Hands-on with the Pentax K-3 II
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Hands-on with the Pentax K-3 II

The original Pentax K-3 was no slouch, with its impressive image quality, great build quality, sensor-shift IS, fast burst shooting, and large optical viewfinder. Some of its weak spots were related to autofocus - both speed in general and its tracking abilities - which Ricoh claims to have improved on this version (by how much we do not know). The sensor-shift IS should now be a full-stop better, as well.

Probably the most interesting feature on the K-3 II is its Pixel Shift feature, which promises to reduce noise at high ISOs by sampling pixel four times. As with the High Resolution mode on the Olympus E-M5 II, which is for resolution rather than noise, Pixel Shift is for static subjects only. The examples of Pixel Shift we've seen from Ricoh look promising and we look forward to seeing how it works once the production model lands in our office.

A few things that we're disappointed by are the lack of a tilting (or rotating) LCD, no Wi-Fi, and the disappearance of the built-in flash (more for wireless control reasons than its usefulness as an actual source of illumination). In this day and age every camera should have Wi-Fi - especially those priced over $1000.

The price of the K-3 II ($1099/£769 body only) makes it especially appealing against its peers. On paper, you'd be hard-pressed to find another DSLR in this price range that offers the build quality, performance, and customizability of the K-3 II, at least at this moment in time. Of course, we'll have to see for ourselves whether the K-3 II lives up to its potential once we've taken delivery of a final sample.