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08-15-2009, 04:22 PM   #1
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2 new K-7 magazine reviews

I saw two UK mags that reviewed the K-7 in detail, and compared them to rival Canon and Nikon models.

Digital Camera World pretty much gave it positive praise, and it gave it an end score of 87%, which was a little less than the 90% it gave the two rivals. However, in the same issue they reviewed 100mm macro lenses and 6 were on test. The D-FA 100mm scored a very low 65 or 67% and was second to last out of those tested. The Tamron 90mm tested the best.

Photography Monthly didn't praise the K-7 as much, and pretty much recommended for those other than current Pentax users to go with the better Canon or Nikon models, stating better IQ and noise at higher ISO's. It also gave extensive side by side pics between the K-7 and two comparable models from Nikon and Canon. I don't know what lens they were using, but some of the pics looked bad. I can't see shots coming out that bad on the K-7, so I think the review was a little unreliable. Lots of muted and dull colors that I doubt would come out that way with the right lens.

08-15-2009, 05:17 PM   #2
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Someone needs to come up with a real world camera function DB. That is, list out the most used 80% of camera functions (like ISO values, sharpening, using JPG etc) and test cameras against that. Making a recommendation based on ISO 1600 or 3200 is pointless. Most people mostly use ISO 800, and under, most of the time. It just goes to show the ignorance and arrogance of the reviewers. They have no idea how most people use the camera and try to feel smarter than the DSLR newb by going on about noise levels at high ISOs (which DSLT newbs have no idea about). I'm not saying that high ISO performance is irrelevant but certainly it should not be used as a choice criteria by most people.

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08-15-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
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The reality is that reviews will only take you so far. Even with a camera like the D300, you get everything from rave reviews to tepid remarks like: it's pretty good if you're willing to spend the money... Unfortunately, when they are all over the place, it is really hard for those looking for a DSLR to make a good decision.
08-15-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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Photography Monthly did list it's price as a negative. I do believe with the high price, high DA lens prices, and the fact it's only an APS sized sensor, it really looks like K-7 buyers will only be current Pentax users. If this model had been a full frame, they may have grabbed some new customers.

08-15-2009, 10:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The reality is that reviews will only take you so far. Even with a camera like the D300, you get everything from rave reviews to tepid remarks like: it's pretty good if you're willing to spend the money... Unfortunately, when they are all over the place, it is really hard for those looking for a DSLR to make a good decision.
too true. I've read one magazine rate the Oly E-3 and Pentax K20D highest out of all current semi-pro bodies (A700, 40D, 50D, D300, D90, E-30), and other's place them dead last... Then I've read reviews that heavily criticise a body for the whole article, then recommend people buy it. On the other hand, I've read reviews that have nothing but praise for a camera, then say it's a poor buy because of 'noisy ISO3200' (strong trend in Olympus reviews).

I think the best reviews could probably do without a conclusive rating. Rather the conclusion should simply outline the pros and cons, and recommend who the body is and isn't suited to (DPR do this well), rather than trying to have a single rating applicable to the whole market...

And yes, having a sensible, industry accepted assesment rubric would be wonderful. Especially is reviews used a standard third-party prime lens available in all mounts (say Sigma 50/f1.4) as the default test lens, thus avoiding retarded comments like 'don't buy the K-7 because there's noticable CA at wide apertures', which having absolutely nothing to do with the body.
08-16-2009, 05:26 AM   #6
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As a person who doesn't read photo mags, I'm a bit peplexed by the High ISO obesession. I never use my K20 or K10 over 800 and rarely shoot over 400. That just strikes me as one function on the camera. To rate a camera almost exclusively on that is not really giving a fair review, it is stating the reviewers preferences.

I'm certainly not saying it's not valid function, it's just not important to every camera buyer.

Quite frankly having seen some high ISO shots out Cannon and Nikon cameras I'm not impressed with those either.

That's why I don't shoot over 400-800.
08-16-2009, 05:54 AM   #7
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In Photography Monthly's extensive comparison shots with Nikon and Canon, it seems like the grain was more pronounced at every ISO on the K-7, even 100. Although, the test shots they used almost looked badly printed in the magazine, which didn't help. The photos just didn't look right.
08-16-2009, 06:05 AM   #8
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Using same sigma across the board is interesting concept however

Using same sigma across the board is interesting concept however sigma has inconsistent quality control. Canon makes dozens of lenses, Nikon makes dozens of lenses.

I'd rather see reviews of cameras using Canon and Nikon's better glass, & best glass instead of the crappy kit lens. I never shoot jpg yet jpg is often used in camera tests.

Pentax makes better glass thesedays, why stick a sigma on the camera when you can sample some of pentax better glass with it and include that brand specific info in the article? Part of buying a camera for me is having access to the manufacturers better and best glass. And testing Nikon and Canon dslrs with Sigma lenses may get the reviewer no free cameras in the future to chat about.

I'll assume you know Sigma reverse engineers their mounts, Sigma are not an authorized manufacturer of Canon or Nikon lenses. I think of Sigma lenses as bootleg products.


QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
too true. I've read one magazine rate the Oly E-3 and Pentax K20D highest out of all current semi-pro bodies (A700, 40D, 50D, D300, D90, E-30), and other's place them dead last... Then I've read reviews that heavily criticise a body for the whole article, then recommend people buy it. On the other hand, I've read reviews that have nothing but praise for a camera, then say it's a poor buy because of 'noisy ISO3200' (strong trend in Olympus reviews).

I think the best reviews could probably do without a conclusive rating. Rather the conclusion should simply outline the pros and cons, and recommend who the body is and isn't suited to (DPR do this well), rather than trying to have a single rating applicable to the whole market...

And yes, having a sensible, industry accepted assesment rubric would be wonderful. Especially is reviews used a standard third-party prime lens available in all mounts (say Sigma 50/f1.4) as the default test lens, thus avoiding retarded comments like 'don't buy the K-7 because there's noticable CA at wide apertures', which having absolutely nothing to do with the body.



Last edited by Samsungian; 08-16-2009 at 06:10 AM.
08-16-2009, 09:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Photography Monthly did list it's price as a negative. I do believe with the high price, high DA lens prices, and the fact it's only an APS sized sensor, it really looks like K-7 buyers will only be current Pentax users. If this model had been a full frame, they may have grabbed some new customers.
Maybe, but it would have had to have been a cheaper full frame option like Sony is trying. Either that, or Pentax would have had to have offered quite a leap over the Canon 5D Mark II or the Nikon D700 (D3, D3X) to grab people from those camps. That's the problem for Pentax -- it's not enough for them to make cameras as good as competitors, they have to somehow flank them in some way in order to steal consumers from their ranks. I'm not sure if that is realistic at this point. Although, for the record, if an affordable full frame camera market emerges like some are predicting, I hope Pentax will be ready to compete in it.
08-16-2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
Most people mostly use ISO 800, and under, most of the time.
Because you dont have option. Most of the people who happens to want to shoot with long lenses at dawn or dusk (that means most of the people with interest on wildlife), will certainly entertain the thoughts of using higher ISO providing it delivers good results.

Using the word most while thinking me rarely provide a good argument.
08-16-2009, 12:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
In Photography Monthly's extensive comparison shots with Nikon and Canon, it seems like the grain was more pronounced at every ISO on the K-7, even 100. Although, the test shots they used almost looked badly printed in the magazine, which didn't help. The photos just didn't look right.

I went into a local camera shop (UK) to try a K-7 and was absolutely horrified by the amount of noise at ISO 100 on a jpeg when compared to my K10D (and a D300 I tried at the same time). I came back and mentioned it on the UK Pentax forum and one of the users that had actually bought the K-7 said that sharpening is set to high as standard and if you turn it down to fine then things are very much better.

I usually only shoot raw but the noise in those pictures nearly made me buy the D300 ... I will go try again but will shoot some raw pics to bring back with me.
08-16-2009, 01:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
Because you dont have option. Most of the people who happens to want to shoot with long lenses at dawn or dusk (that means most of the people with interest on wildlife), will certainly entertain the thoughts of using higher ISO providing it delivers good results..
Never heard about dawn or dusk wildlife photography. Where are such images published? Dusk is not popular time to wildlife photography and never heard about any wildlife photographer who do so at any significant extent. It is another of those armchair argument with little bearing on reality. The ones I've seen are shot with manual focus (film) cameras at low ISO with flash. 800ISO is plenty enogh for wildlife photography....
08-16-2009, 01:44 PM   #13
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At present just about every dslr will perform very well up to iso 800

So reviewers are really now left with very little to make comparisons between each dslr hence the continued high ISO IQ comparisons & obsession.

Soon it will be HD video obsession

Dyl
08-16-2009, 01:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Never heard about dawn or dusk wildlife photography. Where are such images published? Dusk is not popular time to wildlife photography and never heard about any wildlife photographer who do so at any significant extent. It is another of those armchair argument with little bearing on reality. The ones I've seen are shot with manual focus (film) cameras at low ISO with flash. 800ISO is plenty enogh for wildlife photography....
First, my lack of coherence on that point has to do more with my lack of english proficiency. I though that dusk and dawn were the hours prior and after the sun sets or rises.

Second, If you dont see the utility of going beyond 800 ISO for wildlife good for you. I am sure that you have NEVER lost a decent amount of shoots due to low shutter speed in those conditions. I am sure that shooting in shade, a forest or under a cloudy sky never happened to you. Unfortunately, I am affraid that you belong to a select group of photographers that can do marvels with lesser equipment. I barely see how that rate as most of us

Third, an armchair is a nice place to be. I wish I could be there more frequently.

Fourth, I am counting the seconds to have the arguments of how in the hey days nobody used high ISO obladih-obladah.

EDIT

Note that I am not saying that other APS-Cs perform better. I am just saying that from a reviewer point of view, high ISO might be as a important for a given reader, as using SR, VR, IS instead of a tripod, or 2 wheels to change settings, or to have mirror lockup functions, or multiple exposures, HDR in camera, AF, a sensor, a shutter, hot shoe, pop-up flash, custom settings, etc, etc, etc

Last edited by Not Registered; 08-16-2009 at 02:01 PM.
08-16-2009, 02:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
I saw two UK mags that reviewed the K-7 in detail, and compared them to rival Canon and Nikon models.

Digital Camera World pretty much gave it positive praise, and it gave it an end score of 87%, which was a little less than the 90% it gave the two rivals. However, in the same issue they reviewed 100mm macro lenses and 6 were on test. The D-FA 100mm scored a very low 65 or 67% and was second to last out of those tested. The Tamron 90mm tested the best.

Photography Monthly didn't praise the K-7 as much, and pretty much recommended for those other than current Pentax users to go with the better Canon or Nikon models, stating better IQ and noise at higher ISO's. It also gave extensive side by side pics between the K-7 and two comparable models from Nikon and Canon. I don't know what lens they were using, but some of the pics looked bad. I can't see shots coming out that bad on the K-7, so I think the review was a little unreliable. Lots of muted and dull colors that I doubt would come out that way with the right lens.
Both completely useless magazines that live off advertising.

I assume they left the camera on "bright" mode for shooting indoor noise tests?
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