Test: Pentax K-3 – Now It’s for Real

Pentax is one of the companies that always chose to go their own way with their cameras. With its latest top model K-3, they have become a serious alternative for all who do not require the full format.

When you read reviews of Pentax cameras, it’s not at all unusual that they described as a small manufacturer that focuses on weather sealed and some special features. It is absolutely correct. But with the new Pentax K-3, they have much more to offer than just a weather sealed camera with reasonably high resolution.

New and old

The stuff that makes you recognize from previous Pentaxkameror is the size, weather sealing and menu systems. One of the new things that are relatively unimportant but still visible on the camera is the fact that it is now the new owner behind the Pentax. In the screen where it previously stood Pentax is now Ricoh. But it is also the only one that can be seen on the camera when it comes to ownership.

Otherwise, the main change is, purely pictorial, so clearly the new sensor. It provides an increase of 8 Megapixels from the past. The 24.1 million pixels that sit in camera now makes the image files any larger but also provides greater detail and provides greater opportunities for some magnifications.

Knapplayouten is altered then K-5 II, spontaneously feels the new layout more professional and well thought out. Not that the old one was bad, but this is clearly a boost. For the interested, there has also emerged a headphone jack that makes it much easier to control the sound during recording.

A feature that we pressed on when the camera was launched was that the sensor had no low-pass filter. Instead, the image stabilizer can be used to simulate the low-pass filter if you are experiencing problems with moire. One of the innovative ideas that are a little bit special with the Pentax. The dual memory card slots are also new in K-3.

As I mentioned earlier, the keypad changes in K-3, there have been a few buttons and some have been second or multiple functions. Among other things, the AF button moved from its slightly more central position on the back to be on the top edge where it is much better for the thumb. Soptunneknappen previously only used to throw images now also works to select the metering mode.

This in turn has made the lever under the control dial used previously for this task are used to select if you want to program the steering wheel must be unlocked with the key in the middle of it, as the K-5 / K-5 II, or be unlocked throughout time. On the mode dial also has location for filming has been removed, there are selected nowadays via a small lever on the back instead.

To choose the autofocus function uses the new button on the front of the camera and the scroll wheel. Where you select how fast the camera to focus, and if you want to choose focus points, and how many you use. Another of the new button is a button that controls whether to use the four-way keys to move the focus point or to adjust the white balance, continuous shooting, color filters or flash controls.

On the whole, make these changes in the layout of the camera feels more professional than previous models. The buttons are a bit more intuitive and it feels as if it meant a little extra before giving them their functions.

The sensor is new to Pentax. They have previously not had an aps-c camera with that high resolution. Something that I sometimes think has honored them. For most people, it is not necessary with higher resolution is 16 megapixels as K-5 II had, and it should probably be said that I was a little skeptical when many aps-c cameras began to tip up over 20 megapixels in resolution.

But most, and K-3 with them, manages it splendidly. Now, instead of some possible het enlargements and greater detail in the images. The sensor and processor Prime III brings together the ability to go up to 51200, no news there. However, it has been possible to push up series shooting to 8.3 pictures per second. If you are not photographing fast sports as the only employment far enough.

Image stabilization has been hanging out with Pentax for a long time now, but in K-3, it has found a new use for it. Many cameras have begun to be launched without low-pass filter recently. Manufacturers have refined the software so much that there is no need for a sash suppressant filter to handle the moire. In the K-3 is not a low-pass filter, if needed, on the other hand, have come to use the image stabilizer to simulate a low-pass filter. By vibrating the sensor very little during the exposure achieves the same thing as a low-pass filter. The function has two steps, and can of course be banned. Most of the pictures I took during the test I have taken with the simulation turned off and I have not discovered any problems with moire, it seems to require quite provocative motifs to create moire.

K-3 also received a new af operation that has more points than in the past. It has admitted that it now has a slightly more advanced af menu than in the past. Among other things, you can choose a focus point and then have a group other points which back-up if the subject might move. The size of the group can be varied in three different sizes. The function actually works okay as long as the subject is moving too fast.

The white balance setting has also got a new feature, the camera should be able to adjust the white balance correctly although the picture has light sources with different color temperatures.

K-3 is a full 40 ounces heavier than its predecessor, the K-5 II. No major change, therefore, the grip is quite similar to, and apart from the new buttons, the camera is in line with the earlier pure design. The size is very handy, ensures efficiency and size of for example. Canon or Nikon, you get far more cameras per cubic centimeter with Pentax.

The agility and weight makes it easy to get everywhere and the weather seal and sturdy construction means that you are not afraid to pick up the pig out of the weather. During the test period followed with on ski tours on the mountain, tour skating, and any facing mountain in the rainy mud to winter weather. And it seemed like it was in its element.

One interesting thing is that the Pentax K-3 is a very quiet camera, apart from the auto focus that can hiss a bit despite the ultrasonic motor. But the shutter is very quiet. Compare it with for example Nikon D610 with a silent mode, so is K-3 significantly quieter. Not even at series Imaging lets it all that much. Perhaps this is a small detail, but for those who need a quiet camera to photograph without disturbing it might be interesting.

If you want to break up still image photographing with moving pictures, the conditions got better with K-3. Partly because we now have input for both mic and h rlurar which allows one to check the sound much better than before. You can also use several different exposure programs for video mode, so it is now possible to control the appearance of their video even more than before.

Pentax has also changed the format for movie files. Previously it was .avi which applied, but in K-3 saved films instead as h.264, which means that the files take up less space. In K-3, Pentax has also stopped another location for filming, i.e. 60 frames per second that can be used in 720 p.

Image quality

Pentax press up the sensor to the higher ISOs than what anyone else is doing with the same sensor (previously both Nikon and Sony used the same sensor as the Pentax had in their cameras), and it makes so clear that the result at max iso is right noisy. May not be useful if you are going to make a great print, but in situations where a very noisy picture is better than no picture at all, it is of course nice to it yesterday. The image quality of the K-3 is virtually identical to the D7100 which basically have the same sensor.

It is a really good score but Pentax has even managed a little better than the Nikon then bandage that occurs at high iso in Nikon D7100 don’t occur similarly in K-3.

Comparing image quality of video not much differ from predecessors K-5 II. This means that the video quality looks good, not exceptional in any direction, but it ends up in the middle of the results list. This applies to 25 p and 30 p modes, choosing to instead go up to 60 p, which does not exist in the K-5 II, drops, unfortunately, some in quality. In 60 p mode will be the video quality is not so sharp.


If you do not need a full-frame sensor this is the Pentax K-3 is a really good option for the more serious photographer. The features and quality you get for this price is sharp. With the new video capabilities, it is also an alternative for those who like to shoot with his camera.

For the outdoor is a cleanly choice due to its flexibility and adaptation for use in harsh environments. But even for gatufotografen, it is a convenient option in conjunction with any of the Pentax’s pancake lens.Pang-for-pengenfaktorn is high in Pentax K-3.