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 – Metering

With an 86,000-pixel RGB metering sensor, you would expect the K-3 to get perfect exposures every time. However, as we have seen from other metering sensors, a high specification isn’t everything. In fact, I noticed little difference between the metering system of the K-3 and other Pentax DSLRs I have tested and used over the years.

As with previous models, the K-3 has a tendency to underexpose, particularly in overcast light. I found myself having to add around 1-1.3EV to many exposures in dull light, while in good light a +0.3-1EV adjustment was needed. This did mean that I had a few issues with burnt-out highlight details.

Another positive of the K-3’s metering system is its consistency. As I have commented before with other Pentax cameras, you quickly get a feeling for how the metering system is going to behave in certain conditions, and as no metering system is infallible, predictability is important. However, for very tricky scenes with a high-contrast range, spot and centreweighted metering, along with an AE-L button, are on hand to ensure very precise results.

  • 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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