PW

Pentax K-5 vs K-70

The Pentax K-5 and the Pentax K-70 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and June 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The K-5 has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the K-70 provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Pentax K-5   Pentax K-70
Pentax K-5 Pentax K-70
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Pentax K mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/25p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-12800 (80-51200) ISO 100-102400
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
7 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
740 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
131 x 97 x 73 mm, 760 g 126 x 93 x 74 mm, 688 g

Body comparison: Pentax K-5 vs K-70

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-5 and the Pentax K-70. 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.

The K-70 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the K-5 is only available in black.

Compare Pentax K-5 and Pentax K-70
Compare K-5 versus K-70 top
Compare K-5 or K-70 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-70 is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Pentax K-5. Moreover, the K-70 is markedly lighter (9 percent) than the K-5. 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 K-5 gets 740 shots out of its D-LI90 battery, while the K-70 can take 410 images on a single charge of its D-LI109 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-5» 5.2 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 26.8 oz 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099- i Pentax K-5
 
Pentax K-70« 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.9 in 24.3 oz 410 Y Jun 2016 649 i i Pentax K-70
 
Nikon D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i 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- i Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax KP« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-3 II« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 i i 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- i Pentax K-3
 
Sony A77« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,999- i Sony A77
 
Sony A850« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The K-70 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 41 percent) than the K-5, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Pentax K-5 vs K-70

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the K-70 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.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Pentax K-5 and Pentax K-70 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the K-70 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the K-5. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.81μm for the K-5). However, it should be noted that the K-70 is much more recent (by 5 years and 8 months) than the K-5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-70 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The K-70 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

Unlike the K-5, the K-70 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-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 Pentax K-70 are ISO 100 to ISO 102400 (no boost).

K-5 versus K-70 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-5» APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.714.1116282Pentax K-5
 
Pentax K-70« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i----Pentax K-70
 
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D7000« » APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780Nikon D7000
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax KP« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i----Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-3 II« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax K-3« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680Pentax K-3
 
Sony A77« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178Sony A77
 
Sony A850« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.812.2141579Sony A850

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the K-70 provides a faster frame rate than the K-5. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the K-5 is limited to 1080/25p.

 

Feature comparison: Pentax K-5 vs K-70

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The K-5 and the K-70 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the K-70 has a higher magnification than the one of the K-5 (0.63x vs 0.61x), 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 Pentax K-5 and Pentax K-70 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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-5»optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y Y Pentax K-5
 
Pentax K-70«optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 6000 6.0 Y Y Pentax K-70
 
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D7000« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D7000
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M5« »1440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 4000 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax KP« »optical n 3.0 921 tilting n 6000 7.0 Y Y Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-3 II« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 n Y Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax K-3« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 Y Y Pentax K-3
 
Sony A77« »2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y Sony A77
 
Sony A850« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 3.0 n Y Sony A850

One feature that is present on the K-5, but is missing on the K-70 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 K-70 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-5 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the K-5 and the K-70 write their files to SDXC cards. The K-70 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while K-5 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Pentax K-5 vs K-70

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 Pentax K-70 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-5»YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Pentax K-5
 
Pentax K-70«YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Pentax K-70
 
Nikon D7500« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-YNikon D7500
 
Nikon D7000« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D7000
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Pentax KP« »YstereomonoY--2.0Y--Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-3 II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax K-3« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3
 
Sony A77« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A77
 
Sony A850« »Y----mini2.0---Sony A850

It is notable that the K-70 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the K-5 does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-5 (unlike the K-70) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The K-70 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the K-5 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the K-5 was succeeded by the Pentax K-5 II. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Pentax website.


Review summary: Pentax K-5 vs K-70

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Pentax K-5 and the Pentax K-70? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Pentax K-5:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 6000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (740 versus 410) on a single battery charge.
  • 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 Pentax K-70:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
  • 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 video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/25p).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.61x).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (41 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 8 months of technical progress since the K-5 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-70 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 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.

K-5 07:12 K-70

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the K-5 and the K-70 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Pentax K-5 vs K-70

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Pentax K-5»-83/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,099- i Pentax K-5
 
Pentax K-70«-79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2016 649 i i Pentax K-70
 
Nikon D7500« »++86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D7000« »-80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »++85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »++81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M5« »++80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5« »++85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax KP« »-82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
 
Pentax K-3 II« »--5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099 i i Pentax K-3 II
 
Pentax K-3« »-83/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Pentax K-3
 
Sony A77« »91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,999- i Sony A77
 
Sony A850« »-75/100-4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Pentax K-5:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax K-70:
Check Amazon price

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

~

    Specifications: Pentax K-5 vs Pentax K-70

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Pentax K-5 Pentax K-70
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Pentax K mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2010 June 2016
    Launch Price USD 1099 USD 649
    Sensor Specs Pentax K-5 Pentax K-70
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.7 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 372.09 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.81 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 4.32 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/25p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-12800 ISO 100-102400 ISO
    ISO Boost 80-51200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor PRIME II PRIME MII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.1 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1162 ..
    Screen Specs Pentax K-5 Pentax K-70
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.61x 0.63x
    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 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Pentax K-5 Pentax K-70
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/6000s
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    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 Pentax K-70
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Pentax K-5 Pentax K-70
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type D-LI90 power pack D-LI109 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)740 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 131 x 97 x 73 mm
    (5.2 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
    126 x 93 x 74 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 760 g (26.8 oz) 688 g (24.3 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here  »   »