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Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-3 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500 camera image

Pentax K-3

Pentax K-3 camera
Nikon D5500
Pentax K-3
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.
January 06, 2015
October 08, 2013
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Pentax K-3 outperforms the Nikon D5500 with a score of 69/100 compared to 61/100. Both cameras are DSLR types, released in 2013 and 2015 respectively. They share similar specifications, but there are notable differences. The Pentax K-3 offers a better performance despite being an older model.

The Nikon D5500 is more compact and lightweight, measuring 124 x 97 x 70mm and weighing 420g. It is also more affordable, with a launch price of $900. However, the Pentax K-3 is more robust, measuring 131 x 100 x 77mm and weighing 800g. This camera’s launch price was $1300, reflecting its superior performance.

Considering the specifications, the Pentax K-3 justifies its higher score and price, while the Nikon D5500 offers a more budget-friendly and portable option. Each camera suits different needs and preferences.

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax K-3 Overview and Optics

The Pentax K-3 outperforms the Nikon D5500 in optics with a score of 74/100 compared to the D5500’s 65/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as having a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, an APS-C sensor size, and their respective brand’s lens mounts – the Nikon F DX for the D5500 and the Pentax KAF for the K-3.

The Pentax K-3 excels by offering a higher shooting speed of 8.3 frames per second, compared to the Nikon D5500’s 5 frames per second. This makes the K-3 more suitable for capturing fast-moving subjects. Additionally, the K-3 has image stabilization built into the camera body, which aids in reducing camera shake and improving image sharpness.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5500 boasts a slightly better DXOMARK score for its sensor at 84, compared to the Pentax K-3’s score of 80. This means that the D5500’s sensor has a marginally higher potential for image quality. Furthermore, the D5500 contains an Expeed 4 processor, while the K-3 uses a Prime III processor. However, the difference in processors does not significantly impact the optics comparison.

The Pentax K-3’s higher shooting speed and built-in image stabilization make it the superior choice in terms of optics. While the Nikon D5500 has a slightly higher DXOMARK sensor score, it does not outweigh the advantages offered by the K-3. Therefore, the Pentax K-3 is the better option for those prioritizing optical performance in their camera choice.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.2 MP
24 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
6016 x 4000 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
15.6 x 23.5 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
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
8.3 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 III
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 D5500 vs Pentax K-3 Video Performance

The Nikon D5500 and the Pentax K-3 both have a video score of 70/100, indicating that their video capabilities are evenly matched. Both cameras share several key specifications, such as Full HD video resolution, maximum video dimensions of 1920 x 1080, a maximum video frame rate of 60fps, and built-in time-lapse functionality.

Despite the equal scores, there may be some differences in the video features of the Nikon D5500 and the Pentax K-3 that could make one a better choice for certain users. For instance, the Nikon D5500 may have a more user-friendly interface, better autofocus capabilities, or superior image stabilization. These factors can contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable video shooting experience.

On the other hand, the Pentax K-3 may excel in other areas that are not reflected in the video score. It could have a more rugged build, better weather sealing, or a wider range of compatible lenses. These factors can be particularly important for users who plan to shoot videos in challenging environments or with specialized equipment.

Both the Nikon D5500 and the Pentax K-3 offer solid video capabilities, as evidenced by their identical video scores. While there may be some differences in their features and performance, these cameras are generally well-suited for capturing high-quality video. Users should consider their specific needs and preferences when deciding between these two cameras, as they both have unique strengths and weaknesses that may make one a better fit for certain situations.

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 D5500 vs Pentax K-3 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D5500 and Pentax K-3 both have a feature score of 59 out of 100. Despite having the same score, there are differences in their features that set them apart.

Both cameras have a 3.2-inch screen size and a screen resolution of 1,037,000 dots, providing clear and crisp image previews. However, the Nikon D5500 has a touchscreen, whereas the Pentax K-3 does not. This allows for easier navigation and control on the D5500. Additionally, the D5500 has a flip screen, which the K-3 lacks. This feature is useful for capturing images from various angles and positions.

The Nikon D5500 stands out with its built-in WIFI, allowing for easy sharing and transferring of images. The Pentax K-3 does not have this feature, making it less convenient for users who want to share their photos quickly. However, neither camera has GPS or Bluetooth capabilities.

Despite the lack of additional features, the Pentax K-3 still holds its ground as a solid camera choice. It is important to note that a camera’s overall quality is not solely determined by its feature score, but rather by the combination of its specifications and performance.

When comparing the Nikon D5500 and Pentax K-3 based on their features, the D5500 has a slight advantage with its touchscreen and flip screen, as well as built-in WIFI. However, the K-3 remains a viable option for users who prioritize other aspects of a camera’s performance over its features. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras will depend on the user’s preferences and needs.

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 D5500 vs Pentax K-3 Storage and Battery

The Pentax K-3 outperforms the Nikon D5500 in storage and battery with a score of 63/100, while the D5500 scores 35/100. Both cameras share common specifications, such as accepting SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards and lacking USB charging.

The Pentax K-3 excels with its dual memory card slots, providing more storage options and flexibility for photographers. However, its battery life falls short, offering only 560 shots compared to the Nikon D5500’s 820 shots. The K-3 uses the D-LI90 battery type.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5500 has a longer battery life, allowing for 820 shots with its EN-EL14 battery. Despite this advantage, it only has a single memory card slot, limiting storage capacity and versatility.

Taking these factors into consideration, the Pentax K-3 provides better storage capabilities with its dual memory card slots, while the Nikon D5500 offers longer battery life for extended shooting sessions.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
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.
820 shots
560 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.'
24.1 bits
23.7 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.'
14 EVs
13.4 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 D5500 vs Pentax K-3 Alternatives

User Scores
B&H photo video
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