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Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3

Portability
55
Imaging
76
Features
82
Overall
78
Pentax K-1 front
 
Pentax K-3 front
Portability
59
Imaging
66
Features
85
Overall
73

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 Key Specs

Pentax K-1
(Full Review)
  • 36MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3.2" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 100 - 204800
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 1010g - 137 x 110 x 86mm
  • Introduced February 2016
  • Replacement is Pentax K-1 II
Pentax K-3
(Full Review)
  • 24MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3.2" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 51200
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 800g - 131 x 100 x 77mm
  • Revealed April 2014
  • Refreshed by Pentax K-3 II
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Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 Overview

The following is a in depth analysis of the Pentax K-1 versus Pentax K-3, both Advanced DSLR digital cameras and both are manufactured by Pentax. There exists a sizeable gap between the image resolutions of the K-1 (36MP) and K-3 (24MP) and the K-1 (Full frame) and K-3 (APS-C) provide totally different sensor measurements.

Photography Glossary

The K-1 was announced 23 months after the K-3 making them a generation away from one another. Each of these cameras feature the same body design (Mid-size SLR).

Before we go right into a in-depth comparison, here is a quick synopsis of how the K-1 matches up versus the K-3 when it comes to portability, imaging, features and an overall mark.

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Reasons to pick Pentax K-1 over the Pentax K-3

 K-1 K-3 
RevealedFebruary 2016April 2014Newer by 23 months
Display typeFully ArticulatedFixed Fully Articulating display

Reasons to pick Pentax K-3 over the Pentax K-1

 K-3 K-1 

Common features in the Pentax K-1 and Pentax K-3

 K-1 K-3 
Manual focus More accurate focus
Display size3.2"3.2"Same display measurements
Display resolution1037k1037kIdentical display resolution
Selfie screen No selfie screen
Touch friendly display Neither comes with Touch friendly display

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 Physical Comparison

If you are aiming to travel with your camera often, you'll need to consider its weight and measurements. The Pentax K-1 comes with external dimensions of 137mm x 110mm x 86mm (5.4" x 4.3" x 3.4") having a weight of 1010 grams (2.23 lbs) whilst the Pentax K-3 has proportions of 131mm x 100mm x 77mm (5.2" x 3.9" x 3.0") with a weight of 800 grams (1.76 lbs).

Check the Pentax K-1 versus Pentax K-3 in the latest Camera and Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Don't forget, the weight of an Interchangeable Lens Camera will differ based on the lens you are utilising at that moment. Following is a front view measurement comparison of the K-1 vs the K-3.

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 size comparison

Using dimensions and weight, the portability rating of the K-1 and K-3 is 55 and 59 respectively.

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 top view buttons comparison

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 Sensor Comparison

Sometimes, it can be hard to visualise the difference between sensor dimensions only by going over a spec sheet. The image below may offer you a far better sense of the sensor dimensions in the K-1 and K-3.

Clearly, both cameras feature different megapixel count and different sensor dimensions. The K-1 having a larger sensor will make achieving shallow DOF easier and the Pentax K-1 will offer you extra detail with its extra 12 Megapixels. Greater resolution will allow you to crop photos way more aggressively. The fresher K-1 will have an edge with regard to sensor tech.

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 sensor size comparison

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 Screen and ViewFinder

Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Pentax K-1 Portrait photography advice
Pentax K-3 Portrait photography advice
85
you can focus manually
resolution is excellent (36MP)
big sensor size (Full frame)
has face detect focusing
saves RAW formats
79
you can focus manually
MP count good (24MP)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports face detection focus
saves RAW files
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Street Comparison

Street photography with Pentax K-1
Street photography with Pentax K-3
70
screen can move to multiple angles
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
big sensor size (Full frame)
saves RAW formats
environment sealing
great ISO range (204,800)
heavier than competitors in class (1,010 grams)
69
image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
saves RAW files
weather sealing
great ISO range (51,200)
fixed screen
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Sports Comparison

Pentax K-1 as a Sports photography camera
Pentax K-3 as a Sports photography camera
76
high shutter speed (1/8,000s)
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
resolution is excellent (36 megapixels)
big sensor size (Full frame)
has tracking focus
environment sealing
comes with phase detect AF
slow fps (4.4 fps)
bad battery (760 per charge)
76
high shutter speed (1/8,000s)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
MP count good (24 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports tracking autofocus
weather sealing
comes with phase detect auto focus
bad battery (560 shots)
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Travel Comparison

Pentax K-1 Travel photography factors
Pentax K-3 Travel photography factors
53
environment sealing
resolution is excellent (36MP)
bad battery (760 per charge)
heavier than competitors in class (1,010 grams)
display is not selfie friendly
60
weather sealing
MP count good (24MP)
flash built-in
bad battery (560 CIPA)
display isn't selfie friendly
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Landscape Comparison

Pentax K-1 Landscape photography details
Pentax K-3 Landscape photography details
81
you can focus manually
interchangeable lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
screen size is good (3.2")
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
resolution is excellent (36 megapixels)
big sensor size (Full frame)
does not have anti aliasing filter
great ISO range (204,800)
saves RAW formats
environment sealing
2 card slots
bad battery (760 CIPA)
78
you can focus manually
switch lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
good sized screen (3.2 inches)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
MP count good (24MP)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
doesnt have anti aliasing filter
great ISO range (51,200)
saves RAW files
weather sealing
2 card slots
bad battery (560 shots)
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Vlogging Comparison

Vlogging with Pentax K-1
Vlogging with Pentax K-3
31
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
has face detect focusing
high res video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
does have mic support
display is not selfie friendly
heavier than competitors in class (1,010g)
34
image stabilization (Sensor based)
supports face detection focus
good video quality (1920 x 1080 pxls)
does have external microphone support
display isn't selfie friendly
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Pentax K-1 vs Pentax K-3 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Pentax K-1 and Pentax K-3
 Pentax K-1Pentax K-3
General Information
Brand Pentax Pentax
Model Pentax K-1 Pentax K-3
Type Advanced DSLR Advanced DSLR
Introduced 2016-02-17 2014-04-10
Physical type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Powered by - Prime III
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size Full frame APS-C
Sensor measurements 35.9 x 24mm 23.5 x 15.6mm
Sensor area 861.6mm² 366.6mm²
Sensor resolution 36MP 24MP
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 3:2 3:2
Highest resolution 7360 x 4912 6016 x 4000
Highest native ISO 204800 51200
Minimum native ISO 100 100
RAW format
Autofocusing
Manual focus
Touch to focus
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Number of focus points 33 27
Cross focus points 25 25
Lens
Lens mounting type Pentax KAF2 Pentax KAF2
Number of lenses 151 151
Crop factor 1 1.5
Screen
Type of display Fully Articulated Fixed Type
Display diagonal 3.2" 3.2"
Display resolution 1,037k dots 1,037k dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch function
Display tech - TFT LCD monitor
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100 percent 100 percent
Viewfinder magnification 0.7x 0.64x
Features
Slowest shutter speed 30 secs 30 secs
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 secs 1/8000 secs
Continuous shooting rate 4.4 frames/s 8.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range no built-in flash 13.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash settings Auto Flash Discharge, Auto Flash + Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On + Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Slow-speed Sync + Red-eye, P-TTL, Trailing Curtain Sync, Contrast-control-sync, High-speed sync, Wireless sync Auto, on, off, red-eye, slow sync, slow sync + red-eye, trailing curtain sync, high speed, wireless, manual
External flash
AEB
WB bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize 1/200 secs 1/180 secs
Exposure
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p) 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)
Highest video resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080
Video data format MPEG-4, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone support
Headphone support
Connectivity
Wireless Built-In None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
GPS Built-in Optional
Physical
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 1010 gr (2.23 pounds) 800 gr (1.76 pounds)
Physical dimensions 137 x 110 x 86mm (5.4" x 4.3" x 3.4") 131 x 100 x 77mm (5.2" x 3.9" x 3.0")
DXO scores
DXO All around score 96 80
DXO Color Depth score 25.4 23.7
DXO Dynamic range score 14.6 13.4
DXO Low light score 3280 1216
Other
Battery life 760 photos 560 photos
Battery style Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery model D-LI90 D-LI90
Self timer Yes (2 or 12 sec, custom) Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Time lapse feature
Storage type Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC
Card slots 2 2
Retail pricing $1,499 $639