Utilizing enhanced image processing and sensor-shift Shake Reduction technologies to their fullest potential, the K-3 II from Pentax is an advanced DSLR optimized for both high-speed and high-resolution shooting. Featuring a 24.35 MP APS CMOS sensor and a PRIME III image processor, this camera is capable of shooting up to 8.3 fps, full HD video recording, and has a sensitivity range from ISO 100-51200. Benefitting the image quality is a selectable anti-aliasing filter, which can be turned on or off to either garner the highest resolution and sharpness possible or provide enhanced protection against moiré, and the in-camera image stabilization compensates for up to 4.5 stops of camera shake for sharper imagery. This sensor-shift design further lends itself to the Pixel Shift Resolution function, which composites four separate exposures into a single frame while moving the sensor in one pixel increments between each shot in order to gain truer colors, greater resolving power, and reduced noise. Also making use of the sensor-shift mechanism, an AstroTracer function utilizes the in-camera GPS module along with the shifting sensor to compensate for the Earth's rotation and minimize the appearance of star trails when photographing the nighttime sky.
Complementing the imaging capabilities, a SAFOX11 autofocus system utilizes 27 distinct phase-detection points, 25 of which are cross-type, to quickly and accurately acquire focus. Enhanced continuous autofocus mode maintains critical focus on moving subjects more easily, and the 86k-pixel RGB exposure metering sensor also aids in focusing performance by offering a metering range down to -3 EV. Also supporting the K-3 II's use in trying conditions is a durable magnesium alloy and stainless steel body design that incorporates 92 distinct seals to render it water, cold, and dust-resistant. A large 0.95x optical pentaprism viewfinder permits bright, eye-level viewing with 100% frame coverage while a 3.2" 1.03m-dot LCD monitor allows for accurate live view shooting and image playback.
24.35 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor and PRIME III Processor
A large 24.35 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and PRIME III image processing engine work together to enable high-resolution imaging and full HD video recording with notable low-light sensitivity from ISO 100-51200. The image processor also contributes to a wealth of shooting speed for the camera, including a top full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 8.3 fps for up to 23 consecutive RAW images or 60 JPEGs and a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. This highly durable, advanced shutter mechanism employs a three-motor system that independently regulates the shutter, mirror, and diaphragm to minimize mirror shock for accurately-rendered images when shooting at higher frame rates.
Selectable Anti-Aliasing Filter
A unique and innovative mechanism allows you to toggle an anti-aliasing filter effect either on or off, providing support for both the high-resolution abilities of a filter-less design as well as advanced moiré protection. With the filter in the Off position, the camera is more prone to acquiring maximum sharpness, resolution, and detail from an image for the highest attainable image quality. When the filter position is set to either Type1 or Type2, an anti-aliasing simulator applies microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit during exposure; working to create the same effect as an optical anti-aliasing filter. Having both options available extends the camera's versatility and allows personalized selection of the benefits best-suited to individual applications. Additionally, AA filter simulation settings can also be bracketed for times when the likelihood of moiré is unknown.
Pixel Shift Resolution and Diffraction Correction
For increasing the effective resolving power, reducing noise, and achieving a more refined color palette, Pixel Shift Resolution technology composited four sequentially recorded stills while shifting the image sensor in one pixel increments in each direction after each exposure. This allows each pixel to record its own unique set of RGB data, rather than having each pixel record only red, green, or blue values per exposure and de-mosaicing or interpolating this information to form a final image. Since no interpolation is used, truer colors and reduced noise is possible, as well as increased edge sharpness and apparent clarity. This mode is most effective when photographing stationary objects from a tripod due to the extended duration and precision required during the process.
Also helping to increase sharpness, a Diffraction Correction function offers an effective two stop improvement in regard to the effects of diffraction and other aberrations common to working with smaller aperture sizes. This technology is possible due to the heightened processing capabilities of the PRIME III engine, and can also be applied to imagery during in-camera raw file development.
SAFOX11 Autofocus System
The SAFOX11 autofocus system employs 27 distinct phase-detection points, including 25 cross-type sensors, to quickly and accurately acquire focus on subjects in a variety of lighting conditions. Three central points also cover an f/2.8 luminance flux to extended sensitivity when working in lighting conditions as low as -3 EV. Also benefitting autofocus performance, the 86k-pixel RGB exposure metering sensor, light source sensor, and AF assist light help to further refine the focusing accuracy despite working in challenging situations.
The AF-C (continuous AF) algorithm also benefits from the use of the exposure metering sensor, which aids in maintaining responsive and accurate tracking performance on moving subjects, especially when moving perpendicular to the camera. AF-S (single-shot AF) performance has also been increased and requires less redundant movement, or fine-adjustment hunting, prior to acquiring focus.
86k-Pixel RGB Sensor Exposure Metering
In addition to benefitting the AF performance of the K-3 II, the 86k-pixel RGB sensor also helps to ensure accurate and consistent exposure metering with a range of -3 to +20 EV. A Real-Time Scene Analysis System analyzes the scene and subject at hand, and employs exposure meter readings and both color distribution and color movement detection to produce an exposure capable of best-rendering subjects.
Sensor-Shift Type Shake Reduction
With the inclusion of a high sensitivity gyro sensor, in-camera sensor-shift type Shake Reduction (SR) works to minimize the appearance of camera shake by 4.5 EV steps when using any mounted lens. Ideal for working in low-light conditions or with longer lenses, since the image stabilization is located within the body, both past, legacy lenses as well as current Pentax lenses all receive the benefits of SR. This image stabilization system can also detect horizontal panning motion and compensate for the lateral movement during shooting.
GPS, Electronic Compass, and AstroTracer
A built-in GPS module and electronic compass allow you to geotag your imagery during shooting for plotting to interactive maps to track where and when your shots were made on Google Earth.
Also benefitting from the GPS module, as well as the Shake Reduction sensor-shift mechanism, the K-3 II features a unique AstroTracer function to better enable making long exposures of the nighttime sky. Using the GPS coordinates and orientation of the camera, the image sensor will shift during the course of an exposure in order to compensate for the Earth's rotation and prevent star trails from occurring; resulting in sharper, clearer imagery and alleviating the need for an optional equatorial mount.
Full HD 1080p Video Recording and Time Lapse Movies
Full HD 1920 x 1080 video recording is supported in multiple frame rates, including 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, and 24p, in the high-quality H.264 format. HD 1280 x 720 video is also supported in 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p frame rates. Audio can be recorded along with video using the built-in microphone or, additionally, a 3.5mm microphone terminal is available for use of an external mic.
Beyond standard movie recording, an interval timer can also be used for making time-lapse sequences, which can be saved at 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) and compiled into a Motion JPEG file for seamless playback. The interval timer allows you to record up to 2,000 consecutive frames with an interval of 2 seconds to 24 hours between each frame, and a 2 second to 24 hour time delay available. When compositing frames, you can use Additive, Average, or Bright settings to smooth the transitions between frames.
- A rigid magnesium alloy shell over a stainless steel chassis renders the K-3 II fully weather-resistant, cold-proof to temperatures as low as 14°F, and sealed against dust and moisture using 92 independent seals.
- The optical pentaprism viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage and has a 0.95x magnification. Additionally, interchangeable optional focusing screens can be used depending on different focusing, viewing, and compositional needs.
- A large 3.2" 1.03m-dot LCD monitor enables working in live view when shooting or recording movies, and also benefits clear image playback and menu navigation. The screen has adjustable brightness, contrast, and color settings, an air-gapless design, and an anti-reflective coating for easier viewing in bright conditions.
- Dual SD memory card slots for greater storage flexibility and potential storage capacity when shooting.
- The shutter mechanism has been tested for 200,000 actuations for ensured durability.
- Dust Removal II function helps to maintain a clean, dust- and particle-free sensor surface.
- USB 3.0 interface permits fast file transfers when connected to a computer.
Other Camera Features
- A unique Hyper Operation System offers seamless control over both shutter and aperture-priority shooting when working in the Program mode. By turning the front e-dial, you can utilize shutter speed priority while maintaining the correct exposure settings, and the rear e-dial permits working with aperture-priority settings. The green button can be pressed to return to the original Program settings.
- Using the optional FluCard memory card for Pentax, this camera can pair with mobile devices over Wi-Fi for wireless image transfer and remote camera control. Optional Eye-Fi memory cards are also supported.
- Multi-pattern white balance recognizes and independently analyzes different lighting sources and types within an image and applies separate white balance adjustments to optimize the overall color reproduction.
- In-camera HDR shooting is possible for attaining greater highlight and shadow detail than a single exposure allows for. This mode records three separate exposures, with 1, 2, or 3 EV differences, and blends them together into a single frame.
- Multiple exposure shooting is possible in composite mode with additive, average, and bright settings for 2 to 2,000 individual exposures.
- Native support is offered for both Pentax PEF and Adobe DNG 14-bit RAW file types. It is also possible to retrieve RAW data from JPEG files if still present in the camera's buffer memory.
- Custom Image modes: Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, and Cross Processing.
- Digital Filters available during capture: Extract Color, Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Shading, Invert Color, Unicolor Bold, and Bold Monochrome.
- Digital Filters available during playback: Base Parameter Adj, Extract Color, Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Shading, Invert Color, Unicolor Bold, Bold Monochrome, Tone Expansion, Sketch, Water Color, Pastel, Posterization, Miniature, Soft, Starburst, Fish-eye, and Slim.
- Language support: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, and Russian.