Updated (September 2012): Compare the Nikon D90 vs Pentax K-5 II

Pentax K-5 vs Nikon D90

Winner
Pentax K-5

90

Nikon D90

67

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Pentax K-5

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 25fps
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
7 fps
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.63x
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Badge
Built-in focus motor
Autofocuses with more lenses

Items often bought with the Pentax K-5 or Nikon D90

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D90.
Explore our gallery of 4 sample photos taken by the Pentax K-5.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D90

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Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
230 lenses vs 113 lenses
Help
More than 2x more lenses available
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.63x vs 0.60x
Help
Around 10% larger viewfinder
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Startup delay
Less startup delay
300 ms vs 600 ms
Help
2x less delay when turning on
Battery life
Longer battery life
850 shots vs 740 shots
Help
More than 10% more shots per battery charge
Weight
Lighter
703 g vs 740 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90

Advantages of the Pentax K-5

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Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 25fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Overall image quality
Better image quality
82.0 vs 73.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,162 ISO vs 977 ISO
Help
The K-5 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Continuous shooting
Shoots significantly faster
7 fps vs 4.5 fps
Help
Around 60% faster continuous shooting
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
104 ms vs 208 ms
Help
2x less delay when taking photos
Color depth
Better color depth
23.7 bits vs 22.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
14.1 EV vs 12.5 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
True resolution
Higher true resolution
16.1 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
9 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
51,200 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The K-5's boost ISO is 6 f-stops better
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 96%
Help
Almost the same
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The K-5's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Size
Smaller
131×97×73 mm vs 132×103×77 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Thickness
Significantly thinner
2.9" vs 3"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Pentax K-5 Learn more about
the Pentax K-5
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D90 Nikon D90 67
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        90 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-5
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              D900.63x
              K-50.60x
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Battery life Great battery life Help
              D90850 shots
              K-5740 shots
              Common Weaknesses
              Weight Heavy Help
              D90703 g
              K-5740 g
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D9012.2 MP
              K-516.1 MP
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              11
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D903,200 ISO
              K-512,800 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              D90720p @ 24fps
              K-51080p @ 25fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $979 - $1,097 body only

              $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $720 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie continuous focus Can focus continuously while recording movies
              Autofocus Focuses automatically while shootting video
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $713 - $797 body only

              $948 - $1,097 with 18-140mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $405 - $497 body only

              $479 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $465 - $647 body only

              $545 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $859 body only

              $960 with 18-135mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D90 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              Viewfinder size Much smaller viewfinder
              Battery life Significantly shorter battery life
              Nikon D5500

              Nikon D5500

              Entry-level DSLR

              $559 - $747 body only

              $649 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder

              Pentax K-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Pentax K-3

              Pentax K-3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $650 - $749 body only

              $1,039 - $1,047 with 18-135mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Pentax K-50

              Pentax K-50

              Entry-level DSLR

              $286 - $295 body only

              $375 - $378 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Battery life Significantly shorter battery life
              Pentax K-30

              Pentax K-30

              Entry-level DSLR

              $365 body only

              $531 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Movie format Lower frame rate movies
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Battery life Significantly shorter battery life
              Pentax K-5 II

              Pentax K-5 II

              Entry-level DSLR

              $618 body only

              $947 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              Battery life Longer battery life
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Lowest price More expensive
              Pentax K-S2

              Pentax K-S2

              Boutique

              $450 - $547

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Interchangeable lenses Built-in lens only
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack

              appearance

              Nikon D90 Pentax K-5
              Nikon D90 Pentax K-5
              Nikon D90 Pentax K-5

              discussion

              Nikon D90
              D90
              Nikon

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              Pentax K-5
              K-5
              Pentax

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