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Pentax K-70 vs Ricoh GR III

The Pentax K-70 and the Ricoh GR III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2016 and February 2019. The K-70 is a DSLR, while the GR III is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

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 Ricoh GR III
Pentax K-70 Ricoh GR III
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Pentax K mount lenses 28mm f/2.8
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-102,400 ISO 100-102,400
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
410 shots per battery charge200 shots per battery charge
126 x 93 x 74 mm, 688 g 109 x 62 x 33 mm, 257 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax K-70 and the Ricoh GR III? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-70 and the Ricoh GR III is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

Size Pentax K-70 vs Ricoh GR III
Compare K-70 versus GR III top
Comparison K-70 or GR III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR III is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Pentax K-70. It is worth mentioning in this context that the K-70 is splash and dust resistant, while the GR III does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR III has a lens built in, whereas the K-70 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The power pack in the GR III 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera 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-70 126 mm 93 mm 74 mm 688 g 410 Y Jun 2016 649 i
 
Ricoh GR III 109 mm 62 mm 33 mm 257 g 200 n Feb 2019 899 i
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 105 mm 61 mm 41 mm 304 g 235 n Jul 2019 749 i
 
Nikon D7500 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Olympus E-M1 II 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i
 
Panasonic TZ200 111 mm 65 mm 45 mm 340 g 370 n Feb 2018 799 i
 
Panasonic G9 137 mm 97 mm 92 mm 658 g 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i
 
Panasonic GH5 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i
 
Panasonic TZ100 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699i
 
Pentax KP 132 mm 101 mm 76 mm 703 g 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099 i
 
Pentax K-3 II 131 mm 100 mm 77 mm 800 g 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 i
 
Pentax K-3 131 mm 100 mm 77 mm 800 g 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
 
Pentax K-5 131 mm 97 mm 73 mm 760 g 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099i
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony ZV-1 105 mm 60 mm 44 mm 294 g 260 n May 2020 799 i
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A68 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 610 g 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.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. 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

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 Ricoh GR III sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the K-70 and the GR III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GR III is much more recent (by 2 years and 8 months) than the K-70, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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.

Unlike the GR III, 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-70 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400. The Ricoh GR III offers exactly the same ISO settings.

K-70 versus GR III MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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........
 
Ricoh GR III APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
 
Panasonic TZ200 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Panasonic G9 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p........
 
Panasonic GH5 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777
 
Panasonic TZ100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
 
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
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony ZV-1 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179

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 GR III provides a faster frame rate than the K-70. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-70 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GR III relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GR III can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Pentax K-70 and Ricoh GR III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Ricoh GR IIIoptional n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 n Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark IIInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
 
Panasonic TZ2002330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y 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
 
Panasonic TZ1001166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y 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
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony ZV-1none n 3.0 922 swivel Y 1/2000s 24.0 n Y
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Sony A681440 Y 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The K-70 has one, while the GR III does not. While the built-in flash of the K-70 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

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 GR III does not have a selfie-screen.

The Pentax K-70 and the Ricoh GR III 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 GR III 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.

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 Ricoh GR III 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--
 
Ricoh GR IIIYstereomono---3.0Y-Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark III-stereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--
 
Panasonic TZ200-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic G9YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic GH5YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
 
Panasonic TZ100-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Pentax KPYstereomonoY--2.0Y--
 
Pentax K-3 IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Pentax K-3YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Pentax K-5YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony ZV-1YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Sony A68YstereomonoY-micro2.0---

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

Both the K-70 and the GR III are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The K-70 replaced the earlier Pentax K-50, while the GR III followed on from 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Pentax K-70 better than the Ricoh GR III or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Pentax K-70:

  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 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 (410 versus 200) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2016).

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Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR III:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the K-70 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x62mm vs 126x93mm) 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-70).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the K-70 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-70 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

K-70 12:09 GR III

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Pentax K-70 and the Ricoh GR III 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the K-70 and the GR III 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

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.

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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
 
Ricoh GR III..81/1004/5.... Feb 2019 899 i
 
Canon G7 X Mark III+ +81/1004/5.... Jul 2019 749 i
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Olympus E-M1 II+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i
 
Panasonic TZ200+ +81/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 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
 
Panasonic TZ100+ +82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699i
 
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
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony ZV-1........4.5/5 May 2020 799 i
 
Sony A9+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Sony A68....4/5..4/5 Nov 2015 699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Pentax K-70:
Check Amazon price
Ricoh GR III:
Check Amazon price

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 use the search menu 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 Ricoh GR III

    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 Ricoh GR III
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Pentax K mount lenses 28mm f/2.8
    Launch Date June 2016 February 2019
    Launch Price USD 649 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Pentax K-70 Ricoh GR III
    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 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 102,400 ISO 100 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor PRIME MII GR Engine VI
    Screen Specs Pentax K-70 Ricoh GR III
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Pentax K-70 Ricoh GR III
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Pentax K-70 Ricoh GR III
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Pentax K-70 Ricoh GR III
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type D-LI109 DB-110
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge200 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 126 x 93 x 74 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.9 in)
    109 x 62 x 33 mm
    (4.3 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 688 g (24.3 oz) 257 g (9.1 oz)

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