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STANDOUT FEATURE: The new flagship APS-C DSLR features 24 megapixels with selectable anti-aliasing effect.
1. The built-in flash pops up high to minimize red-eye. 2. An optional external microphone does away with camera noise during video recording. 3. There are dual SD card slots, and the camera accepts the new K-3 dedicated 16 GB FLU SDHC card that adds wireless capabilities.

Pentax K-3

Estimated Street Price: $1,299 (body only)

Pentax has a new flagship DSLR, with lots of improvements over the very good K-5II for not much more cost. The K-3 features a new PRIME III imaging engine and APS-C 24.35-megapixel CMOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter for optimal sharpness. But for those rare occasions where moiré might be a problem, you can activate a unique anti-aliasing simulator function, in which the sensor-shift shake-reduction mechanism shifts to produce a user-adjustable anti-moiré effect. Despite the large megapixel count, the K-3 can shoot up to 23 RAW or 60 JPEG files at an impressive 8.3 fps. A new 27-point SAFOX 11 AF system includes 25 cross-type sensors and operates in light levels as dim as EV -3.

Like the K-5 models, the K-3 features a rugged magnesium-alloy body housing a metal chassis, and is fully weather-sealed and cold- and dust-resistant. The K-3 uses the same LI90 lithium-ion battery as the K-5 cameras (good news for those upgrading to the new body), and there's an optional D-BG5 Battery Grip that can use 6 AA batteries or a second LI-90, and provides vertical-format shooting controls. The shutter is now rated at 200,000 cycles.

Video capabilities are improved over the K-5 models, as well. The K-3 can do H.264 1080 full HD and 720 HD at multiple frame rates, with stereo sound. There are jacks for external mic and headphones, and you can adjust the audio level. An upgraded interval Movie mode captures a series of 4K (3840x2160-pixel) movie clips.

A new larger viewfinder shows 100% of the actual image area with 0.95X magnification, while a 3.2-inch LCD monitor provides live viewing. Also new is the 86,000-pixel RGB metering system, which increases accuracy, as does multi-pattern white balance. In-camera HDR now includes RAW-format data filing.


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