Pentax K3 is a top Camera including a very high level of picture quality in a high end build body. New AF is as fast as precise also is the metering system. It's no doubt an expert and professionnal camera i love to use in my photographer work. It's small and light but well balanced as a non intrusive camera but a real performer in all kind of shootings. It includes a lot of functionality. It's really a great tool that delivers wonderfull pictures.
Finding the right camera is not easy today. When special criteria have to be met the number of choices decreases and selecting the camera you need may become easier. I am travelling on my own a lot. If no other people are available taking a photograph of myself can be difficult. With the standard featured interval timer of the k-3 this is very easy. I am always on or close to the water. In consequence the traditional water resistance of the K-cameras is a main criterion for me. Taking pictures from the cockpit of a kayak means to be able to act in a simple way. Using two cameras with different lenses gives me a maximum of flexibility but also requires the room for two cameras. Ricoh-Pentax made it possible with his very compact camera bodies. Two of them fit to my watertight camera bag which I usually have around my neck in front of me on the spray skirt of my kayak. Especially when taking pictures of a flying eagle or a diving whale I appreciate the fast serial shot mode. This gives me the chance to catch the perfect moment. After using the K-5 for some years I realized that Ricoh-Pentax gave me just the tough tool I need. With the K-3 I found a reasonable advanced body which helps me turning my idea of catching moments into reality.
The Concentrated Compact Monster! First of all I should say that: “I am not a classic reviewer, I am a user”. :) So I cannot talk over specs one by one which written on spec-sheet and I will try to write my general impressions with the K-3 as a PENTAX user, like you… PENTAX K-3 is a Real Field Camera! It has a strong, tough body design like its predecessor K-5 series (and K-7) and it has a lot of significant changes on it too. Ergonomics are just perfect! Body material, rubber grip and card/battery doors etc. sturdy and gives good feeling, as always. 3.2” LCD screen is quite nice, big, comfortable and suitable to see from any angle with new air-gapless design and anti-reflective coating technology. Buttons are very well positioned and new improved user interface is just too fine to reach every parameters. Image playback, zooming in and out is extremely fast (of course, thanks to a powerful hardware at the background). I tried the system under rain; in swamps which is filled with dusty, polliniferous reeds; and at -18 oC degrees temperature. That frosty cold moment, it was covered with ice by melted snow and worked without any problem. I have been very pleased! Some innovations… New 4-way directional control buttons group has notches at the top of buttons and this new design allows diagonal navigation feature on images. New mode dial lock switch is a nice application too (; sometimes I do not want to use it in locked for fast changes). Also new photo/video switch-key and specialized video start/stop button is really nice new stuffs. New “Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulator” is a real unique application in the history of DSLR camera which uses little vibrations of Shake-Reduction system. It removes the moiré by creating micro blur effects and this feature is very useful also for bird photographing because bird feathers creates that easily. New "Auto tracking" and "AF-Hold" features are useful too and nice solutions for capturing the moving objects. Especially “AF-Hold” function is very very useful when taking tele shots. It is holding focused point with three different sensitivity levels and allows to keep the object always in focused/sharp condition; exactly. For example when I try to take a photo of a bird on a tree branch, it keeps the net area (regarding preferred measuring time). Then I can take second and third shots when the bird is came back again to the same point; without any re-focus attempts to the background. Also new auto focus and tracking capability with the "Auto-27" or "Auto-9" modes is so good for BIF (birds-in-flight) shots. Result I cannot talk about K-3 as it is only a camera body because I am accepting as a system. (That is the job of techno-bloggers. ;) ) My favorite setup consists of a combination of smc PENTAX DA Star 300mm F4 ED (IF) SDM and HD PENTAX-DA 1.4X AW Rear Converter. It equals a 420mm F5.6 prime lens with the new “HD coating” feature and it is razor-sharp! I could not try the new HD PENTAX DA 560mm F5.6ED AW lens yet but I am pretty sure to that it gives better results with more close shots. By the way, I was used before some couple of another branded tele-converters which has power zoom contacts -and not-; but I could not feel the system in safe. Now I am feeling completely seamlessly in my mind with the new complete WR sealed combination. That’s why I am happy. :) It is fast as which I need and stable in all respects. I always find my photos in exact sharp and net area. So, I recommend this lovely camera to every kind of photographers and hobbyists. This “Concentrated Compact Monster” is full filled by several incredible functions! Especially you should experience the power of its new 86,000-pixel RGB light-metering sensor capability about enhanced accuracy of exposure. Really hard to get over-exposed backgrounds or real dark-shaded areas on the pictures. Also new image processing unit which called “PRIME III Image Processor” is working very well, indeed! It is improved and working great! I was used/tested all previous model of PENTAX DSLR bodies but it was not like in K-3. Both PEF and DNG formatted RAW files gives real colors. (I didn't see before such a nice colored RAW results!) Feels like the use a CCD sensor. This means any ‘batch image processing software’ suitable to use for fast publishing, without a problem. In this perspective, it is a really key feature, especially for journalists and media photographers. I can say easily: “Ricoh was made a Great Progress for Developing it”! I am really happy to work with PENTAX systems and want to say thanks to RICOH!.. All the Best!
K-3 feels pretty much same in hand as my K-5. There are couple of changes in the button layout mainly for AF and its settings but I've learned those quickly. I'm glad that batteries of my previous body (K-5) fits also K-3. First thing I noticed is the new LCD monitor. It's big and sharp and there's no more top and bottom black bars when viewing images. Shooting with K-3 feels fast and camera is really responsive. AF speed is pretty much same as before but a lot more accurate in low light conditions. Continous high-speed shooting is amazingly fast and I'm sure I won't be missing any action with this body. The biggest improvement for me was the sharpness of the photos. As K-3's sensor doesn't have AA-filter I get really nice details out of my photos. ISO performance and dynamic range are pretty much same as they were on my K-5 which is great because now I have more resolution with K-3. There is also setting designed to simulate the effect of an AA filter which removes moire when needed. Though I haven't seen moire in my photos which are mostly shot in nature it can be seen sometimes in repetitive patterns. I tested moire reduction with this kind of scene and it works quite nicely. Of course there are lot of nice features that you can expect from this body as weather sealing and in body shake reduction. These make shooting with Pentax easy as you won't have to be worried about getting your equipment wet or dusty and you can concentrate just photographing. You also get shake reduction for all K-mount lenses. I'm sure K-3 will be in my camera bag for a long time because of its great performance and features.
Or why of all things the Pentax K-3? Who has ever seen my photos or also only be once with me on a tour by the sea knows that I am never dry and without being powdered with sand climbs into my car to drive home again. I admit that my first two cameras (Pentax K-R and Pentax K-x) despite a permanent cleaning torture become polluted quit fast. Perhaps this is ma be also the reason why I got during image processing faster and more thoroughly in removing spots. So what I needed, the photographer, which dug her self deeply in the sand and always got far too close to the water? A camera sealed up perfectly and there it was the new Pentax K 3! When I finally held the Pentax K-3 in my hands, my first way led me to the beach. The weather matched fine fore a first test, fog and lighten drizzle and I was very curiously about the first results of the camera witch should be sealed up so ideally. First I noticed the high processing speed of the camera the auto focus, the trigger, the storage of the data as well as the operation of this camera worked unbelievably well. The lock and feel were exactly my taste a directly, robust, fast camera that preserves fun. I love the menu-driven operation, which permits me a direct access to all-important functions without being forced to click me through numberless submenus. I was also interested in the extended ISO area. As I saw at the PC afterwards the noise just in the dark areas of the pictures was very low, indicates that these photos immensely won at quality and clarity. Yes, the Pentax K-3 convinced me from the first moment on. Even if the camera is very much like me after a tour on the beach, soaked and with sand powdered, it keeps what it is promising. How does one say still, searched and found? More over still my reliable, robust and perfect partner.