Pentax K-3 review

Pentax K-3 review

Pentax K-3 review: will the weather-proof K-3 be enough to tempt photographers away from Nikon and Canon? Find out in our Pentax K-3 review video.

Pentax K-3 review

The Pentax K-3 comes just a year after the Pentax K-5 II was launched, which arrived two years after the Pentax K-5.

Pentax says that the K-3 is not intended to replace the K-5 II, but instead the Pentax K-3 sit alongside it in a higher position as the company’s flagship DSLR.

Among the Pentax K-3’s key features is a 24-megapixel, Sony-designed sensor, which has had the anti-aliasing filter removed to help increase sharpness.

However, unlike some other recent cameras offering this feature, the Pentax K-3 incorporates an optional anti-aliasing simulator that you can turn on to reduce moire patterning.

Is also offers a new SAFOX 11 AF module, featuring 27 AF points – of which 25 are cross type. The Pentax K-3 is competing with the likes of the Canon EOS 70D and Nikon D7100… but is this enough to lure photographers away from Canon and Nikon?

Amy Davies of our testing team takes a look at how this new Pentax DSLR performs in her Pentax K-3 review video.

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Pentax K-3 Review Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Amy Davies from Future Publishing’s photography portfolio and today I’m going to take a look at the Pentax K-3.

The K-3 sits at the top of Pentax’s range of cameras, but it has an APS-C sized sensor. This puts it roughly in line with the likes of the Canon EOS 70D and the Nikon D7100.

The body of the camera is quite boxy, but it has this nice protruding grip here which really help it feel secure in the hand. The body is also weatherproof, with a number of weatherproof lenses also available, making it useful as an outdoor camera.

There are quite a lot of buttons on the K-3, which traditionalists will probably enjoy. The majority of the buttons can be found on the back of the camera, but there are some useful ones up top here, and some on the side of the camera near the lens here.

On the top left here is a mode dial for quickly switching between exposure modes. This lock here can be switched on or off, which is useful if you often find yourself accidentally knocking it while in a bag, but want to keep flexibility at other times.

This screen on the back of the camera isn’t touch sensitive, but the display orientation automatically switches if you tilt the camera on its side, which is useful.

To change the autofocus point, you’ll first need to activate the autofocus point selection mode by changing the mode using this button on the side of the camera here. You can then use the arrow keys to scroll around to the point you need. Pressing this button here takes you in and out of the selection mode so you can access other settings, such as white balance.

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The optical viewfinder is bright and clear, and unlike some other DSLRs at this price point offers 100% field of view, so you can be sure that stray artefacts won’t creep into the frame. If you want to switch to live view, you simply hit this button here when the camera is in stills mode.

When the camera is in video mode – which is activated via this switch here – this button acts as the video record button. This green button here is also useful as a kind of reset control, for example, when adjusting settings such as sensitivity – simply hold down the ISO button and tap the green button to quickly return to the automatic setting, saving you scrolling through a range of settings.

Similarly, if you press the exposure compensation button, you can use the green button to quickly bring it back to 0EV.

Opening up this flap here reveals that the K-3 has two memory card slots, both for SD cards. You can customise the memory cards to work in a number of different ways, such as using one for JPEGs and one for raw format files, or creating duplicates of every file.

The K-3 doesn’t have wireless connectivity built into the body itself, but a Flu card, which slots into one of the SD ports can be purchased separately to give it this functionality.

Images from the K-3 are bright, punchy and packed with detail, although the metering tends to err towards under exposure – we have also found on occasion that chromatic aberration can be a problem, especially when examining images at 100%.


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