Pentax K-3 intros 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, 27-point autofocus system and more

The Pentax K-3, unveiled today, sees Pentax up the ante in the APS-C DSLR market, but there's still no sign of a full-frame model. That's a mix of great and not-so-great news, but let's focus on the good stuff. And there's plenty of it.

The K-3 introduces a 24-megapixel sensor - the same as that found in the Sony Alpha A77 and A65, tweaked to Pentax specifications - alongside the latest Prime III image processing engine. But it's ditched the optical low pass filter for the sharpest possible results, a trait that we've seen in a lot of mid-high level DSLR cameras of late.

READ: Sony Alpha A77 review

Only Pentax has gone a step further. Aware that no low pass filter can lead to moire in certain images, it's added a hardware feature to combat this issue. Dubbed "advanced anti-moire" the feature vibrates the sensor by a tiny amount so that light will fall into different sensor nodes - sort of replicating the softening effect of a filter via a different method.

The K-3 body is all-new and has a slightly different footprint to the well received Pentax K-5 and K-5 II models. Part of that reason for that is a greater magnification optical viewfinder - it delivers a 100 per cent field of view with a 0.95x magnification for a decent preview image.

READ: Pentax K-5 review

Elsewhere there's a new 86,000 pixel RGB exposure metering system, and a brand new 27-point autofocus system, known as "SAFOX 11", comprised of 25 cross-type points and two side-positioned line points.

There's stacks more on board too, as would be expected of a top-spec device, including a 3.2-inch 1037k-dot LCD monitor, dual SD card slot, 8.3 frames per second burst mode, in-boady image stabilisation, and a stainless steel chassis with weather-sealing.

All this will cost you £1,100 body-only, or £1,1200 with the 18-55mm weather-sealed kit lens. Feeling more adventurous? Then the 18-55mm & 50-200mm dual kit lens will set you back £1350, while the 18-135mm weather-sealed package comes in at £1450. Competitive stuff against the likes of the Nikon D7100 and Canon EOS 70D.

Ahead of the announcement we visited Pentax in London to check out the K-3 in more detail. Read our first thoughts, below.

READ: Pentax K-3 hands-on