Pentax K-5 vs Ricoh GR
The Pentax K-5 and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and April 2013. The K-5 is a DSLR, while the GR is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16.1 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Pentax K-5||Ricoh GR|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Pentax K mount lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/25p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (80-51200)||ISO 100-25600|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 1230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|7 shutter flaps per second||4 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||No shake reduction|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|740 shots per battery charge||290 shots per battery charge|
|131 x 97 x 73 mm, 760 g||117 x 61 x 35 mm, 245 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax K-5 and the Ricoh GR? 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-5 and the Ricoh GR 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is considerably smaller (44 percent) than the Pentax K-5. It is worth mentioning in this context that the K-5 is splash and dust resistant, while the GR does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR has a lens built in, whereas the K-5 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-5 gets 740 shots out of its D-LI90 battery, while the GR can take 290 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The power pack in the GR 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. 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.
|Pentax K-5»||5.2 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||26.8 oz||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099||Pentax K-5|
|Ricoh GR«||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon D7500« »||5.4 in||4.1 in||2.9 in||25.4 oz||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon Coolpix A« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Nikon D7000« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||16.5 oz||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5« »||4.8 in||3.5 in||1.7 in||15.0 oz||360||Y||Feb 2012||1,299||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GM5« »||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Sep 2014||749||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic GM1« »||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||7.2 oz||230||n||Oct 2013||749||Panasonic GM1|
|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 II« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||Pentax K-3|
|Ricoh GR II« »||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony A77« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.2 in||25.8 oz||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399||Sony A77|
|Sony A850« »||6.1 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||31.6 oz||880||Y||Aug 2009||1,999||Sony A850|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The GR was launched at a lower price than the K-5, 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 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the GR 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.
Even though the K-5 has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 16.1 megapixels. This implies that the K-5 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.81μm versus 4.79μm for the GR), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the GR is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 months) than the K-5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Pentax K-5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 K-5 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the GR (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.099999999999998 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 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.
|Pentax K-5||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.7||14.1||1162||82||Pentax K-5|
|Ricoh GR||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon D7500||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.3||14.0||1483||86||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Nikon D7000||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||22.8||12.3||826||71||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66||Panasonic GM1|
|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 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.7||13.4||1216||80||Pentax K-3|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony A77||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.2||801||78||Sony A77|
|Sony A850||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||23.8||12.2||1415||79||Sony A850|
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 GR provides a faster frame rate than the K-5. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-5 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GR relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GR can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax K-5, the Ricoh GR, and comparable cameras.
|Pentax K-5||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-5|
|Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon D7500||optical||Y||3.2||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Nikon D7000||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5||1440||n||3.0||610||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GM5||1166||n||3.0||921||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.8||n||n||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic GM1||none||n||3.0||1036||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.0||Y||n||Panasonic GM1|
|Pentax KP||optical||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/6000s||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||Y||Y||Pentax K-3|
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0||921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y||Sony A77|
|Sony A850||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||n||Y||Sony A850|
One feature that is present on the K-5, but is missing on the GR 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 Pentax K-5 and the Ricoh GR both have 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 K-5 and the GR write their files to SDXC cards. The GR supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the K-5 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-5 and Ricoh GR and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Pentax K-5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-5|
|Ricoh GR||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon D7500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Nikon D7000||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M5||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-M5|
|Panasonic GM5||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic GM1||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Pentax KP||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||none||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony A77||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A77|
|Sony A850||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A850|
It is notable that the K-5 has a microphone port, which is missing on the GR. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-5 (unlike the GR) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the K-5 and the GR have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The K-5 was replaced by the Pentax K-5 II, while the GR was followed by the Ricoh GR 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 Ricoh websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Pentax K-5 and the Ricoh GR? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound 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.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (740 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/25p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 921k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the K-5 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x61mm vs 131x97mm) 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-5).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the K-5 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-5 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 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. 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 Pentax K-5 and the Ricoh GR place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the K-5 or the GR. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 5DS R vs Ricoh GR II
- Canon G9 X vs Ricoh GR
- Canon SX540 vs Ricoh GR II
- Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Ricoh GR III
- Leica Q2 vs Pentax K-5
- Nikon B500 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon D7000 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon L840 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon L840 vs Ricoh GR III
- Panasonic LX100 vs Ricoh GR III
- Pentax K-5 vs Sony HX90V
- Ricoh GR II vs Sony A7R III
Specifications: Pentax K-5 vs Ricoh GR
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-5||Ricoh GR|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||September 2010||April 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 1099||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Pentax K-5||Ricoh GR|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.7 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.09 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.81 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.32 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/25p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-51200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.1||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1162||972|
|Screen Specs||Pentax K-5||Ricoh GR|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Pentax K-5||Ricoh GR|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||No handshake reduction|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Pentax K-5||Ricoh GR|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Pentax K-5||Ricoh GR|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||740 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
131 x 97 x 73 mm
(5.2 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
117 x 61 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||760 g (26.8 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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