Everything You Need to Know About Pentax K-3 Mark II - A Comprehensive Review

Thinking of buying the Pentax K-3 Mark II? Our detailed review covers all the features, specifications and performance of this popular camera model. Keywords: Pentax K-3 Mark II review, camera features, specifications, performance, image quality, autofocus, user interface.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Pentax K-3 Mark II article cover photo

Key Features

Apr 23 2015


24 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

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Overview of the K-3 Mark II

If you are a photography enthusiast, you must be familiar with the Pentax brand and its reputation for producing exceptional cameras. The Pentax K-3 Mark II is one of the most sought-after models from this brand. It boasts an impressive list of features and specifications that make it stand out from the competition. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the Pentax K-3 Mark II, covering everything you need to know about its features, performance, image quality, autofocus, and user interface. By the end of this review, you will have a clear understanding of whether this camera is right for your photography needs.

Pentax K-3 Mark II Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Pentax K-3 Mark II camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Excellent Image Quality
Weather-sealed Body
Dual SD Card Slots
Fast Autofocus
Built-in GPS and Astrotracer
High ISO Range
Accurate Colors
In-body Image Stabilization
24-megapixel Resolution
Customizable Controls


Limited Video Capabilities
Smaller Lens Selection
Bulky and Heavy
Poor Battery Life
No Touchscreen
Limited Wi-Fi Features
Low-resolution LCD Screen
Limited Dynamic Range
Expensive for non-professionals
No 4K Video

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Pentax K-3 Mark II

Weather sealed
Dimensions131 x 100 x 77mm

Weather Sealing

The Pentax K-3 Mark II camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the K-3 Mark II is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution1,037k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.20" screen, with a display resolution of 1,037k dots. This makes the Pentax K-3 Mark II not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


K-3 Mark II includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 100% and a magnification of 0.64x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Pentax K-3 Mark II has a 24MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 24 pixels. Pentax K-3 Mark II has a native ISO range of 100 - 51200 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Apr 23 2015


100 - 51200

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution6016 x 4000 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


80 / 102

Color Depth

23.6 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

13.6 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

1106 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Pentax K-3 Mark II camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the K-3 Mark II is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageDual SD/SDHC/SDXC
Battery Life720 shots
Battery ModelD-LI90
Wireless Connectivity


The Pentax K-3 Mark II supports Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC with 2 slots for storage. Having dual SD card slots on the Pentax K-3 Mark II is highly advantageous as it mitigates the risk of losing footage due to memory card malfunctions. This feature is particularly beneficial for wedding photography and other professional settings.


The Pentax K-3 Mark II uses the D-LI90 model of battery pack. This is rated for 720 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Pentax K-3 Mark II does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Pentax K-3 Mark II boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Pentax K-3 Mark II includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 27 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Pentax K-3 Mark II?

The Pentax K-3 Mark II features a CMOS sensor

Is the Pentax K-3 Mark II weather sealed?

Yes the K-3 Mark II does have weather sealing.

When was the Pentax K-3 Mark II announced?

The Pentax K-3 Mark II was announced on Apr 23 2015

Does the Pentax K-3 Mark II have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the K-3 Mark II does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Pentax K-3 Mark II?

The K-3 Mark II has a native ISO range of 100-51200, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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