Pentax K-3 II Review: A Well Equipped Shooter From Pentax

Wireless would have been nice, but otherwise an overall excellent camera.

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The 24.35 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor powered Pentax K-3 II is a mid-range range essentially targeted at the enthusiast photographer. This is an upgraded version of the older Pentax K-3. It has a bunch of features that should make him happy. Though some of them are just superficial. E.g., the Pentax K-3 (original) had a 23.35 megapixel sensor. The new K-3 II has a 24.35 megapixel sensor.


The 24.35 megapixel sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs and RAW frames of the size 6016 x 4000 pixels. A lot of pixels a larger number of detail can be captured and that evidently means you can print big. Plus, it helps that the sensor does not have a dedicated AA filter. You can switch on the effect when you need, therefore cutting down moiré and false color whenever you need.

Image Processing

Image processing on the camera is handled by PRIME III image processing engine.


Auto-focusing on the Pentax K-3 II is handled by SAFOX 11 27-point AF system. 25 of these are cross-type. Cross type AF points have two line sensors instead of one, arranged one perpendicular to the other. This allows the AF sensor to be able to ‘see’ contrast in two dimensions.

ISO Sensitivity

Native ISO range of the camera is 100 – 51200.

Still Shooting

The Pentax K-3 II sports an optical pentaprism. That ensures that the view through the viewfinder is bright.

Continuous shooting speed of the Pentax K-3 II is a respectable 8.3 fps. At that speed the Pentax K-3 II is capable of capturing up to 23 RAW frames or up to 60 JPEG captures. That is easily 2 – 3 frames faster than most entry and upper entry level cameras. That should be enough for those sports and fact action sequences.

The Pentax K-3 II also features an in camera image stabilization system. This system compensates up to 4.5 stops. In plain English that means you can use up to 4.5 stops of slower shutter speed without the risk of image blur coming into effect.

The sensor shift mechanism is used in a host of other features of the camera. E.g., the mechanism is used in the Pixel Shift Resolution function. In this the camera takes four different exposures each time shifting the sensor by one pixel. Then these four exposures are combined to produce a single exposure with deeper colors and lower noise.

The effect is much more dramatic because inherently as all the individual pixels capture their own set of RGB data, no interpolation is used in converting the analog information into digital.

Video Shooting

Every DSLR camera released in the last 5 years or so have something in common. They are decent video shooters. Gone are the day when a camera could be sold with just the pedigree to make great stills. To be a complete digital camera you must have the ability to shoot great videos as well. The Pentax K-3 II shoots full HD videos at 1080p and at a frame rate of 30 fps.

Rear LCD Screen

A large 3.2” LCD screen with a resolution of 1.03 million dots ensure that every image you capture comes alive. A bright high resolution LCD screen is probably not what pros would trust to ‘check’ their images, but it does not do harm when reviewing the images.


The Pentax K-3 II has built-in GPS technology as well as compass and an astrotracer mechanism. Built-in GPS ensures that you can easily geotag your images. The astrotracer systems comes in handy when you are shooting stars especially the Milky Way and those sort of things.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

The Pentax K-3 II is rated as fully weather resistant. A magnesium alloy shell over a stainless steel chassis plus 92 independent seals ensures that the camera can tackle pretty much everything that Mother Nature can throw at it. It is even rated to work at a low of 14 ˚ F temperature.

The Verdict

The Pentax K-3 II is a decent camera, no doubt. You cannot go wrong with it. One of the things missing in the camera, though, is built-in wireless. But it more than compensates with a long line of features. It is definitely a good choice.

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