Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99

Pentax K-3 front
Sony SLT-A99 front

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 Key Specs

Pentax K-3
(Full Review)
  • 24MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3.2" Fixed Screen
  • 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
  • Released April 2014
  • Successor is Pentax K-3 II
Sony A99
(Full Review)
  • 24MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 812g - 147 x 111 x 78mm
  • Revealed December 2012
  • Earlier Model is Sony A900
  • Replacement is Sony A99 II
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Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 Overview

Let's look much closer at the Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99, both Advanced DSLR digital cameras by brands Pentax and Sony. The image resolution of the K-3 (24MP) and the A99 (24MP) is fairly well matched but the K-3 (APS-C) and A99 (Full frame) offer totally different sensor sizes.

Photography Glossary

The K-3 was revealed 17 months later than the A99 making them a generation apart from each other. Both of the cameras feature the same body design (Mid-size SLR).

Before delving straight to a step-by-step comparison, here is a short summary of how the K-3 matches up versus the A99 in the way of portability, imaging, features and an overall grade.

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Reasons to pick Pentax K-3 over the Sony A99

 K-3 A99 
RevealedApril 2014December 2012More recent by 17 months
Display size3.2"3"Larger display (+0.2")

Reasons to pick Sony A99 over the Pentax K-3

 A99 K-3 
Display typeFully ArticulatedFixed Fully Articulating display
Display resolution1229k1037kCrisper display (+192k dot)
Selfie screen Take selfies

Common features in the Pentax K-3 and Sony A99

 K-3 A99 
Focus manually Very exact focus
Touch friendly display Neither has Touch friendly display

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 Physical Comparison

For those who are planning to lug around your camera regularly, you have to factor in its weight and measurements. The Pentax K-3 has exterior dimensions of 131mm x 100mm x 77mm (5.2" x 3.9" x 3.0") having a weight of 800 grams (1.76 lbs) and the Sony A99 has proportions of 147mm x 111mm x 78mm (5.8" x 4.4" x 3.1") along with a weight of 812 grams (1.79 lbs).

Examine the Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 in the all new Camera and Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Always remember, the weight of an Interchangeable Lens Camera will vary based on the lens you use at that moment. The following is a front view proportions comparison of the K-3 vs the A99.

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 size comparison

Factoring in size and weight, the portability rating of the K-3 and A99 is 59 and 57 respectively.

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 top view buttons comparison

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 Sensor Comparison

Usually, it is difficult to see the gap between sensor measurements purely by reading through a spec sheet. The visual here may offer you a far better sense of the sensor sizes in the K-3 and A99.

Clearly, both of those cameras come with the identical resolution but not the same sensor measurements. The K-3 offers the tinier sensor which is going to make obtaining shallower depth of field more difficult. The more recent K-3 is going to have an edge when it comes to sensor technology.

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 sensor size comparison

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 Screen and ViewFinder

Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Portrait photography with Pentax K-3
Portrait photography with Sony A99
has manual focus
good MP (24MP)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
comes with face detect autofocus
supports RAW formats
you can focus manually
megapixel count decent (24MP)
great sensor size (Full frame)
features face detect autofocus
exports RAW files
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Street Comparison

Pentax K-3 Street photography highlights
Sony A99 Street photography highlights
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
supports RAW formats
environment sealing
great ISO range (51,200)
fixed screen
screen articulates fully
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
great sensor size (Full frame)
exports RAW files
weather proof
great ISO range (25,600)
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Sports Comparison

Pentax K-3 Sports photography info
Sony A99 Sports photography info
high shutter speed (1/8,000s)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
good MP (24MP)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
comes with tracking focus
environment sealing
comes with phase detect autofocus
bad battery pack (560 per charge)
high shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count decent (24 megapixels)
great sensor size (Full frame)
features tracking focus
weather proof
sensor has phase detect autofocus
low battery power (500 shots)
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Travel Comparison

Travel photography with Pentax K-3
Travel photography with Sony A99
environment sealing
good MP (24 megapixels)
flash built-in
bad battery pack (560 shots)
display is not selfie friendly
weather proof
megapixel count decent (24 megapixels)
selfie friendly display
does not have Timelapse mode
low battery power (500 per charge)
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Landscape Comparison

Pentax K-3 as a Landscape photography camera
Sony A99 as a Landscape photography camera
has manual focus
interchangeable lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
screen size is good (3.2 inch)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
good MP (24 megapixels)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
no anti-alias filter
great ISO range (51,200)
supports RAW formats
environment sealing
2 card slots
bad battery pack (560 CIPA)
you can focus manually
swap lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
screen size is decent (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count decent (24 megapixels)
great sensor size (Full frame)
great ISO range (25,600)
exports RAW files
weather proof
2 card slots
low battery power (500 CIPA)
does not have Timelapse mode
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Vlogging Comparison

Pentax K-3 Vlogging info
Sony A99 Vlogging info
image stabilization (Sensor based)
comes with face detect autofocus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
does have microphone support
display is not selfie friendly
selfie friendly display
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
features face detect autofocus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
includes microphone support
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Pentax K-3 vs Sony A99 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Pentax K-3 and Sony A99
 Pentax K-3Sony SLT-A99
General Information
Brand Pentax Sony
Model Pentax K-3 Sony SLT-A99
Class Advanced DSLR Advanced DSLR
Released 2014-04-10 2012-12-12
Physical type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Processor Chip Prime III Bionz
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size APS-C Full frame
Sensor measurements 23.5 x 15.6mm 35.8 x 23.8mm
Sensor area 366.6mm² 852.0mm²
Sensor resolution 24 megapixels 24 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 3:2 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution 6016 x 4000 6000 x 4000
Highest native ISO 51200 25600
Minimum native ISO 100 100
RAW data
Manual focus
Touch focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Number of focus points 27 19
Cross focus points 25 11
Lens mounting type Pentax KAF2 Sony/Minolta Alpha
Total lenses 151 143
Crop factor 1.5 1
Screen type Fixed Type Fully Articulated
Screen size 3.2 inches 3 inches
Screen resolution 1,037 thousand dots 1,229 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Screen tech TFT LCD monitor TFT Xtra Fine color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) Electronic
Viewfinder resolution - 2,359 thousand dots
Viewfinder coverage 100% 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.64x 0.71x
Lowest shutter speed 30s 30s
Highest shutter speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
Continuous shooting rate 8.0 frames per sec 10.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range 13.00 m (at ISO 100) no built-in flash
Flash settings Auto, on, off, red-eye, slow sync, slow sync + red-eye, trailing curtain sync, high speed, wireless, manual Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
External flash
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize 1/180s 1/250s
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p) 1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps)
Highest video resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080
Video format MPEG-4, H.264 MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Microphone support
Headphone support
Wireless None None
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS Optional BuiltIn
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 800 gr (1.76 pounds) 812 gr (1.79 pounds)
Physical dimensions 131 x 100 x 77mm (5.2" x 3.9" x 3.0") 147 x 111 x 78mm (5.8" x 4.4" x 3.1")
DXO scores
DXO All around score 80 89
DXO Color Depth score 23.7 25.0
DXO Dynamic range score 13.4 14.0
DXO Low light score 1216 1555
Battery life 560 photographs 500 photographs
Type of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery model D-LI90 NP-FM500H
Self timer Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds) Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo; SD, SDHC and SDXC
Card slots Two Two
Price at launch $639 $1,998