Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r

Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 front
Pentax K-r front

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r Key Specs

Panasonic S3
(Full Review)
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-112mm (F3.1-5.6) lens
  • 117g - 99 x 59 x 21mm
  • Released January 2011
Pentax K-r
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 200 - 12800 (Increase to 25600)
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/6000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 598g - 125 x 97 x 68mm
  • Revealed March 2011
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Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r Overview

Here is a detailed overview of the Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r, former being a Small Sensor Compact while the latter is a Entry-Level DSLR by manufacturers Panasonic and Pentax. The resolution of the S3 (14MP) and the K-r (12MP) is relatively comparable but the S3 (1/2.3") and K-r (APS-C) possess different sensor dimensions.

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The S3 was brought out 2 months earlier than the K-r so they are both of a similar age. Both of these cameras come with different body type with the Panasonic S3 being a Compact camera and the Pentax K-r being a Compact SLR camera.

Before delving through a in-depth comparison, below is a brief view of how the S3 grades vs the K-r for portability, imaging, features and an overall rating.

Photography Glossary

Reasons to pick Panasonic S3 over the Pentax K-r

 S3 K-r 

Reasons to pick Pentax K-r over the Panasonic S3

 K-r S3 
Manually focus Dial accurate focusing
Screen dimension3"2.7"Bigger screen (+0.3")
Screen resolution921k230kClearer screen (+691k dot)

Common features in the Panasonic S3 and Pentax K-r

 S3 K-r 
RevealedJanuary 2011March 2011Same age
Screen typeFixed Fixed Fixed screen
Selfie screen Neither provides selfie screen
Touch screen Neither provides Touch screen

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r Physical Comparison

For anybody who is looking to carry your camera regularly, you will need to consider its weight and volume. The Panasonic S3 provides exterior dimensions of 99mm x 59mm x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8") and a weight of 117 grams (0.26 lbs) and the Pentax K-r has sizing of 125mm x 97mm x 68mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.7") having a weight of 598 grams (1.32 lbs).

Check out the Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r in our brand new Camera & Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Always remember, the weight of an ILC will differ dependant on the lens you choose at the time. The following is the front view physical size comparison of the S3 against the K-r.

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r size comparison

Considering size and weight, the portability score of the S3 and K-r is 96 and 67 respectively.

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r top view buttons comparison

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r Sensor Comparison

In many cases, it's tough to visualize the gap in sensor sizing simply by seeing technical specs. The visual here will offer you a stronger sense of the sensor sizes in the S3 and K-r.

As you can tell, both the cameras posses different megapixel count and different sensor sizing. The S3 due to its smaller sensor is going to make shooting bokeh tougher and the Panasonic S3 will provide extra detail having its extra 2MP. Higher resolution will let you crop photographs somewhat more aggressively.

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r sensor size comparison

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r Screen and ViewFinder

Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Panasonic S3 Portrait photography info
Pentax K-r Portrait photography info
decent sensor resolution (14MP)
no manual focus
no manual mode
cannot use external flash
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
has no RAW support
manual focus
sensor size is good (APS-C)
offers face detect autofocus
saves RAW formats
sensor resolution low (12MP)
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Street Comparison

Panasonic S3 Street photography highlights
Pentax K-r Street photography highlights
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition (117g)
no articulating screen
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
has no RAW support
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
saves RAW formats
fixed screen
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Sports Comparison

Sports photography with Panasonic S3
Sports photography with Pentax K-r
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent sensor resolution (14 megapixels)
low frames per second (2.0 frames/s)
no shutter priority
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
has no phase detect AF
maximum shutter speed is high (1/6,000s)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
sensor has phase detect autofocus
painfully slow continuous shooting (6.0 frames/s)
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
low battery (470 shots)
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Travel Comparison

Panasonic S3 Travel photography advice
Pentax K-r Travel photography advice
lighter than competition (117 grams)
decent sensor resolution (14 megapixels)
has built in flash
really wide (28mm)
no Timelapse mode
screen isn't selfie friendly
slow max aperture (f3.1)
built-in flash
low battery (470 per charge)
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
screen is not selfie friendly
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Landscape Comparison

Panasonic S3 as a Landscape photography camera
Pentax K-r as a Landscape photography camera
really wide (28mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent sensor resolution (14MP)
no manual focus
cannot switch lenses (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f3.1)
small screen (2.7 inches)
no manual mode
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
has no RAW support
no Timelapse mode
manual focus
swap lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
decent sized screen (3 inch)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
saves RAW formats
sensor resolution low (12MP)
low battery (470 shots)
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Vlogging Comparison

Panasonic S3 Vlogging features
Pentax K-r Vlogging features
really wide (28mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition (117g)
slow max aperture (f3.1)
screen isn't selfie friendly
low quality video (1280 x 720 resolution)
no external microphone socket
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
offers face detect autofocus
screen is not selfie friendly
video quality not great (1280 x 720 resolution)
no mic port
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Panasonic S3 vs Pentax K-r Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Panasonic S3 and Pentax K-r
 Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3Pentax K-r
General Information
Company Panasonic Pentax
Model type Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 Pentax K-r
Class Small Sensor Compact Entry-Level DSLR
Released 2011-01-05 2011-03-11
Body design Compact Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Processor Chip Venus Engine IV Prime II
Sensor type CCD CMOS
Sensor size 1/2.3" APS-C
Sensor dimensions 6.08 x 4.56mm 23.6 x 15.8mm
Sensor area 27.7mm² 372.9mm²
Sensor resolution 14 megapixel 12 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 3:2
Full resolution 4320 x 3240 4288 x 2848
Max native ISO 6400 12800
Max boosted ISO - 25600
Minimum native ISO 100 200
RAW support
Minimum boosted ISO - 100
Focus manually
Touch focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points 11 11
Cross type focus points - 9
Lens support fixed lens Pentax KAF2
Lens zoom range 28-112mm (4.0x) -
Maximum aperture f/3.1-5.6 -
Macro focusing distance 5cm -
Total lenses - 151
Crop factor 5.9 1.5
Screen type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen diagonal 2.7 inch 3 inch
Screen resolution 230 thousand dot 921 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Screen technology TFT LCD TFT LCD monitor
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder None Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage - 96%
Viewfinder magnification - 0.57x
Slowest shutter speed 8s 30s
Maximum shutter speed 1/1600s 1/6000s
Continuous shooting speed 2.0 frames per sec 6.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation - Yes
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance 3.30 m 12.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash options Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync, High-Speed Sync and Wireless Sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Maximum flash sync - 1/180s
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions 1280 x 720 (30fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps) 1280 x 720 (25 fps), 640 x 480 (25 fps)
Max video resolution 1280x720 1280x720
Video format MPEG-4 Motion JPEG
Mic jack
Headphone jack
Wireless None None
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None Optional
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 117 grams (0.26 lb) 598 grams (1.32 lb)
Dimensions 99 x 59 x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8") 125 x 97 x 68mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.7")
DXO scores
DXO All around rating not tested 72
DXO Color Depth rating not tested 22.9
DXO Dynamic range rating not tested 12.4
DXO Low light rating not tested 755
Battery life 250 photographs 470 photographs
Type of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery ID - D-LI109,4 x AA
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 sec) Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal SD/SDHC
Storage slots One One
Launch pricing $110 $1,100