Pixel Shift Resolution On The Pentax K-3 II Future Of Sony Cameras

Pixel Shift Resolution on the Pentax K-3 II, is a technology that might have the power to radically improve landscape and still-life photography and some action shots. The Pentax K-3 II features a Sony-designed and built sensor but this SLR utilizes an interesting new technology that is similarly used in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II body, though with greater success in the Pentax K-3 II. Pixel Shift Resolution moves the sensor over, down and back in order to shift the rows of red, green and blue pixels and captures four images into a single frame with complete color information at each pixel.  (DPReview.com has an excellent animated gif that displays this in action.)

As the the excellent DPReview.com hands-on review explains

This has two direct benefits: firstly it provides images with full color resolution, meaning better definition at borders between areas of different color, and elimination of false color aliasing (like moiré) from high-frequency patterns. Secondly, as a result of sampling the same point four times, the images will have greatly improved noise characteristics. The other benefits over the Olympus system is that it could be faster, as it only requires four exposures, rather than eight, so there’s a lower likelihood of subject movement while the shots are being taken, and that there’s no ambiguity about the optimal size to render the end result.


Since Sony didn’t invent the pixel-shifting technology, only the sensor on which the camera performs its image capture, it’s not by any means guaranteed that Sony systems will incorporate similar technologies. But Pentax built this image-enhancing technology on the back of the image-stabilizing  sensor inside the K-3 II, and the Sony a7II utilities the same type of sensor stabilization. Hopefully a competitor (that uses Sony’s imaging sensor) introducing this technology will be enough to spur Sony on to integrate this into future mirrorless systems.


DPReview’s hands-on with the Pentax K-3II is available here.

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