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The 24 Megapixels The World Forgot

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When was the last time you picked up a Pentax?

Well I’m here to tell you; you shouldn’t forget about the semi professional K-3 – it’s a seriously good camera and one you should definitely pick up if you’re into landscape, sports or action photography.


Pentax K-3 With Battery Grip

I’ve taken a look at the DxOMark results on the K-3 compared against two rivals, the Canon EOS 7D MK II and the Nikon D750. Here’s a quick screenshot of the DxOMark comparison.

 

DxOMark K-3, 7D MK II, D750

I’ve listed below my thoughts on the camera based on the above results. This isn’t a full review, nor is it a paid one, it’s simply my own views and opinion. I suppose I just want to remind the world there are other brands out there that are very capable of recording a better photograph – when used correctly :)

Compared with the Semi-Professional Canon EOS 7D MK II

What I find interesting is a few things. First take a look at the overall score, surprisingly the Pentax K-3 really stands up with a rating of 80 when compared against the Canon with a minor score of 70. I personally would have expected the Canon to be higher, but alas I was wrong.

Typically I find many Canon photographers either photograph two main subjects, sports and/or landscapes. Referring back to the results again take a look at the Dynamic Range results for all three cameras. What’s clear here is the Pentax K-3 sits at 13.4 Evs, which is well above par over the Canon at 11.8 Evs and only just over one stop below the Nikon D750. What that means is you’ll be able to push the latitude of the dynamic range more on the Pentax in post processing, particularly in the highlights and shadow areas as they’ll retain more detail in those areas over the Canon. Pentax clearly wins in the landscape category for this very reason.

When it comes to sport or wildlife generally speaking the light is low due to the use of long lenses. Professional photographers will tend to use an aperture of around f4. So with this in mind, referring to the Sports (Low-Light ISO) results from DxOMark you can see what their highest usable ISO is (remember a higher ISO will decrease the signal to noise). Again the Pentax K-3 is more usable than the Canon 7D MK II. In the DxOMark results the Canon only sits at a maximum ISO of 1082 when compared against the Pentax at ISO 1216. Again my choice would be the Pentax K-3 based on the results for Dynamic Range and now ISO, when compared with the Canon 7D MK II.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking now…what about the Nikon Leigh? It’s so much better than the Canon 7D MK II and Pentax K-3!

Really?

Compared with the Professional Nikon D750

Let me sum it up for you…the Nikon does have higher DxOMark results, I’ll give you that but you’ve got to take in some real life factors. Not everyone is going to have a cool $2000 dollars for the full frame Nikon D750. Compare that figure to the Pentax at a bargain price of around $1000 and you’ll be saving quite a bit. Plus the better priced Pentax K3 does include a 50mm lens and branded battery grip at that price.

Additionally the Pentax does have a few winning tricks up its sleeve when compared against the full frame Nikon D750.

For instance if you’re wanting to photograph sports or fast action of any kind I would definitely opt for the Pentax K-3 over the Nikon D750 due to two major features. The first is the number of frames per second the camera can photograph at, let me explain…the Pentax K-3 is capable of photographing at 8 frames per second. Compare that with the Nikon, which only photographs at 6.5 frames per second. With this in mind if you were to photograph two seconds of sports or action by holding your finger down on either camera you would have captured 3 more shots on the Pentax and I’ll tell you now, those three extra shots on the Pentax could be the winning shots that the Nikon wouldn’t have captured!

Shutter speed is the other factor. The Nikon photographs at a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second. Compare that figure up against the less expensive Pentax K-3 and you’ll get 1/8000 per second. Again, if I were you…you know where I’m going with this…

Some other features you should think about when compared with the Nikon D750 are:

– The Pentax K-3 does have a stabilizer built-in the body, the Nikon doesn’t you have to buy stabilised lenses.

– The less expensive of the two cameras has a full metal body, the Nikon does contain some plastic in the mostly metal body.

– You’ll see more through the Pentax viewfinder (0.95x) when compared with the Nikon (0.7x). It could mean the difference of knowing when something is about to walk into frame.

– In my opinion the Pentax is better suited for landscape photographers wanting to experiment with HDR. That’s because it’s got a dedicated HDR and Exposure Bracketing drive modes. For what I can see on the Nikon it doesn’t.

So there you have it. This is just a quick reminder to forget the brand and hype that’s driven by marketing and try something different. Try something that will change the way you photograph and challenge yourself. Photography should be fun and when it comes to expanding your knowledge there’s no better way than getting out there and trying something new.

To conduct your own research and for full explanations on DxOMark’s results click here.