• APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.4 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200
  • 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 36.4 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 204,800

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Differences

Pentax K-3 II advantages over Pentax K-1

  • Less expensive
    $829 vs $1897
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.1 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    8.2 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode

Pentax K-1 advantages over Pentax K-3 II

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.88 vs 3.91 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Higher effective ISO
    3,280 vs 1,106 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Newer
    19 months vs 3 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.70x vs 0.63x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    36.4 vs 24.4 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Higher extended ISO
    204800 vs 51200 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Focus peaking
    Both provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in GPS
    Both provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Both provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Dual card slots
    Both provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Both provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Internal flash
    Neither provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Top-notch image quality; Spectacular detail from Pixel Shift Resolution; Better performance than K-3; Geotag images with no accessories; Great ergonomics in a compact body; Clever on-demand low-pass filtering; Broad sensitivity range; Large and bright viewfinder for an APS-C camera; Dual card slots

  • No built-in flash strobe; No wireless flash support out of the box; AstroTracer function can be finicky; AE Lock button is poorly located; Below-average battery life for a prosumer DSLR; Requires a different battery grip accessory than its predecessors

  • Unlocks the full potential of full-frame Pentax lenses; Excellent image quality; Great ergonomics and build; Very compact for full-frame; Decent performance; Fast autofocus with great low-light capabilities; Very wide sensitivity range; Bright, accurate viewfinder; Articulated LCD; Stabilization, Wi-Fi and GPS in-camera

  • No built-in flash strobe; Quite heavy compared to APS-C flagships; Somewhat soft images and blown highlights by default in JPEG mode; Warm Auto white balance indoors; Slow startup and buffer clearing; Small top-deck status display; Weak viewfinder illumination; Below-average battery life for DSLR

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D5500

Pentax K-3 II
Nikon D5500
  • $829
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $630
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-1
Nikon D5500
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $630
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Canon T6i

Pentax K-3 II
Canon T6i
  • $829
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-1
Canon T6i
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Sony A68

Pentax K-3 II
Sony A68
  • $829
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • High resolution composite
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
Pentax K-1
Sony A68
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $598
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Canon 5D Mark IV

Pentax K-3 II
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $829
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $3199
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
Pentax K-1
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $3199
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Sony A99 II

Pentax K-3 II
Sony A99 II
  • $829
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $3198
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-1
Sony A99 II
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $3198
  • 35mm
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoot 4K video
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