Ricoh announces flagship Pentax K-3 III: New sensor, new processor, new AF system, better IBIS and more


posted Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT

Click here to read our Pentax K-3 III Preview


After some unexpected delays in parts prevented the anticipated unveiling at CP+ 2021, the long-awaited update to Ricoh's flagship APS-C DSLR is finally here. The new Pentax K-3 Mark III introduces several welcomed updates and upgrades to the now-aging K-3 II from 2015. The K-3 III brings several changes both inside and out, including a new optical viewfinder and updated controls as well as an all-new image sensor, processor and autofocus system.

In terms of the exterior, the new Pentax K-3 III is, perhaps as expected, not significantly different from its predecessors. It maintains a classic DSLR design with a deep handgrip, lots of external controls and an optical viewfinder right in the center. It also keeps the same general size and weight as its predecessor while maintaining a thoroughly weather-sealed construction. However, Pentax has made several changes and updates to the camera's physical design, notably with a new optical viewfinder. Despite being an APS-C-format DSLR, Pentax designers wanted photographers to have the bright, sharp and large viewfinder experience often seen with full-frame cameras. To accomplish this, the K-3 III incorporates an updated pentaprism that uses new high-refractive-index glass and provides an approximately 100% field of view as well as a 1.05x magnification factor. 


Additionally, the K-3 III features updated controls, including a multi-directional joystick control, new customizable Smart Function buttons, a third sub-command dial, a new top-deck LCD panel and more custom user modes on the Mode Dial.

Under the hood, the K-3 Mark III sports an all-new 25.7-megapixel backside-illuminated APC-S CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter. Paired with this, the K-3 III also features a new PRIME V image processor and an updated Accelerator Unit II that promises to offer improved high ISO and low-light performance. As such, the new Pentax K-3 III has a shockingly impressive ISO range (at least on paper), offering a base ISO of 100 and a maximum high ISO of 1,600,000. Yes, ISO 1,600,000 from an APS-C camera!


Furthermore, the K-3 III introduces an updated "SAFOX 13" AF system with 101 AF points and 25 cross-type AF points, plus Deep Learning-powered scene detection for high-performance face and eye detection AF. The camera also offers up to 12fps continuous burst shooting and 4K video recording up to 30fps.

The Pentax K-3 Mark III is set to go on sale in late April and can be pre-ordered at authorized retailers starting on April 6 at 5 p.m. ET at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $1,999.95.

For more details and a full product breakdown, head over to our in-depth Pentax K-3 Mark III Preview!


Pentax K-3 Mark III Preview