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Pentax K-70 Comparison Review

The Pentax K-70 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was revealed to the public in June 2016 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 24 megapixel.

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Is the Pentax K-70 a good camera? The K-70 has a Camera Elo of 2366. This rating puts the K-70 among the top 20 percent of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the K-70 ranks among the top 30 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Pentax K-70
Digital single lens reflex
Pentax K mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video
ISO 100 - 102 400
Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
6 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
410 shots per battery charge
126 x 93 x 74 mm, 688 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Pentax K-70 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Pentax K-70 vs credit card front
K-70 versus credit card top view
K-70 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Pentax K-70 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Pentax K-70 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.9 in 24.3 oz 410 Y Jun 2016 649 i
 
Olympus E-M1 II 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i
 
Panasonic G9 5.4 in 3.8 in 3.6 in 23.2 oz 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i
 
Panasonic GH5 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i
 
Pentax KP 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099 i
 
Pentax K-3 II 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 i
 
Pentax K-3 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
 
Pentax K-5 5.2 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 26.8 oz 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099i
 
Sony A9 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A6500 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony A68 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 21.5 oz 540 n Nov 2015 699i
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 listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Pentax K-70 was launched in the US market at a price of $649. 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.

Pentax K-70:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Pentax K-70 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Pentax K-70 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Pentax K-70 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Pentax K-70 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i........
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
 
Panasonic G9 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p........
 
Panasonic GH5 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777
 
Pentax KP APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i........
 
Pentax K-3 II APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680
 
Pentax K-3 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680
 
Pentax K-5 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.714.1116282
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
 
Sony A6500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The K-70 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the K-70 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-70 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.63x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Pentax K-70 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Pentax K-70optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/6000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
 
Panasonic G93680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Panasonic GH53680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Pentax KPoptical n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/6000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Pentax K-3 IIoptical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n Y
 
Pentax K-3optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 Y Y
 
Pentax K-5optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Sony A65002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Sony A681440 Y 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y

One convenient feature of the K-70 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection comparison

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-70 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Pentax K-70YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--
 
Panasonic G9YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic GH5YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
 
Pentax KPYstereomonoY--2.0Y--
 
Pentax K-3 IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Pentax K-3YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Pentax K-5YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Sony A6500YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A68YstereomonoY-micro2.0---

It is notable that the K-70 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the K-70 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Pentax K-70..79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2016 649 i
 
Olympus E-M1 II+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i
 
Panasonic G9+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i
 
Panasonic GH5+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i
 
Pentax KP..82/1005/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,099 i
 
Pentax K-3 II....5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099 i
 
Pentax K-3..83/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
 
Pentax K-5..83/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,099i
 
Sony A9+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A6500+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony A68....4/5..4/5 Nov 2015 699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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.

Pentax K-70 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the K-70.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the K-70?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Pentax equipped the K-70 with the PRIME MII image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the K-70?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the K-70 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Pentax K-70?

Pentax mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the K-70. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the K-70 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Pentax K-70 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Pentax K-70?

The K-70 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Pentax K-70 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The K-70's flash sync speed is 1/180 sec.

Does the Pentax K-70 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the K-70 use?

The camera gets its power from the D-LI109 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Pentax K-70
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Pentax K mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2016
    Launch Price USD 649
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 367 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6 000 x 4 000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 102 400 ISO
    Image Processor PRIME MII
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/6000s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type D-LI109 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 93 x 74 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 688 g (24.3 oz)

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