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Pentax K-3 II DSLR - What's New?

Pentax has announced the K-3 II DSLR, with a newly developed Pixel Shift Resolution System.

|  Pentax K-3 II in Digital SLRs
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Ricoh Imaging has announced the Pentax K-3 II, a new flagship model in the K series. 

Ricoh say it promises the highest image quality for DSLR photographers, while being compact and maneuverable. The camera features an electronic compass, astrotracer and new generation Pentax shake reduction with an extra wide compensation range of as much as 4.5 shutter steps. There is also a new 86,000 pixels RGB exposure meter and SAFOX 11 27 points AF module with 25 cross points. Upgraded tracking accuracy at AF.C and a new imaging engine (Prime III) for ultraspeed data transfer are also included.

The Pentax K-3 II delivers exceptionally high-resolution images supported by state-of-the-art technologies including an enhanced shake reduction system - the most highly effective in the K series - and a newly developed super-resolution technology; the Pixel Shift Resolution System.

The K-3 II also features: an APS-C-size CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.35 effective megapixels; an AA-filter-free design for high-resolution image reproduction; a high-performance 27-point AF system; high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 8.3 images per second; and a dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction ideal for capturing shots outdoors. 

The camera also incorporates a GPS module allowing accurate recording of shooting locations and simplified, high-precision tracking of celestial bodies, to eliminate the need for an optional GPS unit. 

The K-3 II is available from 22 May 2015 body only or in various kits. Pricing is as follows:

  • K-3 II Body only - £769.99
  • K-3 II + 18-55mm WR - £849.99
  • K-3 II + 18-55mm WR & 50-200mm - £999.99
  • K-3 II + 18-135mm WR - £1,069.99
  • K-3 II + 16-85mm WR - £1,149.99

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Pentax K-3 II Key Features:

High-resolution images

The K-3 II combines an APS-C-size CMOS image sensor free of an anti-aliasing filter with a high-performance PRIME III imaging engine — identical to that in the PENTAX 645Z medium-format digital SLR camera — to optimise the imaging power of approximately 24.35 effective megapixels and deliver sharp, fine-gradation images. It also effectively minimises annoying noise generated at higher sensitivities, allowing high-grade, high-sensitivity shooting even at the top sensitivity of ISO 51200.

 

New-generation PENTAX-original shake reduction mechanism

(1) Upgraded in-body SR mechanism to assure the best shake reduction performance in the K series

The K-3 II comes equipped with a PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism that can be used with any compatible PENTAX interchangeable lens.* Thanks to its new, high-precision gyro sensor, this mechanism assures more stable, effective camera-shake compensation than ever before, with an extra-wide compensation range of as much as 4.5 shutter steps — the widest of all K-series digital SLR models. Even when taking a panning shot, this efficiently controls the SR unit to always produce the best image possible under the given conditions.

(2) New Pixel Shift Resolution System to deliver image resolution higher than the image sensor’s capacity

The K-3 II features Pixel Shift Resolution System,** the latest super-resolution technology, which captures four images of the same scene by shifting the image sensor by a single pixel for each image, then synthesizes them into a single composite image. Compared to the conventional Bayer system, in which each pixel has only a single unit of colour data, this new system obtains all colour data in each pixel. This innovative system delivers super-high-resolution images with far more truthful colour reproduction and much finer detail, while significantly lowering the level of high-sensitivity noise. Recorded images can also be synthesized, either on a computer using the accompanying utility software, or with the camera’s built-in RAW-data development function.

(3) Innovative AA filter simulator to minimise moiré

By applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the sub-pixel level during image exposure, the K-3 II’s AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator*** provides the same level of moiré reduction as an optical AA filter. Unlike an optical filter, which always creates an identical result, this innovative simulator lets the user not only switch the anti-aliasing filter effect on and off, but also to adjust the level of the effect. This means that the ideal effect can be set for a particular scene or subject.

(4) Supportive shooting functions

The K-3 II’s SR unit has a flexible design that tilts the image sensor unit in all directions. This means the K-3 II can provide a host of handy shooting functions, including auto level compensation; image-composition fine-adjustment; and ASTRO TRACER, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography.

* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions are not available with certain lenses.

** When using this system, the user is advised to stabilise the camera firmly on a tripod. When a moving subject is captured in the camera’s image field, its image may not be reproduced clearly, either in part or as a whole.

*** This function works most effectively with a shutter speed of 1/1000 second or slower. This function may not be combined with some shooting modes, including the Pixel Shift Resolution system.

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High-precision, SAFOX 11 sensor module with 27-point AF system

The K-3 II features the sophisticated SAFOX 11 AF sensor module with an expanded image-field coverage using 27 AF sensors (25 cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). The centre sensor and the two sensors just above and below it are designed to detect the light flux of an F2.8 lens, making it easy to obtain pinpoint focus on a subject when using a large-aperture lens. Thanks to the combination of a state-of-the-art AF algorithm and the advanced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, this AF system assures a much improved AF tracking performance in the AF Continuous mode, while providing an extra-wide measurable luminance range (–3EV to +18EV).

 

High-precision exposure control with PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System

The K-3 II is equipped with the advanced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, which is supported by an approximately 86,000-pixel RGB metering sensor. This system is designed to optimise the camera’s overall performance, not only by controlling exposure with great accuracy, but also by utilising the data obtained by the light-metering sensor to further enhance the accuracy of autofocusing and white-balance adjustment. It has also expanded the measurable luminance level to as low as –3EV. By detecting the type of scene or subject using the RGB metering sensor, the K-3 II selects the exposure settings that are more consistent with the photographer’s creative intentions.

 

High-speed continuous shooting with a top speed of approximately 8.3 images per second

The K-3 II continuously records as many as 23 images in the RAW format, or 60 images in the JPEG format,**** in a single sequence. This has been made possible through the use of several innovative developments, including: a high-speed, highly accurate control mechanism that regulates the shutter, mirror and diaphragm independently; a damper mechanism that effectively minimises mirror shock; and a high-speed data transmission system incorporated in the PRIME III imaging engine.

**** JPEG recorded pixels: L, JPEG image quality: Best

 

Optical viewfinder with nearly 100-percent field of view

The K-3 II’s glass prism has been treated with a coating that is designed to improve reflectance for a much brighter viewfinder image. With a magnification of approximately 0.95 times, its viewfinder provides a broad, bright image field for easy focusing and framing.

 

Full HD movie recording with an array of creative tools

The K-3 II captures Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/30p frame rate) in the H.264 recording format. It also comes equipped with a stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection and a headphone terminal. The user can even adjust the audio recording level manually and monitor sound pressure levels during recording. In addition to a host of distinctive visual effects available for movie recording,***** the K-3 II also provides the interval movie mode, which captures a series of 4K-resolution movie clips at a fixed interval.

***** When special image processing is required, the frame rate may vary depending on the selected special-effect mode.

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Built-in GPS module

Thanks to its built-in GPS module, the K-3 II provides a variety of advanced GPS functions, including the recording of location, latitude, longitude, altitude and UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) and direction at the time of shooting. The user can easily access images containing GPS data using a computer, to browse them, check on shooting locations and position data on the screen, or save them.

The user can also take advantage of unique tools, including: GPS log, which keeps track of the photographer’s movement; Electronic Compass, which displays the camera’s direction on the camera’s LCD monitor; and ASTROTRACER, which simplifies the tracing and photographing of celestial bodies by coupling GPS data with the camera’s SR mechanism.

 

Large, easy-to-view 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots

On its back panel, the K-3 II features a 3.2-inch high-resolution LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots and a 3:2 aspect ratio. In addition to its wide-view design, this monitor also has a protective tempered-glass front panel for added durability, and a unique air-gapless construction in which the air space between LCD layers is eliminated to effectively reduce the reflection and dispersion of light for improved visibility during outdoor shooting.

 

Compact, solid body with dustproof, weather-resistant construction

The K-3 II’s exterior casing, consisting of top and bottom panels and front and back frames, is made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy. Thanks to the inclusion of 92 sealing parts in the body, it boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, ensuring solid operation at temperatures as low as –10°C. It also features a dependable, durable shutter unit that withstands 200,000 shutter releases. Despite all these features, the K-3 II has been designed to be compact and manoeuvrable, assuring remarkable operability and swift response in the field.

 

Other features

  • Dual SD card slots for memory card flexibility (compatible with SDXC UHS-1 speed class in SDR104 buss speed mode)
  • Smartphone-support functions using the optional FLUCARD FOR PENTAX 16GB
  • Top-grade DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism for effective elimination of dust on the image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode with RAW-format data filing
  • PENTAX-invented hyper control system for quick, accurate response to the photographer’s creative intentions
  • Model dial with a choice of lock mechanism engagement (ON or OFF)
  • Compensation of various parameters: lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, diffraction, brightness level at image-field edges, and fringe effect (available in RAW-format processing only)
  • The latest version of Digital Camera Utility 5 software is included

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Photographs taken using the Pentax K-3 II

Glassboat BrasserieOrange-tipOut of the DarkAutumn in nightFly Agaric.RoseRed PerilHyde parkWye ValleyThe Long and Winding Road.Five.Horse

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Comments


dannyr 11 46 United Kingdom
23 Apr 2015 10:38AM
Very good camera and for a good price. But I do wish they put the K-S2's articulated screen on it, that would have made it perfect for me (I've been spoiled by cameras that have them!).
23 Apr 2015 1:16PM
It's a shame there's no built in flash
kjelle 12 1 Sweden
27 Apr 2015 10:10AM
Bad decision to remove the built in flash, no choise for me this model Sad

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