Pentax K-70

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pentax k-70The Pentax K-70 DSLR is described by the company as being designed for the great outdoors because of its weather resistance. The compact, dustproof camera, capable of working in temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F), incorporates a number of features which have previously only been available on top-of-the-line Pentax models.

A newly-developed image accelerator unit provides a top sensitivity of ISO 102,400, and a new Hybrid Autofocus (AF) system integrates both image-plane phase-matching and contrast-detection autofocus technologies, delivering speedy and accurate autofocus while also providing continuous auto focus for HD video recording.

Pixel Shift Resolution System produces high-resolution, finely detailed images, notes Pentax. An AA Filter Simulator effectively eliminates moiré without the need for an anti-aliasing filter.

The camera also offers a variable-tilt LCD monitor and an in-body shake-reduction mechanism that reduces the effects of camera shake up to 4.5 shutter steps.

The K-70 also incorporates built-in Wi-Fi for remote shooting and easy transfer to smart devices using Ricoh’s dedicated Image Sync app.

There’s a newly-designed grip, and the mode dial and control buttons on the camera’s top and back panels are designed to be easy and intuitive to operate, even with a gloved hand. The camera also sports an “outdoor-friendly” LCD monitor with an illumination control that can be instantly adjusted to the lighting level of any shooting location. The K-70 also has a red-lighted monitor display function which keeps ambient light from interfering with astrophotography.

The camera features a CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.24 effective megapixels to assure high-speed 14-bit image data readout.

The Safox X AF sensor module has 11 sensors including nine cross-type sensors in the middle, and is said to work in light levels as low as -3 EV. By revising the timing of the AF sensor’s start-up action, the speed of autofocus response has been improved, especially at low-illumination levels. Also, by improving the algorithm for moving objects, the focusing accuracy in the AF-C mode has been enhanced. The K-70 is said to assure outstanding AF tracking performance with subjects on the move, thanks to the Select-area Expansion function, which automatically refocuses on a moving subject after it moves away from the initial point, with the help of the neighbouring points; and an AF Hold function that maintains the initial in-focus point even when the module loses sight of the subject.

The K-70 features the Pixel Shift Resolution System. This captures four images of the same scene by shifting the image sensor by a single pixel for each image, then synthesizes them into a single composite image. Compared to the conventional Bayer system, in which each pixel has only a single colour data unit, this system obtains all colour data in each pixel to deliver super-high-resolution images with far more truthful colours and much finer details than those produced by conventional APS-C-size image sensors, says Pentax. This system even provides a motion correction function which automatically detects a moving object during continuous shooting and minimizes negative effects during the synthesizing process, to accommodate a wider range of scenes and subjects.

Since the K-70’s SR unit has a flexible design that tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, it provides a host of handy shooting functions, including Astro Tracer, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography in combination with an optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit.

The K-70 incorporates a glass prism finder featuring the same optics and coatings as those used in higher-level models, delivering a nearly 100 percent field of view and a magnification of approximately 0.95 times.

Top shutter speed is 1/6000 second, and high-speed continuous shooting function delivers a top speed of approximately 6 frames per second.

The camera captures Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/3p frame rate) in the H.264 recording format, and records lively stereo sound using a built-in stereo microphone. In combination with compatible lenses, it allows the use of the Continuous AF (AF-C) mode to keep accurate focus on a moving subject, or take advantage of a new aperture control function to automatically assure a proper exposure level even in fluctuating lighting conditions during movie recording. It also provides a host of distinctive visual effects for movie production, including the 4K Interval Movie mode that connects a series of 4K-resolution still images at a fixed interval to create a single movie file, and a Star Stream mode to fade in and out the traces of stars to recorded movies.

The K-70 allows a choice of menu items and the order of their listing displayed on the control panel, so the user can confirm or change the listed functions and their current settings at a glance. The user can also assign one of the seven functions to each of two Fx (Function) buttons. The camera also provides three User modes, to which the user can assign desired camera settings depending on subject types or creative intentions. Three settings (Clear Tone, HDR Landscape and Astrophoto) are preprogrammed in the camera as default.

The camera provides wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) functions to support operations using smartphones and tablet computers.

Pentax says it will announce availability of the K-70 next month, and it will be available in black and silky silver finishes.

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