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Pentax K-3 real-world samples gallery

By dpreview staff on Nov 11, 2013 at 06:00 GMT

When Ricoh's Pentax K-3 was announced we were intrigued by the 'anti-aliasing simulator' feature, a first for a DSLR. The K-3 allows you to engage its low-pass filtering at the push of a button. We recently shot some real-world samples taken in a range of conditions to see how it stacks up against the current K-5 models. Our gallery was shot on with the anti-aliasing filter set to off (the default setting). 

There are 32 images in our samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution.

Comments

Total comments: 150
12
zakaria
By zakaria (5 months ago)

the k3 produce amazing details at base ISO. 3200 ISO is k5 series like.6400 and above is another story!
my 2 cents!

2 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

Yes with APS-C sensor, more MP will introduce more noise at higher iso than less MP. But more MP means more resolution though again. Once again Pentax image processing is fairly good to keep noise down which is a great thing. Pentax has better process in noise than Sony image processing is to compare though.

0 upvotes
Dave C 150
By Dave C 150 (5 months ago)

What worries me is that when DPreview do the full tests and get the stunning pics everyone else is getting from the K3 it is going to make this sample gallery and the person that took them look a bit incompetent. So it may prove difficult to give it an unbias review on image quality. I suspect they will get round the dilemma by saying the out of camera jpegs are iffy but excellent results can be achieved with raw processing.

2 upvotes
Luxius Radius
By Luxius Radius (5 months ago)

Can we vote 3 dedicated Pentax photographers on DPreview?
The 3 photographers will give us real results. ;)

0 upvotes
liviutza
By liviutza (5 months ago)

Just as this debate was getting cold, I read the Galaxy NX short review; there they say the studio shots are done using a in-house available Pentax macro lens; I'd really say this reflects quite badly onto how they treated the K-3 so far...

2 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (5 months ago)

Galaxy NX images were taken in studio in Seattle. K-3 images were taken in Hawaii. They used the lenses given to them by Ricoh.

1 upvote
liviutza
By liviutza (5 months ago)

For one, I suppose they could have passed the Pentax lens to the person in charge with the K3; for second, I believe the approach Dpreview shows 'we only review what we get freely' for a business of their caliber is cheap and unfair towards some brands and some of their readers as well. They have a business relationship with Amazon, they could borrow and send back as refurbs some goods. Or even buy gear and sell it on their gear store as 'used for reviews' - I'm sure a lot of people would stand in line to buy at a decent price a piece of gear a well-known reviewer has used and is presented in working condition. It's like me saying "I'd only buy a camera if the producer gives it to me for a few weeks, free, at first". All in all, the activity and writing on Dpreview in the last 18 months or so is getting less and less relevant to me - and I've been coming to the site for more than 10 years now (I think).

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (5 months ago)

There is nothing "unfair" abut these images. K-3 is being sold
with 18-135mm kit lens, just as Ricoh gave one to a DPR reviewer in Huwei. DPR always use prime lens to test studio scene, as they did with NX and will do with K-3

DPR has used kit lenses to take sample hundreds of times before. More recently, A7 images were mostly with 28-70 kit lens.

Ge over it, guys. Stop whining like the typical buthurt fanboys

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (5 months ago)

Nothing to do with them being "unfair", they are just rubbish. And btw although I'm a pentax shooter I'm no fanboy, and will criticise Pentax in the strongest possible terms if I feel they are failing

0 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (5 months ago)

Please don't be put off the K-3 by the terrible quality of these images peoples. :) --- Every other example of K-3 images I've seen are much better than these.

2 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

Yup I have seen better images on other review pages.

0 upvotes
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (5 months ago)

Pentax Forums did a review of this camera and in the midst of all the praise they gave it, they noted it was noisier than the K-5 series and was heavy handed with the noise reduction in the higher ISO JPEGS.

I suppose you could argue that only a fraction of people would notice both of these things but at the same time, the camera is marketed towards semi-pro photographers and as whole they tend to be more discerning about image quality.

IF what they said is true, it might make a case for buying the K-5 IIs instead and putting the extra money you save towards a nice lens.

0 upvotes
Iam1of2
By Iam1of2 (5 months ago)

I would think that DP Review would be embarrassed to present this gallery. It looks like snapshots to use up digital film. There is no relevance to see if the camera is actually outperforming anything using only ISO 100/200. What is needed is some challenges for the sensor at high ISO with and without the AA filter. I heard that this was the headline change in this model. Use of a prime lens for the test would also help to illustrate how good/poor the sensor performs. For me, it brings a sad realization, that there may be some unprofessional assessments going on that would alter the playing field toward the market dominant brands.

1 upvote
Dimit
By Dimit (5 months ago)

I enjoy reading DPR posts,They are not ''flashy''and fairly represent what a sensible photographer,amateur or pro should more or less expect reading photonews.
...But these samples gallery thing...for Gods shake..do something!! Try to find another way to represent each camera's trrue possibilities.In fact,either coming out of point and shoot junks or pro gear,THEY ALWAYS LOOK THE SAME!
Think it over..

4 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (5 months ago)

Interesting pictures with appropriate post processing in different lightning, different focus / bokeh and different types of composition will be much more informative. Barney Britton wrote today that dpreview staff should live with a camera for a month and shoot with it every day in real life. I admire the goal, I can not see it executed here.

On a 16 MP APSC you also need better lenses than the ones used to judge of what the sensor is capable off. Shooting RAW and processing in Lightroom would also be advised. Most people who spends this much money on a Camera will not use the images unprocessed. Besides that I found the images uninspiring. Executed such as this with no commitment to the effort I would be fine there is no sample gallery, as I can not find information in this one.

Better lenses:
FA 35 mm F/2 AL. Superb @ f/2.8 ... f/5.6
DA 77 mm F/2.4. Superb @ f/2.8 ... f/5.6
These lenses are relatively low cost and optically good enough to really use this sensor.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (5 months ago)

You meant DA 70mm because the FA 77mm is superb from wide open

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (5 months ago)

Is it just me, but none of the images in these samples really looks that impressive, which comes as a surprise. And I'm viewing on a full HD screen.

Any thoughts? Is it the sensor or in-camera processing?

0 upvotes
Dave C 150
By Dave C 150 (5 months ago)

Neither - it's either a major fault with the uploading or the person who took the pictures doesn't know how to focus it. A child with a mobile phone takes better pics than IMGP100 and IMGP202 .It is impossible to get pics that bad with any DSLR!

0 upvotes
kavolis
By kavolis (5 months ago)

I don't like result - they are terrible (lenses, settings used, JPG quality was diminished - I'm pretty sure about that). But despite this, I know that this camera is better than K5, which was and still is a really good tool.

The problem with pentax is that jpg straight from the canikon camera allways will look better because of different approach with jpeg files - canikon allways will have more saturated, more contrasty and sharpened pictures. If you want to see what of pentax is capable - shoot raw and PS.

0 upvotes
C0NAN
By C0NAN (5 months ago)

I disagree. My Pentax K5 has a lot better jpeg output compared to the Canon 7D that I sold. Canon jpegs are pretty bland. The pictures of the K3 are basically the result of ineptness.

3 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

Hey DPR, would you be able to do studio comparison of Pentax K-3 against other like Sony A7, Nikon D600/610, Sony Nex 7, Sony A99 and A77 and A65 I think yes. And other like Nikon D3200, 5200 and ah 7100. That would be good for us to see how the quality compare both raw and jpeg in 100% actual pixel. All same 24mp will make a very fair comparison. But once again I think that K-3 will be fantastic picture quality when it comes with better glass lens zoom or prime lens. I think I have seen some better photos somewhere with better lens. Especially off Ricoh website that shows sample, detail is superior!

2 upvotes
Luxius Radius
By Luxius Radius (5 months ago)

Quick question:
Can we sincerely have dedicated photographer
that can bring the best out of a Pentax? ;)

1 upvote
Allen Yang
By Allen Yang (5 months ago)

It would be interesting to compare the samples of K-3 with that of Nikon D5300 in the aspect of image quality.Wait and see!

1 upvote
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (5 months ago)

My money is on the D5300. Ironic I say that because of my username and I don't like to bash Pentax but..I think what Nikon has been able to do so far with the 24MP sensor that they use is pretty remarkable.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (5 months ago)

I hope the trip to Hawaii was better than these photographs, no fault of the camera! These looks like whomever shot these had a few Mai Tai's before thinking... gosh I forgot, I'm supposed to shoot some images with this new... hmmm, what is it again... ho yeah.. Pentax.... honey why don't you take it out for a spin while me and the boys are playing golf :-)

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (5 months ago)

About sharpness, this is what the K3 is capable of :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,193673.msg4265953.html#msg4265953

7 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (5 months ago)

Wow.

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (5 months ago)

Ah, that's a bit more inspiring! I bet if DPR did a few shots like this instead of the usual drab snaps camera companies would pay them for advertising!

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (5 months ago)

It's a well lit studio shot, but it does show what one can and should expect from this new Pentax. Crystal sharp, and shot with a zoom lens. dpreview's sample images really have done no justice to what the this Pentax can do. Begs the question, how did the sample images get past the Editor?

1 upvote
Dave C 150
By Dave C 150 (5 months ago)

Get those off of here! It makes DPR photographers look stupid.

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (5 months ago)

What is the point of this exercise? Even a compact camera can produce similar quality snapshots. Where is the description of settings for each photo... and where are the RAW shots?

1 upvote
mervis50
By mervis50 (5 months ago)

Agree. DPR sample galleries are pretty much useless.

2 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (5 months ago)

"Our gallery was shot on with the..." sigh.

1 upvote
MarkByland
By MarkByland (5 months ago)

Unfortunately, the Sony-made 24MP FF Sensor was reserved for the Sony R7 and not the K-1 as rumored. We with FF Pentax mount lenses are getting antsy.

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (5 months ago)

There's still possibility of Pentax using that 24mp sensor. They have been sharing APSC sensor(k-5/a55).

1 upvote
klimbkat
By klimbkat (5 months ago)

For a photo site significantly populated by gear heads and pixel peepers along with many, many very good photographers, posting this kind of junk is not helpful to anyone. Poorly framed pieces with lousy technical attention may be OK for a P&S, but for a new, cutting-edge semi-pro DSLR, this seems like a bad idea. If you must post random out-of-camera jpgs, then the burden is on the photographer to optimize the setting AND the capture. Of course, if the intent is to make the camera look bad to folks that don't know better, perhaps this is the way to do it . . .

18 upvotes
fisherman_lol
By fisherman_lol (5 months ago)

Good for Canikon, bad for Pentax. Good job DPR as usual.

1 upvote
mervis50
By mervis50 (5 months ago)

You really think you can discern anything from random jpeg files displayed on a web browser? DPR's carelessly executed photographs are in no way indicative of any camera's true capabilities.

0 upvotes
fisherman_lol
By fisherman_lol (5 months ago)

I think it is a little hard to see the sarcasm in my above comment. And I totally agree with you. :)

0 upvotes
mervis50
By mervis50 (5 months ago)

OK, then. My bad. : )

0 upvotes
gillamoto
By gillamoto (5 months ago)

one more thing, everytime a news about pentax shows up on the front page, it wouldn't stay long. a series of other news will appear shortly after.. leaving pentax news deep down unseen and forgotten. well, maybe it's a coincident.. maybe it's just me.

0 upvotes
driftnomore
By driftnomore (5 months ago)

intentionally done to discredit the good points of pentax k-3? maybe,i guess ,but it,s only me.

0 upvotes
Dave C 150
By Dave C 150 (5 months ago)

In a sense true. Not good publicity for Pentax till you look at the K3 pics taken by people who know how to take a pic and then it blows any Canikon out of the water for anything under two grand. But then of course not in the majority's interests to see that.
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,193673.msg4265953.html#msg4265953

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (5 months ago)

Not a single sharp image. These are simply terrible. Why bother posting images taken at 1/40s if you can see the image is soft! Use a tripod so we can see if the camera is capable of real detail.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

To say "not a single sharp image" is an exaggeration. I've downloaded most of them. The problem is that the 18-135 is really only sharp in the center, and even on the 16 mp Pentax cameras, it needs f/8 or more to get sharpness across the frame. And even then...

I agree that it's puzzling to see tripods used so infrequently in all samples but even if sticks had been used, the 18-135 wouldn't have performed much better.

But as I posted below, the official samples from Pentax (also JPEGs AFAIK) look incredibly good. A big difference probably due to better glass.

http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/products/k-3/ex/

1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (5 months ago)

I should have said, I only downloaded images with a ton of detail, not every single image. But again, I would be using a crappy kit lens if we are trying to see what a 24MP sensor sans s AA filter is bringing to the table. Some of these shots could have been taken with a compact camera.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (5 months ago)

Hey there bruddah, don't blame the photographer. These pix aren't as bad as you think. First off they are internet jpgs, god only knows what the servers have mangled them.
But more importantly the lighting is pretty flat on many of them so there are no hard edges, specular highlights, or strong textures to tell your eye you are seeing sharp photos. There's a lot more to sharpness than just sharpness.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Henry Sundays
By Henry Sundays (5 months ago)

We need a K full frame on Pentax. It'll crash everything.

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (5 months ago)

Preferably à la Pentax MX.

0 upvotes
dblues
By dblues (5 months ago)

Based on these photos alone, doesn't look very good by todays standards. I'
m sure there are corrective measures to get what this camera can do. Pity DPR chose to do it this way???

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Madaboutpix
By Madaboutpix (5 months ago)

Gee, some of the commentators are really quick to jump to conclusions. Let's hold our fire for a moment and consider what we're getting here.

From the file sizes, similar to what my K-7 would give me in RAW, it is pretty clear that the posted shots are straight out-of-the-camera JPEGs. Well, those have been fairly unimpressive from any Pentax DSLR in recent memory, because these cameras simply don't have a particularly strong JPEG engine. But you don't buy a €1000+ DSLR for shooting nothing but casual JPEGs, do you? Switch to RAW, hone your technique, do some basic post-processing, and your photographs will pop.

Second, the lenses used, one pro-level fast-aperture, the other one consumer-grade but superzoom, while being no slouches, are certainly not the best Pentax has to offer. Both are sharp in the centre, but can be somewhat soft in the corners, especially when used wide open, as they were in many of the samples.

Do the samples prove that the K-3 sucks? Emphatically no.

10 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (5 months ago)

DPreview almost certainly are using (user adjustable) in-camera JPEG pre-sets from the Pentax Factory.

DPreview and most other sites, test in a 'standardized' way (by leaving adjustable in camera tuning alone as received out of the box from factory) i.e. they don't tune the camera to get the best JPEG performance possible.

Hope that helps. I write this for those that may be unaware how DPreview and other sites tend to 'test' cameras. Thankfully, Pentax JPEG's settings are quite malleable for the artist to pick what he or she needs and wants to do.

Summarizing: You're simply looking at some factory pre-set, untuned JPEG's. They can be taken to your liking, and with a few settings adjust to your particular taste if you will. Not unlike adjusting the seat in your car and mirrors to you're body's fit before you drive that new ride home. Thanks and Best Wishes.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (5 months ago)

Read about the JPEG engine in the K50, shared among the other Pentax cameras. I guess he's saying, about as good as it gets.

http://photographic-central.blogspot.com/2013/10/pentax-k-50-review-part-1.html

0 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (5 months ago)

The pentax jpeg engine shines up nicely: http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.fr/2013/11/a-fun-assignment-and-tale-of-three.html

0 upvotes
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

What jpeg quality setting was used? 3 stars? 4?

1 upvote
kavolis
By kavolis (5 months ago)

exactly. It looks like quality is about 2-3 stars

0 upvotes
backayonder
By backayonder (5 months ago)

Have DP borrowed my old istDs? No just checked it's still under the bed.

4 upvotes
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

Yep. Most of these look more like 6MP resolution than 24MP.

4 upvotes
SaltLakeGuy
By SaltLakeGuy (5 months ago)

That kind of was my point. After reading so much about the technology provided by this new camera, and all the upgrades I fully expected to see some images that would go toe to toe with a D610 for example. Based on the Dpreview examples my EM1 blows this camera away, and it shouldn't. So where is the real deal?

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Didn't we already go through this in the comments below?

Think of mounting an Oly 14-42 on your EM-1 and shooting JPEGs on an overcast day. Images are just not going to look their best.

0 upvotes
Conjure
By Conjure (5 months ago)

The 18-135 is a very good zoom lens (at least from 25mm to 100mm) but it is not as sharp as a prime lens. As far as I know the test shots for the review will be taken with a sharp prime lens (DFA 50 macro?). And because Pentax/Recoh usualy includes some improvements (WB, AF) in the firmware updates, I have no problem to wait for the final review until the first firmware update.

The reds were the only weak point of my K-5. (If you know it you decrease the exposure to correct it in PP). It is still not perfect with the K-3 but it seems to be much better:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2745065/imgp0387?inalbum=pentax-k-3-samples-gallery

IMO the selection of the real-world samples is quite OK. The detail of some photos is really impressive: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2744933/imgp0422?inalbum=pentax-k-3-samples-gallery

0 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (5 months ago)

That has to do with the factory JPEG setting only. It's simple to adjust the in-camera-JPEG parameters to your specific needs. A problem with the camera and Red colors? not it's a particular factory setting for that. Most people don't realize this. It's the way review sites test a camera from it's factory setting. They don't adjust the camera to get the best out of it, strangely. You may know this however, so not to blame anyone. Thank You.

"The reds were the only weak point of my K-5. (If you know it you decrease the exposure to correct it in PP). It is still not perfect with the K-3 but it seems to be much better"

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Conjure
By Conjure (5 months ago)

Dear Nic, you know how much I like my pentax equipment. But maybe my English is not not good enough.
I do usually RAW with my K-5 and I did not intend to blame anyone. Pentax improved the reds.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
solarider
By solarider (5 months ago)

Hi Conjure,
I merely wished to comment to the general flow of JPEG questions on the forum, sorry to use yours... it wasn't meant to be personal by any means.
Cheers.

0 upvotes
Peter goes Cologne
By Peter goes Cologne (5 months ago)

I agree. I cannot see the point posting example pix that are not even close to being sharp. These shots are just not properly taken/checked/chosen.
The lenses might have a front/back focus - focusing in LiveView might have been a solution.
Even worse in case the manufacturer provided that gear... I cannot really believe Ricoh sending out a K3 with a bad quality lense (front/back focus or whatsoever).

1 upvote
Dave C 150
By Dave C 150 (5 months ago)

Have these pics been sabotaged? There needs to be a quick enquiry. I have seen stunning pics all over the web from this camera. These mostly seem to be so far out of focus that it would be almost impossible to achieve with a modern DSLR. Not to mention the incredibly uninspiring subject matter.
Something's not right here?

1 upvote
Danyel39
By Danyel39 (5 months ago)

Hi,

I own a K-5. Few days ago I booked a K-3 Silver Edition.
To tell you the truth after these samples and after this comparison :

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=5438&news=pentax+K-3+Nikon+D600+head+to+head+comparison+Pentax+wins

I'm thinking to cancel my pre-order. I hope DPR will provide asap a full review in order to evaluate better but for now ………..

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (5 months ago)

how come DPR doesn't introduce Ricoh Theta? it looks very interesting to me!

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (5 months ago)

You mean this? http://connect.dpreview.com/post/3986260865/ricoh-unveils-360-degree-smart-phone-controlled-theta-camera

3 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (5 months ago)

oh it's in the connection section~~~

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Try these K-3 Samples:

http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/products/k-3/ex/

The two portraits done with the DA 70 f/2.4. Yowza. That's what I'm talking about...

11 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (5 months ago)

now i have doubt in DPR's lens selection and photography skills....

5 upvotes
SaltLakeGuy
By SaltLakeGuy (5 months ago)

WHOAH you're not kidding. What a huge difference. Much cleaner and sharper to say the least.

2 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (5 months ago)

... *facepalms* So you prefer to believe the guy who would PROFIT from you buying a product than someone who will make NO profit from you buying or not buying the product?

Childish & naive is all I can say.

3 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (5 months ago)

"Profit" or not, we need to see the *best* that a camera can produce to properly judge its imaging capabilities. If you're just taking snaps with a consumer zoom, you're not going to differentiate this product from a lesser DSLR or even a point-and-shoot. Someone thinking about spending $1300 on a camera body expects and deserves more.

7 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (5 months ago)

exactly! they can make profit out of me but i can also make profit out of my clients!

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Agree with Gary. If they are going to go through all the trouble to test the camera in the review by shooting studio scenes at all ISOs, testing DR, taking product shots, looking at interface, AF speed, etc, then the Sample Image Gallery should receive the same amount of rigor.

Borrow or rent some good DA primes, a 35-150 f/2.8, the macro lens, a tripod, an AF360 flash, get some friends or family to model, wait for the magic hour, shoot some RAWs and JPEGS, set up a few shots, etc.

Even an entry level DSLR or ILC deserves more than handheld daylight images with the kit lens.

Of course Pentax is partially to blame for kitting the K-3 with the 18-135, but it's rare for users of a prosumer DSLR to stick with any kit lens exclusively no matter how good.

1 upvote
koseng
By koseng (5 months ago)

Don't blame DPR. They are bloggers, not photographers.

2 upvotes
tinetz
By tinetz (5 months ago)

Karl, I don't know for sure but since dpreview is owned by amazon and has an gearshop, where they sell cameras on their own and have contracts with manufacturers I - at least - would read their recommendations with the necessary grain of salt too.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

> Don't blame DPR. They are bloggers, not photographers.

They are also testers and not necessarily photographers. Why then the sometimes opinionated, overly negative camera Previews like the other day, concluding that the new Nikon Df is "silly"? Sighs.

Kind of harsh for a simple Preview before a single image is shot.

2 upvotes
SaltLakeGuy
By SaltLakeGuy (5 months ago)

I know this won't be received well, but come on now. I'm looking at the 100% view of these shots and there is either movement or a filter on them or the lenses just aren't that sharp. What gives? I have samples I could show you of Port Angeles and Deception Pass Bridge taken with the original Canon 1D pro body (4mp) and some L lenses that are legions better than what I'm seeing. There's nothing wrong with my eyes that's for sure. I'm mightily disappointed at these samples. If this is all the K3 can do than I don't see it being a significant move forward at all. My EM1 Oly has better output than what I'm seeing......

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (5 months ago)

That's physically impossible, but thanks for playing. You cannot give away 8MP and sensor area and have as much detail, period. The K3 looks like a good 24MP DX camera. The zoom lens used doesn't do well in the sides and corners at 18mm, but neither does any other such lens. The individual pixels are visible at 400% through about three quarters of the frame, indicating that the lens is no bottleneck for the most part. The K3 puts considerable distance between it and any 16MP camera for fine detail, no matter how many times the 16MP fans chime in. Good job Pentax. Now what about the shadow banding we see on the D7100?

8 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

What gives is that DPR took one of the best APS-C DSLRs currently made and mounted a consumer super-zoom on it, a notoriously mediocre lens, for convenience. The other problem is that these are JPEGs instead of proper ACR converted RAW (again for convenience).

All that said, to say that the EM1 has "better output" than these is a stretch at best.

The problem is these are mostly travel snapshots with a kit lens, superzoom. No large aperture lenses, no DA primes, no shallow DOF portraits, very few if any of the advantages of the Pentax system are on display with these samples at all.

12 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (5 months ago)

We shoot with the lens that have been made available to us by the manufacturer. The gallery is by no means completed, and if we have a more exciting lens to use, we will.

Also, I must've missed where we said that the E-M1 was better.

0 upvotes
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

Obviously you guys do have the DA* 16-50 f/2.8 in Seattle, but no decent weather there at the moment. It would be nice to see some shots at f/5.6 with that lens once the clouds part.

1 upvote
ChrisMurray9999
By ChrisMurray9999 (5 months ago)

I don't think it was an intentional deception, however it is unfortunate that someone considering a Pentax DSLR might see these images at 100% and decide against what is a really a great compact camera system for raw shooters.

As a previous Pentax owner, the JPEG's were not in the same league as Canon or Nikon, and the 18-135 is a lousy lens anywhere but center frame, the 18-55 kit lens is far better.

Using sensor-stabilization, one of their many sweet little primes and shooting raw always produced wonderfully crisp images on my old Pentax.

You're really got to hold one of these to feel how solid they are built, like little tanks. I use a D3x now but I still miss my K7.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

@jeff keller
> Also, I must've missed where we said that the E-M1 was better.

I was referring to SaltLakeGuy's comments above, not referencing anything DPR said.

@ChrisMurray9999

I've shot Nikon, Pentax and Canon and OOC JPEGs from Pentax DSLRs like the K-30 and K5 are, in my experience, as least as good as Canikon, possibly a bit nicer. But most users of K-5 or K-3 level camera will be shooting RAW or RAW + JPEG anyway. The 18-135 seems to be the source of any IQ issues here.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ChrisMurray9999
By ChrisMurray9999 (5 months ago)

I can't argue about JPEGs on anything but a K7 vs Nikon D800e, D3x, D3s, and D4 all of which I've used in the last year. It may be just a personal preference but I felt like the difference between raw and JPEG was night and day with the K7.

I'm sure they have improved the JPEG engine on newer models like the k-30, k5, etc.

0 upvotes
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (5 months ago)

Superb image quality even with the middle of the road 18-135 WR lens. If I had one minor gripe about the images, it's that the color saturation is a bit much in some scenes. But you can always adjust the image parameters to your liking in the camera settings.

0 upvotes
Pheonix
By Pheonix (5 months ago)

Well I'm finding the camera has too much resolution which is making my portraits less flattering!

I'll have to start down sampling!

Or working out how to flatter non perfect skin with off camera lighting

1 upvote
Entropius
By Entropius (5 months ago)

If you have Lightroom, a negative adjustment to the "clarity" slider achieves this.

2 upvotes
smafdy
By smafdy (5 months ago)

Disclosure:

In film days I shot Nikon and Mamiya MF — along with other brands on special occasions. I stuck w/Nikon during the early days of digital (once used a Canon D-30, which never felt right). I moved to Oly 4/3 on the introduction of the e-1, and then, in the past year, to Pentax (although I still shoot with and prefer Oly, in good light).

That said, my gear purchases are based in ROI and salable results.

The Pentax line seems to require more thoughtfulness as a photog in order to squeeze the most from the sensor. Good glass is essential with these bodies.

When it comes down to brass tacks, dollar-for-dollar, the feature set of the Pentax vs. offerings from Nikon and Canon are currently the best investment in photo equipment, hands down. These cameras are fine tools (I'm constantly impressed with the whisper of the k-5 shutter, for example).

As with any new body, I'll wait until the dust settles and the price comes down before I buy a k-3, but I will buy one.

4 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (5 months ago)

@dpreview: where did xou take the shots? I recognize the usual tower in Seattle, but most of the pictures look like from some tropical place, I woudl say Hawaii. Am I right?

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (5 months ago)

Maui

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (5 months ago)

I see no reason to complain: the pictures are good enough and it proves the 18-135 is not that bad as many say: on a bright day you cannot tell the difference from the 16-50mm. OTOH I agree there is no photo to evaluate the influence of AA filter off; some small patterns would be needed. But I guess after samples a full review will follow, so we will see soon.
So for me the K-3 (having seen some other reviews) is on par with the best APSC cameras and definitely a good deal. However to pixel peep the sharpness or moiré some better lenses would be suiatable (I am pretty curious about the combination of K-3 nad the new Limited zoom 20-40mm).

0 upvotes
108
By 108 (5 months ago)

If there is one thing these samples demonstrate it's that the 18-135 is a very satisfying lens and way sharp enough, at least for me ( see the bridge iron structure, need anything more ? ) so I guess Pentax will rightfully sell a load of them with the body. Nice pics, nice colours, can anybody tell it specifically comes from a Pentax and a 24 MP at that ? As noted earlier, IQ on par with the rest of the bunch. Can't understand this obsession with sharpness, not that I like blurry pictures mind you, I mean for 90% of hobby shooters like me who like good material nonetheless these samples are excellent and the cam as well.

3 upvotes
Nukunukoo
By Nukunukoo (5 months ago)

Curious to see how this Sony sensor compares to the Toshiba ones. Very tempting if the IQ is right. With a Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 + on-cam OIS, it could potentially be a great indoor Wedding shooter. Had the opportunity to work with a K-5 II and am very impressed with the low-light focus compared to my Nikons. I hope the K-3 keeps that feature, contrary to what posters here say.

1 upvote
iudex
By iudex (5 months ago)

I wonder whether someone has the Sigma with Pentax mount. I have just ordered one for my K-30, but is still not available. Anyhow a super-sharp lens like the Sigma 18-35 should get the best out of K-3´s 24 MPx sensor.

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

Yeah I prefer to have a better glasses lens than that average joe lens of 18-135mm. It would look great on K-3 as well. I am not sure why the colour is a bit less or bit more mute than the older Pentax camera. But JPEG processing might be an issue problem due to aggressive process. That make image rather soft to me when I examine original image (6016x4000). I think raw will come out a lot better than that for sure.

1 upvote
Jogger
By Jogger (5 months ago)

Isnt the "Toshiba sensor" (esp. the APSc variety) just a Sony design that is made under license in a Toshiba fab? Its a fairly common practice in the semiconductor industry.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (5 months ago)

Chipworks has shown that the Toshiba sensor used by Nikon is designed differently than the Sony sensor from NEX-7/A77. Why would Sony develop yet another 24 MP APS-C sensor, when they already had one?

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (5 months ago)

Chipworks has not shown the design is that different. All they have shown is that the sensor was fabed by Tosshiba,

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

I suspect this is a pre-production photos. It is not a full review yet with proper sample yet. Just have some patience. Those pre production sample won't be as nice as a proper review sample. When the DPR gets chance to get fully produced camera to do the review. DPR will get proper pentax glass lens for the full review.

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

I actually start to think is that lens a rebadged brand of Tamron lens by any chance? It could be the case too. When I bought 2nd lens from Tamron on Canon 7D it was SHOCKING! Not very good lens. They used to make much better quality back then but now is going down. I never bought Tamron ever again. Although I heard another story my sister's friend had Sony camera and had Tamron, it was not very good lens. She was disappointed. She returned it soon after. I don't blame on Tamron but I think quality control is part to be blamed.

1 upvote
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

and this here:
Pentax K-3
Lens:
Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR
Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Original (6016×4000, 13.6MB)

That would not be a Sony sensor 24MP. See that 6016 x 4000? My Nex 7 is 6000 x 4000 to be exact with 24MP Sony sensor.

0 upvotes
steelski
By steelski (5 months ago)

Some people...... AYay ay.... It is confirmed by Pentax to be a new Sony sensor. and final image size is not really an indicator of total pixels anyway.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (5 months ago)

The Sony Nex 7 actually has a sensor larger than 6000x4000, from the spec:
24.7 million total pixels
24.3 million effective pixels

Sensors are almost always larger than the images they create as it allows them to use simple demozaicing on edge pixels as they have extra pixels they can blend in.

That means the Pentax could be using the same sensor and just choose to use slightly more of the extra buffer pixels.

Using a program like DCRaw you can usually get 30 or more extra pixels round the edge of raw files.

1 upvote
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (5 months ago)

Yep, my K100D Super makes 3000*2000 jpgs and 3008*2008 RAWs.

@naththo try RAW and see how many pixels you get.

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (5 months ago)

My Sony Nex 7 stays remain exact precise 6000 x 4000 with raw out of my fav ACR in Photoshop. Same story goes to JPEG sitting at same plain 6000 x 4000. Nothing changed. I don't use open source software as it is not recommended for very wide dynamic range camera such as photivo, it looks way too flat. It might work better for Canon with much narrow dynamic range to compare. Once again ACR still the best to date. No other software can beat it.

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (5 months ago)

It's a full production camera.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (5 months ago)

These 6000 x 4000 vs 6016 x 4000 do not prove anything as different companies can use different crop raw even if the sensor is identical.

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (5 months ago)

The samples look well-done to me! Sharp - enough. Nice colors, good light and an eye for composition.

You should review cameras for a living, or something.

Oh wait. Congratulations to the DPR staff.

4 upvotes
pca7070
By pca7070 (5 months ago)

The optical quality of the kit lens is so-so.

0 upvotes
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

Although they do offer the lens used here as a kit with the k3 I believe, it's not "the" standard Pentax kit lens (the 18-55), which may actually offer better performance than the 18-135 WR used here. :-/

0 upvotes
fredrious
By fredrious (5 months ago)

I doubt if the 18-55 WR is optically better than 18-135 WR. In fact it is not. Note that the 18-135 is also a kit lens. Plus that some of the photos in the gallery have been taken using a Pentax DA* 16-50mm, which is a good lens.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (5 months ago)

I cannot see any difference between the pics taken with the 18135mm and the 16-50mm. Which is for me a proof that the 18-135mm is not that bad as many claim.

0 upvotes
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

Did they use a polarizer? IMG 0349 for instance sure looks like it. I know some wide-angle lenses can make it look like a polarizer was used none was, but I'm not aware that the 18-135 is one of them.

0 upvotes
steelski
By steelski (5 months ago)

I guess you live farther north. As I think this is all taken in Hawaii it would explain the intensity of the blue in the sky. And I am not joking.

1 upvote
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (5 months ago)

No polarizer - Hawaii.

1 upvote
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

Thanks, Jeff.

0 upvotes
Akpinxit
By Akpinxit (5 months ago)

AA filter or not - all I can see here is the same IQ as seen on the rest of mid\high end latest D\SLR

1 upvote
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

Yeah. If you take photos of the same scene in RAW and process in lightroom with any recent ILC with APSC sensors of similar resolution at low iso, the differences are really very difficult to see. Image quality or shall I say lack of digital artifacts is simply not the issue it once was.

2 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (5 months ago)

And if handheld, I really doubt anyone can see any difference between, 16, 18, 21, 24MP, AA or no AA. The pixel counts are well beyond what's needed by most people, unless one is into tripod and very strict shooting routine.

0 upvotes
steven_k
By steven_k (5 months ago)

Hence the reason why I wish Pentax would have stuck with 16MP with the new features of the K-3. Oh well market pleasure wins again. Sweet spot for AP-C is 16MP

1 upvote
Heefe
By Heefe (5 months ago)

Unfortunately on a MacBook Pro with Retina Screen all these images are not sharp. I have to download them first to be able to view them as sharp images... I don't have this problem with images shown in the forum so this must be a problem with your gallery viewer here.

0 upvotes
viktoriskra
By viktoriskra (5 months ago)

Unfortunately on my 2010 HP Pavilion with not-even-full-HD screen not all photos are that sharp either.

The reason?

Most of them have been snapped with the subpar 18~135mm WR.

3 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (5 months ago)

Not a lens issue I bet, more like either in-camera jpegs or just caused by handheld shooting. Any modern lens is capable of providing much more resolution than most shooters are able to extract from sensors.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Cane
By Cane (5 months ago)

Has any set of pictures in any camera reviewed by DPR not have someone make the same comment? It's like the sun rising.

3 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (5 months ago)

What is the point of these random snapshots done with random lenses?
There are already hundreds of superb photographs taken by renowned photographers with this camera that are nothing short of amazing.

I believe people buying cameras such as K-3 et al aren't really interested in snapshots; such galleries are maybe good for pocket compacts, but for top of the line weatherproof DSLRs with 8.3 fps, 24MPs, selectable AA, etc ..?

C'mon. Times change, people's habits change, but DPR's habits never, it seems. Good old 2004 is still on around here.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
13 upvotes
gillamoto
By gillamoto (5 months ago)

that's right. I can never understand the point of this 'real-world samples gallery' with a bunch of mediocre photographs. I suggest you visit Allen Birnbach's website and see great shots of a ballet dancer using K-3.

http://allenbirnbach.com/blog/2013/10/22/pentax-k-3-photoshoot-video-goes-live

4 upvotes
foto guy
By foto guy (5 months ago)

I agree. They just do it to give the impression they're providing something of value. And for SEO, of course.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (5 months ago)

All of you are wrong. DPR show what they can with the equipment provided to them. If anything maybe you ought to direct your energies towards Pentax to provide them a better lens to use next time? Not their fault and they have too many cameras and lenses to cover here to be picky about what they get. If they did they'd never get anything to a review and you'd be complaining they never did a review. Hang in there boys.

2 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (5 months ago)

Most photos aren't sharp but I guess that"s not the camera's fault.

0 upvotes
CeleryBeats
By CeleryBeats (5 months ago)

As far as i can tell, two reasons;

1: Some of the shutter speeds used are on the slow side. Obviously demonstrating the image stabilization capabilities.

2: The lens used isn't the sharpest of the Pentax collection.

1 upvote
KL Matt
By KL Matt (5 months ago)

I think it's mostly the lens. My k5 with a good prime beats these samples hands down.

1 upvote
CeleryBeats
By CeleryBeats (5 months ago)

I am in deep deep consideration to get me a K-3. The overall package is just so brilliant!

And since my K-5 i always found it the perfect street/walk around camera with it's awesome and tasty pancakes. :)

And they look so awesome imo!! And the feel....

8 upvotes
Total comments: 150
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