Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q

Nikon D5500 front
Pentax Q front

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q Key Specs

Nikon D5500
(Full Review)
  • 24MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3.2" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 420g - 124 x 97 x 70mm
  • Announced January 2015
  • Earlier Model is Nikon D5300
  • Newer Model is Nikon D5600
Pentax Q
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 125 - 6400
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Pentax Q Mount
  • 180g - 98 x 57 x 31mm
  • Introduced June 2011
  • Renewed by Pentax Q10
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Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q Overview

Following is a in-depth comparison of the Nikon D5500 versus Pentax Q, one is a Entry-Level DSLR and the other is a Entry-Level Mirrorless by rivals Nikon and Pentax. There is a sizeable difference between the resolutions of the D5500 (24MP) and Q (12MP) and the D5500 (APS-C) and Q (1/2.3") come with totally different sensor measurements.

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The D5500 was released 3 years after the Q which is quite a large gap as far as tech is concerned. Each of the cameras offer different body type with the Nikon D5500 being a Compact SLR camera and the Pentax Q being a Rangefinder-style mirrorless camera.

Before delving through a detailed comparison, below is a simple synopsis of how the D5500 grades against the Q with respect to portability, imaging, features and an overall score.

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Reasons to pick Nikon D5500 over the Pentax Q

 D5500 Q 
IntroducedJanuary 2015June 2011More modern by 44 months
Display typeFully ArticulatedFixed Fully Articulating display
Display sizing3.2"3"Larger display (+0.2")
Display resolution1037k460kCrisper display (+577k dot)
Selfie screen Easy selfies
Touch friendly display Easily navigate

Reasons to pick Pentax Q over the Nikon D5500

 Q D5500 

Common features in the Nikon D5500 and Pentax Q

 D5500 Q 
Manually focus More accurate focusing

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q Physical Comparison

If you're planning to carry around your camera often, you are going to need to consider its weight and proportions. The Nikon D5500 features outside dimensions of 124mm x 97mm x 70mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.8") accompanied by a weight of 420 grams (0.93 lbs) while the Pentax Q has measurements of 98mm x 57mm x 31mm (3.9" x 2.2" x 1.2") accompanied by a weight of 180 grams (0.40 lbs).

See the Nikon D5500 versus Pentax Q in the all new Camera and Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Bear in mind, the weight of an Interchangeable Lens Camera will differ depending on the lens you select at that time. Following is the front view proportions comparison of the D5500 and the Q.

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q size comparison

Taking into account size and weight, the portability score of the D5500 and Q is 71 and 93 respectively.

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q top view buttons comparison

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q Sensor Comparison

Generally, it is hard to envision the gap between sensor sizes simply by reading a spec sheet. The picture below will help give you a greater sense of the sensor sizes in the D5500 and Q.

Clearly, both of those cameras enjoy different resolutions and different sensor sizes. The D5500 because of its larger sensor will make getting shallower depth of field simpler and the Nikon D5500 will offer extra detail as a result of its extra 12 Megapixels. Greater resolution will allow you to crop pics far more aggressively. The newer D5500 is going to have a benefit when it comes to sensor innovation.

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q sensor size comparison

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q Screen and ViewFinder

Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Nikon D5500 Portrait photography information
Pentax Q Portrait photography information
you can focus manually
good megapixels (24 megapixels)
good sensor size (APS-C)
provides face detect focusing
supports RAW files
has manual focus
great flash sync speed (1/2,000 seconds)
exports RAW formats
low MP (12 megapixels)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
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Street Comparison

Nikon D5500 as a Street photography camera
Pentax Q as a Street photography camera
screen articulates fully
good sensor size (APS-C)
supports RAW files
has touch to focus
lighter than competitors in class (420 grams)
great ISO range (25,600)
lack of image stabilization
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
exports RAW formats
lighter than average (180g)
screen does not articulate
sensor is small (1/2.3")
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Sports Comparison

Nikon D5500 Sports photography factors
Pentax Q Sports photography factors
good megapixels (24MP)
good sensor size (APS-C)
provides tracking focus
better than average battery pack (820 shots)
has phase detect AF
very slow continuous shooting (5.0 fps)
lack of image stabilization
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
has tracking autofocus
low frames per second (2.0 frames per second)
low MP (12MP)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
bad battery power (230 per charge)
no phase detect AF
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Travel Comparison

Nikon D5500 Travel photography details
Pentax Q Travel photography details
better than average battery pack (820 CIPA)
lighter than competitors in class (420 grams)
has touch to focus
good megapixels (24MP)
has built in flash
screen is selfie friendly
lighter than average (180 grams)
flash built-in
does not have Time Lapse mode
bad battery power (230 CIPA)
low MP (12MP)
doesn't have a selfie friendly display
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Landscape Comparison

Landscape photography with Nikon D5500
Landscape photography with Pentax Q
you can focus manually
interchangeable lenses (Nikon F mount)
nice screen size (3.2 inch)
good megapixels (24 megapixels)
good sensor size (APS-C)
doesnt have anti-alias filter
great ISO range (25,600)
supports RAW files
better than average battery pack (820 per charge)
lack of image stabilization
has manual focus
switch lenses (Pentax Q mount)
screen size is good (3 inches)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
exports RAW formats
low MP (12MP)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
bad battery power (230 CIPA)
does not have Time Lapse mode
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Vlogging Comparison

Vlogging with Nikon D5500
Vlogging with Pentax Q
screen is selfie friendly
touchscreen functionality
provides face detect focusing
video res high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
has microphone support
lighter than competitors in class (420g)
lack of image stabilization
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
high video quality (1920 x 1080 resolution)
lighter than average (180 grams)
doesn't have a selfie friendly display
does not have external mic support
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Nikon D5500 vs Pentax Q Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Nikon D5500 and Pentax Q
 Nikon D5500Pentax Q
General Information
Brand Name Nikon Pentax
Model type Nikon D5500 Pentax Q
Class Entry-Level DSLR Entry-Level Mirrorless
Announced 2015-01-06 2011-06-23
Physical type Compact SLR Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Powered by Expeed 4 -
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size APS-C 1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions 23.5 x 15.6mm 6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area 366.6mm² 28.1mm²
Sensor resolution 24 megapixel 12 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 3:2 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution 6000 x 4000 4000 x 3000
Highest native ISO 25600 6400
Lowest native ISO 100 125
RAW photos
Manual focusing
Touch focus
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Total focus points 39 25
Cross type focus points 9 -
Lens mount type Nikon F Pentax Q
Number of lenses 309 8
Crop factor 1.5 5.8
Type of display Fully Articulated Fixed Type
Display sizing 3.2 inch 3 inch
Display resolution 1,037 thousand dots 460 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Display technology - TFT Color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) None
Viewfinder coverage 95% -
Viewfinder magnification 0.55x -
Lowest shutter speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Highest shutter speed 1/4000 seconds 1/2000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate 5.0 frames per sec 2.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance 12.00 m (at ISO 100) 5.60 m
Flash settings Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Trailing-curtain sync
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Highest flash synchronize 1/200 seconds 1/2000 seconds
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps) 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080
Video data format MPEG-4, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Mic support
Headphone support
Wireless Built-In None
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS Optional None
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 420 grams (0.93 pounds) 180 grams (0.40 pounds)
Dimensions 124 x 97 x 70mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.8") 98 x 57 x 31mm (3.9" x 2.2" x 1.2")
DXO scores
DXO All around rating 84 47
DXO Color Depth rating 24.1 20.2
DXO Dynamic range rating 14.0 11.1
DXO Low light rating 1438 189
Battery life 820 photographs 230 photographs
Style of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery ID EN-EL14,EN-EL14a D-LI68
Self timer Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec) Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse feature
Card slots Single Single
Retail price $700 $695