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Pentax K-7

Ergonomics 
 9.3
Build Quality 
 9.4
User Interface 
 8.8
Autofocus 
 7.3
Features 
 8.6
Value 
 8.7
Image Quality 
 8.2
Noise 
 6.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
67 250,217 Wed March 15, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $857.52 8.50
Pentax K-7

Pentax K-7
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Pentax K-7
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Pentax K-7
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Pentax K-7
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Pentax K-7
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Description:

The Pentax K-7 was released in 2009 as the successor to the K20D.  It features a sturdy yet compact weather-sealed body, 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor, 5.2 frame-per-second shutter, and a 3-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 921,000 dots, movie mode with input for an optional external microphone.  K-7 reviews, details, and specifications can be found below.

Camera Manuals:


Pentax K-7
Year Introduced
2009
In Production
No (Discontinued 2010)
Current US Price
N/A
In-Depth Review
N/A
Sensor
Sensor Format
APS-C
Sensor Type
CMOS
Megapixels
14.6
Resolution
3104 x 4672 pixels
AA Filter
Yes
Super Resolution
No
Bit Depth
12
Minimum ISO
100
Maximum ISO
6400
ISO Range
100 - 3200 (100 - 6400)
Imaging
Exposure Modes
Green, HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B, User(1)
Program Modes
Auto, Normal, Action, Depth of field (deep/shallow), MTF
Maximum FPS
5.2
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 5.2 fps to 40 frames (JPG), 15 frames (PEF), 14 frames (DNG) Lo: 3.3 fps until card is full (JPG), up to 17 frames (PEF/DNG)
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/8000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/8000s
Shutter Life
100000
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (none in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
3 or 5 frames, one-push bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (on, off), Shadow (high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Yes
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
77-Segment
Meter range
0 to 21 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Yes
Interval shooting
Up to 99 frames, up to 24 hours between frames
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes, average and additive, 2 to 9 shots
Pixel mapping
Yes
Scene Modes
None
Restrictions
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
Mount
KAF2 (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Yes
Stabilization
Yes (sensor-shift SR)
Power zoom
Supported (zoom only)
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses except for lenses with the KAF4 mount variant. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration
Focusing
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX VIII+, 11 focus points (9 cross type))
AF Points
11
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustments for up to 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
Autofocus assist
Dedicated LED
Viewfinder/LCD
Viewfinder
0.92x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Yes
Exchangeable screen
Yes
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live View
Yes
Top LCD
Yes
Focus Peaking
No
Back LCD
3 in. 921,000 pix
Body
Weather resistant
Yes
Control wheels
2
Battery grip
D-BG4 with D-LI90 or 6x AA
Card slots
1
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
Yes
Memory card type
SD, SDHC (max. 32GB), SDXC via firmware update
Size (W x H x D)
130.5 x 96.5 x 72.5 mm
Weight
670g (750g with battery and SD card)
File format
PEF (RAW),DNG (RAW),JPG,AVI
Battery life
980 images without flash
Battery
D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable
Flash
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 13 (ISO 100/m)
Sync speed
1/180s
P-TTL flash
Yes
Flash functions
Auto discharge, On (leading curtain sync), Redeye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Trailing curtain sync, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless*, Contrast control* * Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
No
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Video
Resolution / Framerates
1536x1024 (3:2) at 30 fps,
1280x720 (16:9) at 30 fps,
640x416 (3:2) at 30 fps,
HDMI out
Exposure Modes
Movie mode restrictions
The aperture is fixed during recording
AF During Recording
No
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic), Mono (built-in mic)
Interfacing
GPS
Not Supported
Tethering
None
Connectivity
USB 2.0, AV out, HDMI out, 3.5mm stereo mic, DC in, X-sync, cable release
Latest Firmware
Features from the K-5 were added in version 1.10 and SDXC support in Version 1.11
Notes
Electronic level, Embed copyright information in EXIF, Image plane indicator, In-camera RAW development, Save JPG from movie.
Special Editions

Silver Limited

Megapixels: 14.6
ISO Range: 100-6400
Weight: 670g
FPS: 5.2
LCD: 3.0"
In Production: No
Type: Prosumer/Advanced Amateur
Weather Sealed: Yes



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New Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 5

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 15, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $235.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, reliability, button layout, ergonomics, menu options, image quality, RAW files
Cons: low light capability, back focusing, mandatory DFS at long shutter speeds
Years Owned: 3 months    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 7    New or Used: Used   

I bought this camera from a local pawnshop. This is my first DSLR, but I wasn't sure whether such an old camera would be worth it. I couldn't find much info on the internet about how useable an 8 year old Pentax K7 would be, so I thought I'd write this review to help others in my situation.

I upgraded from a Sony Cybershot HX60V - a 20MP point and shoot from 2014 with full manual control but a small sensor and rather poor low-light performance. I can safely say that the Pentax K7 smashes the Sony for image quality and noise, even with a 5 year age difference. So if you're upgrading from a newer point and shoot, don't hesitate.

When reviewing this camera, I didn't really have any other DSLRs to compare it to. So I'm approaching it from an upgrade from a point and shoot, and also whether I feel the camera is lacking in any areas.

Honestly, this camera is superb. The image quality (after some post processing - more on that later) is excellent, the features are great and the camera is still in perfect condition, with no signs of wear or anything - a testament to its build quality. The button layout is fantastic - I rarely need to access the menu at all. I was worried whether the 15MP would be enough, and I haven't felt a lack of resolution in any photo. The autofocus (with a decent lens - more on that later) is fast enough for me (I don't shoot any sports or fast moving wildlife). The noise is generally manageable, and actually produces a pleasing, film-like grain, so is not too much of a concern.

There are, however, several things I feel are lacking in this camera (apart from modern tech like built-in GPS). One is the lack of high ISO capability/noise at high ISOs. I hate flash photography so for parties and night shooting, I hit the max ISO on the camera pretty fast, and usually need to stay below ISO 1600 to produce a useable photo. Of course, there are ways to maximise the K7's abiltiy (more on that later), and I understand its performance, given the age of the sensor.

Probably the biggest issue with the camera is its back focusing. I've made use of the AF microadjustment, but am at the maximum compensation and photos are still back focusing when using AF. I might need to get the camera serviced, if I can.

If you are looking to do astrophotography, you might find the K7 a bit restrictive. The high ISO performance is an obvious issue, but the other is the mandatory DFS at exposures over 30s. This tends to restrict shooting and make it abit frustrating for long exposures.

There are several ways to maximise the camera's performance, and extend the life of the K7 by making it more useable and minimising its weak points. These are:

1. Get some good lenses. Mine came with a Pentax 17-70mm f4 and the sharpness of the lens really helps to get the most out of the sensor.
2. Get a fast lens. I picked up a Helios 44-2 58mm f2, and the large aperture really helps to keep the noise down, while expanding the camera's useability in low light conditions.
3. Shoot RAW. This will let you eliminate noise as much as possible, while getting the most out of the sensor by boosting sharpness and clarity, and maximising dynamic range.

Finally, I'll say that if you buy this camera in 2017, you will not be disappointed. You will find it a joy to use, and produce some excellent photos - especially if you take the steps I mentioned to get the most out of the camera's capability.

Here are some sample photos - all of them were shot in RAW, and processed in Lightroom:

   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 572

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 6, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Ergonomics, quality, quiet shutter
Cons: Older sensor technology

Little remains to be said about this camera, so I'll just add my pros and cons quickly.

Pros:
Value. These cameras are less in demand than the 5 and 3 series, and as such you can get real bargains on what is essentially a pro camera body.
Handling. There's a reason why this body's design has remained unchanged as it gets new internals and new names - every button is in just the right place, and every setting you need to access on the fly is readily available to you.
Shutter. Quiet, well damped, very satisfying.
Top LCD. This camera does require fine tuning on the fly to get the best out of the older sensor, and having the top LCD right in front of you makes this much easier to do.

Cons:
There's only one real con, and that's the unavoidable fact that this camera has a fairly old sensor whose limitation you have to work around, the main one being that it doesn't handle noise as well as a modern unit. For me the limit is usually ISO800, from which the photos are still very good if you shoot RAW and use decent software to process them. Photos at 100 and 200 ISO look as bright and lovely as you would expect them to with Pentax glass.

Overall, this camera represents a bargain and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone on a budget (me) looking for a full-featured body.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2015
Posts: 14
Review Date: May 21, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build Quality Excellent feature set Quiet shutter IQ
Cons: SD card hard to remove
Years Owned: 0.5    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 7    New or Used: Used   

I added this camera to my collection consisting of a K100d and K-S2 and am very pleased with its operation. This camera in hand feels better than my K-s2 and basic performance is quite good. Although this camera is somewhat dated if compared to todays crop but with a little tweaking and firmware upgrade ( V-1.13 ) the results are very good. A fun camera to use
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Brookfield, Victoria
Posts: 3,768

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 8, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Handling, weight, solid feel and construction, WR
Cons: Fiddly SD Card removal
Years Owned: 2011    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 10    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 8    New or Used: New   

The K-7 was my first DSLR after progressing from a Ricoh XR-P film camera via a terrible little digital P&S. My initial feelings were mixed. I loved the look and feel of the K-7 and felt immediately at home with the controls and layout. I also had a few Ricoh K-mount lenses which helped a little in the adjustment process. Fortunately I had no issues with the feared "Ricoh Pin" which I only learned about afterwards.

At first, I was a little underwhelmed by the photos produced. Things initially looked a bit flat until I discovered RAW and processing power in programs such as Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. I have now exceeded 55,000 shots and the camera just seems to be getting better with age. OK noise gets a bit horrible at high ISO but that is not a real bother to me. Better a bit of noise rather than no image at all and with PP much of the noise can be adequately dealt with. Right now I am probably not far from a trade up. I will wait until the FF is released before I make any move or else I would consider K-5 IIs or K-3. Until then I am a happy little camper and very grateful to the K-7 for introducing me to the Pentax brand.

A couple of samples.




   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: BC
Posts: 138
Review Date: February 10, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $177.99 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Ergonomics, Size/Weight Ratio, WR
Cons: High ISO noise (still usable but poor compared to today's standard)
Years Owned: 0.5    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 7    New or Used: Used   

Purchased this used as an upgrade to a K200D. I found that the buffer clear times on the K200d was slow and the K7 remedied this. As for noise, yes it is present at high-iso but your photos will still be usable. I can see how some Pixel peepers will get annoyed by this but for those who take photos to look at the whole scene and not just a pixel this will do you good.

love the handling as all the buttons are within reach of my fingers (the af button, front and rear e-wheel)
Even though this model is old it still can take great photos.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,306

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 3, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $969.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very capable, good low ISO performance, easy to learn, packed with features, great size, outstanding image quality
Cons: Very poor high-ISO performance, AF searches sometimes
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 7    Features: 9    Value: 10    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 5    New or Used: New   

The K-7 got me back into photography after a hiatus. And in the last three years I've taken very nearly 95,000 frames with it. It performs very well and translates images from old and new lenses with great color and clarity. The prints are printable with no resolution loss up to 20X30 (the largest I've tried).

Make sure, though, that you have the current firmware. For the best image quality, set it in Reversal Film mode and jack the sharpness all the way up. You'll like the results in 99.8% of situations.

The K-7 is packed with features and they're easy to use and access. Both the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are great. The menu system is very well thought out and accessible.

As of this review's writing, I've seen K-7 bodies going for as little as $350. That is an absolute bargain for a camera this good. Were I to buy a new camera with these features, $800 would still not be unreasonable.

Here's the long-and-short of it -- if you have a K-7 you will like it. The camera has two flaws. 1- Never take it beyond 400 ISO. North of 400 ISO and the noise and softness are unacceptable. 2- The shutter isn't as quiet as some. For it's age, the shutter issue seems insignificant. Also, unless you're trying to sneak up on a gazelle while taking burst mode photos the whole time, the shutter noise is a non-issue. In fact, I think that the K-7 has a relatively quiet shutter.

Would I recommend this? Absolutely. The megapixel count and features combined in the K-7 to make a very nice and usable camera with exceedingly good capabilities. Instead of talking about these great things, though, here are some images from my K-7 to prove that it's a fabulous camera.

https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/1514K7#5966390101485344546
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/111113K7#5945286342847587650
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/101913K7#5938995678025579762
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/101613K7#5936005709710718898
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/62713K7#5927483184643041122
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/72013K7#5905831159044020210
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/72013K7#5905830729506460370
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/71913K7#5903786126718345202
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/Softball6513#5888479831144106162
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/53113K7#5886098268396032386
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/41213K7#5866964903134575458
https://picasaweb.google.com/102333270936007447976/71813K7#5906908332849887138

Edit: In the near future I'll pass 100,000 shutter actuations. This camera is still a tank.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 120
Review Date: October 30, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: handling-ergonomics
Cons: high ISO's poor, noise, can't connect to computer, auto focus
Years Owned: 4    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 5    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 5    Noise: 5    New or Used: New   

Bought this to replace K10 that was stolen. Great handling. Pretty good photos in good light. Doesn't focus well in low light - hunts a lot. There have been lots of improvements in the last couple years!

I wish I could connect and control this from a computer!
   
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 73
Review Date: October 20, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: great handling, good IQ (at low iso), WR
Cons: high iso noise (sensor showing age)
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 6    New or Used: Used   

Coming from a K200D, the K-7 offered great advances in autofocus, burst speed and features, but not necessarily image quality (at base iso) - here I still prefer the output of the K200D.

Build quality and ergonomics are great, and combined with weather sealing this makes an attractive camera for the outdoor photographer.

The only gripe I have is the iso noise starting at around 320, but again this is now ageing sensor technology so at it's release it was on par with the competition.

All-in-all a great budget camera with current prices being around 320-350 usd.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2011
Posts: 23
Review Date: October 16, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap, easy-to-use
Cons: Noisy
Years Owned: 2    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 7    Features: 7    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 6    New or Used: Used   

Got the camera second hand and it is great. Only qualms I have with it is noise is prevalent in most situations.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 116
Review Date: October 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good ergonomics, solid feel
Cons: poor low light performance
Years Owned: 3    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 6    Features: 7    Value: 7    Image Quality: 8    Noise: 6    New or Used: New   

I bought this camera because I had some good old glass sitting around from my film days. Bought it as my first DSLR. Overall pleased with it but I wish it had better low light performance. I bought it rather than the K-5 because of the price point.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2010
Posts: 11
Review Date: October 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Ergonomics, sturdy build, sipping battery power
Cons: noise in low light (aged sensor)
Years Owned: 2009-    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 8    Autofocus: 4    Features: 7    Value: 7    Image Quality: 7    Noise: 5    New or Used: New   

Excelent camera when it was introduced, still very good now. Great handling and perfect build still make it pleasure to use. Sensor is a bit dated nowdays, but in good light it is still pretty good.
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 67
Review Date: October 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: No | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Build quality
Cons: highlight correction, ISO above 800, Autofocus
Years Owned: 4    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 5    Features: 8    Value: 7    Image Quality: 7    Noise: 6    New or Used: New   

Decent camera.

Never use the highlight/shadow correction in RAW. It will ruin your photos.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2013
Location: Väröbacka, Sweden
Posts: 5
Review Date: October 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Allmost everything
Cons: Point and shoot function
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 9    Build Quality: 9    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 9    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: New   

Great camera, have been using a pentax q, which I loved, but what a difference.
Great camera. Great images. just Love it.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 1
Review Date: October 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good quality
Cons: loud shutter
Years Owned: 1    Ergonomics: 6    Build Quality: 6    User Interface: 6    Autofocus: 6    Features: 6    Value: 6    Image Quality: 6    Noise: 6    New or Used: Used   

Great DSLR.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 9
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K-7: Yes | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Solid build. Weather sealed. neat & quiet camera
Cons: noise at ISO 800 and above
Years Owned: 2009    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 9    Autofocus: 4    Features: 8    Value: 8    Image Quality: 6    Noise: 4    New or Used: New   

Bought the camera brand new. It is working reliably since then. The only complaint is noisy shots at low light conditions. ISO 800 is my limit when shooting with the camera.

Great camera generally for outdoor photos.
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