Updated (June, 2014): Compare the Nikon D810 vs Pentax K-5 II

Nikon D800 vs Pentax K-5

Winner
Nikon D800

101

Pentax K-5

85

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D800

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

Reasons to buy the Pentax K-5

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
7 fps
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
104 ms shutter lag
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 130x96x72 mm

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D800. Explore our gallery of 5 sample photos taken by the Pentax K-5.

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
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
95.0 vs 82.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.2" vs 3.0"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
36.2 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 2x more detail in your photos
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Viewfinder size
Significantly larger viewfinder
0.70x vs 0.60x
Help
More than 30% larger viewfinder
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Color depth
Better color depth
25.3 bits vs 23.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.6 more bits of color
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
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 9
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Battery life
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
Continuous shooting
Shoots significantly faster
7 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 80% faster continuous shooting
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
104 ms vs 209 ms
Help
2x less delay when taking photos
Size
Significantly smaller
130x96x72 mm vs 146x123x82 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Thickness
Significantly thinner
2.9" vs 3.2"
Help
More than 10% thinner
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
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$816.04 vs $2,545.44
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,729 cheaper (3.1x less)
Weight
Significantly 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
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 101
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      Color
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        85 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-5
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Dynamic range Good dynamic range Help
              D80014.4 EV
              K-514.1 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
              Common Weaknesses
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,499 body only

              $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $897 body only

              $1,160 - $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $3,973 body only

              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,399 body only

              $1,799 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

              $685 with 18-55mm lens

              Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $570 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              Pro DSLR

              $2,000 body only

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

              Nikon D800 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,997 body only

              $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              True resolution Significantly lower true resolution
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,997 body only

              $3,650 - $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality
              Lowest price More expensive
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,315 - $1,497 body only

              $1,699 - $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              True resolution Significantly lower true resolution
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Nikon D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,357 body only

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

              Pentax K-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Pentax K-3

              Pentax K-3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $715 - $940 body only

              $1,021 - $1,047 with 18-135mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Pentax K-50

              Pentax K-50

              Entry-level DSLR

              $308 body only

              $382 - $446 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Pentax K-5 II

              Pentax K-5 II

              Entry-level DSLR

              $578 body only

              $952 with 18-135mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Lowest price Slightly cheaper
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Pentax K-30

              Pentax K-30

              Entry-level DSLR

              $396 body only

              $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Weight Lighter
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Pentax K-7

              Pentax K-7

              Entry-level DSLR

              $599 body only

              $699 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag
              Lowest price Slightly cheaper
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Overall image quality Much 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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