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 – whereas 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.

The PENTAX K-3 Prestige Edition was introduced in 2014. Limited to 2,000 units worldwide, the Prestige Edition boasts a camera body and battery grip finished in a high-grade gunmetal gray coating to match both the black and silver interchangeable K-mount lenses. The PENTAX K-3 was awarded the TIPA Best Digital SLR Expert award in 2014.  This win is recognised by the specially designed faux leather camera strap, included as a standard accessory – and embossed with ‘2014 TIPA BEST DIGITAL SLR EXPERT’ and the PENTAX K-3 logo.  The PENTAX K-3 Prestige Edition is available in an exclusively designed presentation box.

Product Variations
Exact Name K-3 K-3 K-3
Color black silver-black gunmetal-gray
Year of Introduction 2013 2013 2014
Catalog Number 15529 15562  15574
Sold with Case

Technical Specifications

Lens Mount “crippled” KAF2
Mount Limitations digital 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 lenses yes
Power-Zoom Features auto-lens retract, power zoom
Self-Timer 12 / 2 sec
Mirror Lock-Up
Cable Release CS-205
Infra-Red Release remote control F
Custom Functions 27
Additional Features weather sealed, DOF preview, mirror lock-up
Width x Height x Depth 131.5 x 100 x 77.5 mm
Weight 715 g
Image Sensor
Effective Pixel Count 24 megapixel
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.5 mm
Focal-Length Multiplication Factor 1.53 x
Image Storage
Data-Storage Formats RAW (DNG, PEF), RAW + JPG, JPG
Storage Media Secure Digital (SD and SDHC)
Digital Features
Shake Reduction yes
Dust Removal yes
Live View yes
Orientation Sensor yes
Exposure System
Exposure Modes Av, HyM, HyP, P, Pgreen, Sv, TAv, Tv
Metering Modes with K and M Lenses center-weighted, spot
Metering Modes with A and newer Lenses 77-segment, center-weighted, spot
Meter Material SPD
Exposure Compensation (Step) +/-5 (1/2 or 1/3 EV steps)
Exposure Lock yes
Meter Range 0 ~ 22 EV
ISO Range 80 ~ 51200 ASA
Construction electronic (vertical)
Material metal
Shutter Speeds 30 ~ 1/8000, B
Mechanical Speeds
Magnification [Coverage] 0.95x [100%]
Aperture Indication LED
Shutter-Speed Indication LED
Interchangeable Screens yes
Power Source
Batteries 1 x Lithium-Ion D-LI90 rechargeable
External Battery Grip D-BG5
Continuous Shooting
Continuous Shooting 8.3 frames per second
Flash System
Command Protocol(s)
Features HS, P-TTL
Synchronization Speed(s) 1/180 ~ 30, B
Built-In Flash
Guide Number (GN) 13
Coverage (35mm equivalent) 28
Auto Pop-Up yes
Red-Eye Reduction yes
AF Assist yes
Fitting Case(s) unknown