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 make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Pentax K-3 belongs to a Semi-Pro DSLR category, the other model, Pentax K-3 is a Pro Mirrorless camera. Pentax K-3 is equipped with a 24.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Olympus OM-D E-M1 comes with a 16.0 MP CMOS sensor.
Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - DSLR and MirrorLess. Keeping in mind all the distinctive features of each category, it will be hard to make a detailed comparison of these two models. However, we will do our best to make this review as unbiased and detailed as possible.
To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Pentax K-3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.
Pentax K-3 Key Features:
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Key Features:
|Storage Slots||2 vs 1||Extra storage slot|
|Sensor Resolution||24.0 MP vs 16.0 MP||33.3% more pixels|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2 vs 224.9 mm2||38.7% larger pixel area|
|Built-In Flash||Yes vs No||All the lenses are stabilized|
|Flash Range||13 vs No||13 better flash range|
|Screen Size||3.2″ vs 3″||0.2" larger screen|
|Battery Life||560 shots vs 350 shots||210 more frames with a single charge|
|Headphone Port||Yes vs No||Has headphone port|
|Dxo Color Depth||23.7 vs 23||Better color depth|
|Dxo Dynamic Range||13.4 vs 12.7||Better dynamic range|
|Dxo Low Light Iso||1216 vs 757||Better High ISO performance|
|Wireless Connectivity||Built-In vs No||Better connectivity|
|Continuous Shooting||10 fps vs 8 fps||2 fps faster|
|Number Of Focus Points||81 vs 27||54 more focus points|
|Touch Screen||Yes vs No||Easy control of camera functions|
|Weight||497 g vs 800 g||303 g lighter|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.74 vs 0.64||0.1 better magnification|
|Screen Size||3.2″ | 3″||Large display|
|Screen Resolution||1,037k dots | 1,037k dots||High resolution screen|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism) | Electronic||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Microphone Port||Yes | Yes||High quality audio recording option|
|Timelapse Recording||Yes | Yes||Creative shooting|
|Bracketing||Yes | Yes||Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR|
|Continuous Shooting||8.0 fps | 10.0 fps||Nice continuous shooting|
|Image Stabilization||Yes | Yes||Built-in stabilization|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes | Yes||Shoot at tough conditions|
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-3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 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, Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 303g less than the Pentax K-3. 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-3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 any different in terms of sensor type?
In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Pentax K-3 features a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Prime III processor . Olympus OM-D E-M1, in its turn, comes with a 16.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and TruePIC VII processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Pentax K-3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 by the size of their sensors.
One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Pentax K-3 has a sensor area 0.6x bigger compared to Olympus OM-D E-M1. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.
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-3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 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-3||Olympus OM-D E-M1|
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-3 or Olympus OM-D E-M1, 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-3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Olympus OM-D E-M1 deserves a higher Total Score than the Pentax K-3. 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-3||Olympus OM-D E-M1|
|Announced||Apr 10, 2014||Oct 28, 2013|
|Body Type||Mid-size SLR||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Sensor Size||APS-C||Four Thirds|
|Sensor Dimensions||23.5 x 15.6 mm||17.3 x 13 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.60 mm2||224.90 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||24.0 MP||16.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||6016 x 4000||4608 x 3456|
|Max Native ISO||51,200||25,600|
|Max Boosted ISO||n/a||n/a|
|Min Native ISO||100||100|
|Lens Mount||Pentax KAF2||Micro Four Thirds|
|Number of Lenses||144||94|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1.5x||2x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||27||81|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||25||n/a|
|Screen Type||Fixed Type||Tilting|
|Screen Resolution||1,037k dots||1,037k dots|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||2,360k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||60 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 s||1/8000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||8.0 fps||10.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, red-eye, slow sync, slow sync + red-eye, trailing curtain sync, high speed, wireless, manual||Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Score||80||73|
|DxO Color Depth||23.7||23.0|
|DxO Dynamic Range||13.4||12.7|
|DxO Low Light ISO||1216||757|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)||1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4, H.264||H.264, Motion JPEG|
|USB||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|Weight||800 g||497 g|
|Physical Dimensions||131 x 100 x 77 mm||130 x 94 x 63 mm|
|Battery Life||560 shots||350 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||Battery Pack|
|Storage Type||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC||SD/SDHC/SDXC|