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PENTAX K-3 Mark III Announced

PENTAX K-3 Mark III Announced

An APS-C-format digital SLR flagship camera, featuring outstanding imaging performance and a range of advanced functions in a compact, sturdy body to define the PENTAX PRINCIPLES

RICOH COMPANY, LTD and RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. are pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-3 Mark III as the new flagship of the APS-C-format digital SLR camera series.

Developed as a camera that defines the PENTAX PRINCIPLES, the PENTAX K-3 Mark III features a host of functions and outstanding imaging performance to optimize the fun and excitement of the entire photography process.

For photographers who are particular about the key values of SLR cameras, and who cherish photography as a lifetime passion. PENTAX developed a top-grade, easy-to-view optical viewfinder which fully immerses the photographer while shooting.


It also renewed key devices, including the image sensor, imaging engine and accelerator unit. This was done to provide the highest possible image quality, and attain the super-high top sensitivity of ISO 1600000.

The compact, sturdy camera body assures excellent operability and portability. PENTAX has designed the PENTAX K-3 Mark III to be a camera that will be cherished by its users for many years to come.

At launch, PENTAX will be offering a Black Premium Kit and Silver Premium Kit in a limited run of just 1,000 units each around the world. This special package also includes a battery grip (Silver Premium Kit comes with a original silver version), exclusive leather strap and a spare battery.

The first cameras will be shipping from the factory in late April 2021 and are expected to hit Australian shores soon after. Australian pricing and availability will be announced soon, for now please enjoy this video from Australian Photographer Malificent Images where they provide first hand experience with the new PENTAX K-3 Mark III.

Full specs can be found on the official PENTAX website here

alongside more impressions from other photographers around the world. If you’re just after the major improvements, we’ve created a summary of the key features below

Key Features

Optical viewfinder with nearly 100% field of view and approximately 1.05-times magnification.

The PENTAX K-3 Mark III features an optical viewfinder with a nearly 100-percent field of view and a magnification of approximately x1.05. By incorporating a newly developed high-refraction glass prism, it assures a long eye relief, while providing a wide field of view equivalent to that of a full-frame SLR. Also, by using a distortion-correcting optical element and optimizing the lens coatings, it delivers a clear, true-to-life viewfinder image free of distortion, with brightness improved by nearly 10 percent over the PENTAX K-3 II’s viewfinder. Incorporating a Natural Bright Matte III focusing screen — known for ease of focus during manual-focus shooting — it also delivers a sharp, clear subject image with faithful reproduction of bokeh. In addition, the transparent overlay lets the user monitor a wide range of operational data in the viewfinder window.

25.73 effective Megapixel Sensor

As part of its passion for higher image quality, PENTAX equipped the PENTAX K-3 Mark III with a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with approximately 25.73 effective megapixels. By coupling this sensor with an AA (anti-aliasing)-filter-free optical design, the camera produces super-high-resolution images. PENTAX also renewed all key devices, including the newly developed, high-performance PRIME V imaging engine and new-generation accelerator unit to deliver well-defined images with minimal noise, while retaining high-resolution reproduction at all sensitivities — even in the super-low or super-high range. Also, by greatly improving the noise-reduction performance at high-sensitivity ranges, it boasts a super-high top sensitivity of ISO 1600000 to extend the range of scenes that can be photographed.

High-performance, five-axis SR II system for 5.5-shutter-step shake compensation.

The built-in SR II shake-reduction mechanism means that the PENTAX K-3 Mark III effectively minimizes camera shake and delivers sharp, blur-free images, even in camera-shake-prone conditions such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting low-light scenes without flash illumination, or photographing sunset scenes. In addition to horizontal and vertical camera shake caused by pitch and yaw, this five-axis mechanism compensates for camera shake caused by horizontal and vertical shift as well as camera shake caused by roll. It assures a compensation effect of approximately 5.5 shutter steps (CIPA standard compliant) — the highest level in PENTAX history — to expand the limits of handheld photography. This mechanism also provides a new Panning mode to capture sharp, clear images of slow-moving subjects.

This mechanism is compatible with K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2-, KAF3-and KAF4-mount lenses, and also with screw-mount and 645- and 67-system lenses using an adapter. Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

  • Pixel Shift Resolution System: Employing advanced super-resolution technology, this innovative system 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 color-data unit, this system obtains all color data in each pixel and delivers super-high-resolution images with more truthful colors and much finer details than those produced by the conventional system. To make this system more useful with a wider range of scenes and subjects, the camera provides ON/OFF switching of the Motion Correction function, which automatically detects only moving elements of the image during continuous shooting and minimizes negative effects during the synthesizing process.
  • AA-filter simulator to minimize moiré and false color: The PENTAX K-3 Mark III features an AA (anti-aliasing)-filter simulator, which effectively reduces moiré patterns to the same level as an optical AA filter, by applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor at the sub-pixel-level during exposure. Unlike a conventional optical AA filer, this innovative, PENTAX-original simulator provides ON/FF switching and level selection to assure the optimal filter effect for a given subject or photographic condition.

High-definition LCD monitor with intuitive touch-screen control

The PENTAX K-3 Mark III features a high-definition, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,620,000 pixels. Incorporating touch-screen control for the first time in the PENTAX K series, this monitor provides intuitive operation of monitor functions, including menu selection and image zooming during playback. Its air-gapless construction, in which a special resin material is injected into the gap between LCD layers and a protective tempered-glass cover, effectively reduces reflections and the dispersion of light to improve visibility during outdoor shooting. The viewfinder eyepiece is designed to protrude away from the LCD monitor screen, so the user’s nose does not contact the camera body. Positioned at the bottom of the eyepiece is an eye sensor, which turns the monitor off the moment the photographer looks into the viewfinder, preventing monitor illumination from affecting visibility during shooting.

SAFOX 13 autofocus system with 101 focus sensors

The PENTAX K-3 Mark III features a newly developed SAFOX 13 phase-matching AF sensor module for dependable, high-precision autofocus operations. It has 101 focus sensors, 25 of which are cross-type sensors positioned in the middle, to assure pinpoint focus on the subject at minimum brightness levels as low as -4 EV. Also, by featuring a new, high-capacity RGBIr image sensor with approximately 307,000 pixels and a newly developed image-tracking algorithm, the camera also assures accurate tracking of subjects moving at varying speed or in irregular motion. A newly installed AF point selector lever allows the user to select the desired focus point more intuitively (up to 41 points).

PENTAX Real-time Scene Analysis System, supported by the latest artificial intelligence technology

Supported by the combination of the new, high-density RGBIr image sensor and the high-performance PRIME V imaging engine, the PENTAX Real-time Scene Analysis System instantly detects the subject’s face and eyes using the advanced image recognition technology, then makes real-time analysis of their movement. This assists the camera in optimizing exposure settings and improving autofocusing accuracy. By adopting Deep Learning — a new artificial intelligence technology — the PENTAX K-3 Mark III assures more accurate subject detection and more reliable scene judgment.

High-Speed continuous shooting at a top speed of approximately 12 images per second

Thanks to a newly developed mirror-driving mechanism assuring high-speed, high-accuracy control of the mirror and shutter mechanisms, and the high-performance PRIME V imaging engine that performs high-speed data transmission, the PENTAX K-3 Mark III provides high-speed drive continuous shooting — with a maximum speed of approximately 12 images per second in the AF.S mode, or approximately 11 images per second in the AF.C mode.


User-friendly shooting functions to improve shooting efficiency and operability

  • PENTAX-exclusive Hyper Operation system, featuring a new Advanced mode for more flexible exposure control.
  • Operation Control Lock function, to prevent accidental operational errors of exposure-setting buttons and the four-way controller.
  • New-generation Smart Function with the dedicated Smart Function button, for speedy selection and setting of various functions without the need of switching on-screen menus.
  • Button Customization function, to assign user-selected functions to 10 different control buttons.

Compact, sturdy body with dustproof, weather-resistant construction

The PENTAX K-3 Mark III’s top, bottom, front and rear panels are all made of lightweight, high-rigidity magnesium alloy. Coupled with a dustproof, weather-resistant construction with special seals applied to crucial parts of the camera body, and outstanding cold-resistant performance to ensure stable operation at -10°C, the camera is designed to be extremely durable and dependable even in harsh environmental conditions, such as when shooting in the rain, or at dust-prone or low-temperature locations. The camera also features a durable, dependable shutter unit — verified in an endurance test of 300,000 shutter-release actions — to perfect the rugged body for worry-free shooting at any location.

4K-resolution movie recording with a range of functional settings

The PENTAX K-3 Mark III captures 4K-resolution movie clips (3840 x 2160 pixels; 30p/24p frame rate) or Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60p/30p/24p frame rate) in the H-264 recording format. Equipped with a stereo microphone input terminal and headset terminal, it also allows the user to manually set the audio recording level and monitor the sound pressure level for microphone input. Thanks to quiet touch-screen control on the LCD monitor positioned on its back panel, the desired shooting function and exposure compensation level can be set without worrying about operational noise.

Bluetooth® and wireless LAN connection

The PENTAX K-3 Mark III provides two Wi-Fi options — Bluetooth® and wireless LAN — for connection with mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers. By installing the dedicated Image Sync application in a mobile device, the user can view Live View images on a smartphone screen, or capture images and change camera settings using the mobile device. This application also allows the user to transfer captured images to a mobile device, and upload them to various Social Media networks.


Other features

  • DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism, for effective removal of dust particles using ultrasonic vibrations.
  • Effortless recharging of the camera battery via USB Type-C terminal.
  • Outdoor-friendly monitor with a Night Vision LCD Display function, for speedy adjustment of the monitor’s brightness level depending on the shooting location.
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) function, for simplifying handheld photography and saving captured images as RAW-format files.
  • Dual SD-card slot (with Slot One conforming to the UHS-II standard)
  • Ergonomic design of camera exterior and control parts, optimized to accommodate different hand sizes and finger lengths
  • Compatibility with old lenses without electronic contacts, for shooting in the Av (Aperture-priority) mode and saving the lens focal length as Exif data.
  • Latest version of Digital Camera Utility 5 software included.

Stay Tuned for More updates from us and PENTAX