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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Pixel Shift Resolution System

New to the Pentax K-3 II is Pixel Shift Resolution, a mode designed to give better colour rendition, lower noise levels and resolve more detail. It does this by combining four exposures, moving the sensor by exactly one pixel between each in a square pattern. This allows it to record full colour information in the red, green and blue channels for each image pixel.

By doing this, the K-3 II no longer needs to interpolate colour at each pixel. However, unlike the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, it doesn’t increase linear resolution of the image.


This image was taken using Pixel Shift Resolution mode

Here are two 100% crops from the above image, the first taken without Pixel Shift Resolution, the second with it.

crop without pixel shiftsrgb


crop with pixel shiftsrgb


As you can see, providing the subject is static, Pixel Shift Resolution mode can produce incredibly detailed images which outperform what any other APS-C sensor is capable of at present

As there are four exposures being taken at a time, a tripod should be used and the subject needs to remain static to avoid ghosting or blurring artefacts.

  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 7 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.