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Pentax K-3

Pentax K-3

More product images of the Pentax K-3

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Source: Manufacturer

GENERAL

The K-3 was introduced by Pentax in October 2013. It belongs to the Amateur DSLRs category.

Pentax is well-known and shouldn't require further introduction, please see our manufacturer's page for more digital cameras by Pentax.

ManufacturerPentax
CategoryAmateur DSLR
Introduced10/2013
SENSOR

The K-3 features a CMOS sensor in APS-C size that has an area of approximately 24 x 16 mm² (0.93" x 0.61").

This infographic compares the K-3's sensor to other common formats:

Infographic: K-3 comparing sensor sizes

(The 1-Euro coin used for scale has a diameter of 23.25mm, slightly smaller than a US quarter.)

The K-3's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 23 megapixel. The resolution is above average and will be sufficient for the foreseeable future. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed in A2 size or larger, even if unwanted parts of the photo have to be cropped.

The Pentax supports taking images in RAW. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computer, using software like Adobe Lightroom or Pentax's RAW converter. This involves one extra processing step but almost always results in superior image quality. Some filters, like converting to monochrome (black and white) will only yield decent results when used with RAW images.

The K-3 features a mechanism for automatic sensor cleaning.

FormatAPS-C
Sensor area23.50 x 15.60mm²
(0.93" x 0.61")
TypeCMOS
Resolution (physical)24.70 megapixel
Resolution (effective)23.35 megapixel
Pixel size15.50 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 8 frames/second
LENS

All compatible KAF2 lenses can be mounted to the K-3.

Currently, approximately more than 40 KAF2 lenses are available, not counting lenses by third-party manufacturers. Further lenses can be connected via suitable adapters.

Interchangeable lens
MountPentax KAF2
VIEWFINDER

The K-3 uses an optical viewfinder with a penta prism. Viewfinders with a penta prism are typical for enthusiast and professional DSLRs. The viewfinder covers 100% of the field of view and has a magnification of 0.59x, an average value for a viewfinder like this.

Simulated viewfinder K-3

The infographic illustrates the viewfinder magnification of the K-3. The black area represents a magnification of 1x, corresponding to natural size. The red frame indicates the largest viewfinder magnification in any digital camera on the market today (0.85x).

Tip: If the viewfinder image of the K-3 is fuzzy, us the little wheel next to the viewfinder to adjust the sharpness.

TypeOptical (Penta prism)
Coverage100%
Magnification0.59x
Dioptric correction
SHUTTER

The K-3's shutter speeds range from 1/8000s to 30s.

Max. shutter speed1/8000s
Min. shutter speed30s
SENSITIVITY

The K-3's sensitivity goes from 100 ISO und 51200 ISO, a very useful and practical range.

Automatic
Min. sensitivity100 ISO
Max. sensitivity51200 ISO
METERING

The K-3 supports all common metering modes.

The Pentax will also allow spot metering, a must for challenging motives.

Multi
Center weight
Partial
Spot
AUTO FOCUS

The K-3's auto focus processor uses 27 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. when doing macross).

Manual focus is also possible with the Pentax, a plus in tricky situations or for some creative freedom.

TypePhase Detection
AF points27
Manual focus
FLASH

The K-3 features a built-in flash with a range of up to 13m (43 ft.). That range will work for most situations.

A flash or a trigger for remote flashes can be attached to the Pentax's hotshoe. Very useful for indirect flashes or for trigggering remote flashes.

Built-in
Range13.00m
(43 ft.)
Hot shoe
DISPLAY
K-3 display

The K-3 features a monitor with a diagonal of 81.00mm (3.2 in.) and a resolution of c. 1.04 megapixel. That's about average.

Unfortunately, the K-3's monitor is not articulated. That can make it tricky to frame your subject in some situations, e.g. when taking selfies.

The K-3 does not feature a touch screen.

Display characteristics at a glance:

TypeLCD
Size81.00mm (diagonal)
(3.2 in.)
Resolution1.04 megapixel
Articulated
Touch screen
VIDEO

When recording videos with the K-3, the highest supported resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixel, in other words Full HD Video. 4K videos are not supported by the Pentax.

The camera features a connector for an external microphone, a neccessity for good video sound. A built-in mike will record everything in front and to the sides of the camera which is mostly not desired. Internal microphones also tend to record camera sounds like focus beeps.

Videos with the Pentax K-3 at a glance:

Max. resolution1920 x 1080 pixel
...with frame rates24 frames/second
25 frames/second
30 frames/second
External microphone
CONNECTIVITY & WIRELESS

Built-in wireless connectivity is not available with the Pentax. You will need appropriate accessories to wirelessly transfer images between camera and smartphone.

However, the camera can be controlled over a wired connection.

Connect the Pentax to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

The Pentax connects to your PC over USB 2.0.

The Pentax's connectivity at a glance:

WiFi
Bluetooth
NFC
Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
Apps
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini
USB-C
Custom
STORAGE

What memory cards can be used with the Pentax K-3?

The camera will accept all common SD HC and SD XC cards.

With an average image size of 8 megabytes (JPEG, fine) a 32 GByte memory card would hold up to 4000 images.

Supported memory cards at a glance:

Slots2
Memory cardsSD
SDHC
SDXC
MISC. FUNCTIONS

Let's have a look at some other features of the Pentax K-3:

The K-3 doesn't have a built-in GPS receiver. If you want to add coordinates to your photos, you'll have to do so in 3rd party software like Adobe Lightroom.

The K-3 features a built-in stabilizer. A plus when using legacy zooms or tele lenses without stabilizer.

A nice addition is the Pentax's electronic level. The camera displays an indicator on the monitor that makes it super-easy to level the camera horizontally, very useful when doing architectural photography.

The camera can create HDRs automatically. That saves you from manually creating sequences of images with variying exposure values.

The K-3 is environmentally sealed against dust and moisture; a very useful feature when you take the camera places.

The Pentax's features in a handy table:

GPS
Image stabilizer
Level indicator
Panoramas
HDR
Environmentally sealed
BATTERY

The Pentax K-3 works with a D-LI90 LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is a generous 1000 shots. Usually enough for a full day or more.

The battery can not be charged while in camera. Instead you have to take it out of the camera and put it into the supplied dedicated charger.

The K-3's battery at a glance:

TypeD-LI90 LiIon
Removable
In-camera charging
Battery life1000 photos
DIMENSIONS

The Pentax K-3's dimensions are 131.5 x 100 x 77.5mm³. (5.2" x 3.9" x 3.1"). That's the body only, without lens. The camera's weight is a rather considerable 800 grams (25.8 oz.). Add to this the weight of the lens.

Front and top view of the K-3 with dimensions:

Pentax K-3 Dimensions (Width / Height)
Pentax K-3 Dimensions (Width / Depth)
SIZE COMPARISON

To put the size of the camera in context, here it is next to a typical ID card (c. 86mm x 55mm, about the size of a credit card).

The K-3 is clearly bigger:

Pentax K-3 size comparison
ONLINE
DownloadSpecs, manual & software

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Source of specifications and product images: Manufacturer. This page was generated by an experimental computer program. Errors and omissions excepted.

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