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02-10-2024, 05:38 PM   #1
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Pentax KF, colossal failure, or viable upgrade?

For the last few months Iíve casually searched for a Pentax body that offers a bit more than the K50. As has been documented thoroughly, the KF is mostly rebadged K-70 with a nicer LCD screen. I canít find much else thatís different. Is the KF a viable upgrade to the K70, or was it a blunder by Ricoh? Have sales been good? Seems 90% of online chatter is neutral to negative on the KF because itís essentially an expensive K-70.

02-10-2024, 05:52 PM - 8 Likes   #2
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My guess: the KF was released under a new name to distance it from the association with aperture block failure due to the inappropriate solenoids in the K-70. Although that was apparently fixed in later runs of the K-70, it always left some uncertainty.

The higher price probably reflects the realities of making cameras in the post-COVID industrial landscape.
02-10-2024, 05:59 PM - 6 Likes   #3
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Pentax like almost EVERYBODY in ANY business, camera or otherwise, does not make all of the parts that go into their final product. Even if they want to keep making the same item, they sometimes have to change it because they can't get the parts to make the original item. I suspect that is the case with the KF. Pentax could not make more of the K-70 cameras even if they wanted to. They had to do a minor redesign, with more expensive parts, and issue the KF as a replacement.
02-10-2024, 06:04 PM   #4
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The sourcing of parts was listed as a reason for the redesign. But, should Pentax have offered more than the very minor upgrades in the LCD? Perhaps included a better AF system?

02-10-2024, 06:07 PM   #5
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Pentax definitely needs a lower end dslr with better af
02-10-2024, 06:54 PM - 9 Likes   #6
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I think the KF price has gone down since launch and now is basically what the K-70 was.

The KF is neither a failure nor an "upgrade", it's Pentax finding a way to continue offering the best entry level DSLR on the market. IMHO.

So the answer is "none of the above". It's just a great, affordable enthusiast camera.
02-10-2024, 06:57 PM   #7
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Each improvement ads cost to each unit. How many people who want an entry level DSLR want or need better AF than the KF delivers?
I think that Pentax did their research and decided that the extra costs had to be kept to a minimum. They seem to have decided to only go with 2 apsc models for the time being.

02-10-2024, 07:35 PM   #8
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The k70 is still a very capable camera except for sports where the tracking and af will be a bit basic, but the construction, ovf and image quality is excellent for an entry level camera. Mine is now sitting I a cupboard since it had the solenoid issue but a new focusing screen might make it a manual focus camera. I'm pretty sure you can expect the same image quality from the kf wich mean up to 24*36 inch print, it's more than enough for most case and it does have a tilt screen that neither of my other DSLR have. So maybe it's a rebadging of a good camera, maybe not the best but still a good camera.
02-10-2024, 10:29 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joetitch Quote
Each improvement ads cost to each unit. How many people who want an entry level DSLR want or need better AF than the KF delivers?
To be fair, the cheapest Canon Rebel or Nikon D series camera AF systems are leaps better than the Pentax AF system in their older cameras. The AUTO 5 or AUTO 11 features are totally worthless.
02-10-2024, 11:00 PM   #10
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In my opinion, the KF was a "new" model that appeared because some parts of the K70 were discontinued and forced to look for replacement parts.
It's just that the KF replacement part is a little better than the K70's performance, just to improve the pixels of the screen, and there is no difference from the K70 in other aspects.
The FOX focusing system still lags behind the contemporaries of other brands.
But the selling price of the KF is not worth buying at all ...
If the K33's FOX focusing system were devolved to an entry-level camera, I would be more than willing to buy it, as long as it wasn't more expensive than the K12...
02-11-2024, 12:30 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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I agree that the KF's release and naming was probably due to component availability and a desire to move on from the early K-70's aperture block issue.

For those who own a fully-functional K-70, I don't see any need to upgrade to the KF (unless it's to replace a broken or worn-out camera). For anyone else looking for a solid and capable lower-mid-range DSLR, the KF fits the bill nicely. At its current pricing - and taking into account how everything is a lot more expensive these days - I think it offers decent value for money. Yes, it's basically just a very mildly updated K-70 with new name - but it's a big step up from older cameras like your K-50.

My K-3 and K-3II will probably last me many more years, but if one of them should die soon, I'd quite happily consider the smaller and lighter KF as a replacement. Technically the AF would be a step backwards, but I never had any issues with the K-5's AF for my own use-cases...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-11-2024 at 01:35 AM.
02-11-2024, 01:11 AM - 5 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bourbonieer Quote
To be fair, the cheapest Canon Rebel or Nikon D series camera AF systems are leaps better than the Pentax AF system in their older cameras. The AUTO 5 or AUTO 11 features are totally worthless.
To be fair neither of those has ibis.
Depends on what is important to you as to which camera represents the best value.
02-11-2024, 01:29 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joetitch Quote
To be fair neither of those has ibis.
Depends on what is important to you as to which camera represents the best value.
Didn't the cheaper Nikons (actually, some of the not-so-cheap models too) use an inferior penta-mirror instead of penta-prism for the viewfinder, too? Then there's viewfinder coverage and magnification... I may be wrong, but I believe the KF is superior there too.

If you're buying a DSLR these days, it's for one (or both) of two main reasons - the glass you already own and love, and/or the optical viewfinder experience...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-11-2024 at 01:36 AM.
02-11-2024, 02:48 AM   #14
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I think the KF is positioned as the successor of the K70, the cheaper entry DSLR. It is still up to this task....
If you need the cutting edge technology there is the K3-m3....

More important is maybe asking what it brings more than the K-50.
In my opinion the balance is quite positive.
[

Pentax K-50 vs. Pentax KF vs. Pentax K-3 III - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com
02-11-2024, 02:53 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
If you're buying a DSLR these days, it's for one (or both) of two main reasons - the glass you already own and love, and/or the optical viewfinder experience...
Absolutely!

I rarely had problems tracking birds in flight with my K-70 ... horse races and motor racing weren't an issue ... I've little interest in ball games so I never tried.
Yes the KP was better ... yes, the K-3iii is even better, but if push came to shove and I wanted/needed to replace one and cash was an issue, I'm sure a KF would serve the purpose admirably (except for the low light capabilities ... those I would miss!)
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