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04-08-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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K7 or K20D?

I've always used Olympus so I'm not too familiar with Pentax and would appreciate some guidance. I want to get into the Pentax system without spending a fortune but still get high quality images so I'm looking at some used models. The K20D & K7 seem to have similar specs so I'm wondering what the differences are. Access to legacy lenses is one of the main reasons I'm going with Pentax. I want to get a mid range wide-tele zoom without breaking the bank. For macro and extended tele I'll go with the older manual lenses. For available light I want to get a fast 50mm prime lens. Recommendations? Thanks.

04-08-2011, 12:41 PM   #2
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The K-7 has a very similar sensor, changed to add video. Tests show slightly worse still image performance but probably not enough to matter in real-world images. I can't shoot a video worth watching because of a complete lack of video talent. So I don't mind that it's not 1080p at 30 fps or whatever.

A lot of the differences are incremental improvements. The shutter is faster, allowing more frames per second and a higher max speed. The AF is better. Metering has more segments and is better. You can bracket 5 shots. You get a 100% viewfinder. Alone, none are a deal-breaker, but they add up.

A few big improvements are the rear LCD and the smaller size. I thought the K20D was too big. (Some people would say smaller size is a backward step.)

The K-5 takes everything good about the K-7 and adds low-noise high ISO performance, plus better DR. Other incremental improvements too. The price is still high.

Last edited by Just1MoreDave; 04-08-2011 at 12:49 PM.
04-08-2011, 12:48 PM   #3
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What does it mean "You can bracket 5 shots"?
04-08-2011, 01:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
What does it mean "You can bracket 5 shots"?
You can set up the camera so it will take 5 shots (instead of just 3 with the K20 IIRC) with one press of the shutter button. Each of the shots will have a predetermined exposure difference according to how you set it up, ie you can set it up to half stop increments so -1, -.5, 0, +.5, +1, and you can set the sequence they're taken in.

You can do this to get multiple similar shots to use for HDR, or just to make sure you have at least one that is usable for insurancel.

Scott

04-08-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
What does it mean "You can bracket 5 shots"?
"Exposure bracketing" is what Pentax calls it - p. 109 in the K-x manual. The camera takes three shots: a normal exposure, an underexposed shot and an overexposed one. You can change the amount of under- and over-exposure, the order of the shots, and other details. It's useful for everything from quickly getting several exposures to choose from later, to HDR.

The K20D is like your K-x, limited to 3 shots. The K-7 can do 5. That's overkill for most purposes, but it allows a little extra flexibility. Combined with 5.2 fps, it can take all the shots very quickly. With only 3 shots, you can change the exposure compensation, take three, then change Ev comp. and take three more. Not a big deal.
04-08-2011, 01:31 PM   #6
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Welcome Geos, if you're tossing up between the K-7 and the K20D, the K-7 is a fair improvement on the K20D, but not enough for some K20D owners to trade their cameras in for a K-7.
Performance-wise the main improvement is in the autofocusing, and continuous shooting ability.
If you're looking for a fast fifty, the well-known FA 50 f/1.4 lens is a decent introduction to low light photography that won't disappoint - it's even a lens to keep for when you do move up in your photographic journey.
04-08-2011, 02:43 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
"Exposure bracketing" is what Pentax calls it - p. 109 in the K-x manual. The camera takes three shots: a normal exposure, an underexposed shot and an overexposed one. You can change the amount of under- and over-exposure, the order of the shots, and other details. It's useful for everything from quickly getting several exposures to choose from later, to HDR.

The K20D is like your K-x, limited to 3 shots. The K-7 can do 5. That's overkill for most purposes, but it allows a little extra flexibility. Combined with 5.2 fps, it can take all the shots very quickly. With only 3 shots, you can change the exposure compensation, take three, then change Ev comp. and take three more. Not a big deal.
Um...just a minor correction there...the K20 (and K10) can both do auto bracketing of 5 images (+/-2ev).
04-08-2011, 03:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Um...just a minor correction there...the K20 (and K10) can both do auto bracketing of 5 images (+/-2ev).
Oh, I read the wrong line. The K-7 can do +/- 5 stops of Ev compensation. Still a bit of overkill.

04-09-2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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A few things I like about the K-7 (over the K10D / K20D) others forgot:

- Lock on the dials and buttons (yeah!)
- In camera lens correction (makes it slow though)
- In camera level (shown on top display, LCD and in VF)
- Auto level correction
- VERY silent shutter
- VERY effective dust removal system (now it works!!)
- Smaller, but better grip for my big hands
- AF assist light
- Cool digital filters

K20D over the K-7:

- Thethering with Pentax software

Comments:
I cannot tell you how often my K10D buttons accidently were in the wrong place!
The (auto) level has become a MUST have on any future camera.
The silent shutter, dust removal, AF assist light are features often taken for granted but of good value to me as well.

I'd go for the K-7, no doubt.

- Bert
04-09-2011, 08:28 AM   #10
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If you are going to shoot with legacy lenses, the K-7 is the way to go. Both the K10D and the K20D have metering problems with the "K" and "M" series of lenses. Unfortunately the problems aren't consistant, you can't dial in a single EV compensation and forget about it, the over/under discrepancies wander around in a vague "S" curve. I will say however that they mostly can be overcome in PP.
Other than that the benefits of the K-7 over the K20 are incremental. It has slightly better autofocus, it has a slightly bigger buffer, it can shoot slightly faster. On the other hand, the K20D is better in low light, it's got slightly better high ISO response. BTW unlike what someone else reported the K20D does have individual lens micro adjust capabilities. The K20D can store adjustments for up to 20 different lenses.
Like another poster reported, more than a few of us thought the differences between the two cameras were not great enough to upgrade. However if you do have more than a few legacy lenses you might want to get the K-7

NaCl(when I can afford it I will upgrade my K20-D to a K-5, not the K-7)H2O
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