Pentax K-3 Mark III: pro stills DSLR, lacks key video features

It’s been nearly six years since the K-3 Mark II came out. Fans of the line have waited years for its successor. The Pentax K-3 Mark III features a lot of pro-level photography features but lacks some key video components.

Though mirrorless cameras are the norm now, Ricoh made the K-3 Mark III a DSLR. There are both pros and cons to this decision. Mirrorless users enjoy features like electronic viewfinders. Though the K-3 Mark III has a lot of fierce competition, feature-wise, it seems the camera can compete in a market stacked against it.

Pentax K-3 Mark III Overview

Ricoh Pentax K-3 Mark III

Overall, the camera is much more of a photography camera than it is a video camera. However, it doesn’t necessarily lack in the video department. At its core, the K-3 Mark III houses a 25.73-megapixel BSI sensor. With it, it takes 25.6MP photos. Its five-axis IBIS system keeps the sensor stable during shoots. According to Pentax, the camera improves on the K-3 Mark II’s noise-reduction performance, operating at a higher ISO. At top sensitivity, the camera reaches a sensitivity of 1,600,000.

Pentax K-3 Mark III utilizes continuous focus

The K-3 Mark III’s autofocus allows for 11fps capture with continuous focus, and 12fps with focus locked after capturing the first image. Additionally, its autofocus utilizes 101 focus points. Twenty-five of those points is cross-type. Also, the camera uses a 307,000-pixel RGBIr metering system.

With machine learning technology, the camera recognizes human faces and eyes and tracks their movements using the optical viewfinder, a first for SLR. It’s common for mirrorless systems. Though, the autofocus is contrast-based. This isn’t the best system for tracking movement. However, it works fine for setting up shots without high movement.

Ricoh Pentax K-3 Mark III side and top

Lacking pro-level video features

At first glance, the K-3 Mark III seems to offer decent video features. It’s capable of 4K video at up to 30 frames per second — the first Pentax capable recording at this resolution. It’s also able to record Full HD 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second. However, it’s missing key features pro-level video cameras need, like waveforms and log profiles.


The K-3 Mark III features a magnesium alloy chassis and dust and splash protection. Its back display comes with about 1,620,000 pixels and supports touch input. However, it doesn’t have any articulation. Also, it features an optical pentaprism viewfinder.

Ricoh Pentax K-3 Mark III back


  • 25.73-megapixel BSI sensor
  • 4K video at up to 30 frames per second
  • Full HD 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second
  • 25.6MP photos
  • No waveforms or log profiles
  • ISO sensitivity up to 1,600,000
  • IBIS
  • Optical pentaprism viewfinder
  • 5-axis, 5.5-shutter-step camera shake compensation
  • 3.2-inch monitor with about 1,620,000 pixels

Pricing and availability

The camera comes out on April 6th for $2,000. Later in the month, Pentax plans to release two limited-edition kits, a Pentax K-3 Mark III Black Premium Kit and a Silver Premium Kit. The kits include the camera body and a battery grip. The difference between the two kits is the Silver Premium Kit comes with a silver-colored camera and grip. The kits also come with an extra battery and a leather strap. The kits come out in late April for $2,300.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's Managing Editor.

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