,037,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT LCD monitor
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.95×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)
Flash range 13.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)
Flash modes Auto, on, off, red-eye, slow sync, slow sync + red-eye, trailing curtain sync, high speed, wireless, manual
Continuous drive 8 fps
Self-timer Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±2 (2, 3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing No
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)
Format MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Mono
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMI Yes (mini)
Wireless Optional
Wireless notes Special version of Flu Card available
Remote control Yes (optional, wired or wireless)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes (Weather and dust resistant)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion D-LI90 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 560
Weight (inc. batteries) 800 g (1.76 lb / 28.22 oz)
Dimensions 131 x 100 x 77 mm (5.16 x 3.94 x 3.03)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes (up to 9999 pictures)
GPS Optional
GPS notes O-GPS1

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
Gold Award
Gold Award
83 %
Overall Score

The K-3 is the latest and best in a well-established line of high-end APS-C DSLRs. The K-3 offers a wealth features for still photographers, including a large, 100% coverage viewfinder, solid build, and plenty of customization. Its video capabilities are a little less inspiring, but it stands as a great stills camera that's a pleasure to shoot with.

Good For

Users wanting a classic DSLR clearly designed with the enthusiast shooter at heart

Not So Good For

Would-be videographers, photographers looking to travel light

User Reviews

4.85 out of 5 stars
  • chanaw, Nov 23, 2013 GMT:
    More than a simple upgrade

    I do not consider myself being a professional camera tester, I'm just a happy user. This camera is a class of its own. It's more than a simple upgrade to the K-5 I have used before. I like - fast and accurate AF - very quiet shutter - sharpness (a very good lens provided) - overall responsiveness (fast memory card provided) I do not say that noise is worse. In my opinion, a little noise somehow produces a perception of crispyness. You will never see it on moderate-sized prints. However, when ...

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  • Isherwood, Dec 10, 2013 GMT:
    Better in every way

    The early impressions after 3 weeks of casual snapping are very positive. This body is an upgrade to a K-5 which got used a lot over 2+ years. Pentax/Ricoh made numerous upgrades to a very good camera, none of the upgrades are game-changers but taken together the result is very impressive. To those unfamiliar with the Pentax K-single-digit family they are solid, reliable performers in robust, confidence inspiring bodies with excellent viewfinders & ergonomics. Compared to the K-5 the new ...

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  • Daedbird, Jan 10, 2014 GMT:
    Catching fire with a K-3

    I am an editor for a small weekly newspaper, and this morning at 5 a.m. the fire siren went off. I went over to my office and grabbed my new K-3, which despite having for a week, have shot nothing more than test shots around the office. I got to the scene and started shooting. I told myself I was not going to shoot 6400 ISO, but because of the conditions, I just went between 3200 and 6400. I have NR set to custom, with low NR for 1600-6400. I also have slow speed NR on. Impressions and thoughts ...

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  • beholder3, Mar 30, 2014 GMT:
    Pentax K-3: Everyday fun with a powerful tool

    The Pentax K-3 is both a very continuous product for all people who have owned a recent Pentax DSLR and at the same time a large step ahead in so many areas that it makes the tiny upgrades some "new" camermodels get these days look ridiculous. So what is new for the K-3 compared to other Pentax DSLRs? (1) 2 SD card slots (2) focus peaking (3) 24 MPx sensor (4) Number of F2.8 AF Sensors now is 3 (5) AF sensitivity is up to EV ...

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Warranty Information

"RICOH IMAGING products originally distributed by RICOH IMAGING CORPORATION, 633 17th Street, Suite 2600, Denver, Colorado 80202, have a limited One-Year Warranty starting from the date of purchase. This limited warranty covers any defects in original factory materials and workmanship. If your RICOH IMAGING product malfunctions due to such a defect within this one-year period, RICOH IMAGING CORPORATION will repair it at no charge within a reasonable amount of time. This warranty does not cover any damage caused to the product, including, but not limited to: impact, moisture, liquid, sand, excessive temperature, battery leakage, chemical corrosion, mishandling, operation contrary to operating instructions, tampering, modification, or servicing by an unauthorized repair shop.RICOH IMAGING shall not be liable for any consequential or incidental damages, such as memory cards, batteries, travel expenses, loss of time, etc. This warranty only applies to RICOH IMAGING photographic equipment originally distributed in the United States by RICOH IMAGING CORPORATION, 633 17th Street, Suite 2600, Denver, Colorado 80202".

Go to Ricoh's warranty page for more information and to register your Ricoh product. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Ricoh dealer in the United States.

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