Shaking up the market: Pentax K-70 Review
Image Quality Compared
Our latest test scene simulates both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget switches between the two. The daylight scene is manually white balanced to give neutral grays, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests. Raw files are manually corrected. We offer three different viewing sizes: 'Full', 'Print', and 'Comp', with the latter two offering 'normalized' comparisons by using matched viewing sizes. The 'Comp' option chooses the largest-available resolution common to the cameras being compared.
The K-70 houses a very good 24-megapixel sensor that in some ways is let down by its JPEG engine. More specifically, it is let down by the default settings (which are used in this test, and by many users), particularly in terms of * A glance at the scene's text shows the Pentax looking out of focus compared to the D5500. A quick glance at shows this isn't the case. In fact, Raw files from the Pentax show plenty of and aliasing where one would expect. In terms of resolution and reproduction, it is right on par with the Nikon (especially if they had the exact same lens).. Thankfully, there are better sharpening options available.
Behind these JPEG shortcomings, however, is a very good sensor. At the Canon's evidence of this showing in our ISO invariance test, as well as in high ISO images., the K-70 performs a better. It bests the at ISO 25600, and even competes with higher tier cameras like the and . However, at least part of this impressive performance may be a bit of in-camera noise reduction, with
K-70 gallery appear rather cool. are also more blue-shifted. Skintones are next to Nikon, and have compared to Canon. The Canon's slightly next to Nikon means the Pentax isn't too far off from the - a good thing given the generally highly regarded Canon colors., while pleasingly saturated, tend to run on the cooler side, especially compared to the very warm Nikon. Reds appear redder (less orange) because of this, but aren't as pleasingly warm, and most images in our
High ISOare decent, but aren't class leading. Color and detail are well-preserved, although largely due to the very mild noise reduction. While the mild NR helps prevent the smoothing out of detail, it does a poor job removing chroma noise. That means large areas of solid color, like the background of our studio scene, show faint green and magenta blocking, which shows in the real-world as well.
Raw Dynamic Range
In our exposure latitude test, where files are underexposed intentionally and then lifted back to a normal exposure in post-processing, performance of the K-70 is right on par with the D5500, to the point where it suggests the two probably use the same sensor. Either choice is well ahead of thefor those that need flexible Raw output.
This test allows us to see how much noise a camera adds at base ISO compared to an image where amplification is applied by increasing the ISO. As we can see in the test, there is a similar amount of noise in the ISO 3200 shot and the ISO 100 shot pushed to match the ISO 3200 shot. Both cameras show a bit more noise in the pushed shot, meaning they're not truly iso-invariant and there is a slight benefit to shooting at a higher ISO for a given scene. Still, it does mean it's possible to maintain your aperture and shutter speed values, lower the ISO and capture an image with more highlight information with very little noise cost.
A close look at the Pentax reveals a slight blur to the noise pattern on the ISO 3200 shot, which suggest that the camera 'bakes' the Raw file with a bit of added noise reduction when ISO is increased.
*Sharpening is greatly improved when changed to 'Fine Sharpness' or 'Extra Sharpness', which makes us wonder why 'Fine Sharpness' isn't the factory default. This setting isn't in plain view (hint: you have to enter the 'Custom Image' menu, then hit 'Info' to enter the 'Parameter Adjustment' menu, then the rear dial toggles the different sharpness options).
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