• APS-C 372.1mm2
  • 16.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800
  • APS-C 369.0mm2
  • 14.8 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

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Differences

Pentax K-5 advantages over Sigma SD1 Merrill

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Limited
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Fast startup
    ~0.60 vs 4.5 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • 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
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 460k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.10 vs 0.38 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.5 fps vs 4.1 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    31 vs 7 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Sigma SD1 Merrill advantages over Pentax K-5

  • Doesn't require an AA filter
    Yes vs No
    A unique sensor design provides sharp photos without moiré

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
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax K-5

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Sigma SD1 Merrill

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent high ISO performance, one of the best APS-C sensors yet; 6.5 fps burst mode has very good buffer depths; Weather, dust, and cold resistant; In-body Shake Reduction corrects not only horizontal / vertical, but also rotational motion.

  • Default saturation and contrast a bit high; Auto white balance too warm in tungsten light; Fewer AF points than main competitors; Only a single card slot, and no UHS-I card support (slow buffer clearing).

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D300S

Pentax K-5
Nikon D300S
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $1697
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
Sigma SD1 Merrill
Nikon D300S
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • More pixels
  • Doesn't require an AA filter
  • $1697
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Pentax K-5
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
Sigma SD1 Merrill
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
  • More viewfinder magnification
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D7000

Pentax K-5
Nikon D7000
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Less shutter lag
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Sigma SD1 Merrill
Nikon D7000
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • Doesn't require an AA filter
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup

Compared to Canon T3i

Pentax K-5
Canon T3i
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Sigma SD1 Merrill
Canon T3i
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Pentax K-30

Pentax K-5
Pentax K-30
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • More telephoto lens reach
Sigma SD1 Merrill
Pentax K-30
  • $1799
  • APS-C
  • Doesn't require an AA filter
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Compare Other Cameras?