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