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10-05-2010, 07:49 AM   #1
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K-r, K-7 or just K-x - No clue...

Probably like several others I waited until the announcements of the K-r and K-5 to buy a first Pentax DSLR and I still have hardly no clue at all...
- The K-5 is well beyond my budget, so that is pretty easy

Then how to select between the K-7, K-r and K-x?
- I looked over specifications in below link over a "thousand" times
- and I am also aware of most of the difference not covered in the specifications

Pentax K-x, Pentax K-r & Pentax K-7 - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com


Maybe I should break it down into two or three questions:
  1. Is the K-r worth close to double the price of a K-x to me?
    • 3" high resolution LCD
    • Potentially even better High ISO performance - TBC
    • Auto focus assist beam for low light applications
    • Improved auto focus performance and higher frame rate (6 vs 4.7 fps)
    • Focus offset correction for camera (not per lens)
    • Interval functionality
    • Li-Ion (and optional also 4 AA batteries)
  2. Is the K-7 worth more than K-r to me?
    • Higher resolution sensor 14.6 MP (iso 12.4)
    • Dedicated sensor for better White Balance and 77 segment metering (iso 16)
    • Worse High ISO performance
    • Worse auto focus performance at lower frame rate (5.2 vs 6 fps)
    • In body stability compensation addressing sensor rotation (and horizon correction during exposure)
    • Focus offset correction per lens (iso only per camera)
    • 100 OVF with Prism (iso 96% with mirror) at 1/8000s (iso 1/6000s)
    • HDMI out + Stereo mic in
    • Two control wheels (but no scene modes)
    • Weather resistant and top LCD (most / all of my lenses will be non-WR)
  3. Is the K-7 worth double the price of K-x to me?
    • Higher resolution sensor 14.6 MP (iso 12.4)
    • 3" high resolution LCD
    • Worse High ISO performance
    • Auto focus assist beam for low light applications
    • Higher frame rate (5.2 vs 4.7 fps)
    • In body stability compensation addressing sensor tilt (and horizon correction during exposure)
    • Focus offset correction per lens (iso none at all)
    • 100 OVF with Prism (iso 96% with mirror) at 1/8000s (iso 1/6000s)
    • HDMI out + Stereo mic in
    • Two control wheels (but no scene modes)
    • Weather resistant and top LCD (most / all of my lenses will be non-WR)
    • Interval functionality
    • Li-Ion (iso 4 AA batteries only)
K-r?
K-7?
K-x?

10-05-2010, 08:24 AM   #2
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I'm glad you've made use of the spec sheet! Pentax K-7, Pentax K-r & Pentax K-x - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

I think that your decision should be between the K-r and K-7. If you ever shoot in green mode or scene modes, or frequently do high-ISO photography, I'd go with the K-r. If you value the two control wheels and would like a sturdy, weather-sealed body, I'd pick the K-7. The K-7 can likely be bought for a little less than the K-r.

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10-05-2010, 08:47 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote

I think that your decision should be between the K-r and K-7. If you ever shoot in green mode or scene modes, or frequently do high-ISO photography, I'd go with the K-r. If you value the two control wheels and would like a sturdy, weather-sealed body, I'd pick the K-7. The K-7 can likely be bought for a little less than the K-r.
Agreed. For me, the two e-dials are a must have and a deal breaker for any other camera. I don't want to be pressing buttons or hunting through menus to change simple settings.

Scene modes, to me, are far over-rated. They are nothing more than saved settings that Pentax Thinks will work for most situations. Perhaps they do, I don't know, but the camera has a meter for a reason. Learn to read it and you don't need scene modes.

As for the AA vs Proprietary, get a grip. That is, for the K7, get the grip and you can use any type batteries you wish. Proprietary in the body, AA in the grip.

If Video is important to you, I would consider the stereo input important. I don't use it much but so I haven't bothered with an external mic but playing back monaural videos on a stereo device makes me think I've lost hearing in one ear.

10-05-2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I think that your decision should be between the K-r and K-7.
Interesting, I thought the K-r was too expensive for what it brought on top of the K-x, but K-x would be worse for Pentax...

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you ever shoot in green mode or scene modes, or frequently do high-ISO photography, I'd go with the K-r. If you value the two control wheels and would like a sturdy, weather-sealed body, I'd pick the K-7.
Initially I might utilize the green mode (also present on K-7, but no scene modes), but I also like to be pushed towards discovery of the camera, much more than post-processing (taking care of high ISO noise).

Some voices tell me the K-7 is already a good camera (even the K-5 will be replaced in 1-2 years). Other voices tell me to go for cheap K-x and upgrade later to e.g. K-5 (and donate the K-x to my father or a friend).
- K-r is nice, but at introduction too high price premium compared to K-x (and K-7)

10-05-2010, 08:57 AM   #5
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I'd go for K-x, it's the best value for money if you intend to use green mode. No need to buy the latest model for that.
10-05-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Agreed. For me, the two e-dials are a must have and a deal breaker for any other camera. I don't want to be pressing buttons or hunting through menus to change simple settings.

Scene modes, to me, are far over-rated. They are nothing more than saved settings that Pentax Thinks will work for most situations. Perhaps they do, I don't know, but the camera has a meter for a reason. Learn to read it and you don't need scene modes.

As for the AA vs Proprietary, get a grip. That is, for the K7, get the grip and you can use any type batteries you wish. Proprietary in the body, AA in the grip.

If Video is important to you, I would consider the stereo input important. I don't use it much but so I haven't bothered with an external mic but playing back monaural videos on a stereo device makes me think I've lost hearing in one ear.

All good remarks, at this point K-7 is a good price / value balance and it will push and not limited my development for much longer than the K-x (I have both P&S and limitted SLR background).
- I agree also on your video remark, but on the other hand don't see myself buying a microphone...
- Get a grip? Maybe later

Two open concerns / oppertunities:
  • Worse High ISO performance ... What will be real impact for 99% of my photo's?
  • How about image stability benefit of K-7 utilizing rotation (vs K-x and K-r only horizontal and vertical shift)? (to "compensate" for High ISO to allow slower shutter speeds - of course not applicable icw motion blur of running kids)
Grrr, High ISO performance is pretty important (without a flash)...
10-05-2010, 09:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
I'd go for K-x, it's the best value for money if you intend to use green mode. No need to buy the latest model for that.
I hear you and with the green mode I can also give it away to my father.
  • K-x only real weaknesses are the absence of Auto focus assist beam and low resolution 2.7" LCD, but at least the last one doesn't influence resulting IQ at all
    • Oh, I don't care much about the auto focus confirmation points in the OVF
Although K-r and K-5 are good improvements, I tend to go for the biggest bang for buck, K-x or K-7.
10-05-2010, 09:13 AM   #8
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Well I have a K-7, it's a great cam. But high ISO honestly isn't its strength (K-x is better than k-7 at high iso stuff), so if that really matters to you get the k-x which will cost you heaps less anyway. Then once you know what you're doing with it I'd look at a k-7 or k-5 in a year or so from now when both of those will be cheaper as well.

10-05-2010, 09:14 AM   #9
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I would also go for the K-x and upgrade to the latest model later. Great little camera and if you don't mind the strobing flash, you can use it for focus assist purposes.
10-05-2010, 09:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
All good remarks, at this point K-7 is a good price / value balance and it will push and not limited my development for much longer than the K-x (I have both P&S and limitted SLR background).
- I agree also on your video remark, but on the other hand don't see myself buying a microphone...
- Get a grip? Maybe later

Two open concerns / oppertunities:
  • Worse High ISO performance ... What will be real impact for 99% of my photo's?
  • How about image stability benefit of K-7 utilizing rotation (vs K-x and K-r only horizontal and vertical shift)? (to "compensate" for High ISO to allow slower shutter speeds - of course not applicable icw motion blur of running kids)
Grrr, High ISO performance is pretty important (without a flash)...
I didn't address the ISO because I don't really know what your requirements are. If you want to shoot in a dark room, no flash, at iso 6400 (the max expanded of the K7), you aren't going to be happy. No amount of post noise reduction will save that photo (to my satisfaction). If you want to shoot in a reasonably well lit room, you can realistically expect to go ISO 1600. You'll still have some cleaning up to do but you will still get a usable image.

I'm not quite understanding your Stability question so I'll just say this... It works very well for me. I can go to about 1/5 sec or so with a big lens, and get a decent image. It requires a little bracing (and being relaxed) to achieve but it's possible.

As for AF, it's plenty quick, even in a dim room. That is, as long as I remember the limitations of the system. Contrast is required. The AF system has to be able to distinguish between several different points to work properly. Even with SDM I find it quite effective to use. Continuous AF on the other hand, I usually skip right past it and go to MF because I can pick, focus, and shoot faster than the camera can.

Other factors that may be of concern, the shutter is very quiet. There is no bang slap click from mirror slap. Some say it isn't important but I like having the red dots showing me Where my focus points are. I use the Top LCD more than I've ever imagined I would (and actually keep the rear screen turned off). You say you won't likely buy WR lenses but it's still nice to know that you can tilt the camera downward if you get caught out in the rain and still protect everything. Even with non WR lenses, if you don't soak them, you should still be ok. For my purposes, and the way I use it, right now, the K7 is a perfect fit. I'll likely end up with a K5 at some point but I'm playing a long game of wait and see with it.

I look at it like this. No camera I ever own will be the latest and greatest out there. It will never have the best of all features available. There will always be something better coming down the pike or will be a better solution on another platform.

If you want to see the K7 with various lenses and settings,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13300089@N08/collections/72157623985201150/

There are a few done with other cameras but for the most part, these are K7 photos.


10-05-2010, 09:22 AM   #11
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Guess I have to go back to the shop and just compare the feeling in my hand once more.
- Initially K-x felt nice and small, but later also a little tiny...
- And the opposite for the K-7 (from too big to OK...)

K-7 and upgrading soon would be worst scenario, but K-7 and not having to upgrade at all best!!!
10-05-2010, 09:34 AM   #12
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I must say that I am finding the higher ISO ability of the K-x to be a real asset for me in shooting my children during real world events. I'm not going to stay out in the rain shooting so the weather sealing of the K7 is nice but not a factor for me. I've come to REALLY appreciate the AA battery factor for the K-x after having several other cameras reject non-OEM batteries and the proprietary ones costing a lot. I just got 1800+ shots out of my first set of Li AAs for the K-x! And when they did fail I had NiMH's ready to go or I could have ducked into nearly any convenience store and gotten AAs.

I voted last month myself by buying a K-x. So far, so good.

Good luck with your decision, but if you are like me you can seriously overthink this.
10-05-2010, 09:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I didn't address the ISO because I don't really know what your requirements are. If you want to shoot in a dark room, no flash, at iso 6400 (the max expanded of the K7), you aren't going to be happy. No amount of post noise reduction will save that photo (to my satisfaction). If you want to shoot in a reasonably well lit room, you can realistically expect to go ISO 1600. You'll still have some cleaning up to do but you will still get a usable image.

I'm not quite understanding your Stability question so I'll just say this... It works very well for me. I can go to about 1/5 sec or so with a big lens, and get a decent image. It requires a little bracing (and being relaxed) to achieve but it's possible.

Collection: Lenses
THANKS!!!
- I will look at the pictures tomorrow, why beyond bed time and tomorrow I have again early shift (two young daughters waking up).

Most / most important pictures will be from our kids, so typically not too dark. I also forsee making pictures at parties (can be pretty dark) or outside "action". Inside a bounce flash can help, potentially even more than high ISO performance... Outside the shutter speed has to be fast and a flash won't work, but on the other side it won't be really dark nor really fast (and also a lens with large aperture would help, but I dislike carrying big tripods around).

The sensor of K-7 and K-5 can rotate to correct user not holding the lens / camera well, next to vertical and horizontal shift. In K-x and K-r this rotation correction parameter is not functional at all. So that will harm effectiveness. But I couldn't find real & clear proof.
- Some where I read K-x only 1 stop and else where I read K-7 at least 2 but sometimes even 3-4 stops. But no apple to apple comparison.
10-05-2010, 09:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I must say that I am finding the higher ISO ability of the K-x to be a real asset for me in shooting my children during real world events. I'm not going to stay out in the rain shooting so the weather sealing of the K7 is nice but not a factor for me. I've come to REALLY appreciate the AA battery factor for the K-x after having several other cameras reject non-OEM batteries and the proprietary ones costing a lot. I just got 1800+ shots out of my first set of Li AAs for the K-x! And when they did fail I had NiMH's ready to go or I could have ducked into nearly any convenience store and gotten AAs.

I voted last month myself by buying a K-x. So far, so good.

Good luck with your decision, but if you are like me you can seriously overthink this.
Can you share more details on your voting than just the outcome?
- Better stabilization of K-7 can't replace High ISO performance of K-x...
10-05-2010, 09:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
The sensor of K-7 and K-5 can rotate to correct user not holding the lens / camera well, next to vertical and horizontal shift.
I would suggest that this that you're referring to is mainly for tripod work and liveview, not for action stuff with kids in low light handheld. When you're after "the moment" with kids you don't have time to faff about rotating the sensor
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