Pentax K-3 II Field Test: Is Pixel Shift Resolution the best argument yet for always shooting raw?


posted Monday, July 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM EST


I've long been a fan of Pentax's enthusiast-grade DSLRs, and 2013's Pentax K-3 was no different, earning itself a Dave's Pick when we completed our review early last year. Now, the followup Pentax K-3 II is here, and it keeps almost everything that made its predecessor so great, while adding another sprinkling of the clever technology the company's cameras are known for.

Perhaps the most exciting addition of all is the new Pixel Shift Resolution function, which increases image resolution and per-pixel sharpness by capturing four shots in a row, then merging them into a single one. It's similar to the High Res Shot function we saw on the Olympus E-M5 II compact system camera earlier this year, but in JPEG mode at least it increases detail without any significant increase in file sizes.

The Pixel Shift Resolution technology included by Ricoh in its new Pentax K-3 II DSLR improves resolution quite a bit, as you can see in the 100% crop comparison above. (On the left is a standard shot, and on the right a Pixel Shift Resolution shot.)

But it wasn't until I shot with Pixel Shift Resolution in raw mode that I got really excited. Find out in the first part of my Pentax K-3 II Field Test!

But it's when shooting in raw format that I found Pixel Shift Resolution to be the most exciting, and the reasons for that are twofold. Find out why in my first Field Test of the Pentax K-3 II, which also includes a detailed look at the camera's new GPS and compass, and my thoughts on daytime image quality. You'll also find a generous selection of sample images in both raw and JPEG formats (and including many side-by-side comparisons of single-shot and Pixel Shift Resolution imagery) in my Pentax K-3 II gallery!