• APS-C 372.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200
  • 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 36.4 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 204,800

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Differences

Nikon D300S advantages over Pentax K-1

  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 1.2 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 950 vs 760 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • More AF points
    51 vs 33
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    7.1 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    7.1 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode

Pentax K-1 advantages over Nikon D300S

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Less expensive
    $1600* vs $1899
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • High resolution composite
    Yes vs No
    Combine multiple shots to form a super hi-res version
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Better color depth
    25.4 vs 22.5 bits
    Capture richer, more accurate colors
  • Higher effective ISO
    3,280 vs 787 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.6 vs 12.2 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • More cross-type AF points
    25 vs 15
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Newer
    2 years vs 9 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.09 vs 0.23 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.70x vs 0.63x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    36.4 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • 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
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    74 vs 26 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    204800 vs 6400 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 an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Dual card slots
    Both provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • 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
  • 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

  • Rugged construction; 51-point AF system capable of sophisticated AF tracking; Large, bright optical viewfinder; 7 fps JPEG or 12-bit RAW burst mode; HD Video capture.

  • 14-bit RAW mode slows continuous shooting from 7 fps to 2.7 fps; Somewhat slow AF for a camera at this level, especially in 51-point auto-area mode; Video capture tops out at 720p24.

  • Unlocks the full potential of full-frame Pentax lenses; Excellent image quality; Great ergonomics and build; Very compact for full-frame; Decent performance; Fast autofocus with great low-light capabilities; Very wide sensitivity range; Bright, accurate viewfinder; Articulated LCD; Stabilization, Wi-Fi and GPS in-camera

  • No built-in flash strobe; Quite heavy compared to APS-C flagships; Somewhat soft images and blown highlights by default in JPEG mode; Warm Auto white balance indoors; Slow startup and buffer clearing; Small top-deck status display; Weak viewfinder illumination; Below-average battery life for DSLR

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D90

Nikon D300S
Nikon D90
  • $1495
  • APS-C
  • External Mic Jack
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
Pentax K-1
Nikon D90
  • $1665
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Internal flash

Compared to Canon 50D

Nikon D300S
Canon 50D
  • $1495
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Less shutter lag
  • More pixels
Pentax K-1
Canon 50D
  • $1665
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Internal flash

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Nikon D300S
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1495
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
Pentax K-1
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1665
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Nikon D810

Nikon D300S
Nikon D810
  • $1495
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $2797
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Better color depth
Pentax K-1
Nikon D810
  • $1665
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $2797
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Pentax K-1 II

Nikon D300S
Pentax K-1 II
  • $1495
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $1997
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1 II
  • $1665
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • $1997
  • 35mm
  • Newer
  • Higher extended ISO
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