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10-18-2016, 03:32 PM   #1
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K-70 Video, Is it really that bad?

I just read the k-70 review that Pentax emailed me. The reviewer says a lot of good things about the camera until he gets to the video section. At that point, he describes Pentax's video efforts as laughable. I found this a real put off, since I had almost concluded that at least the AF worked well and the video was maybe as good as that in a 5 of 6 year old Canon DSLR. Frankly folks, I just don't get it?? Its almost like Pentax is deliberately crippling the video in it's cameras.

Please don't tell me the old stuff like,..."If you want video, buy a camcorder",.....or, "I wish they didn't even put video in the Pentax DSLRs". I fully understand that video doesn't interest everyone. Frankly, it's not a hugely important feature to me. I do like to have it for the occasional situation that can best be handled by video.

I have two Pentax K-50s that I use daily. I love them, and I love the results I get and the fun of using the cameras. I will almost certainly buy the K-70 for better cropping ability and the flippy screen. But, I'd be lying if I didn't say I wish it had decent video.

I'm wondering if the reviewer maybe expected too much? Is the video "acceptable" for occasional use? I'd love to get some opinions from actual users.

Thanks for letting me vent, friends!

Jack

10-18-2016, 03:48 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Just remember, all reviewers are paid to exaggerate.

I have no experience with video, the K-50, or the K-70 but what I would ask is: how do you feel about video on your K-50? Next, I'd look at whether the K-70 addresses any specific problems you have with the K-50's video.

Your definition of "decent video" may be different from a reviewer's who is explicitly looking for stuff to hate and love about the K-70.
10-18-2016, 04:02 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I don't use video mode on my (old) Pentax cameras. I never got really good video from them. Shaking, jello effect, SR noise..
However! I have seen some users post truly amazing video taken with Pentax DSLRs. The trick is simple: hard work.

Just like photography, if you use Auto mode and run around, pausing 2 seconds per photo, then your photos will not look good. But if you take time, if you think about it, if you use the right settings, if you use the right PP, then you get better results. Same with video! Main complaint that I heard about the Pentax cameras is that the video mode is too automatic, so people who know what they are doing, can't make it do what they want.

So if you really want good video results, I'm sure you can get them. Just check out the video sections. That said, using a Canon camera or a Sony camcorder would probably make things faster. Its like that with most things - there is one best way, some almost as good ways, some ways that will be nearly as good if you work hard, some that are okay if you have low standards, and some that are simply too impractical (so you give up). Your own budget and work ethic will place you into one of these categories. Be it sewing, playing instruments, sports, photography or videography!
10-18-2016, 04:20 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Yes, if you're comparing the K-70 video specs with a Nikon D500 ($2000), Sony a99II ($3200), or the Canon 5D Mk IV ($3500), all of which have 4k, then the Pentax is below standard with 1080p HD. But seriously, how many of us need to shoot 4k and have the computer that can handle those huge files? Ricoh marketing and engineering are making smart choices to put money into the truly important features and although they could compete with Canon/Nikon/Sony for video, they know Pentaxians wouldn't spend 2-5x $$$ for those features.

The K-70 has a lot going for it in terms of video, including a swivel rear screen, a built-in stereo mic, a mini jack for an external stereo mic, and much improved AF. My main issue with the K-50 video quality is an artifact called 'rolling shutter'. When you pan, the shutter distorts the image. That would be my only concern that I'd test on a K-70 before deciding if it had "usable" video quality.

10-18-2016, 04:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
That would be my only concern that I'd test on a K-70 before deciding if it had "usable" video quality.
Of course, 'rolling shutter' is not a Pentax problem alone. No credible reviewer would suggest that it is. I hope.
10-18-2016, 04:41 PM   #6
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I think comparing it to a 4-5 year old Canon is fair. Forget about frame rates, it's the quality and AF that just don't stand out.

That's not to say the video mode is bad, but it's unimpressive.

Ben, who wrote that review, spent years reviewing a variety of cameras from many different brands, so he's got a good basis for comparison.

Adam
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10-18-2016, 04:57 PM   #7
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On my K-70, I have "no jello effect".... Provided I turn off the Digital SR feature. I don't know why Pentax doesn't let you use the mechanical SR, but if you disable SR for Movie the jello issue is gone.

I then use an external stabilizer (inexpensive "Platinum Camera Stabilizer Mount" I found cheap at Best Buy, there are a lot of better stabilizer gear out there but I wanted it super cheap but decent results. I then use AF-S and use back button focus to stage the shot and then record. I've been experimenting with AF-C, but results are mixed, but I'm learning what it can continue to adjust focus on versus what it can't and plan my shots accordingly. I decided to try a stabilizer with my K-50 originally after seeing this

Works great on my K-70 too.

Practice and you can get really great results.
10-18-2016, 05:47 PM   #8
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My needs for video are very basic, pretty much anything will work for me. I did use the video function in my K-3II on a recent trip and I was really happy with the results. YMMV.

10-18-2016, 07:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I think comparing it to a 4-5 year old Canon is fair. Forget about frame rates, it's the quality and AF that just don't stand out.

That's not to say the video mode is bad, but it's unimpressive.

Ben, who wrote that review, spent years reviewing a variety of cameras from many different brands, so he's got a good basis for comparison.
Thanks to everyone who responded. I had really hoped for more actual user responses but that doesn't seem to be happening.

I'll almost certainly be getting the K-70. There are features that Pentax has that just makes them fun to use. I especially like the ability to grab a raw file AFTER taking the shot. Sometimes, on review, I see a bad WB or EV etc and can quickly correct it in camera by saving and processing the raw data.

Video? Well, the color and sound on my very few K-50 videos is fine. If the K-7 has a passable AF, it will be a welcomed improvement. I'm not looking for anything special. I must say, though, I think Pentax would want to improve their video. Can it be that hard?

Thanks again, friends, for your input.

Jack
10-18-2016, 07:34 PM   #10
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I find it amazing that some readily dismiss the need for 4K video capability, apparently without understanding the benefits.

4K video down converted to 1080P delivers 1080P with a wider color gamut that looks superior to natively shot 1080P.

4K video can be edited on many computers that aren't the latest and greatest. Most of us don't need the horsepower and speed of a post production house work station.

3840 pixels wide images allow panning, zooming, superior image stabilization in post, while still maintaining full HD 1920 pixel wide frames, along with the advantages noted above.
10-18-2016, 07:52 PM   #11
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I would say that, while neither are very good, the Canon t2i that I have been using for filming is quite better than my Pentax K-30 for most situations. For low-data, static shots, like a person at a table in good light, the K-30 looks fine. But the quality falls apart very quickly once there is movement. Also the dynamic range seems to be limited? At least far worse than what is has for stills.

The T2i is now 6 years old from release date, the K-30 is 4
10-18-2016, 08:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
I find it amazing that some readily dismiss the need for 4K video capability, apparently without understanding the benefits.
At the risk of sounding defensive, I do understand the benefits of 4K and as a videographer, Iʻd want nothing less. However in context to the OP as a casual occasional video shooter, I would question if having 4K was critically important if heʻs satisfied with the K-50 video quality and wouldnʻt want to put out triple or more the cost of a K-70 to get into 4K video capability on a DSLR.

Although videography is similar to still photography, they are different enough that a camera best designed or engineered for one is going to be a compromise for the other. Jack of all trades; master of none.

And if it sounded like I had dismissed 4K, that was not my intention. For some MF is the minimum expectations whereas for others micro four-thirds is more than sufficient.
10-18-2016, 08:33 PM   #13
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K-70's video is very good. Review person not interesting about video.
K-70's video is high ISO 12800 in Manual mode is very good. K-50 only ISO 1600. Both are fine video.
10-19-2016, 11:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
At the risk of sounding defensive, I do understand the benefits of 4K and as a videographer, Iʻd want nothing less. However in context to the OP as a casual occasional video shooter, I would question if having 4K was critically important if heʻs satisfied with the K-50 video quality and wouldnʻt want to put out triple or more the cost of a K-70 to get into 4K video capability on a DSLR.

Although videography is similar to still photography, they are different enough that a camera best designed or engineered for one is going to be a compromise for the other. Jack of all trades; master of none.

And if it sounded like I had dismissed 4K, that was not my intention. For some MF is the minimum expectations whereas for others micro four-thirds is more than sufficient.
Agreed. I should have been a bit more specific in terms of my opinion and what has worked for me. I'm also a videographer and I worked in broadcast television at a major market network affiliate for nearly 15 years in a 'prior life'. Even then, I hated the poor image quality of 525 NTSC. I've always been critical of poor image quality whether in still photography or video. My involvement in HD video goes back to analog 1125/60 days. My standards are more severe than most and that is why I've never subscribed to the concept of one camera body to meet all needs. I've been fortunate enough over the years to have some success in selling my images in a US mainland market where customers have sought out large mural size images for their 'trophy homes'. Medium and large format film, and later the Pentax 645D and Z, have allowed me to fill those needs. For trips where I've been required to travel light, I've owned a succession of Pentax K5, K3 and now K1 bodies. For video I use a Panasonic GH4. All that said, I've found the GH4 to be quite satisfactory for both 4K video and still photography.

As much as I hate to say it on a Pentax forum, the current crop of Panasonic m4/3 bodies can still deliver files that are quite good, even up to 24inches wide, or more, and more than adequate for the vast majority of users. For someone needing a balanced capability of video and still capture, with fast focus, and access to a wide range of lens options from Leica, Olympus and Panasonic, they may offer a better solution for someone who doesn't necessarily need some of the other unique Pentax features. In my case, I use Astro Tracer and Pixel Shift functions and K1 performance is so good I haven't touched my 645Z in months. I typically go on trips with the K1 and GH4 while the 645Z stays home.
10-19-2016, 12:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
Agreed. I should have been a bit more specific in terms of my opinion and what has worked for me. I'm also a videographer and I worked in broadcast television at a major market network affiliate for nearly 15 years in a 'prior life'. Even then, I hated the poor image quality of 525 NTSC. I've always been critical of poor image quality whether in still photography or video. My involvement in HD video goes back to analog 1125/60 days.
I can relate. My first pro experience with video was as an intern in Hollywood circa 1981. My first task was to degauss two-inch video tape of old episodes of I Love Lucy and other TV shows from the 50's. It was weird as a young man wanting to make films that my first paid job was to destroy them. In college I shot mostly 16mm film, but also did a few projects with 1/4" reel to reel video tape.

Considering where we've come in terms of consumer, prosumer, industrial, and broadcast quality video in my lifetime, it's awesome. I was a hardcore film snob starting with Super8 Kodachrome, but nowadays I wouldn't think twice about shooting video. Film is still film, but video has really come into its own so when asked is the K-70 video really that bad or in the review "laughable", I think there is too much emphasis on the gear and not enough on technique.
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