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PentaxK-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only)
 
4.9

(based on 199 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (182)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good image quality (174)
  • Image stabilization (151)
  • Large clear LCD (142)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (140)
  • Fast shutter speed (133)

Cons

  • Short battery life (18)
  • Noisy at high ISO (14)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (153)
  • Travel (124)
  • Wildlife (121)
  • Low light (114)
  • Family photos (112)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (96), Semi-pro photographer (55), Pro photographer (18), Casual photographer (8), Photography student (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (173), Yes (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Taking the road less traveled pays off

Pentax may be a relative unknown to digital-native photographers, but Ricoh has put out a product that has the potential to bring Pentax back to the competitive market.

The K-3...Read complete review

Pentax may be a relative unknown to digital-native photographers, but Ricoh has put out a product that has the potential to bring Pentax back to the competitive market.

The K-3 has all of the features you need as a photographer without any of the gimmickry that drive up the price. It's a camera that allows you to focus on taking great photos and not be distracted by the limitations of your gear.

I'm a photojournalist, an art photographer, and, occasionally, a wedding photographer. However, whatever type of photography you practice, the Pentax K-3 will deliver for you.

The K-3 build quality is superb. When you mount a WR Pentax lens on the K-3, you could shoot in virtually any condition without damaging your camera.

It's not just that it's build that makes the K-3 great. It's unmatched at this price range. The sensor and processor combo makes shooting high speed sports a breeze and, when equipped with Pentax Limited series lenses, allows unbelievable studio results and some large prints.

To be fair, the K-3 comes with a one minor flaw. When using autofocus, the camera tends to choose the middle point. However, the range of autofocus grouping selections allow this problem to be a minor inconvenience. Besides that one tendency, I have zero complaints about the K-3.

A quick caveat.

The K-3's ASP-C sensor is top-of-the-class. I would not recommend buying this camera unless you also plan to invest in limited series lenses. Look at the price of the K-3 as about half of your total purchase. If you're unable to spend that kind of money, I would recommend a K-30, K-50, or the now heavily discounted K-5.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

OK but with reservations

I've always loved Pentax but was disappointed here with the K-3. I process in Photoshop CC 2015 and all the images came out noisy. I contacted Pentax/Ricoh and was directed to use...Read complete review

I've always loved Pentax but was disappointed here with the K-3. I process in Photoshop CC 2015 and all the images came out noisy. I contacted Pentax/Ricoh and was directed to use the Digital Camera's software that came with the camera. There was a considerable difference (much less noise) but the time needed to adjust in their software and then open in PS CC 2015 and adjust again wasn't worth it for the final "Just OK" image. If you're not a pixel nut like me this is a good camera at a great price.

Reviewed by 199 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

K-3 pentax camera

By Jojo

from Hardy, va

Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

I bought my pentax k-3 camera and I am loving it. Great size to travel with and great pictures.

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5.0

Great new camera! K-3

By Carol

from Texas

Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

I finally bit the bullet and retired my 16 year year old Pentax 1st D. That was an awesome camera also, but this new K-3 is incredible! Been taking pics for the past week all day long and I can almost go 2 days without recharging the battery. I'm getting some great shots. Might be time to get a new tripod from B&H and retire my ancient one! Very happy with my choice. Great all the lens works too!

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4.0

More Megapixels

By Arizona

from Arizona

Verified Buyer

Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

My K-50 is a great camera but I wanted more megapixels so I bought the K-3. But if I had known that Pentax was going to come out with the K-70, I would have bought it instead. The K-3 is an OK camera but why can't Pentax include a USB cable with it? The K-3 is not as intuitive in its layout as the K-50. Everything is there but you have to search for it. I'll keep it but I wish it was a K-70.

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4.0

A Full Function DX Camera Body at a nice price

By Imagination4

from Illinois

Verified Buyer

Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

The Pentax K-3 is a very nice handling DSLR. I like the heft of the metal weather and dust sealed body. While being somewhat smaller in size than my prior non-Pentax DSLR, the K-3 actually has a better feeling grip and I prefer what it offers in terms of buttons instead of having to dig into the menus. about The image quality of the JPEGs is quite high up to 800-1000 ISO.

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5.0

Best BANG for the Buck!

By Lantern

from Houston

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
  • Fast Shutter Speed
  • Good Image Quality
  • Good Image Stabilization
  • High ISO Performance
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Quiet

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Family Photos
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Travel
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

    If you already have Pentax Optics, there are few choices that come close to this body.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Exemplary

    By Jonitron

    from Seattle, WA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
    • Good Image Quality
    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Large Clear LCD
    • Quiet

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Fine Art
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Portrait
      • Sports/Action
      • Studio
      • Weddings/Events
      • Wildlife photos

      Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

      The K-3 is an Amazing Machine. I have shot/do shoot with other cameras and the hands down winner is the K-3. For a lot of people these days, a full size DSLR is considered to be too big, but this Pentax is big enough to hold onto [and rather easily, I might add, due to excellent ergonomics] at the same time that it feels compact. While Loyalists in the Canon and Nikon camps, et al, decry the quality of the K-3's images, I have found in real practice that the colors are truer than most [this is the Only camera that seems to accurately render chartreuse, brown and gray] and the "unacceptable" noise levels at high ISO settings have been grossly over-exaggerated; I have shot images at ISO 8000 and while the noise evident is noticeable, it is quite comparable to the noise that other devices seem to produce at setting below half that number. The focusing is fast and accurate with very little "searching" in moderate lighting conditions and the PEF files are easy to work in Photoshop Lightroom, while the straight from camera JPEGS are quite usable when you are pressed for time; such as the final hours before a catalog deadline when you realize you have forgotten over a half-dozen important shots.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great camera

      By Mott

      from Utah

      Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

      I've been a Pentaxian since 1980. Owned the MX, Super Program, PZ1, istD, K10D, K5, and now, the K3. Best camera yet, fast quiet autofocus, great low light capability, love the SV mode for wildlife photography. Very similar to K5, so learning curve is fast and easy. Can't wait to get to Yellowstone to shoot with my 150-450 and 600 mm lenses.

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A serious piece of gem!

      By Ke

      from Canada

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Good Image Quality
      • Good Image Stabilization

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Wildlife photos

        Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

        I'm absolutely blown away by this camera as an amateur, and I'm passing on a comparison my dad did with Canon 5D Mark III and Pentax K-3.

        Legend says that Canon cameras are better at taking pictures of people, I didn't really understand why until my dad demonstrated me the differences. Both pictures used the same Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.7, same settings, on the same objects, at roughly the same distance and focus. One was taken by the 5DIII, the other K3.

        I received the pictures, but didn't quite get the real differences (aside from the different colour temperatures). Then dad told me to zoom in on them. I did, and I immediately understood why people say "Canon's better at taking pictures of people" - if you do it with this K3, for example (and mind you, the bloody 5DIII is over 3 grand, which is roughly 4 times the price of the K3), you'll end up capturing even the small and subtle wrinkles on the face of...say, your beautiful wife! :)

        Check the differences in the screenshot I took below:
        http://i.imgur.com/XeOV8oF.jpg

        While I'm at the 5DIII and vs. K3, I want to rant on one thing that, from my perspective, Canon failed miserably in general: usability. Pentax, like the majority of all user-friendly cameras, place their buttons and functions where you expect them to be by intuition, instead of making try-hard attempts at defining their own 'standards'. Thank you greatly for that.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes

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        5.0

        Pentax K3

        By Rev.

        from Washington, PA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
        • Fast Shutter Speed
        • Good Image Quality
        • Good Image Stabilization
        • High ISO Performance
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Quiet

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action
          • Travel
          • Wildlife photos

          Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

          Being a fan of Pentax I decided to move up from the K-01 and K 10D to the K3. Excellent camera to use in the short time I have had it.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

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          5.0

          Enthusiastic Pentax K-3 Review

          By Dave

          from Maryland

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fast Shutter Speed
          • Good Image Quality
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Large Clear LCD

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

            Compared to my Pentax K-50, the K-3 is a big step up. Layout and operation of the controls, the feel of the body, the larger battery, the sharper images, wider shutter speed range, it's all good!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Second review because of my second K-3

            By Old Marine

            from Wilmington, NC

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Good Image Quality
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • High ISO Performance
            • Large Clear LCD

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              I'm a sworn Nikon fan and bought this initially because Nikon has no concept of "rain." I missed some great shots from behind a waterfall up in the Smokies because I was not going to take my D800s into the heavy mist.

              The K-3 may not offer a full-frame sensor, but in every other regard it performs as well as my D800 and D800E. I simply purchased a second because even with a weatherproof camera and weatherproof lenses, you can't change lenses in the pouring rain!

              As Pentax releases more and more high quality prime lenses, I find myself reaching for this camera on other occasions beside rainy days. The only negative about the camera is that it will not recognize IR radiation. I own about two-dozen digital cameras and the K-3 is the only one that will not pass IR. That's not a big drawback for 99.9% of shots, and if I really want to head into IR, I can use one of my Nikons.

              This is a great camera!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Pentax supported excellent products

              By Pepe

              from Guatemala, Central America

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Long battery life
              • Tilt /Swivel LCD

              Cons

              • Poor video performance

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              I would only had wished a more accurate auto-focus and video performance. The image quality is very good, the performance is also good. I prefer this model to the new one K-3 II.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Purchased a second one.

              By Bob

              from Wisconsin

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              The K3 is a great camera for the money. I liked my K3 so well that I purchased a second one. The design is excellent with all the controls where you want them and it feels right in my hands. It has the Sony sensor and picture quality is excellent. Pentax, Sony, Canon, and Nikon all make great cameras with excellent image quality but the K3 will cost you much less for that quality. The seals provide better dust and water protection than the other cameras which is great for the outdoor photography that I do. If it would cost as much as a Canon or Nikon I would still buy the K3 but I don't mind paying less to get the same quality.Bob

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              5.0

              Great Product for the Price

              By Cyn

              from Fremont, CA

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality

              Cons

              • Short Battery Life

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              Great product for the price. Compatiable with all my Pentex lens.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

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              5.0

              Just what I expected

              By vinny

              from Marlboro, Ma

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Good Image Quality
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Quiet
              • Reat In Your Hands

              Cons

              • Short Battery Life
              • Slightly Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              Recieved my K3 on quoted delivery day. It is exactly what I expected and the first few shots look terrific. Very hapy with the dial layout and the ease of movement to different commands. IQ is great and AF is fast and quiet. Yes I would recommend this camera.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              K-3 THIS IS ONE WONDERFUL CAMERA

              By MRCDH

              from Scottsdale, AZ

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attractive Pricing
              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Service By Bh
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • High ISO Performance
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Quiet
              • Tilt /Swivel LCD

              Cons

              • None That Bother Me

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              I am a Pentaxian, before purchasing the K-3 I used the K10D and several Pentax film cameras. Initially I had to make a decision between the K-3 and the
              K-3II. I decided on the K-3 because the GPS capability is something I do not picture using to any great extent, while the pop-up flash is something I do use under select low light conditions; the pixel shift is another feature, which sounds nice but under specific conditions, and the side by side comparisons were not very compelling for the extra expense of the K-3II. Furthermore, the bundled offers with the K-3 were attractive that B&H offered (I received a battery grip at no extra charge, plus a 50mm 1.8 lens at a significant discount. Basically the differences between the K-3 and K-3II are insignificant from my perspective. What really amazed me were the enhanced capabilities of the K-3 over the K-10D that I had been using. The K-10D is a wonderful camera and I have taken breath taking pictures with it, but the K-3 is head and shoulders above the K-10D in performance capabilities (24MP, 8fps shutter speed, video, live view, two memory cards, 100-51,200 ISO vs 100-1600 ISO on the K-10D, plus many other useful additions and modifications). The K-3 is competitive with most Canon and Nikon products that are priced five times or more over what the K-3 is. I have only had the K-3 for two weeks and the results I am experiencing have convinced me that I have made a sound correct decision in purchasing this camera.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              I would buy this product again and again

              By romeo

              from Vancouver BC

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Good Image Quality
              • High ISO Performance
              • Quiet

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              best camera ever

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Kills the Game

              By strangeboy

              from Chicago, IL

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • High ISO Performance
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Quiet

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

              First, I'd like to address the "noise" complaints: The K3 does not have the conventional LPF (Low Pass Filter), which is common on 90% of DSLRs. This LPF plays a constant role in noise reduction and moire patterns in photographs. However, many photographers (myself included) regard the LPF as little more than a reduction in sharpness and image detail, and are happy to see it gone.

              For those who find their images a bit too grainy, the K3 features an "Anti Aliasing Filter" which can be toggled on/off in the settings menu.

              I prefer to make those adjustments, if necessary, in camera raw.

              Now... the K3 is an amazing piece of work. I won't repeat all of the other glowing reviews, except to say that I concur.

              My personal opinion is that the K3 images (grain, texture, color) resemble photographs I've come to love and made by Leicas. There is a depth and separation of hues that make my subjects step right out of the image.

              I know that Pentax/Ricoh is planning the release of their full-frame flagship late next year. If they want me to leave my K3 on the shelf, that camera will have to walk on water!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Step up from ist dl

              By Camera Lady

              from East Windsor, NJ

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • High ISO Performance

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Sports/Action
                • Travel
                • Wildlife photos

                Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

                Easy to use. Great response. Weight of camera a bit heavier but still lighter than other brands

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                It gets it done

                By ***

                from CT.

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Good Image Quality
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Weather sealed

                Cons

                • Noisy At High ISO

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Travel
                • Wildlife photos

                Comments about Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only):

                It can go out in the rain.I use it for scenics wildlife bugs flowers anything outside. high iso is ok for getting the shutter speed up for telephotos,not great for high speed low light.Night photos ok with tripod long exposure.You need to buy the lens for what you plan to shoot.I don.t do auto anything.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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