Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!
In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Semi-Pro DSLR. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Pentax and Nikon. Although Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 cameras that we are going to review here have significant distinctive features, they also have something in common. Thus, the first common trait of both models is sensor. These cameras feature identical 36.0 MP CMOS sensors.
To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.
Pentax K-1 Key Features:
Nikon D810 Key Features:
Pentax K-1 was substituted by Pentax K-1 II.
|Gps||Built-in vs Optional||Has GPS|
|Image Stabilization||Yes vs No||All lenses are stabilized|
|Number Of Cross Focus Points||25 vs 15||10 more cross focus points|
|Screen Type||Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type||Flexible shooting positions|
|Dxo Low Light Iso||3280 vs 2853||Better High ISO performance|
|Continuous Shooting||5 fps vs 4.4 fps||0.6 fps faster|
|Built-In Flash||Yes vs No||All the lenses are stabilized|
|Flash Range||12 vs No||12 better flash range|
|Number Of Focus Points||51 vs 33||18 more focus points|
|Screen Resolution||1,229k dots vs 1,037k dots||15.6% higher resolution screen|
|Battery Life||1200 shots vs 760 shots||440 more frames with a single charge|
|Weight||980 g vs 1010 g||30 g lighter|
|Dxo Color Depth||25.7 vs 25.4||Better color depth|
|Dxo Dynamic Range||14.8 vs 14.6||Better dynamic range|
|Screen Size||3.2″ | 3.2″||Large display|
|Screen Resolution||1,037k dots | 1,229k dots||High resolution screen|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism)||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|Sensor Resolution||36.0 MP | 36.0 MP||Bigger prints and more details|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Microphone Port||Yes | Yes||High quality audio recording option|
|Headphone Port||Yes | Yes||Better video control|
|Timelapse Recording||Yes | Yes||Creative shooting|
|Storage Slots||2 slots | 2 slots||Extra Storage Slots|
|Bracketing||Yes | Yes||Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes | Yes||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Battery Life||760 shots | 1200 shots||Big number of frames with a single charge|
|Touch Screen||No | No||No touch screen|
|Continuous Shooting||4.4 fps | 5.0 fps||Low continuous shooting|
Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 from the front view.
Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.
After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.
Speaking of weight, Nikon D810 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 30g less than the Pentax K-1. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.
Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.
Are Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 any different in terms of sensor type?
In terms of sensor type and resolution, these models are identical. Both Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 come equipped with the same CMOS that has a resolution of 36.0 MP. Thus, if you are wondering, which option to choose, this is not a factor you should be looking at.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 by the size of their sensors.
Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.
If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.
This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.
|Photography Type||Pentax K-1||Nikon D810|
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Pentax K-1 or Nikon D810, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.
What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Pentax K-1 and Nikon D810 here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Pentax K-1 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D810. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.
For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:
|Pentax K-1||Nikon D810|
|Announced||Feb 17, 2016||Jun 26, 2014|
|Body Type||Mid-size SLR||Mid-size SLR|
|Sensor Size||Full frame||Full frame|
|Sensor Dimensions||35.9 x 24 mm||35.9 x 24 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.60 mm2||861.60 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||36.0 MP||36.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||7360 x 4912||7360 x 4912|
|Max Native ISO||204,800||12,800|
|Max Boosted ISO||n/a||51,200|
|Min Native ISO||100||64|
|Lens Mount||Pentax KAF2||Nikon F|
|Number of Lenses||144||287|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1x||1x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||33||51|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||25||15|
|Screen Type||Fully Articulated||Fixed Type|
|Screen Resolution||1,037k dots||1,229k dots|
|ViewFinder||Optical (pentaprism)||Optical (pentaprism)|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||0k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||30 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 s||1/8000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.4 fps||5.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto Flash Discharge, Auto Flash + Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On + Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Slow-speed Sync + Red-eye, P-TTL, Trailing Curtain Sync, Contrast-control-sync, High-speed sync, Wireless sync||Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, redeye reduction, redeye reduction w/slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Score||96||97|
|DxO Color Depth||25.4||25.7|
|DxO Dynamic Range||14.6||14.8|
|DxO Low Light ISO||3280||2853|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)||1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4, H.264||MPEG-4, H.264|
|USB||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|Weight||1010 g||980 g|
|Physical Dimensions||137 x 110 x 86 mm||146 x 123 x 82 mm|
|Battery Life||760 shots||1200 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||Battery Pack|
|Storage Type||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)||SD/SDHC/SDXC, CompactFlash (UDMA compliant)|