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12-13-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
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To buy or not to buy (and sell the K-7)?

Hello everyone,

I'm a little torn over a matter, so I'm writing here to seek counsel. I'm sure there's gonna be a few of you who have "been there, done that", which hopefully will help me to make up my mind.

Backstory: I've used a *ist D for 6 years before taking the plunge on the K-7 in February 2010. I wasn't planning on replacing the D, as it's still working flawlessly, but I was in NY at the time and, as they say, "opportunity makes a thief", or in this case makes me a weak consumer... So, anyway, I bought it, and I gotta say I'm quite pleased with it, weather sealing and overall speed (and ok, resolution too) being a vast improvement over my oldie.

On a seemingly unrelated note, another thing that happened this year is, I've been shooting out of my comfort zone (concerts), mostly exploring this new playground that is the studio. I've soon found out that the K-7 excels at that, and my 77mm Limited finally seems happy, too.
The thing is, being on a concerts drought, I haven't been able to put the K-7 to test in these conditions (low light, harsh/difficult lighting, colour casts and ó gasps ó glowing reds, which my old D didn't appreciate much), but one thing I know is that the 7 is less than stellar at higher ISOs, which makes me a little afraid to even try. In fact, there's finally a big(-gish) concert coming up at the end of January and I absolutely have no idea if the 7 is gonna hold up and deliver.
Backstory ends here.

Now on to my actual point.
In spite (or maybe because of) the recent stain talk of the K-5, I'm actually evaluating its purchase. Maybe, had it been problem-free, I'd have it already, whereas now I'm debating whether I should buy now, wait for stain problems to settle, or skip it altogether ó because other than my own paranoia, the 7 is perfectly fine. To complicate matters, Pentax here is offering a ~140$ cashback on the 5, but only until December 31, and I've been able to find somewhat decent prices over the interwebs (from local retailers, so cashback and warranty should be legit and hassle-free, respectively).
As you might have noticed, it took me 3 generations of cameras before caving in the first time around, so even thinking about buying a new camera when the other one isn't even a year old feels a little weird to me. On the other hand, I might be able to do more concerts next year, and the main reason for this impulse-replacement would be down to better high ISO performance and DR. On top of that, a friend of mine is in the market for a camera, and might be interested in buying my K-7, should I decide to sell it. Since it's still virtually new, I might be able to make enough money to get me a new K-5 with 400$ on top of my K-7 price (only with cashback, though).

Decisions, decisions... what would you do?
Is K-5's ISO performance and DR worth the switch?
Is K-7's high ISO bashing unjustified? (Or, am I doing it wrong?)
Should I take advantage of the cashback offering from Pentax? Wait until K-5's sensor is spotless? Wait until its price drops without resorting to cashbacks? Keep the K-7 and quit whining?
Has anybody else made the same switch? Any regrets?

I hope you can talk me out of (or into) it so that I can finally put my mind at ease...

Thanks,
Sabine

12-13-2010, 01:15 PM   #2
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Just sold last week my K-7 and having the K-5 for a few weeks. True, mine has to go back for the stains, but I'm waiting for my second K-5 to arive before sending it back.

It's just a lot more camera then the K-7 is. You can make pictures with it that are just not possible with every other Pentax camera.

At iso 10.000 in the dark

You have to like it, but it is simply a new possibillity.
12-13-2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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What can I say...
My wife cannot understand that I bought the K-5 already having a K10D and K-7.
Here is the 10-th picture I took when I got the camera, on a very, very dark rainy day.
It is taken with ISO 40.000!
Handheld DA* 60-250mm + 1.7 TC and touched up a little with LR3:




The K-5 is a faster focusing K-7 with*much less* and much more pleasant high ISO noise and my K10D colours and rendering.
I love it, it is the camera the K-7 should have been!

- Bert
12-13-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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Just got my new K5 and the sensor is super clean at f22 / f29 and it works in every function correctly. Buy your K5 and keep the K7 for a back up.

12-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Damn, those pictures open up a different world for sure... I have fast-ish glass for concerts, but with the *istD I had to cap at 1600 to have manageable shots (not that I could have gone much further at 3200, but that one was really for "better than nothing" shots) ó and it was just 6 years back... and now there's even ISO 51'200!

QuoteOriginally posted by Rick Clark Quote
Just got my new K5 and the sensor is super clean at f22 / f29 and it works in every function correctly. Buy your K5 and keep the K7 for a back up.
I wish! But keeping both is out of the question, I wouldn't have enough money right now to buy the K-5 anew... Selling my K-7 would help fund the 5


Come to think of it, maybe I should have posted it in the general Pentax DSLR section, dobut I'll be getting many "keep your K-7" here... or maybe I should stop (again) visiting forums altogether so that I don't get camera envy
12-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #6
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The K5 is a much better camera than the K7. Improvements include :
1. Much better AF speed
2. Better AF ability in low light
3. AF adjust for 20 lenses
4. ISO 80 for conditions that need slower ISO (waterfalls in mid-day; strobist shots in midday, etc)
5. Fantastic DR
6. Far better in-camera HDR
7. More resolution for cropping purposes
8. 5 user modes to quickly switch between settings
9. 3 custom WB settings
10. Really good ISO performance. So usable that ISO can be set practically to 80-3200 (or 80-6400) and not worry too much about changing conditions.

All these really serve to make a difference in photo taking and convenience.


I've had the K100, K7 and now K5. The switch from K100 to K7 was like "Er... ok..." but the 1yr difference from K7 to K5 was "Oh my GOSH!"
12-13-2010, 08:49 PM   #7
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Sabine, since you're likely to settle with such a decision for some time, I'd suggest getting the K-5 over keeping the K-7 by virtue of your all-important high ISO performance and low light focusing ability. These two aspects alone are enough for me to justify the extra cost.

The K-7 is certainly a big step up from the *ist D, but interestingly after all those generations of sensors the ISO 3200 results from each camera are equally distasteful. But the K-5 moves that threshold to 12,800 at least.

Enjoy deciding.
12-13-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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Hooverfocus,

I wasn't going to say this, but since you started it I will chime in. I love my k7. Until about three month's ago most everyone here on the forums loved the k7 too. Now, according to some people here and on the DP forum, sensor test sites and camera review sites I own a piece of, uh, substandard photography equipment. I researched for months before buying my k7 and I think it’s better than any Canon or Nikon APSC equipment, which makes it all the more difficult reading the recent opinions about its shortcomings.

I am glad everyone loves the k5. I would like to have one too. I know it is better than the k7 but it just seems odd that people would attack the k7 when like I said, three months ago it was a gem. It's still a gem to me. I know this is the natural progression of digital photography, and in about a year when the k-3 comes out many will think of the k-5 what they think of the k7 now.

Getting a k5 just for the high ISO is only one of MANY reasons to buy a k-5. My wife has a k-x and we use that at times when at our kids sporting events. On the other hand, I grew up shooting ASA 25 to ASA 200 (used ASA 400 only a couple times) so I know how to make the best of anything under ISO 1250 (my normal limit for the k7). It’s a bit more challenging but that’s one of the things I like about photography. I still have the Canon A1 I bought in 1980, and am finally able to afford some great lenses I wish I could've bought when they were new.

If I had the money I would definitely buy a k-5, but for me the k7 will have to do for a while, and I'm not the least bit upset about that.

Snydly

12-13-2010, 10:41 PM   #9
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Snydly, the K-7 is and will always be a gem. So too the *ist D. But let's face it, since the K-7 came out there was talk of how much people wanted a sensor upgrade from that of the K20D. Then when the K-x came out there were lots of wishes of 'K-x sensor in a K-7'. Here now we have even more in the K-5 so what many were waiting for for some years is finally here. So no doubt users will be happy to applaud the K-5 more over the K-7. This is understandable, but the K-7 will remain an excellent camera.
12-13-2010, 11:03 PM   #10
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I am waiting...

Waiting on the bugs to be resolved (spots, etc)
Waiting on the price to drop somewhat
Waiting on a decent supply here in southeastern Europe.
Waiting for a good reason to trade my K-7 for the K-5....which seems to be the hardest decision of all.

At the end of today, my K-7 is still a great little performer and I am not missing anything by not having the K-5 just yet anyway.

Jason
12-14-2010, 04:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
Hooverfocus,

I wasn't going to say this, but since you started it I will chime in. I love my k7. Until about three month's ago most everyone here on the forums loved the k7 too. Now, according to some people here and on the DP forum, sensor test sites and camera review sites I own a piece of, uh, substandard photography equipment. I researched for months before buying my k7 and I think itís better than any Canon or Nikon APSC equipment, which makes it all the more difficult reading the recent opinions about its shortcomings.

I am glad everyone loves the k5. I would like to have one too. I know it is better than the k7 but it just seems odd that people would attack the k7 when like I said, three months ago it was a gem. It's still a gem to me. I know this is the natural progression of digital photography, and in about a year when the k-3 comes out many will think of the k-5 what they think of the k7 now.

Getting a k5 just for the high ISO is only one of MANY reasons to buy a k-5. My wife has a k-x and we use that at times when at our kids sporting events. On the other hand, I grew up shooting ASA 25 to ASA 200 (used ASA 400 only a couple times) so I know how to make the best of anything under ISO 1250 (my normal limit for the k7). Itís a bit more challenging but thatís one of the things I like about photography. I still have the Canon A1 I bought in 1980, and am finally able to afford some great lenses I wish I could've bought when they were new.

If I had the money I would definitely buy a k-5, but for me the k7 will have to do for a while, and I'm not the least bit upset about that.

Snydly
don't take note of that, it's bullshit. i've said it before; again: k-7 is (still) at least on par with most _current_ aps-c dslr offerings from other manufacturers. the sensor doesn't hold a candle to the one in the k-5/d7000 etc, but what does that have to do with anything? it's still a great one, and was a leader when the sensor was first released. i still have my k20d and i love it, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. enjoy your k-7 and ignore the "new kid in town" bullshit, your camera is more_than_fine

k100d vs k-7: please, give me a break. i had the k100d, great camera, loved it. every single one after it was (much) better (k10d, k20d, and now k-5 -- as soon as i get the new, clean one back ). hint: stop looking at pictures at 1/1 on your screen, that's not what photography is about
12-14-2010, 05:40 AM   #12
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Well, initially I also was all for K-5 (I've K-7 at the moment). K-5 beats K-7 in many respects as it has been shown in many sources including this forum. Yet, I am holding on to my K-7. Until this stain issue clears out, I cannot afford to have to buy one here in Israel and have all the struggle it will take to have it fixed. With all likelihood I am not going to buy K-5 any time soon. May be some time next year. Also the prices here are too steep.

Meanwhile, I bought Topaz Denoise and I happily shoot in the evening at ISO 3200. The results are fine.
12-14-2010, 06:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris Quote
Meanwhile, I bought Topaz Denoise and I happily shoot in the evening at ISO 3200. The results are fine.
Boris,
I've been looking for a good denoise program. Is Topaz the way to go? How do the pictures look after using this? Is it like never having noise or does it make the existing noise more acceptable?

Thanks

Snydly
12-14-2010, 06:58 AM   #14
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Snydly - replied in PM...
12-14-2010, 08:20 AM   #15
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I'm aware that they are different cameras, but have you considered the K-r for low light (as an addition to the K7)?
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