• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

Buy From

Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Pentax K-30

  • Less expensive
    $499 vs $599
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 1.1 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 660 vs 410 shots
    Capture more photos
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Lighter weight
    829g vs 1088g
    Lighter weight
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 45 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Pentax K-30 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
  • More telephoto lens reach
    203 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Less shutter lag
    0.16 vs 0.27 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.61x vs 0.52x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.5 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/6000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • 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
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • 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

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.

  • Pentaprism viewfinder is bright and accurate; Weather-sealed body can handle direct rain; Twin control dials make exposure control a snap; Solid build; Great image quality.

  • Lower resolution than some rivals; Not as small as recent Pentax entry-level and mid-range models; A couple of ergonomic and UI quirks; Shutter isn't the quietest; 18-55 kit lens isn't weather-sealed.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Pentax K-30
Nikon D3100
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life

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-30
Sony A35
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • External Mic Jack

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-30
Sony A57
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Tiltable Screen

Compared to Canon T4i

Nikon D5100
Canon T4i
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • On-sensor phase detect
Pentax K-30
Canon T4i
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Pentax K-5 II

Nikon D5100
Pentax K-5 II
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More telephoto lens reach
Pentax K-30
Pentax K-5 II
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
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