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...

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Pentax K-3

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Pentax K-3 review

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£1,099.00
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Pentax K-3 review – Autofocus

The K-3 is equipped with a respectable 27-point AF system, and 25 of these are the more sensitive cross-type points. The number of AF points is reasonable, with all of them placed around the centre of the frame. Naturally, I used the camera with a few different lenses. Of these I found that the Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited lens was the fastest to focus. It was fairly snappy in single-shot spot AF mode. However, as we have seen, or should I say heard before,  the AF is quite noisy with Pentax DSLRs, particularly when using the kit lens.

Although quite fast, the AF feels a little slower than it actually is due to the process being fairly audible. Although the action of focusing appears to happen in one motion, the noise emitted from the motors tells us that the lens seems to roughly focus and then fine-tune.

The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens isn’t especially fast, but is a satisfactory accompaniment for those starting off with the camera, especially given that it is waterproof. Switching to the 60-250mm f/4 lens, the performance is again steady without being snappy. Photographing wildlife using continuous AF, the K-3 was able to keep up with trotting deer, although with a few shots where the focus was slightly off.

Perhaps the best summary of the AF system is that it isn’t sleek. While in good light it finds focus quickly, it is not blazingly fast and in dim light it does slow down. Those wanting to shoot wildlife or fast-moving subjects will find the AF speed a little frustrating. While it is possible to get shots in focus, don’t expect a high success rate.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

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  1. 1. Pentax K-3 at a glance:
  2. 2. Pentax K-3 review - Anti-aliasing
  3. 3. Pentax K-3 review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Pentax K-3 review - Autofocus
  5. 5. Pentax K-3 review - Metering
  6. 6. Pentax K-3 review - Dynamic range
  7. 7. Pentax K-3 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  8. 8. Pentax K-3 review - White balance and colour
  9. 9. Pentax K-3 review - Viewfinder, LCD, live view and video
  10. 10. Pentax K-3 review - The competition
  11. 11. Pentax K-3 review - Our verdict
  12. 12. Hands-on review
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