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Nikon D5300 vs Pentax K-1 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300

Pentax K-1

Pentax K-1 camera image
Nikon D5300
Pentax K-1
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
October 17, 2013
February 17, 2016
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Pentax K-1, with a score of 77/100, outperforms the Nikon D5300, which has a score of 57/100. Both cameras are DSLRs, with the Nikon D5300 announced in 2013 and the Pentax K-1 in 2016. They share similar dimensions, but the Pentax K-1 is heavier at 1010g compared to the Nikon D5300’s 480g.

The Pentax K-1’s higher score indicates its superior performance and features, which justifies its higher launch price of $1800 compared to the Nikon D5300’s $800. The Nikon D5300, however, has the advantage of being lighter and more affordable, making it an attractive option for beginners or those on a budget.

Taking these factors into consideration, the Pentax K-1 is the better choice for experienced photographers seeking advanced features and performance, while the Nikon D5300 is a suitable option for those who prioritize affordability and portability.

Nikon D5300 vs Pentax K-1 Overview and Optics

The Pentax K-1 outperforms the Nikon D5300 in optics, with a score of 85/100 compared to the D5300’s 65/100. Both cameras have a CMOS sensor and different processors, with the D5300 using Expeed 4 and the K-1 using Prime IV. They also share the same shooting speeds, 5 for the D5300 and 4.4 for the K-1.

The Pentax K-1 excels in several aspects. It has a higher megapixel count at 36.4 compared to the D5300’s 24.2, which results in sharper and more detailed images. The K-1 also has a better DXOMARK sensor score of 96, while the D5300 scores 83. This indicates superior image quality in the K-1. Additionally, the K-1 has a full-frame sensor size, offering a larger field of view and better low-light performance than the D5300’s APS-C sensor. The K-1 also features image stabilization, which the D5300 lacks, allowing for steadier shots in various conditions.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5300 has a few advantages. It has a slightly faster shooting speed of 5 compared to the K-1’s 4.4, which can be beneficial in capturing fast-moving subjects. The D5300 also uses the Nikon F DX lens mount, which offers a wider range of lens compatibility than the Pentax KAF mount.

While the Nikon D5300 has its merits, the Pentax K-1 ultimately offers superior optics due to its higher megapixel count, better DXOMARK sensor score, full-frame sensor size, and image stabilization. The D5300 may be a suitable choice for those prioritizing shooting speed and lens compatibility, but the K-1 is the clear winner in terms of overall optical performance.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.2 MP
36.4 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6000 x 4000 px
7360 x 4912 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.6 x 23.5 mm
24 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
5 fps
4.4 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F DX
Pentax KAF
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 4
Prime IV
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentamirror)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D5300 vs Pentax K-1 Video Performance

The Nikon D5300 and the Pentax K-1 both receive a video score of 70/100, indicating that they have comparable video capabilities. Both cameras share several common specifications, including Full HD video resolution, maximum video dimensions of 1920 x 1080, a maximum video frame rate of 60fps, and built-in time-lapse functionality.

Although the overall video scores are equal, each camera has its unique strengths. The Nikon D5300 stands out for its user-friendly interface and lighter weight, making it a more convenient option for those who prioritize ease of use and portability. This camera is ideal for casual videographers and beginners who want a reliable and straightforward camera for capturing high-quality video.

On the other hand, the Pentax K-1 offers robust build quality and weather resistance, making it a more durable choice for outdoor and adventure videography. This camera is better suited for experienced videographers who need a rugged device that can withstand harsh environments and demanding conditions. The Pentax K-1 also has a reputation for producing sharp and detailed images, which may translate to higher quality video output.

Both the Nikon D5300 and the Pentax K-1 have their advantages and cater to different user preferences. The D5300 is a more accessible and portable option, while the K-1 is built to endure and perform in challenging conditions. Despite their distinct strengths, both cameras deliver Full HD video resolution and share essential video features, making them capable choices for a variety of videography needs.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
1920 x 1080 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
60 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon D5300 vs Pentax K-1 Features and Benefits

The Pentax K-1 emerges as the winner in the features comparison with a score of 59/100, while the Nikon D5300 scores 46/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a 3.2-inch screen size, 1037000-dot screen resolution, flip screen, GPS, WIFI, and lack of Bluetooth connectivity.

The Pentax K-1 outperforms the Nikon D5300 in several aspects. Its superior feature score reflects its better overall capabilities. Additionally, the K-1 offers a more robust and durable build quality, making it a more reliable option for professional photographers who require a rugged camera for various shooting conditions.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5300 has certain advantages over the Pentax K-1. It is a lighter and more compact camera, making it easier to carry and handle during long photography sessions. This can be a significant factor for users who prioritize portability and convenience.

In comparing the features of both cameras, the Pentax K-1’s higher score reflects its superior performance and build quality, making it a more suitable choice for professional photographers. However, the Nikon D5300’s lighter and more compact design may appeal to users who value portability and ease of use. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the individual user’s priorities and preferences in terms of features, performance, and convenience.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
1,037,000 dots
1,037,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D5300 vs Pentax K-1 Storage and Battery

The Pentax K-1 outperforms the Nikon D5300 in storage and battery, scoring 68/100 compared to the D5300’s 29/100. Both cameras accept SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards, but the K-1 has two memory card slots, while the D5300 has only one. Additionally, the K-1’s memory cards are UHS-I compatible.

The K-1 also boasts a longer battery life of 760 shots, while the D5300 lasts for 600 shots. The Pentax K-1 uses a D-LI90 battery, while the Nikon D5300 uses an EN-EL14a battery. Neither camera supports USB charging.

While the D5300 does not surpass the K-1 in storage and battery, it still offers decent performance with its single memory card slot and 600-shot battery life. However, the Pentax K-1 clearly excels in this category with its dual memory card slots, UHS-I compatibility, and longer battery life, making it the superior choice for photographers requiring more storage and power.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
600 shots
760 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
24 bits
25.4 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
13.9 EVs
14.6 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D5300 vs Pentax K-1 – Our Verdict

Nikon D5300 vs Pentax K-1 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D5300 or the Pentax K-1:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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