• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.4 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

Buy From

Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Pentax K-3 II

  • Less expensive
    $499 vs $845
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.79 vs 3.91 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 1.2 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 60 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Pentax K-3 II advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • High resolution composite
    Yes vs No
    Combine multiple shots to form a super hi-res version
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More cross-type AF points
    25 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Newer
    2 years vs 6 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Less shutter lag
    0.14 vs 0.27 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.63x vs 0.52x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    24.4 vs 16.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    27 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Optional anti-aliasing filter
    Optional vs Fixed
    Lets you choose sharper photos or reduced moiré
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.1 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    8.2 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    22 vs 13 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

  • Top-notch image quality; Spectacular detail from Pixel Shift Resolution; Better performance than K-3; Geotag images with no accessories; Great ergonomics in a compact body; Clever on-demand low-pass filtering; Broad sensitivity range; Large and bright viewfinder for an APS-C camera; Dual card slots

  • No built-in flash strobe; No wireless flash support out of the box; AstroTracer function can be finicky; AE Lock button is poorly located; Below-average battery life for a prosumer DSLR; Requires a different battery grip accessory than its predecessors

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Pentax K-3 II
Nikon D3100
  • $845
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony A35

Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Pentax K-3 II
Sony A35
  • $845
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A57

Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Pentax K-3 II
Sony A57
  • $845
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • High resolution composite
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Nikon D5500

Nikon D5100
Nikon D5500
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $797
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Pentax K-3 II
Nikon D5500
  • $845
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $797
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Canon T6i

Nikon D5100
Canon T6i
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Pentax K-3 II
Canon T6i
  • $845
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
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