• 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 36.4 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 204,800
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Pentax K-1 advantages over Nikon D3500

  • Less expensive
    $195* vs $397
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • 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.
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.88 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • 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
  • 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
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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
  • Less shutter lag
    0.09 vs 0.21 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.70x vs 0.57x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    36.4 vs 24.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    33 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 None
    Lets you choose sharper photos or reduced moiré
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    204800 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Nikon D3500 advantages over Pentax K-1

  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 1.2 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1550 vs 760 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Newer
    6 months vs 3 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.1 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    5.1 fps vs 4.6 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D3500

Review Excerpt

  • 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

  • Great image quality for its class; Excellent high ISO performance for APS-C; Fast single-shot AF speeds; Compact, easy to use design; Incredible value at under $500 with lens.

  • 11-point AF system feels out-dated; Underwhelming C-AF performance; Below average viewfinder coverage accuracy; No touchscreen; Limited wireless features.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D810

Pentax K-1
Nikon D810
  • $1264
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $2797
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
Nikon D3500
Nikon D810
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • $2797
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3400

Pentax K-1
Nikon D3400
  • $1264
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Built-in Bluetooth
Nikon D3500
Nikon D3400
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Longer video battery life
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $397
  • APS-C

Compared to Canon 5D Mark IV

Pentax K-1
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $1264
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $2999
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D3500
Canon 5D Mark IV
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • $2999
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Canon SL2

Pentax K-1
Canon SL2
  • $1264
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D3500
Canon SL2
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Pentax K-1 II

Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1 II
  • $1264
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • $1797
  • 35mm
  • Newer
  • Higher extended ISO
Nikon D3500
Pentax K-1 II
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $1797
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
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