Updated (September, 2012): Compare the Nikon D800 vs Pentax K-5 IIs

Nikon D800

Winner
Nikon D800

100

vs

Pentax K-5

83

Pentax K-5

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D800

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
2,853 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
95.0
Screen size
Large screen
3.2"
True resolution
High true resolution
36.2 MP
 

Reasons to buy the Pentax K-5

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
104 ms shutter lag
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 130x96x72 mm
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D800

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Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 2,853 ISO vs 1,162 ISO
Help
The D800 has excellent image quality 1.3 f-stops higher ISO than the K-5
True resolution Much higher true resolution 36.2 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 2x more detail in your photos
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 95.0 vs 82.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Supports 24p Supports 24p Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.2" vs 3.0"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
Focus points Many more focus points 51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Sensor size Much larger sensor Full frame 35.9x24.0mm vs APS-C 23.6x15.7mm
Help
Around 2.5x larger sensor
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Color depth Better color depth 25.3 bits vs 23.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.6 more bits of color
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder 0.70x vs 0.60x
Help
More than 30% larger viewfinder
Lens availability More lenses available 152 lenses vs 109 lenses
Help
Around 40% more lenses available
Startup delay Less startup delay 200 ms vs 600 ms
Help
3x less delay when turning on
Cross type focus points More cross-type focus points 15 vs 9
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Storage slots Has more storage slots 2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 900 shots vs 740 shots
Help
More than 20% more shots per battery charge
Nikon D800 Learn more about
the Nikon D800

Advantages of the Pentax K-5

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Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag 104 ms vs 209 ms
Help
2x less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 7 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 80% faster continuous shooting
Size Significantly smaller 130x96x72 mm vs 146x123x82 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The K-5's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Thickness Significantly thinner 2.9" vs 3.2"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Weight Lighter 740 g vs 1,000 g
Help
Around 30% lighter
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 51,200 ISO vs 25,600 ISO
Help
The K-5's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Lowest price Cheaper $927.99 vs $2,796.95
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,869 cheaper (3x less)
Pentax K-5 Learn more about
the Pentax K-5
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D800 Nikon D800 100
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        vs

        83 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-5
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Dynamic range Good dynamic range Help
              D800:14.4 EV
              K-5:14.1 EV
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
              100%
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,147 body only

              $1,447 - $1,470 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,613 body only

              $1,999 - $2,700 with 24-85mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,750 - $1,899 body only

              $2,397 - $2,499 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $721 - $1,050 body only

              $900 - $1,385 with 18-105mm lens

              Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
              Thickness Is thicker
              HDR Lacks a built in HDR feature
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              $1,599 - $1,999 with 18-135mm lens

              Lens availability Slightly more lenses available
              Size Is slightly larger
              HDR Lacks a built in HDR feature
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              3D Captures 3D images
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Pro DSLR

              $3,120 body only

              $3,519 with 24-105mm lens

              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive

              Nikon D800 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $3,399 body only

              $3,999 with 24-105mm lens

              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,897 body only

              $2,797 - $2,800 with 28-300mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $5,997 body only

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Continuous shooting Shoots much faster
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon DF

              Nikon DF

              Pro DSLR

              $2,747 body only

              $2,935 - $2,997 with 50mm lens

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO
              True resolution Much lower true resolution
              Movie format Does not take movies

              Pentax K-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Pentax K-5 II

              Pentax K-5 II

              Entry-level DSLR

              $660 - $700 body only

              $920 - $1,751 with 18-135mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Pentax K-30

              Pentax K-30

              Entry-level DSLR

              $433 - $440 body only

              $560 - $751 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Weight Lighter
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Pentax K-3

              Pentax K-3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,120 - $1,297 body only

              $1,525 - $1,647 with 18-135mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Pentax K-50

              Pentax K-50

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 body only

              $584 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              appearance

              Nikon D800 Pentax K-5
              Nikon D800 Pentax K-5
              Nikon D800 Pentax K-5

              discussion

              Nikon D800
              D800
              Nikon

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              Pentax K-5
              K-5
              Pentax

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