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General Description

Like its predecessors, the K-7, K-5, and K-5 II(s), the K-3's body has a steel chassis, a mangesium-alloy shell, and many (92) seels to keep out dust and moisture.

Inside, the K-3 is almost all new. It wins over by many, many improved features: The resolution of the sensor is increased from 16 to 24 Megapixels. Like the K-5 IIs, the K-3 has no built-in anti-aliasing filter. However, it is the first camera that can simulate one by letting the image sensor vibrate at a frequency of 500 Hz, thus avoiding sampling artifacts (moire effects).

Like the K-5 II(s), the K-3 has an air-gap-free LCD monitor for better visibility under brightly-lit conditions. However, the diagonal is increased from 3" to 3.2", the resolution from 921,000 dots to 1.037.000. Likewise, the magnification of the pentaprism 100% viewfinder is increased from 0.92x to 0.95x.

The K-3 features a new SAFOX 11 AF module with 27 AF sensors (25 cross sensors). This gives more precise control where to put the focus as the area covered by each sensor is considerably smaller than with the preceeding 11-sensor SAFOX modules. The center sensor and the two sensors above and below it are able to detect the luminance flux of F2.8 lenses. This improves the focusing accuracy with fast lenses. The AF module incorporates a diffractive lens and a light-source sensor to further improve focusing accuracy, especially under low and/or artificial light.

The K-3 ist the first Pentax to feature a 86,000-pixel RGB light-metering sensor - wehreas the K-5 / K-5 II(s) had a 77-field light metering sensor, only. The maximum frame reate is increased from 7 to 8.3 frames per second. At this rate one can shoot 60 images in JPEG format or 23 in RAW format. To keep camera-made vibrations low, the K3 has a new damper mechanism that minimizes the shock caused by the mirror.

For videographers, the K-3 offers a sockets for connecting an external stereo microphone as well as headphones. HD, full HD and 4k video recordings are possible.

The K-3 is the first Pentax DSLR offering a dual SD/SDHC card slot for two SD/SDHC card. Also, the K-3 is the first Pentax DSLR that can be controlled via SmartPhone with the help of a special dedicated PENTAX "FLU Card" that is to be inserted into one SD card slot.

The Pentax K-3 "Premium Silver Edition" was introduced at the same time as the standard black K-3. Only 2000 pieces were made. They were sold together with a sliver D-BG5 battery grip, a dedicated leather camera strap, and a spare battery.

Product Variations
Exact NameK-3K-3
Years of Production2013 ~ still in production2013 ~ still in production
Catalog Number15529unknown
Sold with Case

Technical Specifications

Lens Mount"crippled" KAF2
Mount Limitationsdigital A aperture or metered manual only
AF System (sensitivity)SAFOX X, 27 sensors, 25 cross-sensors, f2.8 sensor (-3 ~ 18 EV)
AF with supersonic lensesyes
Power-Zoom Featuresauto-lens retract, power zoom
Self-Timer12 / 2 sec
Mirror Lock-Up
Cable ReleaseCS-205
Infra-Red Releaseremote control F
Custom Functions27
Additional Featuresweather sealed, DOF preview, mirror lock-up
Width x Height x Depth131.5 x 100 x 77.5 mm
Weight715 g
Image Sensor
Effective Pixel Count24 megapixel
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size15.6 x 23.5 mm
Focal-Length Multiplication Factor1.53 x
Image Storage
Data-Storage FormatsRAW (DNG, PEF), RAW + JPG, JPG
Storage MediaSecure Digital (SD and SDHC)
Digital Features
Shake Reductionyes
Dust Removalyes
Live Viewyes
Orientation Sensoryes
Exposure System
Exposure ModesAv, HyM, HyP, P, Pgreen, Sv, TAv, Tv
Metering Modes with K and M Lensescenter-weighted, spot
Metering Modes with A and newer Lenses77-segment, center-weighted, spot
Meter MaterialSPD
Exposure Compensation (Step)+/-5 (1/2 or 1/3 EV steps)
Exposure Lockyes
Meter Range0 ~ 22 EV
ISO Range80 ~ 51200 ASA
Constructionelectronic (vertical)
Shutter Speeds30 ~ 1/8000, B
Mechanical Speeds
Magnification [Coverage]0.95x [100%]
Aperture IndicationLED
Shutter-Speed IndicationLED
Interchangeable Screensyes
Power Source
Batteries1 x Lithium-Ion D-LI90 rechargeable
ExternalBattery Grip D-BG5
Continuous Shooting
Continuous Shooting8.3 frames per second
Flash System
Command Protocol(s)
FeaturesHS, P-TTL
Synchronization Speed(s)1/180 ~ 30, B
Built-In Flash
Guide Number (GN)13
Coverage (35mm equivalent)28
Auto Pop-Upyes
Red-Eye Reductionyes
AF Assistyes
Fitting Case(s)unknown