Announced at the same time as the D610, the new Pentax K-3 APS-C DSLR doesn't seem all that exciting from the outside, but the now Ricoh-owned name has all sorts of interesting tech going on inside. While many cameras are starting to forgo low-pass filters which help avoid aliasing, the downside is that this can mean additional moire while shooting photos or videos. The Pentax camera solves this issue in a very interesting way, and also is apparently capable of shooting 4K video. Check out more details below.
The major specs:
- 23.35MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- User-Selectable Anti-Aliasing Filter
- 1080i: 60 fps, 50 fps
- 1080p: 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
- 720p: 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
- Still Images: DNG, JPEG, RAW
- Movies: AVI, MOV, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
- 3.2" 1,037k-Dot LCD Monitor
- Continuous Shooting up to 8.3 fps
- In-Camera Shake Reduction Stabilization
- WiFi Camera Control
- Dual SD Memory Card Slots
- USB 3.0, HDMI, Mic, Headphone Jack
- Weather-Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
- Availability: November
- Price: $1,300 Body Only, $1,600 with Battery Grip, $1,650 with 18-135mm lens
Check out how the low-pass or AA filter is simulated with the sensor vibration:
Housed in the PENTAX K-3's sleek and ergonomic body is a host of cutting-edge technology including the innovative and proprietary selectable AA filter which allows photographers to toggle anti-aliasing functionality on or off using the lauded PENTAX SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism. This breakthrough in imaging technology empowers photographers to retain greater control of image output while eliminating the need to commit to supreme resolution or superior moiré control by providing both options in a single camera body.
Here is the bit about the 4K option in the camera, which allows you to create 4K time-lapse videos right in the camera:
The K-3 also features an enhanced video recording experience including the ability to change from still image to video recording with the flip of a dedicated switch to capture full HD movie recording in H.264 format. The K-3 comes equipped with a headphone terminal and stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection. The user can also adjust the audio recording level manually and monitor sound levels during recording. In addition to a variety of creative special-effect modes, the K-3 also provides an upgraded interval movie mode, which captures a series of 4K-resolution movie clips (3840 x 2160 pixels) at a fixed interval.
There is still a lot we don't know about the camera, and it looks like no video samples have been released yet. That's not to say video will be bad (after all this may actually have the same sensor as the solid Nikon D7100), but we just don't know what we're dealing with until we get some samples. Other Pentax cameras were capable of using the body stabilization while shooting video, so it's certainly possible it will be the case here. Sensor stabilization, which physically moves the camera instead of lens elements, is much better for video because it means that old prime lenses will also be stabilized, leading to much smoother-looking video. If you've ever turned on stabilization while shooting with a Canon DSLR (or any other camera) you've seen how much this can help certain handholding situations.
The user-selectable AA filter is well ahead of some other manufacturers, but it remains to be seen how good it will work, and whether it works for video at all. It's definitely a step in the right direction instead of creating two separate bodies just for the few people who could benefit from no AA filter.
I think there are a lot of things to like about the K-3 just from the spec sheet alone. The Pentax K lens mount isn't the most adaptable in the world, but there have been many, many different lenses produced for the K mount, most of which should work with the camera, especially the excellent Samyang lenses. If video quality is good, and stabilization works just as well in video mode, it will be excellent for shooting video without a rig. 1080 60i isn't quite the same as 60p, but it is possible to do a little post work and get a result that looks pretty good. That is certainly more than can be said for many Nikon and Canon cameras which don't even have an option.
It will be interesting to see what kinds of features from the K-3 will make it into other brands (like Nikon and Canon), as DSLR video shooting will certainly become more of a niche as large sensor video cameras get smaller, cheaper, and more capable.
We'll add video samples when possible. For more information, head on over to the links below.
Link: Pentax K-3 -- B&H