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Challengers

I. The background of product development

PENTAX’s devotions expressed in the PENTAX K-3 Mark III

Shigeru Wakashiro

Shigeru Wakashiro

Product Planner

“It’s our goal at PENTAX to create cameras that let users capture
images more comfortably, and that help them more thoroughly enjoy
the entire process of photography.”

PENTAX’s goals in developing the new PENTAX K-3 Mark III

The PENTAX K-3 Mark III inherits the basic product concept of harmonizing a compact, dependable and maneuverable camera body with top-class imaging performance. This is a concept handed down through APS-C-format flagship models back to the PENTAX K-7.

We named it the PENTAX K-3 Mark III, because it embodies the fundamental product concept of the PENTAX K-3, a camera which many regard as the best APS-C-format flagship camera in PENTAX history.

Shigeru Wakashiro
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Making use of all our technological resources, we focused on developing a camera that would be seen by our users as the best APS-C-format flagship camera ever produced by PENTAX. In fact, we believe that this new APS-C-format flagship is unrivaled in its class — more than just a successor to the PENTAX K-3 II.

In developing this camera, we tried to visualize the camera that could achieve our goals and considered that the first two crucial factors were the camera’s optical viewfinder, and its operability. Next came the photographer’s expectations about the quality of the images — meaning that the images that the camera captures must provide the outstanding image quality that will entirely satisfy the photographer.

In designing an easy-to-carry, maneuverable camera that could perform as an extension of the photographer’s eyes and hands, we focused on designing an APS-C-format camera equipped with a high-grade optical viewfinder, one equal in optical performance to that of a full-frame SLR camera, even though it would be installed in a compact APS-C-format body. We also focused on the realistic reproduction of ambience, details and colors. We are very proud to have succeeded in developing a camera that lets our users capture images more enjoyably, while inspiring their imaginations.

Optical viewfinder equal in performance to that of a full-frame model

To design a viewfinder that assures a sense of immersion into the subject, we considered that it had to provide the photographer with a comfortable viewing angle.

We set our goal at 1.05-times magnification, which would make it not only a top-class APS-C-format SLR, but would also assure optical performance almost equal to that of full-frame models. We also asked our development team to achieve a very difficult assignment: to maintain a natural, true-to-life view of the subject without compromising the eye relief length.

Superb operability to perform like an extension of the hands

Another goal we set was to design an operation system that performs as an extension of the photographer’s hands. We felt that such a system would let the photographer communicate freely with the subject, and concentrate completely on the photo-shooting process. For instance, we upgraded the Smart Function, which lets photographers instantly change camera settings in order to handle ever-changing shooting conditions, without requiring them to take their eye away from the viewfinder.

We also expanded the customization options, to allow for more operational flexibility. We even made a complete review of the PENTAX-original Hyper Operation system, which assures effortless, delay-free exposure-mode shifts, and totally redesigned it to further improve the camera’s operability.

Exceptional image quality to satisfy the photographer’s expectations

To encourage the photographer to capture more images, we feel that it’s essential to assure an image quality that will completely meet the photographer’s expectations. To accomplish this, we relied on the intuition and awareness of the development team members who were in charge of image quality. Two visual factors - a realistic reproduction of the subject texture, and the image’s overall impression that provides the photographer with a sense of satisfaction the moment the image is captured - were what we intended to achieve by meeting the photographer’s expectations. We also were able to greatly improve the reproduction of details not only in the high-sensitivity ranges, but also in lower ranges.

In conclusion

Completed by our development team, with meticulous attention paid to every detail, the new PENTAX K-3 Mark III is a camera which exceeds all our expectations. It’s finished to perfection, even in areas that aren’t visible in the specifications, such as the way the subject looks in the viewfinder, and the feeling as you release the shutter-release button.

My hope is that you will actually take this camera in your hands, and explore first-hand all its enormous potential.

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