Pentax K-3 Mark III Review (Are They Really Good In Photography?)

DSLR enthusiasts and fans of the Pentax camera will find so much to love about Pentax K-3 Mark III, and even though the camera was born into a digital world where people now care very little about DSLRs, people who trust the Pentax. Its course for standing for SLR optical technology, which is currently being bullied out of the world of lenses.

Being an excellent model for a dying breed, the Pentax K-3 Mark III comes with a slightly upgraded sensor of 25.7MP, a new processor, a burst shooting of 12fps, as well as a novel 101-point autofocus system. Although its drawbacks are majorly related to the camera type it’s producing under, shooting with this camera can be a lot of fun. With the contestable claim that DSLR lovers love to make about minimalism being at the very core of handling, we can say the Pentax K-3 Mark III is one of the best DSLR cameras on sale at the moment.

For a camera like this, it is inevitable for doubt to crawl in, which is exactly what happened in the photography industry the moment it was launched in 2021. We will attempt to provide settling answers to these questions.

In this article, we have devoted some time to drawing out a comprehensive Pentax K-3 Mark III review with existence of GPS, Astrotracer, camera brand and uses in photography for you, in case you’re a die-hard fan of this camera type too. So, keep reading.

Is the Pentax Camera a Good Brand?

Apart from an AF system which, for the most part, is still stuck in the 1990s and a less competitive sales attitude, the Pentax brand carries one of the most popular labels of camera technology today. Yes, call this a second-tier label, but that Pentax meets most of the demands of basic photography is still one irrefutable fact.

It might not be a great match to other big industry names, especially as these other brands have made giant strides towards improving their mirrorless technology. Still, it sure isn’t a brand that can be completely written off, as it’s a solid name with a good history with DSLRs. Worthy of mention is that Pentax has a weak game in video camera production compared to other known names.

Besides this, when it comes to a photography niche like astrophotography or nighttime shooting, with a feature like Astrotracer, many brands can only wish to live up to Pentax’s reputation in this niche.

Best Pentax K-3 Mark III Review

01. Design

Don’t expect to get blown away at first sight, as the Pentax hasn’t been in the business of experimenting with design style, and the K-3 bears no exception. Again, this is another time Pentax is running another DSLR camera on our faces, and proudly too. Also, not many risks are taken, so there isn’t much to regret. However, while the looks are impeccable as far as DSLRs are concerned, it shares the same conventional drawbacks as previous models.

It is a fairly big camera, more precisely, bulky, although it takes a smaller portion than the K-3. Hence, it would help if you certainly got rid of any idea of fitting the camera into your pocket, except you’re willing to try out some clownish outlook.

Not only this, it has a slightly alarming number on its weight, too, especially when an 11-16mm lens as chunky as that is mounted on it. Strap the camera to your neck for a few hours, and you wouldn’t need to be told not to next time.

What seems to be the most pressing flaw here, however, is that its 3.2inch LCD touchscreen, unlike conventional technology, doesn’t flip out. On the plus side, the camera is impeccably well built.

Some camera design features that speak for its durability are aluminum alloy design, waterproofing ability, and improved handling, of course. Another bonus is its dual SD card slots and builds style that allows most of its operation to be by the forefinger or thumb.

02. Controls

Talking about controls, the Pentax K-3 Mark III gets almost everything right, as it ticks most of the boxes that have to do with ease of use. The camera has an amazing 29 buttons spread across its body, including the back of the camera and sides too. For some people, this may come off as overwhelming,  but users familiar with this DSLR  brand know what to expect.

03. Performance

When it comes to the performance of the K-3II Mark III, while the mirrorless alternative for this can’t completely override it, this is one area where the K-3 is lagging compared to recently accepted technology.

Besides this, the K-3 III’s handling of subjects is still unquestionable but doesn’t have much to compete with when it comes to sports photography that requires capturing fast-moving action.

Quite unexpectedly, the K-3 III’s image stabilization of the 5-axis is excellent, and paired with its shooting speed of up to 12fps when in burst mode, anyone can proudly vocalize the camera as a moderately performing one. In addition, it also has an excellent battery life and boasts of being able to take up to 800 shots.

04. Image quality

The image quality of Pentax K-3 Mark III makes it seem like it came prepared this time, as it fields a novel back-illuminated 25.7 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor matched awesomely with a Prime V processor. This combination is one of the greatest DSLR pairs that makes for brilliant images.

You also get tons of details while shooting with the camera, and ideally, you can shoot up to an ISO of 6400 clean images without a bother. The camera also has an impressive dynamic range, as it can render blue skies without blurring out the highlights on days when it is sunny, and in overcast conditions, it can pick up shadows.

Do Professional Photographers Use Pentax?(Video)

As a professional photographer who has been shooting with other brands, choosing to swerve towards the Pentax line suddenly may cause some eyebrows to be raised. Still, when it comes to what you’re doing with your camera, it’s no man’s business, and the Pentax does have some sides that have drawn the attention of some professional photographers.

For a brand that has been more subjugated to the background in the last 7 or 10 years, you may be shocked to see that it retains some juicy properties like excellent image quality, an unbeatable series of features for nighttime photography that is dust, water, and mud-resistant. Here are some reasons why a certain league of professionals finds the Pentax brand worth patronizing:

01. Image quality

Reading up the specs of many of the Pentax models, you immediately realize it’s not as bad as many people make it seem. Most of the models sport decently large megapixel sensors that are full-frame. The RAW files of the camera also have a way of rendering the images with a unique kind of real openness.

02. Cost

For professional photographers who are on a budget, the cost is a factor, and with a large feature set, a good portion of which was made with night shooters in mind, this brand offers a great value for what it sells.

03. Night photography

Only a few brands do the level of justice as the Pentax when it comes to providing features that make astrophotography or, generally, nighttime photography seamless. Firstly, some models like the K-1 have a body-illuminating ability in the dark, which is perfect for nighttime shooting sessions.

Many professional astrophotographers immediately get excited at a camera that fields an Astrotracer, as this is just enough to make they’re shooting a lesser hassle. This in-camera tracker permits the shooting of long exposures without the need for an equatorial mount.

Are Pentax Cameras Better than Canon?

In the world of optics, the word “better” is often, by its intrinsic nature, subjected to variable considerations, as one camera could have an edge in one area and, conversely, be lacking in another. This is the case with Pentax and Canon, but can we cast an overall judgment on which camera has higher performance in response to “better?”

This is still a serious and difficult verdict to cast, given that one has to consider all models that have been churned out by both brands, though more favorably, the more recent ones.

To pit each other together and expect them to have a fair fight is to ignore or suspend for a moment the bias of the “non-mirrorless” camera that comes with the Pentax name. Now we can proceed. To compare both cameras, we have to involve the ideas and tasks to be accomplished by them.

Top players of the Pentax models are feature-packed, especially the recent ones like K-3 and K-1, and are quite robust too, and if you match this with the price you get for a Canon camera with similar features, you’ll have to reach for the deeper portion of your pocket. In this regard, Pentax qualifies for “better.”

Most Pentax cameras, when compared to Canon, are slower, with less precise and flexible autofocus, especially when needed for continuous tracking. This has a subtle statement to make about what you’re shooting will turn out to look like, so do we have a winner here? Of course, we do. Canon is “better in this regard.”

Now, turning to movie and live view modes, or generally, utility in videography, Pentax still, after so many years, is below decent, again earning Canon the “better” spot. Canon also has among the two top pacesetters in camera technology, the largest lens collections, as well as accessory systems available for both third-party and original. Pentax doesn’t come close here either.

Canon, too, is a “better” all-rounder, suited for a broad range of photography niches and suitable for fast action. Beyond that, it gives the shooter access to experiment with third-party as well as vintage lenses.

Having reached the crux of this debate while disinterestedly suspending the possible bias with the Pentax’s mirrorless attribute, which can we say is the better camera? Well, as long as these features matter and can impact the output of a photographer’s shooting, we give it to Canon!

Does Pentax K-3 Have a GPS?

The Pentax K-3 doesn’t feature a GPS, unlike the K-3 II, which comes with a built-in GPS, which means while shooting, you can record with the camera, which allows the photographer to record the details of the shooting location, the direction of reference and the date and time of the session. This is usually Coordinated Universal Time.

Does Pentax K-3 Have an Astrotracer?

The Pentax K-3, unlike the K-3 mark III, lacks the Astrotracer feature. Nonetheless, it comes loaded with other exciting features like an ISO of 100-51200, an optical viewfinder, and sensor-shift image stabilization. This 24.0MP advanced DSLR camera remains of the choice models under the K-3 series of the Pentax brand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Pentax K-3 support focus peaking?

The K-3 supports peak focus which is an essential improvement to that of K-1. Peak focusing, however, is better maximized when paired with digital zoom and is a good way of bringing things to focus if you can’t see them. To activate it, navigate to the menu, and you’ll see an option for it.

Does Pentax K-3 II feature a pixel shift?

The first Pentax camera to include a pixel shift among its features is the K-3 II, which employs shake reduction to capture four photos, all done in quick succession. This also involves one-pixel offsets exploiting the 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor.

How many pixels are needed for astrophotography?

To get the best astrophotography images, you may require a 28.6MP as a median megapixel count. It is therefore recommended that cameras with megapixel counts between 20 and 30 are ideal for astrophotography.

Final Thoughts

From the design details of the K-3 Mark III down to its performance, the camera is simply a good way to make use of one’s money.

While you may experience some setbacks that come with shooting with a DSLR camera, what’s obtainable from this model leaves almost no trace of that feature. So, is K-3 Mark III a good camera? Absolutely!