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09-13-2017, 07:29 AM   #1
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K-5 vs K-70

We are thinking of upgrading our last remaining K-5 to a a K-70. The big issue for us is painting dynamic range, and high ISO performance.

We are comfortable using the K-5 up to 400 ISO, 800 in a stretch.

So what we are hoping to hear is from someone upgrading from a K-5 to a K-70 whether or not they've been able to increase the ISO at which they are comfortable shooting using the K-70. Dynamic Range is a little harder to qualify but we'd like to at least maintain the K-5s Dynamic Range.

Both DR and high ISO performance took a hit with the K-3, which is why we still have a K-5. We are hoping the K-70 will perform at K-5 levels or better while increasing the MP.

I've done quite bit of reading... I'm looking for someone who has actually used both cameras. Right now my conclusion is the K-70 is better at high ISO, enough better to be worth looking at.

09-13-2017, 11:38 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
We are hoping the K-70 will perform at K-5 levels or better while increasing the MP.
I can't directly comment on DR as it's indeed hard to quantify, but as far as noise and color accuracy goes, the K-70 (and KP) is really quite a step ahead of the other crop bodies. So in that sense I'd say that yes, the K-5 is finally de-throned as the best crop Pentax for low-light shooting. The new noise reduction hardware cleans up files so well that sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between even a K-1 photo and something out of the KP/K-70.

K-70 ISO 51k:


K-3 ISO 51k:


See also:
Pentax KP Review - High ISO Low Light Performance | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Pentax KP Review - High ISO Daylight Performance | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Unfortunately I don't have any direct comparisons with the K-5, but the K-1 comparison (1st link) above should be pretty convincing

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09-13-2017, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Having both, I'd say that with the K-70 setting the auto ISO to 1600 is still fine. On occasions like shooting without flash in dark cathedrals during our last trip to Italy, 3200 was still pretty acceptable. With the K-5 the max auto ISO for me is normally 800 with 1600 being the borderline and would think twice before pushing it there. Regarding the DR I'd say they are very close.
6 Days Ago   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by miky Quote
Having both, I'd say that with the K-70 setting the auto ISO to 1600 is still fine. On occasions like shooting without flash in dark cathedrals during our last trip to Italy, 3200 was still pretty acceptable. With the K-5 the max auto ISO for me is normally 800 with 1600 being the borderline and would think twice before pushing it there. Regarding the DR I'd say they are very close.
Thanks exactly what i was asking.....

5 Days Ago   #5
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Norm, if you can wait a week you can get a hands-on test with my k70 while I'm in Algonquin....
5 Days Ago   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Knock Quote
Norm, if you can wait a week you can get a hands-on test with my k70 while I'm in Algonquin....
That's what Tess says. We aren't in a hurry. These decisions usually take us months.
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I do not own a K-5, but I have a K-30 which has the same sensor as the K-5 and therefore the same noise level, but a lower dynamic range (its minimal sensitivity is 100 ISO and its raw are on 12 bits). I also own a K-70, but unfortunately I bought it to replace the K-30 that died. So I was not able to make a direct comparison.

I find the noise of the K-70 much more bearable: It has a grain-like texture, finer than on the K-30, and much less chromatic noise. But it has a little more "salt and pepper" noise. The very high sensitivities (> = 3200 ISO) are much better but you do not seem interested by the very high sensitivities

I can not stand the high light burned, so I tend to underexposed the photos and to catch up at the developement. The K-70 is still very good at this level (better?)

For medium sensitivity (800-3200 ISO) I would say that given the finer noise structure, the much lower chromatic noise level, and the greater number of pixels, we gain about 1 EV compared to the K-30. You can use this great tool for comparaison. (They have not K-5/K-30, but K-50 who has the same sensor) :


Image comparison: K-70@3200 vs K-50/K-500/K3@1600 (dpreview)

(In raw, because in jpeg the K-70 is light years ahead of the K-30 / K5 because it does not have this anti-noise with plastic look)

For the dynamic range you can look at the bottom of this page to "Raw DR: Exposure Latitude" and "ISO Invariance" :
Shaking up the market: Pentax K-70 Review: Digital Photography Review

the K-70's performance is among the best of the APS-C sensors (unfortunately there is neither K-30 nor K-5 in this test to be able to compare)

At this site¹, they measured the total dynamic range (SNR = 1) of the K-70 at 100 ISO at 13.5 EV, practically the maximum possible in a 14-bit file, and 9.2 EV for DR with low noise (SNR = 20). By comparison, they had measured the total dynamics of the K-5 at 80 ISO at just over 12 EV and DR with low noise (SNR = 20:1) at 8 EV for 80 ISO, and 7.7 EV for 100 ISO, so that the K-70 gain by 1 - 1.5 EV compared to K-5. These differences seem excessive for me, but in any case the K-70 should not have a lower dynamic.

¹
Optyczne.pl Test Pentax K-70 : Gamme et dynamique tonale

Optyczne.pl Test Pentax K-5 : Gamme et dynamique tonale

(The site is in Polish. I read it translated in French via Google translate, it is just readable, but very interesting).

But does not expect too much improvement on the noise side or DR (except for very high sensitivity). The really cool thing is the more resolution combining 24 Mpix sensor, no low-pass filter, and Pixel Shift Resolution. This is wouah... For some statics subjects, it has the same details level (and perhaps more) than a 36 Mpix Full Frame or even a 42 Mpix. And a lot of less artefacts


Image comparison: Pentax K-70 vs Nikon D810 vs Sony Alpha 7RII vs Phase One IQ180 (dpreview)

You must use the 100 Mpix IQ180 to see again the vertical lines at the top left. This improvement is even more obvious with color resolution, something which is very hard form the bayer matrix.


Image comparison: Pentax K-70 vs Nikon D810 vs Sony Alpha 7RII vs Pentax 645Z (dpreview)

(unfortunately they have not tested the PSR function of the K-70 in raw).
This is quite of-topic, but i think it's worth mentioning it.

My life: I have a little baby that I keep the day, and in the evening I work in a cinema. I have no time to develop my raw! I quickly develop them in the K-70, and so I have not got much experience in developing K-70's raw files . What I can say is that the jpegs are much much better than those of the K-30 for ISO 800-3200.

Last edited by gnujsa; 3 Days Ago at 03:10 PM. Reason: screenshot now in the post
3 Days Ago   #8
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K-70 vs K-50 / K-500 / K-3 II

Two additional screenshots to illustrate some of my comments in the previous post
"It has a grain-like texture, finer than on the K-30, and much less chromatic noise."
"The very high sensitivities (> = 3200 ISO) are much better but you do not seem interested by the very high sensitivities"
"in jpeg the K-70 is light years ahead of the K-30 / K5 because it does not have this anti-noise with plastic look"
(I would rather have said muddy look)


DPReview Image comparison: K-70 vs K-50 / K-500 / K-3 II (jpeg)



DPReview Image comparison: K-70 vs K-50 / K-500 / K-3 II (RAW)

This is just an example of the high sensitivities: in reality the 51200-102400 ISO are not really usable, but the lower sensitivities are not so bad (6400, 12800, and even 25600 in extreme cases). Follow the link, below screenshots, to dpreview website to see other sensitivities

The progress in noise reduction is not only usefull for jpeg-shooter, it is also usefull for videos (The K-70 goes up to 12800 ISO in video, and its ISO 3200 is much less noisy and "plastic" than the K-30)

2 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnujsa Quote
I find the noise of the K-70 much more bearable: It has a grain-like texture, finer than on the K-30, and much less chromatic noise. But it has a little more "salt and pepper" noise. The very high sensitivities (> = 3200 ISO) are much better but you do not seem interested by the very high sensitivities
Good stuff. The K-70 looks really good.
2 Days Ago - 1 Like   #10
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K-5 to K-70

Hi there I went from K-5 to K-70 (I also skipped the K-3s for the same reason) so far im happy with my choice and feel that DR and high ISO performance are better then in the K5, what was better in the K5 is build quality as it felt like a tank and the K-70 more plastic. But for the cost ya cant complain, got also a bit worried for for the missing top lcd display but got over it soon using the back screen for info. What ya need to watch out is that the K-70 sensor is much less "forgiving" then the K-5, so one needs to be a bit more careful with settings. Not sure yet where I go from here probably to the K-1 but im always arguing to myself if I really need FF or not yes surely better for landscape but then again not so for birding or macro, guess time will tell.

here are a few for more take a look at my flickr account:

at iso 1600:


at iso 800:


at iso 400 heavy crop:


at iso 400 indoors without flash:


at iso 400


hope that helps

Last edited by Urs; 2 Days Ago at 07:01 AM.
2 Days Ago   #11
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Awesome. I'm pretty sure at 1600 ISO you have my K-3 beat by a pretty wide margin, unless you are some master of post processing who can turn garbage into gold.

For years Tess was happy with her K-x, I doubt the cheaper body will bother her.
2 Days Ago   #12
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Here are 2 more that show the limits

at 3200 with back light:


at 6400 just as example where I dont like it anymore
[COLOR="Silver"]
2 Days Ago   #13
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There's just no way, I can get anything like that at 3200 with my K-3. Mind you , you have lost a lot of detail, but what camera is there where you haven't lost detail at 3200 ISO?
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