Pentax K-3 - Image Quality and Verdict

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Pentax K-3: Image Quality

Thanks to the jump in resolution from 16.2MP up to 23MP, and no doubt thanks to the removal of the anti-alias filter, the Pentax K-3 promises some impressive results with regards to image quality and in particular resolution.

Pentax K-3
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The good news is that in terms of resolution the camera delivers on this promise. The level of detail resolved is first class, nearly matching the Nikon D800. Although JPEG files still deliver an impressive level of detail, to get the very best in image quality it’s best to shoot Raw.

Pentax K-3

The same is true with regards to image noise, with Raw files performing better than their JPEG counterparts. There are some signs of luminance noise at ISO 400, although these aren’t of any major concern, while at ISO 800 these signs do become a touch more severe. However, noise doesn’t get particularly terrible right up to ISO 12800, and all settings up to that can be used with relative confidence.

Pentax K-3
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The K3’s metering system displays a slight tendency to underexpose, particularly in low lighting conditions. This is an issue that’s fairly easily rectified with exposure compensation, and on the plus side it does protect highlight detail from burning out.
Pentax K-3
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The K-3 also delivers in terms of colour, with the camera’s white balance system proving consistent. A comprehensive range of picture styles is on hand should you want to tailor the look and feel of your images, although you can rely on the camera as standard.

Should I buy the Pentax K-3?

The Pentax K-3 isn’t the cheapest camera on the market, although for your money you’re getting a well specified enthusiast DSLR. There are certain issues with the camera, not least the model’s AF performance that is at times ponderous and louder than competing models.

If high-speed AF is a key requirement then you may be better served looking towards competing models from Canon and Nikon, however the combination of a rugged body, great image quality and a fully customisable body mean that the K-3 is certainly a camera to consider.

SEE ALSO: Best cameras 2013

Verdict

Although there are some issues with the Pentax K-3’s AF performance, on the whole it’s an enthusiast DSLR that delivers in terms of build quality, image quality and design interface. This combination means that the K-3 more than punches its weight amongst the best enthusiast DSLRs currently available.

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Score in detail

  • Value 8
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Image Quality 8
  • Performance 6