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


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


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


Pentax K-3 II Review


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White Balance and Colour

All the usual settings you’d expect are included on the Pentax K-3 II including AWB, Shade, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten Light, Flash, CTE and Manual, as well as four Fluorescent Lighting options. There’s also the option in Custom Menu 2 to automatically adjust white balance, even when the light source is specified.

This means the camera can fine-tune the white balance to compensate for small differences between similar types of artificial light. Users can also adjust the bias of each white balance setting between blue, green, amber and magenta, should they want to.

Pentax-K-3-II-sample-image-8 small

Colours are punchy and true-to-scene

Colours outputted from the JPEG images are true to scene, rendering rich tones as vivid as you’d like. Occasionally, when shooting bright subjects such as flowers, the processing can deliver too much saturation and it’s worth tweaking the settings to taste.


Default JPEGs can be excessively vivid, but the different colour modes can help you to get your images looking just right

To add a little more punch, users can select one of the colour profiles featured on the K-3 II. Landscape mode gives a little more vibrancy to blue, red and yellow, delivering tonally rich skies. There are also settings such as Vibrant, Radiant and Cross Processing that deliver saturated images. For more subdued effects, the Bleach Bypass and Muted modes work well and, among the few other modes remaining, there’s also an effective Monochrome setting.

  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
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  • 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.