Pentax K-3 II Review

August 5, 2015

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



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

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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.

  • Sensor: 24.35 MP APS-C-sized CMOS
  • Output size: 6016 x 4000
  • Focal length mag: 1.5x
  • Lens mount: Pentax K-mount
  • File format: Raw (Adobe DNG or PEF) JPEG
  • Shutter speeds: 30-1/8,000sec
  • ISO: ISO 100-51,200
  • Exposure modes: PASM, TAV, bulb, X sync, auto, scene modes
  • Metering sensor: 86,000-pixel RGB Matrix sensor
  • Metering modes: Multi, centreweighted, spot
  • Exp comp: ±/5EV
  • Drive: 8.3fps
  • Video: Full HD 1080p 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism viewfinder – 100% 0.95x magnification
  • AF points: 27 AF points (25 cross type)
  • Display: 1.04-million-dot, 3.2in TFT LCD
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Dimensions: 131.5 x 102.5 x 77.5mm
  • Weight: 800g with battery and card

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