Pentax KP vs Sony A68
The Pentax KP and the Sony Alpha SLT-A68 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2017 and November 2015. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Pentax has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax KP and the Sony Alpha SLT-A68? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Pentax KP and the Sony A68. 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 KP can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A68 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A68 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Pentax KP. However, the A68 is markedly lighter (13 percent) than the KP. It is worth mentioning in this context that the KP is splash and dust resistant, while the A68 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Pentax KP||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099|
|2.||Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699|
|3.||Fujifilm X-H1||140 mm||97 mm||86 mm||673 g||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899|
|4.||Nikon D7500||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299|
|5.||Pentax K-3 III||135 mm||104 mm||74 mm||820 g||800||Y||Mar 2021||1,999|
|6.||Pentax K-70||126 mm||93 mm||74 mm||688 g||410||Y||Jun 2016||649|
|7.||Pentax K-S2||123 mm||91 mm||73 mm||678 g||410||Y||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099|
|9.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749|
|10.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|11.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|12.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|13.||Sony A77 II||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||647 g||480||Y||May 2014||1,199|
|14.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|15.||Sony A58||129 mm||95 mm||78 mm||492 g||690||n||Feb 2013||599|
|16.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A68 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the KP, 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
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 A68. 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 A68). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the KP is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the A68, 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 the KP has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Unlike the A68, the KP 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 KP has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 819200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A68 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|5.||Pentax K-3 III||APS-C||25.6||6192||4128||4K/30p||24.2||13.7||2083||85|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80|
|11.||Pentax K-5 II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.8||14.1||1235||82|
|13.||Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.7||1442||77|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A68 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the KP has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the KP has a higher magnification than the one of the A68 (0.63x vs 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax KP, the Sony A68, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Pentax KP||optical||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/6000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Fujifilm X-H1||3690||Y||3.0 / 1040||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||Y|
|4.||Nikon D7500||optical||Y||3.2 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Pentax K-3 III||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||Pentax K-70||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/6000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Pentax K-S2||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/6000s||5.4/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3/s||n||Y|
|9.||Pentax K-S1||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||5.4/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Pentax K-5||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony A58||1440||n||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0 / 921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that is present on the A68, but is missing on the KP 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 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 KP has 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.
The KP writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A68 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 KP and Sony Alpha SLT-A68 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Pentax KP||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony A68||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-H1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Nikon D7500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Pentax K-3 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Pentax K-70||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Pentax K-S2||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Pentax K-S1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Pentax K-3||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Pentax K-5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Sony A77 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A58||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony A77||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the KP offers wifi support, while the A68 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The KP is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the A68 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the A68 from Sony. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Pentax and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Pentax KP or the Sony A68 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax KP:
- 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.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.57x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the A68).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha SLT-A68:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 93g or 13 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 390) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2015).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the KP is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 8 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. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Pentax KP and the Sony A68 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the KP or the A68. 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Pentax KP||4/5||..||3/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099|
|2.||Sony A68||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Nov 2015||699|
|3.||Fujifilm X-H1||..||+||5/5||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899|
|4.||Nikon D7500||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299|
|5.||Pentax K-3 III||4/5||..||3/5||..||4.5/5||..||Mar 2021||1,999|
|6.||Pentax K-70||4.5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2016||649|
|7.||Pentax K-S2||4.5/5||..||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||4.5/5||..||..||..||5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099|
|9.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749|
|10.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|11.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|12.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|13.||Sony A77 II||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||1,199|
|14.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|15.||Sony A58||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599|
|16.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||..||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.
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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Pentax KP vs Sony A68
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 Model||Pentax KP||Sony A68|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2017||November 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1,099||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Pentax KP||Sony A68|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||24.1 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6016 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.90 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.56 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 819,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||PRIME IV||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||701|
|Screen Specs||Pentax KP||Sony A68|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Pentax KP||Sony A68|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/6000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/24000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Pentax KP||Sony A68|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Pentax KP||Sony A68|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||390 shots per charge||540 shots per charge|
132 x 101 x 76 mm
(5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
143 x 104 x 81 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||703 g (24.8 oz)||610 g (21.5 oz)|
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