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01-15-2010, 10:07 AM   #1
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Pentax k-7 too advanced for a beginner?

Hiya,

I've spent endless hours researching cameras and i've finally come up with the camera that fits my needs the most, Pentax k-7. Now I am pretty much a beginner with DSLR cameras which i'm afraid might be a problem with buying the k-7. Is this camera too advanced for a beginner to learn on and if it is would any of the other Pentax camera's be better for a beginner?

Thanks!
-Marie

01-15-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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Its definitely a camera to grow into! What are you needs, per se?

If you don't need the weather sealing, you might want to check out a K-x, if you're a beginner.
01-15-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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A rhetorical statement: If something in the Pentax K7 class was too advanced for a beginner, Canon and Nikon would be out of the high end camera game, since about 9 out of 10 of their top end cameras sell to well heeled but inexperienced photographers.

Any camera you buy is going to have a learning curve. If you buy one that is more feature laden, that learning curve might be longer, but it will be no steeper, since on a basic level, they all pretty much work the same.
The difference is, you will be less likely to outgrow the more advanced camera any time soon, which means you may not feel you have to buy a replacement camera as soon: IE you'll buy to get a technical advantage rather than a feature set advantage.
If you have the budget, then the K7 is an excellent starter camera that will serve you well throughout the learning process and will stand by you as you become more adept.
Just remember though, lenses are more important than cameras, so if you are going to have to choose between the expensive camera and a nice lens, the nice lens may well be the better option, as long as you understand that you will probably kick yourself down the road for not stretching for both.
01-15-2010, 10:22 AM   #4
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I don't think it would be too advanced. At the very least, you can put it in Green Mode so that it does everything automatically, like a point-and-shoot. The only thing you'd be responsible for is popping up the flash when it gets dark.

From there, you could slowly explore different features and manual controls one at a time by dipping into the other exposure mode. Program Auto (P) mode is good for letting the camera set the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter, ISO), but allowing you to play with image tone, explore metering modes (spot, center-weighted, matrix), etc. From there, you can give modes like Aperture Priority (Av) or Shutter Priority (Tv) a try to have more control over your shot, or even use full Manual (M) to really learn about controlling exposure.

The menus of the K-7 are well laid-out and intuitive. The controls are sensible and comfortable. And one thing I really like about Pentax's interface convention is labeling everything that is "auto" or "best for dummies" in green. (And just because something is best for dummies doesn't mean it's not very valuable to experienced users, too!) So things like matrix metering, Shake Reduction on, Auto White Balance, and auto-selected AF points are displayed on the camera's display or its buttons as green icons. That way, if you're a beginner who gets the camera settings out of whack, you can easily, and with visual confirmation, revert to a safe automatic "home state" by flipping your controls back to "green". The K-7's rear LCD display does a good job of allowing even experienced users tell at a quick glance what settings are different then they normally set them. I take one glance at my LCD and I know which icons should be white, and which should be green. If something's different when I get ready to shoot, I'll know right away.

The K-7 is certainly geared toward the experienced photographer, because it lacks the "hand-holding" scene modes that point-and-shoots and entry-level DSLRs have. But if you shoot with a DSLR for more than about two days, and you're interested in learning the ins and outs of photography at all, you'd quickly discover that those friendly modes are fairly worthless. You won't miss them, I promise. Even without those cutesy bieginner features, the K-7 is perfectly suitable for everyone from a total novice to an experienced professional.

01-15-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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If you are willing to learn, the K-7 isn't too advanced for a beginner. It does have an auto mode. If you are serious about learning you will soon be moving to Aperture Priority (AV) mode, Shutterspeed Priority (TV) and full manual (M).


However, if you never plan on taking your camera off of full auto then the KX would be a better choice. It will save you money because there are features on the K7 that you might never use. The KX is specifically targeted toward those just stepping up to DSLRs.

One thing you want to consider is that you be spending more money on lenses in the long run than on the body. Ultimately the lenses have a bigger impact on image quality than the body itself.

What you need to do is decide what features you really must have and what features you might be able to live without. Here is a comparison of the KX and the K7 for technical specs.

Some of the big differances include, weathersealing, mirror-lockup, a bigger viewfinder and a faster possible shutterspeed in the K7.

Either camera would be an excellent camera to buy and will yield amazing results if you put the time in to learning the camera and honing your craft.
01-15-2010, 10:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
If you are willing to learn, the K-7 isn't too advanced for a beginner. It does have an auto mode. If you are serious about learning you will soon be moving to Aperture Priority (AV) mode, Shutterspeed Priority (TV) and full manual (M).


However, if you never plan on taking your camera off of full auto then the KX would be a better choice. It will save you money because there are features on the K7 that you might never use. The KX is specifically targeted toward those just stepping up to DSLRs.

One thing you want to consider is that you be spending more money on lenses in the long run than on the body. Ultimately the lenses have a bigger impact on image quality than the body itself.

What you need to do is decide what features you really must have and what features you might be able to live without. Here is a comparison of the KX and the K7 for technical specs.

Some of the big differances include, weathersealing, mirror-lockup, a bigger viewfinder and a faster possible shutterspeed in the K7.

Either camera would be an excellent camera to buy and will yield amazing results if you put the time in to learning the camera and honing your craft.
One would presume from her original post that she has done her due diligence already and has compared specifications.
The K-x is aimed more at people who want an interchangeable lens point and shoot, which is not exactly the same thing as a person just stepping up to a DSLR.
01-15-2010, 11:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One would presume from her original post that she has done her due diligence already and has compared specifications.
The K-x is aimed more at people who want an interchangeable lens point and shoot, which is not exactly the same thing as a person just stepping up to a DSLR.
I apologize if I sounded condescending. That was not my intention.



While the camera may be aimed at people that want an interchangeable lens PnS, it still is a DSLR and the average person stepping up doesn't think "I want an interchangeable lens PnS", they think "I want a DSLR".

How they treat the camera may be different. However, the KX in every technical sense a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. It has AV, SV, TV and M which is everything the average person needs. It is more than just a big PnS with a swappable lens.
01-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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I think the concern raised here is valid. What specifically led you to the conclusion that the K-7 is the right camera for you? I ask only because most of the features that differentiate it from the K-x would not be of concern to the typical beginner worried about the camera being too complex for them. Weather sealing is about the only feature I can see that would be likely drive such a person to the K-7. And if that's your main reason for looking at the K-7, you might consider looking for a K20D instead, unless video is important on your list of requirements. Not to talk you out of a K-7, but knowing what it is about the K-7 that made it your top contender would help us answer the question of whether it would be "too advanced" or not.

01-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #9
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My simple feeling is that the K-7 is well suited to the beginner and the advanced/enthusiast photographer alike, whereas the K-x is more suited to the beginner - but also has some advanced features that the beginner will not likely grow out of before the camera is superseded by multiple generations of new dSLRs.
01-15-2010, 03:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella:
I ask only because most of the features that differentiate it from the K-x would not be of concern to the typical beginner worried about the camera being too complex for them.
I think the K-7 does have some features that are lacking in the K-x and desirable for beginners. You mentioned the weather sealing, Marc, but I wouldn't want to give up my viewfinder AF-point indicators, either. They've saved me from focusing on the wrong thing many times. The AF-assist lamp is also very useful. Maybe the novice can even see the utility in a top-mounted LCD. The K-7's electronic level (and associated horizon leveling) is pretty cool, though not worth several hundred dollars by itself. If the OP is interested in shooting video much, then the higher resolution, higher frame rate, and stereo audio capability of the K-7 may be a big deal.

The list could go on and on...maybe she recognizes from the start that a bigger, brighter, full-coverage viewfinder is a good thing. I'd be a little surprised if the ability to add a battery grip was a huge deal to a DSLR first-timer, but it wouldn't be beyond belief, either.

The point is, there are a lot of things that separate the K-7 from the K-x. Most of them are minor differences taken individually; no particular feature justifies the price gap by itself. But to many people...even beginners...they may add up to become a big deal.
01-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #11
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No it's not, you'll have more features to expand on towards making your images what you need to do is to choose your lenses carefully usually a wide zoom 16-50, long zoom 50-135 and the fast 50 i chose those because they're in Pentax's top tier so that system now will last you a very loooong time (if you got lenses without issues) and cover most anything you'll want to shoot. This is if you have no budget but if you just want photos of socials like family events travel etc then all you might need is a Kx and a good wide zoom like the 16-50 or a 16-45 and a small flash like the 360. or just stick to the kit lens with a flash. You'll have control over your final image if you like to tweak a bit the learning curve is not that steep once you get into it BUT if none of that interests you at all, you be better of just getting a nice P&S like the Canon S90 which has some manual controls good enough for 4x6 prints up to 11x14 without fuss ...anything larger and you should explore DSLRs.

Last edited by Clicker; 01-15-2010 at 04:22 PM.
01-15-2010, 05:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MariesMeow Quote
Hiya,
I've spent endless hours researching cameras and i've finally come up with the camera that fits my needs the most, Pentax k-7. Now I am pretty much a beginner with DSLR cameras which i'm afraid might be a problem with buying the k-7. Is this camera too advanced for a beginner to learn on and if it is would any of the other Pentax camera's be better for a beginner?

-Marie
Marie,
I bought a K-7 as my first dSLR. I have had previous experiences with long zooms (Panasonic FZ20 and Olympus C700). I kept each about 3-5 years and I found that I needed about 1-2 years to learn the full camera capabilities. In each case, however, I was glad to have a camera with which I could improve. I choosed the K-7 because of it wide range of options, its superb viewfinder, the weather resistance and the continuous shooting characteristics.

Simply I was in a similar position as you are. I considered both the K-x and K-7 as well as the D90 and 500D. At the end, what matters was my needs; I shot often outdoor, with motion and actions. I wanted the weather resistance and continuous shooting at high rate. I went to a shop to try all these cameras. The K-7 was the best fit in my hands (the K-x was not far). Importantly, the K-7 had the nicest viewfinder with the D90, but the latter was far too bulky and heavy. The K-7 was by far my first choice.

All in all, I have had the K-7 for 2 months and I love it. I learned a lot, even if I am still using the P mode primarily. The Pentax Forum (PentaxForums.com - The Largest Pentax-Dedicated Photography Forum Community- Home) is a great place to learn, and there are some very helpful contributors. I am most happy with my choice and I can recommend very strongly the K-7 (over all other cameras incl. K-x).

Hope il will help.
01-15-2010, 08:13 PM   #13
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One area that I think the Kx trumps the K7 is the low light capability. It's valuable because a newcomer to DSLR's has less need for a faster lens initially. Take the kit lens to a party, dial up the ISO and useable pictures will be obtained. As the newcomer gains experience and starts to know better what he/she wants better glass can be invested in.






QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One would presume from her original post that she has done her due diligence already and has compared specifications.
The K-x is aimed more at people who want an interchangeable lens point and shoot, which is not exactly the same thing as a person just stepping up to a DSLR.
QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
I apologize if I sounded condescending. That was not my intention.



While the camera may be aimed at people that want an interchangeable lens PnS, it still is a DSLR and the average person stepping up doesn't think "I want an interchangeable lens PnS", they think "I want a DSLR".

How they treat the camera may be different. However, the KX in every technical sense a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. It has AV, SV, TV and M which is everything the average person needs. It is more than just a big PnS with a swappable lens.
01-15-2010, 09:17 PM   #14
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Thank you for all of the wonderful tips and for posting so quickly. The more I hear about the k-7, the more I feel like it's the camera for me. I had several things in mind that I wanted out of a camera.

First, I travel a lot so I definitely wanted to get a camera that took great quality images but also something I could get creative with to take some artistic shots. Second, I want a camera that is very durable where the weather/location would not become an issue to take pictures with. Third, I wanted to find a camera that could easily switch to a video mode so that I wouldn't have to lug around a big video camera. Fourth, I did not want a big bulky camera that would be a pain in the butt to drag around with me on my travels. Fifth, I need a camera that will last me a while. I do not want to buy a camera that I will outgrow in a short period of time.

Those are my main "requirements" for the camera. I quite the newb so please bear with me lol

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Marie,
I bought a K-7 as my first dSLR. I have had previous experiences with long zooms (Panasonic FZ20 and Olympus C700). I kept each about 3-5 years and I found that I needed about 1-2 years to learn the full camera capabilities. In each case, however, I was glad to have a camera with which I could improve. I choosed the K-7 because of it wide range of options, its superb viewfinder, the weather resistance and the continuous shooting characteristics.

Simply I was in a similar position as you are. I considered both the K-x and K-7 as well as the D90 and 500D. At the end, what matters was my needs; I shot often outdoor, with motion and actions. I wanted the weather resistance and continuous shooting at high rate. I went to a shop to try all these cameras. The K-7 was the best fit in my hands (the K-x was not far). Importantly, the K-7 had the nicest viewfinder with the D90, but the latter was far too bulky and heavy. The K-7 was by far my first choice.

All in all, I have had the K-7 for 2 months and I love it. I learned a lot, even if I am still using the P mode primarily. The Pentax Forum (PentaxForums.com - The Largest Pentax-Dedicated Photography Forum Community- Home) is a great place to learn, and there are some very helpful contributors. I am most happy with my choice and I can recommend very strongly the K-7 (over all other cameras incl. K-x).

Hope il will help.
Thank you so much for posting! I considered all of the cameras that you posted as well and I too felt that the k-7 fit the bill.

Last edited by MariesMeow; 01-15-2010 at 09:24 PM.
01-15-2010, 11:14 PM   #15
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K7 or the Canon 7D are *about* your only good options for weather sealing. Maybe a Nikon D300

Go with the K7. Its the smallest and cheapest of the lot. Not to mention great quality
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