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The long-awaited and often rumored Pentax K-3 is now official. This revolutionary DSLR boasts a 24 megapixels APS-C sensor capable of 8.3 FPS shooting for up to 60 JPEG images or 22 RAW files. This sensor is mounted on Pentax’s unique 3-axis Shake-Reduction system which provides 3.5 stops of improvements over hand-holding and also now optionally functions as an anti-alias system. This lets user select between having no anti-alias effect, a mild one or stronger one. The same system also compensates for slight tilt of the camera, just as it does with recent Pentax DSLRs such as the excellent K-5 IIs reviewed here.

Pentax K-3 Silver Edition

The Pentax K-3 features an all-new SAFOX 11 autofocus system. This Phase-Detect AF sensor provides 27 points, of which 25 are cross-type, all with best-in-class sensitivity down to -3 EV. Combined with an equally-new 86K-pixel RGB metering system, this should let the K-3 deliver an exceptional tracking autofocus performance.

Numerous features of the K-3 have been improved over its predecessors, including a new pentaprism optical viewfinder with 0.95X magnification and 100% coverage. The rear LCD now measures 3.2″ and offers 1 megapixel in a 3:2 aspect-ratio format. There are also dual SDXC memory-card slots and a USB 3.0 port, both a first for Pentax.

Buttons to control Live-View and Video-Capture have been reorganized in order to make those features more prominent. The frame-rate of 1080p HD video has slightly been improved to 30 which is encoded at 60i output using the H.264 codec. Microphone input levels can now be adjusted and there is a headphone mini-jack to monitor recorded audio.

The grip has been made even deeper and more sculpted to provide a tight hold on this camera which is built over a magnesium-allow frame. Just like its predecessors, the K-3 remains the toughest DSLR on the market and is fully weather-sealed and freezeproof to -10C.

HDR has been revamped with controllable parameters to customize the look as well as three blending steps. The intervalometer can now capture 4K video, also known as Ultra-HD which is 4X the maximum HD resolution or 3840×2160 with a 16:9 aspect-ratio.

The Pentax K-3 is scheduled to be available next month for  $1299 USD. It also comes in a special silver-edition, limited to 2000 units worldwide. This limited edition includes a matching grip and strap. It retails for $1599 USD and also ship this November.

B&H Photo is already accepting pre-orders for the standard black Pentax K-3 and the limited silver Pentax K-3 with grip. Amazon has the Pentax K-3 for pre-order too.

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