Pentax K-1 vs Sony WX800
The Pentax K-1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2016 and October 2018. The K-1 is a DSLR, while the WX800 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (K-1) and a 1/2.3-inch (WX800) sensor. The Pentax has a resolution of 36.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax K-1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-1 and the Sony WX800 is provided 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The K-1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the WX800 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony WX800 is considerably smaller (61 percent) than the Pentax K-1. It is worth mentioning in this context that the K-1 is splash and dust resistant, while the WX800 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the WX800 has a lens built in, whereas the K-1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the K-1 gets 760 shots out of its D-LI90 battery, while the WX800 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the WX800 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Pentax K-1||137 mm||110 mm||86 mm||1010 g||760||Y||Feb 2016||1,799|
|2.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|5.||Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|6.||Olympus E-M1 II||134 mm||91 mm||67 mm||574 g||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999|
|7.||Pentax K-1 II||137 mm||110 mm||86 mm||1010 g||670||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099|
|9.||Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|10.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|11.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|12.||Sony A7R III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199|
|13.||Sony A99 II||143 mm||104 mm||76 mm||849 g||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199|
|14.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|15.||Sony A7R II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||625 g||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199|
|16.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|17.||Sony A850||156 mm||117 mm||82 mm||895 g||880||Y||Aug 2009||1,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The WX800 was launched at a lower price than the K-1, despite having a lens built in. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 Pentax K-1 features a full frame sensor and the Sony WX800 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the WX800 is 97 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 5.6. The sensor in the K-1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the WX800 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 36.2MP, the K-1 offers a higher resolution than the WX800 (18MP), but the K-1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 1.25μm for the WX800) due to its larger sensor. However, the WX800 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the K-1, and its sensor will 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 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 inches or 93.5 x 62.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.4 x 19.6 inches or 74.8 x 49.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.5 x 16.4 inches or 62.3 x 41.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony WX800 are 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
Unlike the WX800, 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 Pentax K-1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Pentax K-1||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60i||25.4||14.6||3280||96|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|6.||Olympus E-M1 II||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80|
|7.||Pentax K-1 II||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80|
|9.||Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|12.||Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100|
|13.||Sony A99 II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92|
|15.||Sony A7R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98|
|17.||Sony A850||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||23.8||12.2||1415||79|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the WX800 provides a better video resolution than the K-1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the WX800 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax K-1, the Sony WX800, and comparable cameras.
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0||n||n|
|6.||Olympus E-M1 II||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||18.0||n||Y|
|7.||Pentax K-1 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||full-flex||n||1/8000s||4.4||n||Y|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y|
|9.||Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|12.||Sony A7R III||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|13.||Sony A99 II||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
|15.||Sony A7R II||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
One feature that is present on the K-1, but is missing on the WX800 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The WX800 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the K-1 does not have a selfie-screen.
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.
The K-1 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the WX800 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The K-1 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the WX800 only has one slot. The K-1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the WX800 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 Pentax K-1 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Olympus E-M1 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Pentax K-1 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony A7R III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony A99 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A7R II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the K-1 has a hotshoe, while the WX800 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-1 (unlike the WX800) 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.
The WX800 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the K-1 has been discontinued (but 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 Pentax and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Pentax K-1 or the Sony WX800 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-1:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (36.2 vs 18MP) with a 45% higher linear resolution.
- 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.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control 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 922k 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 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (760 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2016).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the K-1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 137x110mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the K-1).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the K-1 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the K-1 is the clear winner of the match-up (24 : 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 Pentax K-1 and the Sony WX800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 K-1 or the WX800 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Pentax K-1||5/5||..||84/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||1,799|
|2.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||4.5/5||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|5.||Nikon D500||5/5||+ +||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|6.||Olympus E-M1 II||5/5||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999|
|7.||Pentax K-1 II||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||4.5/5||..||..||5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099|
|9.||Sony A7 III||..||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|10.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|11.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|12.||Sony A7R III||..||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199|
|13.||Sony A99 II||..||..||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199|
|14.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|15.||Sony A7R II||5/5||+ +||90/100||5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199|
|16.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|17.||Sony A850||3/5||..||75/100||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||1,999|
|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. 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. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Pentax K-1 vs Sony WX800
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||Pentax K-1||Sony WX800|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||February 2016||October 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 1,799||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Pentax K-1||Sony WX800|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 24.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||36.2 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||7360 x 4912 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.88 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.20 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 204,800 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||PRIME IV||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||96||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||25.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.6||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||3280||..|
|Screen Specs||Pentax K-1||Sony WX800|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fully flexible screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Pentax K-1||Sony WX800|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||4.4 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Pentax K-1||Sony WX800|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Pentax K-1||Sony WX800|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||760 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
137 x 110 x 86 mm
(5.4 x 4.3 x 3.4 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||1010 g (35.6 oz)||233 g (8.2 oz)|
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