• 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 advantages over Pentax K-1

  • Less expensive
    $999 vs $1897*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Fast startup
    ~0.90 vs 1.2 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    7.1 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    7.1 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    24 vs 17 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)

Pentax K-1 advantages over Pentax K-3

  • 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
  • High resolution composite
    Yes vs No
    Combine multiple shots to form a super hi-res version
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Higher effective ISO
    3,280 vs 1,216 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 760 vs 560 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Newer
    3 years vs 5 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
  • 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 HDMI output 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
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Top-notch image quality; Great ergonomics in a compact body; Unique on-demand low-pass filtering; Broad sensitivity range; Large and bright viewfinder for an APS-C camera; Dual card slots; Optional Wi-Fi remote control

  • AE Lock button is poorly located; Below-average battery life for a DSLR; Rather dated-looking menu system; Requires a different battery grip accessory than its predecessors; Less third-party support than some rivals

  • 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 D7100

Pentax K-3
Nikon D7100
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $795
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
Pentax K-1
Nikon D7100
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $795
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Nikon D5300

Pentax K-3
Nikon D5300
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $573
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-1
Nikon D5300
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $573
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Nikon D7200

Pentax K-3
Nikon D7200
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $797
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Pentax K-1
Nikon D7200
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $797
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Canon 5D Mark IV

Pentax K-3
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $2799
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
Pentax K-1
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $2799
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Pentax K-1 II

Pentax K-3
Pentax K-1 II
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1 II
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • $1897
  • 35mm
  • Newer
  • Higher extended ISO
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