Overall Rating:


Pentax K-3

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Price as Reviewed:


The 23.35-million-pixel sensor in the new Pentax K-3 is just one of many reasons why this enthusiast DSLR may finally be the one to compete with Canon and Nikon. Read the Pentax K-3 review...

Pentax K-3 review – Our verdict

Based on image quality alone, the Pentax K-3 is one of the best enthusiast DSLRs we have tested. Images are full of detail and there are more than enough colour settings to satisfy most photographers. The metering is a little on the dark side, although this does have the benefit of preserving highlights, and the AF could be faster. However, the camera handles well, once you have set it up according to how you wish to use it, and the weather-sealed body means you needn’t fear the British winter weather. It is a little heavy though, particularly in a world where we are getting used to small and light compact system cameras.

Once again, Pentax has come up with a camera that photographers should really enjoy using. It is a pleasant experience, and there is something about the K-3 that feels more tactile than many other cameras.

Enthusiasts looking to break away from Nikon or Canon could do far worse than the K-3, although expect to have to put in a little more legwork to get the results you want.

Pentax K-3 – Key features

Mode dial lock
The mode dial can be locked in place to prevent it moving, or it can be left unlocked to allow quick adjustment.

Dual SD card slots
Under the panel at the side of the camera is a pair of SD card slots. This means that a Flucard, for Wi-Fi connectivity, can sit alongside a standard SD card for image storage.

Weather seals
Sturdy rubber doors protect the sockets on the side of the camera from water and dust ingress.

Rear screen
The K-3 has a 3.2in, 1.037-million-dot screen that is also sealed to allow its use in the rain.

AF point selection
This button allows the AF point to be switched by using the directional controls.

  • Video: Full HD 1080p, 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
  • White Balance: Auto, multi-auto2, 11 presets, plus 6 custom
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Eye-Fi, Flucard
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled, vertical-run, focal-plane shutter
  • Built-in Flash: Yes – 13m @ ISO 100
  • White Balance Bracket: N/A
  • AF Points: SAFOX 11 TTL phase-matching – 27 points (25 cross-type focus points in the centre)
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism with 100% coverage and 0.95x magnification
  • Output Size: 6016 x 4000 pixels
  • LCD: 3.2in, TFT LCD with 1.037 million dots
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec
  • Sensor: 23.35-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS
  • Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, sensitivity priority, shutter and aperture priority, manual, auto, effects and scene modes
  • Metering System: 86,000-pixel RGB matrix sensor – multi-segment, centreweighted and spot
  • Weight: 715g (body only)
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery D-LI90
  • File Format: Raw (DNG or PEF) and JPEG
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec
  • Drive Mode: Approx 8.3fps (60 JPEG, 23 raw in continuous high mode
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1/3EV steps
  • ISO: 100-51,200
  • RRP: £1,099.99 body only
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Focusing Modes: Auto, single, continuous, manual, spot select, expanded area and zone select
  • Dimensions: 100 x 131.5 x 77.5mm
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 3.0 Hi-Speed
  • Tested as: Enthusiast DSLR

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