Pentax K-3 Review
Multi-Area White Balance
Just as the Ricoh GR became the first Ricoh model to include Pentax's TAv exposure mode, the K-3 becomes the first Pentax-branded camera to include Ricoh's multi-area white balance feature. The idea is that, rather than assessing the image as a whole to assess whitebalance, it instead analyses the scene as a series of zones and can assign different white balances to different regions.
This is supposed to be particularly useful in mixed lighting conditions, where a single, whole-image white balance can only attempt to correct one light souce (or attempt to find a compromise between correcting for more than one lighting color).
|Mutli-area White Balance in mixed lighting (daylight from the left, incandescent from the right)||Raw file converted with standard Auto White Balance|
As we've seen when we've looked in previous Ricoh cameras, the effect is subtle, to say the least. Whether shooting side-by-side or performing post-shot in-camera conversions (which we're told should work), we didn't see an appreciable difference in the shots we tried.
We've not traditionally been big fans of Pentax's color response. It's a subtle thing but, particularly the rather magenta representation of reds is slightly off-putting. This can be mitigated a little by shooting the camera in 'Natural' Custom Image mode and then increasing contrast by one notch - bringing it back into line with the more punchy 'Bright' setting.
The Custom Image system also offers a 'Hue' parameter, which shifts the camera's response to all colors. It's a slightly blunt tool (it's just the Magenta that we really want changed), but it's more than most cameras offer. Below you can see the effect of changing the 'Hue' value, both for the default 'Bright' setting and the more subtle 'Natual' preset, here used with +1 contrast.
|Camera JPEG||Adobe Camera Raw default|
|Bright (Default)||Bright, Hue+1||Bright, Hue+2||Bright, Hue+3||Bright, Hue+4|
|Natural||Natural, Hue+1||Natural, Hue+2||Natural, Hue+3||Natural, Hue+4|
We think the 'Natural' setting with Hue set to +3 gives the most natural-looking result - giving a more saturated result than the Adobe Camera Raw conversion. Just to check that this setting doesn't then completely ruin all other images, we've re-processed one of the existing gallery images with the same settings:
|Custom Image: Natural
|Custom Image: Bright
As you can see, these settings aren't really usable for general shooting - the hue shift pushes oranges to yellow and yellows to green, making the image look a little washed-out and unappetising. However, while they're no substitute for the default settings, they may be worth trying when the default color response ends up looking too magenta.
The nice thing is that, if you make any adjustments to one of the Custom Image settings when shooting, the camera will use those as the starting point for an in-camera conversion of a Raw file, rather than expecting you to constantly re-define your chosen settings. Cleverly, any adjustments you make for a Raw conversion don't over-write your shooting settings.
Overall image quality / Specifics
The K-3's image quality is very good in many respects. Its Raw files are excellent, with lots of dynamic range at low ISOs and good noise performance at high ISOs (albeit with some degree of non-optional processing going on). The JPEG output isn't quite so impressive, with the noise reduction not giving much control over the output and the camera's dynamic range management options not giving quite the flexibility or range of adjustment offered by the likes of Nikon and Fujifilm.
The default sharpening is a little clumsy, not really pulling the full detail out of the image but the 'Fine' sharpening mode that does a much better job is easily applied. What we couldn't so easily achieve was a way of adjusting the color response to our tastes, despite trying.
However, although we don't think the JPEGs always do the camera justice, we found that the in-camera Raw conversion option made it easy to make little tweaks. We were particularly impressed that the Raw converter previews any changes you specify: whereas most of its rivals only show the results once you've created the JPEG. This was particualrly useful when preparing a small JPEG to send to the FluCard for sharing from the camera.
And, while we didn't find the Anti Aliasing Filter Simulation an essential feature, we think its bracketing option makes it easy to ensure you aren't stuck with any nasty surprises on occasions where image quality is critical. In terms of image quality the K-3 is amongst the best in its class, particularly in Raw.
|Street Food 2017 by ziggyzag|
from Your City - Fast Food
|Running free by LassiM|
|Treacherous Land- "Dune " by Frank Herbert by Domenick Creaco|
from Sci-Fi or Fantasy Film Titles
|1969 Oldsmobile 442 Resto-Mod by J Warren|
from O is for...
GoPro has inked a multi-year licensing deal with manufacturing services company Jabil that will allow Jabil to incorporate GoPro sensor modules and camera lenses into third-party products.
It's not just fashion magazines. It seems some major Instagram accounts with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers are pitching photographers, offering to feature their work... for a fee.
Canon Rumors has reportedly "confirmed from a couple of good sources" that Canon's full-frame mirrorless camera is currently being tested in the field by select Canon pro photographers.
In a ‘the world’s gone crazy’ role-reversal Sheeba magazine's submission guidelines specifyl that photographers lucky enough to have an image selected for the cover will have to pay $860 for the privilege of having it used.
A Russian drone pilot took his little camera drone to an altitude of 10 kilometers (~33,000 feet), and while the flight didn't break any local regulations and was done in a remote region, it's still an incredibly reckless and stupid thing to try.
Zach Sutton over at Lensrentals has put together this very useful on-location lighting tutorial for beginners, complete with five sample lighting setups to experiment with as you get more comfortable using artificial light.
Instagram has revealed some interesting updates this week, including a return to a slightly more chronological newsfeed where "newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed."
The 10 Open category winners revealed this week will duke it out for $5,000 in prize money and the title of Open Photographer of the Year. The winner will be revealed on April 19th, alongside the Professional category winners.
The new Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D is "the world’s widest rectilinear f/2.8 lens for mirrorless APS-C cameras." It boasts a 113° angle of view, fast F2.8 aperture, and a Zero-D design that promises "close to zero" distortion.
YouTuber Devin Graham recently got to do something very few of us will ever get to: he purchased and unboxed nearly a quarter million dollars worth of cinema lenses.
We're looking for a Software Development Engineer to join our Seattle-based team. Bring your creativity, passion and talent to help us build the next generation of our web and mobile experiences.
If you're on a budget and looking to get into Fujifilm's X-system, the X-A5 is likely on your radar. We've been out shooting with this updated entry-level camera.
A report from the National Endowment for the Arts shows that photography and photo-finishing services contributed $10.2 billion to the US economy in 2015.
According to unnamed sources, Google will acquire Lytro's technology and patents, with Lytro employees already having left the company.
Our review of the Sony a7 III is well underway and, as part of this, we're publishing our studio test scene. We'll be building out the review in the coming weeks as we test and shoot the camera in a series of situations.
The new ExaDrive offers a three times higher capacity than the previous largest SSD, a 30TB model by Samsung.
A pair of images show what may be the upcoming DJI Phantom 5 drone featuring an interchangeable lens camera. Update: Comparing this image to the size of previous DJI lens mounts, and noting the 3:2 aspect ratio of the sensor, we're confident the leaked image shows a 1"-type sensor
We were saddened to hear of the death last week of Chuck Westfall, a 35-year veteran of Canon USA, and a legend in the photography industry.
Nikon looks to be positioning its D850 as a serious video rig with today's announcement of its D850 Filmmaker's Kit. The kit includes the body, 20/35/85mm F1.8G lenses, an Atomos Ninja Flame external recorder, two microphones and an extra battery.
Photographers shopping around for Lightroom alternatives have likely encountered Alien Skin's Exposure X3. Here's an overview of its organization and editing controls, and how they differ from the competition.
Alien Skin has released a significant update for its Exposure X3 image editor, adding greater precision to adjustment tools and more printing capabilities, among other improvements.
The FAA has ordered helicopter pilots and operators to halt certain doors-off flights in the wake of a tragedy that killed five passengers.
Analysts TechInsights have torn down a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to have a closer look at the device's internal components and their cost.
Oppo's new high-end phones bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone X, with features like face unlock to a portrait lighting mode.
Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and as usual, we booked interviews with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Sigma.
At this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, we sat down with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Canon. Topics of conversation included Canon's ambitions for high-end mirrorless cameras, and the importance of responding to the demands of the smartphone generation.
We were recently able to follow local frame builder Max Kullaway as he created one of his AirLandSea bikes. Here are our picks of the photos we got, as the project progressed from bare tubes all the way to rideable bicycle.
On paper, the Sony a7 III is a tempting option for photographers who've been considering a switch to full-frame mirrorless. But how does its image quality stack up? We compare it to the Mark II and a few of its other peers.
Erez Marom shares the details behind this beautiful aurora photograph, captured on Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway, on a moonless evening.
Google Lens uses artificial intelligence and 'computer vision' to identify and provide information about businesses, landmarks and other objects using your phone's camera. And now it's available for iPhone users, too.