Ricoh has officially announced the Pentax K-3 Mark III capable of ISO 1.6 Million

Oct 27, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Ricoh has officially announced the Pentax K-3 Mark III capable of ISO 1.6 Million

Oct 27, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Ricoh has now officially announced that their new flagship APS-C DSLR will be the Pentax K-3 Mark III. The news was made official in a progress update on the camera’s development. We’ve seen a couple of sneak peeks and updates in the past and the name was rumoured, although not confirmed until now.

Along with this update, Ricoh has revealed the complete spec list for the new camera, which they hope to officially launch at CP+ 2021, scheduled to take place from February 25-28 in Yokohama, Japan. Of course, as with all such announcement of this type, the spec is subject to change, as is the possibility that CP+ 2021 will go ahead as planned.

Ricoh admits that there have been, and expect there to be more in the future, some struggles bringing the K-3 Mark III to market, although they seem quite confident that the plans they have in place will allow them to now do so. They do request a little more patience from Pentax shooters, though. About the new camera and its launch, which was originally scheduled for the end of this year, Ricoh says…

The product prototype was exhibited last year at the PENTAX Meeting 100th Anniversary Special fan event. At the event, we announced that it would be launched by the end of 2020 — and it is now in the final stage of development. Once development is complete, we will then begin streamlining the camera’s production system. It will take a bit more time for all this to happen, so we appreciate your patience as we give you an overview of the product. We’ll provide you with more specific product information, such as the timing of the official product announcement and the scheduled market launch date, as soon as they are finalized.

When it comes to the specs, they’re quite respectable for an APS-C DSLR. Naturally, it’s a Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount for the lenses, it features a 25.73-megapixel CMOS sensor which features an ISO range of 100-1,600,000. Yup, that’s right, 1.6 million ISO. The resolution might not be as high as some might have been hoping for, but if you’re after a low light camera, this looks like it might be just the ticket.

It also features the Pentax signature 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, with SR II offering compensation of up to 5.5 stops. And while the sensor doesn’t seem to possess an anti-aliasing filter, the camera does feature an “AA Filter Simulator” to help reduce moiré by bracketing several shots with the sensor shifted slightly in between each to capture as much information as possible.

Sensor26.78-megapixel APS-C CMOS (1.5x)
Lens MountPentax KAF2
Max resolution25.73-megapixels
File formatPEF, DNG RAW, JPG
Bit-depth14-Bit
Stabilisation5-axis sensor stabilisation
Continuous shootingUp to 12fps
4K Video4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 30fps
HD VideoFull HD (1920×1080) at 60fps)
Focus typeAuto and manual focus
AF PointsPhase detect: 101 (25 Cross-Type)
ViewfinderOptical (Pentaprism)
LCD3.2″ 1.65m-dot touchscreen TFT LCD
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth, USB 3.2 Gen 1
Dimensions134.5 x 103.5 x 73.5mm)
WeightApprox 820g (inc. battery & memory card)
Launch priceTBA

Other than the photo at the top of the page, no images of the new camera have been released. It does look somewhat different to the Pentax K-3 Mark II, with extra dials on the top, but we have seen views from some other angles in previous videos, including the top of the camera, from before the name of the new camera was revealed.

There’s no word on what the price will be for the upcoming Pentax K-3 Mark III, although some have suggested that it will be around $2,500. It sounds like we only have another 4 or so months to wait before we find out for sure, though. For now, you can see the complete spec list in the Ricoh press release.

Pentax is also still rumoured to be working on a separate video-focused APS-C DSLR.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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13 responses to “Ricoh has officially announced the Pentax K-3 Mark III capable of ISO 1.6 Million”

  1. Michael Estwik Avatar
    Michael Estwik

    “Brace yourself, the Pentax users are coming with ‘I told you so!’ comment!”

    1. Stewart Norton Avatar
      Stewart Norton

      Michael Estwik User ?

    2. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      Hold on, Duncan and Paul will be along in a minute to tell you that there are at least two Pentax owners. ?

    3. Paul Monaghan Avatar
      Paul Monaghan

      John Aldred i don’t own any now but I do see them everytime Sigma releases a lens asking where the pentax one is.

    4. Duncan Knifton Avatar
      Duncan Knifton

      John Aldred

    5. Donald Spencer Avatar
      Donald Spencer

      Paul Monaghan If the market was there Sigma would still be making Pentax fit lenses !

  2. Darrell Larose Avatar
    Darrell Larose

    How useful is ISO:1,600,000? Currently the Nikon D7500 claims ISO:1.6M but it looks like old Soviet night vision of the 1970’s! The sensor is likely the same one that is used in the D7500, hard to find out exactly. But the K-3II and D7500 compare pretty similar here:

    Comparisions: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d7500-review-speed-and-capability/8

    I have tried my K-3II with the ISO cranked all the way, and mmmm… I decided that ISO:3200 is my upper limit. All reviews show the D7500 @ 1.6M is colour confetti…

    1. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      It will be interesting to see how good it is in the real world, for sure. But bear in mind that Nikon has used many of the same sensors Sony has in their cameras. The accompanying electronics in the Nikon cameras has allowed them to offer better ISO performance than Sony in their own cameras using the exact same sensor.

      So, maybe Pentax has figure out some revolutionary new low light processing to help. Or… maybe not. I guess we’ll see. :)

    2. Nermin Huskić Avatar
      Nermin Huskić

      John Aldred where? Sony a6000 had same sensor as d7200 results were same. Only sensor where Nikon was better was d810 – d800e cause no aa filter

  3. Huge Dom Avatar
    Huge Dom

    So the rumor of them buying / using the Sony new 26MP sensor is coming true, it seems.

  4. Kevin West Goáz Avatar
    Kevin West Goáz

    Hilarion Ignatius G

  5. Don Barnard Avatar
    Don Barnard

    It would have excited me 4years ago, but lack of video specs forced me to switch to Sony… so do I drop my money on a Pentax body or another lens for the Sony?
    Tough luck Pentax I’ll keep using the k3 and lenses i already own but all future purchases are going to be Sony since you forced me to switch a couple years back.

    4K video with pro codecs should have been added to the k3mk 2

    1. Jerry Griffis Avatar
      Jerry Griffis

      Don Barnard This. Exactly this!