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10-16-2016, 10:44 PM   #1
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Weight and noise questions

I'm considering buying a new camera and the K-70 seems to be great. Few cameras offer so many interesting features in its price range. But there are 2 issues that I'd like to share:
1- Weight. The K-70 is heavier than pretty much all its contemporary APS-C peers and even some full frame cameras. I want a camera that makes me want to go places and take pictures. Perhaps anyone with hands-on experience can comment on this?
2- Shutter noise. Many reviews state that the shutter in the K-70 is very loud. Currently, I love taking portraits with my lightweight Fujifilm X-T10 thanks to its swiveling screen and its very silent shutter. My subjects think that I'm just fiddling with the camera menus and thus they come out more natural. I wonder if the K-70 shutter will be too disruptive for that type of photographs or for quiet locations such as museums, churches or the outdoors. Any thoughts on this?
Do you think that this could be fixed through firmware updates?

10-16-2016, 11:41 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The K-70 is a little heavier than most cameras in its market segment because of the weather sealing and on-board SR. It makes up for it with great egronomics and a selection of light lenses, so you should be in good shape.

You'll get used to the shutter noise, but it certainly is on the louder side, even for a DSLR. That said, I don't think it will get in the way unless you'd get in trouble for a click now and then.

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10-16-2016, 11:58 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rough Quote
Many reviews state that the shutter in the K-70 is very loud.
Saying a cameras shutter is loud is a pretty subjective thing, and limited by the reviewers experience. The pitch of the shutter mechanism is also important, higher frequencies are dispersed faster than low frequencies. For instance: I consider all current DSLRs to have shutters quieter than a Pentax 67, which is in turn quieter than a copal #0 packard shutter.

Reviewers should issue a dB rating for camera shutters, saying the shutter is "loud" is maddeningly inexact.. it is like saying the ocean is wet.

The Pentax K-70 should be fine. I have done portraiture with the Pentax 67, and the models were actually glad to hear the shutter fire as it gave them a cue for when they could change poses. Silent cameras which are becoming increasingly common these days throw models off as they have no audible cues when they are being photographed*.



* Although in the studio it is a different story, as the flash units themselves give a cue for when a photograph has been taken.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-17-2016 at 12:18 AM.
10-17-2016, 12:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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K-70's additional weight is mostly due to the pentaprism viewfinder, which is a solid block of glass and therefore heavier than the much inferior mirror viewfinders found in similarly priced dslrs. The viewfinder may not read as a big feature on a specifications sheet, but actually being able to see your subject can be important! Having said that, the weight of the camera AND lens/es may be less with Pentax, as no need for the extra glass in the lens for shake reduction.
Imaging resource have a field test of the K-70 where they make much of the pentaprism's advantages, which you may wish to read.
Pentax K-70 Review: Initial Test - Field Test

10-17-2016, 05:48 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The extra weight in Pentax DSLR is probably distributed something like this.

Shake Reduction + ~100 g (extra steel frames, strong magnets, copper coils)
Pentaprism + ~50 g (solid glass)
WR + 5-10 g (rubber sealings)

But Pentax DSLR usually have better build quality than competition, so even with these parts removed it would be heavier than competition.
As most competitors use image stabilization in the lens, their lenses tend to be heavier instead, so in the end it will not make much difference.
10-17-2016, 07:02 AM - 1 Like   #6
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About shutter loudness, my experience with taking concert photo is that it if you think the shutter is loud, any other mechanical shutter will be too loud ... imagine a perfectly quiet pause, the tension it creates, any shutter clack would be disruptive. I use a k3ii and perhaps it's as loud as the k70.
10-17-2016, 10:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
About shutter loudness, my experience with taking concert photo is that it if you think the shutter is loud, any other mechanical shutter will be too loud ... imagine a perfectly quiet pause, the tension it creates, any shutter clack would be disruptive. I use a k3ii and perhaps it's as loud as the k70.
I really don't plan to do concert photography, but then, do you mean that you wouldn't take a Pentax K-70 to a concert? After using the Fujifilm mirroless I've become used to its very quiet functioning and it's really nice.
10-17-2016, 10:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rough Quote
you wouldn't take a Pentax K-70 to a concert
I am perfectly happy with my k3ii for concerts, not the least because of the optical viewfinder but that's a different discussion. What I meant was that if there is a need for absolute silence, no mechanical shutter will achieve that. And of course I can wait until the music resumes. It may also be that I notice it more than others around me because I have the camera up to my face.

10-17-2016, 12:35 PM - 1 Like   #9
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The K-70 weighs less than a K-5, and I consider the K-5 to be a very reasonable (light) weight.
10-17-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
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I'd actually suggest a K-5IIs if the OP wants a quiet Pentax at a reasonable price. Mine was whisper-quiet, and the noise was quite pleasant; smooth, like fine German scissors.

I do wish Pentax offered a lightweight body. Bring on the carbon fiber!
10-18-2016, 07:00 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
I am perfectly happy with my k3ii for concerts, not the least because of the optical viewfinder but that's a different discussion. What I meant was that if there is a need for absolute silence, no mechanical shutter will achieve that....
A leaf shutter, such as the "Q" family uses, is essentially noiseless - you have to be within a couple inches of it to hear anything at all.
10-18-2016, 12:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
The extra weight in Pentax DSLR is probably distributed something like this.

Shake Reduction + ~100 g (extra steel frames, strong magnets, copper coils)
Pentaprism + ~50 g (solid glass)
WR + 5-10 g (rubber sealings)

But Pentax DSLR usually have better build quality than competition, so even with these parts removed it would be heavier than competition.
As most competitors use image stabilization in the lens, their lenses tend to be heavier instead, so in the end it will not make much difference.
Thank you, that's a great explanation! Comparisons should be fair, so I should've compared the K-70 with pentaprism, conventional-shutter (i. e. not mirrorless), weatherproof cameras instead of with my current X-T10. The Nikon D7200 comes to mind, and it's practically as heavy as the Pentax and doesn't have in-body shake reduction. Still, for those of us who come from smaller cameras it's a real pity that the K-70 isn't a bit lighter and the worry of my first post still remains: will I get tired of carrying it around? I'd love to hear your experiences with similar DSLRs.

---------- Post added 10-18-16 at 12:43 PM ----------

BTW, I wonder what the guys at DPreview are waiting for to post their K-70 analysis? It's been almost 3 months since they included it in their studio test scene (although without RAW pixel shift mode) so I expected a full review to be up by now.
10-19-2016, 04:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rough Quote
Thank you, that's a great explanation! Comparisons should be fair, so I should've compared the K-70 with pentaprism, conventional-shutter (i. e. not mirrorless), weatherproof cameras instead of with my current X-T10. The Nikon D7200 comes to mind, and it's practically as heavy as the Pentax and doesn't have in-body shake reduction. Still, for those of us who come from smaller cameras it's a real pity that the K-70 isn't a bit lighter and the worry of my first post still remains: will I get tired of carrying it around? I'd love to hear your experiences with similar DSLRs.[COLOR="Silver"]
I never had any problem with the weight of the camera when using them. The difference in weight does not matter much IMO, but a heavier camera often feels nicer to handle.

It's only if using a long and heavy lens that weight is starting to be a problem for me. For these occasions I have a lightweight monopod with me.
It can also be a problem carrying a heavy camera on the neck, but that can be solved by replacing the standard neck strap with one designed for heavier equipment.
10-19-2016, 06:48 PM   #14
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K70 is a very intriguing body that embedds almost everything I would need. I have some concern's though:
- AF looks OK though basic with a limited number of colimators that are all at the center
- loud shutter : coming from a k-x I am used experiencing that and would appreciate something much more quiet
- autonomy which is fine but not outstanding
Hopefully the list of plusses is longer with image quality pixel shift new KAF4 mount etc
K3 ii never really sold well and this new comer K70 has nice arguments to be a favorite for many amateurs.
10-23-2016, 07:03 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Other thoughts

From the cheap seats. I own an X-E1, and until recently, also a K-5IIs. I have handled the X-T10 and K-70. The K-5IIs is ~100g heavier loaded than the K-70, and is physically bulkier, as well. Some general thoughts that may be useful.

- The X-T10 is significantly lighter (roughly half the weight of the K-70), and the prime lenses I own (14mm, 27mm, 60mm) are on par in terms of the weight and size with DA limiteds. They are also faster, or similar speeds (e.g., 15mm, 40mm, 70mm).

- The weight and bulk of the pentax body is significant if you are carrying the system all day, or need to pack them into a bag/carry them with you without rest.
- The IQ of the Pentax system is similar, probably now a little better with the enhanced 24mp, and better JPG processing of the K-70.
- The high ISO will be a wash (before everyone starts saying Fuji cheats, I'm well aware of what my statement means, and still think it is roughly even)
- I'm assuming you will shoot RAW. The RAW processing will favour the Pentax bayer camera if using Lightroom in terms of the finest detail (it's still sub-optimal to me after three years of dealing with the XTrans output, compared to that obtained via RawTherapee or Silkypix).

In terms of shutter noise:
- The K-5IIs is quieter than the X-E1. The X-T10 is quieter than X-E1. I personally do not find the X-E1 obtrusive excepting indoor events like plays, or very quiet outdoor settings taking photos of wild animals.
- The K-70 is not as quiet as the K-5IIs. To my ears, it is quieter than the K-50 that it replaced, though.

Personally, while I am glad that the K-70 has shrunk compared to the flagship, I find it very heavy compared to the competition (and previous mid-range Pentax models like the *IST DS, and K200d) . I recently did a 5 day traverse in Japan, and did not take any Pentax gear (apart from my GR, which actually took the bulk of the shots). My Fuji gear did also not make the cut.

Instead, for the princely total of 929 grams, I took a Panny GM5, 12-32mm, 35-100mm (F4.5-5.6), 20mm F1.7, and 45mm F1.8. I couldn't even get a K-70 and 18-135mm for that weight. I also took a waterproof bag, and had no problems with three days of rain. I'm still processing the results, but had some keepers, and some excellent video.
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