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Pentax K-3 Review

April 2014 | By Richard Butler and Jeff Keller
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Review based on a production Pentax K-3 with firmware v1.03

Pentax has a long history of being a little different from the 'big two' SLR makers, introducing features that would normally be found on cameras costing quite a bit more, such as weatherproofing and larger, pentaprism optical viewfinders. It's also created some products that seemingly came out of left field, such as the Q7 and K-01 mirrorless cameras.

The Pentax name is now owned by Ricoh (not a company scared to try new ideas itself), which has continued the tradition of innovation, no better illustrated than with the concept of a digital SLR that has an anti-aliasing effect that can be turned on at the push of a button (Nikon recently patented a concept that accomplishes the same thing, but in a different manner). However, it hasn't accomplished this by having the filter just drop into place. No, Pentax is using its sensor-shift image stabilizer to deliberately move the sensor during the exposure, slightly blurring the image to mimic the effects of an optical low-pass filter. Not only can this be turned on and off, Pentax is also offering two 'intensities' to choose from.

The name of the camera with this breakthrough feature: the Pentax K-3. This camera takes the rugged design of the K-5 II / K-5 IIs that came before it and bumps up the resolution, improves the AF system, speeds up the processor, and enlarges the LCD and viewfinder.

Pentax K-3 key features

  • 24.4 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization with rotational compensation
  • Anti-aliasing 'simulator' (camera has no optical low-pass filter)
  • SAFOX 11 TTL autofocus system (27-point, 25 of which are cross-type)
  • 3.2-inch LCD with 3:2 aspect ratio and 1.037k dots
  • Pentaprism optical viewfinder with 0.95x magnification, 100% coverage
  • 8.3 fps continuous shooting
  • 1920 x 1080 video recording (60i, 30p, 24p)
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Headphone, microphone ports
  • USB 3.0 support

At first glance, the K-3 may look like the K-5 II with a higher resolution sensor, but that's far from the whole story. Ricoh has improved upon the K-5 II in every way, with special attention given to video recording. On the photo side, there's the new sensor (probably from Sony), improved autofocus and metering systems, larger optical viewfinder and LCD, and of course, the selectable AA filter. Performance-wise, the K-3 shoots at 8.3 fps, up from 7.0 fps on the K-5 II.

The K-3 uses a new SAFOX 11 autofocus system, which has 27 points (25 of which are cross-type). The metering system has been dramatically improved, going from 77-segment on the K-5 to 86,000 RGB pixels on the K-3.

Movie lovers will find all kinds of new features. There's now a dedicated 'red button' for quick recording, mic and headphone inputs, and control over audio level. The frame rate has also been increased to 1080/60i, up from 1080/25p on the K-5 II.

Two features that photo and video enthusiasts will like are dual SD card slots and support for USB 3.0 (the K-3 is only the second camera to support this). Build quality remains top-notch, with the K-3 having a rugged, weatherproof body.

The biggest change to the K-3 isn't a feature at all, but it will probably garner the most discussion. There is now a prominent 'Ricoh' logo on the back of the camera, just below the LCD. Ricoh has stated that Pentax is a 'brand' now, similar to 'Lumix' on Panasonic cameras. We're curious to see how the very loyal Pentax audience will react to this change. With this in mind, it's interesting also to note that the K-3 gains the multi-area white balance feature (which aims to correct for different light sources in the same image) that we've seen on previous Ricohs.

Anti-aliasing simulator

One of the most interesting new features on the K-3 is its 'anti-aliasing simulator'. Like the K-5 IIs the camera has no anti-aliasing filter; this improves resolution, but with the trade-off of an increased risk of moiré. Pentax is using the K-3's sensor-shift IS system to simulate the effect of having the filter.

The AA simulator works by applying 'microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the sub-pixel level during exposure', according to Pentax. Simply put, these tiny vibrations cause just enough blur to give the same effect as having an optical anti-aliasing filter. There are two options to choose from - Pentax calls them Mode 1 and Mode 2 - which we assume increases the 'strength' of the virtual filter. Pentax says that the AA simulator is most effective when the shutter speed is under 1/1000 sec.

We assess the real-world impact of the mode later in this review.

Kit options and pricing

The K-3 is sold in three kits (at least in the US). The body-only option has a recommended price of $1299 / £1099, while a kit with the DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 WR lens has a list price of $1699 / £1449. The third kit is the 'premium silver edition' shown above, of which only 2000 will be made. This model includes a special battery grip and strap (but no lens), available from select retailers for $1599 / £1399.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2014 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Pentax K-3

Comments

Total comments: 441
123
noirdesir
By noirdesir (1 day ago)

Have I missed something? Or why is the Sony A850, a FF camera, in this 'Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR' group and not the A77?

1 upvote
Josh Bailey
By Josh Bailey (1 day ago)

not the most attractive looking camera out there is it haha

0 upvotes
joseluismx
By joseluismx (1 day ago)

Since most DSRLs look similar, I can't imagine what you find unattractive about the K-3.

7 upvotes
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (1 day ago)

Thx a lot for this review that I find balanced and right. I already have a K-3, and I just love it, the best Pentax camera up to date...

6 upvotes
stig777
By stig777 (2 days ago)

Wish there was more mention and test of the full weather seal. Thats an important factor, i feel to show as Pentax does weather sealing better then anybody else i feel then is comes to DSLR.

3 upvotes
Danyel39
By Danyel39 (2 days ago)

I think as already suggested, even if emotionally not easy, that I might take a serious look at FF with VERY High Iso capabilities. I also often Crop, and image quality e detail rendition are critical.I really love the Outsider Philosophy of Pentax, humbly and quietly delivering what I consider the best aps-c camera 3-4 years ago ( the K-5). Now time has changed and I believe you cannot win the competition with selectable anti aliasing filter.
The game , or the war, is on other grounds.

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (2 days ago)

Shooting at ngiht you must consider first MF(Pentax 645Z or other), with lower budget any last generation of 135mm frame dslr. Any way, leaving Pentax(K-5II or K-3) for other ff camera you will loose f2.8 AF capability on lowlight condition. Not if you take 645Z road off course.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
1 upvote
turvyT
By turvyT (1 day ago)

Why don't sell all your Pentax equipment? Although no gear is going to be 100% satisfactory... But at least, you'll contribute to local and global economy.

0 upvotes
Danyel39
By Danyel39 (2 days ago)

Hi,

thanks to all for the replies.
I'm trying to play and change some of the settings but still not 100% happy with the results.
I will give my self time in order to know and understand better if the K-3 can match my expectations.
Especially when looking at the image quality comparison of professional reviews I understand that some other " Systems" might be more suitable for my needs.
Pentax colour rendition is sometimes weird. When you photograph at 2-3 am neon signs of some shops or other artificial lights the colours seem to be sometimes similar to what you see after taking an hallucinogenic.
Very warm , maybe too much, is like the colours are the colours of a marker-highlighter. I tried to change WB, SCENE, still I'm not convinced. Other cameras have a more natural and balanced approach.

0 upvotes
ruggiex
By ruggiex (2 days ago)

I would think you would shoot in RAW and correct any color in post doing night shots. I'm not aware any camera is problem free in difficult conditions - cameras are dumb.

1 upvote
maksa
By maksa (2 days ago)

I have a K-5 and I don’t need better image quality. Its sensor surpasses all my needs. But I need better menus, ergonomics, more precise exposure and WB metering, faster AF and a viewfinder optimized for MF. K-3 is half way from K-5 to my ideal camera. And the sensor doesn’t play any significant role.

I think the K-3 is the best APS-C camera at the moment, and Ricoh’s share of this market will grow. That’s the way to a good competition and to the best choice of cameras for all the photographers.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Danyel39
By Danyel39 (3 days ago)

Hi I own a K-5 ( Silver ) and one month ago I received my K-3 ( Silver ).
I don't know what will be the future of APS-C but I'm unhappy with the results of the Image Quality Compared. Olympus is almost there, for my personal opinion D7100 is performing better and when compared to Sony 7R........
I photograph mainly during the night ( color rendition and low light capabilities are crucial ) and I'm starting to think that maybe time has come to sell everything and check both Nikon ( D4s, DF, D400 ? , ) and Sony 7R.
K-5 was my first camera and loved it but it seems to me the future is going into another directions. Image quality of Sony is unbeatable. low light capabilities of some nikons also. Don't know.
Can someone cast light on my considerations ?

1 upvote
JGoodard
By JGoodard (3 days ago)

K3 uses a sony sensor. D7100 uses a Toshiba sensor. Have you adjusted your camera's custom image parameters? There's plenty to work with there.

Who knows what branded sensors Nikon and Pentax will use in each of their respective future flagship APS-C bodies.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (3 days ago)

Re Danyel39

There are several items to turn off or change from factory settings. One is certain noise reduction settings and AF setting. The K3 has more in-camera possible personal settings than the D7100. Probably much more.

Please check with the Pentax forum on this site http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1036 to get the particulars on the K3. The out of the box factory settings for noise reduction are too aggressive and can be easily changed to get the most out of the K3.

Thanks

Nic

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
brujo74
By brujo74 (3 days ago)

Hi! I'm not very happy with Sony's IQ, let alone low-light performance. I've tested an Alpha65 some time ago and it was nowhere near my K-5 in both respects. I don't know about the new ones, haven't seen them with my own eyes. You can't go wrong with Nikon's D4s, but that's in another league (pricewise too). I think your best bet would be a Nikon D3s if you can get it for a good price.

0 upvotes
dagobah
By dagobah (3 days ago)

Do you typically zoom in and pixel peep, i.e. view the images at 100% magnification on the screen? If so, you are actually viewing at a significantly higher magnification than the K-5 (because it is 24MP K-3 vs. 16MP K-5) and therefore the per-pixel noise is not a meaningful comparison. If you reduce the K-3 image to 16MP, it will look as good or better.

2 upvotes
ambercool
By ambercool (3 days ago)

You say you shoot mainly during the night so I would think that the first two things that would come to mind for you is Full Frame and fast lens. Even full frame has trouble with night shooting as you compare all ISO to darkness and shadows you're going to see visible noise past ISO 800 no matter what sensor you are using.

I would start looking at all my full frame options and f/1.2 or lower. Good luck!

0 upvotes
tinetz
By tinetz (2 days ago)

Hi, you should definitely consider the Pentax 645Z. With ISO 204,800 and 51MP you can photograph at darkest night and and by downsampling the results to your needs you should get rid of all noise ;) Just kidding (except you have some money aside already)...

0 upvotes
Benjamin Kanarek
By Benjamin Kanarek (3 days ago)

Excellent review...objective and well balanced ! :-)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
driftnomore
By driftnomore (3 days ago)

is my k-5 better than the k-3?

0 upvotes
paulski66
By paulski66 (3 days ago)

Yes, it's 2 better...

6 upvotes
driftnomore
By driftnomore (3 days ago)

wow! thanks paul...if we have only choices of lenses here in europe.lenses here are scant and are more expensive.thought of sellimg my k-5.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (4 days ago)

Nice cam, bit heavy ..
Does it also have the mirror flop issue?
.
I ask because a friend is quite enamoured and has asked me my opinion.
.
My blanket reply "they are all pretty good, just get the one that suits you", didn't wash too well :(

0 upvotes
paulski66
By paulski66 (4 days ago)

Well, on the plus side, at least we won't have to read any more posts from all the Pentax fanboys complaining "Where's the K-3 review?" every time DPReview posts a review of any other camera.

4 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (4 days ago)

Don't think so. No comes Pentax 645Z time ;)

5 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (4 days ago)

You don't have to read any posts at all you know.

11 upvotes
paulski66
By paulski66 (4 days ago)

Would that I could avoid them, D1NO. Every review DPR publishes is met with the same chorus of bitching and whining from the Pentaxians, though hopefully this will give us all a temporary respite.

And btw, where the hell is the D4 review?!? The D4 was released over 2 years ago! The K-3 is less than 6 months old, and already we get a full review of it, while we patiently wait and wait for the D4 review and...nothing.

Outrageous!

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
robmanueb
By robmanueb (3 days ago)

Holy bitchin pentaxians batman!

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (3 days ago)

The whining was well justified, in my opinion. DPR rushed the Df review in no time, just before the Christmas season. And it's not the only example...

6 upvotes
brujo74
By brujo74 (3 days ago)

Nikon D4 doesn't need a review, paulski66 !

0 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (3 days ago)

I'm just glad you're not bitching about anything, paulski.

5 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (2 days ago)

I see more people bitching about pentaxians than bitching pentaxians.

2 upvotes
gravelhopper
By gravelhopper (4 days ago)

Interesting to see that dpr does not mention the K3's AF capability in low light. For every in-door available light photographer this is as cruicial as low noise at high ISO. When reviewing the K5 II this was mentioned: "As for light levels, I was able to compare the K-5 II with the Nikon D7100, and found I was able to focus with the K-5 II in lower light than with the Nikon. In exceptionally low light (a large blacked-out room lit with a single tungsten bulb) there was a clear point where the Nikon's AF system (rated down to -2EV) just gave up, never delivering a focus confirmation beep, and the K-5 II (rated down to -3EV) kept on making accurate decisions." Also something I do not understand: for both the K5 ii and the K3 the whole "performance" section is missing while it is being part of other reviews. Anyway, I hope the K5 ii low light capabilities are a base feature in all Pentax bodies now.

Regards

7 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (3 days ago)

...yes the K5II low light AF is insanely good

1 upvote
joseluismx
By joseluismx (2 days ago)

Indeed, @gravelhopper. I've been trying to find a worthy FF camera to move to. I currently own a K-5II and and K-5IIs. For the type of photography I do, i need -3EV AF sensitivity. None of the current FF are better than my cameras or if they match the Pentaxes (like the Canon 6d), they're heavily crippled.

0 upvotes
Keith Reeder
By Keith Reeder (4 days ago)

Zvonimir,

you've made that ALL up.

1 upvote
robbo d
By robbo d (4 days ago)

Whilst he doesn't produce evidence or a link to a test...and neither can I right now, I do recall a test between the original K5 and the D7000 a couple of years ago where this was the result, not by a huge margin..........in fast moving subjects I would find that hard to believe. However having the K5IIs, I can attest that I have so few failed AF and it can focus in Low light like you wouldn't believe. It would make an interesting test and there would be a margin of error for individual cameras and lenses and human factor, but I think the perceived and legendary and supposed poor AF is now a thing of the past, was never really a major issue and any current problems rest with a few of the lenses. How many milli seconds really makes any sort of difference to 99% of users??

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (4 days ago)

It's become such a blown out of proportion issue, much like Pentax's perceived lack of lenses from other brand users fanboys and pimply faced salesman with no real knowledge, who choose to find any crumb of evidence to put down someone else, where in fact Pentax has the best APS-C range around and still a significant 3rd party manufacture usage.
If people can't shoot decent results with ANY of the current crop of cameras from any brand, be able to AF and find mostly enough lenses to suit then they have issues.....

8 upvotes
JustDavid
By JustDavid (4 days ago)

I think this is what you're looking for
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3100452

And here is a link to the original PDF of the test:
http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia/editorial/labo/reflex_2012.pdf

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (3 days ago)

Yes, that's the one i'm thinking of......

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (4 days ago)

Many competent photographers have noted that Nikon peer cameras may indeed subjectively appear to lock in faster AF, but Pentax will most likely produce more keepers with a similar lens. Nikon and Canon, in their mutual race against each other, sacrifice accuracy for the sake of speed and first impression, and leave the rest to DoF to sort out. Because later on, it is easier to blame yourself for misses than a camera that has locked-in fast.

It is a purely psychological game Nikon and Canon are playing.

Pentax, on the other hand, plays differently.

Mind you, the test of the AF is *NOT* how fast camera *appears* to lock in, as some believe, but is it able to produce a sufficient number of usable photographs. Isn't that what should matter? So iIn that regard, Pentax AF does not lack at all.

So instead of asking why Pentax seems "to lag", ask yourself why are you being sold an illusion of speed that sacrifices real matters? If you don't believe this, try it yourself.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
21 upvotes
joseluismx
By joseluismx (4 days ago)

This is purely anecdotal. I shoot mostly ballet presentations. I have a friend who also shoots ballet. Whe sometimes cover the same events. His photos frequently look soft/missfocused. He shoots with the D600 a I shoot with the K-5II and K-5IIs. It may be that the theater lighting is lower than the D600 can handle, which is rarely an issue with my Pentaxes.

7 upvotes
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (4 days ago)

Well, the place where Pentax's AF is still behind is subject tracking, at least in part due to the lenses' shortcomings. It's tracking subjects moving along the lens axis (requiring the focus distance to be changed in fast small increments) where the lenses make the largest difference. Shooting a ballet presentation from a distance doesn't - I imagine - require large changes in focus distance so the Pentax should fare quite well.

Perhaps the D600 has issues with color temperature like the K-5 has (that was fixed with the K-5II update).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
PentaxRev
By PentaxRev (5 days ago)

Thanks DP review for finally getting your review of the K-3 done. I have always appreciated how comprehensive your reviews are and the review of the K-3 is not a disappointment.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (5 days ago)

It Just drives me nuts. So many amazing full frame lenses for the K mount camera and no full frame K-mount camera exists. WTF

2 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (5 days ago)

I suspect Ricoh already has a FF sensor being tested in a K-3 body (at least) and probably a mirrorless one as well.

Give them 12 months and they'll definitely have a FF out there.

7 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (5 days ago)

People have been waiting for a Pentax full frame camera for many years now. Don't know if it will ever happen. The problem is they have plenty of prime lenses for FF but hardly any zoom lenses.

The 16-50mm f2.8, 50-135mm f2.8, 12-24mm f4, 60-250mm f4 are all APS-C lenses. So they will need a whole range of FF zoom lenses to go with a FF camera. Currently they lack even one FF zoom lens.

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (4 days ago)

If it drive you so...nuts....then go buy a Canikonony.
They may well do so soon, but why wade into a small market share area, when you do so well at 'crop sensor' which really is so close to FF anyway.
Ricoh are currently posting profits and it must come down to doing things either properly, cost effectively, profitably or not at all.

2 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (4 days ago)

Then why go APS-C when 4/3rd is so close ? And why go 4/3rd when 1 inch is so close.

You want the best IQ this side of medium format you need FF.

I have shot extensively with Full Frame while still using crop and FF is just better. Not that I can't take good photos with crop but FF is noticeably better.

1 upvote
robbo d
By robbo d (3 days ago)

Brendon,
Ultimately it comes down to your 'power to weight ratio' so to speak. What do want to lug around vs what IQ you really need. The reality is even many pro's are using lesser sized sensor systems now when FF is not really needed, like aps-c or 4/3. If your photographing for the average wedding or a small magazine article, the IQ of these smaller sensors is producing the quality of FF a few short years ago.....so how good do you need for most applications? Where really a K3, Xt-1 or OM-D would easily suffice.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (3 days ago)

Option 1. Wait for Ricoh K-1 FF dSLR.
Option 2. Buy an A7r and K-mount adapter.

Since most of those great K-mount FF lenses are manual focus anyway, a non-native camera body isn't such a huge disadvantage (mirrorless has no problems metering in stop-down mode).

My gut feeling is Ricoh will introduce a full frame camera relatively soon, as an APSC K-3 successor will be very difficult to sell at $1200 when by that time there will be many full-frame alternatives in the market at a similar or lower price.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (3 days ago)

@robbo - Yes its true many pros are getting smaller systems for less serious work but their main work is generally always done with FF or MF.

And if I really need small I would rather get a Fuji or Olympus m43 system than a DSLR. The m43 system current IQ is ridiculously close to APS-C now.

And their primes are even more compact than the primes from Pentax.

And I disagree that APS-C has caught up with old FF cameras. Maybe the 5D MK 1 but the MK II and D700 are still better than current APS-C sensors. Its not just high ISO performance but general IQ that is better. I have generally found FF images to 'pop' more than APS-C photos.

0 upvotes
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (2 days ago)

They do have some oldie moldy ff af zooms from the film days (remember the k-mount system has been around for a very long time) Primes are my preference anyway though. I thought the K-01 was a cool concept. Cosmetically it was laughable but a full frame equivalent with classic Pentax looks would be it

0 upvotes
davids8560
By davids8560 (5 days ago)

The K-3 is a solid, straight-forward DSLR that should strike a positive chord with just about any DPR devotee. I think this was a good review.

However, I did read about a fellow in Ohio who bought a K-3 and then, several days later, was struck by a car at a quiet, residential intersection near his home. His leg was broken. While this doesn't establish a pattern, it is perhaps something to be on the lookout for.

And then there was that thing about the werewolf biting in the moors of Scotland. The guy wandered off the main road. The simple local folk at the little pub in the village had told him to stay on the main road. But he must have gotten disoriented. Needless to say, things didn't turn out so well for him. But this could be only hearsay

But certainly, anyone who has ever read a Ken Rockwell review should be able to take a decent .jpg image of a static subject ten feet away in normal daylight with this camera, even with the kit lens. Of course, YMMV. IIRC. IMHO.

Thanks!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
mjphoto2013
By mjphoto2013 (5 days ago)

Of course, with saturation and sharpness set to +11.

4 upvotes
linslus
By linslus (4 days ago)

The guy who wandered off the main road, he had a K-3 right?

0 upvotes
Daniel Bliss
By Daniel Bliss (5 days ago)

Looks like a nice machine, and I have to confess, substantially better build quality than any Nikon except the D4. The front plates on all the other current Nikons are simply not strong enough.

Nikon and Canon, I hope you're paying attention here. (Well, not to everything, you probably don't want the slower flash sync or Pentax's JPEG engine, but you get my drift). For people who aren't interested in an FX upgrade, Pentax is probably the most versatile APS system right now.

8 upvotes
silversalts
By silversalts (5 days ago)

FWIW, this is a fair, accurate and complete review. The K3 is a great camera, best I've ever owned. Every time I pick it up I smile - thjere is so little left to work around - Ricoh is moving Pentax quickly into the top reaches of dSLR's.

The reviewer treats the K3's strengths enthusiastically throughout the review, the weaknesses gently, and attributes continued focus shortcomings correctly to the lens motors (which we all know is true), not to the AF system.

Why all the whining? We all say Pentax is different and we want Pentax to stay Pentax and stay different. Well, Pentax isn't Nikon or Canon. Ricoh made different choices because those are what makes Pentax different.

After all this work, if I was the reviewer I would ask never again to be assigned a Pentax to review.

12 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (5 days ago)

Cons:
1. never shot jpg
2. ditto
3. that's a problem with lenses, not camera
4. true. But it's a camera, not a videocamera
5. true

...not many cons there, are there? ;-)

8 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (5 days ago)

And this is why I would be happy if these DPReviews ended at the pros and cons and discussion, leaving each of us potential users to decide how important the props and cons are to us, instead of attempting to reduce all these many aspects to a single number, or a single color of award.

4 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (5 days ago)

Yes this seems like an excellent camera at a good price. Pentax has done a very good job with this camera.

Unfortunately as a whole system Pentax isn't very complete and that's holding back potential first time buyers.

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (4 days ago)

@Brendon1000.
Yes it is a good camera, much like everything else on the market right now.
Whilst I am not not aggressively challenging you, we need to look at what it is you and or most people want in a camera that makes the Ricoh/Pentax system so incomplete?
A body with enough lenses to easily satisfy 99% of users, tripods can be purchased anywhere, along with lighting systems for studios, filters from Cokin, has very good astro tracer for astrological buffs, now with FLU card for studio use and perhaps wildlife, battery grips, flash system improving and my Metz branded one gives me great shots everytime, remote controls, almost every 3rd party item can be used for correct thread measurement on end of lenses...........so just asking, is this perceived system thing just another red herring like "lack of lenses" and poor AF ?? I am wondering what cannot be fitted and used to or with a Pentax DSLR that won't satisfy the most largest majority of users??

2 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (4 days ago)

Well for starters, a good quality wildlife lens is missing. Not talking about a Sigma 150-500mm lens which is a below average lens but something like a 100-400mm L or a 80-400mm AF-S. Even Sony has a good 70-400mm lens.

The excellent Tamron 150-600mm isn't going to come to Pentax anytime soon at least.

Secondly, they lack an upgrade option. I started the Sony system when there was no FF camera around. Never bothered me as I never thought I would want to spend so much money. Now I wish to get into FF and Sony has an option. Not so with Pentax.

Earlier FF was too expensive compared to APS-C but now bodies like the Canon 6D are available for as low as $1599 so those not looking to shoot in bad weather can have a camera with better IQ than the K3.

Lastly Canon and Nikon are simply better available. In my country there are very few Pentaxians so getting used lenses is difficult. With Canon or Nikon there are generally tons of vibrant used markets in almost any part of the world.

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (3 days ago)

Pentax has the 560mm tele lens, also a 300mm plus a 1.4 x tele converter to go with them. Not to mention they come weather resistent for wildlife, where Canon and Nikon aps-c bodies generally do not.
I'll concede on the FF upgrade, but crop is good choice for wildlife for weight, size and the crop factor plus small amount of difference in IQ unless your going to print large.
Yes Canikon are much more availbale in some countries, here in Australia, no issue, in fact Pentax Aus are the Sigma distributor and awesome to deal with. Pentax are very much improving their sales network after years of neglect..
Also for many, the upgrade path to MF and the impending 645Z will shake a few cages with 50mp, video and it handles like a DSLR....so upgrade path??? I'm hearing you, but I think what i'm getting at is it's more of a red herring than you and many others would think.
For what its worth I couldn't care too much what i shot with, just don't like misinformation.

3 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (3 days ago)

I am referring to a 'zoom' lens. A 560mm or 300mm lens are good for birds but not for wildlife. The 560mm is not a lens I would mention is the same sentence as a 100-400mm or 80-400mm lens. :P

The 300mm f4 lens is a good option but its a prime and hence a bit restrictive.

The 645Z seems to be an awesome camera by all accounts. The high ISO capabilities alone are amazing. But as an upgrade path there is one issue - None of the existing Pentax lenses will work with the new body.

I will concede the lens lineup hole is not as great as I thought when I wrote that post but generally there isn't too many lenses in the current Pentax line up that I care for honestly.

And judging by the state of sales of Pentax I am not alone.

0 upvotes
Valeriu 64
By Valeriu 64 (5 days ago)

Congratulation Ricoh, and team Ricoh - Pentax for your succes.
Pentax K-3 is the best APS-C DSRL at this moment .

God , bless you

Valeriu

24 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (5 days ago)

Accorded to DPR, the Nikon D7100 is better.

Even if :
It have a ridiculous RAW buffer, and a 1/4 lower burst mode.
No sensor stab, A lower white balance system, a lower light metering system, a smaller vierwfinder, USB2 against USB3, a body with plastic parts (full magnesium for the K3, polycarbonate + magnesium for the D7100),

But hey, the Nikon have plenty of scene presets, a 1/250s flash sync and a 51Af points, and a Nikon logo in front. I guess it makes the difference :)

8 upvotes
svesi
By svesi (5 days ago)

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category:

K-3 = Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
D300s = Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
EOS 7D = Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR

D7100 = Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
EOS 70D = Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
K-50 = Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Kim jakobsen
By Kim jakobsen (5 days ago)

Maybe the price difference was taken into account?

You are really reaching with the cons against the Nikon. Besides the ridicously low buffer, none of the things You mention as cons, will make any difference to Your photography, whereas the difference in AF performance and flash sync actually will.

To Me, the two cameras come out just about even, but with quite a substantial price difference, so a higher score to the D7100 is fair.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (5 days ago)

The K3 for all its many pluses doesn't have the best AF system. The AF system on the D7100 is about the best you can get with any APS-C DSLR today and that makes a difference.

0 upvotes
JacobSR
By JacobSR (5 days ago)

Sure, and you guys have tested both.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (4 days ago)

Not quite brendon1000. Many competent photographers have noted that Nikon may indeed subjectively appear to lock in faster AF, but Pentax will produce more keepers. Nikon and Canon sacrifice accuracy for the sake of speed and leave the rest to DoF to sort out. Pentax, on the other hand, plays differently.

Mind you, the test of the AF is *NOT* how fast camera appears to lock in, but is it able to produce a sufficient number of usable photographs. In that regard, Pentax AF does not lack.

5 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (4 days ago)

^^ Look at the DPreview test and see how many OOF shots they got while tracking. Tracking focus is one area where everyone other than Nikon and Canon lag behind.

I myself am a Sony user and while for static subjects I am happy with the AF, for tracking ability my friends basic 60D is much much better.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (3 days ago)

The title of "best APS-C DSR" is no longer the prize it once was.

(c.f. X-T1 review.)

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (1 week ago)

Go Pentax.

7 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (1 week ago)

One useful pro feature of the K3 (that I couldn't find in the review) is the
shutter cycle having been tested by Pentax and rated to 200,000.

I think this standout feature in this class is a noteworthy one.

24 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (1 week ago)

The GR, then Pentax K-3, and now — early next week — a 645 Z. Ricoh indeed proves they are one of the most exciting, yet most understated camera manufacturer today.

Funnily, not a word about the 645Z on the DPR news page anywhere, despite the official teaser running for a week already on all Ricoh Imaging websites, and despite rumours that the 645Z may be the groundbreaking new camera that will redefine the meaning of the MF and image quality in general.

But, many other photography "news" are presented on DPR, including "possible announcement of a firmware update from Sony", or a "possible lens patent from Apple", or a "Mini M" from Leica (which was not mini M at all) ... are all readily presented for digestion and anticipation.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
13 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (1 week ago)

Good point. The low price of the new 645Z is making my eyes light up and I'm seriously thinking about selling one of my D800E's and a few lenses to get one.

4 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (1 week ago)

Better hurry up. 645 lenses in second-hand markets are already disappearing very quickly.

6 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (1 week ago)

I'm at a loss to understand why Metering and Focus are represented as one in the graphic summary. Last time I looked these were two different functions of a camera.

Why is the mobile sensor in this camera not listed as a Pro?
The sensor of the K-5 & K-3 series of cameras can:
1: Sensor Shift allows stitching small panoramas without panning the camera
2: Turns EVERY lens into a limited Shift Lens
3: Vibrates to Self Clean dust
4: Map bad pixels
5: Automatically correct for tilted horizons
6: Sensor can track the stars using the O-GPS for Astro shots
7: Check for dust on the sensor and display a graphic on the rear screen with dust indicated on a white representation of the sensor.
8: The K-3 can anti-alias the image to overcome moire where required.

These (and other ) Pro's are conveniently left out or undervalued in their importance in this review IMO.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
21 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (5 days ago)

Oops! I didn't mention that the sensor also does Optical Stabilization (OS, VR, VC or SR)

Why isn't all that a "pro" and if not then why isn't it listed as a con?

Maybe DPR just forgot.. like I did ;)

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
pacnwhobbyist
By pacnwhobbyist (1 week ago)

No offense to the dpreview reviewers, but I've always found judgement of color output to be a subjective observation rather than objective. Another person could review the camera and declare the colors to be outstanding.

Aside from that, this looks like a wonderful camera that is capable of creating some beautiful images. It is kind of refreshing to see that there is still a camera company that views a camera as a tool for taking pictures first and everything else is secondary.

I was in Target recently and saw the Pentax K-50 for sale. While I don't necessarily advocate it being sold at Target, the K-3 needs that kind of exposure in the brick and mortar retailers to gain any sort of traction against it's two main competitors, the 70D and D7100. I would think that having a Pentax kiosk at a place like REI or some other prominent outdoor retailer would be a perfect place to show off the camera's ruggedness and ability to take wonderful photos in all sorts of adverse conditions.

5 upvotes
avicenanw
By avicenanw (1 week ago)

Perhaps next a K3 Mk II with improvements in movie mode, jpeg and WiFi implementation?

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (1 week ago)

Firmware can fix all of that, even some improvements for the wireless FluCard feature set.

Ricoh has made Pentax K-3 a into a very capable and lasting camera, and unlike with other manufacturers, that may indicate that many features will be available via simple firmware upgrade in the future.
Hardware is there, sockets and connectors are there, quality of manufacture and materials used is there, and everything suggests that K-3 needs no replacement in several years.

But all that also took time to develop, which many other company would not bother with. My guess is that K-3 was built to last, and that many new and exciting features may be available in the future.

2 upvotes
dagobah
By dagobah (1 week ago)

For people who came here wondering how the K-3 compares to its APS-C competition (Nikon D7100 and Canon 70D), one really important point that you cannot easily gauge on the internet or by looking at sample image and that is the feel of the camera, and in that category Pentax is very much ahead. If you have all three close by each other, you will feel that the Nikon and Canon feel somewhat plasticky and cheap in comparison (not as bad as their low-end DSLR models, but definitely corners were cut), while the Pentax feels top notch and professional. Ergonomics are also great as far as size, weight, solidity, and button placement. You can control everything you need with well-placed intuitive buttons, and not even have to take the camera away from your eye to look at the camera.

12 upvotes
RonHendriks
By RonHendriks (1 week ago)

Well the K-3 is a great camera. As it is with all camera's there are things to improve. With a little more efford you can make great sportsimages with Pentax camera's and lenses.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/i_am_photographer/sets/72157642534541033/

5 upvotes
davids8560
By davids8560 (1 week ago)

Great review! But one inescapable fact was overlooked: at the present time, there will be thousands of more Canon and Nikon users who will one day pass away, far more than those who use Pentax.

Just figured I should make mention of this perhaps morbid but unassailable fact. Just look at the numbers. The K-3 is the less "deathly" camera. At least, by my reckoning! Thanks.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
photosen
By photosen (1 week ago)

Great review; it's a monster of a camera, and just the thing to appease any concerns over the Ricoh take over. Who would have thought Pentax king of the APS-C lineup (if probably not sales)?

5 upvotes
Heie2
By Heie2 (1 week ago)

Pentax has been king of the APS-C lineup since the K-5 - the K-3 just further solidifies that lead ;)

8 upvotes
Cameron R Hood
By Cameron R Hood (1 week ago)

This would be a PHENOMENAL review if it wasn't of the movie mode...Pentax has to seriously address this. GREAT cameras, and their lenses have always been stellar.

4 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (3 days ago)

Most dSLRs (digital cameras?) have less than great video. People that seriously shoot video use the few models that do it well, the rest rarely if ever use the feature.

I'd rather manufacturers just do it well or not at all. Less-than-great video just adds clutter to the already crowded controls.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Madaboutpix
By Madaboutpix (1 week ago)

Anything but timely, this is yet a very thorough, well-written, and (minor quibbles aside) also fair review of a fascinating camera.

Reading it, I had the feeling that it offered quite a few insights about this model that I couldn't recall reading about before - which may, of course, be due to my ignorance, but would otherwise be a good sign.

I would sure love to harness the capabilities of the K-3 for my own photography, but I guess my K-7 will have to last me little longer till I can afford one.

Kudos Ricoh, for pulling it off, and DPReview for finally reviewing it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
AlexRuiz
By AlexRuiz (1 week ago)

Because I like gadgets, I may just buy this camera. That way nobody can tell me how good or how bad it is. However I will wait until black Friday, as I expect the price to be about $600 at that time (perhaps a a refurb).

Last year I bought an Oly OMD EM-5 based on all the positive internet reviews, and found it to be grossly overhyped...so I sold it.

This year I bought the fuji X-T1 also based on internet noise. I find it only moderately overhyped. Overalll a great camera though. No complaints.

At the end of 2012 I also bought the D600...a camera that people cringe at due to the oil issues (which never happened to me). Interestingly, my all time best shots have been with the D600 and the 50 f1.4 and 35 f2.

My point? In real world practice (and considering what one shoots), features and specifications don't tell the full story.

7 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (1 week ago)

+1

....and the reality that virtually nobody could tell which camera and lens you've taken a picture with, say at laptop screen size or less at least. A bit of tweaking, RAW or Jpeg, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Fuji etc...........once you like how something work for you, who gives a continental.
For someone looking at their next purchase, all this will be of value. Yes it's a nice cam, so am I sure that the Xt-1 would be too.

0 upvotes
turvyT
By turvyT (1 week ago)

I think that the AF test made with any dslr or mirrorless would produce similar or worse results. If the biker alters the height of his head or chest or the photographer moves some inches the camera, some parts of his shirt can easily come into or loose focus. Regarding dpreview testers not liking K3 jpeg colors, as many have said, is a matter of taste. I don't have a K3, but in Flickr one can easily see that Pentax colors are probably the nicest, reds included. And if we all use our tastes to rate others, we could begin really beating on the general quality of dpreview samples. I any case, being a Nikon user I find their jpeg colors tend to the cold palette. I wouldn't judge that as a con, neither the warm Pentax tendency.

6 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (1 week ago)

It's true that it's a completely non-comparative test whose very design suggests that the intention was to simply prove the stereotype. It fails the basic requirement of a proper experimental control.

2 upvotes
Heie2
By Heie2 (1 week ago)

>whose very design suggests that the intention was to simply prove the stereotype.

But that would mean that DPR were biased against Pentax...

Silly troll.

1 upvote
smafdy
By smafdy (1 week ago)

Dollar for dollar, Pentax DSLRs are far and away the best value in image-capture devices, perhaps ever. I love Nikons and Olys (never been comfortable holding a Canon), but they're an old love. Anyone who has used one of the big two extensively (to the point that adjustments/settings/menus become automatic), will immediately notice those areas where Pentax shines (whisper quiet shutters, for one).

The weak point of the Pentax system, IMO, is the implementation of flash photography as a seamless component of the system.

14 upvotes
Michael Piziak
By Michael Piziak (1 week ago)

Nice camera !

3 upvotes
burnymeister
By burnymeister (1 week ago)

If I still shot DSLR rather than mirrorless I would pick Ricoh (Pentax) over Sony / Canon / Nikon. They continue to deliver cameras for photographers rather than spec sheets. Their lens lineup is superb and prices are reasonable.

I hope someday they come out with a good mirrorless system at which point they might catch my eye again (I used the K-5 with great results). Kudos!

14 upvotes
Ajayang
By Ajayang (1 week ago)

83 % ??? only

11 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (1 week ago)

Seems a great camera, at a good price! I thought the K-3 had a FF sensor, though. My bad!

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (1 week ago)

In real life, not a hell of a lot of difference.

8 upvotes
ChazSelf
By ChazSelf (1 week ago)

I've got shots from my *istD that have been blown up to 20x30, cropped only slightly: remarkable quality from Pentax's version of a 6MP APS-C sensor. I'll soon be getting a K3 to replace my current K20D which has done as well or better.

1 upvote
whycantichooseaname
By whycantichooseaname (1 week ago)

@hydrospanner

The K-3 is considerably smaller than the D7100, so your point is kind of invalid.
Here is a size comparison of the two - http://versus.com/en/pentax-k-3-vs-nikon-d7100

It's pretty clear that it has a smaller body, as well of smaller lenses available.

11 upvotes
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (1 week ago)

Dude...less than a centimeter in two dimensions and heavier.

If it's that drastically important to you, fantastic, go buy one, but for the vast majority of people, it's not really representing a significant difference in terms of actual usage, storage, and portability.

1 upvote
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (1 week ago)

It's actually a considerable difference in reality http://camerasize.com/compare/#440,485

6 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (1 week ago)

Yeah and when you combine the D7100 with a Nikon pancake lens it's nice compact package.

Oh wait.....

3 upvotes
AlexRuiz
By AlexRuiz (1 week ago)

NO! The K3 is not "considerably" smaller. It is about 5% smaller, but 5% heavier. In real world practice, anything 20% +/- feels the same.

2 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (1 week ago)

@AlexRuiz: I arrive at a figure of 1.097, i.e. 10%. However, an even larger difference exists if you consider the height of the handgrip rather than the prism box. Also compare the K-30 and Canon Rebel SL1 for giggles.

0 upvotes
Valeriu 64
By Valeriu 64 (1 week ago)

Hallo .
I have Pentax K-5 , Sigma 150-500mm , Sigma 70-200mm f2,8 and Tamron-f 1.4x pz-af mc4.
Even with TC Tamron-f 1.4x pz-af mc4 , the AF-C on Pentax K-5 is very, very quick.
I think with Sigma 150-500 mm , or Sigma 70-200mm f2,8 , Pentax K-3 work fantastic.
Is a good for dpreview ideea test Pentax K-3 with Sigma 150-500mm HSM, or Sigma 70-200mm f 2,8.

Have a good day , Valeriu

4 upvotes
audiobomber
By audiobomber (1 week ago)

I owned a Sigma 150-500mm HSM OS. Now I have a DA*300 f4 and Pentax HD 1.4x TC. I never tested them against one another because I had them at different times, but my recollection is that the DA*300 has faster AF than the Sigma.

I have so many accurately focussed BIF shots with the K-3/DA*300/1.4x TC that I'm deleting them by the dozens. AF is very quick and accurate.

4 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (1 week ago)

Despite the tardiness at bringing this review out.........
A very fair and well presented effort.
Agreement on lens AF speed, the 50-135 is a beautiful lens but a bit of a slug.
There is so much option now and no truly bad cameras out there, just buy what suits your need.
But a truly fine camera.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (1 week ago)

Well, the half-plastic exercise in cost-cutting (relative to its predecessor) the D7100 gets 85 points, I presume it is the strength of the Nikon lens offering that gave the lesser camera the edge?

11 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (1 week ago)

An altogether different category. DPR has put K5II and D7100 in the "Midrange DSLR cameras" category. But K-3 in the "Ssemi-pro DSLR category".
Mind you, it is DPR's categorisation, and scores are comparable •only• inside same category.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (5 days ago)

Or maybe dpr are preparing the category to receive 8D and D400 possibly arrive, leaving 86% score available?

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (3 days ago)

It's an interesting - if pointless - exercise: does the K-3 compete with the D7100 and 70D, or with the 7D and (KIA) D300s, or with the X-T1 and OM-D E1? Or with the A7 or even the D600?

The fact is for about $1000 +/- a couple of accessories, you an get anything from a refurbished D600 to a brand new V3, with everything in between in play. Fun times.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Iznogoud
By Iznogoud (1 week ago)

Regarding AF tracking, wouldn't it be a good idea to use two third party lenses (say a 18-55f2.8 and 70-200f2.8) with Ultrasonic motors to level out lens influence on AF tracking tests? That's in addition to testing with the manufacturer own lenses, not as a replacement. Maybe that's too much of a hassle for testers but I'd be interested to know what the K3 can do re. AF tracking with, say, a Sigma HSM lens. Great camera nonetheless.

3 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (1 week ago)

That's what imaging-resource does, and it's clearly the only fair and scientific approach. Iirc, they use a Sigma 70mm macro that is available for all systems.

In fact, IR only test focus verification, not attainment, and they give some good reasons why they do this.

2 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (5 days ago)

A macro lens to test C-AF? I've had a 70 Sigma and sounds crazy to me.

0 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (5 days ago)

@Steve: If you read carefully, you'll have noticed that they measure focus verification, i.e. the lens is already focused. What they measure is the delay for the camera to realise that focus is good, and to fire the shot. So AF.C focus attainment from an unfocused position is not tested. As I've said elsewhere, look at Labo Fnac or printed magazines to find some relevant tests.

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (1 week ago)

The flash and white balance pictures were shot with:

smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED

The compared to pictures were shot with

smc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro

A zoom and a macro seems like an odd lens to use for your tests? Have you shot any other tests with a macro lens?

THanks!

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ben Ramsey
By Ben Ramsey (1 week ago)

I'm pretty sure they used to use Olympus' 50 f/2 macro for 4/3 cameras which is apparently quite an excellent lens.

0 upvotes
dosdan
By dosdan (1 week ago)

A true macro lens is often a good choice for these sort of tests because it has little curvature-of-field (focus is the same across the whole frame) and macro lens are usually quite sharp.

3 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (1 week ago)

It just seems the faster lens would have an advantage shooting at F5.6 (2 versus 4 stops from "wide open" compared to a F1.4 lens). The olympus F/2 was also used for the panasonic tests in the past and I wager responsible for a lot of M43 sales (it's a very very good lens) but all the olympus samples are now shot with the 45mm F1.8. I'd wager the pentax 50mm F2.8 FA is the slowest lens used in any of the dpreview sample shots.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
suntek101
By suntek101 (1 week ago)

This seems to be a wonderful camera but I like to do low and high angle shooting and I have been waiting for Pentax to incorporate an articulated LCD screen into their next camera since the K10. Hopefully the "K1" will be released in a year or two and my wish will come true. Are you listening Ricoh/Pentax? Until then, I'll just dream of the K3 while making the most of my old K10!

3 upvotes
DatBokeh
By DatBokeh (1 week ago)

There are an equal number of Pentax fans who adamantly DON'T want an articulated screen due to concerns about durability and weather sealing. I love my K-3 and don't have a strong opinion on the matter but Pentax can't make everybody happy unless they come out with two different versions of the camera (not likely).

6 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (1 week ago)

I know the feeling; imagine how Robert Capa and all the photojournalists must have felt when dragging their noses through the mud to make photographs that changed the way we see and imagine our world.

1 upvote
Mike Hiran
By Mike Hiran (1 week ago)

with the flu card sending a live view image onto my cell phone, I'm thinking this might give me added flexibility compared to a flippy screen if I have a tripod or monopod to use. I wonder if there's a way to attach my phone to the hot shoe and angle the phone to different angles...?

4 upvotes
T3
By T3 (1 week ago)

@Zvonimir Tosic - every generation works with the technology available, and they live with those limitations. If Capa had today's technologies and today's camera features, they would have used them. If Capa had been using a digital camera, he probably wouldn't have lost those images he shot on D-Day (all but eleven frames melted in the darkroom)!

Plus, it's rather naive and foolish to think that everyone should be "dragging their noses through the mud to make photographs" when he have technologies such as swiveling LCD screens that allow us to get low-angle shots much more easily.

Peter Read Miller of Sports Illustrated has said that he does a lot of his shooting through a Canon Right-Angle Finder (an OVF attachment) to get low-angle shots from the sidelines. I own one. But it's a pain to use because you're squinting down into a narrow tube, its angle is fixed at 90 degrees, and you can't see the full viewfinder. An articulating LCD works much better!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (1 week ago)

Why I don't want an articulated LCD (though I'm not really opposed to it):
- the camera will have to be thicker (which is IMO the only dimension where the K-5/3 series could lose some weight)
- the LCD itself will have to be somewhat smaller - because of the added margin. The K-5/3 cameras are quite compact with lots of controls, and unless they would increase the size or move the controls around it's just not possible to make an articulated LCD of the same size as they currently have.

4 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (1 week ago)

Another vote here for leaving things as they are. If you need tiltable, get a Swivi.

3 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (1 week ago)

The objections to a tilting LCD are bonkers in my opinion.

I own a Sony A77. It's weather sealed, the tilting LCD doesn't affect this nor does it add bulk. Just how thick do you think these things are?

The fact it can be turned round so the LCD screen faces the body protects it from damage when not in use. You can't do that with fixed LCD screen so it is actually better from a durability point of view than camera with fixed LCD's.

Why any digital camera doesn't have a tilting LCD I really do not understand. It is an option this modern technology brings to the table.

And as to the comment about Capa, do you not use things like auto focus or in-body stabilization? Please turn them off so you can enjoy the full photographic experience!

3 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (1 week ago)

Review says "Finally, there's a 'Custom' setting that allows the user to choose a different amount of noise reduction to apply at each ISO setting"
Great !
But would be even greater to allow to set the amount of color saturation and sharpening level and type (standard, fine, extra fine) for each ISO setting...

3 upvotes
Mazhe
By Mazhe (1 week ago)

Maybe you should consider shooting raw?

7 upvotes
Eli Allan
By Eli Allan (1 week ago)

It actually has these options already. You can customize the jpeg rendering in camera with sliders for color, hue, saturation, sharpening, nr, shadow/highlight correction and contrast. Its a pretty simple process that the reviewer probably didn't realize was there. You can also save raw files out of the buffer after the fact when shooting jpeg. Which is a useful little trick when you suprise yourself with an unexpectedly good photo.

4 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (1 week ago)

Review says "Finally, there's a 'Custom' setting that allows the user to choose a different amount of noise reduction to apply at each ISO setting"

The K-5 had this already

3 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (1 week ago)

@Eli Allan,
I know that you can set saturation, sharpening, contrast, etc for the JPEG engine, but the same settings applies to ALL the ISO values. It would be fine to apply an adaquate settings for EACH ISO value. Another nice feature would be to define an ISO threshold so that the camera automatically shoot JPEG below this threshold (because you find the JPEG is clean enough) and RAW above. If you like to process RAW file...

@Mazhe,
I HATE spending time on a my computer to correct the weaknesses of my camera and lenses. I have better things to do. So the more customizable the in-camera JPEG engine, the better for me. I prefer to spend time with post-processing for creativity purpose when I feel I can get something more aesthetical from my pictures. Photography must be fun, not a chore (I am not a professional photographer).

0 upvotes
Class A
By Class A (1 week ago)

The f/2.8 AF sensor in the centre with improved accuracy and the general ability to focus at -3 EV should have been mentioned (and listed as "Pros").

If you had tested for it, you would have also found that the AF works accurately under Tungsten as well as daylight. Its level of colour temperature independence may not be met by every camera on the market.

The K-3's AF-C is not on par with Canon/Nikon yet, but to only focus on this part of the AF system seems unwarranted.

BTW, if you want to make such tests meaningful, you should actually measure the speed of the subject and not "estimate" it.

9 upvotes
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