Nikon D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
The Nikon D7500 and the Pentax K-3 II are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2017 and April 2015. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 24.1 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 D7500||Pentax K-3 II|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor||24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-51200 (50-1640000)||ISO 100-51200|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.2" LCD, 922k dots||3.2" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|8 shutter flaps per second||8.3 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|950 shots per battery charge||720 shots per battery charge|
|136 x 104 x 73 mm, 720 g||131 x 100 x 77 mm, 800 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
The physical size and weight of the Nikon D7500 and the Pentax K-3 II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 D7500 – 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-3 II is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Nikon D7500. However, the K-3 II is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the D7500. 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 D7500»||5.4 in||4.1 in||2.9 in||25.4 oz||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299||Nikon D7500|
|Pentax K-3 II«||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Canon 80D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||25.8 oz||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5« »||6.3 in||6.3 in||3.6 in||49.9 oz||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D500« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||30.3 oz||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D7200« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199||-||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D610« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D7000« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D90« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Pentax KP« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.9 in||24.3 oz||410||Y||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||5.2 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||26.8 oz||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099||-||Pentax K-5|
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 K-3 II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 15 percent) than the D7500, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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-3 II is 1 percent smaller. 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 K-3 II offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 20.7 MP of the D7500. 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 3.90μm versus 4.22μm for the D7500). Moreover, it should be noted that the D7500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the K-3 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-3 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Unlike the D7500, the K-3 II 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 D7500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-1640000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-3 II are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (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"). Of the two cameras under review, the D7500 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the K-3 II (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D7500»||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.3||14.0||1483||86||Nikon D7500|
|Pentax K-3 II«||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80||Pentax K-3 II|
|Canon 80D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79||Canon 80D|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5« »||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D500« »||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.0||14.0||1324||83||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D7200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.5||14.6||1333||87||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.7||1256||83||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D610« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D7000« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D90« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||977||73||Nikon D90|
|Pentax KP« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.7||13.4||1216||80||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.7||14.1||1162||82||Pentax K-5|
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 D7500 provides a higher video resolution than the K-3 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Nikon D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D7500 and the K-3 II 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D7500 and Pentax K-3 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D7500»||optical||Y||3.2||922||tilting||Y||8000||8.0||Y||n||Nikon D7500|
|Pentax K-3 II«||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||8000||8.3||n||Y||Pentax K-3 II|
|Canon 80D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 80D|
|Nikon D5600« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||fixed||Y||8000||14.0||n||n||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D500« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||n||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D3400« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D7200« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D610« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D90« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||4.5||Y||n||Nikon D90|
|Pentax KP« »||optical||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||6000||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||6000||6.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||8000||8.3||Y||Y||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-5|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D7500 has one, while the K-3 II does not. While the built-in flash of the D7500 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D7500 and the K-3 II write their files to SDXC cards. The K-3 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D7500 only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
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 D7500 and Pentax K-3 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D7500»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D7500|
|Pentax K-3 II«||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3 II|
|Canon 80D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 80D|
|Nikon D5600« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D3400« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D7200« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D610« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D7000« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D90« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D90|
|Pentax KP« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-5|
It is notable that the D7500 offers wifi support, while the K-3 II does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the D7500 and the K-3 II are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The K-3 II replaced the earlier Pentax K-3, while the D7500 followed on from the Nikon D7200.
Review summary: Nikon D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D7500 better than the Pentax K-3 II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Nikon D7500:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- 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.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 80g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (950 versus 720) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- 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.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the K-3 II).
Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-3 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 20.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
- 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.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 922k dots).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (15 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2015).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D7500 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D7500 or the K-3 II 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 D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D7500»||HiRec||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299||Nikon D7500|
|Pentax K-3 II«||-||-||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Canon 80D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D500« »||HiRec||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D3400« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D7200« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199||-||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D610« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D90« »||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Pentax KP« »||-||82/100||5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3« »||-||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||-||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099||-||Pentax K-5|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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Specifications: Nikon D7500 vs Pentax K-3 II
|Camera Model||Nikon D7500||Pentax K-3 II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2017||April 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1299||USD 1099|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.7 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5568 x 3712 pixels||6016 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.22 μm||3.90 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.60 MP/cm2||6.56 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-51200 ISO||100-51200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-1640000 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 5||PRIME III|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||8.3 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 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL15a power pack||D-LI90 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||950 shots per charge||720 shots per charge|
136 x 104 x 73 mm
(5.4 x 4.1 x 2.9 in)
131 x 100 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||720 g (25.4 oz)||800 g (28.2 oz)|
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