When it comes to value for money, few are as tempting as a Pentax. There is a cornucopia of features found within these cameras, many of which are made possible by the stabilized sensor.

Pixel Shift

One of the major and most impressive features, especially when looking at our studio scene, is the Pixel Shift Resolution mode. When mounted on a tripod, the camera is able to use the stabilization mechanism to move the sensor four times, each by one pixel. This allows each pixel location to get an exposure with each color in the Bayer array, eliminating the need to interpolate data from different colored pixel locations.

As well as boosting color resolution, the effect of sampling each location four times also has the effect of reducing noise.

Pixel Shift Resolution OFF Pixel Shift Resolution ON

We've found performance of this mode to be vastly similar to the K-1, save for the differences in the sensors resolution. For more information on the Pentax Pixel Shift Resolution mode in general, see our report on it here

Image Stabilization

Being one of the only DSLR bodies with sensor based image stabilization enables all sorts of tricks that the K-70 can perform, but how well does the system work at producing sharp shots handheld? To find out, we took a series of shots with at equivalents to 50mm and 200mm with SR on and off.

50mm SR On 50mm SR Off 200mm SR On 200mm SR Off

 As shown above, the SR system works incredibly well, even producing some usable shots at 0.5 seconds at a 50mm equivalent field of view. The system is claimed to provide up to 4.5 stops of stabilization. Looking at our charts above, we can see the pattern in sharpness fall off is shifted back a little over four stops for 50mm, and a little over 3 stops for 200mm, which is a very impressive performance.

The greatest advantage to a system like this is every lens mounted on the camera is stabilized. The main disadvantage to such a system is the lack of stabilization through the viewfinder. With stabilized lenses, the optical stabilization steadies the frame and assists the photographer in framing a subject. With this system the image in the viewfinder is not steadied at all, which isn't the case with mirrorless rivals, or DSLR's equipped with an image stabilized lens. With the Pentax, handheld telephoto shooting is possible and assisted by the SR system, but can be more challenging handheld without the viewfinder-steadying assistance of optical IS.


Wi-Fi on the K-70 offers up a simple, yet effective way of transferring images or controlling the camera remotely with a smartphone. Turning on Wi-Fi is as simple as holding down the assigned button while reviewing images. The camera will beep (unless muted, which you can individually customize!) and display a Wi-Fi icon on the top of the screen when it is switched on. Then it is simply a matter of communicating with the camera via Ricoh's Image Sync app, which allows you to browse files on the camera and select which to transfer, or control the camera in live view through the app. It is one of the easier apps to initially set up, and the transfers happen quickly without fuss. However, with iOS, the images don't really seem to appear anywhere on the phone, regardless of whether one uses JPEG or DNG files. Hopefully this gets worked out, because the ability to use Wi-Fi to transfer Raw files to ones phone to then process in apps like Lightroom Mobile seems like the way of the future...

Night Vision

 The K-70 also includes 'Night Vision Display', a handy new feature for astrophotographers. It shifts the menu and live view displays to a low-contrast red illumination, reminiscent of a Nintendo Virtual Boy, that is much easier on the eyes when working in the dark. 

AF Fine Adjustment

One of our biggest complaints with the Rebel T6i was the inability to adjust the autofocus when a lens isn't producing perfectly sharp images. Thankfully, the ability to adjust autofocus is standard across the current Pentax range. DSLRs assess focus using a secondary sensor, so AF fine tune is often necessary to compensate for slight differences between this AF module and the camera's main imaging sensor in terms of alignment and the way they see through the lens.

The AF Fine Adjustment gives the photographer the ability to apply an adjustment value to either one or all lenses mounted to the K-70. Setting is done on a scale from -10 (focus shifted towards infinity) to +10 (focus shifted towards MFD). It'd be great if there was a 'check' button, much like what can be performed when setting up the 'Custom Image' settings, to make adjustment quicker (this function allows you to quickly take a shot with the dialed in setting), but otherwise the system works much like any other autofocus adjustment system; like a band-aid over a battle wound.

The problem with all systems, not just Pentax, is the use of one value for all AF points and all zoom levels. Focus results can change from point to point and at different focal lengths and subject distances, meaning that adjusting everything to just the center point at one zoom value may cause some shots to end up even more out of focus than if adjustment was off.

The best move forward we've seen with autofocus adjustment in DSLRs is the ability to do it automatically on higher end Nikons, but other than that no one has pushed the ability to microadjust forward. Thankfully, if a K-70 user does find themselves with a telephoto or fast lens that is producing soft results, there is at least an option to help the lens perform better. In many cases, that's better than nothing.