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06-13-2016, 09:06 AM   #1
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K-70 makes a difficult decision even harder

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated, my fellow Pentaxians. We're going on a big trip to Europe on July 12th, and I had planned a camera upgrade before we go. I had been debating between the K-S2, K-3, and K-3 II, but now I have a 4th option - the K-70! The fiscally responsible side of my brain tells me what I should do, which is to buy the K-S2, because it is affordable and still a sweet camera. But I'm lured by the other options as well. The two main factors that concern me are:

1) Resolution, with respect to cost. I'd like to make some large prints when we get home, so resolution is very important to me. BUT... if the real-world resolution of the 24 mp sensor is only marginally better than the 20 mp sensor in the K-S2, then it would be hard to justify the extra cost.

2) Low light performance, also with respect to cost. I have decided to not bring a flash on the trip, so I'll be working exclusively with ambient light. Some indoors, plenty outdoors, some evening/night shots. So low light performance is important, but then again, I really have to keep an eye on the budget.

3) Astrotracer. I would LOVE to come back with a few milky way shots with castles or something in the foreground. Haven't used Astrotracer before, but I'd be anxious to try. The caveat here is that because of moonrise/set, I'm only going to get a couple of nights to try it anyway, and if the weather on those nights doesn't cooperate, then I may not be able to try it at all. I'm aware that the K-3 II is not the only camera with this feature - for that matter, I can buy an O-GPS1 and stick it on my current K-30 if I really wanted to save money! So I don't know how important Astrotracer will be, nor even really how well it works.

Decisions, decisions... Part of it depends on when the K-70 will begin shipping. The release dates just say July, but WHEN in July? Would it arrive before we leave on the 12th? Any advice is appreciated!

06-13-2016, 10:04 AM   #2
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Going on the fact that the K70 has an unknown release date, I would throw it out of the equation. If you did know the release date, that would give you a very small window to get to know the camera.


If you need to watch the budget go with the K3. If you can spend a little more and really want the astrotracer while loosing the onboard flash, go with the K3-II
06-13-2016, 10:05 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
The release dates just say July, but WHEN in July?
Even if you get a more definite release date, that doesn't mean you will be able to have one in your hands by that date, depending on your location. You can't change the date of your trip, but Ricoh can change the date it starts shipping the K-70.
QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
I'd like to make some large prints when we get home
I just made a very detailed 12" x18" print from a photo I took with the 16MP K-30, the K-S2 will be fine for resolution, either of the K-3's will be even better.
QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
I had been debating between the K-S2, K-3, and K-3 II
In my opinion, it depends how important the flip screen is. K-3ii is probably out of your budget and you might be kicking yourself for the next few years if its successor is a major upgrade. Depending on how important better AF and better metering is, and whether or not you mind the extra size and weight of a flagship DSLR, if you can get an original K-3, that might be your best choice for a similar budget as the K-S2 or K-70.
QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
Low light performance, also with respect to cost.
The K-3 and K-3ii might have a slight advantage over the K-S2 (and your K-30) and even if you can get a K-70 soon enough, it may not be much better than the K-3. There has been some discussion about how the K-3's sensor is noisier than the K-5/K-30 sensor because of higher pixel density, but none of your choices are going to match the K-1's low light performance and in my opinion, the biggest obstacle to taking good low light photos with any of your choices is perceptual. At high ISO values, you can't push or pull the image as much in post-processing, but any of your choices (and your K-30) will give you amazing low light photos if you remove some mental barriers.
QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
So I don't know how important Astrotracer will be, nor even really how well it works.
Finding night skies in Europe with minimal haze and light pollution is going to be a challenge. Unless you find a castle in the Alps or a mountainous region of the former Yugoslavia, you are likely to be SOL on this trip. Now, if you really think you want to make astrophotography a hobby and you want Pixel-Shift, then you might want to start campaigning your finance department to make an investment in a K-3ii. Use the argument that "I'll be buying a new, relatively expensive camera in the next year or so anyway, so why not get the K-3ii now?"

In summary: don't count on getting a K-70 in time, if you really think that's the camera for you, take your K-30 on your trip and wait another 6 months to buy a new camera. If the lack of a flip screen isn't a big deal and you like the K-3's features, snag yourself a new one while you still can. If the flip screen is a big deal and you can't wait for the K-70, then get a K-S2 now.
06-13-2016, 10:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
3) Astrotracer. I would LOVE to come back with a few milky way shots with castles or something in the foreground. Haven't used Astrotracer before, but I'd be anxious to try. The caveat here is that because of moonrise/set, I'm only going to get a couple of nights to try it anyway, and if the weather on those nights doesn't cooperate, then I may not be able to try it at all. I'm aware that the K-3 II is not the only camera with this feature - for that matter, I can buy an O-GPS1 and stick it on my current K-30 if I really wanted to save money! So I don't know how important Astrotracer will be, nor even really how well it works.
If you do that...remember...Castles don't move, the stars do.
So you will have to take two pictures and merge them together.

I've been down the AstroTracer/Castle route a few times.



06-13-2016, 10:20 AM   #5
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I'm going to suggest the KS-2:

Cheaper, lighter weight than the K-3 series.
20MP sensor gives great compromise between resolution and noise performance. Not a big difference but it's a consideration.
Tilting screen
Wifi access to post pics as you go.
Did I mention lighter?

The K-70 has the same benefits with these changes/additions.
Different sensor - 24mp like the K3 series.
Pixel shift!
Hybrid AF may play a role later.

As for astrotracing. Pick up the external option from the marketplace and sell if you don't love it.
Just my 2 cents worth.
06-13-2016, 10:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
The K-3 and K-3ii might have a slight advantage over the K-S2 (and your K-30) and even if you can get a K-70 soon enough, it may not be much better than the K-3. There has been some discussion about how the K-3's sensor is noisier than the K-5/K-30 sensor because of higher pixel density...


get a K-S2 now.
I would whole-heartedly recommend the KS2, especially as you stated low-light performance is important. I would match it to any of the current Pentax crop models, even the K3ii. Adam found much the same regarding low light autofocus and shooting in his full review of the KS2. FWIW that model seems to be the red-headed stepchild, given short shrift when camera recommendations are made. The K50 gets recommended for the budget conscience and the K3/K3ii for those wanting more "professional quality". It's not hard to find experienced photographers (and some bloggers) who would claim that KS2 image quality may surpass that of the vaunted K3.

Pentax K-S2 Review - Focusing | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Last edited by gatorguy; 06-13-2016 at 12:34 PM.
06-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #7
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Not sure how large you're going to print, but I can get very good looking 30x45 uncropped prints out of my K-50 from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 after post processing the RAW. That seems to be the uncropped limit for this 16MP sensor. The K-S2 will yield similar results, but the extra 4 MP will give you the ability to crop ever so slightly for a 30x45 print.

You can easily do 40x60 uncropped prints out of the K-3/3II & should be the same for the K-70.

I'm waiting to see what the next generation APS-C flagship is going to offer. I'm still going to wait another 3 years before getting one. Cheapest thing to do is to ride that K-30 for a while longer & wait for prices to drop. Basically if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Keep using your K-30.
06-13-2016, 12:03 PM   #8
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K3(not II) and K70 seem to be about the same price now at B&H..-

Seb

06-13-2016, 12:28 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
Decisions, decisions... Part of it depends on when the K-70 will begin shipping. The release dates just say July, but WHEN in July? Would it arrive before we leave on the 12th?
Actually, Ricoh has not stated that the shipping date will be July, just that the announcement of the shipping date will be in July. For all we know, the K-70 might not ship until August.
06-13-2016, 12:29 PM   #10
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Wow, I'm glad I asked, thank you everybody for your replies! I honestly just spent the past 15 minutes reading ALL of your responses 3 and 4 times and letting the words sink in. And like I said, I'm glad I asked, because you folks have helped me narrow the field. RGlasel makes an excellent point about the potential for me kicking myself down the line if I spend big now, only to watch Pentax come out with something even more awesome a few months down the line. So I guess the K-3 II is out of the running. And BigDavePhoto is probably right that the timeline for the K-70 is cutting it too close to our trip. So that narrows it down to the K-S2 and the K-3, with the possibility of buying a (preferably used) O-GPS1 unit just in case I get lucky and conditions are right for some Milky Way shots, with the possibility of reselling it upon our return.

So OK, I'll poke around for the next week or so and see if there are any compelling deals on a K-3, and if not, go with the K-S2.

Thanks again everyone - this was most helpful!
06-13-2016, 03:21 PM   #11
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my advise is to take a camera that you know on trips, so you can enjoy your trip but know what the camera will already do. bon voyage.
06-13-2016, 03:46 PM   #12
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The KS2 is getting quite reasonable ? Something to think on ?.......Just be sure and get the 3 year extended warranty , and enjoy the free Flash from Adorama !
If You wait just a bit , the $499 offer from Adorama is most likely going to drop yet again.......just saying.
Or......wait until the last minute to see if the K70 shows up and grab it before Your trip !!!
For what its worth......I have BOTH the K3II and the KS2........my KS2 gets used....ALOT.......I am in Love with the Flippy Screen and the Wi-Fi !

Last edited by Dlanor Sekao; 06-13-2016 at 03:52 PM.
06-13-2016, 04:29 PM   #13
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Keep the k30
06-14-2016, 02:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
Your thoughts and comments are appreciated, my fellow Pentaxians. We're going on a big trip to Europe on July 12th, and I had planned a camera upgrade before we go. I had been debating between the K-S2, K-3, and K-3 II, but now I have a 4th option - the K-70! The fiscally responsible side of my brain tells me what I should do, which is to buy the K-S2, because it is affordable and still a sweet camera. But I'm lured by the other options as well. The two main factors that concern me are:

1) Resolution, with respect to cost. I'd like to make some large prints when we get home, so resolution is very important to me. BUT... if the real-world resolution of the 24 mp sensor is only marginally better than the 20 mp sensor in the K-S2, then it would be hard to justify the extra cost.

2) Low light performance, also with respect to cost. I have decided to not bring a flash on the trip, so I'll be working exclusively with ambient light. Some indoors, plenty outdoors, some evening/night shots. So low light performance is important, but then again, I really have to keep an eye on the budget.

3) Astrotracer. I would LOVE to come back with a few milky way shots with castles or something in the foreground. Haven't used Astrotracer before, but I'd be anxious to try. The caveat here is that because of moonrise/set, I'm only going to get a couple of nights to try it anyway, and if the weather on those nights doesn't cooperate, then I may not be able to try it at all. I'm aware that the K-3 II is not the only camera with this feature - for that matter, I can buy an O-GPS1 and stick it on my current K-30 if I really wanted to save money! So I don't know how important Astrotracer will be, nor even really how well it works.

Decisions, decisions... Part of it depends on when the K-70 will begin shipping. The release dates just say July, but WHEN in July? Would it arrive before we leave on the 12th? Any advice is appreciated!
could you rent a good camera, or use your friend's DSLR?? My suggestion is dont hurry up on a long term decision like camera body. if it releases before your trip fine, if not get someone else's camera for the trip with an equal capability. then buy a K-70.
06-14-2016, 08:41 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by anu l Quote
could you rent a good camera, or use your friend's DSLR?? My suggestion is dont hurry up on a long term decision like camera body. if it releases before your trip fine, if not get someone else's camera for the trip with an equal capability. then buy a K-70.
This is extremely good advice.
Most likely, the K-70 will not be available when it is needed.
Most likely, Pentax will release a K-3ii replacement before Black Friday.

{if my K-30 were to succumb to the aperture control disease, I would try to "make do" with my Q-7 and the K-30 using M42-mount lenses until I had a better view of what is happening now}
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