Pentax K-3 II review

It's tough, fast and powerful, and Pentax's new DSLR is aimed at adventurers

Pentax K-3 II

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

We chose two rival cameras to the Pentax K-3 II to see how it measured up in our lab tests: the Canon EOS 760D and the Nikon D7200. We also ran our tests with the K-3 II's Pixel Shift mode in operation to see what impact this had on the results.

We've carried out lab tests on the Pentax K-3 II across its full ISO range for resolution, noise (including signal to noise ratio) and dynamic range. We test the JPEGs shot by the camera, but we also check the performance with raw files. Most enthusiasts and pros prefer to shoot raw, and the results can often be quite different.

Resolution charts

We test camera resolution using an industry-standard ISO test chart that allows precise visual comparisons. This gives us numerical values for resolution in line widths/picture height, and you can see how the Pentax K-3 II compares with its rivals in the charts below.

Pentax K-3 II review

JPEG resolution analysis: The K-3 II's JPEG resolution lies somewhere between the Canon 760D and the Nikon D7200, but in Pixel Shift Resolution mode it got much closer to the Nikon's figures. Bear in mind, though, that this mode is primarily to improve the colour information, so any increase in definition is a bonus.

Pentax K-3 II review

Raw (converted to TIFF) resolution analysis: When shooting raw files the Pentax K-3 II can largely match the Nikon D7200's resolution, and Pixel Shift Resolution mode again delivers a slight resolution boost. Good as it is, the Canon 760D's resolution doesn't quite keep up, especially at mid-to-high ISO settings.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.