Pentax K-3 Review: Our Favourite DSLR From Pentax

This is a serious camera with the specs to match.

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Pentax’s entry level DSLRs are a huge hit with users who are looking for value for money propositions. In fact many of Pentax’s entry level systems comes with features that are not found on the entry level cameras of other manufacturers.

Sensor

The Pentax K-3 is an entry level DSLR from the stable of Canon. This camera has a 23.35 megapixel CMOS sensor at its heart which is capable of churning out large fine JPEGs and RAW frames of the size 6016 x 4000 pixels. A crop factor of 1.5x makes the camera a lucrative option for telephoto lens owners as the sensor is capable of extending the effective focal length of the lens.

But what stands out for the Pentax K-3 is the switchable anti-aliasing filter. Anti-aliasing filter normally helps to avoid false colors and moiré which is prevalent when shooting with a high resolution sensor and mainly fine repeating patterns. Normally, anti-aliasing filter is left turned on to avoid these. But when you need anti-aliasing filter to be turned off for example when shooting landscapes and portraits, the sensor will do a fantastic job of capturing an incredible amount of detail.

Image Processing

Prime III image processing engine works at the heart of the camera to produce clean frames.

Auto-focusing

The auto-focusing on the Pentax K-3 is better than that of the other entry level Pentax systems that we have seen. It is powered by SAFOX11 auto-focus mechanism and comes with 27 AF points. Out of them 25 are cross-type.

ISO Sensitivity

Native ISO sensitivity of the K-3 is 100 – 51200.

Still Shooting

Continuous shooting speed of the Pentax K-3 is 8.3 fps. It can shoot continuously for about 22 RAW frames or 60 JPEGs. This makes it a great camera to shoot sports, action, wildlife and birding type imagery.

Image Stabilization

Pentax’s trusty sensor-shift type image stabilization system ensures that the camera makes all compatible lenses image stabilized by default. That’s a great thing considering other manufacturers make a killing producing image stabilized versions of their best lenses.

Video Shooting

The K-3 is capable of shooting full HD videos as well. But only at a maximum frame rate of 60i. At a scaled down 720p HD the frame rate is 60p maximum.

Rear LCD Screen

The 3.2” rear LCD screen of the camera comes with a reasonable resolution of 1037k-dots.

Connectivity

The Pentax K-3 does not come with any of the connectivity features that modern DSLRs have. It does not have built-in wireless or Bluetooth and NFC or for that matter GPS. There is, however, a built-in terminal to attach an external wireless adapter.

Build Quality and Weather Sealing

The Pentax K-3 is well-built, to say the least. Built out of magnesium allow this baby is a tough cookie ready to take on anything that mother nature could throw at it. Weather sealing is good. There are a total of 92 weather sealed points making it one of the best entry level cameras for outdoor shooting. The camera feels quite good and reassuring in the hand. It competes well with other mid-range cameras from rival brands.

Conclusion

The Pentax K-3 has a number of things in its advantage. It has a fast continuous shooting speed. A unique selectable anti-aliasing filter and of course the high resolution. Pentax’s legendary weather sealing adds to it making it a great camera to shoot still with even in inclement weather. The Pentax K-3 is a great camera. There is no gimmicky in its design unlike the K-S1. This is a serious piece of hardware and would produce exceptional results in the right hands.

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