Video

While the K-70 doesn't offer cutting-edge video specification, it does offer features that should assist users in shooting video. The SR system provides very steady footage with wider fields of view, and built upon the new on-sensor phase detection system the K-70 gains continuous AF in video. And while the depth-awareness of the phase detection system should allow for decisive, wobble-free AF, this doesn't bear out in reality.

For entry level photographers looking to shoot video using single AF or manual focus with available focus peaking, the Pentax will not provide the highest quality footage available. Details are very poorly defined, even though we can see color aliasing in the text, meaning the shot was focused properly. Compared to the Canon EOS 80D, the other DSLR with on-sensor PDAF, we see how much sharper the Canon's 1080 output is. It doesn't, however, have in-body stabilization and costs a fair bit more. The question then is, how is the continuous autofocus in movie mode?

At the time of this review it is nowhere near as refined as the best DSLR live view autofocus camera: the 80D, or many other PDAF-equipped mirrorless cameras. It likes to hunt even when a single focus point is placed quite plainly on a static subject, seemingly confused by any motion that may occur from hand holding the camera. The clip above was all shot with 'Auto' AF area, where results were no better. Face detection isn't available in video mode at all. For those hoping for a competitor to the 80D, or even the 70D, Pentax isn't quite there yet. For those looking to shoot video in this price range, a mirrorless option like the Sony a6000 will do better at continuously focusing in video. It's a shame, because the in-body image stabilization (something the a6000 lacks) can make for some very steady footage.

There are some other problems with the Pentax's video features. There are plenty of features that should help photographers, like a flat picture profile, highlight warnings, and the ability to use the TAv exposure mode, but other video features have problems. Focus peaking disappears as soon as recording starts, making it only as effective for pre-focus. It's strange, because the available highlight warnings do not disappear when recording is started. The microphone jack is in the way of the flip-out screen, restricting its articulation when using an external microphone. 

These quirks combined with the low resolution 1080 footage and non-trustworthy continuous auto focus make the Pentax a disappointment to use in video mode, especially when the SR system could have enabled it to be great for handheld recording.