• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 21.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 372.1mm2
  • 16.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

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Differences

Canon 5D Mark II advantages over Pentax K-5

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.41 vs 4.81 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 0.6 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,815 vs 1,162 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More telephoto lens reach
    105 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.71x vs 0.61x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    21.1 vs 16.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • More AF points
    15 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    75 vs 31 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Pentax K-5 advantages over Canon 5D Mark II

  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • More dynamic range
    14.1 vs 11.9 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Lighter weight
    1003g vs 1588g
    Lighter weight
  • Less shutter lag
    0.10 vs 0.21 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.5 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    6.5 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    23 vs 11 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • 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
  • Top deck display
    Both provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output 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

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • 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
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-5

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent high ISO performance, one of the best APS-C sensors yet; 6.5 fps burst mode has very good buffer depths; Weather, dust, and cold resistant; In-body Shake Reduction corrects not only horizontal / vertical, but also rotational motion.

  • Default saturation and contrast a bit high; Auto white balance too warm in tungsten light; Fewer AF points than main competitors; Only a single card slot, and no UHS-I card support (slow buffer clearing).

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D700

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D700
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • External Mic Jack
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher effective ISO
Pentax K-5
Nikon D700
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3X

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D3X
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More dynamic range
Pentax K-5
Nikon D3X
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Internal flash
  • $6999
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Canon T3i

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon T3i
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • More telephoto lens reach
Pentax K-5
Canon T3i
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Nikon D5100

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D5100
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-5
Nikon D5100
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Top deck display
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoots 24p video

Compared to Nikon D600

Canon 5D Mark II
Nikon D600
  • $2699
  • 35mm
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $1900
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Pentax K-5
Nikon D600
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Lighter weight
  • $1900
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
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