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05-20-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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K-7 and AF performance

Last Friday our Pentax sales rep brought a K-7 to our store for us to see and comment on. He brought it with a 21 Limited and the size and feel was fantastic. Anyone who is fearing this camera is going to be too small, please do no worry. The ergonomic planning on this camera is our of this world.

The thing that I noticed immediately was that the auto focus was not conspicuously faster than the K20D which I viewed side by side with the K-7. However when I put the DA* lenses on, and I put all six of them on, I was startled by the difference in AF speed. The biggest difference was in the 55mm f/1.4 and the 300mm f/4. However all the DA* lenses focused much more responsively than they did on the K20D.

It was also encouraging to see it lock focus on very low contrast subjects. I am of the opinion now, even just test driving a pre-production model, that this is the speed merchant camera that Pentax enthusiasts have been waiting for.

Speeking of waiting, it has been a nightmare keeping my mouth shut so as not to violate our NDA. This camera will prove to be well worth the wait, and I submit now that it will dwarf the attention the K10D brought to Pentax.

Peace

05-20-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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Wow, that's very encouraging. Hopefully Pentax gains more market share with this camera.
05-20-2009, 05:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnaseigel Quote
Last Friday our Pentax sales rep brought a K-7 to our store for us to see and comment on. He brought it with a 21 Limited and the size and feel was fantastic. Anyone who is fearing this camera is going to be too small, please do no worry. The ergonomic planning on this camera is our of this world.

The thing that I noticed immediately was that the auto focus was not conspicuously faster than the K20D which I viewed side by side with the K-7. However when I put the DA* lenses on, and I put all six of them on, I was startled by the difference in AF speed. The biggest difference was in the 55mm f/1.4 and the 300mm f/4. However all the DA* lenses focused much more responsively than they did on the K20D.

It was also encouraging to see it lock focus on very low contrast subjects. I am of the opinion now, even just test driving a pre-production model, that this is the speed merchant camera that Pentax enthusiasts have been waiting for.

Speeking of waiting, it has been a nightmare keeping my mouth shut so as not to violate our NDA. This camera will prove to be well worth the wait, and I submit now that it will dwarf the attention the K10D brought to Pentax.

Peace
being a store owner, please can you say how does the k7 stand up to the Nikon D90

Dave
05-20-2009, 05:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnaseigel Quote
However when I put the DA* lenses on, and I put all six of them on, I was startled by the difference in AF speed. The biggest difference was in the 55mm f/1.4 and the 300mm f/4. However all the DA* lenses focused much more responsively than they did on the K20D.
Thanks for the info.

How about the hunting time?

05-20-2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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So only DA*'s are improved - bummer.
05-21-2009, 05:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
So only DA*'s are improved - bummer.
Yes, the M 50/2 is still as slow as before.

Seriously, I guess the jury is still out. Did the K-7 copy tested have the production firmware? Maybe AF performance turns out to be better for non-DA* lenses. I've read AF-C tracking is much improved. That would suit you, wouldn't it?
05-21-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Yes, the M 50/2 is still as slow as before.
That's very important to me, to know that the manual lenses are still usable in slow focus mode
05-21-2009, 05:48 AM   #8
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Ha, ha, the DA 21mm is a wide angle and with such a short focus throw, AF focusing is fast when mounted with just about any Pentax camera... I would say don't be affected by internet chatter but come to your own conclusion about the K-7's AF by handling it in person and doing your own tests. Anyway my long time Japanese client who is a Pentax diehard is super ecstatic about the K-7...

05-21-2009, 05:58 AM   #9
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Pre-production cameras has firmware 0.20 in them, with this firmware a lot of functions are disabled and not working. Don't judge the performance of K-7 from firmware 0.20. Production firmware is 1.0.

Autofocus is really improved, even for screwdriven lenses but you really need SDM lenses to really see what it can do. The improvement is less with screwdriven lenses, but it is there. Most notably is the more secure low light focusing.
05-21-2009, 06:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMabo Quote
Pre-production cameras has firmware 0.20 in them, with this firmware a lot of functions are disabled and not working. Don't judge the performance of K-7 from firmware 0.20. Production firmware is 1.0.

Autofocus is really improved, even for screwdriven lenses but you really need SDM lenses to really see what it can do. The improvement is less with screwdriven lenses, but it is there. Most notably is the more secure low light focusing.
Is SDM same as HSM?

I have a Sigma lens with HSM, which I don't think I have taken off the camera since I bought it I am hoping to see an improvement in speed, with less hunting than I currently get now.

Overall, I think christmas is coming early this year.
05-21-2009, 06:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnaseigel Quote
Last Friday our Pentax sales rep brought a K-7 to our store for us to see and comment on. He brought it with a 21 Limited and the size and feel was fantastic. Anyone who is fearing this camera is going to be too small, please do no worry. The ergonomic planning on this camera is our of this world.

The thing that I noticed immediately was that the auto focus was not conspicuously faster than the K20D which I viewed side by side with the K-7. However when I put the DA* lenses on, and I put all six of them on, I was startled by the difference in AF speed. The biggest difference was in the 55mm f/1.4 and the 300mm f/4. However all the DA* lenses focused much more responsively than they did on the K20D.

It was also encouraging to see it lock focus on very low contrast subjects. I am of the opinion now, even just test driving a pre-production model, that this is the speed merchant camera that Pentax enthusiasts have been waiting for.

Speeking of waiting, it has been a nightmare keeping my mouth shut so as not to violate our NDA. This camera will prove to be well worth the wait, and I submit now that it will dwarf the attention the K10D brought to Pentax.

Peace
I don't know if this would play into things at all, but aren't the DA pancakes already among the fastest focusing lenses that Pentax makes? I imagine it would be harder to gauge an improvement for a lens that is already good just from a side to side comparison. And even though I would like them to be even faster, I have a hard time imagining the pancakes focusing that much faster than they do on previous bodies.

The DA* 55 focusing faster is good news, though, as that was one of the major knocks on that lens (the other major knock being the price).

Thanks for posting your impressions.
05-21-2009, 06:31 AM   #12
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Any comment about continuous autofocus tracking or predictive autofocus which has been mentioned elsewhere? I'm actually quite satisfied with the autofocus speed and accuracy of my K10D as long as I'm shooting a stationary object even in relatively low-light conditions. It's only when trying to take a photo of a moving subject that the K10 disappoints.

CN
05-21-2009, 08:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
I don't know if this would play into things at all, but aren't the DA pancakes already among the fastest focusing lenses that Pentax makes? I imagine it would be harder to gauge an improvement for a lens that is already good just from a side to side comparison. And even though I would like them to be even faster, I have a hard time imagining the pancakes focusing that much faster than they do on previous bodies.
This is a good point. My DA70ltd is I think my fastest focusing lens. The DA* lenses seem slow not because they are having trouble locking on, but because they have a long focus travel, and the motors are slow.
05-21-2009, 08:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dafiryde Quote
being a store owner, please can you say how does the k7 stand up to the Nikon D90

Dave
Nikon D90 ?????

Don't you mean how it stackes up to the Nikon D300 or the Canon 50D ?


wll
05-21-2009, 09:06 AM   #15
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AF-C

Good to hear about the DA*

Any input regarding predictive focus?
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