Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera

Following Pentax’s powerful K-5 II/IIs is the company’s new top-of-the-line model in the name of the K-3. To introduce at once, the K-3 is highly comparable and is almost a twin-but-competing rival to Nikon’s trusted D7100. It is still much of an argument if the K-3 of Pentax is now ready to be considered a real professional piece, but for the features set we can safely give it that name. The K-3 is not cheap at around $1,500-$1,650, but with all that it has to offer such as a more powerful sensor, a weather-resistant body, a new AF and metering system, and other powerful features to outmatch Nikon’s equivalent, I’d say you don’t want to miss learning about this camera.

Starting with the build and looks, the Pentax K-3 is likely to be similar in approach and impact as that of the mentioned predecessor, albeit the smaller footprint 3.9×5.2×3.1inches and at 1.8lbs. Moreover, looking plainly at the K-3 is like looking at a mid-range SLR, more because the buttons seem to be very intuitive without overcrowding and hence destroying the look of the camera itself. The contours and the shapes of the camera sections are also somewhat brawny, and adding it with the weather-sealed body, the K-3 is more like a camera for all occasions, but especially for outdoor photography.

There’re also some few notable additions and changes to the layout of the controls. Looking on the front side of the camera, aside from the lens, we have an IR blast receiver (there’s also one at the back) that should be really helpful for remote, wireless shutter control. On the top, circling around the shutter release button are stops for power (on and off), plus a stop for checking out the depth-of-field settings. A front-seated rolling wheel is also situation a little beneath this shutter section, and can be easily accessed using the index finger when holding the grip. There’re also quick buttons for checking and adjusting exposure compensation and ISO settings. There’s the monochrome display for displaying the recent settings, a hotshoe, a pop-up flash, and a mode dial which you can now lock to avoid accidental switches (if locked, you have to press and hold the middle button before you switch).

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On the opposite side of the grip, we have some quick controls again, though I’d say this is the area where the Pentax K-3 did not really excel well. However, the quick controls for setting up focus and AF modes are available, together with a RAW/FX button, which you can customize for some quick settings. On both sides of the camera we have envelopes flapping in some ports like a very rare USB 3.0 port, HDMI, DC-in, dual memory card slots, a remote control port, a mic-in port, and a multimedia-empowering headphone port (audio-out). No, like most cameras in its class, the K-3 still doesn’t have GPS and wireless features, though you can buy third-party wireless memory cards such as the FLU card.

Now going to the main control interface, the very first beautiful thing here is the 3.2-inch, 1.04k-dot display that is just bright and clear even under direct sunlight. The gapless design also makes the display more popping without overly saturating image quality as shot. We are also thankful for the 100% coverage and 0.95x magnification found on the solid pentaprism optical viewfinder. On the left of the OVF we have the playback button and a special button for metering settings. On the right of the same OVF we have a red button that is both a switch for Live View (when you’re in still mode) or a direct video-record button (when you’re in video mode; toggle modes using the lever below the green button). There’s another control wheel for extra settings, which you can also use for zooming in and out during playback, and an AF button. The four-way buttons are typical, except the right button that is used for switching between color modes. The directional buttons also possess an additional snap: pressing the bevelled edges will allow you to quickly navigate to focus-points diagonally.

The Pentax K-3 may not wake up fast before its first shot, but the preceding shots are all but sweet and swift. The 8.1fps at full 24MP is actually a madness already, more because you can take up to a number of RAW and JPEGS for up three seconds (in Nikon’s D7100, the camera will lag down even just after a second of shots). During Live View, the K-3 may not really focus that fast, but at least it excels on low-lit situations. Adding to this is the exceptional ISO capabilities that range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200. Focus speed, generally, is a breeze, and thanks to the 27 AF points of which 25 of them are cross-type, focusing is more likely done like a pro.

Image quality is as good as you’d expect for an APS-C sensor, with rich details and just fair-enough color saturation (while I personally have bias for Nikon’s way of producing colors). But adding to the image quality is the K-3’s unique feature of simulating an anti-aliasing filter (it technically has none, but by tweaking into the in-body stabilization system, you have now the option to slightly blur some very fine details to avoid moiré effects). Noise is very much suppressed and is almost visibly none even on ISO 3200. At ISO 6400 the details are still preserved and even until ISO 12800. You’d still love to use ISO 25,600 for black-and-white shots to simulate some grainy effects, but so far, the K-3 really does a good job in poorly-lit scenes.

Lastly, videos can be up to full HD resolution at 24p or 30p, or you can choose 60i just in case, or 60p but at 720p resolution. Videos recorded are beautiful as expected, and focusing is a breeze though you must get used to triggering the AF time after time because it’s not continuous. We’re not happy the built-in microphone is only mono, but the addition of a microphone port says that the K-3 is getting serious also with videos. While recording videos, you can also choose between different modes such as aperture or sensitivity priority, and quickly adjust levels in between.

The Pentax K-3 is a powerful machine that rivals perfectly to Nikon D7100. It’s optional anti-aliasing filter, a more powerful burst engine, multiple ports and hardware additions, and exceptional low-light performance outweighs many competing cameras in its class. While the K-3 is still not perfect, people are sure to find its price to be highly reasonable and appealing.

Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera Price in the Philippines: Approximately Php 68,000.00

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