REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PentaxK-3 DSLR Camera (Body Only)
 
4.9

(based on 191 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (176)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good image quality (171)
  • Image stabilization (148)
  • Large clear LCD (140)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (138)
  • Fast shutter speed (132)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (150)
  • Travel (122)
  • Wildlife (119)
  • Low light (113)
  • Family photos (111)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (95), Semi-pro photographer (54), Pro photographer (18), Casual photographer (7), Photography student (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (171), Yes (5)

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 191 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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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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      (1 of 1 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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        (2 of 2 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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        (1 of 1 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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        (4 of 4 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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          5.0

          Love this camera

          By IR

          from Long Island NY

          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

          • Not Found Any Cons Yet

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action

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

          Wonderful replacement for my Pentax istD. In between the More expensive K3 ll and the lower level K50, it is a greatroduct for its price. It still has the built in flash, which is a plus for me, but allows for more personal adjustments if/ when needed. It's shutter speed is amazing since I am coming from an istD. I don't have need for the swivel LED and frankly thought it might be something that could break. and my lenses all work.
          Love it! The right choice for my and it is affordable.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

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          5.0

          Love this camera

          By Meg

          from Galax, Va

          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

          • Noisy At High ISO
          • Short Battery Life

          Best Uses

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

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

          I've had this camera for a week and a half, and I love it. I've used it to take a few portraits, and it performed great in several different lighting conditions. Easy to use, good image quality. I love the fact that it is weather resistant.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          K-3 DSR great APS_C

          By Geoterry

          from Grants Pass, OR

          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
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel
            • Video
            • Wildlife photos

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

            I use the K-3 camera to do wildlife, scenic and family photos. It has worked well in all weather and lighting conditions. So, well this is my second back-up seconsK-3 purchase. My wife and drove across Canada and retuned via the Badlands where we encoutered a lighting and tunderstorm and Yellowstone National Parks where photographed elk and bison during the fall runting season.

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            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Best Pentax Yet, But...

            By BFS Man

            from Webster, TX

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Good Image Quality
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Quiet
            • Weather sealing

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

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

              I took this on a trip to Big Bend National Park recently and shot around 300 or so images. I mostly used the Pentax DA 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 lens with the DC motor. There were times when the camera refused to focus, but I generally fixed it by turning the camera off and back on. I don't know if this is going to be a lasting problem, but I will be very annoyed if it is. I have not seen the problem with other lenses, but I haven't used them as much.

              When the camera nails the focus, the images are pretty sweet. With 27 focus points and only two of them non cross-type, focusing is the best yet for Pentax. However, those focus points do not cover any more of the sensor than the 11 points on my K-30, though, so Pentax still has some work to do to catch up with my Nikon D300. I like that the K-3's native ISO goes down to 100, and it seems to handle digital noise pretty well. Shake reduction seems to be a good bit better than my K-30. Though heavy, the camera is physically small, which means it has a small battery, and that means a shorter battery life than competing cameras. I bought the BG-5 battery grip, and that helps a lot.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Pentax Enthusiast

              By Angelo Mejia

              from Tacoma, WA

              About Me Photography Student

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Noisy At High ISO

              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 use the K-3 for many things bu definitely for portraits. I love this camera and it is very user friendly. I recommend it for any types of photography you plan on doing.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Great camera!

              By Upstate Photographer

              from Ithaca, NY

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Image Quality
              • High ISO Performance
              • Quiet

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Product Photography

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

                Very high image quality, FLU card works reasonably well. This is the camera that Pentax needed make.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Why did I wait so long?

                By Ohio Angie

                from Ohio

                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
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events
                  • Wildlife photos

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

                  Loyal Pentax user for over 30 years. First camera was a K1000 35mm fully manual film camera. Upgraded from a K10 digital and I am in heaven. Love that my lenses remain interchangeable. Absolutely love,the TAv setting which is unique to Pentax. Eat your heart out Nikon and Canon. For the price, this camera is a TKO in every category. I have already taken some impressive wildlife shots and portraits too. Battery life is decent and while I'm not a fan of the proprietary battery (Other models use AA), so far I have been pleased. If you get the battery grip, there is a AA optional insert.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Noise, noise, noise

                  By Magic Marker

                  from Hobe Sound, FL

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization

                  Cons

                  • Noise Ant Any Iso

                  Best Uses

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

                    I have always loved Pentax (film cameras) and decided to try the K-# DSLR. While the camera was smaller than I imagined, the images were sharp, but the noise, no matter what I tried was not good. I spoke to a tech rep at Pentax and he suggested just shooting jpeg--I always shoot RAW for ease of PP--the jpegs were better in the noise department but left a lot to be desired in post processing. It's an "OK" camera but certainly not stellar. I returned it.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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