A new addition to the Pentax range of DSLRs: The Pentax K-3

Late last night, Ricoh announced the launch of a new Digital SLR to add to its line-up of Pentax Digital SLRs with the K-3. The K-3 will be Pentax’s flagship Digital SLR with a whole range of new features available. Similar to other Pentax Digital SLRs in the range such as the K-50 and the K-5 II, the K-3 is also water resistant. We’ve been lucky enough to see a pre-production model of the K-3 here at Park Cameras. Please read on for the main benefits that this new DSLR bring.

The K-3 is equipped with a new APS-C sized CMOS sensor with 24 effective megapixels. Pentax have put this sensor together with a newly developed PRIME III imaging engine which deals with noise reduction and improves the imaging procession capabilities. If you’re looking to shoot in low light conditions, you’ll find the ISO range is the same as can be found in the K-5 II, ranging from 100-51,200.

In past cameras, moiré (a digital pattern appearing in your image) has been a problem. Pentax have worked hardtop reduce this effect by developing a new anti-aliasing simulator. This is instead of an anti-aliasing filter, and allows you adjust the level of the effect, or indeed turn it on or off as you please. The simulator works by applying microscopic vibrations of the CMOS sensor at subpixel level during image exposure. This generates the same level of moiré-reduction effect as an optical anti-aliasing filter, but gives you additional flexibility so that you can set up the ideal effect for your particular shot.

Like other Pentax DSLRs in their current range, the K-3 features in body shake reduction which will work with any Pentax lens. However, Pentax have made improvements in this area from previous models by adding in a dedicated servo controller and an increase in the magnetic force that operates the shake reduction, meaning that it should be even more stable than has been seen previously.

When picking up the K-3, it instantly feels sturdy and ‘solid’ in your hands, yet not to heavy that you couldn’t carry it hanging round your neck or off your arm. This is no surprise when you find out that the exterior casing is made from magnesium alloy – a common construction in a range of DSLRs. What sets the K-3 apart from other DSLRs around this kind of level is the fact that they’ve included 92 dust / water resistant seals. For those familiar with Pentax DSLRs, you’ll know that they’ve done this for some time (with the K-5 II including 77 special seals). The camera will also work in up temperatures down to -10oC. What’s different with the K-3 is that Pentax have now made the inner workings of the camera more rugged aswell, with a new shutter unit that can handle up to 200,000 shutter releases.

If continuous shooting is an important feature, the K-3 is capable of recording at up to 8.3 frames per second, capturing 22 RAW images or 60 JPEG images. Again, this is an improvement in comparison to their K-5 II, and has been made possible through the use of several innovative technologies, including a high-speed, high-accuracy control mechanism that regulates the shutter, mirror and diaphragm independently. It’s not just shooting images that you’ll find the K-3 can do quickly, but transferring images is also fast, as it features USB 3.0, although it will of course work with USB 2.0.

The K-3 has a couple of other smaller benefits, one of which is a dual SD card for added flexibility. In addition to this, you’ll find the K-3 supports the FLU SD cards (an optional extra) which, once inserted in the camera, will allow you to operate the camera via your smartphone.

We’re expecting the Pentax K-3 to arrive in stock early/mid November 2013. If you’re keen to see the K-3 before this, we’re going to be lucky enough to have a model for you to take a look at in our showroom in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, on Saturday 12th October! In addition to this, we’ve still got a limited number of spaces on our ‘The Art of Street Photography’ course with the editor of Amateur Photographer magazine, Damien Demolder. Visit www.ParkCameras.com/Events.

For further details on the K-3 and to place a pre-order, visit www.ParkCameras.com.

Ricoh have also announced a limited edition version of the K-3 with the ‘Premium Silver Kit’. This is limited to 2,000 cameras around the world and, as the name suggests, it has a silver body and a silver gip (therefore matching the Pentax Limited-series range of lenses). The K-3 Premium Silver Kit has identical specifications to the standard version, but will include a exclusive leather strap and a spare battery.

Andy Steel
Park Cameras

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