• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800

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Differences

Pentax K-5 II advantages over Panasonic GH3

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    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
    ~ 4.81 vs 3.75 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.60 vs 0.8 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,235 vs 812 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.1 vs 12.3 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 740 vs 540 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Higher-res screen
    307k vs 205k pixels
    More detail on the screen lets you judge focus and composition
  • Faster RAW shooting
    6.7 fps vs 5.1 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in 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

Panasonic GH3 advantages over Pentax K-5 II

  • Less expensive
    $848* vs $1200
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.67x vs 0.61x
    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
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 28 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

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
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-5 II

Review Excerpt

  • Compact yet control-rich body packs in the features; Updated autofocus system focuses in near-darkness; Fully weather-sealed; Sharp, detailed images with very good dynamic range; In-body image stabilization; Dual-axis level with horizon correction.

  • Can seem intimidating at first; Fewer autofocus points than competitors; Doesn't take advantage of high-speed UHS-I flash cards; Movie feature set is very dated and file sizes huge.

  • Professional quality video in a compact body; Still image quality ranks with the best mirrorless models and even some prosumer DSLRs; Fast autofocus; Rugged, weatherized camera build; Reasonably priced for its advanced feature set; Large selection of high quality lenses.

  • Not as compact as most mirrorless cameras; Live View not available during high speed bursts; High ISO image quality and dynamic range not quite as good as top APS-C cameras.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D7000

Pentax K-5 II
Nikon D7000
  • $1200
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
Panasonic GH3
Nikon D7000
  • $848
  • 4/3
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Pentax K-30

Pentax K-5 II
Pentax K-30
  • $1200
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $525
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
Panasonic GH3
Pentax K-30
  • $848
  • 4/3
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $525
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking

Compared to Canon T4i

Pentax K-5 II
Canon T4i
  • $1200
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $475
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Panasonic GH3
Canon T4i
  • $848
  • 4/3
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $475
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Olympus E-M1

Pentax K-5 II
Olympus E-M1
  • $1200
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
Panasonic GH3
Olympus E-M1
  • $848
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Panasonic GH4

Pentax K-5 II
Panasonic GH4
  • $1200
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $798
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Panasonic GH3
Panasonic GH4
  • $848
  • 4/3
  • $798
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Shoot 4K video
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