I value these reviews not for a final score (I've had the K-3 since November and already know its worth), but for actual analysis like this:
"On testing, we found the K-3's ISO to be within 1/6th EV of the expected result, which is the tolerance level allowed in the ISO standard. In which case, the K-3's ISO ratings should be considered accurate."
. . . and for more detailed information than found in the camera manual, like this information on the actual degrees of change applied by the various ISO options:
"The K-3 has one of the best Auto ISO implementations on the market . . . using a shutter speed a little faster than 1/effective focal length. Switching to the 'Fast' options uses around twice this speed, while 'Slow' allows the shutter speed to drop to around half the default value."
Data bits like that are good to know, so thank you, DP Review, for that work. Real information helps me use the camera; scores do not.
Eli Allan: This review does seem a little skewed to me.
You complain about the default jpeg rendering but you can customize the jpeg profile in camera to get most any look that you want. If you care about jpeg learn how to use the camera to get what you want.
In your final conclusion you say that its only good enough for someone already with Pentax, but if you're a Nikon shooter coming from the d300 does this camera not answer every argument against the d7100.
You also say its not a camera for traveling light, which seems to miss the whole Pentax design philosophy. If you want the best IQ in a small but well handling package, with all metal build and lenses that are smaller than many m43 equivalents. You'd travel with this camera.
This camera outspecs the d7100 in every way, and gets rave reviews for handling, how can it score lower?
. . . and (I intended to conclude before interrupted), I would pick the K-3 and exactly that trio of lenses -- the Pentax 15, 20-40, and 70 Ltd's -- if what I was after was not merely travel documentary, but top-shelf IQ in all of my shots, in a small kit that I could easily keep on my person at all times.
123Mike: Carefully examining the low light capabilities of this K3, shows that it is no master in low light at all. It's kind on par with the dated Sony A57. Both the 70D and D7100 are better. Nex 6 is better. Heck, Nex 5 is better. Heck heck! Even the Nex 3 (three!) looks better.I thought that the Pentaxes are supposed to be good in low light. Looks like it isn't at all. Any this costs like $1200+ ? Are they out to lunch or something?
Regarding ISO number manipulation, note from this review:
So Pentax is honest about it.
" If you want the best IQ in a small but well handling package, with all metal build and lenses that are smaller than many m43 equivalents you'd travel with this camera."
Absolutely and well said. The K-3 and the Pentax DA15mm Ltd., the DA20-40mm Ltd., and the DA70mm Ltd. is vastly capable of excellent quality travel shooting in as small and easy to use a kit as you are likely to find. The weather resistance of the K-3 and the 20-40mm zoom alone will allow many great pictures that other options would simply leave behind. The K-3 and its Ltd. lens group is totally a travel camera if one bothers to travel with a DSLR at all instead of the boring compact or cell phone.
Mattersburger: Check it out:
SEVEN lenses, no purse, all for $999.95
Yes, the 08 is more useful than the 4 lenses it replaces. 04 and 05 were part of the initial Q conception and have probably proved themselves the least useful as Q has evolved. The 03 fisheye has some uses, and the pinhole body cap 07 can sometimes be used for effect and allows the body to go in a shirt pocket if needed. If any of those are wanted, they still can be found separately. This new Premium kit with the very nice 08 is a better grouping that was not possible when the original Q7 kit was released. Even better, though, would have been inclusion of the pending Q tele-macro (unless it has been removed from the plan).
No, the camera bag is included with that kit too -- see my unboxing video here: http://youtu.be/RYsmB9XhFHk . The bag holds everything in the kit except the 04 and 05 lenses. If you buy the 08 wide angle (not included in this version of the (Complete Kit"), it holds that also. This new Q7 kit replaces the 03, 04, 05, and 07 lenses with the 08 Wide Angle, which is excellent. Ignore the "bag looks like a purse" mud-slinging. The look doesn't advertise that a complete camera system is inside. It's a brilliant part of the set.
nicolaiecostel: Aaaaand it's marketed towards the girls.
So were The Beatles (who BTW all used Pentax cameras in their heyday).
samhain: Glad Pentax/Ricoh are focused on important releases like limited edition 1/1.7" sensor camera kits & purses, rather than wasting time on gimmicky products like FF cameras, fast lenses, and other tools for professionals...
A good number of older but fast Pentax lenses (e.g., 50mm 1.2 & 1.4, 24-, 28-, and 35mm f2.0) still work on every Pentax body made since screw-mount days. Two new wireless Pentax flashes are very good and weatherproof as well. A Venn Diagram of three Pentax K-5's, the K-3, and the 645 overlap right where FF would be in terms of IQ, so FF doesn't seem to have been a pressing need for Pentax. The Limited series primes are better that most lenses from anyone, if slower than some. If you need to shoot Formula One and stadium sports, then yes, you might lack for some items. Most people don't do those shoots, though, so the range of Pentax items looks pretty reasonable to me.
RichRMA: Nice kit but for anyone who has used them, the original Q was way better built than what came after. They obviously went on a cost-cutting binge.
The cost cut possibly paid some for the larger sensor. But the Q7 body quality is just fine in any case. I have both Q and Q7 and like the 7 better.
I've had the original Q7 Complete Kit for some time and added the later-manufactured 08 with its hood to the collection also. My picture of the full set is in the Pentax compact cam forum. This new kit swaps out the 03, 04, 05, and 07 lenses for the 08. Little is lost with the absence of the 04 and 05 since the 06 and 08 are far better than the "toy" lenses. The 03 is the other "toy" type lens (fixed aperture, no leaf shutter), but it is pretty good (I scored 1st place with it in a DPR challenge in February), yet missing here. Also missing is the body-cap 07 pinhole lens and the mysterious tele-macro hinted at a couple of months ago. The blue camera bag is perfect and holds my Q7, 01, 02, 03, 06, 07, and 08, two polarizer filters (the 40.5 included and a 49mm for the 08), two extra batteries, and a remote control. That's a wide range of stuff in a bag the size of a small shaving kit. The Q7 contrary to some opinion is built just fine, and the non-toy lenses in this set rock.
hilda4scope: I have experience with Nikon, Canon and Pentax. The K-3 is advanced camera for every photographer, that need not: high speed lenses, telephoto lenses and lenses with speedy AF.The biggest problem of Ricoh/Pentax is not advanced body, but the lack of lenses. 7 limited lenses are nice pieces of engineering, but they are between 15 and 77 mm.The SR system on sensor is very impressive, but you must switch off, if you will take photos with panning and long exposure and video.Main mistake in image quality is problem with resolution in red color. So that is my experience with Pentax.
I think the OP in this thread has a real point that DPR needs to fully acknowledge at the conclusion of the K-3 review, to wit: "The biggest problem of Ricoh/Pentax is not advanced body." The K-3 body in fact rocks, and the word "Advanced" describes it far better than the word "Enthusiast." Unfortunately, DPR already took the measure of lumping the K-3 into an "Enthusiast Camera Roundup," which suggests a foregone bias against it. I am glad to see that the review pieces so far have said once or twice that the K-3 is packed with features. I hope DPR goes so far as to say that tossing the K-3 in months ago with "enthusiast" models was an outright mistake.
peevee1: "Strangely enough, battery life on the K-3 is almost a third lower than that of its predecessor (560 vs 740 shots)."
Absolutely nothing strange about it, aquisition and processing of 24 mpix uses 50% more power than 16 mpix, using the same processor and sensor technology.
The larger 3:2 LCD is worth whatever additional power it takes. Buy a second battery, for Pete's sake, or use the spares you might have from any of the K-5's, or the K-7, or even the K-01. Or get the battery grip and put six (6) Li AA's in it and shoot for weeks. I am also happy with Pentax having left the LCD non-tilt in favor of K-3's no-fear robustness.
drummercam: Any reason for non-reporting of Pentax's recent round of firmware updates?
@InTheMist - Barney says DPR got no press release, which is a fair answer and somewhat interesting to know since it apparently drives DPR reporting. So my question was, to me, useful. Barney also notes that the Pentax updates concerned only the new Pentax TC, but I note above that the Alpha 7R update is chiefly about lens support also, and then -- as d1NO sniggers above -- some apparently "general performance" items (although "support for PlayMemories Apps" might be a really big deal, I just don't know). Since a lot of Pentax users have waited a long time for the Pentax TC, however, I believe the Pentax f/w updates to have been of adequate interest to ask about. Maybe Pentax should have sent a press release, and maybe DPR should have checked, especially for a "round-up." I'm not trying to cast blame, I'm just trying to find something out. I got an answer, I said thanks, I'm done. Then you offer a slam on all Pentax users. C'est la vie.
drummercam: Someone asked: "What happens when you want an 17mm equivalent for interior pictures? Does such exist?"
Yes, it exists with the Pentax Q7 and the 08 wide angle, which is an excellent interior camera/lens combination. The Pentax Q-system also has a constant f2.8 70-200mm eq. zoom that is also excellent.
It appears that Samsung stumbled upon the mini-interchangeable path blazed by Pentax Q-series (8 lenses, 9th on the way) and decided to follow it.
If connectivity is your thing, by all means buy a Samsung -- and indeed, it does seem to have been designed as a social-and-selfie machine to compete with iPhones wearing olloclips. The Pentax Q was designed as a camera system, and will soon add a tele-macro to an already varied lens base. The OP whom I quoted had asked about super-wide coverage. The Pentax Q7 with an 08 lens delivers that nicely, with all the connectivity I'm likely to need as a mere bonus.
Thank you for the answer, Barney. I don't know what press releases you receive, or what prompts reporting; I might not have had the question otherwise.
Any reason for non-reporting of Pentax's recent round of firmware updates?
To the contrary, Viking. I use an Eye-Fi card in my Q7 to upload photos to my phone anywhere. It's fast, and app processing and send to anywhere are of course as quick as if my phone took the picture -- which, of course, it can't do with the same quality or range of very good lenses, from fisheye to 200mm, offered by the Q system -- all of which fits in a camera bag the size of a man's small (very small) shaving kit. I am getting massive flexibility (i.e., easy portability of a huge range of good glass) and excellent connectivity (via Eye-Fi) from the Q system.
Jokica: If Samsung is my company, I would buy Pentax along with Ricoh.
"Even the best Pentax and Ricoh lenses can't touch the best Samsung lenses." I'm afraid that is, at best, merely comical.
In point of fact, the Pentax 08 on the Pentax Q7 starts at 17.5mm eq.