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Pentax K-3 II vs Pentax Q

The Pentax K-3 II and the Pentax Q are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2015 and June 2011. The K-3 II is a DSLR, while the Pentax Q is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (K-3 II) and a 1/2.3-inch (Pentax Q) sensor. The K-3 II has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Pentax Q provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Pentax K-3 II   Pentax Q
Pentax K-3 II Pentax Q
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Pentax K mount lenses Pentax Q mount lenses
24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 ISO 125-6400
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.2" LCD, 1037k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8.3 shutter flaps per second 1.5 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
720 shots per battery charge230 shots per battery charge
131 x 100 x 77 mm, 800 g 98 x 57 x 31 mm, 180 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax K-3 II and the Pentax Q? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Pentax K-3 II and the Pentax Q are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The K-3 II can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the Pentax Q is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, white).

Size Pentax K-3 II vs Pentax Q
Compare K-3 II versus Pentax Q top
Comparison K-3 II or Pentax Q rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax Q is considerably smaller (57 percent) than the Pentax K-3 II. Moreover, the Pentax Q is substantially lighter (78 percent) than the K-3 II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the K-3 II is splash and dust resistant, while the Pentax Q does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-3 II» 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 i i Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax Q« 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 6.3 oz 230 n Jun 2011 649- i Pentax Q
 
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199- i Canon 80D
 
Nikon D7200« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Olympus XZ-2« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 12.2 oz 340 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL2« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 12.8 oz 280 n Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PL1« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 11.8 oz 290 n Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-620« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.4 oz 500 n Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
 
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Pentax KP« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.9 in 24.3 oz 410 Y Jun 2016 649 i i Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« » 5.2 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 26.8 oz 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099- i Pentax K-5
 
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
 
Sony A6500« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399- i Sony A6500
 
Sony RX10 II« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The Pentax Q was launched at a markedly lower price (by 41 percent) than the K-3 II, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Pentax K-3 II features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax Q a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the Pentax Q is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the K-3 II has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the Pentax Q offers a 4:3 aspect.

Pentax K-3 II and Pentax Q sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the K-3 II offers a higher resolution than the Pentax Q (12MP), but the K-3 II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 1.53μm for the Pentax Q) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the K-3 II is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 9 months) than the Pentax Q, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-3 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Pentax K-3 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the K-3 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20 inch or 76.4 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16 inch or 61.1 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.3 inch or 50.9 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax Q are 20 x 15 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

Unlike the Pentax Q, the K-3 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

The Pentax K-3 II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax Q are ISO 125 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

K-3 II versus Pentax Q MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the K-3 II provides substantially higher image quality than the Pentax Q, with an overall score that is 33 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.4 bits higher color depth, 2.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-3 II» APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax Q« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.211.118947Pentax Q
 
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Nikon D7200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387Nikon D7200
 
Olympus XZ-2« » 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PL1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-620« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.353655Olympus E-620
 
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
 
Pentax KP« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i----Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i----Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.714.1116282Pentax K-5
 
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785Sony A6300
 
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585Sony A6500
 
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the K-3 II provides a higher frame rate than the Pentax Q. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Pentax Q is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-3 II has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Pentax Q relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the Pentax Q can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the O-VF1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Pentax K-3 II and Pentax Q along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-3 II»optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n Y Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax Q«- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 1.5 Y Y Pentax Q
 
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Nikon D7200« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7200
 
Olympus XZ-2« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PL1« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-620« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y Olympus E-620
 
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
 
Pentax KP« »optical n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/6000s 7.0 Y Y Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/6000s 6.0 Y Y Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 Y Y Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y Y Pentax K-5
 
Sony A6300« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6300
 
Sony A6500« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500
 
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II

One feature that is present on the K-3 II, but is missing on the Pentax Q is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The Pentax K-3 II and the Pentax Q both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the K-3 II and the Pentax Q write their files to SDXC cards. The K-3 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Pentax Q only has one slot. The K-3 II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the Pentax Q cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Pentax K-3 II and Pentax Q and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-3 II»YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax Q«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Pentax Q
 
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Nikon D7200« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Nikon D7200
 
Olympus XZ-2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PL1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-620« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-620
 
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
 
Pentax KP« »YstereomonoY--2.0Y--Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Pentax K-5
 
Sony A6300« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6300
 
Sony A6500« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6500
 
Sony RX10 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 II

It is notable that the K-3 II has a microphone port, which is missing on the Pentax Q. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-3 II (unlike the Pentax Q) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the K-3 II has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The K-3 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the Pentax Q has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the Pentax Q was succeeded by the Pentax Q10. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Pentax website.


Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Pentax K-3 II or the Pentax Q – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-3 II:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.1 vs 12MP) with a 44% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (33 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.3 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (720 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 9 months of technical progress since the Pentax Q launch.


Advantages of the Pentax Q:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x57mm vs 131x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 620g or 77 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (41 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2011).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-3 II is the clear winner of the match-up (24 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

K-3 II 24:07 Pentax Q

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Pentax K-3 II and the Pentax Q place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the K-3 II or the Pentax Q. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-3 II»--5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099 i i Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax Q«--4/53.5/53.5/5 Jun 2011 649- i Pentax Q
 
Canon 80D« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199- i Canon 80D
 
Nikon D7200« »+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Olympus XZ-2« »+-4.5/54/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL2« »83/10071/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4/5 Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PL1« »86/10069/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-620« »88/10072/1004.5/5o5/5 Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
 
Panasonic GX8« »+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Pentax KP« »-82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-70« »-79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2016 649 i i Pentax K-70
 
Pentax K-3« »-83/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Pentax K-3
 
Pentax K-5« »-83/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,099- i Pentax K-5
 
Sony A6300« »+85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
 
Sony A6500« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399- i Sony A6500
 
Sony RX10 II« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Pentax K-3 II:
Check Amazon price
Pentax Q:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Pentax K-3 II vs Pentax Q

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Pentax K-3 II Pentax Q
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Pentax K mount lenses Pentax Q mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2015 June 2011
    Launch Price USD 1099 USD 649
    Sensor Specs Pentax K-3 II Pentax Q
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 24.1 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6016 x 4000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.90 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 6.56 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO 125-6400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 80 47
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.6 20.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.6 11.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1106 189
    Screen Specs Pentax K-3 II Pentax Q
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Pentax K-3 II Pentax Q
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingNo Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 8.3 shutter flaps/s 1.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Pentax K-3 II Pentax Q
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Geotagging GPS built-in no internal GPS
    Body Specs Pentax K-3 II Pentax Q
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type D-LI90 D-LI68
    Battery Life (CIPA)720 shots per charge230 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 131 x 100 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    98 x 57 x 31 mm
    (3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
    Camera Weight 800 g (28.2 oz) 180 g (6.3 oz)

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