• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.4 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

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Differences

Pentax K-5 II advantages over Pentax K-3

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.81 vs 3.91 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.60 vs 0.9 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 740 vs 560 shots
    Capture more photos

Pentax K-3 advantages over Pentax K-5 II

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • More cross-type AF points
    25 vs 9
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Less shutter lag
    0.14 vs 0.23 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More pixels
    24.4 vs 16.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    27 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 Fixed
    Lets you choose sharper photos or reduced moiré
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    75 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
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • 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

  • 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
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Buy the Pentax K-5 II

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-3

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.

  • Top-notch image quality; Great ergonomics in a compact body; Unique on-demand low-pass filtering; Broad sensitivity range; Large and bright viewfinder for an APS-C camera; Dual card slots; Optional Wi-Fi remote control

  • AE Lock button is poorly located; Below-average battery life for a DSLR; Rather dated-looking menu system; Requires a different battery grip accessory than its predecessors; Less third-party support than some rivals

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
Pentax K-3
Nikon D7000
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

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
Pentax K-3
Pentax K-30
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Longer stills battery life
  • Top deck display
  • $525
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels

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
Pentax K-3
Canon T4i
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $475
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Nikon D7100

Pentax K-5 II
Nikon D7100
  • $1200
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels
  • $795
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Pentax K-3
Nikon D7100
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $795
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Nikon D5300

Pentax K-5 II
Nikon D5300
  • $1200
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels
  • $445
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Pentax K-3
Nikon D5300
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $445
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Fast startup
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