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07-18-2010, 06:25 PM   #76
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Let me put it this way, I came to the DSLR scene looking for a camera with no history whatsoever and came away with a K-7... given all the options. I got it, and I love the feel. After handling the K-7, all the competing Canon and Nikon models feel cheap in the hands. I was leaning toward a D90 when I first started looking, but when I saw the K-7 was the same price, it won hands down.


I'd say it was a success.

07-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Most imprtantly, is that the K-7 feels like a jewel. It feels like a prescision tool. An object to covet. Nothing wrong with the K10D and K20D; they are well finished but The K-7 is in a different league.
I do not agree that the metering of the K-7 is superior to its predecessors; the K10D has the best multipattern metering I've encountered in any camera. I feel that the K-7 meter is more subject orientated whereas the K-10D had a more holistic approach. The K-7 will constantly burn out the highligts in order to make grannys face correctly exosed whereas the K10D protected the highlights. This is of course a matter of taste and shooting style...
Cool. I found the K10/K20 meter to be better than the istD, but for me, I think the k7, if anything, has a tendency to underexpose slightly.
07-18-2010, 09:22 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Cool. I found the K10/K20 meter to be better than the istD, but for me, I think the k7, if anything, has a tendency to underexpose slightly.
Mine tends to underexpose as well.
07-18-2010, 11:02 PM   #79
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I dunno, maybe I'm just getting crusty in my old age. I'm very pleased that K-7 owners like their cameras and are getting the results they want. That's just how it should be.

I've shot with the K-7 and had a loaner from Pentax Canada just after the launch. I spent at least 40-50 hours with my k20D and the K-7. But I have certain needs that I just felt were not exceeded from the previous model.

If you remember all the threads before launch, we wanted:
1) FF
2) faster af
3) better AWB
4) better high ISO's
5) the kitchen sink

We got 2 and 3. Both improved but not light years ahead of the k20D. Since I shoot manual 90% of the time and use the spot meter to zone meter an image, I didn't see any improvement over the previous models. So again, I'm a crusty old film shooter that wanted much more and felt this was a slightly better albeit sideways move.
QuoteQuote:
Peter, you say you're a RAW shooter. In RAW, the K-7 matches Nikon and Canon's top APS-C cameras at high ISO, so I'm not sure why it's such an issue.
Although if you want to stay with Pentax and high ISO is a big deal, maybe you are waiting for the next advanced DSLR, with an improved sensor.

Imaging device is also a term open to a lot of interpretation. The K-7 is a smaller, quieter camera. I get some shots with it the K20D would likely not have got. Does that make it a better imaging device?
CWyatt you say that the K-7 matches the competition at high ISO in APSc. I disagree. First, the K-7 was a step backwards just a little at higher ISO's. Since it's the same sensor as the K20D, then it's something they did in the processing end. But why shouldn't we have gotten and expected better than the K20D? Why not at least a stop more? Looking at the Nikon D300s and the Canon 50D, those cameras are as good and IMO better at 1600 to 3200. My second shooters use these. In fact the D300s (Canon tends to over do the NR and cause clean but blurry images above 1600) smokes the K20D and K-7. I'm speaking from hands on experience.

I'm not trying to trash the camera. Pentax IMO still creates the best rendered images at native ISO's of any APSc brand. Matched with a prime lens series that exceeds most brands, it's a hard combination to beat. For the hobby shooter to the advanced amateur, Pentax should be on the top of the list (except they never heard of the brand).

I still stand by my assertion that it was an incremental feature increase and at best a sideways move as an imaging device. Not enough to make me spend my money.

07-19-2010, 12:08 AM   #80
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Peter, I've used some of the K-7's competition cameras as well (not the K20D though, came from the K10D) and I disagree on the high ISO point vs the competition.
This is by no means the be all and end all, but here is a RAW comparison with K20D, D300, 50D:
Pentax K-7 Review: 16. Photographic tests (Noise): Digital Photography Review

You will know there are a heap of tests around, ranging from useless to good.

I'm still not sure what you mean by 'imaging device', as I really value thing like the viewfinder, responsiveness, and quiet shutter that make up the camera as well, and are all a good step forward.
07-19-2010, 02:02 AM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by ManhattanProject Quote
Let me put it this way, I came to the DSLR scene looking for a camera with no history whatsoever and came away with a K-7... given all the options. I got it, and I love the feel. After handling the K-7, all the competing Canon and Nikon models feel cheap in the hands. I was leaning toward a D90 when I first started looking, but when I saw the K-7 was the same price, it won hands down.


I'd say it was a success.
Exactly my feel about it. The Nikons and Canons are great cameras but the K7 feels and performs much above it's price ATM and it is a non-brainer for a semi/non-pro enthusiast.

Due to price constraints and to capitalize on Kx success it may be possible that Pentax will release a K5 with the same ergonomics and software as K7 but non sealed body and Kx sensor in order to cover the Kx downsides (non AF points in VF, loud shutter, lens AF adjustment) so the K7 will remain the best body in production along with the 645D.
07-19-2010, 05:14 AM   #82
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CWyatt, I mean a camera, a device that takes pictures first and foremost. I just find many base their list of likes or dislikes on things that are more emotional than practical to get the shot. All these things add to the experience of course and the user friendliness. For example, I can't stand the Canon rear dial, especially with a grip. Since I use a flash on a regular basis (thousands of times to the point where I've blown the bulbs out of 2 flashes this year alone) I want easy aperture control to adjust the flash light effect on the scene. Canon did not make this comfortable or easy to do. So the rear dial on these cameras would keep me for looking seriously at a Canon. Pentax's approach to dual dials is infinitely superior.

But I wouldn't base the purchase on a 100% VF. It rarely makes a difference as most of us never get the shot perfectly level and do some cropping from time to time. If you never edit your photos, maybe it matters. "Crafted like a work of art", I want my cameras to be solid and reliable but first and foremost I want them to take top quality images. If the "feel" of the camera is just average but it takes great shots, then that's the better camera vs a work of art that limits my photographic opportunities because something is lacking.

Responsive comments are interesting. Sure a camera that loads an image on the LCD quickly or clears the buffer fast is a plus. But there's really only one responsive trait that matters. When you push the shutter button, does it take the shots that instant? Since any of these cameras do so in fractions of a second, then the rest is a "feeling" about the camera vs an actual feature that would or wouldn't cause me to miss a shot. I have a K-x that is the most responsive Pentax I've used. Even faster than the K-7 in some ways. Sure it's nice to have but doesn't get me better shots.

I will note though, faster Fps is important and a welcome improvement. That's a feature which does make a difference. But even 5Fps isn't fast enough sometimes. I want 7-8 in the next model.

Same for the quiet shutter. Again a very nice feature that is a welcome addition to keep you from annoying people around you. It's not a reason I'd miss a shot though. I'll take the image regardless of how loud the shutter is.

I'm basing my comments entirely on did it give me more latitude from the sensor to take better photos. Nice additional features aside to make the "experience" more enjoyable, it did not. For me, whether it's personal fun shooting or for work, I see the body as a tool.

There are 2 main criteria that matter far above the rest. Is it reliable and durable. Since I haven't shot the K-7 for 50,000 images, I can't say but based on the lack of service issues we've heard about. I'd say the K-7 does well. But overall with the number of K20D's out there, there's not many issues with that body either. Second, does it offer me more ways to get the shot in tough light or other situations. Since the sensors are the same and the high ISO is nearly identical, then no, it doesn't. Given those 2 items, for my use, it's a sideways move.

As for high ISO's vs the others mentioned. I'm basing my comments on user experience, not tests. Each test is different and taking a photo on a lab table is not the same as out in the field. Under controlled conditions, with a static subject, you can make any camera look good or bad. What I've seen and experienced with actual shooting, the D300s (not the D300) is a better camera by about a stop. Next I'd put the K20D and below that the Canon 50D.

I've read the DPR test before and I'm looking at the quoted page of the review from your post and maybe we read this differently:
QuoteQuote:
As usual in our ISO-noise comparisons the differences between the contenders are pretty marginal up to ISO 400. From ISO 800 onwards the cameras' varying noise characteristics become more visible. The K-7 and K20D show visibly more of both luminance and chroma noise than the Nikon and Canon. The D300 maintains a good balance between noise and image detail up to the highest sensitivities while the EOS 50D's approach to noise reduction is more heavy-handed and results in more blurring of fine detail than on the Nikon.

Despite representing two different camera generations the K-7 and K20D produce near identical output up to ISO 800. From ISO 1600 upwards on the K-7 noise reduction kicks in whereas on the K20D noise reduction is switched off at default settings. While this naturally results in a larger amount of chroma noise on the K20D at higher sensitivities, the difference in luminance noise is fairly small. However, selecting the 'Weak' noise reduction setting on the K20D the differences pretty much disappear.
Seems to me, they are saying the K20D is marginally better than the K-7 or at least on par and the Nikon (older D300 not the D300s I've used) performs better. This thread is about the K-7 being the best ever Pentax to date. A "Success". In many ways it is, particularly for the new user getting the first Pentax or upgrading from the *ist series or D100 series. Just not enough for what I wanted it for over the K20D.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-19-2010 at 05:22 AM.
07-19-2010, 11:57 AM   #83
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I think the K-7 is a total success including higher ISO performance with some minor faults. The K-7 did away with the blue chroma noise in high ISO images produced by the K20D. The K-7 high ISO performance has a much more pleasing film grain look than the K20D. In no way do I see the K-7 high ISO performance as a step back from the K20D. It is not leaps and bounds better but it is a clear improvement over the k20D.

Ergonomically the K-7 is hands down the best overall camera of any brand. You can hold the K-7 far longer without getting hand cramps. The view finder in it's class is amongst the best. I shoot 89% manual lenses and probably 99% manual focus even when using AF lenses. I felt no need in changing the focus screen to accommodate this style of shooting. The shutter. What more needs to be said. If you are an event or street photographer the shutter of the K-7 is the least obtrusive of any DSLR. The K-7 is bar none the best street shooting DSLR.

Where I think the K-7 was a step back was Pentax listening to user feed back. The new system of accessing key features which was driven by user feed back like an ISO button. The keypad becoming the access points. The function button worked much better. It put the key features under one button with quick changes using the keypad. Now there are multiple buttons to push. The keypad can be accidentally pressed to put you into a menu without your knowledge. If you are not aware then turn an edial you are now changing a setting inadvertently. I had no problem changing settings with the function button including ISO. One thing I did like was moving the Green button. The green button can be pressed without having to take your finger off the shutter button. This was an improvement.

The quick menu should be customizable. 95% of what is included are settings I never use. You should be able to add and remove which settings you prefer into the quick menu. Things like focal length for SR. Turning the LCD light on and off etc. The quick menu is a great concept that needs to be better implemented. It is an expanded version of the function button really.

This brings up the LCD light. The K-7 was a huge step back in functionality here. To turn off the light you need to access custom menus. This is ridiculous. Then basically the LCD light can either be on or off. You should be able to set a button to turn it on and off when I want too.

For improvements I have suggested this before I think the K-7 model range should use an APS-H sensor. It would solve and improve multiple aspects. It would distinguish this model range against the competition for Pentax as well as setting it above the lower end models within the Pentax line. Better sensor performance would come from a larger sensor. No one would be saying if only the mid range model had the better sensor from the lower end model like the clamoring over the Kx sensor in the K-7. A larger view finder would result also.

Pentax should stay with Samsung for the sensor. Again it sets them apart from the competition instead of relying on the competition to supply what they want to Pentax. Pentax can better customize what they want including pushing for an APS-H sensor using Samsung. It is better using Samsung as it promotes competition which pushes the technology and it keeps the competition guessing what Pentax is doing.

Pentax is moving in the right directions. I think the 645D was a good long range plan. It brings an affordable Wedding system to serious Wedding photographers. Also it brings an affordable studio camera to portrait studios. One that can set them above the competition.

I also think it would be in Pentax's best interest and strategy of having the range of systems distinguished by sensor size. The low end models use APS-C. The mid-range use APS-H. And then a full pro end model using Full Frame.

Overall the K-7 was and is a great success. The competition hasn't come close to capturing the feel and feature set of the K-7. I say kudos to Pentax.

07-19-2010, 12:58 PM   #84
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Peter, which page is the the dpreview quote from? Is it talking RAW or jpeg?

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack:
Same for the quiet shutter. Again a very nice feature that is a welcome addition to keep you from annoying people around you. It's not a reason I'd miss a shot though. I'll take the image regardless of how loud the shutter is.

I'm basing my comments entirely on did it give me more latitude from the sensor to take better photos. Nice additional features aside to make the "experience" more enjoyable, it did not. For me, whether it's personal fun shooting or for work, I see the body as a tool.
I see it as a tool as well - what I'm saying is that, to me, things other than the sensor matter in getting shots at all. A quiet shutter has got me shots, no doubt about it. Leica's aren't quiet just to be 'nice', it's part of the tool.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack:
There are 2 main criteria that matter far above the rest. Is it reliable and durable. Since I haven't shot the K-7 for 50,000 images, I can't say but based on the lack of service issues we've heard about. I'd say the K-7 does well. But overall with the number of K20D's out there, there's not many issues with that body either. Second, does it offer me more ways to get the shot in tough light or other situations. Since the sensors are the same and the high ISO is nearly identical, then no, it doesn't. Given those 2 items, for my use, it's a sideways move
K-7 has better AF in dim light, including the AF assist lamp if you use it. Doesn't that come under 'does it offer me more ways to get the shot in tough light or other situations'?
07-19-2010, 07:02 PM   #85
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We can argue this all day long and it will only come across as me trashing what standing alone is a very good camera in most respects and you defending various positions. I've said before that there were upgrades. But in the key area that mattered to me, high ISO's, this was not an upgrade camera. Sure the AF is a bit better and helps in low light. But if the camera can't actually take a clean enough shot in low light, then how does the AF help? Great I locked on faster but the shot still looks like shit, so big deal.

The short answer is, these were my needs, not other people's. I'm happy that most people like this camera and frankly it deserves praise. But consider my position. I shoot with 2 bodies. Upgrading ment selling 2 grips and 2 K20D's at a significant loss and then shelling out maybe $1500+ in the difference to get what? Video? smaller body? a better menu? faster response?

For me that made absolutely no sense. if the camera was designed to shoot super clean ISO 3200 and usable 6400 then we wouldn't have this discussion.

My needs are not everyone else's and quite specific. This just wasn't a camera I was going to move to.
07-19-2010, 07:13 PM   #86
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The K7 isn't perfect but it is an amazing camera nonetheless. Because there are some cameras that excell in low light, that doesn't take away anything away from the K7. To really appreciate it you have to experience it it for yourself. I also have a Kx and it isn't half the camera even though it trumps the both the K7 and the K20D in low light.
07-19-2010, 07:26 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
The short answer is, these were my needs, not other people's. I'm happy that most people like this camera and frankly it deserves praise. But consider my position. I shoot with 2 bodies. Upgrading ment selling 2 grips and 2 K20D's at a significant loss and then shelling out maybe $1500+ in the difference to get what? Video? smaller body? a better menu? faster response?

For me that made absolutely no sense. if the camera was designed to shoot super clean ISO 3200 and usable 6400 then we wouldn't have this discussion.

My needs are not everyone else's and quite specific. This just wasn't a camera I was going to move to.

My use of my Pentax cameras is the same as Peter's, and my conclusions are the same as his. If I was rich I'd have purchased a K-7 just to have one. But I have to justify my purchases in terms of improved earnings and the K-7 didn't do it for me.

I have gone back and forth with myself about the K-x, precisely for its strong performance in low-light, high-ISO conditions. There are, alas, two things about the K-x that keep me from making a purchase, and price isn't one of them. First, that single e-dial. I'm so used to the two e-dials that I really can't imagine working without them. I have an *ist DS that I've used as a third camera from time to time. It's an okay camera but the ergonomics are SO different from those of the K10D/K20D that I find it distracting to use at an event when I'm working hard and fast. The other problem with the K-x is that it doesn't have a high-res display screen like the K-7. I know that the high-res display isn't a critically important feature—it doesn't take better pictures for me—but it is nice and one of the few things that I do envy about the K-7 is that beautiful display. My little (but mighty) Panasonic LX3 has a better display than the display on my K20D.

I'll digress here slightly to say that, I continue to wonder how long I'll stick with Pentax. I've reached the point where I don't lust after what other companies make, but I do keep looking. My problem is, I just don't see what I could switch to that would meet my current personal list of priorities:

I love my current prime lens lineup. I don't see how I could replace it. Maybe Canon, which has SO many lenses available, would have some good primes, too. But Canon cameras don't have in-body image stabilization.

So right now I'm stuck—not unhappily—with Pentax because I love my Pentax 21, 35, 40, 50, and 70 and my Sigma 28 and 105 prime lenses. I could get Nikon or Canon versions of the Sigma lenses. But my next purchases will probably be the Pentax 31. I just don't see who else can match this lineup. I didn't always feel this way, but I have grown to love these small prime lenses from Pentax. There are some similar pancake primes available for micro-4/3 bodies, and I'm tempted in that direction too but it just doesn't make sense for me.

I'm hoping the next Pentax body is more tempting to me than the K-7 was.

Will
07-19-2010, 08:11 PM   #88
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I bought a K7, shot with it for a week and returned it. There was nothing wrong with the camera. It handled well and did have a slightly better autofocus than my K20D. It didn't take better pictures. Like Peter, I'm an old converted film shooter and use a lot of manual focus, so the improved AF wasn't that much of a selling point to me. I found the K7 to be a fine camera, but I already owned a fine camera. If the K7 did autofocus like the D300, that would have been another thing. It doesn't so wasn't compelling enough in that regard. This is not a knock on the K7. I think it a fine thing that Pentax offers 2 good prosumer cameras.

Like a lot of other's I'm looking for a K7 level of build and features with a better high ISO performance. If that means a full frame, so be it. I'll buy that. I've read rumors of a K5. If that has the K-x sensor on a K7 body, I'll be in line to get one. If the next camera can equal Nikon in fast autofocus, I'll dance for joy and take BIF photos. Until then I'm happy with the K20D.
07-19-2010, 10:29 PM - 1 Like   #89
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I'm an amatuer photographer, whose first non-range finder camera was a Pentax MX. I resisted digital but took the plunge with the K10D. I don't think I've ever used a camera less than I did the K10D. The menus for everything made my eyes glaze over. It took the joy out of taking pictures for me. When I heard that on the K7 many of the controls like white balance and ISO were actual buttons instead of another $%& menu to access, I hoped that the other aspects of the K7 would be improvements as well. I was not disappointed. Its success is relative to the use one puts it to. For me the K7 continued the design feature of the top LCD found on the K10D. I've handled friends' Kxs and I feel like I am flying blind. The rear LCD is often affected by the light I am viewing it under, thus bright sunlight is a problem. I never have a problem reading the top LCD and I hope Pentax never lets this feature go. The K7 has motivated me to take more pictures than I have in years and to invest in some high quality primes as a result. As I've read over and over again on this forum, the best camera body in the world is only part of the equation with affordable high quality lenses also being an important part. Neither of them mean anything if the design of the camera body is off-putting though. Pentax, with the K7, kept this photographer in the digital fold and purchasing more of their lenses (from a business perspective, if a camera body results in Pentax selling more lenses, it is successful). There will inevitably be the next generation building upon the K7and I probably will explore it when the time is right. The K7 will remain in my kit though. It is a solid high quality and accessible camera capable of producing amazing images. I don't care about video, I don't care about digital in-camera filters or special effects and I'd rather be taking pictures than editing them endlessly. The K7 has all the current "must haves", most of which I could do without. I love its ergonomics and how solid it feels in my hands. I want to pick it up all the time and go take pictures. Peter stated that for him it comes down to whether the camera aids him or lets him down in catching a shot. At my level, its about whether the complexity of the camera will keep me from just going out looking for the shots. The genius of the K7, as far as I'm concerned, is that it doesn't let the "bells and whistles" get in the way of it being a darn good camera.
07-19-2010, 10:43 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by loveisageless Quote
The genius of the K7, as far as I'm concerned, is that it doesn't let the "bells and whistles" get in the way of it being a darn good camera.
It makes me wonder how well a K-x type camera with only a few controls would sell. I mean a K-x with a shutter speed dial (with an "A" settting), a combined ISO/over+underexposure dial and a rear dial for controlling the f/stop (essential because the DA Limiteds don't have a diaphragm ring anymore). Basically a MZ-3 but a digital one.

Of course it should have a back LCD. Would there be a market for such a camera? I would buy one, but would it be a success?
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