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Pentax K-3 (no lens included)
24-megapixel digital SLR camera body
From Pentax: K-3 DSLR Camera
Item # 815K3 | MFR # 15530
This item is no longer available.
Our take on the Pentax K-3 (no lens included) by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
Impressive performance and value from Pentax
The innovative Pentax K-3 offers impressive speed and picture-taking versatility. An image-quality winner
Not very often does a camera come along with the kind of features, performance, build quality, and value that the Pentax K-3 has to offer. This is one piece of gear that has "workhorse" written all over it. Not that it's built heavy, like a tank — in fact, you'll find it pleasantly streamlined and solid without being unnecessarily bulky. And to top things off, the image quality on this camera will knock you out. We mean it. It will hold its own against the best in the field and leave more than a few wanting when measured up against the competition.
In pursuit of maximum resolution
One of the ways the K-3 achieves such high image quality is through groundbreaking technology. Most DSLRs have what's called an "optical low-pass filter" (OLPF) or "anti-aliasing filter" that lives along the light path to the sensor. Its purpose is to eliminate moiré patterns and false colors — alternating light and dark bands that often show up in photos of subjects with repetitive patterns such as certain fabrics, brick walls, or cages at the zoo. But there's a tradeoff, because this process also affects the final sharpness and resolution of your image. Until now, you couldn't have it both ways on a single camera.
With the innovative K-3, you get to choose between maximum image resolution and superior moiré control with just the flip of a switch. That's because it's the world's first camera with a selectable anti-aliasing filter. Here's how it works. Using the same sensor-shift mechanism that provides optical image stabilization with every lens you use on the camera, the K-3's anti-aliasing simulator applies microscopic vibrations to the sensor at the sub-pixel level during exposure. This process generates the same level of moiré-reduction effect as an optical anti-aliasing filter, but can be turned off when not needed. This helps both still and video shooters who want the sharpest possible images yet need the benefits of having anti-aliasing available when shooting conditions call for it.
Well-equipped speed demon
For capturing extreme action and demanding high-performance shooting, the K-3 is hard to beat. This cam's continuous shooting mode records up to a blistering 8.3 frames per second, so you'll never miss a single important moment. Your shots will be crisply focused and properly exposed, too, thanks to Pentax's fast new SAFOX11 autofocus module, Real Time Scene Analysis System, and built-in Shake Reduction optical image stabilization. The K-3's bright, pentaprism optical viewfinder and generously sized 3.2" high-res LCD screen let you compose and review your shots with ease. And with dual memory card slots, you'll have plenty of space and options to store those images.
It'll move you too
Video hasn't been ignored either. The K-3 can shoot richly detailed HD video, up to 1080/60i. Not only that, you get the ability to switch from still image to video recording with the flip of a dedicated switch. A separate video record button lets you start and stop shooting with ease. Plus there's a headphone jack and an external stereo microphone input. You can even adjust the audio recording level manually and monitor sound levels during recording so you can capture better sound.
Back to the "workhorse" thing: this camera is truly a go-anywhere tool. With industry leading weather-seal construction, the K-3 is resistant to water, fog, snow, dust and sand. Adding to its rugged reliability is a durable magnesium alloy body surrounding a rock-solid stainless steel chassis. It's a secure feeling to know your investment can take care of itself when you're shooting in challenging situations like riding on "The Maid of the Mist" at Niagara Falls, or getting great shots of your family's water-skiers on vacation.
What's in the Box:
- K-3 digital camera body (black) with installed body cap
- D-LI90 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V 1860mAh 14Wh)
- D-BC90 battery charger (8.4V 400mA)
- 6' AC power cable (non-polarized C7 connector)
- Neck strap
- Viewfinder cap
- Ricoh S-SW140 Digital Camera Utility 5 software CD-ROM
- Operating Manual
- Notification of Change in Company Name
- Worldwide Service Network
- Serial number card
- Product Information Department contact sheet
- UL note (D-BC90)
- 24-megapixel effective recording
- APS-C CMOS image sensor (23.5 X 15.6 mm) for rich tonal gradation and true-to-life color
- fast continuous shooting up to 8.3 frames per second
- selectable anti-aliasing filter can be switched off for maximum sharpness or on to prevent moiré patterns from appearing in your images
- high-def, high-quality movie mode (up to 1920 x 1080 @ 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p) with dedicated movie/stills switch and record button
- high-res 3.2" LCD (1,037,000 dots) with 3:2 aspect ratio, live view, and brightness/saturation/color adjustment
- bright pentaprism optical viewfinder with interchangeable focusing screens, 0.95x magnification, and 100% coverage
- built-in sensor-shift Shake Reduction (SR) system stabilizes shots for sharper photos with any mounted Pentax lens
- fully weather sealed design resists rain, fog, snow, sand, and dust
- rugged magnesium alloy body with stainless steel chassis for durability
- PRIME III image processor for fast performance
- SAFOX11 27-point autofocus system with Real Time Scene Analysis for rapid, precise autofocusing and accurate exposures
- dual SD card slots assignable for mirror backup, overflow storage, or for storing JPEGs when shooting Raw+JPEG
- compatible with decades' worth of Pentax lenses
- built-in pop-up flash gives you light support when you need it
- hotshoe for external Pentax flash units
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- Pentax KA, KAF, KAF2, and KAF3 bayonet mount, (K mount, 35mm screwmount, 645/67 medium format lenses useable with adapter and/or restrictions)
Exposure Modes and Controls:
- continuous shooting mode: up to 8.3 frames per second (60 JPG, 23 RAW)
- shutter speed range: 30-1/8,000 seconds, bulb
- sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-51,200
- program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, shutter & aperture priority, sensitivity-priority, manual, and fully automatic exposure modes
- three user presets on mode dial
- exposure bracketing: 2, 3, or 5 frames (up to +/- 2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps)
- interval mode for time-lapse photography
- flash sync at 1/180 second
File Formats and Storage:
- image storage modes: RAW (PEF, DNG), JPG (EXIF 2.3), DCF 2.0 compliant
- still image aspect ratio: 3:2
- video: MOV (H.264/MPEG-4) up to 1920 x 1080 resolution at 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p
- dual SD card slots accept optional SD, high capacity SDHC, and SDXC memory cards, plus EyeFi and FLU cards
Connections and Dimensions:
- ultra high-speed USB 3.0 interface for fast file transfer
- mini HDMI output (cable not included)
- microphone and headphone ports with audio level control
- 5-3/16"W x 3-15/16"H x 3-1/8"D (without lens)
- weight (with battery): 28.2 oz.
- rechargeable D-Li90 lithium ion battery
- battery charger
- shoulder strap
- viewfinder cap
- software CD-ROM
Features and Specs
|LCD Screen Size||3.2"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||N/A|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6mm|
|Image Stabilization||Sensor Shift|
|Highest Resolution||6016 x 4000|
|Video Resolution||1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||28.22|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Pentax K-3 is a D-SLR camera with a rugged magnesium alloy and stainless steel body. It is fully weather-sealed to resist water, fog, snow, sand, and dust, to give you outstanding performance in the elements, as well as the studio. The camera will accept the many Pentax K-mount lenses available to give you a variety of shooting options. This K-3 package is a body-only kit--no lenses are included.
3.2" LCD Monitor: The camera features a large, bright 3.2" LCD monitor for viewing the camera settings, framing your shots with Live View, and playing back recorded still images and movies. The scratch-resistant LCD is designed without the air gap that is typically found between the LCD screen and screen cover. This gives you a brighter, sharper image. The monitor's 1,037,000-dot resolution gives you crystal clear images, and features approximately 100% field of view.
Viewfinder: In addition to the 3.2" LCD monitor, the K-3 has an optical, pentaprism viewfinder with 100% field of view. A diopter adjustment lets you focus the viewfinder to your personal eyesight, if needed. Interchangeable Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screens are available.
Electronic Level Display: When the camera is not level, a bar graph indicating the horizontal camera angle is displayed in the viewfinder and on the LCD panel. The level display can be turned on/off in the shooting menu.
Compatible Lenses: The K-3 has a KAF2 bayonet mount with an AF coupler and lens information contacts (a K-mount with power contacts). Lenses with KAF3, KAF2 (power zoom not compatible), KAF, and KA mounts can be used. These lenses include DA, DA L, D FA, and FA J lenses.
Image Sensor: The K-3 is equipped with a large, 24-megapixel APS-C sized (23.5 mm x 15.6 mm) CMOS image sensor, which delivers high resolution image quality with accurate colors and low noise. It has 24.71 million total pixels and 23.35 million effective pixels. The sensor features the DR II Dust Removal function that shakes the sensor with ultrasonic vibrations every time the camera is turned on and off.
Shake Reduction (SR): The K-3 is equipped with the Pentax Shake Reduction (SR) system with rotational compensation, which uses a magnetic force to move the image sensor at high speeds, compensating for camera shake. The Shake Reduction function allows you to take pictures at up to approximately 3.5 steps slower shutter speed without risk of camera shake.
Anti-Aliasing Filter: The Pentax K-3 is the first camera to offer a selectable anti-aliasing filter. The filter lets you toggle anti-aliasing functionality on and off for supreme resolution and zero limitations. It eliminates the need to choose between supreme resolution and superior moiré control.
Dual Media Slots: The K-3 is equipped with two SD memory card slots, which allows for greater memory card flexibility. You can separate JPEG and RAW images, or use the cards sequentially or simultaneously. The camera can record still images and movies onto SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards, including UHS-I-compatible cards. In addition, the K-3 is compatible with two types of wireless memory cards, Eye-Fi and Flucards, which allow you to transfer images to a computer or other devices via wireless LAN.
Still Image Formats: The K-3 can shoot JPEG still images in 4 sizes in 3:2 aspect ratio. You can set the image quality level (compression ratio) for each size to Best, Better, or Good. In addition, uncompressed RAW images can be recorded using the full output of the CMOS sensor. The RAW files are recorded in the DNG (Digital Negative) or PEF (Pentax Electronic File) format. RAW images must be "developed" and converted into JPEG files using the RAW Development function in the camera or using the provided Pentax Digital Camera Utility 5 software. When the camera is set to RAW+JPEG, images in both JPEG and RAW formats are captured. Image sizes include:
- Large 24M: 6016 x 4000 (JPEG and RAW)
- Medium 14M: 4608 x 3072
- Small 6M: 3072 x 2048
- X-Small 2M: 1920 x 1080
Movie Recording: High Definition movies can be recorded in the MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) format with monaural audio using the built-in microphone. Sound can be recorded in stereo with a compatible external microphone. You can choose from Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, or 24p, and HD (1280 x 720) at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, or 24p. The camera can also record still images at a set interval and create a time-lapse movie in the AVI (Motion JPEG) format.
SAFOX 11 Autofocus System: The K-3 is equipped with a newly designed, highly advanced and accurate 27-point SAFOX 11 autofocus system. It offers a wide EV focus range of -3EV to +18EV.
Focus Modes: You can set the focus mode switch to AF-S (auto focus-single), AF-C (auto focus-continuous), AF-A (auto-select auto focus), or MF (manual focus). In Auto Focus mode, the camera automatically focuses on the subject when the shutter release button is pressed halfway (AF-Single) or continuously focuses (AF-Continuous). The camera automatically switches between AF-S and AF-C depending upon the subject. In Manual Focus mode, you can adjust the focus by turning the focus ring on the lens.
AF Assist Light: In Auto Focus mode, when the subject is in a dark location, the AF Assist Light automatically turns on when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. You can turn off the AF Assist light, if desired.
AF Point: The focusing area (AF Point) can be varied, depending upon the subject. You can choose from the following modes:
- Auto (27 AF points): camera automatically selects the optimum AF points.
- Zone Select (9 AF points): camera selects optimum AF points out of the selected 9 AF points.
- Expanded Area: sets the focusing point to the user-selected AF point with peripheral points used as backup points in case the subject moves. Small: 8 peripheral points, Medium: 24 peripheral points, Large: 26 peripheral points.
- Spot: camera sets the focusing point to the center
Drive Modes: The K-3 offers several options for shooting single and multiple images at once. You can choose from the following Drive Modes:
- Single Frame: Photos are taken one at a time with each press of the shutter release button.
- Continuous: Multiple photos are taken while the shutter release button is pressed fully. At High Speed, up to 60 frames (or 23 RAW frames) can be taken at approximately 8.5 fps. At Medium Speed, about 100 frames (32 RAW) can be recorded at 4.5 fps. Up to 200 images (52 RAW) can be taken at Low Speed at approximately 3 fps.
- Self-Timer: A single photo is taken after approximately 12 seconds to allow the photographer to get into the picture. A 2-second self timer can be used to avoid camera shake when the shutter release button is pressed.
- Remote Control: Using the optional remote control, the shutter is released immediately after the shutter release button on the remote is pressed. A 3-second delay Remote Control setting is also available. You can also use the remote control for continuous shooting. Pentax offers the optional Remote Control F or Waterproof Remote Control O-RC1.
- Mirror Lock-up: If camera shake is evident even when the remote control or cable switch is used with a tripod, you can use the Mirror Lock-up function. This mode requires that you press the shutter release button twice: once to pop up the mirror, and again to take the picture. This mode can be used with or without the remote control.
- Exposure Bracketing: You can take consecutive images at different exposure levels when the shutter release button is pressed. You can set the number of shots taken to 2, 3, or 5. The selected images are saved with each release, at standard exposure, some underexposed, and some overexposed. You can set the order of the exposures as desired. The bracket value can be set at +/- 2EV at 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV intervals. Exposure Bracketing can be used with the remote control or the self-timer.
- Multi-Exposure: You can create a composite picture by merging multiple exposures into a single image. You can combine multiple exposure with continuous shooting, self-timer, and remote control.
- Interval Shooting: Interval shooting lets you take a series of still images at a set interval. You can select 2 to 2000 shots at intervals of 2 seconds to 24 hours between shots. The first picture can be taken immediately, or delayed until a specific time.
- Interval Composite: This allows you to take multiple images at a set interval and combine them into a single image.
- Interval Movie: You can take multiple images at a set interval and combine them into a single movie file.
Metering: You can select the portion of the image sensor to use for measuring brightness and determining exposure:
- Multi-segment: The sensor meters the brightness in multiple zones.
- Center-weighted: Metering is weighted at the center of the sensor.
- Spot: The brightness is measured only within a limited area at the center of the sensor.
Exposure Modes: The top-mounted Mode Dial lets you set the desired Exposure Mode. You can select from the following:
- User (U1 U2 U3): You can save up to three exposure settings and recall them when needed.
- (Green): Let's you capture images with fully automatic settings.
- Program Automatic Exposure (P): The camera automatically sets the shutter speed and aperture value to obtain a proper exposure.
- Sensitivity Priority (Sv): You set the sensitivity to suit the brightness of the subject. The shutter speed and aperture values are automatically set.
- Shutter Priority (Tv): Lets you set the desired shutter speed for expressing moving objects. The aperture value is automatically set to give the proper exposure.
- Aperture Priority (Av): Lets you set the desired aperture value for controlling depth of field. The shutter speed is automatically set to give the proper exposure.
- Shutter & Aperture Priority (TAv): You can set both the desired shutter speed and aperture to take the picture. The sensitivity is automatically set so the manually set shutter speed and aperture will give the proper exposure.
- Manual (M): After the shutter speed and aperture are automatically set for the proper exposure, you can change both settings to obtain the effect you desire.
- Bulb (B): The shutter remains open as long as the shutter release button is pressed. Use this setting for shooting night scenes and fireworks which require long exposures.
- Flash X-sync (X): The shutter speed is automatically set to 1/180 second. This setting is useful when using an external flash that does not automatically set the sync speed.
Custom Image Modes: The K-3 offers several Custom Image Modes to let you take photos with a slightly different style: Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, and Cross Processing.
EV Compensation: You can deliberately overexpose or underexpose a picture using EV Compensation. The compensation value can be set between -5 and +5 EV (-2 and +2 EV in Movie Mode). The step interval can be set at 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV intervals.
White Balance: White Balance is a function for adjusting the color of an image so that white objects appear white. You can choose Automatic White Balance (AWB), Multi Auto White Balance, or a preset White Balance depending upon the lighting source: Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light (4 types), Tungsten, Flash, CTE (Color Temperature Enhancement), or Manual. You can save three settings in the Manual and Color Temperature white balance modes.
ISO Sensitivity: You can set the sensitivity to suit the brightness of the surroundings. The sensitivity can be set to ISO AUTO or manually to ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600, and 51200. The range for Automatic Sensitivity Correction can be independently set on the lower and upper ends, and the parameters set to slow, standard, or fast.
Flash: The K-3 has a built-in pop-up flash for use in low-light situations. The camera also has a top-mounted hot shoe for attaching an optional external flash unit, such as the AF540FGZ, AF540FGZ II, AF360FGZ, AF340FGZ II, AF200FG, or AF160FC. There are several Flash Modes to choose from: Auto, Flash On, Redeye, Slow Sync, Slow Sync + Redeye, Trailing Curtain Sync, High-speed sync, Wireless, and Manual. You can also adjust the flash exposure compensation from -2 to 1 EV in 1/2 EV steps. For flash units with a sync cord, the K-3 offers an X-sync socket.
Magnifying Images: Single images can be magnified up to 16 times in playback mode. While the image is magnified, you can use the 4-way controller to move around in the magnified area.
Thumbnail: You can display multiple thumbnail images on the LCD monitor. You can choose the number of images to be displayed in the monitor: 6, 12, 20, 35, or 80. Images can also be displayed by folder or in a calendar filmstrip.
Image Editing: The Playback Mode Palette lets you perform playback and editing functions on recorded images and movies. Some of the functions include:
- Image Rotation: When pictures are taken vertically, the vertical position sensor activates and rotation information is added to the image to enable playback with the correct image orientation. You can set the desired rotation direction in the menu.
- Digital Filter: You can edit images using the following digital filters: Base Parameter Adjustments (Brightness, Saturation, Hue, Contrast, Sharpness), Extract Color, Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Shading, Invert Color, Unicolor Bold, Bold Monochrome, Tone Expansion, Sketch, Water Color, Pastel, Posterization, Miniature, Soft, Starburst, Fish-eye, and Slim.
- Color Moiré Correction: This feature allows you to correct color moiré. Only JPEG images recorded with this camera can be corrected.
- Resize: Change the number of recorded pixels and quality level and save it as a new image.
- Cropping: Cuts out only the desired area of the selected image and saves it as a new image. Cropping can also change the aspect ratio from 3:2 to 4:3, 16:9 or 1:1, and rotate the image from -45° to +45° in increments of 1°.
- Index: Allows you to join multiple images together and display them as an index print. You can also save the displayed index print as a new image.
- Protect: You can protect images from being deleted.
- Slideshow: Play back still images one at a time in slide show fashion. You can adjust the interval (3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, or 30 sec) and the screen effects (fade, wipe, stripe, no effect).
- Save as Manual WB: Allows you to copy the white balance setting of a captured image and save it as Manual WB.
- Save Cross Processing: Saves the settings used for an image captured in Cross Processing mode as Manual WB.
- RAW Development: Converts captured RAW files into JPEG or TIFF files.
- Movie Editing: Movies can be divided and unwanted segments can be deleted.
- Image Copy: Copies an image from one SD card to another.
- Eye-Fi Image Transfer: You can transfer selected images wirelessly using an optional Eye-Fi card.
Micro HDMI: The K-3 has a Micro-HDMI (Type D) output for connecting the camera to an HDTV. A Micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is required (sold separately). You can set the HDMI output resolution to 1080i, 720p, 480p (NTSC), 576p (PAL), or Auto, corresponding to the maximum resolution of the AV device.
USB 3.0/2.0: The K-3 has a combination Micro-B USB port that is compatible with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 cables. If you have a cable with a USB 3.0 Type B connector and the connected computer or device supports USB 3.0, the data transfer speed is faster. The port also fits a standard Micro-B USB 2.0 connector.
Microphone: The camera has a built-in monaural microphone. There is also a 3.5mm minijack input for an external stereo microphone.
Headphone Output: The camera has a 3.5mm headphone output for monitoring the audio while recording or playing back movies.
X-Sync Socket: The K-3 has an X-sync socket for plugging in an external flash unit with a sync cord. The socket, located on the left side of the body, is covered by a threaded cap.
Cable Release: A 2.5mm sub-minijack is provided for the optional CS-205 Cable Switch for operating the camera shutter release button.
DC Input: The K-3 has a DC input for use with the optional K-AC132 AC adapter kit, which includes the D-AC120 AC adapter and an AC power cord. When using the monitor for a long time, or connecting the camera to a computer or AV device, it is recommended to operate the camera on AC power. The battery in the camera will not charge when connected to the AC adapter.
Lithium-Ion Battery: The Pentax K-3 is powered by the D-LI90 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V / 1860mAh / 14Wh). The battery charges in approximately 6.5 hours using the supplied D-BC90 battery charger. An optional AC adapter kit (K-AC132) is available from the manufacturer for connecting the camera to household current, if desired. The image storage capacity with a fully charged battery is as follows:
|Battery||Normal Shooting||Flash Photography||Playback Time|
|50% Use||100% Use|
|D-LI90||720 images||560 images||460 images||370 minutes|
Battery Grip: On the bottom of the camera is a set of contacts that allow you to use the optional BG5 battery grip. The battery grip can accommodate an additional D-LI90 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, or six AA lithium/Ni-MH/alkaline batteries. The battery grip has a shutter release button, dual electronic dials, and AE-L button for shooting vertically.
PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 5: The K-3 comes with PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 5 software on CD-ROM. With the software, you can manage images saved on your computer, and develop RAW files, adjust the color of the images and other settings, and save the new images in JPEG or TIFF format.
Compatible Operating Systems: The PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 5 software is compatible with the following operating systems:
- Windows 8 (32-bit/64-bit)
- Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit)
- Windows Vista (32-bit/64-bit)
- Windows XP (32-bit)
- Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8
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1 question already asked
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: Autofocus is indeed available in movie mode on the Pentax A-3. SAFOX 11 Autofocus System: The K-3 is equipped with a newly designed, highly advanced and accurate 27-point SAFOX 11 autofocus system. It offers a wide EV focus range of -3EV to +18EV. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy Mar 18, 2014 ] Staff