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10-10-2016, 08:18 AM   #1
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Battery Life ?

Hi,

Long time lurker here. I am currently thinking of upgrading from my 4/3 to a real DSLR, and the k-70 and Nikon D5500 have caught my eye. Given I trek quite a lot, the weather sealing of the k70 is definitely a strong argument, but I am a bit worried about the battery life that does not seem that strong. Could anyone with the k-70 given me an idea of how many shots they can take before having to recharge ? Also happy about other opinions on my upgrade idea.

Thanks

10-10-2016, 09:38 AM   #2
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Specs say 410 frames. Pentax K-70 - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

But in-camera image processing, rear LCD auto-review, flash all reduce that. It seems low, though. You can also be well advised to buy a second battery, particularly if you plan on going out in very cold weather. Keep one warm in a pocket to swap out as the battery freezes. The camera is fine in that weather but batteries really don't like cold.

The K70 looks great, and could be a good partner with the 4/3. Keep wide-angle on one and a longer zoom on the other, for instance.
10-10-2016, 10:29 AM   #3
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From what I have read, the evaluation giving the 410 number of shots from the K-70 may be based on 50 percent of the shots utilizing the internal flash. Otherwise, if you do not use the internal flash, ultimately you will retain more power to use for more images. I also recommend a second or third battery (I have 3) for backup. I use Pentax brand only batteries.
10-10-2016, 11:32 AM   #4
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for the longest time i had two batteries for my k-30, and that was just fine. Usually on a trip one battery would last a day, even if I kept the camera on continuously (but with the screen off). Recently, I purchased two more 3rd party batteries to replace one of my previous batteries that died after 3 years - they're really small, no big deal carrying them around. I've never worried about battery life.

3rd party batteries are like $15.

10-10-2016, 12:12 PM   #5
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Fellow K-70 toting hiker here. I've got two batteries but have not yet had to swap during a one day outing. To be honest, I do more walking than photography and pictures are usually taken outdoors in good light so my shooting style is fairly easy on the camera.

Last night I took a cloudlapse sequence of 1500 frames with the charge indicator showing about 2/3rds at the start. I didn't think it would finish before the battery expired but it did. On that basis, I would say that the 410 estimate is very conservative for an outdoor, daytime shooter.

My lightweight walking setup is the K-70 with 55-300 lens for wildlife plus a compact camera (Canon G7X) for landscapes and closeups.

Last edited by planteater; 10-10-2016 at 12:23 PM.
10-10-2016, 12:31 PM   #6
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I have similar day time results.

I also do a lot of Astrotracer shoots on nights with good seeing (no clouds and thermal distortion low) and it chews through the battery but I still get a full day and night use. No flash use though so I couldn't say what that does.

Picked up a two pack third party battery set for $15. Keep the original for possible warranty needs (have the really cheap extended warranty too in case aperture lock follows to the K-70).

Very solid and great performance choice for me.

Besides battery life, it's good to plan your camera purchase on your photography choices. If new, this can be hard to choose, but Pentax is great in a number of specialties (astrophotography and landscape for me) and still good for general use.

Lenses are where you may find the D5500 excels, again based on what you intend to shoot. But cost can be higher for Nikon glass compared to Pentax, especially if you are looking at used manual lenses for your primes.
10-10-2016, 01:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheNewcomer Quote
Hi,

I am currently thinking of upgrading from my 4/3 to a real DSLR, and the k-70 and Nikon D5500 have caught my eye. Given I trek quite a lot, the weather sealing of the k70 is definitely a strong argument, but I am a bit worried about the battery life that does not seem that strong.
I shoot with both Pentax and Nikon DSLRs. Yes, Pentax batteries in general donʻt have the mAh ratings like Nikon, but are much smaller. Iʻve never found that as an issue as I always bring a fully charged spare battery with me.

The main advantage of the D5500 is itʻs lightweight (about 1/3rd lighter than the K70). The only other main difference is your choice of Nikon mounts vs. Pentax mount lenses.

The main advantage(s) of the K70 include weather-sealing, a brighter 100% pentaprism finder (vs. 95% pentamirror), and in-body-shake-reduction.

Unless having a swivel screen is paramount to you, and you are looking for a same price competition, then itʻs more like the Nikon D7100 (weather-sealed, 100% pentaprism, but no swivel screen) which has an edge in auto focus points and is the same weight as the K70.

The K70 still edges out the D7100 with better low operating temperatures (down to 14F vs. 32F), improved sharpness without an optical low pass filter, and better low light performance. Youʻd have to consider the D7200 and $300 more to get the same from Nikon.

The ultimate decision should be based on the lenses. Itʻs like buying hardware that fits the software you need. But if that is not a consideration, the K70 seems to be the objective winner. Oh.....and Pentax is going to have more affordable weather-resistant lenses that do not require vibration-reduction.
10-11-2016, 12:23 AM   #8
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Thanks a lot for all your answer !

On day shooting when trying to find good spot, it does not worry me as you can always recharge at the end of the day, and you can carry other battery packs easily.

It's more when I do trekking or climbing for several days. Typically I am planning on doing the Kilimandjaro beginning of 2017, which is 7 days without power basically, if I need to bring 5 battery packs this is going to be an issue as it means more weight in the bag...This is where the D5500 gets an edge, however I agree the resistance of the k-70 is a big plus for this kind of environnement.

I think Alex645 summed up the advantages of each really well. Especially as it seems the 18-135mm lens coming with the k-70 is better than the 18-140mm coming with the Nikon.

@planteater Have you ever used it in more than one day hiking activities ? For simple landscape pictures how many days did you manage before it run out of juice ?

10-11-2016, 06:15 AM   #9
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I've used my K5 and now K3II for long weekends of very intensive photography. No flash (or external flash) and shooting RAW, so no in-camera processing. At Wonderfest in years past I've shot over 1000 images over a weekend. Last year, I was kind of burnt out so not as many, maybe 400. I always take the charger, but can't remember using it. The two batteries have been sufficient - usually just one suffices. If you're a prolific photographer, I'd count on one battery per day but likely each will last at least two or three. Remember to turn off the camera when not using it, turn off the automatic review function, and you'll be fine.

I'm not sure how the onboard WiFi works, but make sure that's not running.
10-11-2016, 07:13 AM   #10
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Thanks @ter-OR, it seems the K-3II has a much better battery than the k-70, it is rated at 720 shots vs 410. So I'm still a bit hesitant, I definitely do not take 1,000 picture a day when trekking but it can easily get to the 1,500 for a week meaning I would theoretically have to carry three battery packs.
10-11-2016, 07:56 AM   #11
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Remember the K3II has no onboard flash. I do notice the GPS drains the battery a bit, though. I think I got more shots with the K5 and OGPS.
Do remember to turn off the battery draining options like the instant review, startup display, lens corrections, image processing (if you shoot JPG). That will probably nearly double your battery life.

Cold puts the hurt on batteries, too. Not total charge but usable charge. If you're going to be out a lot in winter have a handy pocket to keep batteries warm. I put them in a breast pocket which passes through the insulation, to warm a device like a phone (which also suffers in cold). And we're talking COLD here, not just freezing but approaching 0F.
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