Pentax has just released the second in their line of APS-C CMOS bodies with a 24.35MP sensor and some exciting new features. Pixel Shift Resolution, Diffraction Correction and sensor shift shake reduction. Much like the Olympus E-M5 II, the Pentax K-3 II takes four sequential stills, shifting the sensor in one pixel increments in each direction. What’s delivered is an image with less noise, more sharpness and color information than a single image.
Another exciting addition to this camera is the sensor shift shake reduction. Much like the A7II, the K-3 II implements a high sensitivity gyro sensor to help shooters avoid nasty camera shake blur when shooting in low light.
So far in 2015, we’ve seen this method of stabilization becoming more common. Personally, I’ve found the on sensor shake reduction on the Sony a7II incredibly useful. It allows you to expose your images in new ways and take shots you would otherwise avoid, or not take. Seeing this on the Pentax K-3 II is a great sign for Pentax shooters.
The people over at Pentax have given us a lovely camera with some fantastic features at an incredibly affordable price.
The Pentax K-3 II is currently available at B&H for $1,096.95.
Pentax K-3 II DSLR Camera (Body Only)
- 24.35 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- PRIME III Image Processor
- Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulator
- 3.2″ 1.03m-Dot LCD Monitor
- Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
- SAFOX11 27-Point AF, 25 Cross Sensors
- ISO 100-51200, 8.3 fps Shooting
- 86k-Pixel RGB Exposure Metering
- Built-In GPS, Compass, and AstroTracer
- Shake Reduction & Pixel Shift Resolution
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.
Read more about the Pentax K-3 II DSLR Camera Specs and features at B&H
(cover photo credit: snap from B&H)