Pentax K-70 Officially Announced

Advanced entry-level DSLR with video AF improvements

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jun 8, 2016
Pentax K-70 Officially Announced

Ricoh Imaging has just officially announced the Pentax K-70, an advanced yet affordable weather-sealed DSLR slated to succeed the Pentax K-50 (now discontinued) and K-S2.  In terms of specifications, this new camera is very similar to the K-S2, though it also debuts a few new autofocus technologies and inherits advanced features from the K-3 II, including a 24-megapixel sensor resolution and Pixel Shift support. 

The K-70 is being launched at $649 in the US— well below its predecessors a highly competitive even with enthusiast models.   The increased feature set available at a lower price point suggests a shift in the camera market to which Pentax is adapting very well.  Gone are the days of basic DSLRs!

Like most Pentax DSLRs, the K-70 is fully weather-sealed and designed for outdoor use.  The articulating LCD has a new red light mode to allow you to adjust your vision to the darkness while out photographing stars.  It also has an outdoor view setting that can greatly brighten/dim the backlight as needed.

The key addition to the K-70 is a hybrid live view/video autofocus system that includes phase detection AF points on the sensor.  This will enable faster live view/video autofocus without the guesswork typical of contrast detect systems.  Ultimately, the main benefit is that focusing on moving objects while in live view will be more reliable, and AF during video recording will be more responsive.  Previous Pentax DSLRs struggled in this respect.  Like more advanced bodies, the K-70 has an external mic port as well as HDMI out.  These combined with the AF improvements make it without question the most capable Pentax body to date for video.

To help showcase the improved autofocus for video, Pentax has also launched the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED WR PLM, which debuts new Pulse Motor autofocus as well as an electromagnetic aperture diaphragm (learn more about these features in the lens announcement).  When paired with this 55-300mm lens, the DA 18-135mm kit lens, or any lens with a DC motor, the K-70 offers continuous autofocus in video mode.

The K-70's three USER modes are pre-programmed for "clear tone", "HDR landscape", and "astrophotography", though they can be fully customized just like on any other Pentax.

Another handy feature among the software tweaks made to the K-70 is a timer setting in Bulb mode, which allows the user to enter a shutter speed up to 20 minutes without having to press the shutter button again to end the exposure.

Finally, the maximum sensitivity has been increased to ISO 102,400 and thus it's possible that the K-70 has a tweaked sensor compared to the K-3 II.  Unlike other sub-flagship models, the K-70 does capture 14-bit RAW files.

Visit our Pentax DSLR comparison tool to compare the K-70 to other Pentax models, or discuss the camera in our new Pentax K-70 forum.

A shipping date for the K-70 will be announced in July, though the camera is already available for pre-order.  The K-70 is available as a body only or in a bundle with the DA 18-135mm WR for $899- a $250 savings over regular retail for the lens.

Pentax K-70 at a Glance

Below are the K-70's highlights as we see them:

  • New hybrid live view/video AF system with phase detection
  • Supports electromagnetic aperture control for smooth video adjustments
  • Pixel Shift Resolution with motion correction
  • External mic input
  • Weather-sealed
  • Outdoor-friendly monitor illumination
  • Dual control wheels
  • Large grip, compact body
  • Affordable price
  • Features from the K-S2: articulating LCD, Wi-Fi, external LEDs, face-lifted menus
  • Features from the K-3 II: 24-megapixel resolution, 4.5 stops of Shake Reduction compensation

Overall, the K-70 promises to deliver an enjoyable user experience and high performance for both still photography and video shooting, all in a rugged weather-sealed body with an intuitive user interface.

Pentax K-70 Key Specifications

Sensor
Sensor Resolution 24 MP
Sensor Size APS-C
AA Filter No, AA Filter Simulator available
Super Resolution Yes, Pixel Shift Resolution
ISO Range
100-102,400
Bit Depth 14
Image Capture
Shutter Speeds 30s-1/6000s
(up to 300s in Astrotracer mode)
(up to 20 minutes selectable in Bulb mode)
Stabilization Sensor-shift Shake Reduction (4.5 stops)
Light Meter 77-segment
Max Frame Rate (buffer) H: 6.0 fps (40 JPG, 10 RAW)
L: 3.0 fps (100 JPG, 16 RAW)
Focusing
AF System and Modes * SAFOX X: 11-point phase detect (9 cross-type)
   w/ AF.S, AF.C

* Live View: contrast hybrid AF (new)
* AF assist LED
AF Sensitivity -3 to 18 EV
Focus Peaking Yes
Movie Mode
Video Mode 1080i: 60/50 fps
1080p: 30/25/24 fps
720p: 60/50 fps
Interval movie: 4K

Electronic stabilization


MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (.MOV)
Clips up to 4GB / 25 minutes
AF During Video Yes, contrast hybrid AF

AF.S or AF.C
AF.C supported w/DC and PLM lenses

Video Sound External stereo mic input

Stereo mic built-in
Flash
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Sync. 1/180 s
Hot Shoe Yes
General
Viewfinder Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.95x magnification
Interchangeable focusing screen
LCD 3.0-inch, 921,000 dot
3:2 aspect ratio
Vari-angle design
Outdoor view setting
Red light illumination function
Processing Engine PRIME M II
Weather Sealed Yes
Battery D-LI109 rechargeable
Media Slot(s) 1 SDXC / SDHC / SD (UHS-I)
Wi-Fi
Built-in
GPS Via O-GPS1
Connectivity USB 2.0, HDMI out,
cable release CS-310 via mic terminal
Tethering Support Wireless tethering
w/ Image Sync
Dimensions (WxHxD) 125.5 x 93.0 x 74.0 mm
Weight
688g with battery and SD card
Colors Black, Silver
US/UK Launch Price (Body)
$649 / £559

Full specifications for the K-70 are available in our camera database.

These specifications do leave a number of questions unanswered, including the availability of focus peaking during recording, nature of the new hybrid AF, and the way video aperture control works.  We will investigate these points in our upcoming in-depth review of the K-70.

Product Photos

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge:

Press Release

June 8, 2016

Ricoh Imaging unveils weather-resistant, advanced digital SLR camera designed for the great outdoors

PENTAX K-70 incorporates speedy, high-accuracy AF, ultra-sensitive imaging engine and other technologies for producing high-resolution images in a wide variety of challenging conditions

Denver, CO., June 8, 2016—Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the PENTAX K-70 advanced digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. Compact, dustproof and weather-resistant, the new PENTAX K-70 camera incorporates features — many of which have previously only been available on top-of-the-line PENTAX models — that enable photographers to produce high-resolution still photos and HD videos in a wide variety of challenging conditions, including low light and temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). The camera’s weather-resistant capabilities and compact design make it an ideal photographic companion for hikers, climbers and snow sports enthusiasts, as well as for nature and landscape photographers.

With a newly developed image accelerator unit providing a top sensitivity of ISO 102,400, plus the PENTAX-developed PRIME MII image processor, the PENTAX K-70 is capable of capturing high quality images in extremely low-light conditions. A new Hybrid Autofocus (AF) system, integrating both image-plane phase-matching and contrast-detection autofocus technologies, delivers speedy and accurate autofocus while also providing continuous auto focus for HD video recording.

“PENTAX has a long history of developing cameras and lenses that can withstand the rigors of the great outdoors. The K-70 goes a step further, with new, advanced features that enable the creation of higher quality images and make the camera very easy to use, both in the backyard and in the field,” said Kaz Eguchi, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “Combined with any one of our many available weather-resistant lenses, this camera is in a class of its own for outdoor photography.”

The PENTAX K-70 provides a variety of advanced features found only in Ricoh’s high-grade PENTAX K-series models, such as the PENTAX Pixel Shift Resolution System, which produces high-resolution, finely detailed images. These also include an AA Filter Simulator that effectively eliminates moiré without the need for an anti-aliasing filter, a variable-tilt LCD monitor, and an in-body shake-reduction mechanism that reduces the effects of camera shake up to 4.5 shutter steps. The K-70 also incorporates built-in Wi-Fi for remote shooting and easy transfer to smart devices using Ricoh’s dedicated Image Sync app.

The PENTAX K-70’s exterior is designed with outdoor operations in mind. Features such as a newly designed grip, mode dial and control buttons on the camera’s top and back panels are designed to be easy and intuitive to operate, even with a gloved hand. It also comes equipped with an outdoor-friendly LCD monitor with an illumination control that can be instantly adjusted to the lighting level of any shooting location. The K-70 also has a red-lighted monitor display function which keeps ambient light from interfering with astrophotography.

In conjunction with the PENTAX K-70 camera, Ricoh Imaging is announcing the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens, a compact, weather-resistant telephoto zoom (see details in separate news release, also issued today); plus the Cable Switch CS-310, a remote shutter release designed especially for use with the K-70.

Optional Accessory: CS-310 Cable Switch

Attached to the PENTAX K-70's microphone terminal, this one-meter-long cable switch helps prevent camera shake when using a macro or telephoto lens, since it allows the user to release the camera's shutter without touching it. When the user presses the CS-310's shutter release button lightly, the camera's exposure meter and autofocus system are activated. Pressing it all the way down releases the shutter. For extended exposures in the Bulb mode, the user can keep the shutter open by sliding the shutter release button to the HOLD position while depressing it.

Notes:

  • The CS-310 cannot be used with cameras designed to accept conventional cable switches.
  • The PENTAX K-70 does not accept cable switches other than the CS-310.

Pricing and Availability

Availability of the PENTAX K-70 camera, which comes in black and silky silver finishes, will be announced at the beginning of July. When available, it can be purchased at www.ricohimaging.com for $649.95, as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets throughout North America.

Click here for K-70 ordering information

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