Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
The Pentax K-3 II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2015 and June 2015. The K-3 II is a DSLR, while the RX10 II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (K-3 II) and an one-inch (RX10 II) sensor. The Pentax has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Pentax K-3 II||Sony RX10 II|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Pentax K mount lenses||24-200mm f/2.8|
|24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-51200||ISO 100-12800 (64-25600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.2" LCD, 1037k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|8.3 shutter flaps per second||14 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|720 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|131 x 100 x 77 mm, 800 g||129 x 88 x 102 mm, 813 g|
Body comparison: Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-3 II and the Sony RX10 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the K-3 II – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 II is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Pentax K-3 II. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX10 II has a lens built in, whereas the K-3 II is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
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.
|Pentax K-3 II»||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Sony RX10 II«||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Canon 80D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||25.8 oz||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||4.8 in||3.0 in||4.1 in||25.9 oz||300||Y||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Nikon D7200« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199||-||Nikon D7200|
|Panasonic GX8« »||5.2 in||3.1 in||2.5 in||17.2 oz||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.9 in||24.3 oz||410||Y||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||5.2 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||26.8 oz||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099||-||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A6500« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.1 in||16.0 oz||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.0 in||37.1 oz||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Pentax K-3 II features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX10 II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 II is 68 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24.1MP, the K-3 II offers a higher resolution than the RX10 II (20MP), but the K-3 II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10 II) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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.
Unlike the RX10 II, 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the K-3 II has a notably higher overall DXO score than the RX10 II (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 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.
|Pentax K-3 II»||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80||Pentax K-3 II|
|Sony RX10 II«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70||Sony RX10 II|
|Canon 80D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63||Canon G3 X|
|Nikon D7200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.5||14.6||1333||87||Nikon D7200|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.7||13.4||1216||80||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.7||14.1||1162||82||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
|Sony A6500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69||Sony RX10|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the RX10 II provides a better video resolution than the K-3 II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX10 II has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), while the K-3 II has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Pentax K-3 II and Sony RX10 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Pentax K-3 II»||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||8000||8.3||n||Y||Pentax K-3 II|
|Sony RX10 II«||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||14.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 II|
|Canon 80D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||-||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G3 X|
|Nikon D7200« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7200|
|Panasonic GX8« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||optical||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||6000||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||6000||6.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||8000||8.3||Y||Y||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A6300« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony A6500« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||11.0||Y||Y||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||14.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10« »||1440||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The RX10 II has one, while the K-3 II does not. While the built-in flash of the RX10 II is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the RX10 II features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The K-3 II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX10 II uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The K-3 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the RX10 II only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Pentax K-3 II»||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3 II|
|Sony RX10 II«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Canon 80D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G3 X|
|Nikon D7200« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon D7200|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A6300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A6500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10|
It is notable that the RX10 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the K-3 II does not offer wifi capability.
The K-3 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the RX10 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX10 II was succeeded by the Sony RX10 III.
Review summary: Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Pentax K-3 II or the Sony RX10 II – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-3 II:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.1 vs 20MP) with a 10% 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 markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 3200/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (720 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1037k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 8.3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the K-3 II requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (129x88mm vs 131x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the K-3 II comes out slightly ahead of the RX10 II (13 : 12 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the K-3 II or the RX10 II. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Pentax K-3 II»||-||-||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Sony RX10 II«||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Canon 80D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Nikon D7200« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199||-||Nikon D7200|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||-||82/100||5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||-||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||-||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099||-||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A6500« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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Specifications: Pentax K-3 II vs Sony RX10 II
|Camera Model||Pentax K-3 II||Sony RX10 II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses||24-200mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||April 2015||June 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1099||USD 1299|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||13.2 x 15.6 mm|
|MP Resolution||24.1 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6016 x 4000 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Size||3.90 μm||2.41 μm|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-51200 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||64-25600 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/3200s|
|Continuous Shooting||8.3 shutter flaps/s||14 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||D-LI90 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life||720 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
131 x 100 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
129 x 88 x 102 mm
(5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0 in)
|Camera Weight||800 g (28.2 oz)||813 g (28.7 oz)|
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