Pentax K-3 II Field Test Part II: Our enthusiast flagship head-to-head looks at low light, AF tracking and more
posted Friday, April 29, 2016 at 6:20 PM EDT
Some months back, I kicked off my review of the Pentax K-3 II with a daytime shoot in historic Jonesborough, Tennessee, including an in-depth look at its clever detail-boosting Pixel Shift Resolution function. At the time, I'd intended to follow up with the second part of my field test in fairly short order, but unfortunately a confluence of technical, editorial and personal issues meant that it spent rather longer than I'd have liked on the back burner.
This week, though, I wrapped my second field test with a look at autofocus tracking and low-light image quality, among other topics, from two nearby towns that are the polar opposite of sleepy Jonesborough: The Smoky Mountain tourist destinations of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. As well as providing a generous splash of color and some interesting new subjects, the trip gave me a very handy opportunity for a side-by-side comparison with the earlier (and very closely-related) Pentax K-3.
Although I didn't have both cameras in hand together, making this something of a side-by-side through a time portal, I had the exact same lenses with me that I'd used for my earlier test of AF tracking with the original K-3. And as it happened, my earlier test looked at the very same area of AF performance that Pentax brand-owner Ricoh Imaging told us had been further refined in the Pentax K-3 II.
And so it was that I found myself back at Xtreme Racing Center in Pigeon Forge, home to the fastest go-karts I've yet found in the East Tennessee area. (If you know of faster karts here, let me know in the comments below, please.) After an interlude on the banks of the nearby Little Pigeon River for a demonstration of an in-camera feature that can often substitute rather nicely for a neutral density filter when lower shutter speeds are needed, I rounded out my test in Gatlinburg as the sun set... and beyond.
But what did I think of the Pentax K-3 II at the end of my shoot, and how did it compare to its much-loved sibling, with which it shares flagship status in Ricoh's APS-C DSLR lineup? Well, for the answer to that and much more besides, you'll want to read Part II of my in-depth Pentax K-3 II Field Test! (And if you've not already done so, be sure to read Part I as well, not to mention taking a look at my gallery images, and our detailed image quality, high ISO noise reduction and performance analyses, plus scads of our standardized lab test samples.)