- 23.35MP APS-C CMOS sensor; 3.2-inch, 1037k-dot LCD screen; Pentax K Mount; ISO 100-52000; 1920 x 1080p HD video
What is the Pentax K-3?
The Pentax K-3 follows on from some impressive recent Pentax DSLRs that have applied some real pressure to the ‘big two’ traditional DSLR manufacturers. The K-3 marks a departure from previous generation models, sporting a new 23.2MP sensor that’s not only a bump in resolution, but also manufactured by Sony. On paper the K-3 is a DSLR which many Pentax users have been waiting for, but does it deliver on this promise? Let’s take a closer look to find out…
SEE ALSO: Best cameras 2013
Pentax K-3: Features
As well as the new sensor, the Pentax K-3 features an AF system that’s yet to feature on previous Pentax DSLRs. This new system offers 25 cross-type AF points, out of a total of 27. Although it’s not quite as comprehensive as some competing models – with recent Nikon DSLRs, for example, employing 51-point set-ups – the fact that 25 of the 27 points are of the more sensitive cross-type variety should ensure some impressive AF performance.
This is promising start, but one feature sadly missing from the Pentax K-3 is any kind of Wi-Fi functionality. Although Wi-Fi isn’t a ‘must-have’ feature for all photographers, it’s disappointing that it doesn’t feature as standard.
If you can’t do without Wi-fi functionality then all is not lost. Pentax has recently developed a new range of SDHC cards specifically to be used with the K-3, under the name of ‘Flucard’. These cards differ from the ubiquitous Eye-Fi cards by not only supporting the transfer of images, but also allowing for wireless control of exposure settings and focusing via a compatible Smart device.
SEE ALSO: 10 Best DSLRs you can buy
Back to the K-3’s new sensor – as mentioned the chip is a Sony developed APS-C CMOS sensor featuring a jump in resolution from the 16.2MP sensor used in recent Pentax DSLRs. Although the chip has a slightly lower resolution, it’s safe to assume that it’s the same sensor as used in both the Sony Alpha 77 and NEX-7.
An added bonus is that thanks to the implementation of an in-camera stabilisation system, the Pentax K-3 offers image stabilisation on all Pentax K mount lenses including older manual focus lenses.
In keeping with one of the major current trends in digital photography, the K-3’s sensor also does away with the anti-aliasing filter and as a result should deliver sharper images. One of the trade-offs of this development is that there could be issues with moiré patterning.
Pentax has developed an interesting system to counter the threat of moiré patterning when shooting a scene in which moiré patterning could be a major issue. With the K-3 you can switch on a setting in the camera that moves the sensor by around a pixel while shooting, creating just enough blur to eliminate that risk.
Completing the full specification is the K-3’s processing engine. The processor delivers an impressive continuous shooting speed of up to 8.5fps, as well as a substantial ISO range of 100-51200. Another welcome feature maintained from other Pentax DSLRs is the ability to store Raw files in both Pentax’s PEF format and Adobe-native DNG files.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.