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12-07-2017, 04:22 PM   #1
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KP vs K-70 - to KP or not to KP, that is the question

I'm having a lot of trouble posting this question, the forum software keeps giving me a 404 error. I hope this shorter version works.

For some reason the Pentax forum seems to be down, so I'll post this here. "To KP, or not to KP" - that is the question.

I had convinced myself to get a K-70 to replace my failed K-50, which I really loved but it had the aperture issue and finally died. I just finished selling off what remained of the K-50 (body and accessories, less the lenses which I kept). However, now I'm wavering between the K-70 and the KP. For about the same cost, I could get the K-70 with the 18-135 lens (with the lens discounted as part of the kit, and it seems like a very nice lens) and the KP body only. Any thoughts?

---------- Post added 12-07-2017 at 05:23 PM ----------

Here are my key comparison points:

Plus and minus for the K-70:
+ Similar in handling to the K-50, which I really enjoyed for ergonomics
+ Overall value of the body, plus the value of the discount on the 18-135 when purchased with the kit.
+ More powerful built-in flash (GN12). I know many people dislike built-in flash, but I definitely want one and was always pleased with the K-50 flash which had equal power.
+ Better autofocus during video (I don't do much video, but this seemed like a good feature).
- On-board flash no longer serves as a wireless controller (I own a AF360FGZ flash, but I rarely used this wireless feature. But still, why take that away when the K-50 had it?)
- Less autofocus and exposure points (though I never had a problem with the 11 points on the K-50).
- Perhaps of more substantial concern - I just can't find a definitive answer to the question as to whether or not the K-70 might suffer from the same aperture solenoid issue as the K-50 as the units age in the marketplace.

Plus and minus for the KP:
+ Supposedly higher quality construction. I don't care too much about magnesium vs. plastic, but if this means the shutter won't have the aperture problem, that is a definite plus.
+ Better specs on autofocus, exposure points, and high ISO
+ Flash can server as wireless controller
+ Extra control wheel and more customization on controls. Though the two wheels and the green button on the K-50 were just fine for me.
- Rear screen not fully articulated (never had a camera that was fully articulated, so not sure how important this would be. Tilt is handy though.)
- Flash under powered at GN6. Though, with the higher ISO capability, maybe this is not a problem? Any opinions on this?
- Heavier. I do value light weight.
- Maybe the biggest: The "retro" look doesn't do much for me. And I'm quite concerned about the grips. Even the larges of the interchangeable grips is much smaller than the grip on the K-70. I loved the grip and handling of the K-50, and the K-70 is very similar. I'm afraid I won't like the KP nearly as much. And I've read many people suggesting you could switch out the grips depending on lens used, but I don't want to bother with that.
So my thinking has gone from K-70, to briefly deciding on the KP, then back again to the K-70. Should I change my mind again?

12-07-2017, 04:25 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I would go for the K-70 based on what you wrote. If the grip can be a deal breaker you'll probably enjoy the K-70 more.

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12-07-2017, 06:32 PM - 1 Like   #3
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The K-70 is very customisable, has great ergonomics, and a built-in grip that feels comfortable and secure. In practice, it is doubtful that you would notice much difference in image quality between the K-70 and KP, assuming viewing images (not pixels) at normal viewing distances. So, unless you particularly need one or more of features only available on the KP, it seems to me that the K-70 & 18-135 lens would be a much wiser use of your funds.

Regarding reliability - the K-70 has been in circulation now since June 2016 and, as with any complex electro-mechanical device, a few might have had faults, but I haven't yet seen any mentions of aperture block failure - have there been any?

And a point about the screens - for low (or high) shooting positions a tilt screen works only for landscape orientation, whereas a fully-articulated screen works for both landscape and portrait orientations, plus it flips over to protect the screen when the camera is not being used.

Philip
12-07-2017, 07:15 PM - 1 Like   #4
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As a very new K-70 owner I do notice some similarities in the ergonomics of the K-50 (which I still have) and the K-70. I would agree with most of your other positives about then K-70.

On another camera site someone called Ricoh and they said that the K-70 had a different mechanism. I know you have had a failure but if you look at the data collected in the study they did here failure rates are in the single digits percent wise and many failures would be covered buy an credit card extended warranty of one extra year.

If you are concerned buy the camera with the Costco Visa that extends warranties by two years or get the 2 yea extension from Ricoh via Adorama for less than $20, which also gives you a free cleaning and firmware checkup.

12-07-2017, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #5
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There's something to be said for both screens. The KP screen seems more sturdy, since I have both, and it takes up less overall room, since it conforms to the camera's shape instead of swinging out. But then the swing-out type can provide certain angles the KP's cannot. And the selfie idea complete with the wifi button converting to a shutter release is a unique fun concept!

You do not state which lenses you've been using, but since you evidently do not have the DA 18-135mm WR DC, and are interested in it, I can give it a high recommendation. Very versatile, fine performance, and with exceptionally fast, accurate AF. Having just been on another thread, I checked B&H who is running a marvelous deal on the K-70 with this lens and an accessory kit as well, on P. 2 of Pentax DSLRs. It comes in both black and in dark silver, which is darker than the KP's lighter silver color that matches the lenses which come in silver. But silver also looks quite smart with black lenses.

The KP's construction is superior, mostly metal, and its shutter is considerably quieter. It is of a totally different design, and the aperture problem is not likely to be a part of it. It has a more advanced control set and SR, along with other refinements. But the matter of grip design is an individual issue. I have both styles of grip, am fine with either concept, but with the KP I will sometimes bother to change between its options for best balance.

Whichever you get, as I always say, be sure to employ "F" for Fine sharpening in the custom image menu for best fine detail capture.

Last edited by mikesbike; 12-07-2017 at 07:41 PM.
12-07-2017, 08:23 PM   #6
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Unmentioned so far are these trade-offs:
- KP: more FPS (7fps in viewfinder shooting or 8fps in liveview vrs 6fps for the K-70).
- K-70: deeper buffer (47 jpeg / 11 raw vrs 37jpg / 9 raw for the KP).
12-07-2017, 10:44 PM   #7
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KP does not have an IR receiver for a remote but the mic input apparently doubles as a wired remote socket. KP has a battery grip available. K-70 does not.
12-07-2017, 11:32 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
- Perhaps of more substantial concern - I just can't find a definitive answer to the question as to whether or not the K-70 might suffer from the same aperture solenoid issue as the K-50 as the units age in the marketplace.
I 'd be stunned if Ricoh did not identify the issue with the K-50 and fixed it on the K-70. If you loved your K-50, you'll just love the K-70 even more, plus you're getting a very practical zoom upgrade too.

With that said, and if longevity was your top priority, general construction of the KP is better and one should expect that model to outlast its lighter, less expensive sibling. In time, you would get used to the weight and the ergonomics, but I think the K-70 is both the logical and je ne sais quoi choice for you.

12-08-2017, 01:42 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I'm a happy owner of the KP, but I have to say, unless you really like the look & feel of the KP (it feels great in my hands), and you don't own a bunch of DA Ltds to match with it, the K-70 and 18-135 will be a better choice for you.
12-08-2017, 04:04 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Got my K-70 as Black Friday deal with £100 off and DA50 thrown is for free :-). Can't complain.

K-70 looks and feel very similar to my K-50.
Few buttons moved places + there is one extra button for wifi/fx2.
Screen gives impression of being smaller.
GUI is modified with some additional options that were not there in K-50.

Sensor on K-70 blew my mind. I get so much more details it is really superb. I wonder if this is mostly due to higher sensor resolution or low pass filter omission.

Biggest down side for me is lack of wireless flash trigger function. There is now manual flash control tough.
Not exactly 1:1 exchange but it is something. I can only hope Pentax (or some 3rd party) will release small flash with trigger function, as neither AF200 not AF201 have this, or I get myself ACON trigger for next Christmas.

And it is only available in black and silver finish. No storm trooper white ;-(

Can't comment on KP.
12-08-2017, 10:30 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sawitar Quote

Sensor on K-70 blew my mind. I get so much more details it is really superb. I wonder if this is mostly due to higher sensor resolution or low pass filter omission.
The 24MP sensor upgrade from a 16MP sensor allows the omission of the AA or OLP filter and so I'd say it was a combination of both that significantly improved your image detail, not just one or the other.

Bravo on your new K-70 and thanks for the pros and cons.
12-08-2017, 02:05 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The K-70 is a great value proposition - really excellent camera for the money from what I can tell (haven't used one). I think I'd recommend getting this and using the money you save compared to the KP on a lens. Have you thought about the 16-85? It's a bit more money than the 18-135 but if you care about image quality towards the edges, it's a lot better. Image quality difference between these cameras will be negligible compared to the difference between lenses.
12-08-2017, 08:09 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrB1 Quote
The K-70 is very customisable, has great ergonomics, and a built-in grip that feels comfortable and secure. In practice, it is doubtful that you would notice much difference in image quality between the K-70 and KP, assuming viewing images (not pixels) at normal viewing distances. So, unless you particularly need one or more of features only available on the KP, it seems to me that the K-70 & 18-135 lens would be a much wiser use of your funds.

Regarding reliability - the K-70 has been in circulation now since June 2016 and, as with any complex electro-mechanical device, a few might have had faults, but I haven't yet seen any mentions of aperture block failure - have there been any?

And a point about the screens - for low (or high) shooting positions a tilt screen works only for landscape orientation, whereas a fully-articulated screen works for both landscape and portrait orientations, plus it flips over to protect the screen when the camera is not being used.

Philip
Thanks! That's a good point about the K-70 screen flipping over.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I would go for the K-70 based on what you wrote. If the grip can be a deal breaker you'll probably enjoy the K-70 more.
Adam, thanks for your comment. I seem to recall on the aperture problem poll here on the forum that most of the reported problems were for the K-50 and K-30, and very few for other models like the K-70, is that correct?
12-08-2017, 08:23 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
Thanks! That's a good point about the K-70 screen flipping over.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:10 PM ----------


Adam, thanks for your comment. I seem to recall on the aperture problem poll here on the forum that most of the reported problems were for the K-50 and K-30, and very few for other models like the K-70, is that correct?
None for the K-70, that's correct.

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12-08-2017, 08:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner6 Quote
As a very new K-70 owner I do notice some similarities in the ergonomics of the K-50 (which I still have) and the K-70. I would agree with most of your other positives about then K-70.

On another camera site someone called Ricoh and they said that the K-70 had a different mechanism. I know you have had a failure but if you look at the data collected in the study they did here failure rates are in the single digits percent wise and many failures would be covered buy an credit card extended warranty of one extra year.

If you are concerned buy the camera with the Costco Visa that extends warranties by two years or get the 2 yea extension from Ricoh via Adorama for less than $20, which also gives you a free cleaning and firmware checkup.
Thanks for the comments and the tip on adorama and the pentax 2 year warranty extension, I'll definitely consider that.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
You do not state which lenses you've been using, but since you evidently do not have the DA 18-135mm WR DC, and are interested in it, I can give it a high recommendation. Very versatile, fine performance, and with exceptionally fast, accurate AF. Having just been on another thread, I checked B&H who is running a marvelous deal on the K-70 with this lens and an accessory kit as well, on P. 2 of Pentax DSLRs. It comes in both black and in dark silver, which is darker than the KP's lighter silver color that matches the lenses which come in silver. But silver also looks quite smart with black lenses.

Whichever you get, as I always say, be sure to employ "F" for Fine sharpening in the custom image menu for best fine detail capture.
Thanks very much. On lenses, I kept the weather resistant 18-55 and 55-200 lenses that came with the K-50. But I have lots of others - 11 M42 mount, 4 k mount MF, 5 k mount AF full frame, and the two above plus the DA 50/1.8. Oh, also a Pentax-A 50/F2 and a 50/F1.7 is on the way for my Super Program. I'm looking forward to the 18-135 though. And I would like to get a nice macro.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
None for the K-70, that's correct.
Thanks Adam that is certainly great to hear.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Unmentioned so far are these trade-offs:
- KP: more FPS (7fps in viewfinder shooting or 8fps in liveview vrs 6fps for the K-70).
- K-70: deeper buffer (47 jpeg / 11 raw vrs 37jpg / 9 raw for the KP).
Thanks. I knew about the FPS, but didn't realize the slight advantage of the K-70 In the buffer. In any event, both of these are not much of an issue with me, my kids have grown up and I'm not shooting running children nor school sports like I used to with my K-50. I like to take flower pictures, and they don't need rapid fire.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:46 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
KP does not have an IR receiver for a remote but the mic input apparently doubles as a wired remote socket. KP has a battery grip available. K-70 does not.
Thanks. Remote is not a particular requirement of mine. I think the K-70 can be triggered by wifi from a cell phone, no? I do that with my Sony A6000, but only rarely. The battery grip would be nice, but of course since I like small and light how often would I really use it? I do, though, like the FG battery grip on my ZX-L and the Winder ME II feels nice with the Super Program. I probably won't use those very often though. But for my K-50 I just always carried a couple spare fully charged li-ion cells in my bag and that worked well.

I am sorry, though, I didn't pay a little bit more for my MZ-S and get one with the battery grip. I think the handling of that would be much improved.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I 'd be stunned if Ricoh did not identify the issue with the K-50 and fixed it on the K-70. If you loved your K-50, you'll just love the K-70 even more, plus you're getting a very practical zoom upgrade too.

With that said, and if longevity was your top priority, general construction of the KP is better and one should expect that model to outlast its lighter, less expensive sibling. In time, you would get used to the weight and the ergonomics, but I think the K-70 is both the logical and je ne sais quoi choice for you.
Thanks. Reliability is always important, of course, but I wouldn't say longevity is a top priority. I'm not sure how that could really be with digital cameras, the technology advances and tends to make them obsolete after a few years. Although I'm still using (and buying) film cameras that are older than me (>60 years), I don't see why I would be regularly using a digital camera that is even 10 years old (or a computer that old). If the K-70 lasts several years, and then I buy another Pentax DSLR in 5 years or so to play with in my retirement, that would be fine.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
I'm a happy owner of the KP, but I have to say, unless you really like the look & feel of the KP (it feels great in my hands), and you don't own a bunch of DA Ltds to match with it, the K-70 and 18-135 will be a better choice for you.
Thanks. I wish I had all those "limiteds" but I don't an am unlikely to spend that much.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 09:57 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sawitar Quote
Got my K-70 as Black Friday deal with £100 off and DA50 thrown is for free :-). Can't complain.

K-70 looks and feel very similar to my K-50.
Few buttons moved places + there is one extra button for wifi/fx2.
Screen gives impression of being smaller.
GUI is modified with some additional options that were not there in K-50.

Sensor on K-70 blew my mind. I get so much more details it is really superb. I wonder if this is mostly due to higher sensor resolution or low pass filter omission.

Biggest down side for me is lack of wireless flash trigger function. There is now manual flash control tough.
Not exactly 1:1 exchange but it is something. I can only hope Pentax (or some 3rd party) will release small flash with trigger function, as neither AF200 not AF201 have this, or I get myself ACON trigger for next Christmas.

And it is only available in black and silver finish. No storm trooper white ;-(

Can't comment on KP.
Thanks, your comments as a K-50 user are very much appreciated. I agree with you on the need for a pentax compatible flash trigger. I recently got a Godox trigger and two TTL and remote flashes for my Sony A6000, and they work great with Sony TTL off camera. I'll have to see if they are now making something Pentax compatible. However, there is a lot you can do with off camera manual flashes, and with digital "instant review" of the results that is practical, unlike for film. Oh, I forgot, my old Gossen Luna-Pro F is also a flash meter, I can use that with manual slave flashes.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 10:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The 24MP sensor upgrade from a 16MP sensor allows the omission of the AA or OLP filter and so I'd say it was a combination of both that significantly improved your image detail, not just one or the other.

Bravo on your new K-70 and thanks for the pros and cons.
I'm really curious to see this improved image quality everyone mentions. I always thought the K-50 gave pretty good quality images. I bought the K-50 to take on a Boy Scout high adventure trip to BSA Florida Sea Base, where I wanted the weather sealing and the AA battery adapter, and it worked great with lovely images.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 10:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
The K-70 is a great value proposition - really excellent camera for the money from what I can tell (haven't used one). I think I'd recommend getting this and using the money you save compared to the KP on a lens. Have you thought about the 16-85? It's a bit more money than the 18-135 but if you care about image quality towards the edges, it's a lot better. Image quality difference between these cameras will be negligible compared to the difference between lenses.
Thanks. That's a good point about lens image quality. I think I'll probably stick with the 18-135 since it is such a good deal when purchased with the K-70, but I'll take a look at the 16-85 as well.

---------- Post added 12-08-2017 at 10:06 PM ----------

I'd like to add one more general comment to everyone who offered advice - I've posted a similar request like this on a couple other venues, but I have to say the quality and helpfulness of the comments I've received in this thread, and the obvious knowledge behind the comments, is really outstanding. Thank you all very, very much. The Pentax Forum community is really quite special.
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