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Pentax K-70 vs KP

The Pentax K-70 and the Pentax KP are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2016 and January 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The K-70 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the KP provides 24.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Pentax K-70
versus
Pentax KP
Pentax K-70   Pentax KP
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Pentax K mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
24 MP – APS-C sensor 24.1 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-102,400 ISO 100-819,200
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 921k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
6 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
410 shots per battery charge390 shots per battery charge
126 x 93 x 74 mm, 688 g 132 x 101 x 76 mm, 703 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax K-70 and the Pentax KP? 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.

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Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-70 and the Pentax KP. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Pentax K-70 vs Pentax KP
Compare K-70 versus KP top
Comparison K-70 or KP rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax KP is notably larger (14 percent) than the Pentax K-70. Moreover, the KP is slightly heavier (2 percent) than the K-70. 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.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
# image Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Pentax K-70 126 mm 93 mm 74 mm 688 g 410 Y Jun 2016 649 amazon.com
2.
 
Pentax KP 132 mm 101 mm 76 mm 703 g 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099ebay.com
3.
 
Pentax K-3 III 135 mm 104 mm 74 mm 820 g 800 Y Mar 2021 1,999 amazon.com
4.
 
Pentax K-S2 123 mm 91 mm 73 mm 678 g 410 Y Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Pentax K-3 II 131 mm 100 mm 77 mm 800 g 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099ebay.com
6.
 
Pentax K-S1 121 mm 93 mm 70 mm 558 g 410 n Aug 2014 749ebay.com
7.
 
Pentax K-50 130 mm 97 mm 71 mm 650 g 410 Y Jun 2013 599ebay.com
8.
 
Pentax K-500 130 mm 97 mm 71 mm 646 g 710 n Jun 2013 549ebay.com
9.
 
Pentax K-3 131 mm 100 mm 77 mm 800 g 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299ebay.com
10.
 
Pentax K-5 II 131 mm 97 mm 73 mm 760 g 740 Y Sep 2012 1,099ebay.com
11.
 
Pentax K-5 131 mm 97 mm 73 mm 760 g 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099ebay.com
12.
 
Sony A68 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 610 g 540 n Nov 2015 699ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
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The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 K-70 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 41 percent) than the KP, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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

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. 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 and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Pentax K-70 and Pentax KP sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the KP offers a slightly higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 24 MP of the K-70. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the KP has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 3.91μm for the K-70). However, it should be noted that the KP is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the K-70, and its sensor might 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

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

Both cameras have the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting the sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

The Pentax K-70 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax KP are ISO 100 to ISO 819200 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

K-70 versus KP MP

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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
# image Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Pentax K-70 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i23.813.1163980
2.
 
Pentax KP APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.913.2169981
3.
 
Pentax K-3 III APS-C 25.6 6192 41284K/30p24.213.7208385
4.
 
Pentax K-S2 APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.612.9151479
5.
 
Pentax K-3 II APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680
6.
 
Pentax K-S1 APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.513.0106178
7.
 
Pentax K-50 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.713.0112079
8.
 
Pentax K-500 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.713.1108779
9.
 
Pentax K-3 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680
10.
 
Pentax K-5 II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.814.1123582
11.
 
Pentax K-5 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.714.1116282
12.
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
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Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The K-70 and the KP 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%), as well as the same magnification (0.63x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax K-70, the Pentax KP, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
# image Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Pentax K-70optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/6000s 6.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Pentax KPoptical n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/6000s 7.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Pentax K-3 IIIoptical Y3.2 / 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 12.0/s n Y
4.
 
Pentax K-S2optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/6000s 5.4/s Y Y
5.
 
Pentax K-3 IIoptical Y3.2 / 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3/s n Y
6.
 
Pentax K-S1optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/6000s 5.4/s Y Y
7.
 
Pentax K-50optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/6000s 6.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Pentax K-500optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/6000s 6.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Pentax K-3optical Y3.2 / 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3/s Y Y
10.
 
Pentax K-5 IIoptical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Pentax K-5optical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Sony A681440 Y2.7 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
Note: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
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The K-70 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the KP does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the KP is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Pentax K-70 and the Pentax KP 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-70 and the KP write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity 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 Pentax KP and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
# image Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Pentax K-70Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
2.
 
Pentax KPYstereo / monoY--2.0Y--
3.
 
Pentax K-3 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
4.
 
Pentax K-S2Ymono / monoY-micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Pentax K-3 IIYmono / monoYYmini3.0---
6.
 
Pentax K-S1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
7.
 
Pentax K-50Ymono / mono--micro2.0---
8.
 
Pentax K-500Ymono / mono---2.0---
9.
 
Pentax K-3Ymono / monoYYmini3.0---
10.
 
Pentax K-5 IIYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Pentax K-5Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Sony A68Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0---
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The K-70 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the KP has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the KP from Pentax. Further information on the features and operation of the K-70 and KP can be found, respectively, in the Pentax K-70 Manual (free pdf) or the online Pentax KP Manual.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Pentax K-70 better than the Pentax KP or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-70:

  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a 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.
  • More compact: Is smaller (126x93mm vs 132x101mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (41 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2016).


Reasons to prefer the Pentax KP:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-70 emerges as the winner of the contest (6 : 3 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 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.

K-70 06:03 KP

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Pentax K-70 and the Pentax KP place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the K-70 or the KP perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
# image  Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Pentax K-704.5/5..4/579/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2016 649 amazon.com
2.
 
Pentax KP4/5..3/582/1005/54.5/5 Jan 2017 1,099ebay.com
3.
 
Pentax K-3 III4/5..3/5..4.5/5.. Mar 2021 1,999 amazon.com
4.
 
Pentax K-S24.5/5......5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Pentax K-3 II4.5/5......5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099ebay.com
6.
 
Pentax K-S14/5......4.5/54/5 Aug 2014 749ebay.com
7.
 
Pentax K-505/5......5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 599ebay.com
8.
 
Pentax K-500........4.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 549ebay.com
9.
 
Pentax K-34/5....83/1005/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299ebay.com
10.
 
Pentax K-5 II5/5....80/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,099ebay.com
11.
 
Pentax K-54/5....83/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,099ebay.com
12.
 
Sony A683/5......4/54/5 Nov 2015 699ebay.com
Note: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.
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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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As 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: Pentax K-70 vs Pentax KP

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Pentax K-70 Pentax KP
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Pentax K mount lenses Pentax K mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2016 January 2017
    Launch Price USD 649 USD 1,099
    Sensor Specs Pentax K-70 Pentax KP
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6016 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 3.90 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 6.56 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 102,400 ISO 100 - 819,200 ISO
    Image Processor PRIME MII PRIME IV
    Screen Specs Pentax K-70 Pentax KP
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x 0.63x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Pentax K-70 Pentax KP
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/6000s 1/6000s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/24000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Pentax K-70 Pentax KP
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Pentax K-70 Pentax KP
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type D-LI109 D-LI109
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge390 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 93 x 74 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.9 in)
    132 x 101 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 688 g (24.3 oz) 703 g (24.8 oz)
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