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Optimizing the basic functions for unmatched creativity

Multi-mode exposure system
with ±5EV exposure compensation and auto-exposure customization

The K-3 features a nine-mode exposure system featuring Green, Program (P), Sensitivity-Priority (Sv), Shutter-speed/Aperture-Priority (TAv), Aperture-Priority (A), Shutter-Priority (Tv), Metered Manual (M), Bulb (B) and Flash Sync (X) modes. It also provides a wide exposure compensation range of ±5EV to create dramatic high-key and low-key images.

Program line :Can be shifted during auto-exposure operation.

Auto Proper exposure settings automatically decided by the camera.
Standard A basic program line auto-exposure operation.
High-speed-priority Opts for a faster shutter speed.
Depth-priority (deep) Opts for an increased depth of field.
Depth-priority (shallow) Opts for a shallow depth of field.
MTF-priority* Puts priority on the optimum aperture of the lens.

* Usable with DA-, DAL-, DFA- and FA-series lenses.

Auto ISO Parameters : Regulates how the camera raises the sensitivity in the ISO AUTO mode.

Slow leap The camera holds back on jumps in sensitivity.
Standard Default setting
Quick leap The camera prompts jumps in sensitivity.

1/8000-second high-speed shutter
to freeze the decisive moment of high-speed action

The K-3 incorporates a high-speed, high-precision shutter unit with a top speed of 1/8000 second, which allows you to freeze the split-second action of a fast-moving subject. When coupled with large-aperture lenses, this high-speed shutter allows you to open up the aperture to throw the background out of focus, even in bright locations.

Multi-mode light-metering
for flexible response to all types of subjects and shooting styles

The K-3 provides a choice of three distinctive light-metering modes (multi-pattern, center-weighted and spot), which can be quickly switched by turning the rear e-dial while pressing the metering mode button. The multi-pattern mode assures high-precision light metering, thanks to the outstanding resolving power of the newly designed 86,000-pixel RGB metering sensor. In the multi-pattern and spot modes, you can even set the correlation between the metering area and the AF point.

Hyper Control system
for flexible control of the depth of field and the subject’s motion

For automatic exposure control, the K-3 features the PENTAX-developed Hyper Program mode, which allows you to choose the desired aperture or shutter speed without taking your eye off the viewfinder. For manual exposure control, it provides the Hyper Manual mode, which instantly sets a normal exposure level based on the program line.

Live View shooting
for constant image display, even during high-speed continuous shooting

With a single push of the Live View button on the back panel, you can instantly switch from viewfinder shooting to Live View shooting. You can even take advantage of such useful features as high-speed contrast-detection AF, focus assist and 10-times zoom display to facilitate your shooting. The K-3 also gives you a choice of three grid display patterns: Golden Section, 16 Segment and Scale.

High-speed continuous shooting during Live View shooting

The K-3 provides high-speed continuous shooting at a top speed of approximately 8.3 images per second, even during Live View shooting. Thanks to the high-speed image data processing capability of the PRIME III imaging engine, the Live View image is constantly on display, with minimal blackouts. This means that you never lose the sight of the subject during shooting.

Digital level
for accurate detection of horizontal and vertical tilt

Since the built-in digital level detects the horizontal and vertical tilt of the camera with great accuracy, it comes in handy with such subjects as landscapes and nightscapes. You can even check the horizontal tilt on an exposure bar scale on the LCD monitor.* During viewfinder shooting, you can also check it in the viewfinder.*

* The digital level display can be turned on or off as necessary.


Digital level display on LCD monitor

Auto level compensation
for hands-off adjustment of horizontal inclination

The K-3 automatically compensates for horizontal inclination of the image, bringing it to a level position by rotating the image sensor by as much as ±2 degrees (or ±1 degree when the SR mechanism is in operation). This convenient function comes in handy not only during handheld shooting, but also during tripod shooting.


With auto level compensation


Without auto level compensation

Without auto level compensation
for extra-fine adjustment during Live View shooting

When the K-3 is mounted on a tripod during Live View shooting, this function allows you to make minute adjustment to image composition and compensate for the camera’s tilt, by shifting the CMOS image sensor horizontally and vertically (±1.5mm max. in 24 steps; ±1mm when the sensor is rotated) and/or by rotating it (±1 degree max. in 8 steps).

Compatibility with GPS unit
to simplify astronomical photography and position data recording

By mounting the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit onto the K-3’s hotshoe, you can record the latitude, longitude and altitude of a shooting location and the camera’s precise direction on a captured image. The K-3’s CMOS image sensor also allows you to automatically trace the movement of celestial bodies, without the need of an equatorial telescope. The K-3 even adjusts its clock to local time based on the GPS data.
Click here for details.

The K-3 is more than an imaging tool; it inspires creativity in a photographer

Custom images
for easy selection of the intended finishing touch

The K-3’s custom image function allows you to apply a preferred ambience or color scheme to your image. Each custom image mode provides minute adjustment of parameters such as saturation, shade, key, contrast and sharpness.* As the result, you can produce an original finishing touch with great ease.

* Adjustable parameters may vary depending on the selected custom image mode.


  • Muted


  • Radiant


  • Bleach

Custom image selection

BrightNaturalPortraitLandscapeVibrantRadiantMutedBleach BypassReversal FilmMonochromeCross Processing

Digital filters
to create original artwork with special visual effects

The K-3 offers a greater choice of digital filters than previous models, with the addition of such new options as Unicolor Bold, Bold Monochrome and Tone Expansion filters. You can not only adjust parameters of each filter independently, but also apply as many as 20 filters to a single image.


  • Unicolor Bold


  • Tone Expansion


  • Bold Monochrome

Digital filters available during shooting and playback

Extract ColorToy CameraRetroHigh ContrastShadingInvert ColorUnicolor BoldBold Monochrome

Digital filters available during playback only

Base Parameter AdjustmentTone ExpansionSketchWatercolorPastelPosterizationMiniatureSoftCrossFish-EyeSlim

Interval shooting
to record the transition of a constantly changing subject

Since the K-3 automatically captures a series of images at a fixed interval, you can record the transition of an ever-moving subject or gradually changing event over an extended period of time. You can preprogram the interval (two seconds to 24 hours), a number of images to be captured (two to 2,000) and the starting time.

Interval Composite

This function synthesizes a single composite image from all images captured during interval shooting. Like multi-exposure shooting, you have a choice of Average, Accumulation and Comparative Brightness modes to obtain the desired result. You can even save halfway images.

HDR shooting
to assure worry-free handheld shooting

The K-3’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) function takes a set of three images at three different exposure levels, then picks properly exposed areas from the original set to synthesize a single, wide-gradation image. Since the K-3 automatically compensates for slight misalignment of the composition among the original images,** you can take advantage of this convenient function even during handheld shooting. You can also save the original images in the RAW format,. Since you can store them as a single RAW-format file, you can easily locate them for subsequent data redevelopments.

** The automatic position adjustment function may not yield the desired effect under certain conditions, including excessive misalignment of the three images, certain lens focal lengths and particular subject patterns.

Multiple exposure
to synthesize highly creative images

The K-3 allows you to capture the desired number of images (two to 2,000) and synthesize them into a single, eye-catching composite image with great ease. You have a choice of three synthesis modes to obtain the desired visual effect.

  • Average

    Since the K-3 calculates the average exposure level of captured images, you can create a normal-exposure composite image without resetting the exposure for each image. This is the simplest mode for enjoying the complicated multi-exposure technique.

  • Accumulation

    The exposure level of all captured images is totaled to synthesize a composite image. When you under- or overexpose certain images, the brightness difference in these images is reflected in the resulting image.

  • Comparative Brightness

    The brighter areas of captured images are averaged in a composite image, while the darker areas are expressed as they are. This mode comes in handy when synthesizing subjects such as the moon, fireworks and illuminated buildings into a single image.

4K-compatible interval movie shooting
to record a constantly-changing subject in a high-resolution movie clip

You can save a series of images taken by interval shooting in a single movie file, as if captured by time-compressed, super-slow photography.*** The K-3 provides a choice of recorded pixels from Full HD, HD and 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels), in the Motion JPEG file format and the AVI container format. The resulting movie clips are supported by many applications, and can be played back on a personal computer.

*** The interval can be selected from two, five, 10, 20 and 30 seconds, or one, five, 10, 30 and 60 minutes. The total recording time can be set between 14 seconds and 99 hours, even though it may fluctuate based on the selected interval.

Full HD movie recording
compatible with 25P, 30P and 60i frame rates

The K-3’s Full HD movie recording function* offers many of the benefits of SLR photography, including high-sensitivity shooting, interchangeable lenses with distinctive perspective and rendition, and a beautiful bokeh effect. It even offers a choice of 60i frame rate to capture and play back fast-moving subjects beautifully and flawlessly. A variety of creative tools, such as custom images, are also available for movie recording.

* The recording format is H.264/MPEG-4 AVC; the container format is MOV.

Audio recording

The K-3’s built-in microphone provides monaural sound for your movies, but you may add an external microphone for stereo recordings. You can also monitor the sound using a headset. For audio level adjustment, the audio recording level is displayed in a bar graph on the K-3’s LCD monitor.


Audio level control


K-3 with an external microphone

In-body RAW data development
to apply the desired finishing touch without a PC

The K-3 provides in-body development of RAW-format files, with the developed files saved as separate TIFF or JPEG files. You can even adjust white-balance and custom-image parameters during RAW data development. Since this feature provides a PC-free environment, you can work on your RAW files anywhere and anytime.

RAW data development parameters

File format (JPEG or TIFF)Aspect ratioJPEG recording pixelsJPEG quality levelColor spaceDistortion compensationLateral chromatic aberration compensationVignetting compensationFringe effect compensationWhite balanceCustom imageDigital filterHDRSensitization/desensitizationHigh-sensitivity NRShadow effect compensation

Latest software included
Exclusive software for RAW data development and high-quality finish

Digital Camera Utility 5

This software develops RAW-format data and saves as JPEG- or TIFF-format files. Supported by the acclaimed SILKYPIX® image development engine, it not only assures high-speed RAW data development, but also allows exposure/white-balance adjustments and advanced color conversions during development. Its simple, well-defined interface is also the key to flawless, intuitive operation.