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Olympus E-M5 vs Pentax K-1

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Pentax K-1 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2012 and February 2016. The E-M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-M5) and a full frame (K-1) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 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
Olympus E-M5 VS Pentax K-1
Olympus E-M5 Pentax K-1
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax K mount lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 200-25600 ISO 100-204800
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 610k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting touchscreen Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
9 shutter flaps per second 4.4 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
360 shots per battery charge760 shots per battery charge
122 x 89 x 43 mm, 425 g 137 x 110 x 86 mm, 1010 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus OM-D E-M5 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M5 and the Pentax K-1 is provided 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.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Olympus E-M5 vs Pentax K-1
Compare E-M5 versus K-1 top
Comparison E-M5 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 (39 percent) than the Olympus E-M5. Moreover, the K-1 is substantially heavier (138 percent) than the E-M5. 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 E-M5 gets 360 shots out of its BLN-1 battery, while the K-1 can take 760 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M5» 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299iOlympus E-M5
 
Pentax K-1« 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 760 Y Feb 2016 1,799iPentax K-1
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 iCanon 5D Mark IV
 
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 iOlympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 iOlympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099iOlympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599iOlympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-M1« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399iOlympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999iOlympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599iOlympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 499iOlympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199iPanasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GX7« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999iPanasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH3« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.2 in 19.4 oz 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299iPanasonic GH3
 
Pentax K-1 II« » 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 670 Y Feb 2018 1,999 iPentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 iSony A99 II
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 E-M5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 28 percent) than the K-1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-M5 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax K-1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the K-1 is 283 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the E-M5 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the K-1 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Olympus E-M5 and Pentax K-1 sensor measures

With 36.2MP, the K-1 offers a higher resolution than the E-M5 (15.9MP), but the K-1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M5) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the K-1 is a much more recent model (by 4 years) than the E-M5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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.

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 Olympus E-M5 are 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

Unlike the E-M5, 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).

E-M5 versus K-1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 consideration, the K-1 offers substantially better image quality than the E-M5 (overall score 25 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.6 bits higher color depth, 2.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671Olympus E-M5
 
Pentax K-1 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i25.414.6328096Pentax K-1
 
Canon 5D Mark IV Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GX8 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GX7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH3 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271Panasonic GH3
 
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 cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M5 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the K-1 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 K-1 has a higher magnification than the one of the E-M5 (0.70x vs 0.58x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-M5 and Pentax K-1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
 
Olympus E-M51440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5
 
Pentax K-1optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 1/8000s 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1
 
Canon 5D Mark IVoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-M12360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GX82360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GX72760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH31746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic GH3
 
Pentax K-1 IIoptical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 1/8000s 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-M5 has a touchscreen, while the K-1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

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 E-M5 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 E-M5 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

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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5
 
Pentax K-1YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1
 
Canon 5D Mark IVYmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-M1YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GX8YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GX7Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH3YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Panasonic GH3
 
Pentax K-1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony 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 E-M5 does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-1 (unlike the E-M5) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the K-1 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the E-M5 and the K-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-M5 was replaced by the Olympus E-M5 II, while the K-1 was followed 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 Olympus and Pentax websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus E-M5 better than the Pentax K-1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M5:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 4.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x89mm vs 137x110mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 585g or 58 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (28 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2012).

ilogo

Advantages of the Pentax K-1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 54%.
  • 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 image quality: Scores substantially higher (25 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.58x).
  • 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 610k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a 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.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (760 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • 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 modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the E-M5 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 (23 : 9 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-M5 09:23 K-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-M5 and the Pentax K-1 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-M5 or the K-1. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. 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
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M5+ +80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299iOlympus E-M5
 
Pentax K-1..84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2016 1,799iPentax K-1
 
Canon 5D Mark IV+ +87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 iCanon 5D Mark IV
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Olympus E-M1 II+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 iOlympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F..82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 iOlympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099iOlympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7+..5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599iOlympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-M1+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399iOlympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999iOlympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL5+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599iOlympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2..77/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499iOlympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GX8+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199iPanasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GX7+79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999iPanasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH3+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299iPanasonic GH3
 
Pentax K-1 II..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 iPentax K-1 II
 
Sony A99 II..85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 iSony A99 II
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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.

Olympus E-M5:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax K-1:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-M5 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 Olympus E-M5 Pentax K-1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax K mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2012 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 1799
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-M5 Pentax K-1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 36.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 7360 x 4912 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 4.88 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 4.20 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO 100-204800 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VI PRIME IV
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 71 96
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8 25.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 14.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 826 3280
    Screen Specs Olympus E-M5 Pentax K-1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    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 610k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fully flexible screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-M5 Pentax K-1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 4.4 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations300 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board 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 Olympus E-M5 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
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Olympus E-M5 Pentax K-1
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BLN-1 D-LI90
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge760 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 89 x 43 mm
    (4.8 x 3.5 x 1.7 in)
    137 x 110 x 86 mm
    (5.4 x 4.3 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 425 g (15.0 oz) 1010 g (35.6 oz)

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