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Pentax K-3 vs KP Comparison

Storage & Battery

Pentax K-3

Pentax K-3 camera

Pentax KP

Pentax KP
Pentax K-3
Pentax KP
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
October 08, 2013
January 25, 2017
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Pentax KP emerges as the winner with a score of 72/100, while the Pentax K-3 trails behind with a score of 69/100. Both cameras are DSLRs and share some common specifications, such as the announcement year (Pentax K-3 in 2013 and Pentax KP in 2017) and the launch price (Pentax K-3 at $1300 and Pentax KP at $1099).

The Pentax KP excels with its lighter weight of 703g (1.55lbs), making it more comfortable and portable for photographers. On the other hand, the Pentax K-3 has a slightly larger size (131 x 100 x 77mm) and heavier weight (800g or 1.76lbs), which might be preferred by some users for better stability during shooting.

Considering the specifications, the Pentax KP is the better choice due to its higher score, lighter weight, and more recent release year. However, the Pentax K-3 still offers a reasonable alternative for those who prefer a larger and heavier camera.

Pentax K-3 vs KP Overview and Optics

The Pentax KP takes the lead in optics, scoring 79/100, while the Pentax K-3 trails with a score of 74/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including 24 megapixels, CMOS sensor type, APS-C sensor size, Pentax KAF lens mount, and image stabilization. However, the differences in their shooting speed, processor, and DXOMARK scores contribute to the gap in their optics scores.

The Pentax KP outperforms the K-3 with its Prime IV processor and a higher DXOMARK score of 96 for the sensor. The improved processor enables the KP to process images faster and deliver better image quality. The higher DXOMARK score indicates superior sensor performance, resulting in better low-light capabilities and increased dynamic range. Thus, the KP is the better choice for photographers seeking enhanced image quality and processing speed.

On the other hand, the Pentax K-3 has a faster shooting speed of 8.3 compared to the KP’s 7. This advantage allows the K-3 to capture fast-moving subjects and action scenes more effectively. While the difference in shooting speed is not significant, it may benefit photographers who prioritize capturing quick moments over image quality.

In terms of optics, the Pentax KP is the superior camera due to its advanced processor and higher sensor performance. It delivers better image quality, making it ideal for photographers seeking optimal results. However, the Pentax K-3’s faster shooting speed may appeal to those who prioritize capturing action scenes. Ultimately, the choice between the two cameras depends on individual preferences and photographic needs.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24 MP
24 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6016 x 4000 px
6016 x 4000 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.6 x 23.5 mm
23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
8.3 fps
7 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Pentax KAF
Pentax KAF2
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Prime III
Prime IV
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 6000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)

Pentax K-3 vs KP Video Performance

The Pentax K-3 outperforms the Pentax KP in video capabilities, scoring 70 out of 100 compared to the KP’s 57. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as Full HD maximum video resolution, 1920 x 1080 maximum video dimensions, and built-in time-lapse functionality. However, there are key differences that make the K-3 a superior choice for video recording.

The most significant advantage of the K-3 is its higher maximum video frame rate of 60fps, compared to the KP’s 30fps. This allows the K-3 to capture smoother and more detailed footage, especially in fast-moving scenes or when recording action sequences. Videographers and content creators who prioritize high-quality video performance will find the K-3 more suitable for their needs.

On the other hand, the Pentax KP does not offer any notable advantages in video capabilities over the K-3. Both cameras share the same video resolution and dimensions, and both have built-in time-lapse functionality. The lower score of the KP is mainly due to its lower maximum video frame rate.

When comparing the video capabilities of these two cameras, the Pentax K-3 is the clear winner, due to its higher maximum video frame rate. The K-3’s 60fps capability provides smoother video quality and better performance in capturing fast-paced scenes. The KP, while still offering Full HD resolution and time-lapse functionality, falls short in comparison with its lower maximum frame rate of 30fps.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
1920 x 1080 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
30 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Pentax K-3 vs KP Features and Benefits

The Pentax KP emerges as the winner with a feature score of 68/100, 9 points higher than the Pentax K-3’s score of 59/100. Both cameras share several specifications, such as a 3-inch screen size and no touchscreen capabilities. However, the Pentax KP surpasses the K-3 in other aspects, contributing to its higher score.

The KP’s screen has a resolution of 921,000 dots, while the K-3 lags with 1,037,000 dots. The KP’s flip screen allows for more flexibility in capturing images from different angles. Additionally, the KP is equipped with GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth, offering greater connectivity options for photographers. These features make the Pentax KP a more versatile camera compared to the Pentax K-3.

On the other hand, the Pentax K-3 has a larger screen size of 3.2 inches, providing a slightly bigger display for photographers. However, this advantage is not significant enough to outweigh the KP’s superior features.

In terms of features, the Pentax KP clearly outperforms the Pentax K-3. Its higher resolution, flip screen, and advanced connectivity options make it a more user-friendly and adaptable camera. The K-3’s larger screen size is a minor advantage but fails to compensate for its shortcomings. Thus, the Pentax KP is the better choice for photographers seeking a camera with more advanced features and capabilities.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
1,037,000 dots
921,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Pentax K-3 vs KP Storage and Battery

The Pentax K-3 outperforms the Pentax KP in storage and battery with a score of 63/100 compared to the KP’s 21/100. Both cameras share common specifications, such as accepting SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards and lacking USB charging capabilities.

The K-3 holds an advantage with two memory card slots, providing more storage and flexibility for photographers. Additionally, the K-3 has a longer battery life, capable of capturing 560 shots with its D-LI90 battery, compared to the KP’s 390 shots using the D-LI109 battery.

The Pentax KP, however, offers compatibility with UHS-I memory cards, allowing for faster read and write speeds. Despite this advantage, the KP falls short in other storage and battery aspects.

Taking these factors into account, the Pentax K-3 proves to be superior in terms of storage and battery performance, while the Pentax KP offers a minor advantage with UHS-I memory card compatibility.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
560 shots
390 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
23.7 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
13.4 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
Main Features
Extra Features
Construction and Durability
Handling and Ergonomics
Value for Money
Total Score

Pentax K-3 vs KP – Our Verdict

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Pentax K-3 or the Pentax KP:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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