Pentax K-3 II Field Reports

Pentax K-3 II Field Test Part I

The best argument yet for shooting raw?

by Mike Tomkins |

Regular readers will probably know that I've been a big fan of Pentax's enthusiast-grade DSLRs ever since the launch of the Pentax K-7 way back in 2009. As soon as I finished my review of that camera, I bought one for myself. The same thing happened with the followup Pentax K-5, and on the rare occasions when I don't have a camera ready for a review, it's now my daily shooter.

Ever since I completed my Pentax K-3 review in late 2013, I've been planning to buy that camera as well. I hadn't yet gotten around to it, though, mostly because I promised myself that I'd sell at least one of the earlier cameras before I bought another. Now, I'm considering making the leap to the Pentax K-3 II instead, as it possibly fits my desires even better than did its sibling.

The K-3 II marks the second time the series has seen a II release, and indicates a less-significant upgrade. The last time it happened was the K-5 II, a camera I praised but didn't personally buy as it was so similar to my K-5. Only relatively few changes in the K-3 II, but they're all ones which have appeal for me -- improved autofocus tracking and image stabilization, built-in GPS with AstroTracer function, and most of all, the brand-new Pixel Shift Resolution mode.

Pentax K-3 II Field Test Part II

Rounding out our head-to-head of the enthusiast flagship twins

by Mike Tomkins |

Some months back, I kicked off my review of the Pentax K-3 II with my first field test, in which I looked at its daytime image quality, in-camera geotagging complete with compass, and gave an in-depth rundown of its clever Pixel Shift Resolution function which boosts per-pixel resolution for static scenes. (And I gave you a handy tip on how to use it for scenes with a modest amount of motion, for good measure.)

As you could probably tell from that field test, I really enjoyed shooting with the K-3 II, much as I had with its excellent (and closely-related) sibling, the original Pentax K-3. Both cameras share most of their internals, with the main difference being the lack of a built-in flash in the K-3 II, a change made to allow the addition of the built-in GPS receiver and compass. There's also a uprated image stabilization system, a boost in continuous autofocus tracking performance, and of course both the aforementioned Pixel Shift Resolution and star trail-neutralizing AstroTracer functions.

My original intention was to follow up with my second field test in short order, but several factors -- some editorial, some personal -- conspired to delay this second field test. (My sincere apologies to those of you who've been waiting!) Thankfully, your wait is finally at its end.

Buy the Pentax K-3 II

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