Fujifilm X-T3 vs Pentax K-5 II
The Fujifilm X-T3 and the Pentax K-5 II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2018 and September 2012. The X-T3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-5 II is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 26 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 16.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Pentax K-5 II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Pentax K-5 II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-T3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the K-5 II is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-5 II is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Fujifilm X-T3. Moreover, the K-5 II is substantially heavier (41 percent) than the X-T3. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the X-T3 gets 390 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the K-5 II can take 740 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack. The power pack in the X-T3 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm X-T3||133 mm||93 mm||59 mm||539 g||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499|
|2.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|5.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||497 g||440||Y||Oct 2019||1,799|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T100||121 mm||83 mm||47 mm||448 g||430||n||May 2018||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|10.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|12.||Fujifilm X-T1||129 mm||90 mm||47 mm||440 g||350||Y||Jan 2014||1,299|
|13.||Pentax K-3 II||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099|
|14.||Pentax K-50||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||Jun 2013||599|
|15.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|16.||Pentax K-30||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||May 2012||849|
|17.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The K-5 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the X-T3, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the K-5 II is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Fujifilm X-T3 offers a higher resolution of 26 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the Pentax K-5 II. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 4.81μm for the K-5 II). However, it should be noted that the X-T3 is much more recent (by 5 years and 11 months) than the K-5 II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-T3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X-T3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-T3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax K-5 II are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X-T3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-5 II are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-51200.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Pentax K-5 II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.8||14.1||1235||82|
|13.||Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-T3 provides a higher video resolution than the K-5 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-T3 has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the K-5 II has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the X-T3 has a higher magnification than the one of the K-5 II (0.75x vs 0.61x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-T3, the Pentax K-5 II, and comparable cameras.
|2.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The X-T3 has a touchscreen, while the K-5 II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-T3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-T3 and the Pentax K-5 II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X-T3 and the K-5 II write their files to SDXC cards. The X-T3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the K-5 II only has one slot. The X-T3 supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the K-5 II cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-T3 and Pentax K-5 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X-T3 has a headphone jack, which is not present on the K-5 II This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the X-T3 and the K-5 II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The K-5 II was replaced by the Pentax K-3, while the X-T3 was followed by the Fujifilm X-T4. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Pentax websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Pentax K-5 II? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-T3:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (26 vs 16.1MP) with a 27% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/60p vs 1080/25p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.75x vs 0.61x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 221g or 29 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards on both slots.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the K-5 II launch.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-5 II:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (740 versus 390) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-T3 is the clear winner of the match-up (21 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Pentax K-5 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-T3 or the K-5 II perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X-T3||5/5||+ +||88/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499|
|2.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||5/5||+ +||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||5/5||+ +||..||5/5||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|5.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||4/5||+||85/100||4/5||..||Oct 2019||1,799|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T100||4/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2018||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|10.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T2||5/5||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|12.||Fujifilm X-T1||5/5||+ +||84/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||1,299|
|13.||Pentax K-3 II||4.5/5||..||..||5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099|
|14.||Pentax K-50||5/5||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||599|
|15.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|16.||Pentax K-30||4/5||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||849|
|17.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-T3 vs Pentax K-5 II
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-T3||Pentax K-5 II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2018||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 1,099|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Pentax K-5 II|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||23.7 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||372.09 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||4.81 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||4.32 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||1080/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 51,200 ISO||80 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||X-Processor 4||PRIME II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1235|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Pentax K-5 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Pentax K-5 II|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Pentax K-5 II|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-T3||Pentax K-5 II|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||390 shots per charge||740 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
133 x 93 x 59 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 2.3 in)
131 x 97 x 73 mm
(5.2 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||539 g (19.0 oz)||760 g (26.8 oz)|
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