Nikon D610 vs Pentax K-1
The Nikon D610 and the Pentax K-1 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and February 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 36.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Nikon D610||Pentax K-1|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor||36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (50-25600)||ISO 100-204800|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.2" LCD, 921k dots||3.2" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)|
|6 shutter flaps per second||4.4 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|900 shots per battery charge||760 shots per battery charge|
|141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g||137 x 110 x 86 mm, 1010 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D610 vs Pentax K-1
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D610 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D610 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
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 smaller (5 percent) than the Nikon D610. However, the K-1 is markedly heavier (19 percent) than the D610. 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.
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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Nikon D610»||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Pentax K-1«||5.4 in||4.3 in||3.4 in||35.6 oz||760||Y||Feb 2016||1,799||-||Pentax K-1|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||5.9 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||31.4 oz||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Nikon D500« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||30.3 oz||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D750« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||26.5 oz||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||5.7 in||4.8 in||3.2 in||34.6 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D7100« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon Df« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.6 in||26.8 oz||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D600« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D800« »||5.7 in||4.8 in||3.2 in||35.3 oz||900||Y||Feb 2012||2,999||-||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||5.7 in||4.8 in||3.2 in||35.3 oz||900||Y||Feb 2012||3,299||-||Nikon D800E|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||5.3 in||3.6 in||2.6 in||20.2 oz||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Pentax K-1 II« »||5.4 in||4.3 in||3.4 in||35.6 oz||670||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||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||Sony A99 II|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The K-1 was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the D610 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 D610 vs Pentax K-1
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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the K-1 offers a higher resolution of 36.2 megapixels, compared with 24.2 MP of the D610. This megapixels advantage translates into a 22 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the K-1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 5.97μm for the D610). However, it should be noted that the K-1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the D610, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Unlike the D610, 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 D610 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon D610»||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Pentax K-1«||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60i||25.4||14.6||3280||96||Pentax K-1|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Nikon D500« »||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.0||14.0||1324||83||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D750« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D7100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.7||1256||83||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon Df« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||-||24.6||13.1||3279||89||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D600« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.2||2980||94||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D800« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.3||14.4||2853||95||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.6||14.3||2979||96||Nikon D800E|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Pentax K-1 II« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax K-1 II|
|Sony A99 II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92||Sony 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 K-1 provides a faster frame rate than the D610. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D610 vs Pentax K-1
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D610 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D610 and Pentax K-1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon D610»||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D610|
|Pentax K-1«||optical||Y||3.2||1037||full-flex||n||8000||4.4||n||Y||Pentax K-1|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||7.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n||Canon 6D|
|Nikon D500« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||n||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D750« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||tilting||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D7100« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon Df« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D600« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||Y||n||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D800« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||8000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||8000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D800E|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||18.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Pentax K-1 II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1037||full-flex||n||8000||4.4||n||Y||Pentax K-1 II|
|Sony A99 II« »||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||8000||12.0||n||Y||Sony A99 II|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D610 has one, while the K-1 does not. While the built-in flash of the D610 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D610 and the K-1 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D610 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 D610 and Pentax K-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D610»||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Pentax K-1«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-1|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Nikon D500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D750« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D7100« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon Df« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D600« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D800« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D800E|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Pentax K-1 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-1 II|
|Sony A99 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony 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 D610 does not offer wifi capability.
The D610 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.
Review summary: Nikon D610 vs Pentax K-1
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D610 or the Pentax K-1 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Nikon D610:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 4.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 160g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (900 versus 760) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in October 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 24.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
- 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 (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- 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.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D610 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the K-1 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 6 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D610 or the K-1 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Nikon D610 vs Pentax K-1
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D610»||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Pentax K-1«||-||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||1,799||-||Pentax K-1|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 6D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Nikon D500« »||HiRec||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D750« »||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||2,299||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||-||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D7100« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon Df« »||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D600« »||HiRec||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Nikon D600|
|Nikon D800« »||HiRec||82/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||2,999||-||Nikon D800|
|Nikon D800E« »||-||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||3,299||-||Nikon D800E|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Pentax K-1 II« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,999||Pentax K-1 II|
|Sony A99 II« »||-||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 40D vs Canon SX730
- Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Canon 800D
- Leica CL vs Fujifilm GFX 50S
- Nikon D3400 vs Panasonic GX850
- Nikon D5600 vs Canon 100D
- Nikon D7000 vs Sony RX1
- Olympus E-M1 vs Nikon D300S
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Fujifilm X-A2
- Panasonic FZ330 vs Sony HX95
- Panasonic GH1 vs Olympus E-M5 II
- Sony A7 II vs Nikon D600
- Sony RX10 III vs Nikon D700
Specifications: Nikon D610 vs Pentax K-1
|Camera Model||Nikon D610||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||October 2013||February 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1999||USD 1799|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 24.0 mm||35.9 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2||861.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.2 Megapixels||36.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6016 x 4016 pixels||7360 x 4912 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.97 μm||4.88 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.80 MP/cm2||4.20 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-204800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-25600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 3||PRIME IV|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fully flexible screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||4.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL15 power pack||D-LI90 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||900 shots per charge||760 shots per charge|
141 x 113 x 82 mm
(5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
137 x 110 x 86 mm
(5.4 x 4.3 x 3.4 in)
|Camera Weight||850 g (30.0 oz)||1010 g (35.6 oz)|
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