Pentax K-3 image quality analysis: Does the K-3 clobber the K-5 II and the rest of the competition?


posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM EDT


You expressed a ton of interest when we published our series of Pentax K-3 First Shots for pixel peeping last week, so we moved quickly to provide you with our initial Pentax K-3 image quality analysis. For this analysis, we've compared test images taken with the Pentax K-3 side-by-side against five likely top competitors -- the Pentax K-5 II, Canon 70D, Nikon D7100, Olympus E-M1 and Sony A77 -- at a range of ISOs.

The 24.3-megapixel Pentax K-3 packs 50% more pixels into its APS-C sized image sensor than the K-5 II, increasing linear resolution by almost a quarter. And thanks to a new PRIME III image processor, it simultaneously increases performance to a whopping 8.3 frames per second at full resolution, for as many as 60 JPEG or 23 RAW frames. And despite the significant resolution increase, the K-3 still offers a maximum sensitivity of ISO 51,200 equivalent.

But how do the new DSLR's photos fare? Is the K-3 a big step up from the K-5 II? And does the camera handle high ISOs well?

Find out by reading our Pentax K-3 image quality comparisons here! And below that, you'll find our print quality analysis, where we discovered the K-3 produced a terrific 30 x 40 inch print at ISO 100/200.

Be sure to read our detailed first impressions Pentax K-3 review for a closer look at the APS-C DSLR's revolutionary, switchable low-pass filter technology and other new features. You can also use our Comparometer™ to pit sample pictures taken with the Pentax K-3 against those from any other camera we've ever tested.