The Pentax K-3 II aims to improve on the K-3 with better continuous autofocusing, in-body image stabilisation and never before seen features like Pixel Shift Resolution and Astrotracer. Callum McInernery-Riley investigates

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Pentax K-3 II

Pros:

  • + In-body image stabilisation
  • + Quick autofocusing system
  • + Pixel Shift Resolution feature
  • + Unique astrotracer feature for astrophotography

Cons:

  • - No touch/Articulation to LCD screen
  • - No Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity
  • - Only 27 autofocusing points

Product:

Pentax K-3 II Review

Manufacturer:

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Noise

JPEG images from the Pentax Prime III processor can have multiple issues which cause a lack of detail in images such as clipping in colour channels and in-camera noise reduction. However, it’s possible to control noise and achieve detailed images shooting in raw and post-processing.

At ISO sensitivities between ISO 100-800, there is some luminance noise present in the raw files but it’s very slight and only obvious at ISO 1,600 and above. I would happily use this camera right up to 6,400 without worrying too much about colour or luminance noise, but thereafter I would take measures to keep it lower.

Below are 100% crops from our test scene across the full range of ISO sensitivities.

Pentax_K3 II__Native_Diorama_100

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 100

Pentax_K3 II__Native_Diorama_200

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 200

Pentax_K3 II__Native_Diorama_400

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 400

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 800

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 800

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 1600

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 1600

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 3200

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 3200

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 6400

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 6400

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 12,800

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 12,800

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 25,600

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 25,600

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 51,200

Pentax K-3 II noise – ISO 51,200

  1. 1. Pentax K-3 II Review – Features
  2. 2. Build and Handling
  3. 3. LCD/Viewfinder
  4. 4. Autofocus
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. White Balance and Colour
  7. 7. Pixel Shift Resolution System
  8. 8. Image Quality
  9. 9. Dynamic Range
  10. 10. Noise
  11. 11. Verdict
  12. 12. Full Specification
Page 10 of 12 - Show Full List
  • Mike Ward-Sale

    I have two K 3 ll bodies and grips – They seem to do what it says on the tin – no probs so far. Although the near silence of operation is a bit eerie . . . . .

  • eenymac

    I’d agree with that, on some levels. I used the K5IIs for over a year until an unfortunate accident wrote it off. Replaced it with a K3 which, although very good and a step up in some capabilities, just doesn’t have the overall image sharpness I got with the K5IIs. I keep thinking I might look for a used K5IIs at some point, even though I have since upgraded to the K3II.

  • Michał Świtnicki

    do you mean the sensor? then yup – pretty much. but other features matter too. cheers.

  • Until now there’s no Pentax camera that can beat the K5IIs and i’ve worked with all. Waiting for a FF or maybe we have to wait more 10 years.