Pentax K-70 Officially Announced
Advanced entry-level DSLR with video AF improvements
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jun 8, 2016
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.
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
- 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 Resolution||24 MP
|AA Filter||No, AA Filter Simulator available|
|Super Resolution||Yes, Pixel Shift Resolution|
(up to 300s in Astrotracer mode)
(up to 20 minutes selectable in Bulb mode)
|Stabilization||Sensor-shift Shake Reduction (4.5 stops)|
|Max Frame Rate (buffer)||H: 6.0 fps (40 JPG, 10 RAW)
L: 3.0 fps (100 JPG, 16 RAW)
|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|
|Video Mode||1080i: 60/50 fps
1080p: 30/25/24 fps
720p: 60/50 fps
Interval movie: 4K
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 Sync.||1/180 s|
|Viewfinder||Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.95x magnification
Interchangeable focusing screen
|LCD||3.0-inch, 921,000 dot
3:2 aspect ratio
Outdoor view setting
Red light illumination function
|Processing Engine||PRIME M II
|Media Slot(s)||1 SDXC / SDHC / SD (UHS-I)
|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|
||688g with battery and SD card|
|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.
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