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

(based on 206 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (188)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 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 206 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

Great camera!

By Cesar Paulo

from Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

Verified Buyer

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

This camera is what I expected. No regrets on anything. It is very ergonomic, good dimensions, strong, reliable, and the WR bring me confidence to use it all the time and places without worries about the weather.

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5.0

The best decision... ever...!!

By Sam

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

I was apprehensive to move from Canon - but the price and the build quality as described in the reviews made a compelling argument. I did switch over and is blown away with every aspect of this camera. Build quality to image quality. I currently pair it with the Pentax HD DA 16-85 and it is going to stay that way for a very long time. I am already planning for another Pentax body.

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5.0

Geart camera

By duynn

from Vietnam

Verified Buyer

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

Great camera, grear service but the price you included transportation fee is not good because buyer have to pay tax for transportation.

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5.0

Yes, I would buy this product again

By Goliath

from Canada

Verified Buyer

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

I am a faithful of the Pentax brand. Before buying the K3 I had a K5. K3 is a great device that I love. Exceptional images.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Pentax K-3 body only

By G. Nath

from Olympia, WA

Verified Buyer

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

I had a K-5 in excellent condition until the morning of 21 August, 2016. I arrived in NYC for a vacation on the evening of 20 August and took some night pictures of Times Square with K-5 at ISO 1600-3200. Next morning I went to B&H and traded in the K-5 for a new K-3. I also played with the new K-70 and had a tough time deciding which one to upgrade, K-70 or K-3. Eventually I settled on K-3.

Why did I upgrade to K-3? Well, I was not 100% liking the pictures taken by my HD 16-85mm on K-5. Now with K-3, the pictures from HD 16-85mm are crispier and the focus seems to be better. The dual card slots proved very useful during my NYC travel. The K-3 video is improved too over K-5.

The Pentax gear I have is in addition to my Canon gear (also bought from B&H). So I was not in a dire need to upgrade, but I wanted better resolution, better video and quicker focus and some other refinements than K-5 was capable of. I am now happier with my K-3.

The K-3 came in with firmware version 1.11 and I upgraded to version 1.21 soon. BTW, While in NYC, trading in K-5 at B&H and trying K-3 and K-70 side by side was handy for me and made the decision process easier. Overall K-3 is an excellent solid camera, clearly a step above K-5.

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5.0

So far, excellent product

By Leons

from International user

Verified Buyer

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

As a former Pentax K-x user, the Pentax K-3 is a giant leap, but yet the use of the advanced features is very intuitive. There lots of focusing aids I didn't use before as other features like vertical and horizontal electronic levels, very useful for making good composition. Thanks Ricoh and B&H!

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5.0

K3 has some nice features

By Amateur with video

from Buffalo, NY

Verified Buyer

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

I upgraded from the K7, mostly because I needed better video functioning for recording music performances such as recitals for archival purposes. I researched the DSLR cameras, and the reviews point to the K3 as okay, not great; a huge part of the "okay" review status is that the K3 does not have full automatic focusing in the video mode. However, I have a number of great Pentax lenses, and still photography is a primary interest, so I upgraded to the K3 rather than buying either a video camera or buying into another DSLR brand. For my purposes, pilot testing in the field indicates that the K3 will be fine. The menu controls are excellent for video; in particular, with an external stereo mic connected, the active volume levels on each side of the rear LCD are spot on with regard to normal, high, and excessive levels (with yellow and red indicator for the latter two levels), and are nicely controllable before pressing 'record'. Switching the mic to mono results in the right and left levels being the same, as expected. Sound quality with the external mic is fine. For photographs, compared to the K7, the K3 is noticeably faster in every respect.

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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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      (4 of 4 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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      (6 of 6 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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