Pentax K-3 II

Pentax K-3 II front
  • 24MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3.2" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 51200
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 800g - 131 x 100 x 77mm
  • Revealed April 2015
  • Older Model is Pentax K-3
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Pentax K-3 II overview

Pentax K-3 II is Pentax's Advanced DSLR camera initially released on April of 2015. It houses a 24 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 6016 x 4000.

Pentax brought out this camera as a way to upgrade the earlier Pentax K-3 (Read Full Comparison)

The K-3 II is rated #21 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras & all-around #130 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. You can check our Advanced camera search to get camera results based on your personalized factors.

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Here is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Pentax K-3 II family

The Pentax K-3 II is part of a family of digital cameras. You can read the complete range below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Pentax-K-3-Mark-III front thumbnailPentax K-3 III
K-3 II vs K-3 III
26MPAPS-C12.0 fps2021
Pentax-KP front thumbnailPentax KP
K-3 II vs KP
24MPAPS-C7.0 fps2017
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Pentax-K-3-II front thumbnailPentax K-3 II24MPAPS-C8.3 fps2015
Pentax-K-S1 front thumbnailPentax K-S1
K-3 II vs K-S1
20MPAPS-C5.4 fps2014
Pentax-K-3 front thumbnailPentax K-3
K-3 II vs K-3
24MPAPS-C8.0 fps2014
Pentax-K-5-IIs front thumbnailPentax K-5 IIs
K-3 II vs K-5 IIs
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2013
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Pentax-K-5-II front thumbnailPentax K-5 II
K-3 II vs K-5 II
16MPAPS-C7.0 fps2013

Pentax K-3 II Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of advantages and drawbacks of the Pentax K-3 II based on criterias that are generally seen as essential in a camera.

above average ISO range (51,200)
above average min ISO (100)
comes with phase detect auto focus
does have HDMI socket
does have headphone socket
does have microphone socket
does not have anti-alias filter
exports RAW formats
focusing manually
good sized screen (3.2")
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
has Top LCD display
high resolution screen (1,037 thousand dots)
high res video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000 seconds)
MP count good (24 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
provides face detect focus
provides tracking focus
switch lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
two card slots
weather proof
bad battery power (720 CIPA)
doesn't posses selfie friendly display
screen is fixed
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Pentax K-3 II Sensor specifications

The Pentax K-3 II is powered by the Prime III chip. The size of the sensor on the Pentax K-3 II is 23.5mm x 15.6mm (APS-C). The 367 mm² sensor is able to resolve 6016 x 4000 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2. The camera features Image Stabilization (Sensor based). In body stabilization is superior than digital stabilization since the latter might lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 24 megapixels and delivers a native ISO range of 100 to 51200. RAW format is saved which means that the user has wider room to maneuver in post.

Pentax chose to skip the anti-alias filter on the Pentax K-3 II. This might result in more clearer images but can create moire under certain conditions.

The picture below shows the K-3 II's sensor dimensions compared to other common sizes. The K-3 II sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is presented in green.

Pentax K-3 II sensor size Pentax 17 Pre-Orders Outperform Expectations by a Landslide

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Pentax K-3 II dimensions

Pentax K-3 II is 1.76 lbs (800 gr / 28.22 oz) & has outside measurements of 131mm x 100mm x 77mm (5.2" x 3.9" x 3.0"). The weight of general Advanced DSLR camera is 776 gr and the Pentax K-3 II is very similar as compared with its rivals.

Photography Glossary

Listed below is a visual of the Pentax K-3 II next to a soda so you can get a sense of its scale.

Pentax K-3 II dimensions scale

The top view directly below will highlight the button arrangement on the K-3 II.

Pentax K-3 II topview buttons dials

Pentax K-3 II Lens specifications

The K-3 II works with the Pentax KAF2 mount and has 17 lenses on the market today. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the K-3 II.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Samsung-D-Xenon-50-200-F4-5.6-ED-Pentax-KAF lensSamsung D-Xenon 50-200 F4-5.6 ED50-200mmf/4.0-5.6 255g
Samsung-D-Xenon-18-250mm-F3.5-6.3 lensSamsung D-Xenon 18-250mm F3.5-6.318-250mmf/3.5-6.3 455g
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Venus-Laowa-25mm-F2.8-2.5-5X-Ultra-Macro-Pentax-KAF2 lensVenus Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro25mmf/2.8400g
HD-Pentax-DA-55-300mm-F4.0-5.8-ED-WR lensHD Pentax DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED WR55-300mmf/4.0-5.8 466g
Pentax-smc-DA-60-250mm-F4.0-ED-IF-SDM lensPentax smc DA 60-250mm F4.0 ED IF SDM60-250mmf/4.0 1040g
Samsung-D-Xenon-12-24mm-F4-ED-Pentax-KAF lensSamsung D-Xenon 12-24mm F4 ED12-24mmf/4.0 430g
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Samsung-D-Xenon-100mm-F2.8-macro lensSamsung D-Xenon 100mm F2.8 macro100mmf/2.8 345g
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Pentax K-3 II Connectivity

The K-3 II has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that have NFC or Bluetooth connectivity are able to be used wirelessly by smartphones. You will be able to send photos and oftentimes adjust camera settings without connecting straight to the camera.

A few applications even stream a Liveview and press the shutter when you aren't near the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it can easily be connected to an external display. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery through the USB socket.

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Pentax K-3 II Video specifications

The highest video resolution on the Pentax K-3 II is 1920 x 1080 and you can shoot in MPEG-4 and H.264 format. 1080p resolution is an excellent balance in quality vs file sizes but FULL HD isn't going to leave you with any room to downsample. The camera does feature both headphone and microphone socket making it very useful whilst capturing sound.

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Pentax K-3 II Weather Sealing

Pentax K-3 II has weather sealing making it a good choice for use in challenging conditions. This can be particularly handy if you are unsure about the elements you may face in outdoor photography.

Pentax K-3 II Display and Viewfinder

The Pentax K-3 II is equipped with a 3.2 inch fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 1,037 thousand dots.

Please note that the display has no touch support. The K-3 II also includes a Top LCD display so you can quickly checkout the camera's settings.

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The View Finder specifications for Pentax K-3 II are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100%
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.64x

Viewfinders are pretty useful in bright outdoor situations which might make the camera display washed out and difficult to see.

Pentax K-3 II Shutter specifications

Pentax K-3 II is able to shoot continuously at 8.3 fps. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000s.

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Pentax K-3 II Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Pentax K-3 II features external flash ability but is without built in flash. The highest flash sync speed is 1/180s.

Pentax K-3 II Autofocus specifications

Pentax K-3 II features both Phase Detect AF plus Contrast Based AF. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more snappier & accurate when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera supports Face detect which is valuable for people photography.

The AF system supports 27 focus points to pick from. It also has Tracking AF for things on the move. Pentax K-3 II features manual focusing in case it is required in low light conditions or you want more accurate focusing control.

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Pentax K-3 II Battery life

The battery power (D-LI90) in the Pentax K-3 II is made to last for 720 photographs as per the CIPA standards which is lesser when compared to it's rivals. The typical Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 has the highest (2260) battery life in this category of cameras.

Underneath is a listing of Advanced DSLR cameras that have the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
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Pentax K-3 II for specific kinds of photography

The following diagram shows a overview of the Pentax K-3 II for specific kinds of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section below.

Pentax K-3 II Portrait photography advice

The Pentax K-3 II gets a score of 79 which is great, and means the camera is a terrific choice to use for portraits. Photographing portrait images favors greatly towards sensor specs, support for RAW files together with the option to work with off-camera lighting.

Photography Glossary
has manual focus
decent megapixels (24MP)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
offers face detection autofocus
delivers RAW files

Street photography with Pentax K-3 II

Getting a nice points tally of 69, the Pentax K-3 II is a good option for street photography. A very good street photography camera offers a fine balance of picture quality plus portability.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
delivers RAW formats
weather proofing
great ISO range (51,200)
no moving screen

Pentax K-3 II Sports photography highlights

A fantastic sports photography points total of 76 indicates the Pentax K-3 II is a fantastic pick for taking pictures of sports. A camera needs great tracking plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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high shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count decent (24 megapixels)
good sensor size (APS-C)
has tracking focus
weather proof
has phase detect AF
terrible battery (720 shots)

Pentax K-3 II Travel photography features

Size is pretty crucial when picking a camera for travel. All round, the Pentax K-3 II gets a reasonable 56 as a travelling camera which is relatively appropriate to take on your vacations.

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weather proofing
decent MP (24 megapixels)
terrible battery pack (720 shots)
does not feature selfie friendly screen

Landscape photography with Pentax K-3 II

For anybody planning to buy a digital camera for landscape photography, the most significant factor is going to be image quality. The Pentax K-3 II with it's very high score of 78 for a landscape camera is a great pick in the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
change lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
decent sized screen (3.2")
image stabilization (Sensor based)
MP count decent (24MP)
good sensor size (APS-C)
does not have anti aliasing filter
good ISO range (51,200)
saves RAW formats
environment sealing
has dual storage slots
bad battery (720 per charge)

Pentax K-3 II Vlogging information

A vlogging camera preferably should offer a articulating screen, microphone input and preferably IBIS. Considering everything, the Pentax K-3 II is simply not suitable for vlogging as it gets a lousy score of 34.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
provides face detection autofocus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
does have external mic socket
display isn't selfie friendly

Pentax K-3 II Alternatives

If you need alternatives to the K-3 II, below is a range of the top scored cameras which fall in to the category of Advanced DSLR.

The line chart followed below gives you a bird's eye view of the K-3 II vs it's top ranked rivals suggested earlier.

These are some more cameras you might look into as alternatives. To review a complete comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Pentax K-3 II
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Prime III
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.5 x 15.6mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
24 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Full resolution
6016 x 4000
RAW pictures
Max native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
AF touch
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
AF center weighted
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Total focus points
Cross type focus points
Lens support
Pentax KAF2
Total lenses
Crop factor
Type of display
Fixed Type
Display size
Resolution of display
1,037 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
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 (available with dedicated external flash)
Hot shoe
White balance bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/180 seconds
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)
Max video resolution
Video file format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
800 grams (1.76 pounds)
Physical dimensions
131 x 100 x 77mm (5.2" x 3.9" x 3.0")
Battery life
720 images
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes ( 2 or 12 seconds)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
Card slots
Cost at launch