Panasonic G5 vs Pentax K-3
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Pentax K-3 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2012 and October 2013. The G5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (G5) and an APS-C (K-3) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 24.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic G5||Pentax K-3|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 160-12,800||ISO 100-51,200|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||3.2 LCD, 1037k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|6 shutter flaps per second||8.3 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|320 shots per battery charge||560 shots per battery charge|
|120 x 83 x 71 mm, 396 g||131 x 100 x 77 mm, 800 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Pentax K-3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic G5 and the Pentax K-3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-3 is notably larger (32 percent) than the Panasonic G5. Moreover, the K-3 is substantially heavier (102 percent) than the G5. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-3 is splash and dust-proof, while the G5 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.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Panasonic G5||120 mm||83 mm||71 mm||396 g||320||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|Nikon D7100||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199|
|Panasonic GX800||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic G7||125 mm||86 mm||77 mm||410 g||350||n||May 2015||649|
|Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749|
|Panasonic GX7||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||n||Aug 2013||999|
|Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|Pentax KP||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099|
|Pentax K-3 II||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099|
|Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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 G5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the K-3, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. 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 Panasonic G5 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax K-3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the K-3 is 63 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the G5 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the K-3 offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 24.1MP, the K-3 offers a higher resolution than the G5 (15.9MP), but the K-3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 3.76μm for the G5) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the K-3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the G5, and its sensor might 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-3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax K-3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the K-3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20 inches or 76.4 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16 inches or 61.1 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.3 inches or 50.9 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic G5 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-3 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).
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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic GX800||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|Panasonic G7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80|
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, but the G5 provides a higher frame rate than the K-3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G5 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the K-3 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 G5 has a higher magnification than the one of the K-3 (0.70x vs 0.63x), 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 Panasonic G5, the Pentax K-3, and comparable cameras.
|Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G5 has a touchscreen, while the K-3 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The G5 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the K-3 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Pentax K-3 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 G5 and the K-3 write their files to SDXC cards. The K-3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G5 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.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and Pentax K-3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the K-3 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The G5 lacks such a headphone port.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-3 (unlike the G5) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the G5 and the K-3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G5 was replaced by the Panasonic G6, while the K-3 was followed by the Pentax K-3 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Pentax websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G5 and the Pentax K-3? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.63x).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x83mm vs 131x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 404g or 50 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 (54 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2012).
Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- 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.
- 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 920k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.3 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (560 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
- 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.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- 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: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 2 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the K-3 is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 12 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G5 and the Pentax K-3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G5 or the K-3 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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.
|Panasonic G5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Pentax K-3||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Canon 70D||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 100D||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|Fujifilm X-M1||+||77/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|Nikon D7100||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199|
|Panasonic GX800||+||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic G7||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649|
|Panasonic G6||+ +||..||5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GF6||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic GM1||+||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749|
|Panasonic GX7||+||79/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999|
|Panasonic G3||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic GX1||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|Pentax KP||..||82/100||5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099|
|Pentax K-3 II||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099|
|Pentax K-5||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 7D vs Panasonic G5
- Canon G3 X vs Panasonic G5
- Fujifilm XP120 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Fujifilm XP130 vs Pentax K-3
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Pentax K-3
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Leica X2 vs Pentax K-3
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Pentax K-3
- Nikon D3200 vs Panasonic G5
- Nikon D7200 vs Panasonic G5
- Panasonic FZ2500 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Pentax K-3 vs Sony A6500
Specifications: Panasonic G5 vs Pentax K-3
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic G5||Pentax K-3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2012||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic G5||Pentax K-3|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||6016 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||3.90 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||6.56 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus VII FHD||PRIME III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1216|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic G5||Pentax K-3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic G5||Pentax K-3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||8.3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in 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||Panasonic G5||Pentax K-3|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic G5||Pentax K-3|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||560 shots per charge|
120 x 83 x 71 mm
(4.7 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
131 x 100 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||396 g (14.0 oz)||800 g (28.2 oz)|
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