Pentax K-3 II Review: Time to choose which of Ricoh’s flagship APS-C DSLRs is right for you!


posted Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 4:59 AM EST


A couple of years ago we reviewed the Pentax K-3, a truly spectacular enthusiast-grade camera that, at the time, was the clear flagship in Ricoh's Pentax-branded APS-C DSLR lineup. Now some two years later, and we round out our review of the Pentax K-3 II, the camera with which the K-3 now shares its throne.

This interesting duo are very closely related, and neither could clearly be called the flagship model when compared to the other. And that presents Pentaxians with an interesting question: If you want to choose the very best Pentax APS-C DSLR that money can buy, which would it be?


That's precisely the question we sought to answer when we started our Pentax K-3 II review, and with the publication of our conclusion today, we bring you our answer. And believe us when we say that it has not been easy to pick a favorite between this interesting pair!

The Pentax K-3 II and K-3 are both very interesting cameras indeed. Both come very highly specified with extremely comfortable, well-considered designs and top-notch image quality, not to mention so much tech wizardry that you have to wonder how it could be shoe-horned into such compact bodies. (Neither of these cameras is really much bigger than the typical consumer-grade Canon Rebel.)


And some of their features are extremely unusual, or even downright unique. For starters, there's the clever Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulation function which lets you choose whether you want to emphasize per-pixel sharpness or resistance to moiré for any given shot -- or even shoot multiple versions automatically so you can make an informed decision later once you've had a chance to look at the images on your desktop.

The K-3 II goes still further, with a clever Pixel Shift Resolution function that combines multiple images for even greater per-pixel detail than any Bayer-filtered camera of similar resolution (including all of its nearest competitors) could ever hope to manage from a single shot. The technique only works for static scenes unless you're willing to put in some effort in the digital darkroom, but for the right subject the results can be spectacular even with consumer-grade lenses.


For the first time, the Pentax K-3 II it also brings Ricoh's clever AstroTracer function -- which freezes star trails for better long-exposure astrophotography -- in-camera thanks to a built-in GPS receiver. And if you're not interested in the night sky, well, that built-in GPS can also be used to tag your images with their precise capture location, making it quick and easy to find them later by simply browsing a map.

But what are the drawbacks of the Pentax K-3 II's design as compared to its preexisting flagship sibling, and which of these impressive DSLRs is right for you? Find out now in the conclusion of our in-depth Pentax K-3 II review!



Pentax K-3 II ReviewField Test Part IField Test Part II

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