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Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

The Nikon D3500 and the Pentax K-1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2018 and February 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D3500) and a full frame (K-1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 36.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3500   Pentax K-1
Nikon D3500 Pentax K-1
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-25600 ISO 100-204800
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
5 shutter flaps per second 4.4 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
1550 shots per battery charge760 shots per battery charge
124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g 137 x 110 x 86 mm, 1010 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3500 and the Pentax K-1? 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.

Body comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3500 and the Pentax K-1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The K-1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D3500 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1
Compare D3500 versus K-1 top
Comparison D3500 or K-1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-1 is notably larger (25 percent) than the Nikon D3500. Moreover, the K-1 is substantially heavier (177 percent) than the D3500. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-1 is splash and dust-proof, while the D3500 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 D3500 gets 1550 shots out of its EN-EL14a battery, while the K-1 can take 760 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3500» 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 12.9 oz 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i i Nikon D3500
 
Pentax K-1« 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 760 Y Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Fujifilm X-A5« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.6 in 12.7 oz 450 n Jan 2018 399 i i Fujifilm X-A5
 
Fujifilm XF10« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 9.8 oz 330 n Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
 
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Pentax K-1 II« » 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 670 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D3500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 76 percent) than the K-1, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3500 features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax K-1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the K-1 is 135 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Nikon D3500 and Pentax K-1 sensor measures

With 36.2MP, the K-1 offers a higher resolution than the D3500 (24MP), but the K-1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 3.91μm for the D3500) due to its larger sensor. However, the D3500 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 6 months) than the K-1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Pentax K-1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the K-1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 36.8 x 24.6 inch or 93.5 x 62.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.4 x 19.6 inch or 74.8 x 49.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.5 x 16.4 inch or 62.3 x 41.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3500 are 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

Unlike the D3500, the K-1 has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

The Nikon D3500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).

D3500 versus K-1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3500» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Nikon D3500
 
Pentax K-1« Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i25.414.6328096Pentax K-1
 
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
 
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Fujifilm X-A5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----Fujifilm X-A5
 
Fujifilm XF10« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-E3
 
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70
 
Pentax K-1 II« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i----Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D3500 provides a higher frame rate than the K-1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D3500 and the K-1 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the K-1 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D3500 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the K-1 has a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.57x), 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 Nikon D3500, the Pentax K-1, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3500»optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3500
 
Pentax K-1«optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 1/8000s 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1
 
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Fujifilm X-A5« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A5
 
Fujifilm XF10« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-E3
 
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
 
Pentax K-1 II« »optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 1/8000s 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D3500 has one, while the K-1 does not. While the built-in flash of the D3500 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The Pentax K-1 has 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 D3500 and the K-1 write their files to SDXC cards. The K-1 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D3500 only has one slot. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

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 Nikon D3500 and Pentax K-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3500»Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3500
 
Pentax K-1«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1
 
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Fujifilm X-A5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-YFujifilm X-A5
 
Fujifilm XF10« »-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm X-E3
 
Nikon D500« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
Nikon D3400« »Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D3300« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic ZS70« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70
 
Pentax K-1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II

It is notable that the K-1 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D3500 does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-1 (unlike the D3500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the K-1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the K-1 was succeeded by the Pentax K-1 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Pentax websites.


Review summary: Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3500 or the Pentax K-1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3500:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x97mm vs 137x110mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 645g or 64 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1550 versus 760) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (76 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the K-1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.57x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2016).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-1 is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

D3500 09:22 K-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3500 and the Pentax K-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D3500 and the K-1 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3500»--4/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i i Nikon D3500
 
Pentax K-1«-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
 
Canon SX740« »+-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon M100« »+-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »+ +87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Fujifilm X-A5« »+-4/54/53.5/5 Jan 2018 399 i i Fujifilm X-A5
 
Fujifilm XF10« »-75/1004/5-4.5/5 Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
 
Nikon D500« »+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
Nikon D3400« »+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D3300« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic ZS70« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Pentax K-1 II« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D3500:
Check Amazon price
Pentax K-1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon D3500 vs Pentax K-1

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D3500 Pentax K-1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2018 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 1799
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3500 Pentax K-1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 36.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 7360 x 4912 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 4.88 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 4.20 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-204800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 4 PRIME IV
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 96
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 25.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 14.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 3280
    Screen Specs Nikon D3500 Pentax K-1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.70x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3500 Pentax K-1
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 4.4 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations300 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3500 Pentax K-1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Geotagging GPS built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D3500 Pentax K-1
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL14a power pack D-LI90 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1550 shots per charge760 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    137 x 110 x 86 mm
    (5.4 x 4.3 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 365 g (12.9 oz) 1010 g (35.6 oz)

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