Pentax K-3

Released October, 2013
  • 24.1 MP
  • APS-C 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • 3.2" LCD
Filters now work in raw+JPEG and movie modes.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
9.4 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Pentax K-3

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Pentax K-3
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Pentax K-3
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Pentax K-3
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Pentax K-3
Reviews from,,, and 2 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Pentax K-3

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Pentax K-3

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Pentax K-3
1,216 ISO
Nikon D750
2,956 ISO
Nikon D610
2,925 ISO

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K-3
138 ms
Nikon D610
260 ms
Pentax K10D
254 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Pentax K-3
96 ms
47 ms
54 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Pentax K-3
900 ms
300 ms
Nikon D610
300 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K-3
8.3 fps
Pentax K10D
3 fps
5 fps

Battery life How many photos per battery charge (CIPA)

Pentax K-3
560 photos
Nikon D750
1,230 photos
K-5 IIs
980 photos

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Pentax K-3

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


Performance enhancements include a boost to 8.3fps continuous shooting with a usefully deeper raw buffer, which in ostensibly puts the K-3 ahead of its class.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
The new autofocus system unfortunately doesn't have any Live View optimizations, though Pentax says that five of the AF sensors are specifically for low light, and even the preproduction model was able to lock focus in some pretty dim conditions.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
For its latest top-of-the-line dSLR, the K-3, Pentax overhauls the K-5 II/IIs inside and out: it's got a new sensor, new body design, new AF system, new metering system, and improved performance.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)


Pentax also takes a leaf out of Nikon's and Canon's book, implementing a more granular, RGB metering system and using the data from the light meter to supplement the autofocus.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
Pentax brings its movie mode into parity with the rest of the world with 1080/30p and 720/60p options, along with a mic and headphone jack, and it now has peaking for manual focus.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
The new navigation buttons are cleverly designed for moving diagonally (as you'd want to do when selecting focus points), and I think I like Pentax's approach better than Nikon's or Canon's controls.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)


On other cameras, on the brief info screen you hit a button and then navigate around the screen, changing settings.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
These types of control screens are hard to parse when you're in a rush.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
For one, it's got a fixed rather than articulating LCD; oddly, Pentax is the one manufacturer that resists incorporating movable LCDs.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)

Image quality

I had a chance to spend some time with an early model that displayed some not-unexpected firmware wonkiness that prevent my reporting on image quality or performance, but it looks like a promising start with some interesting twists.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)
But sometimes you want the slight blurring effect of the OLPF, especially if you know moire will be a problem - and Pentax takes a novel approach to addressing that concern.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)


The lack of any Live View-optimized autofocus enhancements is a real drawback, though I find Pentax lenses are pretty slow movers anyway.
by c|net (Oct, 2013)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 24.1 MP
Resolution 6016 x 4000
Size APS-C
Area 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 15.2 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 51,200 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 100 ISO to 51,200 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
  3. DCF 2.0
Self cleaning sensor Yes

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 27
Cross type focus points 25
Supports continuous No


Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentaprism
Coverage 100%
Magnification 0.95x
Viewfinder size 0.62x


Max continuous shooting 8.3 fps
Battery life 560 photos
Continuous shooting 8.3 fps
Focus lag 138 ms
Shutter lag 96 ms
Startup delay 900 ms


Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps (MP4, MPEG-4)
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection
Autofocus supports continuous No


Type LCD
Size 3.2"
Resolution 1,037 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes


Min 30 s
Max 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 131 x 100 x 77 mm
Thickness 77 mm
Weight 800 g
Is weather sealed Yes


Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR Yes
WiFi None
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift
Report a correction


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