The glacial launch of the Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR might finally reach its conclusion next week, with rumors suggesting it’s finally ready to go on sale.
Pentax Rumors is reporting that the Pentax K-3 Mark III, which is an APS-C DSLR for hobbyist shooters, is “already listed at a dealer/online store and will be available for pre-order next week”.
The K-3 Mark III was expected to be fully launched at the CP+ camera show in February, but Pentax released a statement saying the camera had been delayed due to issues with product part availability. It also added that it needed “a greater amount of time for us to achieve the exceptional performance and finest quality that is the hallmark of next APS-C flagship model”.
The latter statement was likely referring to the camera’s Eye AF, but this has apparently now been finalized according to several posts on the Chinese forum Xitek.
While the standard K-3 Mark III is expected to be up for pre-order next week, there will also apparently be a Premium kit (limited to 1,000 units worldwide) available to buy from April 23, according to a Tweet for the reliable Nokishita.
The news marks the end of a long wait for K-mount fans and owners of cameras like the Pentax KP, who have been waiting for a successor to that camera for several years.
Still, the K-3 Mark III promises to be worth the wait, on paper at least, with its list of features includes an optical viewfinder with an impressive 1.05x magnification (giving it an equivalent viewing angle to the full-frame Pentax K-1) and an ISO range that stretches from ISO 100 to a slightly ludicrous ISO 1.6 million.
This doesn’t necessarily guarantee impressive low-light performance, but it does suggest that the K-3 Mark III could be more comfortable in those shooting situations than rival APS-C DSLRs like the Canon EOS 90D.
The final DSLR?
The arrival of the Pentax K-3 Mark III is something of a blast from the past – and it could be one of the last new DSLR launches we see.
Nikon recently said that it was “archiving some digital SLR camera models based on recent trends” and hinted that it could soon axe the new production of entry-level DSLRs like the Nikon D3500 and Nikon D5600.
And at the professional end, all of the big camera manufacturers appear to succeeding their high-end sports cameras with mirrorless models, with the Nikon Z9, Sony A1 and rumored Canon EOS R1 all fitting that bill.
Still, while mirrorless is the undoubtedly future, some photographers do still prefer the handling, battery lives and controls of DSLRs, which means the Pentax K-3 Mark III will likely still find its niche when it arrives next week.
According to Pentax Rumors, the K-3 Mark III will be available in black and silver options, and will be joined by battery grip and eye cup accessories – we’ll bring you all of the official pricing as soon as it’s available.