We found the K-3 one of the nicest cameras to use of the DSLRs we’ve reviewed in the past year in terms of general handling comfort. It was also one of the top imaging performers for still photography.
When Pentax announced the K-3 in October as the new flagship model in its line-up, it was met with considerable interest and acclaim, even before the initial reviews appeared. Not only was its 24-megapixel resolution the highest in the range; it also introduced an exciting technological innovation for preserving the high resolution of the sensor. Happily, the new camera retains the weather-resistant body of the previous flagship models, with 92 special seals to exclude dust and moisture.
The K-3 is available as a body only as well as in kit form with either the 18-55mm WR lens or the DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 WR zoom lens. We tested the camera with the DA 50mm f/1.8 SMC lens, which is reviewed separately.
Who’s it for?
The K-3 is designed for serious photographers who want a capable APS-C format camera with all the bells and whistles that modern DSLRs can offer in a body that is compact enough for travellers and affordably priced. Despite the inclusion of a point-and-press ‘green’ shooting mode, this is NOT a camera for snapshooters; there’s far too much technology packed inside that demands a sophisticated ‘driver’ to make the most of it.
When coupled with a weather-resistant lens, the K-3 becomes a take-anywhere camera that will suit outdoors shooters. Weatherproofing enables the camera to withstand being splashed by spray or a moderate shower of rain. It’s also resistant to dust. But it’s not submersible so don’t take it snorkelling.
In the current marketplace, where sales of DSLR cameras are declining, the K-3 provides a welcome combination of innovative technology, excellent performance and a competitive price tag. Photographers looking for a new camera body on which to base a system should start their search with this camera.
Although lacking the depth of lens choices provided by market leaders Canon and Nikon, Pentax has assembled a lens line-up that caters well for most shooting situations. And there are very capable lenses from third-party manufacturers that will fill any gaps without compromising imaging performance or the camera’s functionality.
We found the K-3 one of the nicest cameras to use of the DSLRs we’ve reviewed in the past year in terms of general handling comfort. It was also one of the top imaging performers for still photography. In terms of value for money, there isn’t a camera to match it when it comes to user-adjustable controls and functions; hence our Editor’s Choice nomination.
RRP: AU$1399; US$1300 (body only)
- Build: 8.9
- Ease of use: 8.8
- Autofocusing: 8.8
- Still image JPEG: 8.8
- Still image RAW: 9.0
- Video: 8.5