Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K5

by Enche Tjin on September 22, 2010

I am quites surprised that recently announced Nikon D7000 has many similarities to Pentax K5. Both cameras has similar concept, advanced SLR camera in high quality body and features.

The similarity will definitely confuse buyer on which camera (system) to buy, especially if you are not attached to any brand / system yet.

If you look at the comparison table below, both cameras has many similarities such as 16 MP sensor, 3 inch LCD, Full HD movie recording, fast continuous burst, magnesium alloy body and so on.

By taking a closer look, there are obvious differences between them.

The handsome Pentax K5 with new 18-135mm WR lens

The handsome Pentax K5 with new 18-135mm WR lens

Nikon D7000 advantages:

  • 39 Auto focus point system with 9 cross type (more sensitive AF)
  • Dual SD card slots  (backup, overflow, RAW & JPG)
  • New metering system for accurate exposure which may be the best today
  • $150-250 cheaper

On the other hand, here are Pentax K5 advantages:

  • Full weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
  • Built-in shake reduction (image stabilization)
  • Slightly faster continuous shooting
  • Dual-axis leveller

If you are getting DSLR for the first time, you should also consider some “untold” stories:

First, Nikon system has more lenses in their collection, ranging from consumer to professionals. However, Pentax has many unique fixed focal lenses which are very compact and very high quality such DA 70mm f/2.4, 31mm f/1.8. These prime lenses will get benefit from Pentax built-in image stabilization called Shake Reduction. Recent standard Pentax lenses also has WR (water repellent) that is great to use with full weather-sealed Pentax K5.

The other thing that I like about Nikon system is built-in flash commander which is part of CLS (Creative Lighting System). This feature enable you to trigger out of camera compatible flashes.

So which is the best camera/system to jump into?

If you need a sturdy, unbreakable camera and use it in extreme weather condition, then you can rely on Pentax K5. Also consider your shooting style and check out each manufacturers lens collection. If you love prime lenses, you might love Pentax’s pancake lenses. On the other hand, if your need high performance, fast auto focus pro-grade lenses for sports / candid photography, Nikon has plenty of them.

The last one is consider the future. If you regard these cameras are just a stepping stone towards a better camera, then you should choose Nikon system, because Nikon has some better cameras such as Nikon D3s, while K5 is the best Pentax camera at the moment.

I hope this is helpful for you to make decision whether to get Nikon D7000 or Pentax K5.

Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K5 comparison table

Nikon D7000 Pentax K5
Image 16 MP / APS-C Sensor 16 MP / APS-C sensor
LCD 3 inch, 910k resolution 3 inch, 910k resolution
Auto Focus 39 AF points / 9 cross type 11 AF points, 9 cross type
ISO ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 25600) ISO 100-12800, expandable to 80 and 51200
Movie recording Full HD 1080p 24 fps with continuous AF Full HD 1080p 25 fps, no manual exposure control
Continuous shooting 6 fps 7 fps buffer 40 JPGs
Handling/Control Dual SD card slot, quiet mode Shake Reduction, dual axis leveller
Body material Partial magnesium alloy Magnesium alloy – weather sealed
Price $1200, street Approx. $1500, street
Size/Weight 132 x 105 x 77 mm / 780 g 131 x 97 x 73 mm   / 740 g
Viewfinder penta prism, 100% coverage, .94 magnification penta prism, 100% coverage, .95x magnification
pentax-k5-vs-nikon-d7000-top

Top: Pentax K5 , Below: Nikon D7000

nikon-d7000-vs-pentax-k5-back

Top: Nikon D7000, Below: Pentax K5

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike February 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

@starbase218 It is not just lenses it’s other accessories like flashguns, remote cable releases and the general handling and familiarity with a given system. When I bought my D700 I kept my D7000 and all the full frame lenses work on both bodies. If I had a different APS C system that would be just a little problematic.

Dan April 28, 2012 at 8:58 am

I used Pentax film SLRs for years, I absolutely love Pentax. I switched to Nikon when I decided to buy a digital SLR and just got a D40x years ago when they came out. It’s a great little camera. It was time for a upgrade. I bought the K-5. Not after reading this review, this review makes a solid case for Nikon, but I didn’t buy a ton of Nikkor lenses (I only had two actually). On the other hand, I have a lot of Pentax lenses, all of which are compatible, even though some we’re made in the late 70’s. I liked my Nikon and one of my high school photo students was looking for a cheap DSLR to get into some digital photo, and I am currently only teach darkroom photo. I am selling it to him this week, I’d buy another Nikon, but I take my camera to many rainy and sandy/dusty place, Pentax cameras are pretty much indestructible work-horses, and they have really wonderful lenses despite what this review says. You can also get converters. I know people who use Canon bodies with high end Pentax lenses and they take amazing photos. I think they’re both wonderful cameras, and the reasons for buying them (besides from lens choices mentioned in this review) make sense. Pentax are for people who are going to be in the elements or taking photos in poor light conditions (the ISO performance on the K-5 blows every other camera in its class out of the water) and Nikons are the most user friendly SLRs on the market. Either way, you’ll be happy with your choice.

Ala Babba September 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Just get the Nikon wet and see what happens! Been there, got the Pentax now.

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