Camera - - AWARDS -

Pen­tax has a bit of a stran­gle­hold on this cat­e­gory at the mo­ment and for one good rea­son… it’s build­ing bet­ter en­try-level D-SLRs than any of its ri­vals. As sim­ple as that.

So, like its pre­de­ces­sors which have won this cat­e­gory, the K-70 is not just an ex­cel­lent cam­era, it rep­re­sents un­match­able val­ue­for-money. In Aus­tralia, it’s priced at the up­per end of this cat­e­gory, but you just get so much for your money, noth­ing else comes close. For ex­am­ple, the K-70 in­cor­po­rates many of the fea­tures from the high­end Pen­tax D-SLRs, in­clud­ing the ‘Pixel Shift Res­o­lu­tion’ func­tion, the ‘AA Fil­ter Sim­u­la­tor’ to elim­i­nate moiré pat­terns and the in­ge­nious vari­able-tilt LCD mon­i­tor which was in­tro­duced on the flag­ship K-1. You get a fully weather-sealed bodyshell which is both wa­ter-proof and dust­proof and also in­su­lated to al­low shoot­ing in sub-zero tem­per­a­tures down to -10 de­grees Cel­sius. On the in­side, the K-70’s ‘APS-C’ CMOS sen­sor has an ef­fec­tive res­o­lu­tion of 24.2 megapix­els – max­imised by leav­ing off the op­ti­cal low-pass fil­ter – and a sen­si­tiv­ity range equiv­a­lent to ISO 100 to 102,400. It’s matched with the ‘PRIME MII’ im­age pro­ces­sor which en­ables con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing at up to 6.0 fps and 14-bit RAW cap­ture. Im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion is via sen­sor-shift­ing which is claimed to give up to 4.5 stops of cor­rec­tion for cam­era shake. The sen­sor shift­ing mech­a­nism also en­ables Pen­tax’s ‘Astro Tracer’ fa­cil­ity which op­er­ates in com­bi­na­tion with the op­tional O-GPS1 GPS re­ceiver to track stars and en­sure they’re ren­dered as sharp points. A new ‘Timer’ mode which al­lows for timed ex­po­sures of up to 20 min­utes. The ‘Pixel Shift Res­o­lu­tion’ func­tion cap­tures four im­ages which are com­bined to op­ti­mise res­o­lu­tion and colour re­pro­duc­tion, and there’s now a Mo­tion Cor­rec­tion fa­cil­ity to deal with any slight sub­ject move­ments which oc­cur dur­ing the cap­ture se­quence.

A new hy­brid phase/con­trast de­tec­tion aut­o­fo­cus­ing sys­tem speeds things up when in live view or shoot­ing video (and en­ables con­tin­u­ous AF in the lat­ter). Pen­tax is be­ing as gen­er­ous to video shoot­ers as pho­tog­ra­phers with the K-70 so it as Full HD shoot­ing (at 50i, 25p and 24p) and 4K time-lapse clips, a power aper­ture con­trol (with se­lected lenses), built-in stereo mi­cro­phones with ad­justable lev­els, a stereo au­dio in­put and var­i­ous fil­ter ef­fects. You can also tick the boxes for a full glass prism viewfinder (which gives 100 per­cent cov­er­age), built-in WiFi, a built-in flash, du­alde­lay self-timer (which also works with con­tin­u­ous AF op­er­a­tions), an in­ter­val­ome­ter and a mul­ti­ple ex­po­sure fa­cil­ity.

And the K-70 backs all this up with a solid per­for­mance.

CON­SUMER DIG­I­TAL SLR – THE FI­NAL­ISTS Canon EOS 1300D Sony Al­pha SLT-A68 Pen­tax K-70

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