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Pentax K-70 Review

We review the new Pentax K-70, Pentax's latest DSLR features a 24 megapixel sensor and a number of features from Pentax's higher end DSLRs.

| Pentax K-70 in Digital SLRs

Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K 70 Sensor (2)

The Pentax K-70 is the new mid to entry-level Digital SLR from Pentax and features a 24-megapixel sensor, a vari-angle screen, plus built-in Wi-Fi making it a versatile all-around camera. As with almost all Pentax Digital SLRs, the K-70 features weather-sealing and some advanced features including a shake reduction sensor. Let's see how it performs in our full review. 

Pentax K-70 Features

Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K 70 Angled

The 24 megapixel Pentax K-70 is an update (and replacement) for the 16-megapixel Pentax K-50, however, it is also the next step up from the 20-megapixel Pentax K-S2, featuring an almost identical design, including a vari-angle screen on the rear, top mode dial, and built-in Wi-Fi. The Pentax K-70 also benefits from a number of features found on the K-3 Mark II, including "Pixel Shift Resolution" which gives more detailed images.

Pixel Shift Resolution - This shifts the sensor one pixel at a time to create four images that are then merged. This means that every pixel point has accurate RGB values, rather than these having to be interpolated by software from the Bayer sensor. Pixel shift resolution is designed to be used on a tripod with non-moving subjects however, there is also pixel shift Motion Correction (MC) for when there are moving subjects in the shot.

The Pentax K-70 offers a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, Pentax' first hybrid AF system, plus ISO up to ISO102400.

The Pentax K-70 is available for around £599 body only or £799 with 18-135mm lens as shown here, and both the camera body and lens are weather-sealed. The camera features a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, with an ISO range up to ISO102400, and the camera sensor features built-in phase detection for improved focus during live view and FullHD video recording.

Compatible with all Pentax K-mount lenses since the 1970s, the K-70 can be used with any number of Pentax lenses. The camera sensor feature shake-reduction which will work with any lens attached to the camera - the sensor moves to counter any shake and is said to give up to 4.5 EV stops. However, compared to CSC with electronic viewfinders, and cameras that use lenses with optical image stabilisation, you do not see the benefits of SR image stabilisation in the optical viewfinder.

There are a number of colour options, and digital filters available, the majority of these can be customised. The camera also benefits from a number of lens correction options built-in to the camera to correct for any new Pentax lens attached to the camera. Built-in Wi-Fi will let you transfer images to a smartphone, or control the camera remotely. 

FullHD video is recorded with stereo sound, and the camera's sensor-based shake reduction system will help keep footage steady while recording. 

Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K 70 DSLR (7)

Key Features

  • 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS AA Filter-less sensor
  • Shake Reduction (SR) - up to 4.5 stops
  • Pixel shift resolution, AA filter simulator
  • 3inch vari-angle screen, 921K dot
  • 100 percent field of view optical viewfinder (0.95x magnification)
  • Weather-sealed 
  • 11-AF points, -3EV focus
  • FullHD video, with continuous AF
  • ISO100-102400
  • Night vision red light LCD display
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 14-bit RAW

Pentax K-70 Handling

Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K 70 Top (2)

The design of the K-70 is almost identical to the K-S2, but with a few less lights on the buttons, and the Wi-Fi button is now labelled as a second Function button (Fx2), with the Raw/Fx1 function button on the left of the camera. The grip on the hand grip has been improved, with a thicker rubber cover on the left of the camera however, the gap between the lens and handgrip can feel quite tight, particularly if you have larger hands or larger lenses. The 4-way controller on the back has been raised, making this easier to use, when compared to the K-S2.

The camera feels well built, and with weather sealing, you can be safe knowing that using the camera outdoors in poor weather shouldn't cause any problems for the camera, or lens when using a weather sealed lens. The controls give quick and direct access to aperture and shutter speeds with front and rear control wheels (when in the correct shooting mode), and a top +/- exposure compensation button makes it easy to dial in quick adjustments to exposure if needed. 

Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K 70 DSLRa

There are 11 AF points, however, we found this was not aligned correctly, and when selecting the central AF point, this was actually off to the right slightly. In live view, you can select from a much wider area of the screen, with much more precise control over the focus area. The optical viewfinder quality is very good, with a reasonably large view for an APS-C camera, and with dioptre adjustment on top, it is easy to set the focus for your own preference. The screen is clear and easy to view, and has a number of different viewing modes, for example, you can increase the brightness for using outdoors in bright sunlight, or you can switch on the Night Vision mode for use in low-light, as shown below.

Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K 70 Night Vision LCD Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K 70 Night Vision LCD Live View
Night Vision LCD Night Vision LCD Live View

The menus and controls are clearly laid out, with the INFO button bringing up a control panel on the rear screen giving you quick access to a large number of settings. The menu system is colour coded, and is quite clear to read, although to understand all settings, it's recommended you read the manual.

Wi-Fi features - This enables the camera to be controlled by a smartphone or tablet with the Ricoh Image Sync Android and iOS app, although there are some limitations with the current version, including only being able to shoot in single shot mode, although hopefully the app will be improved with further updates. The features available Flucards and Wi-Fi cards can also be used.

Pentax K-70 Review: Pentax K70 DSLR (5)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 410 images with 50% flash, or 480 shots without flash according to Pentax test results, which is good for a Digital SLR camera, although some others offer longer battery life.

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Photographs taken using the Pentax K-70

Hanging on.Drooping.In the Heat of the Night.The Dancers 2."Lamington Sunset"Entering the Dark Side."Sticky Beak"On High."Wonderful"The Dark Side."A Moment of Reflection"Glenfiddich."Embrace the Day !"Chestnut-backed ChickadeeAutumn's Coming.

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Niknut Avatar
Niknut Plus
13 3.7k 82 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2016 4:28PM
I've always had a soft-spot for Pentax cameras !!......& this one looks to be a good'n ??

Nice simple ergonomics with a great chunky grip, & impressive IQ, though that 18-135 lens lets it down in the outer fringes
of the test shots ??.........not as heavy as some previous models, so that's a bonus .

My first DSLR was/is a "istDL2", with 6mgpx, which I used a lot, & this new model is a considerable & worthy upgrade !!

Great review though....made interesting reading !.
pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 450
2 Sep 2016 9:59AM
No 1:1 aspect ratio? No party. Sad
ElSid Avatar
ElSid 15 11 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2016 4:56PM
Unless something went horribly wrong I'd avoid the HDR function - the example shot was horribly soft and lacking in detail...
Offertonhatter Avatar
6 Apr 2020 8:28PM
I have had this camera for a few years now, along with the K-3II and K-1, and it is a perfect compliment to the other "Pro" bodies.
Why? It has some features that the others don't, making it a wonderful small camera. The Image quality is superb and the flip-out and rotate screen makes it the perfect camera for tabletop and macro work (even more so than the K-1)

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